Keep my 1997 Honda? Change the transmission fluid?


I have a 1997 Honda Accord with 193000 miles… I’m trying to decide if I should sell it, as I’m getting concerned about it’s future, especially the transmission (automatic). It seems to lurch once in a while, probably between first and second gear. I could sell it now for several thousand (ABS is out). If I keep driving it and the transmission dies, it’s worthless, isn’t it?. I don’t know if the transmission fluid has ever been changed. When I recently got my oil changed, the mechanic said that he would leave it alone if I don’t know if it’s been changed before. I’d appreciate any advise. Keep/sell? Change the transmission fluid?


Change it. It is very inexpensive and actually easier in some ways than an oil change.

DO NOT ALLOW ANY PLACE TO TO FLUSH IT. It will be the nail in its coffin.

A 1997 Honda with a “lurching” automatic transmission is a potentially worthless car. Changing the fluid will not likely fix the lurch. Honda transmissions of that era are not the most rugged ones. If I were you I would sell it “as is” and look forward to something newer with low miles.

The mileage of the car is not the issue here. If this car had been well maintained since new, meaning about 6 or 7 fluid changes and 3 timing belts, it would probably not be lurching and I would just keep driving it.


I believe the current Honda atf is more advanced than what was available in 1997

Some of you regulars have said that it improves shifting on older Hondas and also that it is backwards compatible

If the trans service improves shifting, so much the better

BTW . . . what is going on with the ABS? Any fault codes? Maybe you just have a bad speed sensor

"I could sell it now for several thousand (ABS is out). "

I really doubt that. Edmunds appraises it at about $1,000 for private party sale. Given that, I might have the fluid changed with Honda fluid and just keep driving it. If the tranny dies, you’ll have gotten some time out of it, more that a few months car payments.


In my neck of the woods, even a mediocre high mileage Accord like OP’s car goes for considerably more than $1000. There’s a lot of people here that simply can’t afford new cars, which has driven up the price of all used cars, even the old mediocre ones.