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Is the shop taking me for a reid?

Bear with me because this is going to be a long one. I have a 2002 Acura TL which I had the transmission rebuilt for $1600 a year ago. It came with a 2 year/24,000 mile warranty. When we were about 2,000 miles before the warranty (I drive a ton so I had already put 22,000 miles on it since the replacement), the same problems that we brought the car in for initially started happening again. It’s like it has trouble finding the gears, the RPM runs higher than usual, and then it slams into the gear (whole car feels like it goes back then forward). We called the shop and since we were in a cold snap (we live down south), they blamed it on that. The shop is approximately 600 miles from us, so it’s not like I can just drop it off to get it checked out. They said if we had any problems within the next few months, even if it was over mileage they would take care of it. Once it warmed up, the problem didn’t present again.

Fast forward 3 months, and we are moving from to near where the shop is. On the move down, I notice the car seems like it starts shifting hard out of nowhere on the freeway. With a minute, the RPMs are hitting 4-5 and the service engine light comes on. Immediately I stop the car and notice that there is transmission fluid all over the ground and tires. A mechanic happened to be at the gas station and he said that is some shoddy workmanship. We call the shop and have to get it towed 200 miles. At this point, we are over the 24,000 miles. At first the shop tries to say that we must have had the transmission worked on at a different shop, because it is a different color than what they put it. I inform them that the only place the car has been is Discount Tire, who only put on tires, so I don’t they played around with my transmission.

They act like they are going to do us a favor and just make us pay for parts. I didn’t feel like arguing and since they said it will be under $200 I agree. When we pick it up, he says that he flushed the transmission and repaired the shift linkage. He tells us the transmission should be good for at least a year or two. The service engine light is still on and when I inquire about this they say it’s unrelated to the transmission and just because of some dirty fluid. Don’t worry about it they said. The bill is $350.

200 miles later, I’m driving the car and the initial problem presents (having trouble changing gears, higher RPM, slamming into gear). I call the shop and they tell me to bring it back in. They say it should be fine to drive, I must have asked 6 times if they were sure and they said it will be fine. In the morning, I leave to drive it in. Within 2 miles, the TBS light comes on and the D5 light is blinking and it’s shifting even harder than before. I call the shop and leave a message (since it’s 5:30 am) and say there’s no way that I’m driving it in. They call back and tell me I have to pay for yet another tow. At this point, they inform me that he MADE the part for the shift linkage since he would have had to buy an entire new shifter assembly otherwise. So apparently the free labor they had given me was bull. I can’t imagine new fluid when you flush a transmission and a made part could have cost $350, so I must have been charged for labor.

Before I take it in, I stop at an AutoZone and have them give me a print out with the codes. They are:

P1607 PCM Internal Circuit Malfunction
P0740 Automatic Transaxle Lockup Clutch System Malfunction
P1751 A/T Hydraulic Pressure Control Malfunction (Mechanical)
P1710 A/T First Hold Switch Circuit Malfunction

After they take a look at it, they initially say they are going to go to a junkyard and try and find a shift linkage. They try and say we must have spilled something in the shifter that made it break. I told them that’s impossible because I replaced the piece that goes around and helps to protect the shifter before I even drove it off the property. Apparently my $350 didn’t include them popping that piece back in. They call a few hours later and tell us that is not the only problem. They say we need a new 3rd gear assembly and that possibly the PCM needs to be replaced.

They offer to give a discount,give us back half of the $350 we paid last time and that without the PCM it would be between $450-$600. They aren’t sure that this will fix the problem though, and we may need to at least replace the PCM as well. Since I’ve never seen a shop offer to pay for part of a repair for no reason and give a partial refund, it makes me thing that they may have caused the damage. I don’t know a lot about transmissions but I’m trying to educate myself so I can understand if they are trying to pull one over on me. I can’t imagine it’s very common to make a part and since he said the shift linkage had to do with voltage, I was curious if that could have potentially caused damage. I appreciate anyone who took the time to read this. I’m at a loss and if it is their fault want to hold them accountable. Before I go in their guns blazing though, I need people who understand transmissions better than myself to explain to me if they could be responsible. Thanks for any help at all.

Hello. I notice this thread has the same text as

And there are two different usernames. To the original posters, did you create new accounts because of a technical issue? Seems like the same person with the same story, so I would advise any responses to stay in one thread.


2k miles/month is not crazy. Having issues just as warranty expires is lousy for shop. IF they have to go thru trans again. I am 90% sure the trans in my 01 v6 accord is the same. Feeble.

