1997 CR-V transmission slipping?



My apologies, they did not put the in line filters in until 2003. Even then they are considered lifetime filters. I replaced one on a 2005 because it was easy and I have a hard time trusting that any filter is lifetime.


Many technicians shy away from this procedure


I presume this is a conventional automatic, not cvt. fyi, what happens during a shift inside the transmission is a fluid path is de-pressurized releasing the previous gear’s bands and clutches, then another fluid path is pressurized. This is all controlled by various hydraulic valves and electric solenoid actuators and the drive train computers. That pressure applies a force to the next gear’s bands and clutches, which should immediately engage the next gear. What’s happening for you is the release is occurring ok, but the next engagement isn’t. Common causes are

  • low fluid level
  • low fluid pressure (often due to an internal seal leak or clog)
  • electronic solenoid failure
  • drive train computers
  • worn bands/clutches

Replacing the transmission fluid is a common sense first thing to try for this symptom. It will ensure the level is correct, and the new fluid will replenish the seal conditioners. But it won’t repair a badly worn seal, and it won’t repair worn bands and clutches. Or faulty electronic solenoids.


thanks George, so I can assume that if the fluid change doesn’t help then the next step would be either rebuilding or replacing the transmission? At that point it would be cost prohibitive being that it is a 97 and isn’t worth that much to begin with.


I had a 2005 Accord EX V6. The owner’s manual said to drain the transmission, not flush it. They also said to do it three times to clear the fluid out of the areas that don’t drain. You drive a short ways in between drains to move the fluid out of the valved out areas. If you have the owner’s manual, check to see if this procedure is in there. If not, it might be peculiar to the V6 transmission.

Also, this I-4 engine is old enough to have a timing belt. It should have been changed at least twice now. Do you know when the last time was? If not, it might make sense to do it now if your daughter plans to keep the CR-V for a while. This is an interference engine, and the valves will bump into one another causing severe damage if the timing belt breaks while driving.


Yes, the timing belt was replaced just a little before we got it. We had a shop confirm it just to be sure. Thanks for asking.


If the fluid change helps but doesn’t solve it entirely, then one or two more fluid changes is in order probably. You can’t change all the fluid in one drain and refill. If there’s no improvement with the refill procedure, then you could either decide to quit, or take it to a transmission shop for an evaluation. They’ll measure the fluid pressures at the various ports, and will be able to determine if you have any transmission diagnostic codes. Sometimes a transmission can be rejuvenated by changing out an electronic solenoid. Another possibility the shop may recommend is rebuilding just the valve body, and leaving the bands and clutches in place. If you are interested there’s an article in the 4.19 issue of Hot Rod Magazine about how to rebuild the valve body of a Ford C6 automatic transmission. Not that this is something you’d do I expect. For one thing your transmission is designed differently than a C6. But it might give you some ideas what’s possible without a complete rebuild. Other than dealing with keeping track of a zillion bits and pieces, rebuilding a C6 valve body doesn’t look to be that difficult. I expect a precocious 10 year old kid could do it with just a little help w/the heavy lifting from an adult.


What sounds cheaper?

Change the transmission fluid all at once and see what happens?

Or? Do partial fluid changes over an extended period of time?

Guess which one costs more if you hire it out?



I’m not sure what you are saying Tester. I do plan to do several fluid changes to see if that helps first. I’m just saying I’m not sure buying a new transmission or rebuilding it would be worth the cost on a 20 plus year old car. I might just get something different for her if it requires a new transmission at some point.


That’s what I’ve always done in the past when tranny acted up on a clunker, just changed the fluid and drove it to the grave. Fluid change never ever helped, but didn’t hurt.