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CR-V::Clinical Rounds Routine maintenance, problems, solutions and repair

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  #21  
Old 12-08-2006, 06:04 AM
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Honda doesn't have a "towing package" for the CR-V. They do have a hitch and wiring. There are no Honda branded transmission coolers available for the CR-V. If your local Honda dealer is threatening to void your transmission warranty if you don't buy their towing package I'd take my business elsewhere, and report them to Honda Corporate.

The Pilot has a "towing package" available that does include a transmission cooler and a power steering cooler.

The main difference as I see it is that the CR-V is only rated for very light towing (1,500 lbs of trailer weight). The Pilot is rated for three times that trailer weight.

JM2C
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  #22  
Old 12-14-2006, 10:56 AM
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When we bought our CR-v last year, we were also told we could order the "towing package." Racoon is right that the package only consists of the hitch and wiring, but it nevertheless was referred to as "the" towing package.
There are warranty issues surrounding the addition of an aftermarket cooler. There are durability issues if one tows even light-weight trailers without an aftermarket cooler. Noting Honda's recent trouble-prone automatics we decided it was wiser to add a cooler.
To each their own.
Glen
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  #23  
Old 12-14-2006, 09:39 PM
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The CRV does indeed have a transmission cooler. It is integrated into the radiator. You can see the hoses running from the bottom of the rad to the transmission. The transmission cooling system is a separate loop from the engine system even though it shares the same rad. The transmission's hydraulic pump picks up the fluid, pumps it out to the radiator to cool it and then sends it to the valve body for distribution to the clutches. If you really wanted you could add your own radiator but after installing a temperature gauge on the transmission, I can tell you that unless you are exceeding the towwing capacity grossly then I really don't think it is necessary. the temperature in the transmission rarely rises above 130degF even during heavy use. It takes a good 20 mins of driving to reach this temperature. It runs hotter in city driving than on the highway. Also, the sensor for the gauge is measuring the ambient fluid temperature in the case before it passes through the cooler. If you want to add an external cooler its easy - cut the lines and run them to the separate rad but I doubt it will do much.
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  #24  
Old 12-19-2006, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olefam
There are warranty issues surrounding the addition of an aftermarket cooler. There are durability issues if one tows even light-weight trailers without an aftermarket cooler.
Note the irony of it all! Do what the industry, including Honda, knows will increase the life of your tranny, and the warranty is at risk. Duh.

Quote:
Noting Honda's recent trouble-prone automatics we decided it was wiser to add a cooler. To each their own.
...and I chose to do the same. We takes our chances and we makes our decisions. If it was a waste of money, then it was a waste in the right direction.

For others contemplating the same, you might not have to cut any lines. The B&M kit hoses were the same inside diameter and fit right in on the '05. No threaded fittings to worry about, just clamped hoses. Only had to remove a ~7" line between the radiator and the trans filter, and plumb in the air-cooled unit. Done.


-t
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  #25  
Old 12-28-2006, 12:25 PM
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If you are going to tow with your CRV I recommend an aftermarket inline cooler installed in series with your radiator tranny cooler. Very simple install by yourself or a mechanic as already posted here.

I'm not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV, but I believe some posts here are misleading to the extent they imply adding a transmission cooler will cause warranty issues. I believe this type of modification is covered by the Magnusson-Moss Act. This provides several consumer protections against car dealers requiring use of specific brands of parts and protects against unproven claims that a modification caused a failure thereby voiding warranty. You can do your own investigation. I reprint a bit here.

Reprinted from http://www.ptuning.com/html/faq.htm
The Magnusson-Moss Warranty - Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act of 1975 protects consumers from such fradulent activity by new car dealers. Under this Act, aftermarket equipment that improves performance does not void a vehicle manufacturer's orginial warranty, unless the warranty clearly states the addition of aftermarket equipment automatically voids your vehicle's warrany or if it can be proven that the aftermarket device is the direct cause of the failure. The easiest way to check this is to look in your owner's manual under, "what is not covered". Under Magnusson-Moss Act a dealer must prove, not just vocalize, that aftermarket equipment caused the need for repairs before they can deny warranty coverage. If they cannot prove such claim-or offer an explanation- it is your legal right to demand compliance with the warranty. The Federal Trade Commission (202.326.312 administers the Magnusson-Moss Act and monitors compliance with warranty law.
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  #26  
Old 12-29-2006, 10:26 PM
olefam olefam is offline
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Thankyou for the info davmac. I was unaware such a law existed. I presumed that if something went wrong after installing the oil cooler I was the one who had to prove it DIDN'T hurt the car.
Now, after 12,000 miles with the cooler on, no change in performance of the transmission. I anticipate at least 150,000 trouble-free miles on this tranny.
Glen
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  #27  
Old 12-30-2006, 04:31 AM
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Installing an aftermarket cooler could actually hurt the car - the cooling system is shared between the engine and transmission. There is already a cooler on the transmission - it is a heat exchanger inside the rad. If the car is started cold then the fluids are much thicker than usual. At this point fluid from the transmission is circulating through the rad and is the temperature of the transmission fluid is cooled or heated to the temperature of the engine coolant currently circulating within the rad. If you install an additional external trans cooler inline with the flow from the tranmission you run the risk of over-cooling the transmission fluid. If the car is started cold and then run, the external cooler could actually be keeping the fluid from achieving its nominal operating temperature. The lower viscosity may actually have an adverse affect on the transmission's performance.

