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Honda Accord Transmission Questions

dknight211dknight211 Posts: 5
Honda Accord Transmission in Stop & Go Traffic

My old car was a 1992 Lexus LS400 and an excellent car. The transmission was very smooth, and you could barely feel the transmission shift (it was a four speed).
I recently purchased a new 2007 Honda Accord LX V6. The transmission shift is a bit harsher than I’m used to, but still reasonable compared to cars in this price range in normal traffic. In typical traffic, the transmission is perfectly fine.
However, in Los Angeles rush hour freeway traffic, the transmission is a bit jerky at times and the shifts are much more noticeable. In typical LA rush hour traffic, you could be moving along at 5 mph, speed up a little bit to 12-15 mph, and then come to an abrupt stop. Repeat this for the next 30 miles.
When moving at 5 mph, I assume the transmission is in first gear. I add a little gas with a light foot to move up to 12 mph. During this, the transmission shifts into second gear, and the transmission “jerk” is very heavy and noticeable. I’m now moving at 12 mph or so and then come to a complete stop because of traffic. The transmission also very noticeable shifts from 2 to 1 (like the slow shift from 1 to 2, the car jerks).
I assume this is normal behavior because this type of jerking at slow speeds also happens on my 2004 Toyota Sequoia, which is a V8 with 4 speed transmission.
I assume this type of constant transmission jerking for 3 hours a day (the amount of time I spend in rush hour traffic a day) must be very bad for the transmission. I try using D3, but obviously that makes no difference as that only keeps the transmission to the first three gears (and the issue is at slow speeds with gears 1 and 2).
My friend suggested that during rush hour, I shift to 1 and drive the car in that gear. That way, the transmission stays in 1 and avoids the constant upshifting/downshifting. Is this a good idea? Won’t this lead to a lot of high-revving by the engine? Will this damage or cause extra wear on the engine or transmission?


  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735
    The torque converters in Honda transmissions lock into gear much quicker and harder than the typical Toyota transmission does (Honda claims this saves gas, I doubt it saves very much though). If you think your 07 V6 shifts hard, you should have driven my 92 Accord for a day. I have an 03 V6, and it is smooth in comparison. Sorry, just the nature of the beast. My 92 Accord shifted harder than this one, and it lasted 140k miles, if that helps.
  • Thank you very much for the input and advice!
    Any opinions regarding driving the vehicle in first gear in heavy stop and go traffic? Thanks!!! :)
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735
    Any opinions regarding driving the vehicle in first gear in heavy stop and go traffic?

    To leave the transmission in 1st gear you would have to be going pretty slow. I'd say 10mph or less. If you are turning 3k rpm at 15-20mph, your mileage will suck IMO. :P
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    If you are staying above 5 MPH and below 30 MPH, I'd set the lever in "2". This will LOCK you into 2nd gear, avoiding the shift back down to first gear.
  • 2007 LX-V6

    4000 miles - mostly highway. Noticed the car downshifts (sporadically, but often) a bit soon, quite abruptly in stop and go traffic, or simply slowing to normal stop. Not sure if it's from 3-2 or 2-1 but whoa - jerks and can be quite unsettling. may take it to service to have a lookif it continues..... :confuse:
  • I am starting to think that this is normal behavior for Honda transmissions. Ever since my first post, I have now gotten 2000 miles on my 2007 LX V6. The transmission is jerky as ever, whether in stop-and-go traffic or slowing down to a stop. When I first got the car, the jerkiness was even worse, but now it's toned down a bit (don't know if it's because the engine and transmission are broken in ... or if the Adaptive T ransmission changed the behavior). I sat in my friend's 2003 Accord EX V6 and it had the same jerkiness. I asked him about it, and he said "what jerkiness?". I guess it's all about getting used to it and what car you were used to before.
  • grampy1grampy1 Posts: 140
    I don't know if i would call my 07 SE V-6 "jerky",but more of "searching" at certain speeds in the 20-35 mile range around town. I just shift into D3 and the annoyance is gone.On the highway i shift into D.
  • syonsyon Posts: 1
    I have an '03 Accord EX-V6 and experienced the same problem grampy1 experienced. It started around 30K mi. but it was so infrequent that I could never get it diagnosed and the solution of shifting into D3 was so simple. The problem became more frequent as the miles grew but not often enough that it would do it at a mechanic. Fast forward to 80K and one wkend the car just wouldn't shift out of 2nd, but would do it occasionally and then lurch forward which made for dangerous driving. Took it to the dealership and diagnosed it as a total transmission failure. They couldn't be more specific. I followed the maintenance schedule and this is what happens? Contacted Honda and after some arguing they decided to replace it with a rebuilt transmission. I'm still paying for the diagnostic check-up and part of the labor costs but what concerns me most is honda's reliability. I have owned a '91 Camry, '95 Probe GT, '99 Prism, '00 Camry, and all made it much past 150K w/o transmission problems.
  • blackexv6blackexv6 Posts: 503
    Sorry to hear about your car. We had an '03 Accord EXV6 that failed at 45k miles. Honda replaced with a rebuilt transmission (same design defect) for free & traded it in at 59k.

