Acura RDX Transmission Fluid Capacity

The Acura RDX is a hallmark of luxury and performance in the compact SUV segment. Since its inception in 2007, the RDX has been a choice vehicle for those seeking a blend of comfort, performance, and reliability. Over the years, the RDX has evolved through three generations, each bringing forth enhanced features, refined aesthetics, and improved performance, solidifying its position in the luxury compact SUV market.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Transmission Fluid Importance: The transmission fluid is crucial for the smooth operation and longevity of your Acura RDX’s transmission system. It acts as a lubricant, coolant, and hydraulic fluid, facilitating seamless gear shifts and reducing wear and tear on the transmission components.
  2. Recommended Fluid and Capacity: The type and capacity of transmission fluid required vary across different generations of the Acura RDX. It’s essential to use the recommended type of transmission fluid and adhere to the specified capacity to ensure optimal transmission performance.
  3. Change Intervals: The manufacturer-recommended intervals for changing the transmission fluid typically range between 30,000 to 60,000 miles. However, several factors, such as driving conditions, climate, and the quality of the transmission fluid, can affect these intervals.
  4. Signs of Transmission Fluid Issues: Common signs of transmission fluid issues include color changes, burnt odor, hard shifting, transmission slipping, unusual noises, and the activation of the transmission warning light.
2020 Acura RDX

The latest generation (2019 – Now) showcases a modern design, a robust engine, and a plethora of tech-savvy features, making it a competitive player in its segment. The Acura RDX not only provides a plush driving experience but also embodies a reputation for durability and lower maintenance costs compared to its luxury SUV counterparts.

The transmission is a critical component of any vehicle, acting as the bridge between the engine and the wheels, ensuring the engine’s power is efficiently translated to movement on the road. The transmission fluid plays a pivotal role in this system. It acts as a lubricant, reducing friction among moving parts, a coolant, dissipating the heat generated, and a conduit for transmitting power.

Maintaining the right level and quality of transmission fluid is paramount for the smooth operation and longevity of the transmission system. Regular checking and changing of the transmission fluid as per the manufacturer’s recommendations ensure that the transmission operates efficiently, preventing costly repairs down the line.

It also contributes to a smoother driving experience, better fuel efficiency, and ultimately, the overall performance and reliability of your Acura RDX.

Acura RDX Transmission Fluid Capacity And Type

2019 Acura RDX

2019-Now Acura RDX

It’s advisable to use Honda / Acura ATF-type 2.0 transmission fluid for the 3rd generation Acura RDX.

The typical transmission fluid capacity is around 9 quarts for a complete overhaul, while a drain and fill might require about 4-5 quarts.

TransmissionFluid CapacityFluid Type
PYKA 10-speed AWD automatic transmissionTotal Fill 9.3 quarts (8.8 liters)
Initial Fill 5.1 quarts (4.8 liters)
ATF-Type 2.0
PYLA 10-speed FWD automatic transmissionTotal Fill 8.8 quarts (8.3 liters)
Initial Fill  4.5 quarts (4.3 liters)
ATF-Type 2.0

2013-2018 Acura RDX

Acura ATF DW-1 Automatic Transmission Fluid is recommended for the 2nd generation Acura RDX.

The transmission fluid capacity is approximately 8 quarts for a complete overhaul, and about 3.3 quarts for a drain and fill.

TransmissionFluid CapacityFluid Type
B8CA 6-speed FWD automatic transmissionTotal fill: 7.4 quarts (7 liters)
Initial fill: 3.3 quarts (3.1 liters)
ATF DW-1
B8BA 6-speed AWD automatic transmissionTotal fill: 8.5 quarts (8 liters)
Initial fill: 3.3 quarts (3.1 liters)
ATF DW-1

2010-2012 Acura RDX

2011 Acura RDX

Acura ATF-Z1 Automatic Transmission Fluid is recommended.

The transmission fluid capacity is approximately 8-9 quarts for a complete overhaul, and about 3 quarts for a drain and fill.

TransmissionFluid CapacityFluid Type
BWEA 5-speed AWD automatic transmissionTotal Fill 8.2 quarts (7.8 liters)
Initial Fill 3.1 quarts (2.9 liters)
ATF-Z1
BT3A 5-speed FWD automatic transmissionTotal Fill 8.8 quarts (8.3 liters)
Initial Fill 3 quarts (2.8 liters)
ATF-Z1

2007-2009 Acura RDX

Acura ATF-Z1 Automatic Transmission Fluid is recommended.

