Join Date: Jun 2014
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2004 Accord EX I-4 Transmission Whining Noise
Hi All! I bought a 2004 Accord EX 4-cyl a month ago from a Honda dealer in my area with 110,000 miles on it. After I took the car home, I noticed what could only be described as a whining noise coming from the engine that I hadn't noticed on my test drive. It made the noise when I started the car, revved the engine in park, when I accelerated, or even when the car was just coasting.
The best example of this noise that I can find online is here: Mine isn't quite that loud, but the tone of it and the fact that it changes with the engine RPMs is exactly the same
I took it back to Honda and they diagnosed it as a bad power steering pump. They replaced the pump, charged me $250 and sent me on my way. A few minutes after driving it out of the service center, I noticed that the noise was still there, so I called the sales manager that I had been working with. Even though the car was out of the "lemon law" warranty in NY, they agreed to take another look at it. This time, they told me that the noise was coming from the transmission, and it needed to be rebuilt. Thankfully, they also agreed to pay for it.
After a week and a half, I had my car back with a rebuilt transmission and a 12-month unlimited warranty. I was assured that everything was fine and that multiple technicians had driven the car. However, just like the last time, once I drove the car away, I still heard the whining noise. The car's shift from 1st to 2nd when accelerating slowly was also just as sluggish as it was before. It left me wondering if they did anything at all other than disconnecting the battery and replacing the fluid.
Last week, I brought it back again and spoke with one of their senior service managers. He sent the car back out and called me later in the week to tell me that the shop said the noise was being caused by a bad main shaft bearing. I asked him how this had been missed during the rebuild, and he said he didn't really know.
I got the car this past Friday and listened very carefully. The noise is actually still there, but it's quieter and the car seems to have better pickup. The slightly sluggish shifting is still there when I accelerate slowly, but when I accelerate quickly, it's smooth. The noise doesn't seem to be there when I start it up anymore, and when I rev the engine in park, it's virtually inaudible.
My question at this point is, what do I do? Should I bring it back and have them look at it a 4th time? It's under warranty for a year, so I can if I want to, but I'm really tired of having to give up my car for a week plus each time. I don't understand why it's so hard to take care of this noise. I've had the car for 6 weeks, and it's been in the shop for about 3 1/2 of them.
I was thinking about selling the car and starting over, but I took it to my mechanic and they told me that other than the transmission, it's in really good shape. Since it's costing me nothing to fix with the warranty, I'd rather not part with it. I had read somewhere before that some cars of this vintage can just have a "noisy" transmission. Seems a little weird to me though.
I've also read about the tranny issues that these Accords had, but they seemed to be confined to the V6 models. Any advice or insight would be much appreciated!