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Old 04-02-2012, 06:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Shudder On Accelerate

Hi everyone,

I just purchased a 2010 Insight with about 30k miles on it. I had a mechanic look at it first and it checked out... but I have been noticing one strange thing. When you accelerate from a stop, it shudders a bit at low speeds (ie under 15 mph), kind of like a car with a manual transmission will. It seems like it only does this while it is cold and once the car has been going for a few minutes, it is either not noticeable or stops. I've read some things on this forum that are leading me to believe maybe it's a CVT drive belt or ECG valve or just the way the transmission works. You can see a little bouncing the the tachometer while it does this. Any suggestions before I bring it to the dealer to take a look at? I did test drive two other 2010s before I bought this one and one had this shudder more severely and I did not notice it on the other.

Thanks for looking and your help!
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It's the way it works - learn to deal with it. Some people use Sport mode to disable auto-stop, which does mitigate the shuddering, but I never got the hang of using the paddle shifters.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Probably from auto stop or decrease in acceleration and then start accelerating again. You can slow down, let the feet off the gas pedal for about 2-5 seconds and then accelerate again.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd get the trans fluid changed. At 30k it's due (or past due) My wife, the primary driver of our Insight reports much smoother operation after having the fluid changed. She did that at the second oil change at my suggestion (based on reading here) The third service will show a code for having the fluid changed. All Honda automatics should have their fluid changed regularly. Go to the dealer or dyi, just don't trust a random mechanic or service center to use the correct fluid.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Make sure you use the correct fluid. In the first gen insight you need genuine Honda cvt fluid, not automatic trans fluid (ATF). I assume that the second gen insight uses similar fluid.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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What they said.

Change the CVT fluid and go from there.

If it's never been done prior to 30k, it needs done.

I changed my CVT fluid right around the 30k mark. Much later than I wanted, but life happens.

My CVT performs better now than when I originally bought the car. No joke. I'll be changing it out every other oil change like I normally prefer to do with all of my Honda's. It might sound silly, but Honda transmissions are notoriously sensitive to old, contaminated fluid ... so changing more often, the better, and you may very well extend the life of the transmission beyond 300k miles.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think I know what you are describing, here's a description of what it does in my experience:

Car has been sitting outside all day when it's cold and it will happen in the parking lot while leaving work. As I slowly come out of reverse to drive and give it a few seconds to catch and then start to apply light throttle, the car will get stuck in this weird loop where the RPM's will pulse up and back down repeatedly, causing a "bucking" sensation. The really strange thing about this is that it will continue to happen, even if I lift off the accelerator completely. The only way to break the loop is to speed up or slow down.

If that's what you are experiencing, it's been posted/reported in at least one other thread, but I think it's relatively normal for this car.

Fortunately it rarely gets cold enough here for that to happen - in 2.5 years it's probably only happened enough times to count on one hand.

FWIW, my car has less than half the miles on it for the CVT fluid change, and I don't have the knowledge or tools to do it myself, so it hasn't been done, and probably won't be done until the recommended service interval. If I lived in a colder climate and this was common occurrence, however, I'd probably end up just paying to get it changed early...
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My car has done this from day 1, so I doubt it's something that changing the CVT fluid will help.
It does it when cold, and pretty much any time I come to a stop or near-stop and immediately try to get going again. Pausing before applying the accelerator does mitigate it.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the help folks. I'll change out the fluid one of these weekends and see if that helps, otherwise I'll just live with it. Do you guys bother changing the filter with so few miles? I've never changed tranny fluid on any car before about 60 or 70k miles... at that point I always do the filter. Thanks again.. I really appreciate it.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You can also check the fluid level. Check the manual, there may be a specific sequence to check the level. Even a brand new car might have the level too low or two high.
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