The transmission fluid capacity is approximately 8.2 quarts for a complete overhaul, and about 3.5 quarts for a drain and fill.

TransmissionFluid CapacityFluid Type
BWEA 5-speed automatic transmissionTotal Fill 8.2 quarts (7.8 liters)
Initial Fill 3.5 quarts (3.3 liters)
ATF-Z1

Acura RDX Transmission Overview

The transmission system in the Acura RDX is a sophisticated assembly designed to deliver power from the engine to the wheels in the most efficient manner, ensuring optimal performance and fuel efficiency.

Over the years, the RDX has been equipped with automatic transmissions, which are known for their smooth shifting and reliability. These transmissions come with multiple gears that allow the vehicle to operate efficiently across a wide range of speeds and driving conditions.

The transmission system also includes a torque converter, which facilitates a seamless transfer of power from the engine to the transmission, allowing for smooth acceleration and deceleration.

The transmission fluid in the RDX serves multiple crucial functions. It acts as a lubricant to reduce friction among the moving parts, a coolant to dissipate heat generated during operation, and a hydraulic fluid to facilitate gear shifts. The quality and level of the transmission fluid are vital for the proper functioning and longevity of the transmission system.

Evolution of the Transmission System Across Different Generations of Acura RDX

  1. 1st Generation (2007 – 2012):
    • The first-generation Acura RDX came with a 5-speed automatic transmission. This transmission was paired with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, providing a balance of performance and fuel efficiency.
  2. 2nd Generation (2013 – 2018):
    • In the second generation, the RDX saw an upgrade to a 6-speed automatic transmission, which provided smoother shifting and better fuel efficiency. The turbocharged engine was replaced with a more reliable and fuel-efficient V6 engine.
  3. 3rd Generation (2019 – Now):
    • The third-generation RDX boasts a 10-speed automatic transmission, providing even smoother shifting, better fuel efficiency, and a wider range of gear ratios for improved performance. This generation also saw the return of a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, now paired with an advanced transmission to deliver a more engaging driving experience.

The evolution of the transmission system in the Acura RDX reflects the advancements in automotive technology and Acura’s commitment to delivering a refined driving experience. Each generation brought forth improvements in transmission design, enhancing the vehicle’s performance, fuel efficiency, and driving comfort.

Transmission Fluid Change Intervals

The manufacturer-recommended intervals for changing the transmission fluid in an Acura RDX typically range between 30,000 to 60,000 miles. However, these intervals can vary based on the specific model year and the driving conditions. It’s always advisable to refer to the owner’s manual for the most accurate and tailored maintenance schedule for your particular vehicle.

Factors Affecting the Transmission Fluid Change Intervals

  1. Driving Conditions:
    • Harsher driving conditions such as stop-and-go traffic, driving in hilly or mountainous terrain, or towing can cause the transmission fluid to degrade faster, necessitating more frequent changes.
  2. Climate:
    • Extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can also affect the lifespan of the transmission fluid.
  3. Transmission Load:
    • Heavy loads or towing can put additional strain on the transmission, leading to faster degradation of the transmission fluid.
  4. Quality of Transmission Fluid:
    • Higher-quality transmission fluids tend to last longer and provide better protection for the transmission.
  5. Previous Maintenance:
    • If the transmission fluid has been changed regularly in the past, it may not need to be changed as frequently moving forward.

Signs Indicating a Need for an Earlier Transmission Fluid Change

  1. Color and Clarity:
    • Fresh transmission fluid is typically red and clear. Over time, it may become brown or black and dirty, indicating a need for a change.
  2. Smell:
    • Burnt odor coming from the transmission fluid is a sign of overheating and degradation, indicating a need for a change.
  3. Shifting Issues:
    • If you experience problems with shifting, such as slipping gears or hard shifts, it may be due to old or low transmission fluid.
  4. Transmission Noises:
    • Unusual noises such as whining or clunking from the transmission can also be a sign of old or low transmission fluid.
  5. Transmission Warning Light:
    • Modern vehicles have sensors that can detect issues with the transmission fluid. If the transmission warning light comes on, it’s advisable to check the transmission fluid and replace it if necessary.
  6. Vehicle Mileage:
    • If your vehicle has reached the mileage interval recommended by the manufacturer for a transmission fluid change, it’s time to have it replaced.

