My experience owning a pre-owned Honda Fit GD1 for two years

Sold my Honda Fit GD1 to a friend, the odo meter is now 73K, i got it at 53K and used it for precisely two years. I first ensured the CVT oil was changed more frequently to avoid any gearbox issues, and then once i found the additive i resorted to a normal 15-20K cycle. However i did not finish that cycle by the time i sold the car, and the good news is the gearbox is faultless. I also had brought 2 bottles of the additive for future use, and passed it to the new owner, since those are vital for the trouble free running of the car.

Several of my friends who have brought fit/fit aria/city cars have now used the additive and have been blessed with trouble free running. In addition several vehicle vendors i know who got the info from me have been using the additive and it seems they are happy (as they bring the additive for personal use). The bad news is that i hope they are not using this additive for cars with real gearbox troubles, as the oil will cover the problem up for a short period of time!

Overall the car served good with the following observations,

1. Fuel economy
Average in Colombo Sri lanka running where you find a color light every 100m! is around 10-11kmpl.
Average driving outstation in rather narrow roads is around 12-14kmpl
Best fuel economy when driving a long trip i got was 19.5 kpl on a hot and humid day
Best fuel economy i have seen on the dial when driving in colombo late night when the roads are deserted was 21kmpl
Worst fuel economy i have seen is when the car is idling with the AC on in traffic, and this can get bad as 4-5kmpl

2. Repairs
a. The AC fan motor packed up (same happened to my CF4 accord i had previously) around the 60K period. I changed this from a company called Suraweera AC, they are near my house and are AC professionals. I found out that they seem to be supplying the agent as well, and their charge is much much less than the agent, specially on the labor.

b. The rear hub bearings went, this was weird and the agent themselves were surprised. Replacement was not cheap !

c. The engine mount (the infamous left mount) busted as expected, and had to be changed. This again was a common thing with this car and seems to need replacement every 30-40K. The other two mounts remain intact. The agent also mentioned that unlike others this car only had 3 mounts.

d. The front shock bushes on top had to be replaced, the agent informed me this was a common thing with this car.

e. The AC valve started a wierd squeal, like a rat !!! The agent indicated this was another common problem not with this car but with several other honda’s. I got this changed before i handed the car to the new owner. The repair was to cost less than 10K but went to 21K as the part alone was 11.5K and the labor + filling AC gas (the had to flush the gas out before doing this replacement). Well the squeal is gone, and my pocket dented. Lucky new owner

Fuel economy dropped to 9.5kmpl, and i thought this was due to carbon build up in the injectors. I got the agent to remove the injectors and clean them by hand and do the fuel injector cleaning (using the WURTH product). Removing the injectors is a messy job, unlike my older CF4, and the O-rings tend to crack and had to be replaced. Seems the O-rings are not stocked by the agent everytime so watch out. When the removed the EGR valve parth was almost 80% blocked with carbon deposits, and ye the car seems to be have been working pretty fine with this

The surprise was that the fuel economy got worse (7-8kmpl) after the treatment, and then agent then reset the computer, but then informed me that in some cars the cleaning is so effective that like a new car the fuel economy drops and it takes time before the fuel economy comes back to normal as the injectors have to get a bit of dirt it seems, wierd. However as informed by them the pull has increased so maybe its the truth. The good news was that the economy started to improve, and informed the new buyer that the best economies would take a bit of time as the 1000km has not yet been achieved after i did this cleanup. When giving i was getting 9-10kmpl in colombo city, and 13kmpl in crowed outstation so improving indeed.

So word of warning, don’t bother with the injector cleaning unless you really think it needs one. Which i guess is when the EGR path is fully blocke that the car does not accelerate smoothly. First make sure you replace the spark plugs, and here again stick to originals as the after markets seems to cause problems, and avoid the platinum one if your car is the i-DSI model. Also replace the air filter regularly, as this impacts the fuel economy pretty heavily. Again aftermarket (VIC) sold all over Sri Lanka is not good enough, so get the original. However the VIC is 1/3 the price of the original OUCH.

The chap who brought my Honda Fit is a colleague so i will keep you posted on how the car holds up with him. I also have a few more chaps who brought Honda GD1 fits in recent times at my work place, and shall see how they fare. These cars are the last batch of the GD1 Fit, and I am most keen to see if Honda fixed the issue on these transmissions, so that you can just live with the CVT oil and no additive to protect your gearbox.

