2009 Honda Civic transmission

I own a 2009 Honda Civic coupe…right under 69,000 miles. I have been planning to sell/trade this car for a Subaru, so I guess I’m wondering what my best options are given the following:

The issue:
I am not a car person but this is what has been explained as the problem - Valve body is bleeding off pressure at the engagement. It’s an internal transmission leak.

What the mechanic said:
Because it’s an internal leak the transmission needs to be taken apart to repair then be put back together.

So at this point I’m just wondering if I should:

  1. pay the $3000 and get new parts for the transmission/3 year warranty and then sell it
  2. pay $2500 for a simple repair of the leak w/ rebuild and then sell it
  3. buy/find a used transmission and have that installed for probably around $1500 - $1800
  4. or, just take it in as is and see what I can get for it?

Thank you for your help!

What are the symptoms?

The car struggles to shift into second gear, making a large noise with that gear change. The engine light is on and the green D light indicating that it is in drive is flashing. It also can’t go into top gear, stopping in 4th gear and revving up high RPM’s without shifting higher.

The car is an automatic by the way.

If someone was actually able to tell you that the pressures were bleeding off, I lean toward trusting that on the face of it just because it means they are competent enough to know about line pressures and how to check them.

However, I would also say that anything like this is worth a second opinion. What kind of mechanic was it? Was it a shop that specializes in transmissions? If so, was it a locally owned and independent shop with a known-good reputation? Or was it a “big-name” nation-wide chain shop?

In addition to checking line pressures, other things were probably checked, including reading error codes. Do you know if any error codes were found?

The thing is that the pressures inside are supposed to go up and down depending on other conditions. (In the most general sense, higher throttle = higher pressures / lower throttle = lower pressures). Some of those conditions have nothing to do with the internals of the transmission. Some involve interactions between the internal and external stuff. Good transmission diagnosis is tough and specialized.

I just hate to see people get whole new transmissions for want of something as simple as a functional throttle position sensor or similar.

Do you own the car or are you still making payments on it? I would forget the Subaru, repair the car you have and drive it for another 100K miles…

Provided you’ve no reason to believe the transmission is otherwise damaged (say from an accident, severe driving conditions, etc), I’d be inclined to just have the existing transmission repaired rather than installing another one. Best not to introduce new variables. Whether to spend the extra $500, it isn’t clear what you are getting for that. If it’s just the 3 year warranty, to me I’d take the risk and keep my $500 to spend on something fun, like a trip to Las Vegas.

IMHO your best economic option is to repair it and drive it another 100,000 miles.
However, for whatever reason, you seem to have your heart set on a Subie. And in the end, the heart wants what the heart wants. You haven’t indicated that any of the choices are hampered by economics, so I’ll assume you’re not of necessity having to squeeze the most bang from the bucks.

Under these circumstances, I’d trade it as-is, saying nothing to the dealer. If he asks, just shrug. It’s his responsibility as a dealer to assess and determine risk in accepting the car as a trade.

This is not one of Honda’s trouble prone transmissions. My question is if you have owned this car since new, have you let anyone other than a Honda dealer change the ATF (transmission fluid) in it? The symptoms can be attributed to someone using the wrong type ATF, only Honda ATF can be used, or it was hooked up to a powered flush machine, or both.

If you have had a chain shop like an oil change place talk you into an ATF change, then you need to do two things. First go to a Honda dealer and have them do the three drain and fills with the new DW-1 ATF. Then inform the owner of the oil change place that they owe you a new transmission for the damage they did and you will be taking them to court. Make that three things, get a lawyer.