Few Tech questions

trillobite

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So, some of you probably already know that I recently bought a 98 Accord LX 4spd Automatic 4cyl Vtech a few days ago, AND I LOVE IT! Anyways, being a used car (250k miles), I have a few questions, as I am completely new to this kind of a car.

First of all, I am under the impression that my transmission is going, which is not unusual for this model, and the mileage which is on it. But, I want to be sure that I am not incorrectly diagnosing a problem, and assuming the worst, so here are the symptoms:

- I can hear a whine, that you will only notice if you knew to listen for it, while driving up to 25MPH. But, I read in some places that Honda transmissions may whine a little bit at low speeds normally. I simply don't know if this is normal, and personally, I don't think it is.

- Going from 1st to 2nd seems to be a difficult shift for this car, as there is quite a long delay where the car feels almost like it is in Neutral until it hits 2nd gear 1 to 2 seconds later. If I give the car too much gas, it will never make it into 2nd gear.

- All shifts are smooth, and it has never given me a hard shift, which makes me wonder what exactly is going on. The shifts are also quicker after the transmission is fully warmed up after 30min of driving, but 1st to 2nd is always a bit difficult for this car.

- Transmission fluid is like a reddish orange, still very translucent, smells a little rich, maybe a little burnt, can't really tell if that's abnormal either.

I took my Accord to a trans shop today after my Honda ATF arrived, and I couldn't find somewhere flat to work on it... (crazy, I know). All I wanted was for them to do a fluid change with the ATF I purchased, and they simply said, "Were not touching that car, it has too many miles on it." WHAT THE ****! really? They said that if they did it, it could make the problems worse. So honestly, could a simple fluid change, not a flush, make the problem worse?

Finally, after all these questions, if my trans is on it's way out (and I think it is), is there anything I can do to make it limp along for a while?

Thanks in advance to anyone who responds to this long post.:birgits_tiredcoffee
 
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RedRyder

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For the whine, could be anything from A/C (if it's on) to belts to the alternator. Not sure I've heard someone say their transmission whined on this car.

The shift delay sounds "normal" to me, mine did that shifting up and down between 1 and 2 for a long time. That's just the way it operated. If there are no hard shifts or jolting jerks, and no blinking D4 light, then right now your transmission is okay. In my experience it is normal to feel a little jerk when shifting from P to D, or P to R.

If you aren't sure if the current trans fluid is Honda, I'd drain and refill with Honda fluid. Personally I think the whole 'changing fluid will make it worse' is a myth. If a shop told you the mileage is too high, find someone else who is competent. And yes, never ever ever flush these transmissions.

There is a lot of information on transmission issues as you might imagine, so spend some time searching here and on V6performance.net. Sometimes people have improved their transmission operation by replacing solenoids.

There are things you can do to help the auto last like, installing a trans cooler, drain and refilling 3 times, never accelerate hard from a dead stop, driving habits etc. Here's a thread that talks about what people have done to help their auto last:
http://www.6thgenaccord.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44620
 
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trillobite

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Thanks RedRyder, that gives me a sigh of relief, as I can tackle virtually anything with this car except the transmission and engine, due to my garage being occupied by another project car.

I'll work on trying to identify where that 'whine' is coming from, and it looks like I am just going to have to find an open field somewhere and change the fluid myself.

Thanks. :waytogo:
 

trillobite

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Just an update:
I finally got to change the transmission fluid, I simply did it in the driveway and measured how much old fluid drained out of the system, and put the same amount of fresh DW-1 back in. No catastrophic failure as those "mechanics" claimed would happen, and the shift between first and second gear has improved. I plan on doing a "flush:" 2 or 3 fluid changes every 200 - 400 miles, and installing a magnefine filter.

The previous owner took the car to jiffy lube, and I am convinced that they never gave him a quality brand fluid, as after only 2,500 miles the fluid came out with a HORRIBLY strong burnt smell. I also noticed that the DW-1 has a much darker color, looking almost magenta, while the old fluid always looked more like a reddish motor oil.

That isn't to say that this is conclusive proof that jiffy lube does not use quality ATF, but my theory that jiffy lube doesn't use the proper ATF seems to be more likely, at least in my own perspective.
 

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