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Rebuilt transmission - how to treat it? #4977588
01/13/19 12:04 AM
01/13/19 12:04 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,678
SF Bay Area
y_p_w Offline OP
y_p_w  Offline OP
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,678
SF Bay Area
Finally got my wife's 2002 Civic LX (4AT) working again. Cost about $1600, but otherwise the car runs well. But it's got a rebuilt transmission from an engine/transmission rebuilder. I've noticed it smells a little burnt. It smelled a lot more when I just picked it up. After a while I only notice an odor when I'm stopped.

Take it easy? Drive it normally? I figure the odor will go away.

Of course the car could have a host of problems. Had to charge the battery twice because it was sitting in the driveway for months and not driven. Not sure if it's sulfated as a result, but it would be easy enough to buy a new battery.

Re: Rebuilt transmission - how to treat it? [Re: y_p_w] #4977592
01/13/19 12:14 AM
01/13/19 12:14 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,360
The Canyons
02SE Offline
02SE  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,360
The Canyons
Well, it will be one of three things: Worse than stock, equivalent to stock, or better than stock. Depending on the skill of the Mechanic, and the quality of parts used.

As for a burnt smell, without smelling it myself, it could just a be little ATF that got onto surfaces during the removal, rebuild, install, refill process, in which case it will likely go away shortly. Assuming he's competent, and used good parts, it should be at least as good as a new OEM trans. In which case I would just drive it normally. I assume he also has some sort of warranty period on the rebuilt trans.

Re: Rebuilt transmission - how to treat it? [Re: y_p_w] #4977629
01/13/19 02:07 AM
01/13/19 02:07 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,502
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,502
Waco, TX
Drive it normally - transmissions don't really have a "break in period"....

Well, modern engines really don't, either....


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Rebuilt transmission - how to treat it? [Re: Linctex] #4977659
01/13/19 04:52 AM
01/13/19 04:52 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,380
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
JC1 Offline
JC1  Offline
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,380
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Originally Posted by Linctex
Drive it normally - transmissions don't really have a "break in period"....

Well, modern engines really don't, either....


And make sure you check the fluid level. What happened to the Original Tranny? Lack of maintenence?


2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 5w-20 Valvoline SynPower/Fram Ultra Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 PPPP/Fram Ultra Filter
Re: Rebuilt transmission - how to treat it? [Re: y_p_w] #4977689
01/13/19 06:59 AM
01/13/19 06:59 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 354
south dakota
joekingcorvette Offline
joekingcorvette  Offline
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 354
south dakota
You can change the fluid yourself on those very easily. Its just a drain and fill without a filter. I can change mine on a 2012 just as easily as I can change the engine oil. You said the smell is not as bad now as when you first got the car back and that is a good sign. If it kept getting worse it would be a problem. Check the fluid level and if it's ok keep driving it.


2005 Chevrolet Corvette
2014 Ford F-150 4x4 supercrew
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited (wifes)
2012 Honda Civic 4 door (my daily driver)
2007 Lund Tyee Grand Sport Mercury 115HP 9.8HP
Re: Rebuilt transmission - how to treat it? [Re: y_p_w] #4977836
01/13/19 09:55 AM
01/13/19 09:55 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,628
out there
spasm3 Offline
spasm3  Offline
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,628
out there
When should you change the fluid in a rebuild? I had my 4l60e rebuilt. has dex 6 in it. I do have some amsoil dex 3 in the garage.


13 elantra 72k 5w30 QSUD
03 chevy avalanche 80k synpwr 5w30
17 mazda cx-5 7300 miles m1 0w30
Re: Rebuilt transmission - how to treat it? [Re: JC1] #4977873
01/13/19 10:45 AM
01/13/19 10:45 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 10,263
Maricopa, Arizona
dave1251 Offline
dave1251  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 10,263
Maricopa, Arizona
Originally Posted by JC1
Originally Posted by Linctex
Drive it normally - transmissions don't really have a "break in period"....

Well, modern engines really don't, either....


And make sure you check the fluid level. What happened to the Original Tranny? Lack of maintenence?



It was 17 years old. That is what happened.


make the inside of your engine oil cap white.
don't use.
Re: Rebuilt transmission - how to treat it? [Re: JC1] #4977924
01/13/19 11:52 AM
01/13/19 11:52 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,678
SF Bay Area
y_p_w Offline OP
y_p_w  Offline OP
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,678
SF Bay Area
Originally Posted by JC1
Originally Posted by Linctex
Drive it normally - transmissions don't really have a "break in period"....

Well, modern engines really don't, either....


And make sure you check the fluid level. What happened to the Original Tranny? Lack of maintenence?

Not sure really. The only scheduled maintenance is 4 straight drain and fills at 100k miles. I kind of split the difference and did it twice a few years ago. Figured I'd do it again. I used Honda ATF from a dealer.

Re: Rebuilt transmission - how to treat it? [Re: spasm3] #4977929
01/13/19 11:54 AM
01/13/19 11:54 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,678
SF Bay Area
y_p_w Offline OP
y_p_w  Offline OP
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,678
SF Bay Area
Originally Posted by spasm3
When should you change the fluid in a rebuild? I had my 4l60e rebuilt. has dex 6 in it. I do have some amsoil dex 3 in the garage.


