Car not picking speed

Hi, I have 2002 Honda Civic automatic (90k miles).

Yesterday it started stopped moving. Engine starts easily but when I put in Drive / Reverse it doesnt pick up speed … max 20mph for few mins and then totally stops (engine still running - rpm increases). Friends told me it is like clutch plate or something similar which has gone bad… is this right ?

Finally, I got car towed to repair shop at night …

Any idea what could have caused it ? I have habit of changing gear to ‘N’ whenever stop (red light / stop sigh) etc etc … Can this be the reason ?

Thanks and response will be appreciated…


How long have you owned the car?
Have you ever had the transmission fluid changed during your ownership of the car?

If not, then the transmission is probably on its last legs.


Agreed with Bladecutter. You’re in for a transmission repair.

For future reference, if the car starts developing problems like this, pull over and stop right away, and have it towed to the mechanic. If you catch it early enough, there’s a chance of fixing it without involving a major expense. Unfortunately, I doubt that will be the case here.

Thanks for reply. I bought this car (new) in 2002 and first owner till then. I have got few regular big maintainence at dealer (80K miles) like topping off all fluids…

Thanks for reply.

Right now it is @ repair shop. got it towed there, they havent got chance to look @ car yet but will give me a call today with problem / estimate.

Any idea how much this repair cost ?

if it’s a transmission rebuild or replace like we think, expect it to be over a thousand.

It sounds like you never check your transmission fluid. That’s a bad idea. If this problem was due to a fluid leak, you might have caught it early enough for the repair to be inexpensive.

Don’t shift to neutral at each stop. That just adds extra wear to your transmission for no good reason.

I’m not sure where you had the car towed, but the best place for this type of repair is a local transmission shop. A dealer will probably do good work, but the price will be much higher. The chain transmission places aren’t well-regarded by the folks here.

Thanks for reply. I will stop shifting to neutral… thx

I got it towed to nearest repair shop there, they will give me call today with problem and estimate. I always get major services done at dealer, and they always check fluids (thats what they tell). Only thing I do myself is engine oil + filter change…

Lets see what repair shop tells me…

Update : Got call from repair shop … all of you were right … .Its transmission is gone along with clutch pad… it will cost $2k for used one (2004 civic 45k)…

You can do anything at a red light and it probably doesn’t matter. Your car is just the one in a hundred that seems to have a transmission failure. GM cars used to act like that when they were going. They would work normally until the transmission warmed up and then they would quit working. You could get lucky but I have no way to guess these days.

is that just for the part, or for the labor too? If it includes labor, that price isn’t too bad at all. The part itself costs between $1600 and 2 grand depending on where you get it from.

What kind of warranty are they offering on it?

its total cost of used transmission with 90days warranty … i asked if there is any chance of repair… they told me that it is possible but they don’t have resources and told me to try ‘certified transmission’…

so they are the ones who can try to repair it if possible and if not will put rebuild one with 3yrs warranty… so i have got car towed to them … they will give me estimate by today or tomorrow…

2002 model and 90,000 miles on the original transmission fluid. I fear you need a transmission rebuild. Don’t feel too bad. Honda (they all do the same) for some *#$#2 reason has chosen to not bother recommending changing the fluid and the filter. I suspect there is little that you can do now other than pay for the repair.