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2000 Civic slipping into neutral from drive or reverse suddenly

it’s a 2000 honda civic EX. I pulled into a parking spot and slowed down, then decided to speed back up and when I accelerated it was like the car was in neutral. No gear would drive. Turned off the engine and re started and it shifted and did fine then about a 1/4 mile down the road the same thing happened. It just switched into neutral. The transmission fluid is full and clean and the filter has been changed. There was no warning signs at all. Any ideas?

The only caveat I can think of is last week at 15 mph my front passenger wheel fell off after someone replaced a tire. I traveled less than 10 feet on the wheel. But didn’t think the transmission would be low enough to hit the ground.

At first I thought transmission clutch but it would be doing it in one direction? Then I thought maybe a pump? Or could it be a sensor or the torque converter. It’s weird. Any input would be GREATLY appreciated. -John

You say the filter has been changed on the transmission. How long ago was this done, and how long before that had it been done?

I have heard numerous stories over the year of folks neglecting their transmissions, only to remember and change the fluid & filter (or screen,) and have their transmission fail shortly thereafter.

Is the Check Engine light on?

And is the D4 light blinking?


No check engine light. It came on for a couple hours a month ago and went off on its own. Not sure what the d4 light is but don’t see anything blinking.

I had the fluid and filter changed several months/miles back and the issue started this morning.

I checked the shift solenoid. It checks out but I never could get power from the plug coming from the engine. Does anyone know when I should get a signal from that plug?

What type of fluid was used?
If it wasn’t genuine Honda-spec trans fluid purchased from a Honda dealer, rather than a generic “just as good fluid”, that could certainly explain your transmission problems.

It’s possible the wheel falls off incident might be related. That would put some forces on the transmission it normally wouldn’t encounter. But the two may be totally unrelated, just a coincidence. Hard to say.

My guess, your tranny has reached the end of its useful life from normal wear and tear & you’re looking a needing a transmission rebuilt. My Ford truck had the same symptoms, it wouldn’t engage in D, but act like it was in N, even though the shift lever was in D. A tranny rebuild fixed the problem straight away. Other than the hit to your wallet, not a big deal. The tranny is designed so that it is possible to replace the wearing parts. The shop just buys a rebuild kit and installs it is all.

No harm to try to fix it on your own. But expect tough going. If self-diagnosis doesn’t work, suggest to take it to a well recommended tranny shop and ask for a proper diagnosis. If you feel lucky you could do a few repeat fluid and filter services, see if that helps. Do 3 of them in sequence say, about a week apart of normal driving.