2003 Honda Accord transmission problem

honda
accord

#1

I have 2003 Honda accord 230K km on it. Recently, I am having trouble in speeding up from 40km/h. I have to push in gas a few time before it speeds up and once it does, it runs smoothly again. It is kind of stuck at 40 and takes effort to move up. I took it to Canadian Tire and they say transmission needs to be replaced and would cost $2800. Is it worth to get it replaced? or could it be fixed in any cheaper way because right now I cannot afford this a new car. I know nothing about cars, pls help.


#2

Depends upon the condition of the rest of the car. The motor has 230k on it now. IMHO, adios and buy another. Obviously a second opinion is in order. But moving on would be in the cards if they agree.


#3

+1 for @dagosa. Canadian Tire is no place to get a transmission diagnosis. Do you go to the dentist if you have heart problems…no.


#4

So would taking it to the Honda dealership be a reliable place to get a diagnosis?


#5

I would suggest that you take it to a Honda dealer and have the ATF changed, just a drain and refill with the new DM1 ATF. Do not trust a tire shop on this. 230K km is only 142k miles and this is nothing for a Honda.

If you use an independent mechanic, buy the ATF from a Honda dealer and take it to the independent and what ever you do, do not allow an independent, no matter how good, hook up his flush or fluid exchange machine to your transmission. The independent’s machine will have a generic ATF in it and it will ruin your transmission. Just have a drain and refill. Best done at a Honda dealer.

The trouble may have nothing to do with the transmission either. Is the engine reving up but the car not going any faster or is the engine just not responding to changes in the throttle?


#6

@ keith…engine is reving up but ar does not go any faster for few seconds, its goes at constant 40km/h, and after few pushes at the gas pedal it gains speed with a slight jerk and works smoothly, no jerks


#7

Try the fluid change first. Have you had the ATF changed in the past? If not, you are way overdue.


#8

140K miles is nothing for some Hondas. But what were the nightmare years for the Accord transmissions? Wasn’t 2003 in that mix? Or were things straightened out by then? Either way - yes, a tire place is not the kind of place to ask about a transmission issue.


#9

Note that Honda recommends drain/refill 3 times to make sure almost all of the old fluid is gone. The dealer will know that, but another mechanic may not. Ask anyone you get a quote from, including the dealer, what their process is. You don’t want the dealer cheaping out even though he knows better.


#10

@cigroller : I think 2003 is the range of the problematic transaxles but I think it was mainly in the Odyssey minivans. Heavy van + light duty transaxle = early failure.


#11

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Odyssey and Accord had the same transmission or virtually the same. This has been part of the problem with minivan transmissions all along. They’re not really “mini-vans” but instead are “maxi-wagons” and carry the same drivetrains as a company’s mid-sized sedans. Either way, I do know that the late 90s to early '00s were bad for Accords as well as Odysseys in transmission terms, though I can’t say for sure that they were the same transmissions. I just don’t know when the Accords got straightened out.

This came out of a quick search and seems to indicate that '03 Accords are in the mix: http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/08/honda-transmission-problems-seem-to-persist/?_r=0


#12

@keith…Never had the ATF changed before.Checked the transmission dipstick, fluid is low.


#13

OK, you need to let the dealer do the 3 drain and refill procedure with the new DM1 fluid, lot cheaper than a new transmission. I think that will solve your problem.

This transmission is pretty reliable when mated to the 4 cylinder in an Accord.


#14

@missileman I would agree that you need a second opinion. I would not beliebe anyhting Canadian Tire says about transmissions, especially Honda’s.

A replacement for $2800 sounds too cheap; it must be a used one. You need to go to an independent transmission shop, not a chain. Stay away from AAMCO, Sears Automotive and any general repair shop.


#15

Transmission fluid doesn’t get used up or burned, so if it was low then when you have it serviced you also have to tell them that so they can find the leak.


#16

It may not be low. If the OP checked it while the engine was running or with the engine off and cold, the ATF will appear to be a little low. It is measured with the engine hot and off. If you don’t burn your hand, you didn’t do it right.

One reason the new DM1 ATF was developed was that the old Z1 formula would cause a delay in shifting when cold, especially after the ATF aged.


#17

Transmission problem years for the Accord were 98 to 02. When they switched over to the new generation in 03 they seem to have fixed the tranny issues. My two Accords were an 00 and a 99 but both were stick shift so I never had any transmission issues. The 99 is still on the road at 207K miles.