Problem transmission after new install

How should I handle this situation. I went into my dealership with a car having over 150,000 mi. Car was hesitating/ surging as I drove it. Dealership says problem is transmission (torque converter). I okay an oem transmission replacement at $2500. Get car back and within a few days, the same problem occurs. What is the likelyhood I got a new transmission that is bad from the dealership? Are they going to find something else wrong now and charge me for the transmission and a “new” fix? How should I go about approaching this?

You are not going to like this, I think your old transmission was OK, and the new one is OK. The hesitating and surging is still occuring because the transmission is not causing these symptoms.

My first thought exactly. Any thoughts on how to approach dealer on this?

The obvious first step is to go back and say the problem hasn’t been remedied. They owe you a properly done job, which you haven’t gotten yet.

Let us know what they think is wrong.

If you haven’t already called the dealer, do so and tell them your car is not fixed. Instruct them not to dispose of the old transmission. Then you start negotiating.

Do you want the old transmission reinstalled and a full refund? Do you want them to comp the labor costs and sell you the new trans at dealer costs? Do you want to keep the new trans and get the remaining problem(s) diagnosed and corrected with no additional charges? There are other options I can’t think of at the moment.

Figure out what you want and I think you have the service dept on this one. Eventually you’ll get this resolved, not sure how long and/or how much frustration it will take to get there.

Thanks UncleTurbo and budd2049 for your help so far.

Any ideas as to what the problem might be? I’m afaid to take the trans back to the dealer until I have a good idea what it is, because they may find out it’s some $50 part, replace it, tell me they fine tuned the trans, and I would be none the wiser and $2500 poorer. If I have some sort of idea as to the cause, I could at least mark those parts to see if they have been replaced. Or perhaps I have defied the odds and receieved a bad trans direct from the factory?

Just prior to taking the car to the dealer, I had the car tuned up. This problem had been around for a couple of months prior to the tune up. Seems to be worst at 35-45 mph.

Hesitating and surging are pretty common. Without knowing what the “tune up” really means it is hard to say. Have the cars computer scanned for stored codes. This could be a dirty mass airflow sensor, MAF, or a sign your fuel pump may not be generating enough pressure. A clogged fuel filter can cause symptoms similar to your description.

You need to get much more specific in what you car is doing. What items were included in the tune up. What is the mileage on the car. How long have you had these symptoms? What is the repair and maintenance history of the car? With more info you will get more specific areas that maybe problems on your car.

A hesitation and surge problem is usually caused by one of the following:
Vacuum leak or EGR fault. (an EGR is a vacuum leak of sorts, only computer controlled.
Fuel delivery problem. (weak fuel pump, clogged fuel filter)
Ignition miss or electrical fault, with the latter even possibly being related to a failing ignition switch. (common problem with some Hondas and under Recall on certain ones)

The problem could even be related to a mechanical fault such as low compression due to a piston ring or valve problem: with the latter being caused by failure to check valve lash and adjust as necessary.

About all I can suggest at this point is drop by a parts house such as AutoZone and have them scan the car for any codes that may be present. Post any results back here for discussion.

No idea how they arrived at this transmission/torque converter fault but the odds of getting a new transmission with the same bad characteristics as the old one are close to zero anyway.

My tire dealer, who does my non-major maintenance, says he did not see any codes on the car.
I took the car back into the dealership and they said they would look at the problem. They had a day and a half to look at it. I called back and they said it was ready to go, that they had three techs drive the car (16 add?l miles were put on the car) and couldn’t reproduce the surging I and my wife felt. Then I had a tech sit while I drove to see if I could reproduce the situation, which I could not. When asked about how they knew the original trans was bad, the tech told me they could see a flare up on their computers, they snapped a picture and sent it to Honda tech to confirm that the Torque Converter was the problem. On this new trans, they did not see a flare up or any other codes. They did notice that when driving there was excessive road force due to tires. They road forced all tires both front now at 15lbs and rear still at 35lbs of road force. They also indicated that I was due for new tires.

I did feel on the test drive that the tech was being honest with me. I felt there were enough people involved that I would have smelled a rat if there was one. He said come back if the trans acts up again. As I could not reproduce the problem with the tech in the car, there wasn’t much I could say. Perhaps the tires created the surging feeling at just the right mph? The trans has a 3yr/ 36,000 mi warranty. Conspiracy or not, the car appears to be fixed until the problem can be repeated with a Honda tech in the car.