Common Questions and Troubleshooting

  1. What type of transmission fluid should I use for my Acura RDX?
    • It’s advisable to use the transmission fluid type recommended by Acura, which is typically Acura ATF-Type 2.0 or Acura ATF DW-1. The exact type may vary depending on the model year, so it’s best to check the owner’s manual.
  2. How often should I change the transmission fluid?
    • The general recommendation is to change the transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. However, the exact interval may vary based on your driving conditions and the specific recommendations for your vehicle model and year.
  3. Can I change the transmission fluid myself?
    • Yes, with the right tools and knowledge, you can change the transmission fluid yourself. However, if you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the process, it’s best to have a professional handle it.
  4. How do I check the transmission fluid level?
    • Checking the transmission fluid level typically involves pulling out the transmission dipstick, wiping it clean, reinserting it, and then pulling it out again to check the level. The exact procedure may vary, so it’s advisable to refer to the owner’s manual.
  5. Is it necessary to change the transmission filter as well?
    • It’s a good practice to change the transmission filter whenever you change the transmission fluid to ensure the system remains clean and functions efficiently.

Procedure for Checking and Changing Transmission Fluid

Tools and Materials Needed:

  1. Transmission Fluid: Ensure you have the correct type of transmission fluid as specified in your owner’s manual.
  2. Transmission Fluid Funnel: A long-necked funnel will help in adding new fluid without spillage.
  3. Drain Pan: To catch and dispose of the old transmission fluid.
  4. Wrenches and Screwdrivers: For removing bolts and other fasteners.
  5. Car Ramps or Jack Stands: To elevate the car safely.
  6. Gloves and Safety Glasses: For personal protection.
  7. Rags or Paper Towels: For cleaning purposes.
  8. Torque Wrench: To ensure bolts are tightened to the correct specifications.
  9. New Gasket and Filter (if applicable): It’s a good practice to replace these components during a fluid change.

Step-by-Step Procedure for Checking the Transmission Fluid Level

  1. Warm Up the Vehicle: Drive your Acura RDX for about 10-15 minutes to warm up the transmission fluid.
  2. Park on a Level Surface: Ensure the vehicle is on a level surface and then shift through all the gears before placing it back in the park.
  3. Locate the Transmission Dipstick: The dipstick is usually located near the transmission and is labeled.
  4. Remove and Clean the Dipstick: Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean with a rag or paper towel.
  5. Reinsert the Dipstick: Fully reinsert the dipstick back into the tube.
  6. Check the Level and Condition: Pull the dipstick out again and check the level and color of the fluid. It should be between the “Full” and “Add” marks, and the color should be red or pink, not brown or black.

Step-by-Step Procedure for Changing the Transmission Fluid

  1. Elevate the Vehicle: Use car ramps or jack stands to safely elevate the vehicle.
  2. Locate the Drain Plug: Locate the transmission fluid drain plug underneath the vehicle.
  3. Drain the Old Fluid: Place a drain pan under the plug, then remove the plug and allow the old fluid to drain out.
  4. Remove the Old Filter and Gasket (if applicable): If your model has a serviceable filter, remove it along with the old gasket.
  5. Install New Filter and Gasket (if applicable): Install a new filter and gasket, if your model requires it.
  6. Replace the Drain Plug: Reinstall the drain plug and tighten it securely.
  7. Add New Transmission Fluid: Using a funnel, add the new transmission fluid through the dipstick tube. Be sure to add the correct amount as specified in your owner’s manual.
  8. Check the Fluid Level: Reinsert the dipstick, remove it again, and ensure the fluid level is correct.
  9. Test Drive: Take your vehicle for a test drive to ensure the transmission is shifting smoothly and check for any leaks.
  10. Check Fluid Level Again: After the test drive, check the fluid level again and top off if necessary.

Authors

The information provided in this article is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional mechanical advice. While the author has made every effort to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information in this article, we make no warranties or representations as to the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information provided.

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