'94 Accord LX Automatic Transmission Problem


vettepirate
05-11-2006, 03:53 PM
My transmission is having some difficulties lately. When I am trying to accelerate from a stop or after braking for a turn, I press down on the accelerator and my engine revs to 4000 or 5000 rpm with little to no acceleration almost as though the tranny is in neutral. When I back off on the gas, it will begin to gather speed, but extremely slowly. For example, I encounter a stoplight every morning on the way to work where I make a left. I am stopped, the light turns green, I attempt to accelerate, but the engine revs as though unrestrained and I go nowhere. I back off on the throttle and begin to accelerate through the turn. After about 1/6 of a mile, I am up to 30mph and my car begins to behave more normally. The problem is worse/more frequent when trying to accelerate uphill from a slow speed (i.e. less than 25-30 mph). When I am coming from a stop and I ease into the throttle while holding the brakes down before accelerating to minimize hesitation, I hear a "clunk" or a "chunk". The same day this problem first manifested, my antenna also decided it no longer wanted to retract and my rear windshield defroster stopped working as well. If anyone has any ideas, I would like to hear them. I have my own theories, but I won't mention them so that I can get your unbiased opinions.

jeffcoslacker
05-11-2006, 05:48 PM
When I am coming from a stop and I ease into the throttle while holding the brakes down before accelerating to minimize hesitation, I hear a "clunk" or a "chunk".

If your common practice is to hold the throttle and brake at the same time, you've probably smoked the first gear clutchpack.

What's it do if you shift manually? Still no low gear engagement?

jeffcoslacker
05-11-2006, 05:52 PM
Your antenna and defroster both may have dedicated power feeds of the distribution block under the hood...make sure you didn't fry a fuse or fuse link or melt some wiring together near there, also...

Even if trans shift solenoids are disabled, you should still be able to manually select the low ranges, unless the solenoids have stuck in a manner that denies the valve body normal hydraulic function.

AccordCodger
05-11-2006, 07:16 PM
When I am coming from a stop and I ease into the throttle while holding the brakes down before accelerating to minimize hesitation

I'm not quite sure what you mean, but if you're saying that you raise the reves before letting up on the brake - sorry - I have to ask - who taught you THAT technique? A boy racer?

I'm with Jeffcoslacker. That's no way to treat a transmission (unless you plan or replacing it at roughly tire wear-out frequency). Before I was even out of my teens, my uncle, who had driven automatics all his life, taught me (a stick-only kid) a lesson. He said "keep your LEFT foot planted FIRMLY on the FLOOR. Don't use it when driving - ever!

For sure, the timing of your electrical problems are a coincidence.

Now, what's YOUR theory?

vettepirate
05-11-2006, 09:28 PM
jeffcoslacker and AccordCodger, no I do not normally hold down on the brake while revving the engine. No boy racer ever taught me that, and in fact if a ricer ever suggested any technique to me it would be the first thing I would not do. Anyway, I just tried that yesterday and it allowed me to launch from stoplights without hesitation and jerking. I only rev up to about 2000. I'm not trying to do a burnout or anything.

vettepirate
05-11-2006, 10:52 PM
My theory is that my torque converter is failing. I feels to me as though it is not able to build momentum like it should. It almost feels as though the viscosity of whatever fluid is in there (I'm not sure if torque converters are sealed with some fluid in them or if they run off of the transmission fluid somehow) has changed or the fluid level has decreased. It feels like it is cavitating almost. I checked the transmission fluid a little more than a week ago when this all started and it was fine.

vettepirate
05-11-2006, 10:57 PM
Jeffcoslacker, I haven't tried running through the gears myself. I'll try that tomorrow and report back.

AccordCodger
05-12-2006, 08:09 PM
I seem to recall that the Accord doesn't have a conventional torque converter. But, whatever it has, if that were the problem, you'd get it in all gears, not just first. Any time you floored it, the engine would race before the transmission "caught up."

jeffcoslacker
05-13-2006, 10:14 AM
I seem to recall that the Accord doesn't have a conventional torque converter. But, whatever it has, if that were the problem, you'd get it in all gears, not just first. Any time you floored it, the engine would race before the transmission "caught up."


Yeah, it'd be like a manual with a slipping clutch...

Your torque convertor has a lockup mechanism that mechanically locks the input and driven sides of the TC's guts together for better fuel mileage when cruising under light load...when they fail to unlock under acceleration, it can feel to the driver like there is no power or the tranny is in too high a gear for the speed, what we used to call "trailer hitching" on GM models...feels like you are suddenly towing a heavy load or something. But if the failure to unlock continues all the way down to a stop, the engine will shudder and stall violently, just as if you were driving a stick and came to a stop without pushing the clutch in...

I doubt your problem has anything to do with the TC, rather it sounds more like first gear is failing to fully apply after a downshift...if it were simply hung in a high range, throttle response would be totally flat when you tried to go, the motor would just bog and drone along, without gathering RPMs and the acceleration would be totally flat to match...

By doing what you were describing (holding the RPMs up a bit as you decelerate), it sounds like you are forcing a slippy clutchpack to hold a little better or something, like perhaps it's servo is bleeding off pressure and can't fully apply that pack under normal conditions or the discs are worn....the noise you hear is kinda typical in a gear change that is not being completed correctly.

Anyway, seeing if it will shift manually into the correct range will tell a lot...if hard parts are burnt out, it won't really make much difference, but if it's control parts, like a valve body problem or stuck shift solenoid, shifting manually will usually override it, and you'll get full engagement.

jeffcoslacker
05-13-2006, 10:23 AM
Also try this....At a stop with the tranny in drive, brakes applied, shift down to L1, then up to L2, then back and forth slowly between the two while watching the tach and listening carefully. You should hear a faint scratchy "chik" kind of sound from the tranny, and see/feel a slight RPM change when shifting between the two, because the Honda automatics have a second gear hold feature, and can be shifted manually to second from a stop.

Tell me what you see and hear...

jeffcoslacker
05-13-2006, 10:33 AM
At any rate...since you probably have to use the car in the meantime, and assuming (as I believe) that your first gear is not applying properly, you can use your car's second gear hold feature to make it somewhat more tolerable to drive by shifting to second after you stop.

It should start off in second, and although a bit flat feeling, it'll still accelerate faster than what you seem to be describing with a slipping first gear...then after reaching second gear threshold (30 mph or so), shift it up into drive, and it'll upshift normally from there.

Do this only if selecting first gear manually gets sloppy engagement, if you can access first manually, do that instead. Whenever you allow it to slip while accelerating, you are shedding off material from the slipping components that's gonna cause further damage if you allow it to occur for long...

vettepirate
05-15-2006, 08:48 PM
Sorry, I've been so long in checking in on the free advice. Been busy. Anyway, I tried shifting 1-2-D3-D4 like you suggested, Jeffcoslacker, and the results were much better. There was still a little bit of hesitation, but nowhere nearly as bad as before. I'll try to 1-2-1 at a stop next time I drive and report back.

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