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37 thoughts on “My experience owning a pre-owned Honda Fit GD1 for two years”

  1. Hi Sir,

    I recently bought a used Honda jazz GD 1 with 95k on the clock, I am super happy with the car, it’s a happy little car, but after few weeks while I was driving home I noticed a rattling noice from the car,took it to my local mechanic and he told me that the cat converter has gone bust, he also advised me to get it replaced ( also the cat converter can be repaired but the check engine light is going to be permanently on ) also there is a squeaking noise coming from the aircon, can you please direct me to buy a good place to buy the cat converter and get my aircon repaired, thanks

  2. Hi
    Im planing to by a honda fit aria 2004.. Is there any serious issue on CVT transmission. what will be the cost of CVT oil in srilanka. what is the recommended oil change mileage for CVT.

    1. With the CVT issue mainly prevalent on the Honda Fit/Fit Aria/City models, the Fit Aria 2004 is best avoided since the cost of the Oil additive that helps “mitigate” or delay the problem is getting pricey, and replacing the gearbox is not a practical solution since the problem can also reoccur with the new gearbox.

      Hence its best to look out for other options rather than the GD series fit/city/fit aria models is my recommendation.

  3. Hi rayaz,
    Its been 4 days from buying 2003 jazz which had done 140K. After several short runs in Colombo the digital meter shows only 8-8.5 kmpl (actually it has done only around that ) the previous owner had installed a K&N life time air-filter and I was told that it does 11-12 kmpl in CMB. just cant find out the reason for such a low mileage. is it because of short runs ? or do i have to tune the engine ? or is there any other problem ? if any, pls advice me, where i can get this checked and do (a cost effective quality service garage).
    Very much appreciate your feedback
    Thanks

    1. When you mean short runs, how long (distance and time) are these runs? Also what kind of traffic conditions do you run in?

      The only time my vehicle while i owned it got such economies was when i did a silly engine tune up, which went wrong. But again in severe traffic getting 8-10kmpl is quite possible. Be careful of this K&N filter madness i have in several instances been tempted to put the same, but found that the K&N does bring in more air, which can be counter effective to the vehicle’s standard fuel mapping, and unless that is modified to the change you really may not see much other than possible a bit more pulling power. However the K&N filter is reusable many many times, which can save you a good deal on filters, since each original filter is over 3-4000 rupees.

      1. Thanks for the reply Rayaz..

        short runs are like 3-5 Km trips. btw it has improved to 9.2 now.. let me see for some time. can u pls suggest some places
        where i can get this checked.
        Thanks

      2. The best place to get your vehicle checked is Stafford as they can connect to the system and check the settings. Sometimes doing an ECU reset can help. However if the economy is improving, then don’t bother. 10-11 kmpl is pretty decent if you are driving in heavy traffic.

  4. Hi

    I just bought a re-conditioned GD1 Honda Jazz/Fit imported from Japan. It is now converted from right hand drive into left hand drive.

    I am from Philippines. The dealer used an ATF Shell Spirax for the transmission fluid to all the units he sold.

    I bought the car with 190,000 mileage already – but still I don’t see, heard, and feel any problem with the car performance.

    I am just worried if I will be having a problem using an ATF for my transmission rather than using CVT Fluid? But so far I don’t hear any negative feedback from other customers that bought from his shop.

    Do you think it’s really advisable to change my transmission into CVT?

    1. One likely situation is that the gearbox may have been changed, so while your car maybe high mileage the gearbox maybe from a newer car. However if its a Japanese model then the use of CVT fluid is a must.

  5. hi i am Bozo.Lopez
    i got a problem with my car Honda Fit GD1 its happen when i refuel my car at the gas station i turn off the key and i finished refuel i start the car but it wont run.
    we check the spark plug to see if there is any spark ignite but there is no ignition please can you tell me what wrong with my car?

  6. Hi Rayaz,
    I’ve posted before and been having the car (GD1) for exactly two years. It’s been through one tune up and is doing fine for now. However I didn’t reset the ECU after the tune up. Fuel economy seems to have improved. Is it necessary to reset the ECU? Tech motors offered the original plugs (NGK R) @ Rs. 500. are these the correct plugs?

    1. Avoid resetting the ECU by means of removing the battery, i did it on the Fit and found that the economy dropped and had to pay extra and have the agent clear the ECU, and after this it took a while for the economy to pick up to acceptable levels. Unless there is a problem with the fuel economy don’t reset the ECU is the learning i got.

      On the plugs, Tech motors will offer the standard plugs which should be fine, you can also by them from the agents Douglas and Sons (DSL) who are also located in panchikawatthe. They are significantly cheaper than buying them from stafford and i have not seen any difference though i first changed it at stafford, and the second time i got them from DSL.

