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Old 01-15-2013, 12:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Hope for 2002 Transmission Shudder?

Hello,

I have spent a considerable amount of time researching this site (what a wealth of information!), but have never posted. I'm hoping for a solution beyond the obvious in my situation...

I have a 2002 MDX with 136k that has developed a shudder in the transmission around 30 mph that goes away when you apply your foot to the brake.

I am well aware of the 01-02 transmission issues in these cars and am hoping I don't have to rebuild/replace the transmission right away.

Do I have any hope in buying more time (and possibly reducing the shudder) if I do a full transmission flush, replace the external filter, and install a transmission cooler?

Also, what do people think about running B&M synthetic fluid as opposed to the factory Acura synthetic? I know the factory fluid is a 'requirement'. I have heard and read that the B&M fluid runs cooler.

Any other ideas besides a transmission rebuild/replacement to extend the service life and quality?

Thanks for any help!
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by captainehh View Post
Hello,

I have spent a considerable amount of time researching this site (what a wealth of information!), but have never posted. I'm hoping for a solution beyond the obvious in my situation...

I have a 2002 MDX with 136k that has developed a shudder in the transmission around 30 mph that goes away when you apply your foot to the brake.

I am well aware of the 01-02 transmission issues in these cars and am hoping I don't have to rebuild/replace the transmission right away.

Do I have any hope in buying more time (and possibly reducing the shudder) if I do a full transmission flush, replace the external filter, and install a transmission cooler?

Also, what do people think about running B&M synthetic fluid as opposed to the factory Acura synthetic? I know the factory fluid is a 'requirement'. I have heard and read that the B&M fluid runs cooler.

Any other ideas besides a transmission rebuild/replacement to extend the service life and quality?

Thanks for any help!
Change the transmission fluid. Sometimes the old fluid could bring the shuddering. Also you can contact Acura Financial services to see if they will "goodwill" any money for your transmission.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input. Do you recommend a drain and fill or full flush of the fluid?
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Drain and fill (3x) on this transmission.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks. Do you recommend putting mileage in between drain and fill?

Also, do people have thoughts regarding B&M fluid and an external cooler?
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I drain/fill then drive to go through all of the gears and repeat two more times.

External cooler can't hurt. The tow package saved me when my radiator failed. I have always used Honda fluid in mine.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hello,

Do I have any hope in buying more time (and possibly reducing the shudder) if I do a full transmission flush, replace the external filter, and install a transmission cooler?
That in itself would help your transmission last one heck of a lot longer. I wouldn't suggest "flushing" the transmission. Just change the transmission oil 3, 4 times at intervals of 100 miles or so, and you will have pretty good fluid in there.

I put in an aftermarket transmission cooler and drained/filled the ATF every 6000 miles or so on my 2001 MDX. People told me I was wasting money, but that thing has been good to me for 170k miles without signs of breaking down yet.

By the way, instead of paying Honda for their ATF (I consider that extortion) I have used Valvoline MaxLife Dex/Merc ever since I got the car at 45k miles. This ATF is claimed to be suitable for Honda transmission. However, keep in mind that this is Valvoline's claim, so take it with a grain of salt. I know it's foolish on my part, but I can't stomach Honda's essential monopoly on all fluids related to their cars. On the plus side, the transmission has not blown up yet!!!

http://www.valvoline.com/pdf/maxlife_atf.pdf



Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Great advice on using the Valvoline. I called Valvoline and they ensured me it could be used in our applications. Good news.

Do I recall seeing a DIY video on how to install an external tranny cooler somewhere on the forum?
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Great advice on using the Valvoline. I called Valvoline and they ensured me it could be used in our applications. Good news.

Do I recall seeing a DIY video on how to install an external tranny cooler somewhere on the forum?
Along with the transmission flush, save 10oz. of fluid and put in a bottle of Lubegard Red. Should reduce the shuddering or at least buy you some time. It also decreases the tranny temp so no need for a cooler. I just wouldn't put too much time & money into it if you plan to rebuild soon anyway.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Interesting. The claims of the product sound like they're almost too good to be true. Have you used Lubegard yourself, chuckd83? If so, for how many miles? Seems like it's certainly worth a try as long as it doesn't do more harm than good!

Thanks.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I have always used Honda fluid in mine.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:18 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Interesting. The claims of the product sound like they're almost too good to be true. Have you used Lubegard yourself, chuckd83? If so, for how many miles? Seems like it's certainly worth a try as long as it doesn't do more harm than good!

Thanks.
I had the shudder and did the following: got the software update from the dealership, drained/refilled the tranny fluid 3 times, and added Lubegard Red. I've been driving ~500 miles since and had one shudder shortly after the fluid change. None after that when it used to be every time in the car. I heard it takes Lubegard ~200 miles to eliminate the shudder.

Which of the 3 remedies did the trick? Only God knows, but they were all cheap compared to replacing the transmission and/or torque converter. (for now)

and for your peace of mind, Amazon has all good reviews on the product so I wouldn't worry about it doing harm. Only pray that it does good.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Great news, at least for the short term Chuckd83. Thanks for the anecdote!
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:09 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Does the shudder happen on acceleration only or even when coasting?

I've seen worn driveshafts cause shuddering only on acceleration.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I thought I would report back and say that I have swapped the transmission fluid 2x so far with Valvoline Max Life. The shudder has already subsided. I also have the whine, but I have noticed that going away somewhat as well.

I plan to do 2 more fill and drains, add Lubegard, install an external transmission cooler, and replace the external in line transmission filter.

Here's hoping I can get more solid service life before a full transmission rebuild or replacement is required!

Hopefully this snippet can provide others in a similar boat a glimmer of hope.

Thanks.
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