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Engine runs but not transmission

When I was driving my car the engine was running fine, but all of a sudden there would be no power to the wheels as I was driving. I tried shifting the car down into lower gears, but the car still was just coming to a stop even though I was revving the engine. I was able to limp home because I could turn the car off for about 30 seconds, and when I would start it back up the engine and transmission would work fine together for a few blocks and then I would have the same problem.

I did check my transmission fluid, which was low (at the lower dot when hot). Could this problem be fixed by simply changing and filling the transmission fluid? Or do you think it is something else?

My car is an automatic with about 114,000 miles. At about 98,000 miles I had a full tune-up and my timing belt was replaced.

Is the transmission fluid pink or red without a burnt smell? Has the transmission been properly maintained all along?

The fluid is brown and I did not notice any burnt smell. As far as maintenance goes I did all of the scheduled maintenance on time and I get my oil changed every 3,000 miles and they always check the transmission fluid. The last oil change was about a month and a half ago now so they should have filled up the fluid level and they did not say anything about it needing to be changed. I am a young woman that doesn’t know a whole lot about cars but I make sure to do all of the recommended maintenance so that I can try to avoid situations like I am in now. So, if you recommend additional maintenance of the transmission please let me know.

You didn’t say what year the Honda is, but somewhere in the late 90s early '00s the Accords had terrible troubles with their transmissions. I’d say that you are probably looking at the end of this one and will have to decide whether to fix this car or dump it and get something else.

What you want to do is ask around for the best, most trustworthy local shop and specializes in transmission work - not just a general mechanic, and no corporate chain places. Just a locally owned place that spends most of their time on transmission work. Ask then to check it out.

Once you are back on the road with a functioning car, the best thing to do with an automatic transmission is have a transmission shop drop its pan & change its filter about every 30K miles. This is one thing to ignore your owner’s manual about since it probably has something silly in there like 100K miles or never or something.

It’s a 2004. I will take it in next week, and try to find a mechanic that specializes in transmissions. Maybe I’ll get lucky and the entire transmission won’t need to be replaced… Thanks for the advice both for now and future transmission maintenance.

Brown fluid is bad news. I’d say your transmission is on the way out, unfortunately.

I’m concerned about your comment about them not saying that anything needed to be changed. You seem to have things backwards. Using your owner’s manual, you tell them what needs to be done, not the other way around.

I have done all of the maintenance according to the manual. What I was referring to was that when you get your oil changed they check both the fluid levels and colors. If anything is out of the ordinary then they make a recommendation, and at my last oil change they did not mention any irregularities.

Yeah that is unfortunate. I will take it in to a mechanic next week, but at least now I am prepared for the worst.