  7. Hi there.

    Pretty useful information you have compiled for us here. I recently bought a Honda Jazz, which I assume was originally sold in Singapore. (now in Cyprus – small island in the Mediterranean sea)
    Since I bought the car I spotted a minimal leaking underneath which I traced to the gearbox (CVT). I went on to find that its a casing leak which means there is no easy fix. I read some articles suggesting Lucas Oil as an additive would postpone the problem. I can’t find the additive you were using called Extreme oil. Does it offer the leakage stop feature as well?

    Thanks Rayaz

    1. Hi George,

      One of the common problems is that the leak ma not be due to a faulty gearbox, but due to the fact that the person filling had overfilled. this also causes the car to jerk. A friend of mine who had a Honda City, and had it taken to a popular garage. He noticed that after the oil change the car was a bit jerky, and he noticed a leak. He then opened and let some of the oil out and it sorted the issue.

      The Jazz and rest only need 3.4-3.5L of CVT, but many garages are not aware of this and fill it to the brim since the cans are for 4.0liters (4 x 1liter cans). Check this out first before doing anything else.

      1. Thank you for the good and usefully information for us, i just bought fit aria and i cant find any CVT Oil in my country(Tanzania) ,is their any equivalent oil which i can use?

      2. Sadly not, as using ATF oil will ruin the gearbox. However i am sure if there are Fit Aria and Fit vehicles in the market, there should be Honda CVT or alternative CVT oils from other vendors.

    1. I had the issue which i have written as part of the long term review of the vehicle, and only a full reset of the ECU sorted it out. Why the fuel economy plummeted as opposed to improving after a full engine tune up puzzled the local honda dealership, and based on the key technician he said they are not very happy to do full tune ups for the GD1 as this fuel economy issue had come up and they did not have a proper solution on why this fuel economy dip occurs on random cars.

      However drive it for a few days and see, as its quite common for the fuel economy to drop and then improve after a tune up. However if this does not improve in a few days to what it was or better then visit the dealership and get the vehicle checked up.

  8. Well, I just stumble upon your blog. I just found out the other day about the fit alson having
    this GD1 thing on the vehicle registration but didnt know what it meant until it ocurred to me
    to google it. So, I just bought a GD1 Fit ’07 just came from Japan (It has been converted
    since over here the driver is on the left hand side). I just got a few issues with mine as well.
    I am being told that i need to change the CVT every six months to keep it running smoothly
    I have also noticed that while idle the car goes to about 900-800 rpm like its going to shut off and
    then it comes back up
    The AC doesnt make a funny noise but the fan comes on and off in very short period of times (I thought it was due to the small engine, just a guess).
    Whever i go over a pothole, there is this thud that doesnt just sounds right, it doesnt rattle,
    just doenst sound right, and since i saw your comment about the engine mount that got me into thinking about it. I am thinking that it could also be the suspension up front. I just dont know.
    Dont think that i have any major issues as it is giving us about 50 kms Per gallon.
    My name is Juan and I am from the Dominican Republic, located in the Caribbean. Greater Antilles

  9. Hi Rayaz,

    I own a 2007 GD1 and require a left autofocus xenon headlamp. Is there any place in Sri Lanka where I could get it from? Stafford is quoting an exorbitant price.

    1. Sorry my response seems to have not got posted, a place that i know of is Auto Power Lamps, main branch is in Delkanda (just past Nugegoda, assuming you came from high level road). They also have an outlet in Darley road just in front of Excel World. The shop is now called Auto Trades. They usually carry most lights and if they don’t have it you can get them to bring it down. They are much cheaper than buying new from Stafford. I have purchased from them a long while back (rear lights for my Honda Accord).

      1. Hi Rayaz, Many thanks. However as it wasn’t available. I have fitted the 2004 GD1 lights. There is a chance of importing the original lights from Japan. However just another query with regard to the steering. Upon a full turn, does the steering return to its original position or does it do so only within a certain range of turning?

  10. Hi. I recently changed my Honda Fit 2002 gearbox after Honda Centre Harare confirmed that it needed replacement. However, after the replacement the car still flashes on the DRIVE, and the moment it starts doing that, it won’t move any further. The gearbox was filled with 8 litres CVT gear oil. Please help

  11. i got a fit 2003 for 5 years but for the last 10 weeks the gears r not ganging & fuel is not working it only do 7km/l now give me some advice

  12. Hi
    I’m from Barbados the West Indies. I just bought a Honda Fit GD1 with 105k on it. It’s a beautiful car. Now reading your blog i’m worried. so far it drives ok, our temperture is about 30C – It shakes a bit when moving off. It they any one who change the CVT to a manual gearbox?. i’m activly look for a way to do that.
    i’ll keep guy inform about my frist Honda and Fit experance
    Tips are welcome
    athanks

  13. The additive is called Oil Extreme, and is manufactured by a company in the US. CVT change intervals will depend very much on your driving conditions and the condition of your gearbox. Typically the CVT should be changed every 15,000km if you are driving in colombo traffic conditions, where the stop start scenario is high, and you are constantly on using one aspect of the gear ratio (which also means only one part of the CVT belt). However if you are driving outside colombo and not in traffic then 20,000km is also fine.

  14. Hi Rayaz

    Great to see the site powering along so well. Down here in Oz I just made the sad decision this weekend that the Jazz is going to go. Had it new from 2004 and it’s just hitting 59k kilos. In that time, 1 replacement windscreen. 1 battery, 1 set of tyres and 1 pair of rear wheel bearings. Not bad, eh… (altho the wheel bearings were cruel at $520 a pair fitted ‘cos of the daft design). In that time the cvt fluid has been babied and replaced.

    Not going to buy another Honda as ours here are now knocked together in Thailand and don’t seem to have the Japnese quality these days. Just looking at the paint job gives it away and I’ve heard that the Thai factory is rather hand labour focused compared to the Japan/UK Honda robotic plants. In fact, Honda sales here in Oz are reported to be fading away..maybe the Thai sourcing decision was not too smart in the long-run? But, that apart, the Jazz owning experience has been a great one. I still can’t believe what can be fitted in the rear. We have two bull-mastiff dogs and even they sit happily in the back drooling at the passing scenery!

    How’s the Tata Nano being recieved in SL? And isn’t the Southern Expressway exciting news! How things change, eh?

  15. Dear Friend,

    I’m from sri lanka and i would like to know if its enough to use honda genuine cvt transmission oil and from where i can buy them. is there any more advices you would give on this car please.? is this a good economical vehicle as i believe or not?”

    thank you.

  16. Hi Rayaz

    I am from Mauritius.Recently bought a second hand Honda Fit (GD1) with mileage of 106K .I noticed that the car shudder upon acceleration – it becomes even worst when you carry people.I would like to know which oil product is the best to get rid of this problem and/or what part should be change.

    Thanks

  17. i have a honda fit gd1, 27000km done. please advice me on servicing the car including cvt fluid change since i bought it recently (recondtioned). i feel upset reading this blog

    1. Dont fret over to much as da mileage of car is very low and its da last batch of gd1 which have a better chance of lasting longer. However if ur running mainly in traffic, change da cvt oil every 15-20k intervals. Also avoid starting da car in reverse in da morning. These will help keep ur gearbox like new. Once u go past 40-50k start using da additive as a protection in addition to da cvt n u should be fine:-)

  18. Hi there , I live in the Bahamas and just bought a 2003Fit imported from japan used.
    I am having a shudder in the trans at take off . It is less to non existent in the morning and worse as the car heats up. I bought Genuine Honda CVT fluid and about to change it. Question, is there a drain plug or a filter plate the has to be opened and gasket replaced when changing the CVT oil/fluid? Also, I looked up OIL EXTREME on line. I only see it as OIL, a motor oil additive and not a transmission fluid specific additive. Is this the same thing you are using?
    Thanks so much for your informed blog.
    Dallas.

    1. Hi,

      Sadly i have not the oil change myself, however the process does not require any change of a gasket. If you go to http://hondatech.info/downloads/Auto/EPC/ and download the “http://downloads.hondatech.info/Auto/EPC/Ab0VE.Honda%20JDM%20EPC.zip” which has the japanese (JDM) models, you will be able to find the process of how to change the CVT oil. The EPC has the parts and the way to remove them, and you can use google translator to translate the text to english.

      The US Oil Extreme site does not talk too much about the additive, and the additive has originally been made for use in engines, but it has worked wonders for the CVT gearbox issue in the GD series Fit range. However the manufacture also does have the additive, which is what you have to use. A portion of around 125ml is what is used.

      How are the temperatures in Bahamas, the CVT issue seems more evident in hotter climates, so you might also have the same issue as we face here.

  19. Hi,
    I’m from SRILANKA.
    I own a Honda Fitaria with 7speed CVT g/box.
    Appreciate if u could letme know the additive & the place to buy since my car shows some g/box issues.

    regds

    1. not sure which Honda you current drive or the mileage based on your comment. From what i have heard, the CVT problem is not an issue in countries where the climate is cooler and the traffic conditions are lighter. Your mail address hints that your are residing in New Zealand, and i would believe that you should not be worried about the need for an additive. YOu should do find with the normal Honda CVT oil. I also believe that you would be also covered by the 5 or 7 year warranty on the transmission in those markets.

      However in the event your car is an import from japan, please do comment again for me to give you any useful advise.

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