2005 Honda CRV Torque Converter/transmission

This car just turned 100,000 miles. With increasing frequency for brief periods of time 2-10 seconds it kind of shudders - the experience is like you are running over those bumps that are in highways to warn you about a stop sign coming up. This happens at all speeds. I have had the car into the shop three times and finally they are telling me that I need a new torque converter and they recommend a new transmission. The bill would be $4,000. The mechanic called it ‘whinging’. We can’t afford all this work. Is the recommendation reasonable and how c\long can I drive it the way it is. It has been doing this for the last or so.

It does sort of sound like torque converter shudder. It happens when the TC can’t quite decide to either be locked or unlocked. Usually the symptom is noticed most around 35-55 mph, more often when the speed is changing rather than at a steady speed. If you trust the shop’s diagnosis, you could just replace the TC and see if that fixes the problem. None of the symptoms would necessarily mean the transmission is the problem. It could be, but you might get lucky and get it fixed just by replacing the TC. That’s probably what I do in this situation.

There are several things I would do first, if you haven’t already.

  1. Trans fluid and filter change.
  2. Add some Dr. Tranny’s Shudderfixx

If that doesn’t work, then proceed to have the torque converter repaired/replaced.

Is the Check Engine light on?

Usually when there’s a problem with the torque converter clutch, it’ll cause the Check Engine light to come on.


When was the last trans fluid change? If more than 30,000 miles ago, I’d try that first.

This is a good sign of rear differential fluid needing changed if its all wheel drive. Also insightful is correct have the transmission fluid serviced with Honda fluid only use nothing else or any additives! Also the rear differential uses a little over a quart of special honda only fluid as well.

Yes, by all means change the rear diff fluid if you haven’t done so every 30k miles. But as a CRV owner, the usual symptom of rear diff trouble that I’m aware of is a whining noise, not a shudder.

Here’s more about the CRV shudder due to torque converter clutch problems:

Honda transmissions are very sensitive to fluid type/fluid age, and if someone put in non-Honda fluid, or the fluid has not been changed every 30k miles, that could be the cause of the shudder. Hopefully new fluid and anti-shudder additive will do the trick for you as it did for this CRV owner:

We have a 2006 CRV which at 75,000KM is now starting to shudder. The dealer recommends a transmission oil flush to start with and if that fails, a Torque Converter replacement as some $3,000+.Not sure yet what this includes but reading all of these posts, it looks like we will be up for considerab;e cost.”

“UPDATE : Took the Hinda to a transmission specialist. He used a proper flush machine to replace the fluid and he included an additive with the new fluid to remove any ‘brassing’ in the torque converter. Running as new again.”

Brassing in the torque converter…You learn something new every day…!! I think I would be shopping for a new car…