Replace Automatic Transmission?

The transmission in my 2001 Honda Accord has been diagnosed as having a “weak 1-2 shift.” The cost of a rebuilt transmission is approximately the same as the Kelley Blue book value ($3,000). Otherwise, the car runs well.

Is it worth repairing, or should I trade it in?

What symptoms is it having??

I’m also surprised the car is only worth $3k. From a 2 minute google search it looks to me like it should be worth at least $5k…unless it’s abused…then it wouldn’t be worth fixing it.

If that diagnosis came from AAMCO, Lee Myles, Cottman, Mr. Transmission, or any other chain transmission shop, then it is immediately suspect. It could be correct, but…

Have you checked with the Honda dealership to see if this car is covered by the extended transmission warranty that Honda put in place for some cars after a great many transmission failures?

when and how often has the fluid been changed? Sometimes a double drain or triple fill and drain with ONLY HONDA FLUID can sometimes clean this up. You may have dirty or plugged shift solenoids (often the case) or sticky ball check valves in valve body. I did this on my Acura Legends every 30K or so, drain and refill the pan (even tho there really isn’t a pan as such). Then drive it and make sure you shift through all the gears at least 5 times and don’t forget reverse, then do it twice more. The dilution factor of repeated drains and refills eliminates dirty, contaminated, used , depleted fluid. Honda fluids have special shift modifiers in it for shift quality even though Dexron tranny fluid may be “approved”, you won’t be happy with the shift quality.

I would not rebuild a Honda tranny but look for a good used one from an engine/tranny importer from Japan and select one as a replacement if necessary. It will be a lot cheaper and install cost and tranny shouldn’t be more than $1100 or so…

A bad 1-2 shift can also be shot 2nd clutch packs as 2nd is the most used gear in the tranny from the number of up and down shifts.

“Good used one” is a really hard thing unless you know it was replaced recently. Honda is a big fail with regard to automatics of the early 2000’s. 2001 they had well above average amount of expensive automatic transmission failures in various Honda models including the Accord.

My 2000 Honda Accord has 84K miles and last Friday (April 17, 2009) was told I need to get my transmission replaced. I press the accelerator down and the transmission engages late. My car is paid off and otherwise is a great car. I want to keep it as long as I can. I can’t afford to buy a new car and don’t want to risk a used car that I don’t know. So I will first try to get Honda to greatly reduce the price of the repair. I think fixing the car is better no matter what the Blue Book may say. It’s much cheaper than the alternatives.