1998 accord w/198k miles - rough going from 1st to 2nd

Hello, hoping someone can give some insight before taking my car to the mechanic.

I have a 1998 Honda Accord LX with automatic transmission and roughly 199K miles on it. As of a few days ago, I started noticing a jolt/rough upshift from 1st to 2nd gear. This only happens when the engine has been running for a while; at start-up the car, the upshift from 1st to 2nd is smooth.

I have no problems with downshifting or going from 2nd higher.

Any ideas?

When, if ever, was the last time the transmission fluid was serviced?


Not to mention basic maintenance items as outlined in the manual. Plugs filters belts, fluids etc.

It looks like it’s not that the motor is warm that causes it, more like the amount of shifts between the gears. In the morning I was stuck in traffic for about 20 miles which took 1+ hr to cover and had to go through a lot of 1st to 2nd upshifts. In the afternoon, with no traffic (no stop and go driving) after 20 miles I came to a street light and on acceleration there was no jolt/rough upshift.

As seen below, my last ATF change was 8k miles ago.

198K - replaced cracked radiator, added new coolant, replaced front rotors/pads, replaced rear brake shoes
190k - change ATF
197k - oil/filter change (and going back every 3-4k)
186k - new starter
170k - spark plugs, air filter, ATF, coolant, EFI cleaner, distributor cap/rotor
161k - ATF, front brake pads, clean rear brakes
143k - new cat. converter, replaced 3x evap valves
123k - front brake pads, clean rear brakes
113k - replace timing belt, water pump, drive belts, V/C gasket, seals
112k - ATF, EFI cleaner, coolant, distributer cap/rotor, spark plug wire set

Have your transmission checked to see if it has a filter. If it does, have the ATF drained and the filter replaced.

The 1998 transmission doesn’t have a serviceable filter that I myself can change; the transmission would have to be opened up.

I’m going to change the ATF on Saturday. Since the hour long stop-and-go traffic a few days ago I haven’t had such rough upshifts primarily because I haven’t been stuck in traffic.

One other thing, MAKE SURE YOU USE HONDA FLUID!!! This is very important with Hondas.