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It's been a long time since I posted here. I still have my 02; I bought it brand new, back in the days when you took delivery straight off the truck and you paid sticker price. Took delivery 9/12/01.

In August, at 73K miles (yes, 73K miles in 9 years--and 10K of those miles were ten trips to see my brother over the years, the rest were my wife puttering around town with the kids), I got a brand new transmission installed. That it was $4800 is ludicrous, that I finally haggled American Honda down to accommodating half of that is another story, and that I'm not buying another Honda ever again is all immaterial to why I'm here.

We all know that after all this time, Honda figured out what they did wrong with that five speed transmission, and they fixed it--up to and including new software for the control computer, which had to be replaced as well and which is why it's a $4800 fix at the dealer.

I could have simply rebuilt what I had, but I'm glad I went the dealer route. I got what is plainly a superior transmission. The van drives very smoothly, and I have every expectation that I now have the van I thought I originally bought--the van that should last me until it's 20 years old. That it ended up costing me $2400 more than I planned or thought is part of why I'm never buying another Honda, but that's not why I'm here right now.

I'm here to let wild willy know my gas mileage story. Yes, willy, we know--your gas mileage sucked. Well, mine did, too. My wife got 15 in town, and on the road we got around 19--maybe 20 on a good day. This is FAR from the 18/25 that Honda advertised. But unlike you, I took it in stride--I mean, what else was I going to do? The van was a tool for use in running the family, and that was more important to me. And as you can tell, we weren't driving it much, so the cost wasn't that much of an issue (well, except for that interlude where gas was four bucks a gallon...)

Anyway, after getting the new transmission installed I told my wife to drive it a lot for awhile to make sure it all worked well. We quit driving my company car (free gas!) on personal errands and started using the Ody nights and weekends, to shake it out.

And what do you know? That 15mpg is, with the new transmission, up to 17mpg. ??? That's a THIRTEEN PERCENT INCREASE in mileage using the new transmission.

And last week my wife took it on a day trip through country roads--not exactly city, certainly not highway--and got 23mpg. ???? Up from 19, that's a TWENTY-ONE PERCENT INCREASE. It's probably more, because I don't remember exactly what mileage I actually got on country road day trips. The 19 is based on straight highway trips.

And this is with grocery store gas. I wonder what a a few tanks of Shell would do for her...

I have yet to take the van on a real freeway trip. I expect a steady 65 might actually get me to 25mpg.

So, willy, it's clear to me that Honda royally screwed up the engineering of that first five speed transmission, in ways more numerous than I thought. Not only did it break, but it was also the root cause of the horrible gas mileage. The original recall for the second gear cooling, the failure at 73K miles, the bad mileage--this piece of Honda engineering will go down in history as one of the biggest failures in all automotive engineering, and will mark for the historians the beginning of the decline as Honda becomes just another Ford or GM.

That Honda actually fixed the core engineering of this transmission is nice--but it's not enough for me to overlook how they handled this thing in the first place, from building my van with it to how they handled (not) taking care of me after putting me into the middle of this colossal failure.

I've known my Honda salesman for 20 years; he's a straight shooter, and he's seen it all. We talked a few weeks ago about all of this and about American Honda, and I'm here to tell you that from his standpoint, all the discussion on this board about the decline of Honda is spot-on. Honda is trying to go after the Hyundai buyer, and as a result what every Honda buyer gets is the equivalent of the 1986 Excel but without the warranty--with, instead, the manufacturer acting like GM and Chrysler ("so sorry, you bought it, it's yours now, go away").

Does everyone know about the V6 that's in the current Accord, and how it's eating one particular spark plug every few days--and how Honda has no idea why?

Yeah. I'm not buying another Honda. Let Honda be penny-wise and pound-foolish and turn previously loyal customers away.

It doesn't help that I love my company car, a flawless and flawlessly-running 2007 Prius...

Oh, and by the way: my dealer informs me that at this point one may not walk into a dealer and buy a Honda replacement transmission for this vehicle. The only way to get a Honda replacement, they say, is if Honda is accommodating any of the repair. But if they're not, if it's 100% customer pay, the dealer can't help with a Honda unit. ???

He says that with 100% customer pay situations, this dealer simply takes the van to a shop that specializes in rebuilding these particular transmissions.

I don't know if this is correct or not, but that's what this dealer says.
 

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adam1991 said:

He says that with 100% customer pay situations, this dealer simply takes the van to a shop that specializes in rebuilding these particular transmissions.

I don't know if this is correct or not, but that's what this dealer says.
there might be something to that. i was at the shop that installed my trans cooler a couple years ago and started talking to a few of the guys about the van's tranny.

Turns out this shop does rebuilds for the 2 local honda dealers. They charge between $2500-$3000 for the rebuild. dealer marks up from there

Only thing is with a rebuild they still have to use that 2nd gear cooling hose going into the fill bolt (the recall fix). I thought that if you got a replacement from Honda it was a 2004 transmission that had all the modifications built into it - which is what I think I would prefer
 

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It's what I have been telliing you guys for years......You are all just like my wife......it takes a while ....but eventually you get it.....and see what I saw long ago:D :p
 

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Actually, I think Honda IS like the OLD Ford/GM, but not in the way you seem to think. IMHO the 5 speed tranny has some minor design/engineering issues, but much MORE of the problem is in wildly varying build quality, not the design itself.

I got no other explanation for my still very good performing 2003 with 163,000 miles on it (~10% of them towing near the rating limit!)

And to be REALLY picky, a Hyundai Excel first generation did NOT have the famous Hyundai warranty. That didn't get invented until all us early SUCKERS ended up with 80,000 mile paperweights with unrepairable engines (burnt valve seats and pistons). I still wish they had gone out of business.
 

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manualman said:
I still wish they had gone out of business.

They are putting the best looking cars on the road today...and One hell of a bang for the Buck. I'd love a Genny Cp or Sedan...I am just too cheap to part with my Money....And...I hate to say it......Still a little Hyundaiphobic.

But WTF....Honda got me good:eek:
 

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IMHO the 5 speed tranny has some minor design/engineering issues
A minor problem is a problem someone else has. A major problem is one that you have. Consumer Reports still rates the transmissions of many years poor for breaking.
... us early SUCKERS ended up with 80,000 mile paperweights with unrepairable engines (burnt valve seats and pistons). I still wish they had gone out of business.
And I bought a Honda with a 70,000 mile transmission and other problems and know nothing dealer. I wish they had gone out of business.

__________________
 

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I don't blame folks for hating Honda. Same reason I will never own a Hyundai. If Honda screws me someday, they'll be on my blacklist too.
 

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wild willy said:
They are putting the best looking cars on the road today...and One hell of a bang for the Buck. I'd love a Genny Cp or Sedan...I am just too cheap to part with my Money....And...I hate to say it......Still a little Hyundaiphobic.
Yeah, me too. A friend was looking at SUVs the other day and we took a look at a 2011 Kia Sorrento. Nice looking little rig, leather, sunroof, navi, 3rd row seat, bluetooth, 275hp V6, 6 speed auto, stability control, backup camera, etc....stickered around $35k, but the sales guy was under $30k without a blink of an eye. He didn't drive it because it was dark and raining, so he is going to go back this weekend. I was very impressed with what I saw in the showroom....but I just kept thinking "it's a Kia".
 
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