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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, please please someone tell me if I am simply incapable of using the search and this is already somewhere else. Moving on....

The way my shifter is behaving (not smooth, little bit of crunching/grinding, etc), made me ask my mechanic friend if it sounds/feels like my trans is going. After driving it (and he's driven it with me all summer, across the country, etc) to see what I'm talking about, and after a big sigh, he says, "Well... right. Maybe a new clutch. But, the first thing to do would be to drain the trans fluid and fill it back up with new." What do you all think? Never had a new clutch and I'm at 103k... and I'm no hypermiler. I love my insight and I love pushing it for milage, but the best I can ever get with day-to-day driving is high 50s, though I've definitely averaged high 70s on the freeway...but not regularly. So maybe I'm tough on it, I'm not sure.

If draining the trans fluid is a good idea, do you have any tips? Anything specific I need to know about buying fluid, etc? (I don't have an owners OR shop manual, so I've been at your mercy for a year+ now.)

Thanks, all.
 

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5 speed or CVT :?:

Reads like you've got a 5 speed.

If the fluid has not been changed recently with the incorrect oil (usually the "oops" takes 90w gear oil to make the gears grind) then it is probably not the cause of your "grinding".

Seems like your "mechanic" needs to learn how to diagnose "hydraulic" clutch actuator systems. IMO that would more likely be the cause based on the information you have supplied. But it _could_ also be various mechanical failures of the clutch pressure plate, release bearing, or disc.

However, draining the oil (and straining it through a paint strainer funnel) would be relatively low cost _and_ _help_ diagnose any abnormal grinding noises while driving (not necessarily just when shifting).

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
5 speed. I don't spend enough time on here and sometimes forget about CVTs altogether. :oops:

True, my friend and I share another hobby, VW Buses. Aircooleds are his specialty, as are older cars in general. Is there a way for ME to check those various components that could be the problem? Is there a thread you can direct me to that more directly addresses them?
 

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IIRC the answer is no, there are no detailed threads on how to diagnose clutch "problems".

The answer would necessarily be verbose, trying to narratively paint the necessary pictures. You'll need an experienced Honda mechanic hands-on for an accurate diagnosis.

HTH! :)
 

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Replacing the tranny fluid is easy, cheap, and should be done every 40-50k miles anyway. Get a couple quarts from a Honda dealer and go at it. Make sure you have a transmission funnel that has a long hose on the end so you can fill from up top.

It really sounds like tranny and not clutch related. The only way it could be the clutch is if it's not disengaging completely when you shift.
 

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Have you checked your floor mats arent interfering with disengaging the clutch?
 

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Does it gind when:
-going into 1st from neutral dead stop?
-when upshifting?
-and downshifting?
-If at a dead stop in 1st gear, is the car trying to creep?
-If in 1st gear and you floor it, does it sound like the motor revs without gaining mph speed?

Have you ever had the trans fluid changed?
The cheapest thing to do first would be to change the fluid with the proper fluid. Honda synchros are finicky.
Honda has the correct fluid for a hybrid as well as Amsoil now has one as well
that I have been using.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Welll...I could comment on LoNOx's questions right NOW, but I'm going to print this out and go for a ride so I can reply more specifically. Thank you guys for your quick help.

My friend wanted me to change the fluid (after I told him about these issues) because he has specifically heard me grind accidentally a few times when putting it into reverse or first. He said that burns the oil, which then prevents it from working correctly.

Right now, I guess without being a mechanic, I would say it almost sticks. If I'm real nice, and I give the clutch an extra second and then move very carefully and slowly, everything is pretty much okay. First, second, reverse are worst. Third, fouth, fifth seem to move more smoothly. Will go for a ride, take your comments with me, and post again later, paying closer attention to how to talk about it.

Thank you again.
 

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It is really starting to sound like a syncro/tranny fluid issue. As the fluid ages, the syncros will slip more and if you force the gear lever into gear, it will grind. The lower gears are farther apart (ratio wise) so they tend to start grinding before higher ones. Reverse is un-syncro'd so it will grind unless you are completely stopped when you go into it.

If it's clutch related, you will be moving forward when your in 1st gear with the clutch pushed all the way in. If this is the case, you might have air in the clutch line and it will require bleeding.
 

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1st step : Change the tranny fluid and use Honda manual transmission fluid from a Honda dealer. Nothing else works better.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
okay, I've been thinking very hard while driving the last few days to come up with exactly the right words to say what I want to say. So... I'm still not quite sure, but here's what I've got:

I'm wrong about "grinding"---I know that when you're talking about "grinding" gears, it refers to something very specific, and that's not what I mean, because the shifter moves into place without the "grinding" that happens when the clutch is not all the way in, etc. In more specific terms, it's like rubbing. It doesn't WANT to go to first gear, "can't we just stay in the driveway?" :) It's like there's something in the way. Instead of one fluid movement from neutral all the way forward into first, or all the way down into second, it's like a thee-step process, as if I'm passing by bumps along the way.

It just doesn't want to be there. Another way I was thinking of describing this is that I feel like I'm learing to drive a stick all over again, as if I didn't know where the gears are. I'll go to put it in first or second, or especially reverse, with the clutch all the way down, and think, "Oh, I'm off...." because it doesn't just GO.

I hope that answers a few things more specifically, and:

-If at a dead stop in 1st gear, is the car trying to creep?
Not at all. Tried this in reverse, as well. No creeping.

-If in 1st gear and you floor it, does it sound like the motor revs without gaining mph speed?
Uh... you mean, without pushing the clutch down at all? As if I'm already cruising in first gear? If you mean already cruising, no, that's normal. The only issues I'm having are with shifting.

Soooo....with all that said, I bought trans oil from Honda yesterday and I'm about to go put my car up on stands and get underneath it, change the fluid and take a look at the clutch system, after which I will report back.

I look forward to hearing back from you guys. Thanks for all your help!![/quote]
 
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