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Transmission issues, Honda Accord 2003 - fix or replace car?

My transmission has started slipping as car shifts into 2 and sometimes 3rd gear. It races and is not engaged, so there is no power for the few seconds (sometimes longer) when this happens. Car has about 216,000 miles - and it’s time to also replace tires. As I look at the estimated bill, I’m having to decide if it’s still a good investment to do the work on the car. I love the car and there is no rust or other problems.

If these two items are all that is really wrong with the car, then doing the transmission rebuild makes most economic sense. You could retrieve the cost of the rebuild in as litle as 20K miles, and not have any “surprises” from a newer used car.

Your quandary is shared by tens of thousands of other FWD car owners…The cost of rebuilding your transmission exceeds the value of the car…

Here are your options. As is, the car is salvage, $250, $450. That’s what you can expect to get for it.

The transmission and a set of tires will make $4000 disappear, but now you have a car with some resale value, higher than average because of the new transmission and tires. You can expect to get another 2 or 3 years of service out of it, cheap driving…Moving up to a new or decent used car is going to cost you more than that, for sure…So I would repair it…

One note of caution. Choose your transmission shop carefully. Everything can get sideways if the rebuilt transmission does not operate properly…Most indy transmission shops offer a 12 month/12,000 warranty that’s good nationwide…Some may offer 2 year-24,000 mile. You want a shop that is comfortable working on Honda’s…In rare cases, a Honda Dealership might be able to offer a competitive price. It costs nothing to check…

Ya know my first question is when was the last transmission service. Could be a clogged filter.

Thanks very much to you both for your good advice. I’ve also been checking and find that this model has had many transmission problems . I can consider myself fortunate that I’ve gotten so much use before having problems. I will probably go with the repairs.

About the only thing I can add is that I had the auto-xmission rebuilt in my Ford truck back in the 1980’[s , and it has worked fine since.

Rebuilds of auto-xmissions seem to do the trick, and last pretty much as long as a new xmission. All a rebuild is actually is that the shop takes everything apart, and puts it back together using new gaskets and a few other new parts. They just purchase a “rebuild kit” is all, which has everything they need. The kit doesn’t cost much, but it takes quite a bit of time to do it correctly. Everything has to be put together in a spotlessly clean environment, as the xmission has tiny passages that will clog up with any dirt particles that get in during the rebuild.

As mentioned above, it is worthwhile to ask several mechanics for a reference to the best xmission rebuilt shop in the area. The best shop in my experience will have a very inflexible person at the helm. That’s becasue to do it right, the boss has to check every step of the process as his staff do the job. If you find a xmssion shop where the head guy seems like he’s got some obsessive compulsive problems, that’s the shop to use!

Lubing a bearing seems to make sense, so unless someone else thinks this is not the right place to try that, I guess you could give it a try. However IMO the choices you mentioned may not be the right kind of lubricant. I’ve always heard that WD40 isn’t so great, not sure if that’s a myth or fact.

Bike chain lube is designed for minimal motion between the pieces, which is quite different than a spinning fan. That motion will probably generate heat too. Some chain lubes are designed with additives to keep in from flying off the chain, or not holding dust, and these may not serve your purpose effectively. You probably can’t get grease through that little hole you mentioned, so you’ll probably have to go with some liquid, maybe a light machine oil, or even just a bit of engine oil. Hopefully somebody else here has some actual knowledge to offer.

Mine did something similar (2002) Try a good computer diag. A transmisson solenoid was causing heistation and slipping/racing. $80+ for part.