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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06 Mar 2005, 06:15 am
SC
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Posts: n/a
Default Prelude Auto Transmission problem

I am having a problem with a '97 Prelude 2.2VTi auto transmission (UK
spec/Japan built).

There is a delay when changing mostly from 2nd - 3rd gear when the
engine/transmission is cold. During this time the revs climb (depending on
how much throttle is used) and then settle back down once it's changed,
usually under a second maximum. It does not exhibit this behaviour when
warmed up or appear to through other gear changes, i.e. 1st - 2nd, 3rd -
4th.

My local dealer suggested that the fluid may be "past its best", and they
changed it on the last service. The fluid has been changed more often than
the Honda specify in their service schedule anyway. It behaved for a couple
of days and then back to it's odd behaviour.

At any time cold/warmed up, there is NOT harsh shifts, banging, crunching,
squealing etc or any other horrible mechanical noises.

When the engine/transmission has warmed up it IS smooth and changes softly
and in a timely fashion as I would expect.

So the few questions I have are:

1.Does anyone here have the experience to make a likely 'guess' on what the
problem may be?

2.It has been doing this for about 18 months and has not got worse, I feel
it is unlikely that the tranny is going to 'fall out of the bottom' any time
soon and I'm likely to be able to drive it like this (it just bugs me).
Would you agree?

3.Is there anything I could test myself or ask the dealer specifically to
check?

I understand that the US built Preludes were prone to failing trannies and
as such Honda have extended the 2000 model onwards warranty to 100,000
miles. My dealer here in the UK assured me that they have never had an auto
transmission fail on a Prelude (although they probably haven't sold many
anyway). Does anyone know of a reputable/reliable auto transmission
specialist here in the UK? My dealer does not want to seem to 'own' the
problem.

Lastly, for those experienced in this kind of thing, does a transmission
repair/removal involve removal of the engine, or can the transmission be got
at and removed from underneath? (without disturbing that horrible looking
nest of pipes and wires at the top of the engine compartment).

Sorry for the long post.

TIA.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06 Mar 2005, 03:05 pm
David and Tracey Mills
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Prelude Auto Transmission problem

SC wrote:

> I am having a problem with a '97 Prelude 2.2VTi auto transmission (UK
> spec/Japan built).
>
> There is a delay when changing mostly from 2nd - 3rd gear when the
> engine/transmission is cold. During this time the revs climb (depending on
> how much throttle is used) and then settle back down once it's changed,
> usually under a second maximum. It does not exhibit this behaviour when
> warmed up or appear to through other gear changes, i.e. 1st - 2nd, 3rd -
> 4th.
>
> My local dealer suggested that the fluid may be "past its best", and they
> changed it on the last service. The fluid has been changed more often than
> the Honda specify in their service schedule anyway. It behaved for a couple
> of days and then back to it's odd behaviour.
>
> At any time cold/warmed up, there is NOT harsh shifts, banging, crunching,
> squealing etc or any other horrible mechanical noises.
>
> When the engine/transmission has warmed up it IS smooth and changes softly
> and in a timely fashion as I would expect.
>
> So the few questions I have are:
>
> 1.Does anyone here have the experience to make a likely 'guess' on what the
> problem may be?
>
> 2.It has been doing this for about 18 months and has not got worse, I feel
> it is unlikely that the tranny is going to 'fall out of the bottom' any time
> soon and I'm likely to be able to drive it like this (it just bugs me).
> Would you agree?
>
> 3.Is there anything I could test myself or ask the dealer specifically to
> check?
>
> I understand that the US built Preludes were prone to failing trannies and
> as such Honda have extended the 2000 model onwards warranty to 100,000
> miles. My dealer here in the UK assured me that they have never had an auto
> transmission fail on a Prelude (although they probably haven't sold many
> anyway). Does anyone know of a reputable/reliable auto transmission
> specialist here in the UK? My dealer does not want to seem to 'own' the
> problem.
>
> Lastly, for those experienced in this kind of thing, does a transmission
> repair/removal involve removal of the engine, or can the transmission be got
> at and removed from underneath? (without disturbing that horrible looking
> nest of pipes and wires at the top of the engine compartment).
>
> Sorry for the long post.
>
> TIA.


Usually, any type of problem like this that is related to temperature, is a sign
of internal problems in the transmission.....usually slipping/worn clutch discs.
Sometimes it is a valve body problem, but usually an internal problem. By the
way....the symptom you are describing is called "flaring" as the engine speed
"flares" up momentarily.

If it has been this way for the past eighteen months, and not gotten any worse,
then keep going. As far as future problems or reliability go, that's only
guesswork.

There is really nothing that you can check without special service tools.
However, you can have your dealership perform a stall test on the
transmission.....during this test, each gear is isolated electronically and can
be stall tested individually. Bear in mind that they will probably charge you
for this service if the car is out of warranty.

