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Discussion Starter #1
This one's been sitting for a few months as we decided what we were going to do with it.
Started acting like it was low on trans fluid, slipping, hard to engage drive, all in forward though, reverse engaged fine.

Decided to swap with used trans.

Had to get a new key made/coded, put a new battery in, and when reversing to get it inside, it actually shifted into drive like normal..........

Then after warming up it started slipping again.
Checked the fluid level, it was about 2pts low.

Topped off (ATF DW1) and it seemed a little better but still slipping/acting like low fluid.


It threw me off enough that I felt it prudent to post somewhere before I go through the trouble of the swap, in case I am missing something?

Thanks for any input.
 

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I think swapping out the battery “reset” the transmission. That’s probably why it worked a little better after.
 

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Have you already tried clean ATF? Before doing a transmission swap, try a drain and refill of the ATF. Cheaper and easier, just might improve the shift quality. 3 1/2 quarts of DW-1 (or Valvoline Maxlife) will change out about 40% of the fluid. If this actually helps, then repeat the procedure a couple more times, with some driving miles between each D/F.
 

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Did you try drain and refill 3 times to replace all ATF fluid already?
Why was it 2 pints low? Was the level good before? Where is the fluid going? That is a lot of fluid to lose, there aint no leaky piston rings to burn it up like motor oil.

Does this model have the risk of the coolant to ATF leak? (called pink milkshake I think)
 

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After trying the good suggestions above, and before swapping out the transmission, try replacing the transmission pressure switches. A lot cheaper than a whole transmission job, and a lot of members on this forum have had success with that over the years.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think swapping out the battery “reset” the transmission. That’s probably why it worked a little better after.
I could see that..

Have you already tried clean ATF? Before doing a transmission swap, try a drain and refill of the ATF. Cheaper and easier, just might improve the shift quality. 3 1/2 quarts of DW-1 (or Valvoline Maxlife) will change out about 40% of the fluid. If this actually helps, then repeat the procedure a couple more times, with some driving miles between each D/F.
Makes sense, I don't know why we haven't done this already.
If I recall, there was a sensor issue that was repaired shortly before this failure.
Replaced sensor and it temporarily remedied the issue but it may have just been the "reset" that did it.
Going to try a drain and fill, now.

Did you try drain and refill 3 times to replace all ATF fluid already?
Why was it 2 pints low? Was the level good before? Where is the fluid going? That is a lot of fluid to lose, there aint no leaky piston rings to burn it up like motor oil.

Does this model have the risk of the coolant to ATF leak? (called pink milkshake I think)
I have not, yet, not sure why. Going to do so, now.
Honestly it was probably more like 1.25p but still, I just attributed it to years of not being checked, as there is no apparent leaks.
I'm aware of the Acura/Honda coolant/atf exchange issue, I don't see that as immediately apparent but it will be here shortly, if I find coolant in the trans!

After trying the good suggestions above, and before swapping out the transmission, try replacing the transmission pressure switches. A lot cheaper than a whole transmission job, and a lot of members on this forum have had success with that over the years.
Also something I considered, but, wouldn't that throw a specific DTC?

There's currently no codes present, pending or otherwise.

I'm about to try the fluid change and see what happens.

Genuine thanks for all the speedy replies, I really appreciate it.

We've go a good used trans laying here and it seems that these aren't really that bad to swap but, I'd like to avoid dropping this subframe if I can help it! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I need to double check my records but, we MAY have done a fluid change......it seems like something I would have done right off the bat, idk why I wouldn't have.

Going to check, and going to do it, anyway.
 

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Also something I considered, but, wouldn't that throw a specific DTC?

There's currently no codes present, pending or otherwise.

I'm about to try the fluid change and see what happens.

Genuine thanks for all the speedy replies, I really appreciate it.

We've go a good used trans laying here and it seems that these aren't really that bad to swap but, I'd like to avoid dropping this subframe if I can help it! ;)
It doesn't always throw a code. But try the 3x ATF drain & fill first.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It doesn't always throw a code. But try the 3x ATF drain & fill first.
Working on that, now.

I talked to my friend (this is my buddies vehicle, actually, I am doing this for them bc their main vehicle is wrecked and they need something to get the family around) and he seems to also remember that we changed the fluid at least once.

The first drain certainly doesn't look perfect but it doesn't look/smell like 230k+ fluid.

He reminded me that when it was giving him issues before he was occasionally able to shut the vehicle off, restart, and be able to drive normally....
 

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We've go a good used trans laying here and it seems that these aren't really that bad to swap but, I'd like to avoid dropping this subframe if I can help it! ;)
Its only 73 steps in the service manual to remove the transmission, not a big job - ha ha.

