Automatic Transmission Problem

I am having problem with my 1993 Honda Accord automatic transmission. Every time I shift the gear to drive (or any other gear except the reverse gear), the car move for 10 yards but eventually stops moving. Strangely enough when it happens, the only gear that seems to work is the reverse gear. What could be the problem?

You need to have this car towed to an independent transmission shop for evaluation, as it is likely that the trans needs to be overhauled. However, before you do that, can we confirm that you have at least checked the level, the color, and the odor of the trans fluid?

If the trans fluid was not faithfully changed every 3 yrs/30k, it is a miracle that the transmission has lasted for 16 years, but even if it was serviced as it should be, it would not be impossible for the clutches in that trans to simply wear out after so many years.

I think that it is time for you to begin thinking about whether it is worthwhile to possibly spend ~$2,000 for repairs to this car.

Thank you for your response. I checked the transmission fluid, it seems to be full, the color is dark brown. The smell is hard to distinguish, it’s smell kind of a burn oil with a strong chemical odor. Well I don’t know if it is useful. You are probably right, if I need to overhaul the transmission, it is probably not worth it, the car is quite old, I bought five years ago for $3,300.

Thank you for your help.

Sounds to me like that fluid is dead. You will likely end up needing the trans overhaul.

If it were me, I would drop the pan, inspect, change filter & refill. Then if it wasn’t dead yet, drain & refill again w/in about 5k miles. But that’s me doing the work so its cheap. Its also unlikely to solve anything.

So in the end I’d go with VDC’s suggestion & say that you need a trans shop - local, independent - no corporate chain shops.

The first clutch failed for some reason, either a bad clutch, or a clutch seal or sealing ring is leaking. This is most likely the reason for the burned fluid. A fluid change is not going to cure your problem.