8th Generation Honda Civic Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I bought my 2010 EX sedan last February with 89k and after about a week of owning it I noticed it wasn't shifting into 4th gear on a cold morning. This made it overheat and it didn't smell very good. I took it into Honda right away and they said the fluid was low and dirty. So they drained and filled it with new fluid. It's been running fine for the most part all year but since I started having trouble with it I notice it shifts a little harder than my girlfriends 2010 LX. Since the weather has gone below freezing here in Maine, it's been giving me trouble again. Even if I let it warm up for a good 10, even 15 minutes it will still not shift into 4th until I get about a mile down the road. As it warms up I can literally feel the gas pedal loosen up. It'll have a stiff feeling at first. So basically I have to drive it to warm up the transmission. This car has been scanned by 2 garages, has no dash lights, and isn't leaking. It's been taken to the Honda garage and a transmission specialist a few times. Recently I was at the Honda garage again and they said the fluid wasn't low but burned, so they wanted to drain and fill it again and filter the fluid to see if they find metal shards which would indicate the problem. I heard you can check for metal shards on the dipstick if it really had that issue, I think they're just trying to get money. Since I just had this procedure done last spring, I opted out of that since it would have been $390. That's a lot of money to spend just to find out if my transmission is bad, especially since if that was the case I would need that money for a new transmission! The fluid should be changed again, but my thing is..I'm thinking its already screwed anyways so what's the sense? My car hasn't acted up on the mechanics even after being left overnight so no one but me has experienced it. Maybe that isn't helping my situation. But they even said by my story it sounds like it could be going out. I asked could it be a solenoid? They don't think so. Anyways, I figured I'd come to this forum and ask the real experts of these cars to see if maybe someone knows what this extremely frustrating prolonged issue is. I'm getting really tired of wondering, about ready to trade it in. I love the car though and it only has 100k. Is it time for a new transmission? I've been some money into this car and still owe money on it so I'm really on the fence on what to do here.....thoughts? I would appreciate it greatly! Thank You
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
It's a love and hate relationship with these 8th gen civics - I own an EX and at 164k, it's slowly eating my wallet away. That's besides the point though.

If the transmission fluid is burnt looking, then the transmission is probably on its way out and is going to be needing either a rebuild or a full replacement soon. If you are handy with tools, a transmission drain and fill service is really easy and can be done in the driveway. The Honda dealership did note that they wanted to replace the inline filter to see if the metal shards are caught in the filter, but replacing it as well will clean up the fluid even more which is a good thing (if the transmission has been serviced frequently).

Talking about service, did you know the transmission service history before you acquired it? It's never a good idea to neglect a Honda transmission as they are known to be a bit special. Most Honda owners think that changing only the oil will make the car last and then claim it's "really good" taken care of when there are other stuff to be aware of as well. If the transmission hasn't been serviced before you bought it, that might be your problem right there - abuse.

If the transmission fluid was black, I wouldn't have touched it at all.

If you can post the picture of the condition of the fluid to see, that would be great although you don't have to since you did say that it's burnt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
I agree with is said in the above post from FD7683.

There are a lot of DIY tutorials on how to change the transmission fluid and its easy to do it with the basic tools. Suggest that you check the oil for its colour and if it looks burnt or dirty, then change the fluid with a fully synthetic oil as it withstands higher temperature and abuse. And before changing please ensure to check the filter for any metal particles to understand if there is a major transmission problem and replace it before the oil change.

Sent from my SM-A505F using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
958 Posts
For less than $30 you can do your own drain and fill of the transmission. You need 3 qts of ATF and a 3/8" ratchet/breaker bar to remove the drain plug.

The drain plug has a magnet on it which will pick up stuff. That might tell you something about the health of the transmission.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Forgot to say this as well but it's very important to go with the Genuine Honda DW-1 Transmission Fluid (automatic) to ensure that it runs normally - thats if you do plan to change it yourself. Honda uses the same stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for the feedback! I don't have the resources here otherwise I'd definitely do it myself! But I always have it done every 30k. The previous owner definitely didn't do any maintenance to the transmission and maybe even sucked up water along the way or hit part of the transmission underneath the car. I will never know why it was that low in the first place. I can't figure out for the life of me how someone could ruin one of these transmissions at such low mileage. That took some serious effort because these 5 spd autos aren't really known for having issues. I'll try to get a picture of the dipstick tomorrow before I leave. Maybe changing the inline fillter could help but at the same time is it really worth it? Part of me just wants to throw in another transmission incase the drain and fill + inline filter change doesn't work. Like I said I think thats what they did last spring, I know they drained and filled it at any rate. I feel no matter what I do is a gamble and costly at that. I guess if it's burned after putting only a few thousand miles on this newer fluid that may indicate its just screwed, period.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Thanks for the feedback! I don't have the resources here otherwise I'd definitely do it myself! But I always have it done every 30k. The previous owner definitely didn't do any maintenance to the transmission and maybe even sucked up water along the way or hit part of the transmission underneath the car. I will never know why it was that low in the first place. I can't figure out for the life of me how someone could ruin one of these transmissions at such low mileage. That took some serious effort because these 5 spd autos aren't really known for having issues. I'll try to get a picture of the dipstick tomorrow before I leave. Maybe changing the inline fillter could help but at the same time is it really worth it? Part of me just wants to throw in another transmission incase the drain and fill + inline filter change doesn't work. Like I said I think thats what they did last spring, I know they drained and filled it at any rate. I feel no matter what I do is a gamble and costly at that.
Yeah, just post the picture right here. I can probably tell the condition of the fluid based on the color.
 

