Question about 1996 Honda Passport

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I wrote you about my 1996 Honda Passport on how to check the automatic transmission fluid since my car is not a straight drive. You wrote me back and told me there was not a dip stick but two openings I had to check. I then wrote you back and asked how to put the transmission fluid in my car and someone wrote me back and told me to check the dip stick and put the fluid where the stick went. How can I do this when you told me there was not a dip stick, I don't think the person who wrote me last knows what he is talking about. Please clear up this problem.

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No dipstick. You have to pump it in from the bottom.A trans shop will be the best place to have it checked.

Posted on Nov 12, 2010

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  • Honda Master
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On Honda, I know that the manual transaxles don't have dipsticks, but the automatic transmissions generally do.


  • Engine oil - Check the engine oil level.
  • Coolant - Check the radiator coolant level in the reservoir.
  • Battery - Visually check battery cables and connections.
  • Automatic transmission - Check the fluid level.
  • Master cylinder - Check the fluid level.
  • Power Steering - Check the fluid level.
  • Windshield washer - Check the fluid level.
  • Belts & hoses - Visually check all belts and hoses for wear.
    NOTE: In addition to the items listed above there are cases with some manufacturer's where odd components such as manual transmission/transaxles and front differentials many be equipped with a dipstick found underhood for fluid level check. If you are unsure of a dipstick on your vehicle, check with the owners manual. I wrote you about my 1996 Honda Passport on how to - 89531p07.jpg
    FLUID LEAKS Look for fuel, oil, or water leaks. The location of the spots under the vehicle can give a clue to the source of the leak, just as the color of the spots gives valuable clues.
    • Red is probably automatic transmission fluid.
    • Black or brown is most likely engine oil or axle lube.
    • Clear water will usually come from the air conditioning condenser on a hot day.
    • Greenish or Orange colored water is usually antifreeze.
    It's normal for the air conditioner to drip a small amount of water under the front of the vehicle when it's used on a hot day.

    Posted on Nov 12, 2010

    • 4 more comments 
    • Duane Wong
      Duane Wong Nov 12, 2010

      I know that certain Honda Civics have a manual transmission that is checked by removing a plug on the side and seeing if any fluid comes out.

      Auto transmissions are more user friendly, in that there should be a dipstick somewhere.

    • Duane Wong
      Duane Wong Nov 12, 2010

      To reduce wear and friction inside a transmission, the most commonly used transmission fluids are mixed with friction modifiers.

      •If an automatic transmission fluid (ATF) without friction modifiers is used in a transmission designed for friction modified fluid, the service life of the transmission is not normally affected. However, firmer shifting will result and the driver might not welcome this change in shifting quality.
      •Transmission durability is affected by using friction modified fluid in a transmission designed for nonmodified fluids. This incorrect use of fluid will cause slippage, primarily when the vehicle is working under a load. Any amount of slippage can cause the clutches and bands to wear prematurely. Also, because of the high heat generated by the slippage, the fluid may overheat and lose some of its lubrication and cooling qualities, which could cause the entire transmission to fail.
      The formulation of an ATF must also be concerned with the viscosity of the fluid. Although the fluids are not selected according to viscosity numbers, proper flow characteristics of the fluid are important in the operation of a transmission.

      •If the viscosity is too low, the chances of internal and external leaks increase, parts can prematurely wear due to a lack of adequate lubrication, system pressure will be reduced, and overall control of the hydraulics will be less effective.
      •If the viscosity is too high, internal friction will increase resulting in a greater chance of building up sludge, hydraulic operation will be sluggish, and the transmission will require more engine power for operation.
      To check the fluid, the vehicle should be level and running and the transmission should be at operating temperature. Check the condition of the fluid.

      •The normal color of ATF is pink or red.
      •If the fluid has a dark brownish or blackish color and/or a burned odor, the fluid has been overheated.
      •A milky color indicates that engine coolant has been leaking into the transmission's cooler in the radiator.
      If there is any question about the condition of the fluid, drain out a sample for closer inspection.

      The correct fluid specifications and checking procedures are stamped on the dipstick.
      •Some fluids have a burnt smell when they are in good condition, so be sure this is not the normal condition.
      •Burned fluid is usually caused by failed friction parts in the clutch packs or bands. Friction material might be evident on the dipstick. The transmission will probably require rebuilding soon.
      •Sometimes it is easier to tell if the fluid is contaminated by feeling it, rather than by seeing it. Place a few drops of fluid between two fingers and rub them together. If the fluid feels dirty or gritty, it is contaminated with burned frictional material.
      After checking the ATF level and color, wipe the dipstick on absorbent white paper and look at the stain left by the fluid. Dark particles are normally band and/or clutch material, while silvery metal particles are normally caused by the wearing of the transmission's metal parts.

      If the dipstick cannot be wiped clean, it is probably covered with varnish, which results from fluid oxidation. Varnish will cause the spool valves to stick, causing improper shifting speeds. Varnish or other heavy deposits indicate the need to change the transmission's fluid and filter.

      Abusive driving can overheat a transmission and cause fluid oxidization and breakdown. Stay within the recommended towing load for the vehicle. Avoid excessive rocking back and forth when stuck in snow or mud.

      Low fluid levels can cause a variety of problems. Air can be drawn into the oil pump's inlet circuit and mix with the fluid. This will result in aerated fluid that causes slow pressure buildup and low pressures that will cause slippage between shifts.

