Am I getting the straight dope?

I have a 98 Honda Accord with 75 thousand miles. The shifting is starting to get jerky especially if I increase my acceration. This happens from about 20 mph or faster.

The dealer tells I need a new transmission and that I shouldn’t change the fluid because “that is what is holding the transmission together.” The dealer price is $3500. Money IS a concern.

So what are my options? Is he on the up and up? Can I ignore it for a while or am I asking for trouble if I do? Is there a significantly better solution than forking out $3500? Would I be better off dumping it and getting a cheaper car with better gas milage (18 mpg now)?

Male bovine droppings! Transmission fluid can’t hold a transmission together, and it is an old wives’s tale that changing fluid causes transmission failure (unless the job is botched, of course).

Have you checked the fluid level? Any burned smell or discoloration?

You are a bit overdue for a fluid change, so get it done at an independent shop, not the dealer or chain transmission shop. Make sure the proper Honda-approved fluid is used. I’m not sure about yours, but some Hondas don’t have a replaceable filter.

Oh, and certain Honda and Acura years and models had serious transmission problems to the point of Honda offering an extension of the warranty up to 100K miles. Someone will undoubtedly chime in with the specifics as to whether yours is one of these models/years.

That makes sense. BTW the car is the the V6. At least that is what it says on trunk, but I notice that dealers have decided that V6 is politically incorrect so you will not find that label on their computers. I think it is like an EX or something close to that. It has the Vtech 6 cyl. engine.

A quick Internet search revealed that your car is not covered by the extended transmission warranty, unfortunately.

Are you sure it’s shifting jerkily and it’s not an engine performance problem?