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Automatic Transmission is acting funny

  #1  
Old 07-17-2012, 06:17 AM
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Question Automatic Transmission is acting funny

So I've been driving my 2005 Honda Civic LX for 13 months. The engine will be at 120k miles in a week or two. Its an automatic transmission. Lately it has been changing gears differently. I am not sure if its the heat wave that has been sweeping the nation lately, or the slight transmission leak that my mechanic pointed out in June. I plan to check the fluid level later after work.

So the transmission used to change up a gear around 2.5rpm, and wouldn't hover there long. But for the last week its been changing at 3rpm, 3.5rpm... And I can hear it staying in those rpm's for a few seconds longer than usual. As I accelerate from a stop, I can hear the engine get louder, as it jumps to 3.5rpm, and it stays there for 2-3 seconds until I feel the transmission change gear and see the rpm go back down to 1.5ish.

I am not familiar with the numbers of gears or whatever, but it doesn't change gears in this funny way until I get to driving 30mph, 40mph, 60mph.... The earlier gear changes don't seem to be having problems.

Has anyone else started having automatic transmission problems this early? The 1998 Honda Civic DX I used to have was also an auto, and it's transmission was really rough. Really really rough. It would shake the whole car when changing gear. It had 180k miles.

My dad owns this car, and he doesn't seem to believe me when I say the transmission isn't acting normal and we should take it to be looked at, especially with that leak... Perhaps fluids and filters should be changed? Any advice or life lessons from other members would be helpful in my persuading him to protect the life of the transmission.

Edit: So there is no transmission leak. It is a shaft seal leak, very small, very expensive to fix so we're not worrying about it right now. In my head I got confused and thought it was a transmission leak...
 

Last edited by HondaHolly; 07-18-2012 at 05:20 AM.
  #2  
Old 07-17-2012, 08:16 AM
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Was doing some research. I have no idea if ATF Z1 or ATF DW-1 is in my civic, mostly because I'm not sure what year Honda switched.

If there happens to be ATF Z1 in my tranny, and it needs to be topped off due to my leak, would it be ok to use DW-1 to top it off? I hear its backwards compatible, but can the two be mixed?
 
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:44 PM
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I think I found out that it is ok to mix the two.

So I'm ready to check my ATF fluid level, but I can't figure out if it needs to be cold, hot, or have the engine running. I keep finding conflicting sources. And I do not have my owners manual.
 
  #4  
Old 07-17-2012, 02:28 PM
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Engine at operating temp, find a flat surface, turn off engine, check right away before the fluid drains out of the torque converter.

7th gen (01-05) automatic transmissions are TERRIBLE, I wouldn't be surprised if it goes soon....
 
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:57 AM
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So when I parked at work on a level surface, I turned off the engine and immediately checked the tranny fluid several times. It appears to be at a good level, and is a nice red color. I sniffed it, but idk what normal transmission fluid smells like. I couldn't tell if it smelled burnt or not.
 
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:11 AM
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Edit: So there is no transmission leak. It is a shaft seal leak, very small, very expensive to fix so we're not worrying about it right now. Idk why I thought it was tranny leak...

So my dad offered to get the tranny fluid changed/belts adjusted. At 120k miles, do you guys recommend doing this for my car? I have no idea if it has been changed in the past.
 
  #7  
Old 07-18-2012, 12:36 PM
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I definitely know the timing belt needs to be replaced. My dad just spent $600 fixing my sister's Camry. One of the tires was about to fall off due to a bad wheel bearing or something. We're also throwing a graduation party for my brother, going on vacation on August, and are going to have 3 in the household attending college this fall. So basically I'm just waiting until the money is available to take my civic to the shop to have all that done. Really whoever owned it before should've had it done; when I got this civic a year ago it was 109k miles. Smh

The family friend mechanic that we go to wanted to charge about $200 to change the fluid and check, possibly replace, the filter. But the filter is just the drain plug magnet (right?), and all you have to do is wipe it off... I've been watching DIY videos on youtube all afternoon haha. But anyways, I'm going to make my dad do it in our driveway to save money that can go towards the all-important timing belt.
 
  #8  
Old 07-18-2012, 04:15 PM
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The transmission does have a filter but its not serviceable, you have to take the trans apart to access it. It's supposed to be a "lifetime" filter, like the fuel filter, it's more of a strainer than a typical filter.

Changing the fluid is easy, just time consuming since you have to do it 3 times. I'm sure you could do it and make your dad proud!
 
  #9  
Old 07-19-2012, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by EM2slow2 View Post
the 7th gens are known for very bad auto tranns some dont even make it 50,000 miles the problem is the clutch packs chew themselves to hell.there is really nothing you can do to prevent this from happening because its a faulty trans. .
Nothing? Even after a rebuild with kevlar clutches, as Ive heard? Just wondering, as mine just quit, and wanting to learn. Even a well rebuilt one will fail because of the basic Honda "design"?
 
  #10  
Old 07-26-2012, 04:28 AM
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Question:If I use ramps to get under my car to change the transmission fluid, is a good amount going to be able to drain out at that angle? Even if I use a jack, will a good amount be able to drain out (I think about 3 quarts, or so I've read)?
 
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