Car sometimes stalls in drive

engines
honda
accord
noises
transmissions

#1

I have a 2004 Honda Accord LX. 2.4l. My check engine light came on and since I’m not a great car owner I usually ignore it for a bit unless something feels really wrong. I was driving my friend home when the lights on my dash that show what gear I’m in changed. I was in drive (which always has a red, non-blinking dot) but it switched to show neutral lit up and drive flashing red at the same time. The car felt completely fine so I just kept driving. When I got to my friends house, I turned the car off and back on because sometimes that fixes it (like unplug it and plug it back in). When I turned it back on, it started as normal but as soon as I took it out of park and into drive it stalled. I turned it off and on a few times and the third or fourth time it went into drive, with neutral lit up and drive flashing red. I continued driving for about a week and it did the same thing every time I started it, sometimes it wouldn’t stall but would just flash in drive, sometimes it would stall once and then the next time was fine or it took up to five times. I went in to get my check engine codes since my Dad looked at the engine and couldn’t see anything outside of normal. My oil was fine, transmission fluid was fine, everything was normal as far as him looking at it. The codes pulled up that something was wrong with my transmission and the guy told me to check the fluid, so we did again and it was fine. I’m not experiencing any other issues with the car. Sometimes it’s a little shaky when I start it or when I’m braked in drive for a while (like waiting in a drive through line or traffic) and I will hear a little bit or rattling but that has been happening since before the light turned on. I don’t want to have to buy a whole new transmission because of how expensive they are so I wanted to see if anyone else had any ideas before I tried that.


#2

Transmission mount? shaking is a symptom but other stuff can cause this as well.


#3

It would matter what codes were retrieved - specifically. Also what does your owners manual say about the meanings of those various warning lights you have seen?

It does seem like a trans issue. Maybe it’s a simple fix like a solenoid mounted in the side of the trans. But it seems like the car has not been carefully cared for and it may now be a more expensive trans problem.

Shaking could be motor or trans mounts, or an ignition or fuel problem. Rattling is often heat shields around the exhaust system.


#4

You best path is to have an experienced repair shop tech diagnose what’s going on. You might decide after you know what’s causing the problem to fix it yourself, let the repair shop tech fix it, or take it to a pro transmission shop. If you want to try something yourself first, a proper transmission service is where I’d start. That means to replace the transmission fluid with fresh, and the transmission filter too, if that’s easily done as part of fluid replacement. (I don’t think it is easy for this car; if so, skip the filter replacement.) If this helps but doesn’t fix it entirely, do it again after 100 miles or so. Make sure to use Honda’s recommended trans fluid.

An alternative is to post the actual codes that were retrieved from the computer’s diagnostic memory.