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Old 04 Dec 2012, 06:32 pm
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Default 1991 Honda Accord "S" light on? Safe to drive?

I drive a 91 honda accord, 202K miles. It's been running strong for many years, but today I was driving and it seemed to slip into 3rd. I thought it went to neutral on accident, but it was still in D4. The S light had just come on. I think that this is a TCU problem from all my reading on it, but I don't know for sure. It has all those symptoms, but again, not sure. it still drives fine, it's just that it seems to be starting in 3rd gear, but if i use the T shifter it goes fine into whatever gears. The cost of a new TCU is like $241 at autozone...that's expensive for me, i'm 16 and in school, it's hard to cough up 250. Is there anything else I can do to repair or diagnose it without having to replace that? and is it safe to drive it how it is short distances?
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Old 04 Dec 2012, 06:47 pm
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 67

There is a sensor in the transmission that can cause that problem. If a bit of metal hits the magnet on the sensor (and there most likely is a bit of metal flakes in the fluid on a transmission that old) then the car will not shift correctly or may go into neutral.

Pull the sensor out and clean it with a rag. If you continue to have problems you may want to change the fluid (the filter is not serviceable) or have the entire transmission flushed.
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Old 04 Dec 2012, 07:04 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 551

Is the S light flashing? If so you can pull the codes and see what the problem is. A bad tcu is somewhat common, I would check the junkyard before shelling out $240 for a new one.
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