·
Registered
2010 Si sedan 86k for sale
Joined
·
126 Posts
Warming your engine up won't warm up the trans fluid enough. Most cars will not shift into higher gears until the trans fluid temp goes up. Best is to drive it gently until it warms up but most people don't have time for that or don't know. Everyone should be doing drain and fills at least. It's very easy to do and cheap. Do it yourself and you know it's done right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Check with a shop but often times they will apply the diagnostic fee to the price of the rebuild if you decide to have it rebuilt or replaced. I am guessing the $390 is to remove it and tear it down to inspect? That is the only real way to accurately diagnose internal problems.

It should not need to run for 10 minutes or a mile down the road to hit 4th gear.
Just how low was the fluid? If it was too low, that means the transmission was not properly lubricated inside. You mention a bad smell from overheating. Heat kills transmissions. Some of the internal seals and clutch packs are likely damaged.

Basically the trans is on it's way out. Whether you have it fixed now or wait til it quits - it probably won't make much, if any difference in the repair price. Soft parts (clutch packs and seals) are fried either way. Just make sure the fluid is full so no hard parts (like gears) are damaged.

One thing though - when it does finally quit, it could happen as you are driving OR one day you go out and start it and it just will not go into gear. You know how new problems love to surface after a car sits overnight.

I know this is not what you wanted to hear but it is my experience having worked in a transmission shop years ago.

Also - on the finances side, you could ask around a few shops and ask what a "soft rebuild" would cost on your car. That is the least expensive. "Soft" means it doesn't need more than rubber seals and clutch packs. If hard parts need replaced, it could get expensive.
But at least you will have an idea of the minimum it might cost when asking about soft rebuild.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thank You EpistleNo.81! You've given me some very helpful information here. Basically what you just said has been my thoughts exactly. I think it took some damage. I didn't know soft rebuilds could be done. If anything I would agree and say the clutch packs and seals were damaged when it overheated a couple times. The previous owner could have drove it like this a lot not knowing what was wrong with it. Basically I would want to get the most life out of the transmission. I'm not sure how far a rebuild would go. I wouldn't think this thing is that damaged because it shifts ok once warmed up. But there are some things I notice about it like sometimes it downshifts when it doesn't need to and doesn't downshift fast enough when climbing a small hill lets say. It's hard to say what's worth it. If a cheap rebuild would keep it going for many years to come I'd do it
Either way I doubt I'll have the Honda dealer do that service seeing as it's cooked after not even being in the car for maybe 8 months? That alone indicates its probably screwed. It's like paying them for something I already know the answer to. Really tough to say what I should do at this point. I might just get a used low mile transmission and just put it aside until this one blows up. There's a site that sells them somewhat cheap. Tough gamble! Lots of options.....

FD7683 Sorry I haven't gotten a picture yet, I'll take one Friday morning!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
958 Posts
I'd find a low mileage used transmission. There is risk but the same could be said for a rebuilt transmission.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
The fluid color looks good. This might be the unfortunate response but a transmission replacement might be needed to get rid of the problem (or a rebuild/removal of old transmission for deeper inspection). I agree with the other users - driving the car slowly in the morning is the proper way of warming up the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
That's what I've been doing is slowly driving it to warm it up, I figured it would need one so I was prepared to hear that! It could be redder, but yeah it doesn't look terrible. It took a while for it to warm up today. I just hope the next transmission is good which I don't see why it wouldn't be. Really sucks spending this amount of money but it could be worse! I'll keep everyone posted on what I do from here...I appreciate the help, this is a very welcoming forum!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Hi.

For your concerns regarding a rebuilt transmission - a rebuilt transmission will mean it is practically new. It is the best option if you are okay with spending extra money on your car.

I opted to do what you are considering, which is replace it with a used one - I don't regret going with used. It works fine. Doesn't shift as perfectly smooth as it use to, but that could be the shop's fault.

Just find a reputable shop. You should be able to ship the used transmission to the Honda dealer and they will be happy to install it for you.

I think the used transmission you are looking at looks good and a good price. That shop/junk yard has to have record of the VIN it came from, which so you can do a CarFax and make sure the car it came from wasn't flooded or something.

Another option is continue to drive as-is until the transmission dies, then replace it. It may still go another couple years.

One caution from my experience - some transmission shops offer "free diagnosis"... be very wary. I did this... they "test drove" it and said they needed to take a look inside and verbally gave me a reasonable quote to replace it or the put the old one back in if there was no problem. They took it out, then they jacked up their prices. I was stuck because my car was dismantled - my choice was agree to let them repair it for an absurd price, or pay $500 to put back the old one. I personally wished I just went to the dealer and saved a lot of money and stress. I also later found out my transmission was likely fine - it was a bad transmission mount that was causing the problem I was experiencing. My lesson learned here was next time pay the dealer $70 to diagnose the issue instead of get scammed at a shop offering "free diagnosis".

Also when you replace/diagnose your transmission, you should consider getting the transmission/engine mounts replaced at the same time if you haven't done this in the last 5 years. It will save a you bunch of labor cost in the future.

good luck.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top