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My 2002 Insight with a 5 speed has begun making a humming or whining sound when in reverse. It started a couple of weeks ago and now seems to be getting louder. I only notice this when moving in reverse, it quits as soon as I stop, even if still in gear. Any ideas as to what might be causing this?
 

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The reverse gears on most manual transmission cars are straight cut gears instead of helical gears so they always make a whining noise. Race car dog box transmissions use all straight cut gears so they sound like they are going in reverse all the time.
If it's getting louder all I can think of is to get the manual transmission fluid replaced. Or maybe you are now driving in reverse in a narrow driveway between two houses so it just sounds louder?
 

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It really does seem to have just started making the humming noise while moving backwards in reverse gear. It is possible that it did it before, and that it is now just getting louder. I'm backing out of the same garage that the car has lived in for the last three years, so nothing has changed to reflect more sound. Wierd huh?

How often should one change the transmission fluid? My Insight has about 70,000 miles on it.
 

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The owner's manual says 90K miles or 6 years, whichever is sooner. I just changed the MTF in my 2000 Insight at 62,500 miles. (A year past the manual's recommendation :oops: .) The fluid looked like new when it drained out. I only noticed a minor difference when shifting (just a bit smoother, but hardly noticeable). But it's recommended to change after 6 years since MTF loses viscosity over time, and to keep Honda happy regarding the warranty. :p . It looks like you have a bit longer to go unless you are noticing problems with your tranny that a fluid change might help. Better to be safe than sorry.

(I did not notice this humming noise either until I had owned the car for a while--well over three months. I first noticed it when trying to get out of deep snow in reverse. Snow tires sure would have helped...)
 

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I change the manual transmission fluid of my Insight every 2 or 3 years and the improvement in shifting performance is noticeable every time. My track civic gets it's MTF replaced at least once per year.
 
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