Honda Fit / Jazz GE6 Transmission Types

The good old times that the Honda Fit / Jazz came with just the CVT option globally along with the manual seems to have disappeared, partially due to CVT issues that mainly has become a problem in the Asian region.

Just for GD1 users the transmission types were the

  • 5-speed CVT (You only have the D, S, L gears on the transmission stick, no +/- buttons on the steering wheel)
  • 7-speed CVT (You get the +/- buttons on the steering wheel)
  • 5-speed standard auto
  • The standard auto for the GD1 was offered in the US which surprisingly did not get the more advanced CVT solution, one wonders if Honda was a bit worried over the issues faced in the Asian region with the gearboxes. Whatever the reason the choice worked fine, as the car sold very well in the US, a country where most folks just loved large cars, though times are changing now with more and more smaller and fuel efficient cars entering that market (Just like the iPhone, to most folks in the states these cars may seem knew but little do they know these are tried and tested models in other countries that are being sold with a new set of clothes to make them look new).

    So okay back to the subject, what about the GE6,

    Well seems like most Asian markets are now playing safe by only offering the manual, standard auto and the new I-SHIFT (supposedly a manual gearbox with automatic controls). Initial review comments suggests that the CVT seems to be a much more driver oriented gearbox with better fuel efficiencies than the I-SHIFT version though Honda marketing may otherwise.

    The Japanese market though continues to get a CVT version of coupled to the 1.3L I-VTEC engine. This variant seems to feature technology lifted from the FD1 Civic such as drive-by-wire throttle control, etc which means the vehicle for a 1.3L gives out quite a bit of juice and jazz in its performance while sipping fuel very thriftily.

    Honda definitely has no fear in using CVT in their bigger models even globally, so the issue with the Jazz/Fit (and the new City) seems purely due to the GD1 catastrophe. To this date I still am extremely disappointed that Honda never ever sold the CVT issues even in latter models of the GD-Series Fit/Fit Aria/Jazz/City. Considering the car toiled for over 7 years with remarkable sales due to its ahead of time space efficiencies and fuel efficiencies, and Honda a company renowned for innovation says a puzzling story. Maybe they just did not want to replace all gearboxes if they introduced a new gearbox in that serious to avoid legal repercussions, though extending the warranty in many advanced markets to 7-years was a way they wanted to show confidence in their gearbox. Speculation speculation 🙂

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    13 thoughts on “Honda Fit / Jazz GE6 Transmission Types”

    1. Hi Rayaz,

      Came across your blog while searching for reviews and info about the GE6 Fit, which I bought a couple of months ago. Thanks for all the heads up you have given about the GE6, proved very useful! The odo on my car read 21500k when i got it so decided to change the CVT oil based on your recommendation in another post and took it to Stafford a few weeks back. I noticed that they put in 3.5l of CVT fluid (and they charged me for 4L and didn’t give the rest either which is a different matter!!!), but anyway, I downloaded the Jap manual from http://www.honda.co.jp/manual/fit/2008/index.html and got it translated from http://www.honda.co.jp/manual/fit/2008/index.html while the translation is not perfect, its better than trying to figure out Japanese! The manual clearly states that a drain and refill of CVT fluid will take exactly 3l for the 1300cc version and 3.2l for 1500cc version. Upon realising this, I decided to check the fluid level after a short trip round Colombo(~14km) and the fluid level is a long way above the upper limit on the Hot side(Before the change fluid level was between the 2 markers on the Hot side after a similar drive). I checked with Tech Motors as well and they also said the CVT fluid will need 3.5l. Just wanted check what you would do in a similar situation, i.e. follow the manual and take out the excess 500ml or just leave it as it is.

      Thanks.

      1. Let me check with my colleagues who use the GE6, as the GD1 required 3.4L, and i used to keep the extra and take it with me next time so that i only needed to buy 3 bottles. The stafford service guys told me that is fine, and always gave the last bottle with the remainder for this purpose.

        However i have noticed that in Sri Lanka, agents and outside service shops have the habit of overfilling and one my work mates who has a Vitz replaced his CVT gearbox and he felt they had topped it above the limit, but as usual he forgot to go back. Two days later the oil sump gave way due to the pressure and he had a costly repair. Though i told him to go back to the service station (a reputed chain that has many outlets in Colombo), he felt the hassle was useless.

        I would advise you to go back to the agent and tell them this (though Stafford staff have a tendency to be sarcastic and say we know better!, so go and speak to Lal directly) and maybe drain the oil to the limit.

        1. Thanks Rayaz. I got the excess removed by using a hand pump and the level on the dipstick now appears within the normal range. Immediately noticed an increase in pulling power. Next time around, I will make sure that they don’t overfill it!

        2. a good observation by you, hopefully fellow GE6 Honda fit owners will take note of this, as i am sure the agents are also not aware the GE6 only needs 3L, since the GD1 needed 3.4L. Like the simple way you sorted the issue out, trying to make the agents realize and sort can be very unpleasant situation.

    2. One more thing about the minerals and synthetics..
      I have done some study and consulted few of my mechanics in Australia and they say once you have minerals in to the engine theres no point putting synthetics.

      Semi synthetics would be ideal it seems except for heavy performance cars. and have the same refresh interval which his 10K

      This is what I heard and what it’s been practiced in Australia

      1. Well frankly i am no oil expert so its based on what i have seen as research and some personal experiences i have come to know. And as it goes the oil companies will do everything to increase their profits which is why they spread stories of that you can’t mix oils of different brands, that you can’t go back to synthetics, etc. However from the technical aspects the synthetic oils have benefits for engines especially for higher mileage cars since they tend to get lubricate better specially as you crank the engine. So moving from mineral to synthetics after the engine has gone into higher mileage scenarios does become valid, in case you have a link on the aussie recommendations please share as i would be most happy to educate myself.

    3. Thanks for that Riyaz. The one which I am looking will be a JDM version. Which has done 39K (JAAI certified 🙂

      So for gear box oil only agents do have the CVT oil? If so can they just do the gear box oil change or do i have to get the whole car serviced by them?

      Knowing their capability I dont want to do a full service from them.

      One more question do agents use Honda oil filters or just OEM’s ?

      Thanks again.

      BTW are you taking your STREAM to agents?

      1. Honda agents are pretty flexible, you can take the oils, parts with you and get them to do the work and they charge you for the labor. However the price of the CVT oil is not that different between TeckMotors and the agents, so you might as well get it from Stafford.

        No you don’t need to do a full service with them, they will only do the oil change if that’s what you require. I usually get the CVT and engine oil changes done there as its not very different in costs doing it outside and having it in the agent records is also good. They are okay with you bringing the oil from outside as well 🙂 For engine oil they use Havoline products. CVT oil is the Honda original oil.

        Oil Filters the agents only use Honda original. I have tried both and found that there is a noticeable different in fuel economy. The VIC filter seem to perform around 1-1.5kmpl less than the original. However the original is around 3 times as costly. If you can get a K&N filter which is washable and reusable that might make the best sense. Motorcade (in Staple street, near JAIC Hilton) usually carry K&N filters.

        Yes the Stream was taken for its first engine oil change as it was due for one, plus the fact that they had used 0-20W oil in Japan which is not good for local conditions, so regardless of it being due the oil change is a good idea. You might have to do the same.

        I also had to change the front brake pads as they were rather thin and the left front was giving a wee bit of a screech. While the OEM brakes from Teckmotors was half the price, i am not a person who likes to skimp on the brakes as I tend to be an aggressive driver and have had one bad incident with OEM brakes that i have kept away from them. One issue i think in Sri Lanka is that we get very low quality OEM brakes and the origins are uncertain, overseas the OEM brakes makes sense as you get much better products than the original for lower cost.

      2. 39K and JAAI certified is good, as most cars that seem to have been brought during the high tax period seem to have been low grade cars. While the mileages might have been low (again that is uncertain) these cars could have been damaged vehicles which were repaired. If you do the reverse maths based on japan FOB prices with older tax rates, its shocking how they even sold it at the prices the quoted unless it was a low grade car. However based on the situation we had no option, however things have improved a bit now, though direct importing is the best option since dealers are still doctoring the JAAI certificates or hiding them from customers who are not aware that all cars must come with JAAI certificates and the original papers are quoted with a glaze paper to avoid tampering.

        Recommend that you replace the CVT oil once you get it, and if you are Colombo city runner make sure you change the CVT oil every 15,000km to avoid the CVT jerk issue. In case the CVT oil has been changed recently then run for sometime before you change. If you can get the additive it would be great lifeline, since using the additive early seems to help avoid the problem even for high mileage situations.

        Trust that you will enjoy the car, are you getting down the GD6 1.3L iDSI, or the GD8 1.5L version, or did you opt for the VTEC version which is quite a nippy car, not that the i-DSI versions are slow (in Sri Lankan driving conditions) 🙂

    4. Hi Riyaz,
      I am interested in purcchasing a Honda Fit Aria GD6 in Sri lanka. I would like to know what are the recommended maintenance schedule for those cars.i.e – Engine oil change etc etc.
      Also is it advisable to use semi synthetic oil for that?. If so whats the best brand in Sl
      Thanks
      Mositha

      1. Would be great if you can mention if the GD6 you are trying to get is a used card, or unreg recon from Japan. This information is kinda of vital as i could then give you the low down based on the recent experiences my friends had in purchasing both used cars as well as importing from Japan.

        Regardless to your question on maintaining a GD6, tips are
        >Gearbox oil (CVT) change it very 15,000km if the gearbox is in good order, and you run a lot in the city. In case you run in roads where the congestion is not heavy you can increase the mileage before changing the gearbox oil
        >Engine oil, unless you do a lot of miles, stay with mineral (non-synthetic) as its cheaper by a large margin and there is no great difference from using fully synthetic. With mineral you can do a max of 5,000km before you need to change. Fully synthetics are recommended for a maximum of 10,000km but it seems thats really stretching it and 7,000km is like a sweet spot. However as your engine ages over the 100K mark, moving to fully synthetic can help prolong the engine life and efficiencies. Don’t bother too much about semi-synthetics.
        >Brand – Not really and issue depends on your loyalty. Mobil is highly regarded in the fully synthetic arena. Honda agents use Caltex Havoline as their recommended oil.

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