    My advice would be to sell or trade the car while its still worth something. Your rebuilt tranny will fail again in another 50-80k miles.

    Honda had a class action suit for the widespread V6 transmission problems. See this link: link title

    We owned 2 Honda V6 cars in past 5 years with transmission failures under 100k miles.
  • I have an 03 Honda V6 with 158k miles. When accelerating, the RPMs will go up to 3-4k and i'm not accelerating at all and then it will catch and i'll speed up a bit. it will happen once or twice up to around 40 mph. Brought it into the shop and they said its an electrical cylindar in the transmission and suggested going to a transmission shop. Any thoughts as to what this could cost? is it worth getting fixed or get rid of the car? I just had my master cylindar replaced which has soemthing to do with the breaks I believe about 3 weeks ago. Other than that, only routine maintenance including a transmission service for around $129 the same time I had to get the master cylindar replaced.

    Any help would be very much appreciated.
  • Consider yourself lucky to have a Honda V6 transmission last 158k miles. My old '03 EXV6 failed at 45k miles only.

    A rebuilt transmission is approx. $3-4k installed by Honda. You could shop for prices & possibly get it done for $2-3k.

    KBB says your car is worth $7-8k. However, with the real high miles a dealer probably won't give you more than $3-4k for the car.

    I just traded a pristine '00 Odyssey EX with 150k for $3400. KBB said it was worth $5800 on a trade. Tried selling it in the local paper for 2 months. Not even a phone call.

    You probably don't have much of a choice other than to fix it. What else would you do with it? After the repair, I would have it detailed & try selling it privately.

    Good luck.
  • bug4bug4 Posts: 370
    Giving all due respect to blackexv6, I think you should get the tranny fixed and then drive the car for another 158k! Depends on your money situation and your desire for some shiny new sheet metal, but a 2003 model still looks good and might be in great shape. I'd keep driving it! [p.s., I think you can get a very functional re-built Accord transmission for much less than $3k [I might be wrong there???] - might be worth checking around - consider pulling a used tranny out of a wrecked Accord if you can get a shop to do it for you. I did that with my first 1979 Accord and was able to put another 60k on the odometer with no problems :-) ]
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    Excellent advice bug4.
  • Thanks to both of you. I appreciate both of your thoughts on the subject and will definitely use them to help us make our decision.
  • mentiyamentiya Posts: 17
    I bought a 98 Honda Accord back in 2000 and it had 34,000 miles on it. Not even a year had passed and I had to have the transmission replaced because it was jerking really hard when driving. I still have the car and over the years it has proved to be reliable. I am now wondering how long this rebuilt transmission will last? My car now is pushing 130,000 miles and occasionally it jerks but nothing like before. I drive it quite a bit but am not rough with it, in hopes that I can achieve many more miles. Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! Also are the civics transmissons more reliable than the Accords?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Let me guess - V6 Accord?

