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Old 12-08-2012, 09:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default CVT gone bad?

I have been reading the thread on rebuild possibilities but am not sure if the cvt is the problem. I read the thread about the cvt juddering. My son has been driving the car for the last three months and last night it completely failed: would make a grinding noise and would shudder but not move the car. A tow truck picked it up this morning and DROVE it off the truck. He said it seemed more like a cv joint. How do I tell the difference? When I jacked the front end of the car up, started it and put it in gear it shuddered and bucked as one of the wheels began to turn. Sounds bad, like something is grinding up. I checked the fluid and it seems to be at the right level, but I have no idea when it was last changed and what color it should be. Should I start first with the joints or drop the pan on the tranny and look for pieces? The drain plug is at the front on the driver's side below the CVT dip stick? Do you fill at the tube? There is nothing in my shop manual that covers the CVT. The car has 180,000 miles and we have only put on about 10,000.

Last edited by bailsout; 12-08-2012 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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it sounds like the CVT has a bad start clutch or if it operates in reverse and shudders in forward a bad forward clutch. A bad CV joint will give you warning as in a clicking when turning left or right. With 180000 miles good possibility CVT is bad seems to be around magic number for failure.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the speedy reply. It looks like the rebuild route or new replacement may be the only options. If I drop the pan would your diagnosis be borne out in the bottom of the pan?
How hard is it to replace in the clutches? Based on my observations both forward and reverse were equally shuddery/juddery..
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If you drop the pan if the clutches have failed you will see excessive amount of debris in the pan. As for rebuilding ,after dissassembling mine and considering I have extensive experiance in automatic transmission rebuilding I would not recommend the average non experianced person to attempt the rebuild. I am still waiting for my aftermarket supplier to get me quote on rebuild kit price for the Insight CVT it appears the insight CVT and Civic use quite a few common components.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Cvt color should be very clear with a slight yellowish tint. Does it shudder real bad, but above 5 to 7 mph smooth out and drive normally, or does it shudder at any speed? If it is a cv joint I would think it would be more noticeable with the wheels turned left or right. Yes you fill it through the dipstick hole, and the sin is about where you indicated. I believe that the drain plug takes a 1/2 inch breaker bar square drive, i.e. your breaker bar will fit right into it.

Check the color and level of your fluid, if not correct, drain and check for stuff in the fluid. Lots of times places top off the fluid with normal trans fluid which makes it shudder very quickly. Normal trans fluid will make the fluid color red or brown. Only use the real Honda cvt fluid.
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Last edited by Need4Speed; 12-09-2012 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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There is a fill plug conveniently located under the air filter housing. I fill mine using a transmission funnel and then a cut off 223 cartridge case dropped inside to fit the small dipstick tube. You could use a piece of tubing as well. There are two filters in the pan, a pickup filter and a cooler return filter (where the line comes into the pan. don't miss the bolt on the tube clamp coming from the cooler at the front. use a new gasket and no sealant.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't know which gasket hitch was referring to, but use a new gasket on the cvt drain plug.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The paper pan gasket, the new pickup filter has a new O ring with it as does the cooler filter (two O rings)
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Cvt gone bad?

Thanks for all the help. I'll drop the pan and see what I find.
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