1991 Honda Accord RPM issues

I got this car from my older brother who had this car for about 2 years, 2 years ago. According to him, it has a minor oil problem in which about 1QT of oil needs to be added every month or two. The problem with this car is is that it will, at random, turn to D3, 2 or 1 internally and the green sports light in the bottom right-hand corner will light up. This is an issue because if I am at a stop light or an exit from a parking lot, I may not be able to pull out as fast as normal and may get in an accident because the car isn’t acting normal. There’s also the issue of high RPM = high gas usage but with normal usage.

If the tachometer is showing higher RPMs than normal for a given speed, that is a very strong indicator of slippage in the transmission–and that is not good. Then, if you couple that reality with your statement that the transmission randomly shifts to an inappropriate gear, that reinforces the concept of transmission problem(s).

Your best bet would be to have the transmission checked by an independent trans shop.
DO NOT go to AAMCO, Lee Myles, Cottman, Mr. Transmission, or any other transmission chain unless you want to be told that you need a new/rebuilt transmission–whether you really do or not.

However, before you take the car to the trans shop, it would behoove you to check the transmission dipstick, as it is possible that the problem(s) are merely related to a low trans fluid level. In addition to looking at the level of the fluid, you should assess both the color and the odor of the fluid. It should be red, not brown. And, it should not have a “burnt” odor. Unfortunately, I suspect that you are going to find negative results on the dipstick, but…

In any event, if it turns out that the transmission needs to be rebuilt, then you need to assess your finances. The cost of a rebuilt transmission would be several times the book value of the car, hence it is not worth spending the big bucks for a rebuilt trans on this 20 year old car.

Good luck!

Bad ground on the water pump. This is what happened to a guy I work with. He cleaned the connection at the water pump and all is well.

OK, maybe I should have said it FEELS like it’s changing to D3, etc. In any case, the transmission fluid does look a bit brown-ish from the leg-deep-located dipstick. I couldn’t actually find a small tank like the brake fluid and power steering. I also should mention my brother changed the transmission from the original stick-shift/manual to automatic within the first week he had it.

knfenimore: isn’t the water pump for the water cooling? the engine isn’t getting past the middle area of the temp gauge.

Finally took it to the shop on monday and the mechanic said the car is fine. be sure to look for it on ebay or craigslist some time soon. bullard/east texas.

update: my brother took a look at the car and started it while it was cold. sure enough the car made the noise and he says i need a new/replacement solenoid in where I shift from park, reverse, drive, etc. what does one look like? I think there are a few junk yards within 40mi and I might call them to see if they have a similar car but i need to know what the specific part looks like so i know i’m not being cheated or anything.