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  #1  
Old 08-24-2011, 08:05 PM
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Default How do you know if a transmission is bad?

I've searched far and wide but everything I'm reading and watching is vague.

I don't understand what it means when a "transmission slips", all I know is that when I put the shifter into D4, it drives. I put it into R it reverses. There is a slighty delay that happens when you shift (about 1 second).
For example when I put it into reverse, the car sits there for about one second and then it gets into reverse and I know because it starts vibrating differently.

I'm just trying to assess the health of the tranny. I know for a fact that the fluid is crap. It's slightly brown/clear and it doesn't resemble pink or red at all. I don't think it's burnt, I think the previous owner did a transmission fluid change somewhere with some non-Honda fluid, probably at Jiffy Lube. I'm going to replace this with AFT-Z1 or DW1 soon (probably within a week). I just need to know what I'm looking for in terms of observable change after I do this. I don't even know if the tranny is damaged or not operating optimally to begin with.

I've been reading a lot of stuff on the internet about what happens if you use non-OEM fluids:
1. It slips. (still have no idea what this actually feels like, I understand what it "means" as in the bands can't hold on, but what does this feel like?)
2. It shifts funny (vague, no idea what this means).
3. It's just bad.

In a nutshell I need to know what is indicative of a bad tranny and after I change the fluid, what I should monitor for in terms of observable change. Does the time between shifting before it changes gears shorten, etcetera?
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2009 Honda Accord (4-cyl)
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2011, 09:57 PM
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Slipping means the rpm goes up but you're not gaining any speed. There is no band in a Honda transmission except for Honda Passport which is not even made by Honda, but was made by Isuzu, same as Rodeo, the junky transmission (which was built in Freudenburg, France) is similar to the GM product that they had it in the Caddy Catera and some BMWs.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:00 PM
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Great so it becomes even more confusing and vague.

So if Honda's don't use bands does that mean they can't slip? So how would someone know if the transmission was bad? I thought I saw circular bands on some video for Honda AT's.

Unless anyone says otherwise I think my only option to gauge how bad it is is to change the fluid and look for metal shavings or debris on the drain plug and in the fluid in the catch pan. It would be better if the previous owner didn't change it at all because then I would be able to see all of the debris that has accumulated through the life of the vehicle.

Is there some time I should do the fluid change? Is it the same as oil change, I should do it when the car is heated up?
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Last edited by MessAround; 08-24-2011 at 10:13 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-24-2011, 10:12 PM
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The clutch pack will slips if the line pressure is insufficent , or if the clutch pack is worn so much that the clearance is excessive and so when the piston trying to apply but it can't lock the clutch pack to have a perfect shift then it will slip. I would like to see the picture of the band in a fwd honda
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99 Accord 2dr, with 02 f234a swapped, 2" lowered, Exedy clutch, SRI,Megan header, catback,18" aluminum wheels,HID lights, custom LED cluster & LED interrior lights, "push start" button, touch screen DVD with back-up camera. Dynoed 142 whp and 139ft/lb of torque. New ride: 03 Maxima SE 6sp Torsen limited-slip diff, Meridian edition, 1st mod Exedy clutch, catback. Modded cars : 92 Stealth RT twin turbo, 87 Mit Starion wide body intercooled turbo. Checkout my album under my statistics for pics :-)
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  #5  
Old 08-24-2011, 10:13 PM
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What you described is the same for every single automatic transmission I have ever driven in about 30 years of driving. Just to help convince yourself all is well, go to a Honda dealer (any other will do just as well) and ask to test drive a brand new car with an atomatic tranny. You will fidn it is just the same I am sure.

As was described, when the auto transmission starts to go bad, you will be driving along and all of a sudden it will shift itself into a different gear that is not right and your engine will go nuts trying to keep up, or you will be able to give the engine gas and it just revs up like your in neutral with the carb going no where. Incidently, if this ever does happen to you, you might be able to put the transmission in 1st or 2nd gear and have the car work to get you somewhere safe or to a shop.

Again, everything you described of how yours is functioning is normal in my opinion.
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  #6  
Old 08-24-2011, 10:36 PM
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Really I'm just going by what the previous owner assumed. I was told that the transmission might be going bad but was never told why this was suspected so I'm left wondering what might prove that this has a bad or failing transmission. I think the previous owner thought the transmission was going bad because the car vibrates loudly when you put it into reverse, it's scary loud and it's a sustained vibration meaning it stays loud and violent until you get out of reverse. But this could just be motor mounts, not the transmission right?

What about shaking? I can't believe I forgot to mention this but when you change gears (sometimes) the car shakes before it enters the gear you changed it to. Almost like a shudder.
Aside from the vibrations the car shifts like a 95 Accord I've had all my life so I thought the transmission was fine but I've still been unnerved by what the previous owner said.
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Last edited by MessAround; 08-24-2011 at 11:00 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2011, 07:06 AM
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Well, thats a horse of a different color! I am no transmission expert, but it sounds like your torque converter is acting up to me. The shuttering could be the engine probably not quite getting stalled out. Have you ever driven a manual transmission car? Let out the clutch but not give it enough gas, the engine shutters and shakes and almost stalls out? Wondering if it sounds the same. If the torque converter is partly locking up, it would be the same as stopping your car, but not putting the clutch all the way in. JAT.

Otherwise, I would look into the tranny configuration and see if there is a common gear or bearing involved that could be going bad.

In either case, if you have not already, change the transmission fluid and change the filter.
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2011, 08:47 AM
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Never driven a manual so I can't speak for that.

Here's a more accuarate description, it almost feels like the car rolls forward an inch and then back. That's what the "shudder" feels like. It's a movement of the entire car. This happens sometimes when the gear is changed.

But I'll change the fluid anyway, I heard filters weren't changeable on 1993 Accord's...
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2011, 09:49 AM
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My honda had non oem whatever Jiffy Lube puts in it for 110k, I put Honda Z1 in it a couple months ago 2 drains/refill. Never noticed a difference, the fluid is cleaner now, but it shifted fine before and it still shifts fine. You may be losing sleep over nothing, I would suggest putting Honda ATF in it and if you still have a problem then discuss.
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2011, 07:21 PM
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The slight "delay" I think comes with the age, brand new I'm sure it was a little less.

Anyway, I've had the 95 since ~180K, she turned 370K today on the way to work...knock on wood, orig engine and tranny. I too noticed this "delay" almost from the day I got it. Learned to just give her a second and go on. Told the wife, told the kids to wait that second when shifing from park to N or then from N to D and things have been fine.

Fluid changes, I think the book says 30K, I do mine at ~15K and only use Honda fluid....The prev owner had invoices from the dealer noting the changes they did.

There will be the "black goop" on the drain plug, don't freek. Just wipe it clean and go.....

Just my two cents.

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Old 08-25-2011, 07:21 PM
 
 
 
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93, accord, automatic, bad, car, change, gears, honda, is, loud, not, put, reverse, shakes, tranny, transmission, trasmission


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