Replaced automatic transmission runt for 3 to 4 days transmission looses gears completely…

Turned engine off, wait a few seconds, turned engine on, transmission goes fine then quits within a minute. Turned engine off, turned engine on transmission okay(for a short time on and on i can keep going)

Computer replaced twice with good known one.

Mechanic #1 says: Is an electrical problem and according to the codes the solenoids looses power no voltage, could be a bad ground issue but is electricl???

Mechanic #2 says: Bad transmission period.

Mechanic #3 says: Bad transmission period, and he said mechanic #1 is out to lunch and there is no such thing as electronic or electrical probem with transmission.

If mechanic #1 pull the codes with a code reader and the numbers (if you go to the code list for this vehicle) point to bad solenoid/s or something related.

But I can see two solenoids on top of transmission, and when engine is turned off obviously we are reseting the computer at the same time.

Remember only for a few seconds is off so is not heat related.

Anyway, I’m puzzled and need help.



Some auto transmissions are heavily controlled by electronic controls. All I know is you have a Honda Civic, no idea what year or miles. Can’t give you more specifics with out more info from you. At the moment I’d say mechanic #3 isn’t too hot, but perhaps he is correct if you have an older Civic.

Honda civic.
Year: 2009
Mileage: 160k
4 cylinder.
1.5 engine

A 2009 with 160K miles. Do you run a taxi service? The 1.5 liter engine leads me to think you mean 1999 perhaps. Anyway if there are transmission codes then the electronics that tell the transmission what to do and when are out of whack. So mech #1 seems to be most on target as far as I can tell. Bad controls can cause a transmission to fail also. Lots of Chrysler auto transmission failed because the transmission was “told” to engage 2 gears at the same time.

First you need to establish if the transmission itself is good or bad. Since it was replaced recently, how long ago and by whom?, perhaps you should take it to the guy that put it in. If it was replace years and 50K miles ago perhaps it has gone bad. Then you need to see if the controls are working, the same transmission shop should be able to confirm that as well.

Sorry I meant 1999.
Mechanic #1 is the one that replaced transmission and it wasn’t long ago.
He’s debating with me and the rest of the mechanics that if he replaces this transmission again, I’m going to face the same problem and he won’t be responsible for the third time .
Mechanic #1, I believe has a point because at least he troubleshot the car while the others old school mechanics goes for replacement without going any further.
When you say control, do you refer to the computer?
What else besides the computer can go wrong and create this type of situations?
I’ m an electronics technician not a mechanic but I have some knowledge how things work (mechanically that is) but I would like to have some direction of what goes with whatever in order for me to, at least start looking for something.
Computer was replaced twice to no avail, same exact symptom.
I said then, by trail and error computer is out of the picture unless bad or improper connection which by the way I’ve already checked, But I could it missed, overlooked simple things but so far I can pinpoint nothing yet.
I hoped your second answer is not final and you can give me a few more points.
Thanks again.

Forgot sometjing,
A few years may be three years ago my jnephew decided to installed an alarm and my son got this car from him back in 1998.
The alarm was disarmed many times when the car was being repaired and also when my son installe a new radio.
All of this happene before the transmission was replaced.
Again one of the main reason the alarm was disharmed and removed finally because the sound was too loud and wew decided to killed it.
Now if this has anything to do with the way the transmission behave?
We connected the alarm and problems remained the same.
But just for kicks, how the alarm in any way could affect the performance of the transmission or kill certain signals from the computer to the transmission??? I don’t know I’m just guessing and probably shooting at the moon.
Anyway I just want it to add more information that perhaps will or will not contribute finding some explanation to my dilema.
Oh!! by the way is 1.6 engine.

What happens when you go into reverse?? What happens when you place the gear selector in L1 or L2 ?? Will it drive then??


YES… it goes on reverse then quits.
It goes on the lower gears too then quits.
Time frame is the same for all of them when I start the car.
After the car quits going on any gear, I stop, turned engine off wait may be ten seconds (I don’t have a specific time ten seconds to the most a minute)
Then I start the engine again and the car goes on drive and it moves for about a minute or two and then quits, no gears. I can do the same for reverse or lower gears.
As you can see when I start the engine that baby GOES no problem then quits.

Thats not going to be an electrical issue. Looks like a hydraulic issue. Reverse is not electronically controlled, you move your gear selector to reverse, manual valve directs atf through valve body to the 4th clutch to engage reverse. Same with L1 and L2. Sounds like a pump or converter problem. Hows the fluid level??


If reverse is not electronically controlled then I have two different issues.
If the first, second, thid and four gear is electronically controlled but not reverse now I’m really lost. You see once I had a honda civic 1982 same engine same everything.
The car would not go in reverse but it will go on first and so on. I know I end up replacing the transmission but I can drive the car forward all the time.
You mean to tell me that the converter or a pump which is inside the transmission is creating all these problems?
Last time I checked the fluid the level was ok.
Then the final answer to all of these is replace the transmission?
How big of the job would be to fix either the pump or converter?
What are we talking about how much it would cost?
What’s better fixing the transmission or just replaced.
I need your advice.

I’ll let transman take over from here. Good Luck!

To fix the pump on this transmission would require removal and disassembly of the transmission because the pump is built into the case. Has anyone even put a pressure guage on the transmission?? These transmissions are quite expensive. It has been my experience that I can rebuild them for around $2k where Honda sells them for areond $3000 to $3500

Tell me something, Why do YOU think its an electrical/electronic problem??


I’m not a mechanic. When you told me hydraulic, to me it sounded two different issues but now I know.
It was not my final conclusion, I tried to troubleshoot this problem by following some of the transmission symptoms and opinions from other mechanics.
Mechanic #1 told me, it was definetly an electrical problem.
The codes lead to solenoids but I knew it was not final. The reason I started to look for answers everywhere because mechanical #1 was too drastic and the rest of them were also too drastic but in the opposite way. You know mechanical #2 and 3, just did a driving test and concluded it was a bad transmission but never gave a reason why the transmission was acting that way. #1 the one that replaced the transmission and read the computer codes came to the conclusion that was an electrical issue either with the solenoids or something in the wiring.
You see really I was in the middle and because the answers were not concrete and final I have to go and research this problem in a more logical way.
I believe that your answers are more accurate, makes more sense and it comes with knowledge and experience.
I been doing electronics for 30 years and do lots of research and development, also trouble-shooting
and these guys were giving me answers that that sounded more like; well it could be this… no, is the solenoids…wrong year maybe…the alarm…the computer…and on and on but never the pump or the converter.
Now that I tell them the answer you gave me, they all agreed.
Thanks and now I know were to go next time.

Let us know what you find out. These guys really told you that the alarm might be the cause??? Wow, are any one of these transmission techs?? As far as electronics go here, you are looking at shift solenoids, pressure control solenoids, pressure switches, temp switches, speed sensors, etc. If you were to lose ALL electrical power to the trans the vehicle will still move, forward and reverse, it wont shift, but it will still move. If you were to lose hydraulic pressure like a pump failure, you lose all movement, forward and reverse. My vote is for a hydraulic issue.


Yes you were RIGHT!!! it was hydraulic and mechanic #1 was AMAZED!!!
I don’t understand why most of them did not pinpoint the exact problems when it was enough and sufficient symptoms to, at least guess something like hydraulic problems.
Mechanic #4 which I know for many years when it tested the car said, transmission is no good. But never told me why?
Anyway, thanks again.
By the way I’m a car talk listener and love the program every bit of it, great program, great information great everything.
Like I said before, Now I know where to go next time I have a problem with my car.

Your welcome. Thanks for following up with us and letting us know what was going on.