It sounds like the shop did a lousy job diagnosing and repairing the problem, with the emphasis being on lousy diagnosis

In other words, I believe their diagnosis wasn’t correct, in the first place. It sounds as if their diagnostic skills are extremely deficient, and they shouldn’t have ever taken on the job. They definitely bit off more than they can chew

I’m sorry to say, but you need to get the car out of there asap, and consider bringing it to a more reputable shop. That means no big name franchised chain shop of any kind. No pep boys, aamco, etc.

Seeing as the car is 15 years old, I’m not sure if it’s worth another large repair. Depends on the car’s overall condition, I would say. In any case, it can’t hurt to get the car to another, more reputable and competent, shop and have them perform a proper diagnosis. If you go that route, be upfront and tell them what the initial complaint was, and what the other shop did. No reason to name the other shop, if you don’t want to. It won’t change anything, anyways.


I believe these had a history of transmission problems. Even the Acura dealers just swapped them out and didn’t repair them. Forget your worthless warranty and get it to a decent shop. I had a trans warranty too but never went back when it failed within a year and went to a legitimate shop instead and paid again.

Think about how cold weather could affect it? Cold in Minnesota is ten below, but once the engine and transmission are warmed up, they don’t know what the outside temperature is.

That’s just stupid and immediately places everything else the shop did and said into doubt. A cold snap down south is called “spring” where I live, and amazingly we manage to get to double digits below zero in our cold snaps without everyone’s transmissions klonking out.

Both @db4690 and @Bing are right - your shop is full of idiots, and your car is known for transmission issues. You’re going to need a real shop staffed by people who aren’t morons for this, and you’re probably going to need a new transmission.

I sort of get the sense this particular shop isn’t up to speed on how to repair and service this particular transmission design. They could probably do a swell job on fixing my Ford truck’s C4 automatic, but your TL, not so much. Modern transmissions are pretty complicated gadgets and involve not just the hydraulics but electrical and computer involvement. You need to have some\one working the job who understands all that. I’m not very confident about their knowledge of the car’s engine design and diagnostic system either. So I think you’re going to have to throw in the towel here and locate a shop who specializes in Acuras or at least Asian car transmissions. Ask around town at the various shops, usually there’s one transmission shop that all the mechanics use for their own cars. That’s the one to take it too.

To the double post - Yes I was having technical problems (I didn’t even know the post went live on either time I tried).

From this and other forums, it sounds like my mechanic is a moron. Sucks because it’s a small local shop and my husband really liked the guy (but he’s a poor judge of character and that’s a whole other story).

From talking to people on some of the other forums, my choices seem to be to swap out the transmission for a 2006 or 2007 Accord tranny or sell it (I looked online and with a shot tranny I can maybe get $1500 if I’m lucky) and cut my losses and upgrade to a newer year or different car.

Any suggestions for something that’s a) known to last into high mileage b) easy to work on (I may be a woman but I’m getting better at mechanical work, I can’t do anything crazy but radiators, brakes and starters are all problems I’ve fixed) and c) where I most likely will never hear the words transmission problems again

@cdaquila Good morning Carolyn, I don’t think there is much that can help this OP but I don’t see any reason for the flagging. Your call.


Well that’s where it gets tough, because even rock-solid transmissions will be destroyed if the owner neglects them, and unless the owner was meticulous enough to keep receipts for all work done, you have no way of knowing if the transmission has been properly maintained.

Obviously check the fluid on any car you buy, but it’s tough to know if the fluid looks good because the fluid always looks good, or if it looks good because it went 150,000 miles without being changed, and then they changed it just before the sale to fool you into thinking they maintain it.

I agree with Volvo . . . just why were OP’s comment flagged?

I’ve read everything so far, and don’t find anything out of line

Manual transmission problem reports are a rarity here. Next car, choose one with a manual transmission. If you’d like to to more DIY’er maintenance and repair, go with a car that sells in big volumes, an econobox sedan in other words. Corolla, Civic, Mazda 3. If you want something bigger, Camry, Accord. As far as add-ons, avoid as many high tech gizmo’s as you can, especially turbo chargers and electronics gizmos. The AC system is a common problem source too as reported here, but it is nearly impossible to purchase a car without AC installed these days. Consumer Reports Used Car Guide has a lot of the specific information by make/model/year. You’ll probably take note of the reported transmission reliability for the Acura TL there.

The comments were automatically flagged by the system because it involved replies from two accounts with the same IP address – it’s an anti spam/troll mechanism built into Discourse. The OP discussed the difficulty had when trying to post, so I cleared the flags.

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