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post #1 of 10 Old 08-19-2011, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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transmission fluid burnt = transmission dead soon?

Hello, all. I'm new to this forum and don't know much about cars. The followings are my story and questions.

I recently bought a 2002 Accord SE coupe. It was modified in the previous owner's hand, which now causes me a lot of trouble.

Recently I find the car jerks a little bit when shifting between R and D, and it also jerks when braking to stop at traffic lights. I took it to a repair shop with the other problem: low beam headlights working intermittently.

The mechanic said there were too much aftermarket wiring in the car so that they were not sure which caused the problem of headlights. They had to rewire all things to factory setting. I let them do it. Now the headlight works fine, but they removed the alarm system because it was added on by the previous owner (not the one coming with the car from factory) and I have to open the door by key...

I also asked them to check the transmission. The mechanic said the fluid was a little burned, but he didn't notice too much jerk when driving, only one time there was a delayed shift into first when taking off from a stop.

So here are my questions:

1. If the transmission fluid smells burnt, can I still do the drain&fill? If so, how many times will help? If not, how much longer can I drive? 5k miles? 10k miles?
2. Am I cheated on the rewire thing? If so, I will never go to that shop again.

Any comment will be grateful. Thank you.

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post #2 of 10 Old 08-20-2011, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by django View Post
Hello, all. I'm new to this forum and don't know much about cars. The followings are my story and questions.

1. If the transmission fluid smells burnt, can I still do the drain&fill? If so, how many times will help? If not, how much longer can I drive? 5k miles? 10k miles?
2. Am I cheated on the rewire thing? If so, I will never go to that shop again.

Any comment will be grateful. Thank you.
1. Yes you can and should do at least 3 drain and fills. No one knows how much longer it will last, maybe it will die tomorrow, but it will last longer with new ATF. I would suggest Valvoline Maxlife ATF if you are on a budget. Thats what I use.
2. You didnt say what the rewiring cost, but if you ask them to fix the headlights and they did that, you weren't cheated.


2000 Accord SE I4 F23A1 Auto - Sold miles & 10 years ownership
1998 Accord LX I4 F23A1 5 speed - sons DD in DC
1987 Accord LX 5 spd Owned for 17 years sold
1986 Accord LX Auto Totaled miles
1983 Accord LX 5 spd My Second Accord traded in
1978 Accord LX 5 spd My First Accord sold 100k
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-20-2011, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
1. Yes you can and should do at least 3 drain and fills. No one knows how much longer it will last, maybe it will die tomorrow, but it will last longer with new ATF. I would suggest Valvoline Maxlife ATF if you are on a budget. Thats what I use.
How is the ATF you suggested compared with Z1 or Redline? Cheaper?

Quote:
2. You didnt say what the rewiring cost, but if you ask them to fix the headlights and they did that, you weren't cheated.
Yes, they did fix the headlight. The rewiring cost is 294. This is my first car and I don't know much about car. I felt that maybe checking the original wiring instead of rewiring everything can also fix the problem with less cost and time (my car was in their garage for almost three days ), but I might be totally wrong here.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-20-2011, 07:54 AM
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Maxlife is cheaper and more readily available. Most any parts store will have it. Whatever you do - don't use Z1 - its outdated and been replaced with Honda DW1. Redline is good ATF but pricy. If you want to spend $100 for 9 quarts (3 drain and fills) of Redline in a 10 year old transmission that's having issues anyway, that your choice.
Do you know the history of the car and transmission? How many miles on each? Since the PO liked to modify cars, did he change the ATF routinely or possibly add a filter or transmission cooler? Add on coolers are usually in front of the factory radiator and AC condenser.

2000 Accord SE I4 F23A1 Auto - Sold miles & 10 years ownership
1998 Accord LX I4 F23A1 5 speed - sons DD in DC
1987 Accord LX 5 spd Owned for 17 years sold
1986 Accord LX Auto Totaled miles
1983 Accord LX 5 spd My Second Accord traded in
1978 Accord LX 5 spd My First Accord sold 100k
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-20-2011, 08:07 AM
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I think Maxlife is going to be your best bet also. It's designed for higher mileage units and/or older units. Plus a good price. It has extra detergents, seal conditioners that the others don't have or not as many. Free shipping on Amazon also.



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post #6 of 10 Old 08-20-2011, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Yes, they did fix the headlight. The rewiring cost is 294. This is my first car and I don't know much about car. I felt that maybe checking the original wiring instead of rewiring everything can also fix the problem with less cost and time (my car was in their garage for almost three days ), but I might be totally wrong here.
You likely are wrong. If the previous owner (or maybe more than one) bastardized the wiring the time involved to figure out where multiple things were changed would be enormous. That translates to money. Simply restoring it to original made much more sense and was likely easier on your wallet.

Do the fluid change on the trans multiple times and hope for the best.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-20-2011, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thank nehonda and SatinSilver for the clarification of the ATF. I guess I will use Maxlife then.

The one who modified car is actually a she, my PO's PO. My PO got the car at 90K+ miles and now it's 100K+ miles. I got a change list from my PO who got from his PO, which does not include cooler or filter for the transmission. I don't know if they changed ATF regularly.

I attached two pictures, one is the color of the ATF from the dipstick, another is the whole thing under the hood. I am having a hard time finding the radiator or AC condenser mentioned by nehonda. Can you guys help me check if there is any cooler or filter for the transmission in the car? I'm not sure if the pic is too small.

Thanks RTexasF for pointing out my error.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-20-2011, 01:34 PM
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Nice clean engine and the red detail looks good too.

The AFT looks rather brown instead of red like new ATF should, but I've seen worse.

An add-on ATF filter is usually installed in the cooling line where the yellow arrow is. It doesn't appear your car has one.
The radiator is the thing with the blue arrow. The AC condenser is right in front of the radiator, but out of your picture.
Attached Images

2000 Accord SE I4 F23A1 Auto - Sold miles & 10 years ownership
1998 Accord LX I4 F23A1 5 speed - sons DD in DC
1987 Accord LX 5 spd Owned for 17 years sold
1986 Accord LX Auto Totaled miles
1983 Accord LX 5 spd My Second Accord traded in
1978 Accord LX 5 spd My First Accord sold 100k
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-20-2011, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for the detail reply. The ATF actually looks more brown in the picture, but I'll definitely do the drain & fill soon. Really appreciate all the helps from you guys.
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-20-2011, 02:50 PM
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Dang! You guys are spot on with the help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by django View Post
but I'll definitely do the drain & fill x3 soon.
I fixed that for you.

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