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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

I just purchased my first Insight yesterday, a 2001 CVT with 79,000 miles. I'm really liking it so far, but I am noticing something that may be an issue. Whenever I begin accelerating from a full stop I feel a significant stutter/shudder right about at 1500 RPM (basically, very shortly after I begin accelerating). I can drop to 2 mph and then accelerate and not feel it, but it will happen every time if I come from a stop. I don't think the Auto stop is kicking in because my A/C is on.

I see that stutter issues have been discussed quite a bit in the forum, so I apologize if this has been addressed already, but I am not familiar enough to know if the other posts addressed this.

Thanks!
 

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Try it in reverse, if it does it in reverse to, it's probably the rear motor mount. I get the shudder as well and I suspect bad motor mounts (my passengers side on is definitely bad).
 

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Search for cvt shudder and or judder and you will probably find your answer. May just need cvt fluid change or may be the starter clutch. You can try the cvt relearn procedure or the burnishing procedure if the fluid change doesnt fix it. The key is too make sure the car has the 3.5qts of oem honda genuine cvt fluid only. It should not be red in color or dark brown. If I remember correctly it should be honey colored with a possible pinkish hue, someone please correct me if im wrong about that.
 

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Have the CVT fluid changed, only use the Honda CVT fluid, not a different brand.

The CVT has a "mini" clutch that is automatically controlled. When you are stopped the clutch is out. When you go to start the clutch slips momentarily. Once you are moving, even slowing down to 2 MPH, it is engaged, and when you give it gas again it isn't slipping.

When I bought my CVT I had the same issue, real bad. CVT fluid change fixed the problem. The pan does not need to be dropped or removed. Just drain out what you can from the drain plug, and refill. My drain plug was real, real tight, I almost couldn't get it free. You can fill the CVT in through the dipstick tube.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, everyone.

@Balto, the car doesn't shudder at all in reverse as far as I can tell, but thank you for the advice in case it did.

@Insight for Life (I did buy that one from Roseville, as it turns out. With the exception of the little shudder, I am loving it so far)

@Need4Speed, Thanks to you and for Life on the advice. I am pretty much a novice when it comes to anything beyond the most basic automotive maintenance. Would either of you be able to tell me where to look and what to look for if I am going to drain it? Also, for filling it, is there a fill line I need to look for with the dipstick, or should 3.5 quarts be just right after draining?

Thanks again.
 

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Look at the dipstick. I think it has a hole or two indicating full or low. Fill it and check it, don't just dump 3.5 quarts in it. If you drain it from the plug I think some stays in. If you drop the pan it will them hold more when you fill it.

The drain plug is somewhere on the drivers side of the car. I think that a 1/2 inch square drive fits it (I.e. you don't need a socket, your 1/2 inch breaker bar will snap right in. I doubt that my fluid had been changed in 10 years, it was real hard to break lose. It also uses a fiber washer order one on those.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks again.

I had my Insight in at PepBoys a couple of days ago doing a coolant flush and swapping out my air filter and I asked them to take a look at my transmission fluid. They said it looked clean and clear and that they wouldn't say I need to change my fluid. I don't know what variety of transmission fluid is in there from the original owner and the mechanics weren't particularly knowledgable about hybrids. Do you guys think it would still be worth it to initially try drain and fill with Honda CVT fluid?

If so, I will give it a shot as soon as I acquire something to let me get under the car :)
 

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If you remove the pan and service the transmission/CVT, it requires 4.3ish quarts to refill. There are 5 parts to do the service, pan gasket, strainer, filter & 2 O rings.

The fill plug is located under the air cleaner box, 17mm (IIRC). Can be very tight, I use a 1/2 drive swivel socket, a long extension and a large 1/2 drive ratchet. It requires removing some of the air cleaner parts and loosening up the box to move it to the side.

The gasket on the fill plug is not cork or rubber it is aluminum and I reuse it.

When filling the the trans, pour in 4 quarts, start the car and shift the trans through the gears so it pumps the fluid though the trans. You can do this with the fill plug removed. Check the level and add to the "cold" level on the cross hatch of the dipstick.

HTH,
Scott
 

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I had my Insight in at PepBoys a couple of days ago doing a coolant flush
I hope they used the special coolant bleeding procedure required by the Insight. Few mechanics do. If they didn't bleed the air out of the coolant according to the Insight Service Manual, be prepared for coolant overheating problems which can quickly lead to engine damage because the coolant temperature gauge is so slow to respond to overheating.

Do you guys think it would still be worth it to initially try drain and fill with Honda CVT fluid?
Insight CVT's are very sensitive to the type and condition of the transmission fluid. Some CVT owners believe that the fluid must be changed every 30,000 miles to prevent problems. Since you don't know the maintenance history of your car, I suggest changing the fluid.
 

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If Pepboys thought it took regular trans fluid it would probably have looked better than new...are they familiar with the Honda CVT fluid color.....?

Also, I thought getting to the fill plug was hard to get to.....I used a funnel on the dipstick tube instead of using the fill plug.
 
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