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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In need of help!!,

My MDX has 186k miles on it. Received it a couple months ago, was told that parts of the transmission were replaced by the previous owner. Drove across the country for job relocation, no issues or leakage.

Last week I noticed the transmission slipping from 2 to 3rd gear, then my d5 started blinking, but it stopped the next day and from then on. Drove it around town to run errands and experienced a whirling sound while accelerating and even it delaying to switch and acting like its in neutral. all this time the check engine light never came on.

The whirling situation got worse, barely made it to the transmission repair place. After getting a diagnosis, all he said was that the transmission fluid was really burnt and I would need a new transmission.

I was expecting it to be a solenoid issue, because that was something that wasnt replaced originally, but the mechanic said that a full transmission replace was the answer.

If anyone could give some insights into these symptoms that would be a real help. I understand the high mileage but the car was driving perfectly a couple days ago, this is just a shock.

Update: Forgot to add that the only error code the mechanic said he got was P0873
 

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What Wilsoncc said! Sure, it's always possible that something internally has failed and will ultimately require a new or rebuilt transmission... but there are SO many things that go wrong with our Honda / Acura trannies simply because the fluid gets dirty and "worn out".

The chorus on nearly all of similar posts is the same - get the fluid changed. Most DIY'ers can accomplish this with ease, as it's literally easier than an oil change (less messy too). If the fluid is in really bad shape, do 3 or 4 "drain-and-fills", which will require about 3 quarts each (I recommend buying a case of Honda ATF - just make sure and get the right kind - Honda DW-1 Automatic Transmission Fluid). You'll spend under $100 and will likely "fix" your transmission. With your particular error code, you might also end up having to buy a pressure switch, but they're not horribly expensive or difficult to replace (though I've never done that one).

FWIW, the reason dirty fluid causes problems is that it clogs up the valves and shift solenoids, especially if there's any metallic debris in the fluid, since the shift solenoids are essentially electromagnets that will draw this debris into the bores, which can clog them up quickly).
 

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You see this often in used cars. I come from the Ridgeline community and we see it there as well.
Our advise, for any used car purchase from anywhere, is to check and replace the following
- Timing Belt, waterpump, & idler
- Engine oil & filter
- Transmission fluid
- Center transfercase fluid
- Rear diff fluid

we also recommend that the
- power steering fluid be checked and replaced
- Brake fluid be checked and replaced
- pressure test the AC system to ensure no leaks or loss of pressure over 5 days (this also tests the compressor)
- replace the top O-ring on the power steering pump
- buy a $20 OBD2 scanner (bluetooth) and run something like the Torque App to pull codes, should there be any or something has been reset recently, but not noticed during inspection.

Biggest advice is NOT to flush the transmission fluid. Recommendation is 4x Drain and Fill which results in almost 90% new fluid in the system.
It is worth doing at least 2x Drain and Fill of the transmission fluid before you move forward with a search for a new transmission.
 

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The transmission fluid may be contaminated with engine coolant. There is an ATF cooler built into the radiator, and they are known to fail. Check the engine coolant reservoir and see if the coolant looks pink and/or frothy. If this has happened, you might get a little more life out of the transmission with a thorough ATF change. You would need to bypass the internal ATF cooler in the radiator and install an aftermarket ATF cooler, or replace the radiator.

The problem is once water gets into the transmission, it degrades the adhesive on the internal clutches and it's all downhill. Clutch material gets showered through the transmission, the clutches start slipping, bad bad bad. The final solution is a rebuilt transmission.
 
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