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Help. I have a 2001 insight with 110,000 miles on it. I've never had any problems until recently.

When I'm in PARK and I rev my engine, the engine sounds normal.
When I'm in NEUTRAL and I rev the engine (not in motion), the engine sounds normal.
When I shift into DRIVE, I get a knocking noise.
As I accelerate, the knocking sound gets faster.
When I shift from DRIVE to NEUTRAL while the car is in motion, the knocking noise is still there. The knocking sound goes away when the car slows to a stop.
The car can still accelerate to 100 mph without any problems except for the knocking noise. At that speed the knocking noise sounds like a fast snare drum instrument.

I took it to the Honda dealer (Concord, Ca) and they said it was a transmission problem. They said the only solution was to replace the Transmission which would cost about $4000. They also said I could continue to drive the car until the transmission failed and then bring the car in to have the transmission replaced.
I've had all my maintenance done at this Honda dealer (including transmission oil change)

For a second opinion I when to Arts Automotive in Albany, Ca and they test drove the car to see if they could diagnose the problem (they specialize in hybrid repair). They said they would have to take apart the transmission to see what the problem was. They said if it was repairable they would fix it. The cost to take apart my transmission and put it together was $1500. Additional cost for repair parts would be added as needed.

I don't know where to go for a 3rd opinion. I was also reading through the forum and thought of changing the transmission oil myself.
Does anyone have an idea what my problem might be.
 

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Rebuilding a CVT transmission is _FAR BEYOND_ an advanced task (except for replacement of the start clutch). IMO having it disassembled is a HIGH RISK operation.

High risk in that the builder can quickly get in over his head and or the costs exceed a reman exchange unit (you can't beat an assembly lines efficiency and cost averaging).

Since you've got 2 "agreeing" opinions seems to me its likely the CVT. Used is a 3rd option. And a call to Honda customer relations pleading for some goodwill never hurt either.

HTH! :)
 

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How did they rule out other parts such as the CV joints and other moving
parts outside of the transmission?...Here is another test that you can do.
First you mention that the knocking noise gets faster with the speedometer
(100 MPH! - Something I haven't even done with the car working normally)....
On a road that you usually travel (about 35-40MPH) and that has a slight
hill on a portion of the road. (basically - a road that you know the CVT will
rapidly change it's ratio and engine rpm increases). When approaching
the hill try to maintain the same speed up the hill and note the knock
timing before the hill. If the knock timing increases with the engine RPM
when going up the hill, then the problem is most likely in the transmission.
If the knock timing does not change (because you maintained the same
MPH), there is still a chance that it is not the transmission (not the CVT
belt anyway)

JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner
(but not a CVT technician!)
 

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And to extend Joe's testing another step:

Try accelerating while turning sharp right(all the way).

Then do the same thing to the left.


How is the noise? The same, or does it do some grinding/growling?
 

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And a call to Honda customer relations pleading for some goodwill never hurt either
Just to emphasize this point... I had a 2000 Honda Accord a few years back, and it had a problem where I would shift into reverse and start moving back and then it would suddenly LURCH backwards. It started small and was getting worse and worse. I took it to the dealer who said I needed a $5k tranny replacement + labor of around $800, and I'd pay for it because I wasn't under warranty any longer (around 50k miles). I freaked because it was an obvious manufacturing defect, and after contacting them got them to cover the $5k tranny and I paid the labor. A year or so later, got a recall notice in the mail that said they would retroactively cover parts/labor replacement for anyone who had to have it replaced, and I got the labor refunded as well. :)

I've also heard stories of free engine replacements at 100k in certain circumstances, so although yours has a fair amount more mileage, it can't hurt to ask!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the information everyone.

The noise gets faster as rpm increases. The noise also is slower as rpm decreases. I was in the car when the Albany mechanic tested it. I tried it myself just for peace of mind and dollar.

Both mechanics did the turning test to see if it was the CV joints. Both mechanics (Concord and Albany, CA) ruled out CV problems. I was confident that it wasn't the CV joints.

Does anyone have the number they called for HONDA customer service. If not I'll find it online.

Thanks again.
 

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Hi, I am a new owner (3.5 months) of a 2002 Insight CVT. I have noticed lately, that I am also having a loud knocking when I shift into drive. Everything else seems fine (ie no drop in MPGs). Should I have the transmission fluid replaced, or would that not help. I am curious is there is an update from noelgold1's problem, if he is still around.

Thanks for any advice.


Megiddo
 

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Changeing the fluid won't harm anything....How many miles since the last change?
Another case of the "problem" and "poster" went away..........seems to happen a lot. I guess that is meant to keep the dedicated Insighters forum guessing.

Willie
 

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I agree with the fluid change, cant cause any harm. Not sure I would take an economy car with tranny problems to 100mph.

I had my inner joints go out on my geo and it at 60mph had a gallope every few seconds that rattled the dash. Below 60 no problems. I did have the outer right go bad and it clicked when making tight turns.
 