      Excessively high fluid levels can also cause aeration. As the planetary gears rotate in high fluid levels, air can be forced into the fluid. Aerated fluid can foam, overheat, and oxidize. All of these problems can interfere with normal valve, clutch, and servo operation. Foaming may be evident by fluid leakage from the transmission's vent.

      If the transmission fluid was low or there was no fluid, raise the vehicle and carefully inspect the transmission for signs of leakage. Leaks are often caused by defective gaskets or seals. Common sources of leaks are:

      •The oil pan seal,
      •Rear cover and final drive cover (on transaxles),
      •Extension housing,
      •Speedometer drive gear assembly, and
      •Electrical switches mounted into the housing.
      The housing itself may have a porosity problem, allowing fluid to seep through the metal. Case porosity may be repaired using an epoxy-type sealer.

    • Duane Wong
      Duane Wong Nov 12, 2010

      The last post says that there is a dipstick, and I looked it up under the site.
      So, I think there should be a dipstick.

    • Duane Wong
      Duane Wong Nov 12, 2010

      However, I found contradictory information on regarding this same question:


      It is a Sealed- Non Servicible system and the transmission fluid is a type that does not break down over time so the only reason you would need to is if there was a leak but then you should just take it to your dealer.

    • Duane Wong
      Duane Wong Nov 12, 2010

      I'm sorry but I found contradictory advice for the automatic transmission in the 1996 Honda Passport.

      I guess you have to look for yourself to see if there is one, and if there isn't, then it's the sealed system type that is serviced at the Dealership or transmission shop.

    • angelic1n06 Sep 25, 2011

      i have a 96 honda passport with automatic transmission they dont have dipsticks they are seald transmissions take it to a shop or climb under it there are to plugs on the transmission pan take the lower plug out thats how you check them



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    SOURCE: Where is the dip stick for my 1996 Honda passport

    Your gonna have to check the manual but sometimes the transmissions are sealed and have to go back to the dealer or a transmission specialist.


    Posted on Nov 09, 2010

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    Type of fluid for a 1998 Honda passport transmission

    you did not state the type of transmission that you have, assuming that it is an automatic transmission.
    the transmission used in the Passport models is an Isuzu transmission, so it requires inexpensive and easily available Dexron/Mercon fluid. not special Honda ZF fluid that all other Honda transmissions require. another person said that they use Dexron3 fluid in theirs.
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    Where to check transmission fluid on honda passport? On an 01 Passport the Automatic Transmission?

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    Feb 28, 2011 | 1996 Honda Passport

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    How to put tramission fluid in a 1996 honda passport automatic

    It has a sealed transmission. Call your local dealer to get this taken care of, it requires a special pump to change the fluid. The cost of the service depends on the mileage. For example, when i had mine serviced last it only cost me $20, but it took an hour.

    Feb 04, 2011 | 1996 Honda Passport

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    I have a 1996 Honda Passport with an automatic transmission I now know how to check the transmission fluid but I don't know how to put fluid in please advise me how to put in the transmission fluid.

    1. check fluid while running in park or neutral
    2. wipe stick off put back in check again look at both sides of stick
    3. if need to add put fluid in tube where the stick goes
    4. only add what you need check again

    Nov 12, 2010 | 1996 Honda Passport

    1 Answer

    I have a 1996 Honda passport with automatic transmission but I cannot the dip stick for the transmission fluid so I can check it. I would to know where it is .

    There is NO DIPSTICK in the engine compartment.

    On the side of the transmission, there are two plugs. You remove both plugs and fill one side with fluid, (not sure which side), until the fluid comes out the other drain plug hole.

    One is lower than the other. Open the lower plug hole. If fluid begins to come out, then it's full.

    I would suggest to leave it alone unless you suspect a real problem Do you see trans fluid on your driveway ? etc:

    Reports indicate, do not leave trans fluid change too long for this vehicle. Check you hand book for proper interval.

    Nov 10, 2010 | 1996 Honda Passport

    1 Answer

    Where is the dip stick for my 1996 Honda passport automatic transmission fluid my car is automatic not straight drive?

    Your gonna have to check the manual but sometimes the transmissions are sealed and have to go back to the dealer or a transmission specialist.


    Nov 09, 2010 | 1996 Honda Passport

    1 Answer

    Where is the automatic transmission stick to check the fluid?

    Is you Passport automatic or manual? If it is manual (stick-shift), there is no dip stick. There is only one on auto transmission. If you have an automatic and not a manual, please let me know, and I will try to help further.
    Thanks!! EJ Kudelka

    Nov 09, 2010 | 1996 Honda Passport

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    How to fill automatic transmission on '97 Honda Passport 4X4

    There is a metal fitting bolt close to the bottom of the transmission. You can unscrew that out and if transmission fluid comes out it's good. If this doesn't occur you'll have to get a pump and pump transmission fluid in it. This is the easiest with a lift of course. Don't you hate stupid Japanese ideas. Good luck man

    Dec 20, 2008 | 1997 Honda Passport

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    How do you put in transmission fluid?

    Unfortunately, you have a closed system transmission, there is no dipstick or filler tube. I have a 96 passport and to have fluid replaced in the transmission you need to take it to a garage that is equipped to fill closed transmissions. This generally runs about $100.00 at the dealership. I was on my way to get my transmission serviced when the trans broke. Don't wait long if you're having issues.

    Jun 30, 2008 | 1996 Honda Passport

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