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Erratic Transmission Shifting

Old 02-20-2014, 05:38 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Western North Carolina
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Question Erratic Transmission Shifting

I've only owned my Civic for a few weeks, so I don't know much about it. I use it to commute for work 70 miles a day. It's a two-owner, with 57,000 miles on it. It looks brand new.

Yesterday, coming home from work, as I neared my destination (car was at operating temp), I noticed if I let off the throttle then pressed it again, the transmission would first shift into a lower "half" gear (not third, not fourth, somewhere in between), then settle in the gear (4th). This was while traveling at 45 mph.

I came home, checked the ATF level and topped it off with just a third of a quart. I assumed this was the cause and left it for the night. On my way to work today, I again noticed the strange shifting / gear searching as I was getting close to work. I also noticed (for the first time since owning it) that it seemed to have a 5th gear?? I was cruising at 70 mph in 4th and out of no where it dropped into a lower gear?! However I couldn't get it to consistently do that.

Anyone else had this happen? Any ideas?

Old 02-24-2014, 05:03 PM
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74 views, no replies or suggestions. :-/
Old 02-25-2014, 12:37 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,023

The "half gear" effect is the torque converter locking and unlocking. It is normal. When you are not pressing the gas hard, the torque converter locks, which reduces the engine rpm some and saves gas. When you do press the gas, the first step before it decides to drop a gear is to unlock the converter, which lets the engine rev up to where it generates more horsepower.

Please don't say that you're still using the original now 20 year old timing belt because it's only got 57,000 miles.

Last edited by mk378; 02-25-2014 at 12:40 PM.
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