1999 Honda Civic with shot transmission?

I am a young driver and my aunt and uncle have a 99 Honda Civic EX that they are willing to give to me. It has 203,000 miles and an AUTOMATIC transmission. However my dad is a stickler and my uncle says the transmission is shot. Receiving the car for free, would it be worth my while to have it fixed?

My uncle says that it runs and drives fine, it just seems to shift oddly or something like that.

The 99 Civic I think still has the transmission cable that goes from the throttle body to a bell crank on the side of the transmission. If this cable has any slack in it, the transmission can slip a little on each shift. The quality of the transmission fluid also affects shift quality.

Check the cable and adjust to just take up the slack, no more. Then change the transmission fluid using only Honda ATF.

Thanks keith. I spoke to my uncle and he said that “when it heats up it loses motivation. When i let it cool down it’ll go into drive again” he also mentioned that it was running fine one day and then it didn’t want to go.

Sorry but that sounds like a bigger problem than “shifts oddly”. You could try the cable and the fluid change, but I would hold out too much hope. You might also try flushing out the transmission cooling lines in the radiator, but do not flush the transmission itself.

Well, if it is free and the engine and the rest of the car is in decent shape, then I will take it and throw in a used or rebuilt transmission and drive on. If you get the cost ~ $1000, that is like 4 car payments max.

Thanks for inviting me to comment on the thread, although actually I am more here to get advice from others. I am not an expert in any sense but I’d be happy to try to give some advice :slight_smile:

I don’t know enough to comment on the transmission issue but if it were me, I would not accept a vehicle that shifts oddly. A couple questions. Are you getting this car because you want it or need it? If you don’t need it, I would suggest not accepting this car. I am assuming you are low on funds because you are a young driver accepting a car with over 200K. If low funds is an issue, I would remind you that an “older” (in a miles sense) car like this is going to need some maintenance. There are many factors to consider. Are your aunt and uncle the original owners of this car? Has it been well maintained? Is it up for any major maintenance?

Consider this: Suppose the car is free, but it needs new tires (several hundred $), new trans (1000 $), new timing belt (several hundred $). Do you live in a state with strict emissions standards? If so, does the car pass smog? If not, you are looking at more $. Sorry to second-guess your family members, but I would double check to be sure they’ve owned the car during its whole “lifetime” and have been keeping up on the maintenance.

Good luck :slight_smile:

This “free” civic might need $1,500 to 2,000 in repairs immediately. This means is really isn’t free. If you have that kind of money it might be a decent car. You need to get the transmission issue evaluated by a good mechanic to determine if it is a little problem, or a major problem.

Free car and a 2k transmission replacement? Show me a better car for 2k, and I will skip the deal.

At 200k miles plus you can bet that car needs things other than a transmission unless it has been meticulously maintained. Since only 1 car in a million receive TLC like that odds are the needs list could be pricy.

Timing belt/water pump/tensioners are a start if it has not been done already. For a DIYer it’s a maybe but with a bad transmission and high mileage it’s a 200 dollar car to someone that wants it.

You could do a stall test if your’re so inclined. This can be done in minutes and if slippage is present the transmission is a goner.

EXCELLENT CAR…EVEN BETTER PRICE…Find your self a used tranny, which should be cake…as there are literally millions of them out there and many with low enough mileage to install in your ride as a used trans. The Tranny job is a 2-3 hour job on the weekend in your driveway. Easy Peasy Japanesey… The tranny should be under 500 bucks easy…Hell I have seen them for 100 or so…But thats me and I’m sort of dialed in… If it were me I’d do it in a second…so I’m not sure I am the right guy to ask about it…bec to me its all no big deal… But even still I think its worthwhile for you to drop a used tranny in there if need be.

Hope I helped you…but cant see how I would have…lol, I apologize.


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