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Question About Transmission

I have a 1992 Honda Accord with an automatic transmission and recently I’ve started having some problems. I’m wondering if someone more knowledgeable than I am might have an explanation. About 3 weeks ago I noticed that, when I parked my car and put the shifter in “Park”, the shifter became locked in this position. In other words, I cannot release the shifter from “Park” unless I use the car key to unlock the shifter. So, I started parking my car in neutral (there are few hills in my area, thankfully!) so that I didn’t have to unlock the shifter each time. Occasionally I park the car in “Reverse” (after turning the car off), although I have to put the car in neutral to start it up.

Today I started my car and noticed that I had very little acceleration. In fact, when I was on a slight incline, waiting to pull out into an intersection, it was difficult to keep my car from rolling backward. Also, when I pulled out into the intersection, it accelerated very slowly and took much longer than usual to get up to normal speed. However, after the car sat for 5 hours afterward, I started it and it began accelerating normally once again. This is the first time I’ve had this problem with the car.

Is it likely that the 2 issues are related? Is this likely an issue with the transmission? The car is about ready to be retired, so I don’t want to sink anymore money into it. I was hoping to drive it until it no longer ran. I’m just wondering if that day is coming soon. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Straight up, I’m not a transmission guy, but…I have a couple ideas you can try.

Most likely the neutral safety switch is broken, and won’t let it out of park.

Test it with the engine off, and the ignition (all the dash lights) on, and in as quiet an area you have, hit the brake pedal. Listen very closely to the area near the shifter for a “click”. Go ahead and let go of the brake, hit the brake, off, on, as much as you need to make sure you have a definite click or not.

Have you been servicing this transmission regularly?

Have you checked the fluid level yet?

That’s what I’ve got for you. HTH

Seems my 1st response is lost in cyber space. See if your brake lights are working

Have you been servicing this transmission regularly? No. I had the transmission replaced with a rebuilt transmission years ago, but I haven’t done anything since then.

Have you checked the fluid level yet? No, but I will do that.

It’s interesting that you asked me about the brake lights. The brake “warning light” on my dashboard has been on for a couple of weeks now, but my brake lights seem to be working. The warning light went off at one point for a few days and then came back on again. Out of curiosity, why did you ask about the brake lights?

The brake warning light normally indicates low brake fluid. I have no idea why he asked about the brake lights.

Automatics transmissions require pretty regular service. 30K filter change, fluid exchange. I know, I know…the book says never, etc, but I’ve been corrected on this already, so I’ll go with this new information. 30K.

When you check the fluid (according to the book, normally warm, running, and in either park or neutral but yours may vary), also check it out… See if it’s nice and smooth between your fingers (no grit), and check how it smells and looks. Should be red and pretty clear. If it’s dark or smells burnt then you’ve gone beyond what I can do, except to suggest getting to a transmission man. A filter/fluid change may help at that point, but there may be other things wrong. I can only do the basics with automatics.

Best of luck with it, in any case. I will check back and see what updates appear here. If I can offer anything useful, I will.

87_Ranger asked about the brake lights because your car has a safety feature called the shift interlock. This is put there to prevent you from pulling the car out of gear unless the foot is holding down the brake pedal. If the brake lights are out, the shift interlock may not release the gear shift to get it out of park. Also, with the brak warning light flickering, you should check your brake fluid. Low fluid will cause this light to go on, as well as setting your parking brake.

Malfuctioning brakelight switch can cause the shifter interlock to malfunction (not let you shift out of park). Also malfuntioning brakelight switch MAY, in some cars, affect ECU (engine computer) by giving a false signal that the brakes are on. I don’t think this is the case in your 92 Honda but I’m not positive and in any case based on your shifter interlock issue you may have the opposite problem. Some cars have dual (and I have now seen a triple) switch brake light switches, one controls the lights the other feeds the ECU but again I don’t think your '92 Honda is that sophisticated, I could be mistaken though, that’s why I bothered to mention it.

Right, right…shift interlock. Only stops you from pulling the lever out of park.

Too many things in my head. Need to concentrate more. I started typing the answer, forgot where I was going, and erased it (and I’m not all that old yet, either…my wife should be worried) :wink: