How can I prevent the automatic transmission from failing other than fluid change?
make no “jack rabbit starts” and in general, threat the 17 years old car accordingly to its age?
If I knew how to keep an automatic transmission from failing I could become very rich.
All-too-many drivers treat their gas and brake pedals in a strictly binary–all on or all off–manner. While there are certainly times when one needs to accelerate very fast, and to suddenly brake, for “normal” driving it is better for the transmission to accelerate gently, and to coast to a stop as much as is safe before applying the brake.
that never prevented people who did NOT know that, but CLAIM they do to get there
Changing the fluid is really about all you can do. Almost all Accords have automatic transmissions, and unless you do something really silly like revving in neutral and dumping into drive, change fluids and be happy. I changed the AT fluid in my 2005 Accord EX V6 at about 40,000 mile intervals and traded it in at 187,000 miles. The used car manager remarked about how well the engine and transmission performed at that high mileage. Honda does recommend changing the AT fluid at 25,000 miles if your car sees only severe service, though. Mine was almost all highway mileage in the Mid-Atlantic, not severe service.
Agree! Also, don’t tow anything with a Honda; their transmissions are the weak points. Having said that there are many happy Honda owners with high mileage vehicles who just drive carefully and do the maintenance.
The Accord had a transmission defect in 2003 as I think the OP knows. Having had an '03 Accord in which the transmission did fail, I’d say get rid of it and move to your next vehicle if you still can, or be prepared for the end of its life to come if the trans does fail. It’s 17 years old now. It is fully depreciated. Meaning it has given its owner a full lifetime of operation.
Be sure to use only genuine Honda fluid.