Had the trans replaced and after a few years the vehicle will not go into first automatically, I have to manual put into first as I get rolling I put the shifter to Drive and then it works. Any help out there?
All gears shift manually. I'm thinking a solenoid or range pressure switch. Manually again is ok but automatically it will not go into first when starting off. The sometimes I can drive in stop and go no problem and other times when I start from stop it will not go into first unless I do it manually.
I should have asked earlier if the transmission fluid was deep red to orange brown, with no whitish milkshake tinge?
What you are describing is called flaring after a downshift to 1st. About the only things you can check are fluid level, and you could check the shift cable if you are a little mechanical. After that, it gets really technical and you have to have specialty equipment to proceed.
I hope your replacement transmission if it was a rebuild, has a warranty. Sounds like they might have done a bad or incomplete job. If it was a junkyard transmission, you may have lost the lottery.
You could test the stall speed in each gear. I'd have to look up the desired stall RPM for each gear to tell you. But you have to be careful, because doing that wrong can further damage your transmission. And even getting the results doesn't narrow it down to 1 cause, it gets it down to 2-5 causes that again need specialty test equipment.
You need to test a torque converter, but you're not sure how to do it. Learn about how to test a torque converter in this article.
If you haven't actually been moving the shifter left into 1 to make it shift, and you've just been moving the shifter down to the bottom which is 2, and forces the car to skip 1st for starting on ice - then I bet you have a defective 1st accumulator or 1st clutch. It could also possibly be a worn ATF pump and the reving of the engine lets it build pressure to engage 1st.
After reading most of the AT section of the service manual it could be something else too. The logic, sensors, and actuators on these things are fantastically complicated. But even Honda thinks it is one of the items below based on their troubleshooting guide.