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I do not know that last time the trans fluid was replaced since I just purchased the car. The first time I had the old changed, the Honda dealer said that since they didn't know the history of the car, I may want to replace the trans fluid, but that it wasn't of concern at the moment. (That was before this noise started). I haven't looked through the manual yet, but how hard is it to replace the trans fluid myself, or is it worth the $69.99 to have Honda do it. I started changing my own oil last weekend, to save money, but if this is not as easy, I would be willing to pay. Thanks.


Megiddo

Just FYI, the car has 125,350 miles.
 

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Its not as simple as it use to be. To fully "change" the fluid in a regular tranny that is an automatic most dealers use a flush. They cycle fluid through the cooler lines to make sure its completely changed as the torque converter holds a few qts and its impossible to change it all by just dumping the pan and refilling.

Some trannys have a filter that needs replacing, then my tacoma uses a screen that needed to be cleaned.

Thats the messy part removing the pan unless yours has a screw on filter. Some do not have a drain plug requiring you to remove the pan.
 

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Its not as simple as it use to be. To fully "change" the fluid in a regular tranny that is an automatic most dealers use a flush. They cycle fluid through the cooler lines to make sure its completely changed as the torque converter holds a few qts and its impossible to change it all by just dumping the pan and refilling.

Some trannys have a filter that needs replacing, then my tacoma uses a screen that needed to be cleaned.

Thats the messy part removing the pan unless yours has a screw on filter. Some do not have a drain plug requiring you to remove the pan.
CVT Insights do not have a torque converter so that helps a bit. There is a drain plug and no mandated filter replacement so not so bad compared to others...It is almost like an oil change. The hardest part is probably the refill through the dipstick since it is a narrow opening.

Also, be sure to use the correct CVT fluid....It does make a difference :)

Part number for the "new" CVT ATF is 80200-9006



See: http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/honda-insight-forum-1st-gen-discussion/9955-honda-reintroduces-cvt-specific-atf.html

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
 

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Easy to change: Remove the aero panel on the driver side under the front (5 screws) remove the drain plug (LH bottom of the transmission facing the LT front wheel) (3/8 breaker bar straight into the plug). it is worth noting that the plug has a magnet in the center (a black coating of metal powder is normal). Clean the magnet off and re install. there are two ways to fill the transmission, by the book, remove the air filter housing, the fill plug is underneath. I just fill it through the dip stick tube (note the dipstick tube is smaller than any transmission funnel. I use a cutoff .223 cartridge case dropped down in a funnel work perfectly with no leaking.
 

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Well, I took the car to the Honda dealer, and they said that I would need a new transmission. They couldn't give me a quote because the place they need to call was closed for the day. My question is, what is the difference between getting a new transmission and rebuilding the transmission. Would rebuilding it even be a viable option? I am going to try and give a few places, like AAMCO, a call tomorrow. Thanks.


Megiddo
 

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My question is, what is the difference between getting a new transmission and rebuilding the transmission. Would rebuilding it even be a viable option? I am going to try and give a few places, like AAMCO, a call tomorrow. Thanks.Megiddo
A new transmission will be several thousand dollars. I'm thinking 4-5K :mad:

AAMCO may be able to fix something on a CVT but will probably be darn expensive as well. If I were you, I would find a used CVT transmission online and have it shipped to a place of your choice for installation. That would be the least expensive way in my opinion.

There is one on eBay right now for $600 plus shipping but you may be able to find one elsewhere with less miles:

2000 - 2006 Honda Insight CVT Transmission Automatic:eBay Motors (item 270474717794 end time Nov-22-09 14:49:54 PST)

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
 

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I called the Honda dealer back up and they gave me the name of a place they recommend to rebuild transmissions. I checked them out online and they are more of a specialty in transmissions than most places. So I figured I would given them a call tomorrow and see what they say.

Thanks Joe. That was my next thought. I was going to check to see if I could buy a used one for cheaper. $600 + $200 (shipping) + labor sounds a lot better than $4,000 - $5,000.


Megiddo
 

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You are definitely in need of a new transmission. I had this same exact problem and signs displayed on a 2002 CVT. There was a bearing of some sort that the mechanic showed me had broken off inside the transmission so that noise that you hear increase with RPM speed is metal on metal contact, instead of the smooth sound you hear when the protective bearing was there. Just to let you know what you are looking at, it cost me $3,600 including labor to have a used CVT dropped in with 24K miles. I wish you luck my friend. I hope that you can get yours repaired cheaper. Definitely don't go to the dealer if it's out of warranty. They wanted $5,200 to put in a new CVT. When you get the new one, definitely only use the Genuine Honda CVT fluid or a VERY high quality fluid compatible with the Honda multimatic CVT such as Eneos CVT fluid. Never use that Honda ATF-Z1 crap. Older revisions of the service manual will call for using Honda ATF-Z1 fluid. DON'T believe them! :p Change it often too. lol I guess I am paranoid about the reliability of the CVT compared to the manual transmission.
 
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