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#4487342 - 08/13/17 01:14 PM Another short tripping problem???
OneEyeJack Online   content


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 7473
Loc: S California
The idea that short tripping can be bad for engine oil, is it also a problem for automatic transmission fluid.

A co-worker that lives 7 minutes from work and otherwise does not drive much had a problem. His 2001 4-cylinder Acura that he purchased new just hit 55K and the automatic transmission failed. He changed the engine oil every 3K miles at the dealership express line but never had the transmission serviced. He is a very conservative driver, parks the car inside a garage and washes and waxes the car frequently. It looks great all the time. In other words, this car is not abused by hard driving has never seen snow or cold weather and not a lot of rain.

He had the transmission rebuilt instead of having a used or other rebuilt transmission installed.

Was this a short tripping failure or just bad luck?

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#4487344 - 08/13/17 01:16 PM Re: Another short tripping problem??? [Re: OneEyeJack]
mclasser Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 2223
Loc: The Northeast
Honda transmissions of that era were problematic.
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#4487352 - 08/13/17 01:26 PM Re: Another short tripping problem??? [Re: OneEyeJack]
Barkleymut Offline


Registered: 01/27/04
Posts: 2704
Loc: Richmond, VA
that is 16 year old fluid. while he may wax the car a lot, leaving 16 year old fluid in a car is abusing the car.
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#4487361 - 08/13/17 01:33 PM Re: Another short tripping problem??? [Re: OneEyeJack]
spackard Offline


Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 1714
Loc: CA
I thought the trans problems were only with the V6-engined ones.

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#4487376 - 08/13/17 01:50 PM Re: Another short tripping problem??? [Re: mclasser]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 29741
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: mclasser
Honda transmissions of that era were problematic.


They were. More so in V6 applications, but they had their fair share of problems in the 4 cylinder cars as well.
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#4487398 - 08/13/17 02:08 PM Re: Another short tripping problem??? [Re: OneEyeJack]
dlundblad Offline


Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 10002
Loc: Indiana
I personally say bad luck.
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#4487411 - 08/13/17 02:20 PM Re: Another short tripping problem??? [Re: OneEyeJack]
OneEyeJack Online   content


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 7473
Loc: S California
Should a short tripper be more aggressive with automatic transmission service?

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#4487430 - 08/13/17 02:36 PM Re: Another short tripping problem??? [Re: OneEyeJack]
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 15687
Loc: OH
A drain and fill every 10K or so in this kind of use might have helped but may not have made any difference.
For this transaxle to fail after only 55K was just bad luck. How did it fail? Usually they give plenty of warning and we used an '02 like that for tens of thousands of miles.
This generation of Honda is the one that spawned the legions of posts concerning Honda's inability to make a good automatic.
The prior and following generations show no excess failure rate.
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#4487443 - 08/13/17 02:53 PM Re: Another short tripping problem??? [Re: OneEyeJack]
dishdude Online   content


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 8730
Loc: Phoenix
I thought auto trans liked short trips? Sounds like it was just a faulty transmission - the only 2001 Acura I can think of with a 4 cyl would be an Integra and that should have had the old 4 speed that would have been decent, not the 5 speed that was highly problematic.
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#4487510 - 08/13/17 03:51 PM Re: Another short tripping problem??? [Re: Barkleymut]
raytseng Offline


Registered: 12/11/08
Posts: 2333
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: Barkleymut
that is 16 year old fluid. while he may wax the car a lot, leaving 16 year old fluid in a car is abusing the car.


im with you.

the short trip vs long trip is a red herring. its the 16years. Prettt much every maintenance guide says time or miles, why disregard and jump only on the short trip aspect.

if the guy instead did one 30mile trip once a week only on saturdays instead of a daily short trip to get the 55k miles, i think he would still be at risk for the failure with the 16year old fluid



Edited by raytseng (08/13/17 03:52 PM)

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#4487551 - 08/13/17 04:23 PM Re: Another short tripping problem??? [Re: OneEyeJack]
CharlieBauer Offline


Registered: 03/29/16
Posts: 1177
Loc: CA
There are multiple factors at play here:

1) On the one hand, short trips means less heat so fluid will last longer.

2) On the other hand, short trips means more gear changes so more material oxidizing the fluid.

3) And on the third hand, short trips may mean the ATF temperature does not get high enough to activate anti wear additives.
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#4487609 - 08/13/17 05:28 PM Re: Another short tripping problem??? [Re: CharlieBauer]
CR94 Offline


Registered: 03/20/16
Posts: 1120
Loc: Western S.C. since 1996
Originally Posted By: CharlieBauer
... 2) On the other hand, short trips means more gear changes ...
Exactly. That's the important point everybody else missed. 300k of long highway trips might've involved fewer shifts, which are when wear occurs.


Edited by CR94 (08/13/17 05:29 PM)
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#4487778 - 08/13/17 08:02 PM Re: Another short tripping problem??? [Re: OneEyeJack]
steve20 Offline


Registered: 06/19/07
Posts: 3475
Loc: Morris County NJ
If it has the 5 speed auto trans, summary of the problem in that era was not enough fluid getting to second (or 3nd) gear. Fix was to add a lube route to the affected area(s).
Problem was more prevalent with the V6 because both 6 cyl & 4 cyl engines used the same auto transmissions.
FWIW, my 2005 Accord 4 cyl has had routine fluid changes with Honda fluid every 35K miles or so, up to about 175K. Since then, I've gone to once/year or 15 K miles, whichever comes first.
Presently 256 K miles on the car
Steve
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