My 2001 Honda Accord just started with noticeable transmission problems late last year. It is not the usual. For the first 5 minutes, it will rev very high going from 1st to 2d (I now know to let off the gas) and then snaps your head off when it shifts after about a second. Next gear is the same. After 5 to 6 minutes, it drives perfectly. If it sits over two hours after warming up, same thing. I have learned to drive it as if it were a manual, letting off the gas as it I were putting in the nonexistent clutch and waiting until the treansmission shifts on its own. The car has 66K miles on it now, has been maintained and I had the transmission fluid changed when this became unbearable in Nov, 2009. They said they saw more than the usual amount of metal and want to sell me a rebuilt tranny. That’s when I learned of the many probs Honda has had with this car. Naturally it’s just past the extended warranty. I am wondering if it’s really the tranny since it drives like normal after it warms up. What else could cause this shifting problem that wouldn’t require a new tranny?
It sounds like the motor is running properly, no hesitation and no stalling mentioned in the post. Seems like the transmission is the culprit. I don’t think there is much you can do other than drive it until it fails completely.
If it were mine I would try a complete flush and refill with genuine Honda ATF. Off brand fluid can cause these kinds of problems. In Nov. 2009 was the transmission serviced by a Honda dealer? If yes, don’t bother with another fluid change. If no, take to a good independant trans shop. Get the pan dropped and cleaned. Put a new filter in place then flush out all the old fluid and refill is genuine Honda fluid.
This flush could just finish off the trans once and for all. Or, it might help it last another year or two. There is a risk to doing the flush. Dropping the pan, cleaning it and refilling with genuine Honda fluid and new filter is less risky, but less likely to help.
I think a trans overhaul is you final answer.
If you hear from transman, do whatever he says!
Our shop has worked on Hondas with automatic transmissions for over 25 years. Honda has had many different problems with different models across that time. There are some constants however. Few if any independent transmission shops or dealer trained technicians have ever been able to rebuild them reliably. Many problems are solved by changing the fluid and using only the Honda supplied product. Hondas have never had filters that you can service, you’ll have the whole transmission apart before you can even see it. Honda also does not recommend transmission flushing. Since only about a third of the fluid can be drained (2/3 remains in the torque converter and transmission) you may have to do several changes in short intervals if the fluid is particularly dirty. One change is sufficient to restore the additive package and normal shifting on many cars.
Still the sad fact is that if problems cannot be addressed by simple fluid changes with the correct fluid then only a rebuilt trans will solve the problem. Recently Honda has been supplying rebuilt transmissions with factory warranties for a reasonable price. They can be installed by a dealer or an independent shop. If you have not had any flashing transmission warning lights it is very likely that your problem can be solved with the proper fluid.
Not sure if the 2001 has a throttle cable that goes from the throttle body to the bell crank on the side of the transmission. It was on the 90’s transmission and the 2000, sometime after that, the design changed.
If you have one, it has to be adjusted so that there is no slack in it at the idle position, no tension either, just taunt.
If its got metal in it, its more than likely in the valve body, pump and linear solenoid screens etc. Nothing you can do but rebuild in this situation. This transmission has no pan, it is a 3 piece case. It is fully electronic so there is no throttle valve cable.