w1000i, Yes this is a partial fluid change. I performed that exact procedure from the serviced manual. I only got 3.4 quarts out but the transmission holds more in the torque converter and inside the valve body. Nobody recommends a flush anymore, but fairly regular partial drain/fill procedures done will keep the fluid contamination low and the fluid life and additives up.
In all seriousness though the fluid I drained out looked like dark tea, smelled not so fresh, and afterwards the transmission is far smoother on downshifts and when cold shifting in the morning than before. I will continue to make this part of my 30K ritual, it's very easy and worth it.
Considering this, it makes me wonder if I should do other things early. 60K coolant? 60K Plugs?
A couple of things to consider:
Transmission fluid only has two enemies, heat and clutch wear tailings
. If you can keep the wear and heat down the fluid will last for the life of the transmission. Of the two, heat is the biggest enemy because the tailings typically settle to the bottom of the pan! The "old school" way to check the transmission fluid is to pull the dipstick and check the color (Typically crimson) on your fingers and "smell" a tell tail burnt smell
. If your fluid is burnt it will lose its ability to cool and toast your transmission pretty quickly
The reason the transmission "Flush" has gone from fashion is it seemed to loosen up the tailings that sit in the bottom of the pan and circulate them into the transmission blocking the fluid from circulating causing failure
. More than 10 years ago Honda adopted the 3x3 fluid change
which basically was designed to dump three quarts, fill, run the trans through the gears, dump, fill repeat two more times. They estimated that 90% of the fluid was changed in this process. If you have your car on four jack stands with the traction control off, you can do the same thing in your driveway. Just remember to put your foot on the break all the way before moving from Park, Reverse and Drive as the wheels have no drag on them and will keep turning!
I did the 3x3 in my driveway on my wife's Accord six years ago @ around 30,000 (It has 52,000 on the clock now) using Red Line 30304 and a quart of 30504 Racing Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF). I check it and never a problem since. Hope that helps!