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Honda Insight transmission issue (1 of MANY issues)

I have a 2012 insight, and have already been through the common oil excessive consumption issue, as well as had a replaced driver airbag. Just got it back after three months at the dealership, with a new engine (due to the oil consumption issue). I didn’t notice this immediately, but I now feel it is harder to get the shifter into D than it was previously. I’ve only driven 1-2 times max before noticing it. Performance of the transmission in motion seems completely normal.

Honestly, could be my imagination, and I have been away from the car for 3 months. It slips easily through R and N and then catches a little and requires more force to move into D. Normal? Am I being hypersensitive? Could there have been some adjustment in the course of replacing the engine that is making it a little harder? I checked the transmission fluid, which has been replaced by me once in the 4.5 years and 50k that I have driven the car. (I’m the original owner). It seems to be in the right place, and is completely clear, as apparently it should be.

I really don’t want to go back to dealer, especially after the torment they put me through on the engine. But I also don’t want to ignore the start of a real problem. Any help appreciated!

I’d take it back. The engine is hooked up to the transmission, and they had to take the transmission off of the old engine and put it on the new one when they did the engine swap. So it’s completely plausible that they messed something up, or that some part failed/is failing and is causing the problem.

From “OFF”, turn your key to “RUN” without starting it. Foot on brake, now move the shifter through its positions. Still harder into “D”?

Hi Insightful, Thanks for your response. I did what you said and it is
still harder into D when in the run position, but not running. That tells
you something?


You might want to drop the contact info. Bots ‘scrub’ the internet for this constantly.

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It tells me the shift linkage or cable is binding. @shadowfax is right, it needs to go back to the dealer as its likely they had a hand in causing it. You may hate the dealership but it is your right to have the job done correctly without the dealership screwing anything else up.

Thanks very much!

OK - will do. Can’t tell you how many hours I have already spent in their waiting room though! Thanks for the advice.

I have to agree but its not a serious thing. Its just whatever is connected between the shift lever and the transmission. Its either a cable or metal rods. Maybe the cable bent or misrouted or something but the transmission itself doesn’t really care. If you really don’t want to go back for fear that they might screw something else up, and want to pay for it yourself, a trans shop or regular mechanic should be able to take a look see without much problem. Just mention the shift linkage is sticking going to drive.

That’s good to hear for sure. I do have another mechanic who has worked out well in the past (non-dealership) - maybe paying him and knowing I’ll get an honest piece of work without the hassle involved in the dealership. Thanks!

Yeah, it does point to the linkage. I can detect no difference for my 2010 Insight (67,000 miles). First, try get them to agree that it is harder into “D” (at any rate, your visit will document your complaint). They might say, “Give it a few weeks to loosen up.” At least it’s documented if it gets worse.