    The V6 Accords had tranny problems and had warranties extended on them because of it. The 4-cyl Accords never had such problems.
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    Use only Honda transmission fluid and change it every 30-40k. Just my .02.
  • rhtransrhtrans Posts: 84
    97-99 accords were very troublesome for honda & there customers. Honda did extend the trans warranties to 7 years 100 miles with no questions asked. In 97 Honda finally went to a computer controlled pressure regulator solenoid called a linear solenoid that was supposed to improve shift quality. The new solenoids were not real durable and the honda tcm's are not capable of adjusting shift time as clutches wear keeping the shifts clean. My suggestion is to spend a 150.00 on new linear solenoids in hopes to keeping the line pressure correct at all times. they are quite easy to change and are on the outside of the trans..
  • rhtransrhtrans Posts: 84
    You may be right...thought it was 97...but could be wrong..sorry.
  • twa727twa727 Posts: 22
    Must be an isolated problem with the V-6 Accords....

    I've got a '93 with nearly 200K and on the original tranny. It shifts a little hard occasionally, but nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, it shifts smoother than a 2001 Corolla that I used to drive.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Yes, the 4-cyl Hondas have never had problematic transmission to the best of my knowledge. The V6 models had problems in 1998, and 2003-2004.
  • Can anyone tell me some of the possible causes of the Shift Lock? And perhaps how much money it might cost to repair "whatever".

    Have had to use my key in the shift lock release 2 times today. Strange thing is that just last week we had the transmission flushed. Was running great until today. I know very little about Hondas or most cars - so an elementary explanation would be greatly appreciated!

    The owner's manual said that if I've had to use the Release button - it probably means that something is needing a "Honda Dealer's" attention.

    Thanks for anyone's help!!
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735
    Probably caused by the Brake Pedal Position Switch (located near the brake pedal arm). This switch also activates the brake lights, so if the brake lights are not working right, the switch is the problem. When you press the brake pedal you should hear a click sound (has to be quiet) inside the console. The clicking sound is the solenoid releasing the shift lever, which is activated by the brake switch. How much a shop would charge to fix this depends on if the switch has to be replaced or adjusted, and how much they decide to rip you off. :( Here's a description from the service manual.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Honestly, it sounds like your brake rotors may be warped. I'd try a different shop, but I'm not an expert.

    Elroy will chime in soon (he's good about having answers :)).

    Best of luck,


    1996 Accord LX, 178,000 mi
    2006 Accord EX, 29,700 mi
  • If anyone can help me I would appreciate it. I have a 1996 Honda Accord "Anniversary Edition", which has about 70,000 miles. I don't travel much. I have took it to my locate Meineke shop and they said it maybe something in the transmission. What is does is when I brake the whole car shakes and vibrates like crazy. I have taken very good care of is since I purchased it with 13 miles on. It has all the maintenance upkeep and oil changes. I think I have done everything to keep it in good shape until now. I would appreciate any help, tips, and advice.
  • Thanks the graduate. I appreicate any help I can get.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735
    It could be the transmission. If you brake, and the transmission refuses to downshift, it could cause a lot of shaking. A sign of this would be if the rpm goes down really low even at higher speeds. Do you feel the transmission downshifting? Warped brake rotors can cause vibration also. Do you feel anything at the brake pedal? Engine/transmission mounts can cause some serious shaking, but it would shake even at idle sitting at a red light. Bad suspension components will make any other shaking even worse. My advise is to get a second, and maybe third opinion on this issue.
  • Thanks elroy. Now that you mentioned it, I do feel something at the brake pedal. Would you suggest I get an opinion from a transmission specialist or take it to the dealership or both?
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735
    I would get the rotors checked out. Maybe get them to test drive the car.
    Sure, if you can find the time, get estimates from a few places. The dealership knows Honda cars better, but they are usually more expensive too, so that's entirely up to you.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735
    I feel for people who have little knowledge about cars, and are at the mercy of repair shops. Unfortunately many repair shops guess what is causing the problem, and throw parts at it. This can become very expensive when they keep guessing the wrong part. Getting a second or third opinion can reduce the likelyhood of this. Your health insurance will usually require you to get a second opinion before having surgery. I think it should also be a requirement for your car. Having a mechanic you know personally is best, but not everyone has that luxury.
  • Thanks elroy5. You have been a tremendous amount of help. At least this gives me something to go on. You know some mechanics like to take advantage of some women. Thanks again.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I told ya elroy would be more help than I could be. :)

    Keep us posted on your situation!

    Best regards,

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Having a mechanic you know personally is best, but not everyone has that luxury.

    You got that right!!

