New transmission and stuck in park!?

A bit of a long story, but brought my 2005 automatic honda civic into a mechanic for timing belt changeout (im at 112k miles) but expressed my concern over a noise persisting for approx. a week, sounding like it was stuck in a lower gear… but RPMs were fine. The mechanic looked at it all day and came to the vague conclusion that a bearing in the final gear of the transmission was busted. My extended warantee had recently expired so I called american honda corp who were willing to help me somewhat with the cost of a new transmission, if I go through one of their dealerships. No problem. Brought it in for the diagnostics and had to take their mechanic on a test drive so he would hear what noise I was talking about. OK, days later = new transmission. Within 24 hours I hear a noise mimicking what I heard prior to the $3000 worth of work. They tell me its a wheel bearing that they couldn’t properly diagnose without first replacing the transmission. Why not replace the wheel bearing before the transmission? How can they prove to me what was the real problem if I am still hearing noises?! OK. 48 hours after getting the car back I wake up and start the car to warm her up before driving to work. She sits in park, running, for approx. 10 minutes and when I hop in, step on the brakes and try to pop it into drive from park, she is locked up and will not shift anywhere. In a panic I call honda and they tell me about a little ‘trap door’ i can pop off next to my shifter and manually flip it out of park. Fine. It works and I get to work, then have no problems getting my car into drive until the next morning when the exact same thing happens. (It is suggested it is a brake switch, but once it got into drive the brake lights worked fine.) So, this next morning I can not manually pop it into drive. It is currently at that Honda dealership, and has been there for 5 days, where, of course, they have not had ONE problem getting the car into drive. PLEASE HELP ME!!! (… they replaced the brake switch anyway and WILL charge me for replacing the one wheel bearing…) But with spending over 3000 now on all this work, peace of mind should come standard, especially from a dealership, and I am so afraid that my problems are never going to end!?! Thanks for listening, I’m exhausted retelling this story!

I find dealerships no more honest then good independents. I’ve personally have dealt with some SLEAZY dealers.

You say it SOUNDED like it was stuck in lower gear…Was it??? You can either tell from hearing or the tach.

If it WAS stuck in lower gear yet you had it in drive…then it sounds like you indeed have a transmission problem.

At this point…take it to a good independent or even a place that specializes in transmission. Have them check it out.

Are there different conditions at your house vs at the dealer - are you outside and cold and they are in a climate controlled building? That might help explain the difference in performance. There could be other things as well that make for different conditions - are you parked on a hill at home vs flat at the dealer? If there are differences, they can possibly also help in diagnosing the problem.

Personally, I have to agree with Mike - I try to avoid dealers unless I just have to have something done that only they can do. Most try to tell me “while we were working on your dingle arm, we checked your and you are low on turn signal fluid, which we can replace for the low, low price of an extra $200 - on special today just for you!” In my experience, their performance is not any better than an independent and the price is usually much higher.

If you’re mostly asking about the stuck in park problem, this is probably completely unrelated to the transmission. In fact, the same thing would happen even if there was no transmission installed in the car. Is there a push button you need to depress to get the gear shifter to move from park? And does that button stick so that you can’t push it in? Is that what you’re actually asking about? Or are you asking about the noise? Because these are two different things.

I too was thinking that she parked on a hill at home, Gremlin… OP you still out there?