I have a 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid. It requires CVT transmission oil. I got the transmission fluid replaced in Nov 2015. A couple of weeks ago I found out that the mechanic had used the wrong type of transmission fluid- automatic transmission fluid instead of CVT. I haven't yet experienced any issues with the way the car runs. It's had the wrong transmission fluid for about 15000 miles, so the transmission is most probably already damaged. I wanted some help on deciding between the following choices:

  1. Do another transmission fluid replacement with the CVT fluid. Will this help undo or limit the damage to the transmission?
  2. Get the whole transmission replaced (rebuilt) right away.
  3. Continue driving until the transmission fails and then get it replaced. Is the damage due to the wrong fluid limited to the transmission? In that case, replacing the transmission would comlpetely solve the problem, right? Should I try to get as much as I can out of the car before the transmission gives?


  • how do you know the incorrect fluid was used? is the transmission acting up? is it throwing codes? if nothing is truly wrong leave it alone.
    – Ben
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 12:58
  • I had taken my car in to a dealer for an unrelated issue and they told me. The CVT and automatic fluids are probably different colors. Commented May 12, 2017 at 23:44
  • it is plausable the mechanic used some fluid that is ok and just a different color from the honda brand. Start by finding out exactly what it was
    – agentp
    Commented May 13, 2017 at 12:35
  • I have a 2015 civic 1.8l .I put ATF instead of AVT. I drove 100 miles so far. I drained it twice with Honda OEM CVT fluid. Hope it's ok. I called the dealer and they told me to drain it out couple time.
    – Tinh
    Commented May 17, 2019 at 3:50

2 Answers 2


Honda vehicles in general can be very VERY particular as to what you can and cannot put into them. Going as far as to say it requires it's own power steering fluid. CVTs are specially designed to use CVT transmission fluid. They use different components altogether to work instead of using gears like a traditional automatic would. Usually the wrong fluid can cause inefficiencies, and inefficiencies can cause serious issues when it comes to a CVT.

1) Get the fluid drained and replaced properly with OEM grade CVT fluid

2) Most likely damage, however keep tabs on the functionality of the vehicle, and if the transmission gives out then

3) make sure you keep your mechanic visit documentation. you may be able to receive compensation if it's proven they used the wrong fluid.

Here is a similar article to someone who waited too long https://community.cartalk.com/t/atf-fluid-used-in-cvt-transmission/73309


Do another transmission fluid replacement with the correct OEM CVT fluid.

  • 1
    Can you give any particulars why the OP should do this instead of something else? Commented May 12, 2017 at 1:44

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