    Elroy, as the graduate noted, your input around here is very helpful. Thanks very much!! :)
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735
    I like to help people save some $$$ if I can. :D Especially those who don't have any $$$ to waste. ;)
  • Thanks everybody for your input. I talk to a lot of guys at work who know alot about cars and all of them said the same things. Wraped rotors. So I will take your opinion and get a lot of answers. It's a little slow at work some I will have time to go to different mechanics. AI will take my brother-in-law with me. I will let you all know what the problem was.
  • dano2008dano2008 Posts: 8
    I want to replace the speedsensor on my 97 accord LX 2.2, but I dont know exactly where it's located. Would be grateful for any help.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735
    This link only covers up to the 95 model Accord, but it may help you find yours. Good luck
  • monkey13monkey13 Posts: 1
    I have grave problems with the automatic transmission in my L4 accord 1999, send her to repair but I keep on in difficulties in the application of changes, any help himself thank
    P, D changed over the sensors records and seals
  • dano2008dano2008 Posts: 8
    I have a 97 accord LX 2.2 4cly, AT
    My tranny shifts rough, I took it to a shop and they said the tranny came up with no problem codes. I had the fluid changed, no changes. My speedometer wasn't working so I changed the VSS on the trans and the speedometer works but still rough shifting. My D4 light does not blink or stay on. My next step is to get a computer reading on the car and see if any other codes come up.

    My question is, what other factors could come into play when the tranny shifts rough but no codes show up ? :confuse:
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735
    There are many things that can affect shifting (throttle cable, temperature sensor, thermostat, shift solenoids, etc.) Here's a link that may help you sort it out. Good luck
    PS: You may want to save this link, for future reference (many troubleshooting tips for 4th gen Accords) I know your Accord is a 5th gen, but many parts are the same.
  • sunnfunsunnfun Posts: 168
    Just noticed on my 2008 Accord 4Dr V6 with 600 miles that when stopped on an incline with the car still in drive, the car will drift back if your foot is taken off the brake. Same issue that started the whole 2001 Accord tranny disaster. I am going to the dealer on Thurs to have it checked. Any one else with this issue?
  • parvizparviz Posts: 484
    To my understanding, that is the nature of Honda trannys (most, if not all newer cars). My 06 Pilot does the same, as does my 08 Accord. There is a thread on it in the Pilot forum.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735
    Honda automatics have always done this. My 92 Accord would roll back in D4, if I was on an incline and released the brake pedal.
  • sunnfunsunnfun Posts: 168
    I went over there and did not see anything on this specific issue. Once a car is in D, it should never ever drift back, even if it's on the side of a mountain. I can tell you from experience this is what started the replacement/recall of my 2001 tranny. I am very disappointed in this car. Even though I don't care for a manual in rush hour traffic, I would gladly take one in a 4DR W/O the VCM.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735
    The car rolling back while on an incline in drive, does not mean anything is wrong with your transmission. My 92 did it for 140k miles, and the 03 has been doing it for the 53k miles so far. Haven't had one problem with either one. :D
  • dano2008dano2008 Posts: 8
    Thanks Elroy, you wouldn't happen to know where the throttle cable is do you ?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Any automatic I have driven, from a 3.8L 2001 Mustang to a Lexus GX470 or an Audi 1.8 Cabriolet (8 miles on it, it had the CVT) have drifted back if on an incline. All my Hondas have as well including my 1996 with 180k miles (which I drove today in fact). No transmission problems.

    This has nothing to do with a transmission problem.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,735
    Thanks Elroy, you wouldn't happen to know where the throttle cable is do you ?

    It's not that simple, unfortunately. It's not the cable going to the Throttle body, and it's pretty complicated. You would have to have a service manual for your car, and my service manual was sold with the car. Sorry :cry: It was probably 10 years ago, when I adjusted mine, and my memory doesn't have all the details (free play etc.).
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Posts: 398
    Eventhough the Honda people might say it's normal, the Honda remanufactured one the dealer installed in my 2k V6 doesn't do it. And it performs MUCH better than the original one. Like has been said here before, the original one had a problem figuring out what gear to select when coming to a rolling stop and then having to accelerate. Hard clunking to a lower gear. Just glad Honda had been forced to extend their extended warranty on the tranny. Mine fell out of the original extended warranty but within the second extension.
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