Not sure on that either. I thought that brand new transmissions have whatever fluid is in them and then that's what's expected to be there until scheduled maintenance comes up.

Re: Rebuilt transmission - how to treat it? [Re: y_p_w] #4977982
01/13/19 12:47 PM
01/13/19 12:47 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 11,117
OH
SatinSilver Offline
SatinSilver  Offline
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 11,117
OH
That generation Civic was notorious for having bad automatic transmissions.

Re: Rebuilt transmission - how to treat it? [Re: y_p_w] #4978034
01/13/19 02:08 PM
01/13/19 02:08 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,434
VA
Gebo Offline
Gebo  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,434
VA
I'd drive it normally and change the ATF in a few thousand miles (may next oil change). I see you used Honda ATF in the past. Did you use it in this transmission?

Oh, and I don't know the proper procedure for checking the ATF level in you car but I would do that as well. If you are smelling something burning, I wouldn't want my ATF
to be leaking out and dripping on something hot.

Last edited by Gebo; 01/13/19 02:10 PM.

'98 LEX LS400 280K
'02 4Runner 225K
'05 Lex LS430 85K
'06 Toyota Highlander 145K
'09 Lex IS350 85K
'07 Lex GX470 60K
Amsoil in all engines, transmissions and differentials

Re: Rebuilt transmission - how to treat it? [Re: Gebo] #4978053
01/13/19 02:27 PM
01/13/19 02:27 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,678
SF Bay Area
y_p_w Offline OP
y_p_w  Offline OP
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,678
SF Bay Area
Originally Posted by Gebo
I'd drive it normally and change the ATF in a few thousand miles (may next oil change). I see you used Honda ATF in the past. Did you use it in this transmission?

Oh, and I don't know the proper procedure for checking the ATF level in you car but I would do that as well. If you are smelling something burning, I wouldn't want my ATF
to be leaking out and dripping on something hot.

Used Honda DW-1. It was a pain too. I ended up damaging the drain bolt head when it slipped and bought a new one (at an Acura dealer strangely enough because it was cheaper but the correct part). I also didn't have a breaker bar/flex handle and bought one at Sears. I've never had a problem using a 3/8" ratchet on a Honda/Acura manual or auto transmission until this one. I also couldn't get enough leverage to break it open so I raised it about 4 inches on ramps. I basically couldn't insert it in and get enough room to actually move it until it got a little higher.

Checking is really easy. The dipstick plugs into the fill hole and is easily accessed. The transmission is recirculating fluid without a filter.

However, I've never had a rebuilt auto transmission before. The mechanic said that he would expect at least 150k miles out of it, even without a fluid change. He's got a similar generation Civic himself. I hadn't checked the fluid myself in a while, but he looked and there was plenty of fluid. I guess it was just kind of random that it failed.

I still have some transmission fluid, but a change only replaces about 40%. Any other suggestions here about if/when would be a good time to do it?

Re: Rebuilt transmission - how to treat it? [Re: y_p_w] #4978057
01/13/19 02:33 PM
01/13/19 02:33 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 11,117
OH
SatinSilver Offline
SatinSilver  Offline
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 11,117
OH
I would add a bottle of Lubegard Red to it. That's kind of how the product got its start from trans rebuilders using it after a rebuild. One of the Honda mechanics that I know swears by the stuff and is against just about any other additive except for that one. Use the entire bottle during the next drain/fill which I would do sooner rather than later.

Maybe some atf spilled on the hot exhaust causing the fumes. Which would get better in time.

Re: Rebuilt transmission - how to treat it? [Re: spasm3] #4978058
01/13/19 02:36 PM
01/13/19 02:36 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 101
Raleigh NC
MrMoody Offline
MrMoody  Offline
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 101
Raleigh NC
Originally Posted by spasm3
When should you change the fluid in a rebuild? I had my 4l60e rebuilt. has dex 6 in it. I do have some amsoil dex 3 in the garage.

The guys who rebuilt my 4L65E told me 30k mi. I'll probably change it at 2 years although it won't be there in miles.


2018 Hyundai Kona 1.6T DCT
2006 Pontiac (Holden) GTO AT
2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GT 3.8 NA (beater)
2005 Toyota Matrix FWD (ultra beater)
Re: Rebuilt transmission - how to treat it? [Re: y_p_w] #4978059
01/13/19 02:36 PM
01/13/19 02:36 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 666
Hawaii, USA
anndel Offline
anndel  Offline
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 666
Hawaii, USA
Drive it normally. Change the ATF 30,000 miles from now and you'll be fine.


1993 Toyota 4x4 p/u, 2.4L 22RE 4 cyl - M1 EP 10W-30, Fram UG Filter
2005 Toyota Avalon XL, 3.5L V6, PP HM 5W-30, Yota OEM Filter
2014 Toyota Tacoma 4.0L V6, Amsoil SS5W-30, Yota OEM Filter
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