Without your extra external cooler, the trans fluid temperature is always matched to the engine coolant temperature. The way the system was designed may be a direct result of the engineers wanting to temperature matched to the engine coolant temperature in order to maximize the operating characteristics of the trans fluid. By adding the extra cooler you change the operating temperature of the fluid and the amount of temperature change this cooler provides will vary according to the speed or the car. This means that the temperature of the trans fluid will vary signifantly rather than being kept at a constant temperature of the engine coolant.

The only way to avoid this would be to install a thermostat so that when the trans temperature exceeded normal operating temperature - which would only occur during towing (and never would if you were staying within the tow limits and driving respectably) - it would then open a bypass valve that would now pump the fluid through the external cooler and then to the rad rather than directly to the rad.

I'm not saying yay or nay to the cooler idea, but this is a very valid reason for Honda to decline your warranty no matter how many legalities you think you have on your side. If they can come up with a valid engineering reason that your cooler could impact their design then you're SOL.

If you are staying within the tow limits and not driving like a madman then there is no reason you should ever worry about your transmission temp.
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  #28  
Old 12-30-2006, 11:10 PM
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There are a lot of good points stated here; however, davmac and fox22 bring up the most applicable. It is important to place an auxiliary trans oil cooler in-line (in series) with the radiator-mounted cooler. The radiator transfers heat to the trans fluid, which lowers the viscosity and increases the flow rate of the ATF, providing for better trans lubrication, better line pressures (when the engine is not fully warmed up), and better overall trans operation. The aux. cooler will assist in dropping what could be excessively high trans fluid (and overall trans) temperatures, especially during high ambient temperatures and/or heavy loads. I must disagree with the assessment that trans temps seldom run over 130 deg. F. Trans temps are commonly within the 180 to 200 deg. F. range, and can exceed 250 deg. with poor cooling and heavy loads. Without an aux. cooler, this will spell death to ANY auto trans.

Any good brand (B&M, Hayden, Borg-Warner, etc.) will meet or exceed OEM specs. The Magnussen/Moss Warranty Act protects all consumers who, in good faith, install and/or maintain their vehicle's parts/accessories as specified in their owner's manuals. If there is no specific prohibition against the use or installation of an item or accessory, the vehicle manufacturer cannot sanction a person's good faith actions.

Note: A transmission oil temperature gauge is a cheap and sensible addition for anyone's vehicle subject to regular towing duty.
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  #29  
Old 01-01-2007, 04:28 PM
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I haven't had a chance to try my temp gauge on the transmission while pulling a trailer so I don't really know if the temp goes up that much or not but next time I have a trailer behind the car I'll keep an eye on it.
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  #30  
Old 01-02-2007, 03:13 PM
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Fox22 brings up a couple of good points, but I still think an aftermarket cooler is warranted. One point raised is Honda engineering's choice to leave off an external trans cooler in their towing package because the CR-V doesn't need it. My response would be, first, the Honda 5-speed automatic was either a poorly designed or poorly executed automatic. Thus they have had their now infamous recall in an effort to correct the problem, and the transmission was redesigned for 2005 to eliminate further problems. How can we trust Honda engineers to design them correctly this time? I've got over $25,000 in my CR-V. I'm not going to take the chance that the same engineers who brought us the recalled transmission will do a better job the second time around.
Second, call Honda America on the telephone. I did. Ask them "if an in-line oil cooler is recommended for all other Honda vehicles with a towing package, why isn't it recommended for the CR-V, a vehicle with a notoriously weak transmission?" You won't get a straight answer. But it's fun to listen to the double talk.
Finally, consider that these same engineers did NOT include an inline transmission fluid filter on 2004 and earlier Honda CR-Vs. Why? Because, they'll tell you, It isn't needed. Fast forward to 2005. Same engine. Same transmission. Now the engineers think the filter IS needed and so we get one. What changed? Not the transmission. Not the size or shape of the car. The only thing that I can see is that Honda decided that it was cheaper to put in a $20.00 in-line filter than do warranty work on failed transmissions.
Am I cynical of Honda? You bet. Do I think Honda will put profits before customer satisfaction? In a heartbeat.
As a parting comment, I must say that I have never heard of any automatic transmission driven in the real world failing because it's fluid was "too cool." But there are countless stories of transmission failing becasue they got too hot. Unless Honda has found a way to defy the laws of physics, their transmissions are just as susceptible to heat as anyone else's.
Glen
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