Usually a transmission removal is just that.......some cars require removal of
the engine as well, and then engine and trans have to be realigned in the front
subframe to ensure vibration-free operation. But normally only the transmission
is removed.

D.Mills - Licensed Automotive Technician.




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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 06 Mar 2005, 09:22 pm
Rob
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Prelude Auto Transmission problem

Good advice David, Good to see someone here at this site with your
expertise. Just curious, which Honda transmission do you consider more
reliable in a 2001 civic the auto or the 5 speed. I plan on getting a used
civic in the future and am not hearing some good thinks about the Honda
auto's. Thanks for any advice, Rob.

"David and Tracey Mills" <themills.clan@ns.sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:422B7054.5527AD09@ns.sympatico.ca...
> SC wrote:
>
>> I am having a problem with a '97 Prelude 2.2VTi auto transmission (UK
>> spec/Japan built).
>>
>> There is a delay when changing mostly from 2nd - 3rd gear when the
>> engine/transmission is cold. During this time the revs climb (depending
>> on
>> how much throttle is used) and then settle back down once it's changed,
>> usually under a second maximum. It does not exhibit this behaviour when
>> warmed up or appear to through other gear changes, i.e. 1st - 2nd, 3rd -
>> 4th.
>>
>> My local dealer suggested that the fluid may be "past its best", and they
>> changed it on the last service. The fluid has been changed more often
>> than
>> the Honda specify in their service schedule anyway. It behaved for a
>> couple
>> of days and then back to it's odd behaviour.
>>
>> At any time cold/warmed up, there is NOT harsh shifts, banging,
>> crunching,
>> squealing etc or any other horrible mechanical noises.
>>
>> When the engine/transmission has warmed up it IS smooth and changes
>> softly
>> and in a timely fashion as I would expect.
>>
>> So the few questions I have are:
>>
>> 1.Does anyone here have the experience to make a likely 'guess' on what
>> the
>> problem may be?
>>
>> 2.It has been doing this for about 18 months and has not got worse, I
>> feel
>> it is unlikely that the tranny is going to 'fall out of the bottom' any
>> time
>> soon and I'm likely to be able to drive it like this (it just bugs me).
>> Would you agree?
>>
>> 3.Is there anything I could test myself or ask the dealer specifically to
>> check?
>>
>> I understand that the US built Preludes were prone to failing trannies
>> and
>> as such Honda have extended the 2000 model onwards warranty to 100,000
>> miles. My dealer here in the UK assured me that they have never had an
>> auto
>> transmission fail on a Prelude (although they probably haven't sold many
>> anyway). Does anyone know of a reputable/reliable auto transmission
>> specialist here in the UK? My dealer does not want to seem to 'own' the
>> problem.
>>
>> Lastly, for those experienced in this kind of thing, does a transmission
>> repair/removal involve removal of the engine, or can the transmission be
>> got
>> at and removed from underneath? (without disturbing that horrible looking
>> nest of pipes and wires at the top of the engine compartment).
>>
>> Sorry for the long post.
>>
>> TIA.

>
> Usually, any type of problem like this that is related to temperature, is
> a sign
> of internal problems in the transmission.....usually slipping/worn clutch
> discs.
> Sometimes it is a valve body problem, but usually an internal problem. By
> the
> way....the symptom you are describing is called "flaring" as the engine
> speed
> "flares" up momentarily.
>
> If it has been this way for the past eighteen months, and not gotten any
> worse,
> then keep going. As far as future problems or reliability go, that's only
> guesswork.
>
> There is really nothing that you can check without special service tools.
> However, you can have your dealership perform a stall test on the
> transmission.....during this test, each gear is isolated electronically
> and can
> be stall tested individually. Bear in mind that they will probably charge
> you
> for this service if the car is out of warranty.
>
> Usually a transmission removal is just that.......some cars require
> removal of
> the engine as well, and then engine and trans have to be realigned in the
> front
> subframe to ensure vibration-free operation. But normally only the
> transmission
> is removed.
>
> D.Mills - Licensed Automotive Technician.
>
>
>
>



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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 07 Mar 2005, 06:41 pm
David and Tracey Mills
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Prelude Auto Transmission problem

Rob wrote:

> Good advice David, Good to see someone here at this site with your
> expertise. Just curious, which Honda transmission do you consider more
> reliable in a 2001 civic the auto or the 5 speed. I plan on getting a used
> civic in the future and am not hearing some good thinks about the Honda
> auto's. Thanks for any advice, Rob.
>
> "David and Tracey Mills" <themills.clan@ns.sympatico.ca> wrote in message
> news:422B7054.5527AD09@ns.sympatico.ca...
> > SC wrote:
> >
> >> I am having a problem with a '97 Prelude 2.2VTi auto transmission (UK
> >> spec/Japan built).
> >>
> >> There is a delay when changing mostly from 2nd - 3rd gear when the
> >> engine/transmission is cold. During this time the revs climb (depending
> >> on
> >> how much throttle is used) and then settle back down once it's changed,
> >> usually under a second maximum. It does not exhibit this behaviour when
> >> warmed up or appear to through other gear changes, i.e. 1st - 2nd, 3rd -
> >> 4th.
> >>
> >> My local dealer suggested that the fluid may be "past its best", and they
> >> changed it on the last service. The fluid has been changed more often
> >> than
> >> the Honda specify in their service schedule anyway. It behaved for a
> >> couple
> >> of days and then back to it's odd behaviour.
> >>
> >> At any time cold/warmed up, there is NOT harsh shifts, banging,
> >> crunching,
> >> squealing etc or any other horrible mechanical noises.
> >>
> >> When the engine/transmission has warmed up it IS smooth and changes
> >> softly
> >> and in a timely fashion as I would expect.
> >>
> >> So the few questions I have are:
> >>
> >> 1.Does anyone here have the experience to make a likely 'guess' on what
> >> the
> >> problem may be?
> >>
> >> 2.It has been doing this for about 18 months and has not got worse, I
> >> feel
> >> it is unlikely that the tranny is going to 'fall out of the bottom' any
> >> time
> >> soon and I'm likely to be able to drive it like this (it just bugs me).
> >> Would you agree?
> >>
> >> 3.Is there anything I could test myself or ask the dealer specifically to
> >> check?
> >>
> >> I understand that the US built Preludes were prone to failing trannies
> >> and
> >> as such Honda have extended the 2000 model onwards warranty to 100,000
> >> miles. My dealer here in the UK assured me that they have never had an
> >> auto
> >> transmission fail on a Prelude (although they probably haven't sold many
> >> anyway). Does anyone know of a reputable/reliable auto transmission
> >> specialist here in the UK? My dealer does not want to seem to 'own' the
> >> problem.
> >>
> >> Lastly, for those experienced in this kind of thing, does a transmission
> >> repair/removal involve removal of the engine, or can the transmission be
> >> got
> >> at and removed from underneath? (without disturbing that horrible looking
> >> nest of pipes and wires at the top of the engine compartment).
> >>
> >> Sorry for the long post.
> >>
> >> TIA.

> >
> > Usually, any type of problem like this that is related to temperature, is
> > a sign
> > of internal problems in the transmission.....usually slipping/worn clutch
> > discs.
> > Sometimes it is a valve body problem, but usually an internal problem. By
> > the
> > way....the symptom you are describing is called "flaring" as the engine
> > speed
> > "flares" up momentarily.
> >
> > If it has been this way for the past eighteen months, and not gotten any
> > worse,
> > then keep going. As far as future problems or reliability go, that's only
> > guesswork.
> >
> > There is really nothing that you can check without special service tools.
> > However, you can have your dealership perform a stall test on the
> > transmission.....during this test, each gear is isolated electronically
> > and can
> > be stall tested individually. Bear in mind that they will probably charge
> > you
> > for this service if the car is out of warranty.
> >
> > Usually a transmission removal is just that.......some cars require
> > removal of
> > the engine as well, and then engine and trans have to be realigned in the
> > front
> > subframe to ensure vibration-free operation. But normally only the
> > transmission
> > is removed.
> >
> > D.Mills - Licensed Automotive Technician.
> >
> >
> >
> >


In my opinion, any manual is more reliable than an automatic. It's all really a
matter of what you prefer to drive. Most people cringe when they think of
automatic transmission repair, but really they are easier to work with than a
manual. For best fuel economy a manual is the way to go.

D.Mills - Licensed Automotive Technician.


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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 08 Mar 2005, 06:50 am
SC
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Prelude Auto Transmission problem

<snip>

>
> In my opinion, any manual is more reliable than an automatic. It's all

really a
> matter of what you prefer to drive. Most people cringe when they think of
> automatic transmission repair, but really they are easier to work with

than a
> manual. For best fuel economy a manual is the way to go.
>
> D.Mills - Licensed Automotive Technician.
>
>

Thanks for the replies. I have booked it in with my local dealer next week,
I shall report what they have to say. Should it need a replacement
transmission I shall see if Honda (very unlikely) would like to meet me even
half-way towards the cost of repairs.

Although the car is ageing a bit now, it has only 72K miles on it, and had
33K when I bought it three years ago. It has been treated gently during my
ownership which leads me to believe that my treatment of it has extended the
transmission life masking an underlying design or manufacturing defect.
Second to that the dealer, at my request, has changed transmission fluid
more often than the Honda schedule dictates.

I got a quote from an auto transmission specialist here for 1500, which
includes a 12 month unlimited mileage warranty. I don't think it is
unreasonable of me to expect a life beyond 72K miles especially as it's
always been looked after. I will see what the dealer says, but if they won't
help, that will be the last time Honda charge me extortionate amounts of
money for effectively just oil and filter changes.

As an example, the last service cost 359 which was routine (although a 72K
major service). I did not have any parts or labour which were not part of
the regular service.

It may be time to start using a non-Honda for my servicing.



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