I second the pressure switches change out, some folks have had good success with that.

On the fluid drain and fill, be sure to drive a good distance using all the gears to get the new fluid circulated well. I will drive it for a week between drain/fills when I have done it a few times. I will look to see if a TSB specifies Hondas recommendation.
 

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I have 04 Honda pilot transmission was slipping when putting in drive changed gears and would go. Didn't take out of driveway figured transmission was done did check all fluids reverse never a problem well it had 208000 miles so parked it and went and bought 2011 Pilot. Few weeks after buying that one transmission started doing same thing except had the battery light on. Had new battery so changed alternator runs great. So tested 04 pilot alternator and it tested good and also had it bench tested and tested good. I decided to replace anyway cause read they can test good but have bad diode. Well bought reman. for 150 bucks and it's running awesome. 04 pilot did not throw code was slipping intermittently but it always slipped I have probably put 1500 miles on it last couple months and hasn't slipped once. So maybe check that out.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J320A using Tapatalk
 

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Good point on battery and alternator - have both checked. Drove Pilot once with dead alternator and dying battery, started shifting very weird, but there were 10 warning lights as the voltage got low on all the computers.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Did the drain plug have shavings on it?
nothing crazy. No actual shavings, just what I'd expect for 200k+.

Its only 73 steps in the service manual to remove the transmission, not a big job - ha ha.

I second the pressure switches change out, some folks have had good success with that.

On the fluid drain and fill, be sure to drive a good distance using all the gears to get the new fluid circulated well. I will drive it for a week between drain/fills when I have done it a few times. I will look to see if a TSB specifies Hondas recommendation.
EASY! lol.....
Just looking at the procedures it seems similar but I'm sure easier than the last trans I replaced in a 2006 SAAB 9-5!
;)

I'll be sure to try to get everything good and mixed up by driving as much as I can, IF I can, hopefully so.


I have 04 Honda pilot transmission was slipping when putting in drive changed gears and would go. Didn't take out of driveway figured transmission was done did check all fluids reverse never a problem well it had 208000 miles so parked it and went and bought 2011 Pilot. Few weeks after buying that one transmission started doing same thing except had the battery light on. Had new battery so changed alternator runs great. So tested 04 pilot alternator and it tested good and also had it bench tested and tested good. I decided to replace anyway cause read they can test good but have bad diode. Well bought reman. for 150 bucks and it's running awesome. 04 pilot did not throw code was slipping intermittently but it always slipped I have probably put 1500 miles on it last couple months and hasn't slipped once. So maybe check that out.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J320A using Tapatalk
WHAAAA? So the voltage difference affected the TCM you think or, coincidence??
I work primarily on BMW and Jaguar, notorious for very "particular" electrical systems and I have NEVER heard anything like that......

Not doubting you, just surprised!

I will keep that in mind
 

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For real 04 sat for 2 months only reason figured it out was 2011 started slipping to except had battery light on. Had never replaced alternator in 04 so decided to replace even though it tested good. Has not slipped once since. Been driving to work. I know it's true though!! Was gonna sell cheap or scrap but it's running great

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J320A using Tapatalk
 

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For real 04 sat for 2 months only reason figured it out was 2011 started slipping to except had battery light on. Had never replaced alternator in 04 so decided to replace even though it tested good. Has not slipped once since. Been driving to work. I know it's true though!! Was gonna sell cheap or scrap but it's running great

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J320A using Tapatalk
That is so crazy.......worth a try!


First fluid change doesn't seem to make a perceptible change.
Still feels like slipping until you either sit and wait for a while or rev it a bit.
Noticed this noise, definitely coming from Trans:

Transmission "Whine"


I guess I will try and drive it a bit tomorrow and see if there is any change, then change fluid again.
I did confirm that we did change at least one round of fluid, several months ago, then decided it was just shot.

At that time it wouldn't go into drive at all.

Maybe I'll be changing the alternator!?

Anyone else had that experience, too?

Thanks again for all the input, I really appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
(The squeaking is an idler pulley I think, but that is just in the background)
The whine is only noticeable in neutral.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, I think we're just going to swap the trans with a known good used/warranty while I have help available.
Tried to drive it a bit this morning and got about 2 miles before there was no reaction from the transmission.
Slipping, high revs, until nothing.

Coasted to a stop, turned it off for a couple minutes, and it started off again just fine.

DID get a code but I don't think speed sensor can cause that much havoc? (P0721)
 

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This leads one to believe if the sensors are bad, all kinds of bad things can happen:

True.
I haven't looked but hopefully this other trans has the sensors and maybe I can try swapping them, first.
 
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