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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone.

I was hoping to get some idea as to what may be going on with the auto transmission in my 2002 Acura 1.7EL with a d17a2 motor (only sold in Canada, essentially a fully loaded Honda Civic). It has 325,xxx kms (~202,xxx miles).

This morning I was driving on the highway and stepped on the accelerator to downshift the transmission and pass a vehicle. Instead of shifting the revs climbed and then the transmission started slipping and causing the engine to bounce off the rev limiter. It did that each time I tried to accelerate. It seemed to move just find at cruising speeds but didn't like being asked to downshift. Same thing happened when I got off the highway and onto the street.

But after sitting in the car for 30 minutes in a parking lot, I tried continuing to my destination and the transmission seemed to spontaneously start working normally again. Even when stomping the accelerator to downshift the transmission and accelerate hard it was working fine.

I picked up a quart of Honda ATF to see if its just low on fluid but I checked and it looked like the fluid was just below the middle of the two hash marks. I checked with the engine off which I'm pretty sure is how to do it.


The transmission has been a little suspect for a while now, especially since I started using it for work. I do around 5000+ KMS (3000+ miles) every two months. It was my wife's beater before we bought her another vehicle.

Any ideas as to what it might be?

Thanks.
 

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last fluid change? Shifts hard? Smooth? If the clutches are worn it could be done or starting to. the process of changing the fluid is drain and fill. drive around the block. repeat 2 more times.
 

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In my experience, which is limited ill admit, automatic transmissions with clutch packs going out usually shift better when cold and the fluid is thicker then get worse (rev up between shifts more) when they are warm and automatic transmissions with clogged filters shift crappy when they are cold, but once the oil warms up and thins out some the transmission shifts better.

So with a different type of car I would say change the tranny filter, but with that car you cant do that without taking out the tranny. So I would suggest a fluid change/flush and maybe a magnetic drain plug if you can find one. Those might help.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
last fluid change? Shifts hard? Smooth? If the clutches are worn it could be done or starting to. the process of changing the fluid is drain and fill. drive around the block. repeat 2 more times.
Last fluid change... Couldn't tell you. I bought the vehicle initially to be my wife's winter beater a couple of years ago. It was only supposed to last the winter but somehow it stuck around. Thankfully it did. My work car was written off by a distracted driver this past July. We had just bought another vehicle and getting another wasn't in the budget. So I kept the Acura and use it for work. I was hoping to get at least another year out of it before getting a replacement. I did around 50,000km just last year alone in my '05 Vibe. I'm asking a lot of this Acura...

I've refrained from doing a transmission service for the simple fact that it has so many miles and I've seen and been told of instances when doing the service will actually speed up the process to transmission failure.

In the morning when it's cold it'll shift fine between first to second, but second the third and third to fourth it'll slip before engaging the gear. After it warms up it shifts smoothly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
In my experience, which is limited ill admit, automatic transmissions with clutch packs going out usually shift better when cold and the fluid is thicker then get worse (rev up between shifts more) when they are warm and automatic transmissions with clogged filters shift crappy when they are cold, but once the oil warms up and thins out some the transmission shifts better.

So with a different type of car I would say change the tranny filter, but with that car you cant do that without taking out the tranny. So I would suggest a fluid change/flush and maybe a magnetic drain plug if you can find one. Those might help.

Good luck.
See my response above ^^^

Thanks!
 

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then do a single drain and fill with the proper fluid. that way you can inject new life into the old fluid. your clutches are probably burned and hard. by only doing a single dra I n and fill you'll be replacing a 3rd of the fluid. this way you don't completely wash out the old fluid and varnishes that have built up. but this will fortify the existing fluid. unfortunately Hondas autos are notoriously failure prone. they aren't super strong and. you are describing a worn out fluid situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
then do a single drain and fill with the proper fluid. that way you can inject new life into the old fluid. your clutches are probably burned and hard. by only doing a single dra I n and fill you'll be replacing a 3rd of the fluid. this way you don't completely wash out the old fluid and varnishes that have built up. but this will fortify the existing fluid. unfortunately Hondas autos are notoriously failure prone. they aren't super strong and. you are describing a worn out fluid situation.
Thanks for the feedback and the advice!
 

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Any check engine lights? Some transmission codes wont set a light so read the codes anyways to see if there is any codes.

If there is any codes, fix what caused them.

After that do a single drain and fill then add a in-line trans filter to the cooler line, that will slowly remove any left over junk
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Finally got around to doing the drain-and-fill today. Up until today the transmission has actually been getting worse. It's slipling more often between gears now. Let's see if this new OEM Honda ATF will help a little.
 
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