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Grinding noise at very beginning of acceleration.

15178 Views 16 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  gomarlins3
I have a 2002 Insight that has had a grinding noise that can also be felt right at start of acceleration. It ceases after speed is increased. Does anybody know much about the drive belt or what might be causing this? I've had it from 27K to 50K and it hasn't changed much.
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Mechanical grinding noise, or more like maybe what a loud electric motor would sound like? I noticed the latter yesterday, starting in 1st gear, when I drove without the radio on. My first experience driving an Insight, and I'd like to know if it's normal. - Pat (5sp, 45k miles)
Dougie said:
CVT or 5 speed?
I suspect it's a CVT since he mentions a drive belt.
tubesguy said:
Mechanical grinding noise, or more like maybe what a loud electric motor would sound like?
Big difference between a grinding noise and an electric motor hum. This doesn't sound good.
The electric motor should be completely silent, or maybe at most a slight hum you'd never hear over the engine. Any grinding noise is a bad thing. The first thing I'd do is ask has the transmission fluid been changes as it should (every 30K miles for the CVT).
I posted the original problem and yes, it is a CVT. I discussed the problem with my Honda repair center as I am selling the car and I don't wish to pass a true problem on to someone else. It is a 2002 and I also have a 2004. The transmission is a $2000 item (part only). In our discussion it was surmised that at the beginning of acceleration the power pulley is at it's smallest effective diameter and like a small gear would be experiencing the greatest stress and may result in slippage of the belt. As soon as the speed increases the belt is contacting the pulley at a larger diameter and the satin smooth experience the CVT is known for returns. I inquired about the labor for switching the xmissions between my two cars, as I wouldn't mind keeping the problem, but they said it probably wouldn't work because of the differences in the 2002 & 2004 xmission modifications and small changes in computer- monitored sensors. I was just interested to see if anyone else had a similar experience and could tell me what it might develop into. Grinding wasn't really the best term for the problem, as it is more of a momentary slight irregular acceleration I could only guess might be a belt slippage almost similar to a tire intermittantly slipping.
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You could part out the car, if repairing it is cost restrictive. I bet lots of people here need certain parts from it.
Try an ATF flush using the reintroduced CVT specific ATF. ... php?t=3364

HTH! :)
I believe the severety of this problem has been exagerated on the forum. I have no doubts that this car is good for another 50K miles. "Parting out the car" is not even a consideration. I believe the answer to my questions is in the "CVT Slip Clutch Reset" forum comments. This car gives me 60 MPG and it has cruise control and a sunroof in it. The condition is more like an irregularity than a problem. That's why I was considering switching the parts and the problem from the 2002 Insight to the 2004 one I will be keeping. It is not getting worse and it deosn't bother me. I just know that it is there and I wanted to know it's cause. Apparently it is not a safety issue and is something to simply understand and keep monitored.
Vibration from stop.

I have the same issue with my used 2002 CVT i purchased with 98K. At the beginning it vibrates is I gas it normally. If I release the break only and let the engine speed up it self and catch speed I dont here the grinding of the electric motor engaging. Should the car be smooth like normal automatic car? I was told by the person that sold me the car that this was normal. It does sound to me like there is some kind of slipping of the belt or gear or some thing. Should I take it to the shop to check?

Thanks for any info.
I tried the reset procedure but it did not work.

I tried the reset procedure but it did not work. The issue is still there. I think I will bring it to the shop to see if they can fix the slipping of the belt during the engaging of the electric motor.
Hi kkchata and welcome to the forum :!:


The grinding _appears_ to be internal to the CVT. It is unrelated to the IMA system and its electric motor.

HTH! :)
This is good news. The problem I posted about several times, a rough initial start with the CVT, is solved. The problem was solved with a transmission fluid change. I will try to find out from my service people what they put in it and verify what kind the new owner used that stopped the problem. I must have started having the problem after having it changed at 30K miles. I had remembered the problem as being present since I had it because I got it with 27K miles on it and hit the 30K mark shortly thereafter. This is really good news.
As Trekker posted earlier to try a fluid change with a thread link:

Just as the headline says the "first" Honda CVT's were manufacturer
specified to use only a specific "CVT" ATF. Later Honda recended this
in favor of _their_ specific brand of Dexron ATF
The earlier fluid change may have had the Dexron ATF installed instead
of the specific CVT ATF. Honda must have had some reason to switch
back and it probably one of them was a problem like you had.

JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner who will use the CVT ATF
AFAIK and IMO using the Honda Z1 ATF will do no harm or damage to a CVT. Afterall its what was originally "installed". However, Honda chose to reintroduce a CVT specific fluid that should provide _additional_ protection.

My read (and I guess we'll never know for sure) is that a different lower quality fluid was used.

Thanks for the closure physicsOne :!: :!: :!: Many members don't go to the extra effort. :D

[sp edit]
I have the same problem. Maybe I will take it in and have the fluid changed.
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