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Discussion Starter #1
Our van burns (and probably leaks) oil. Last week, my wife let it run too low. Blinking oil light, vsa light lit. We stopped and put oil in it immediately. The check engine light stayed on, but everything else seemed normal at first. Halfway home, we got on the highway and my wife said it wouldn’t accelerate. We got off the highway and I drove the rest of the way.

When we got home, I pulled the codes, and it showed p2647, and p2646. After searching here and the rest of the internet, I changed the oil and replaced the oil pressure switch on the vtec solenoid. There seems to be a leak at the solenoid, butThe code has not come back.

Here’s what it’s been doing since:
If you accelerate too hard from a stop, it feels like it’s slipping, the RPMs go up but you go nowhere. If you’re gentle with it, the change from first to second seems fine, but the shift to third feels like it waits too long (above 3000 rpms, even when I’m taking it way easy) and fourth is worse. This seems like a transmission problem, so I checked the fluid (it’s definitely browner than red) and added 1/2 quart. I had to add fluid through the dipstick hole because the fill bolt would not budge (which I mention because if the bolt is super stuck, does this indicate excessive heat?). The dipstick is impossible to read, but the clean paper trick shows it’s at a good level now, but still feels like it’s slipping. At this point, I’m wondering: is this one problem or two? My next plan of action would be to drain and refill the ATF in the hopes that the transmission doesn’t need to be rebuilt. Any thoughts?

2006 EX-L (res nav)
175k Miles, bought at 156k.


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Discussion Starter #3
It always seems like it pulls fluid from the tube; there’s always fluid just on the edges of the stick for several inches, but the actual reading is hard to see. When I pressed it flat on the clean paper, it seemed clearer where the reading was.


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is the transmission fluid just dark, or does it smell burnt? Have you done a drain and refill (only changes 3.3 qts or so, so to change the fluid, Honda recommends a drain, refill, drive, repeat process (4x) to get back to mostly new fluid.

If you drain the fluid, pay close attention to what comes out, and what's on the magnet - if there is a lot of clutch material and fluff on the magnet, you could have worn out a clutch pack (which clogs various screens in the system and generally makes a mess) - sadly, the main filter is in the transmission, and not serviceable without pulling everything apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I did one cycle of that yesterday. The fluid was dark but didn’t reek like I’ve read some talk about. All the gunk on the plug magnet was superfine, and I didn’t see any grit in the fluid. Only about 2.2 quarts came out when I drained it, so I was hoping it was low and I put 3 in. (Dipstick continues to flummox me- there’s always fluid way up the edges of the stick, but no clear drop near the marks on the tip). The behavior was the same, so I decided instead of throwing good fluid after bad I’m probably going to bite the bullet and take it into Honda to see what they say.


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I had to add fluid through the dipstick hole because the fill bolt would not budge (which I mention because if the bolt is super stuck, does this indicate excessive heat?)
No, not at all. It's normal for the fill bolt to require Herculean force to remove. It's just because of the large area under the aluminum sealing washer. Had you gotten it loose, it would have let go with a sudden bang loud enough that you might think the case had fractured.

If you are unsure of the ATF level after filling through the dipstick, let it settle (overnight if necessary) and then check it cold. If it's not at least at the lower mark, it's underfilled. It's critical to make sure there's a minimum level of ATF in there before you drive the van.

You posted below that there's no drop accumulation at the tip. That, and that only 2.2 quarts drained out, lead me to think the fluid level was very low. That can lead to reduced hydraulic pressure and clutch slippage (and clutch overheating). If that were the engine, the oil pressure light would illuminate. The transmission has no such warning for low hydraulic pressure.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, Dave, at this point any glimmer of hope is good! I’ll check it cold before I bring it in and see if it helps me. My instincts on this have been torn between “maybe the dipstick isn’t readable because there’s not enough fluid” and “don’t overfill it, for the love of Pete!”


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Our 05 takes 3.3-3.4 qts to bring it to full after draining it. I'd keep an eye and see if it's not on the low side. If the fluid didn't smell burnt (it's a pretty distinctive smell) it was probably just low fluid, and maybe it didn't overheat too badly. Whenever I have checked the fluid level on the van cold, it definitely registers on the dipstick - so as Dave indicated - if it's dry, I'd add a bit and see if you can get it to show up. (maybe add a third of a quart and see where it goes - if it still doesn't register, add a bit more)
 

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I know this is an old post, but I'm in a similar situation. I would love to know what happened here bennyhanna42. What was the outcome?
 

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Just checking in again as this is the same problem we're having, except our transmission only stays engaged for maybe the first 5 minutes (or less) of operation. Then it won't engage with the engine in D, R, 1, or 2. The van becomes immovable.

I'm about to junk it after 14 years of ownership but thought I would invest a few parts and a lot of time replacing the valve cover seals (which seems to have stopped the oil leaks) and did one drain and fill on the transmission with seemingly no change there. Our transmission operated fine then the engine got low on oil and the tranny wouldn't engage all in the same instance. I feel the two must be related somehow because I can't understand how the tranny goes from being fine to being nearly completely useless within 10 minutes.
 

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What was the color and condition of the transmission oil when you did the single drain and fill? Was it dark? Did it smell burnt?
Did you follow DaveDrivesOdy's post to check the ATF level?
 

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Our transmission operated fine then the engine got low on oil and the tranny wouldn't engage all in the same instance. I feel the two must be related somehow because I can't understand how the tranny goes from being fine to being nearly completely useless within 10 minutes.
Coincidence.

Fate has no sense of timing.
 

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What was the color and condition of the transmission oil when you did the single drain and fill? Was it dark? Did it smell burnt?
Did you follow DaveDrivesOdy's post to check the ATF level?
Not sure if this was directed at me, but after doing the drain and fill, I didn't notice much of a burnt smell but another guy who checked it out (and was considering buying the van so not an unbiased source) said it smelled burned. I figured I would try to drive it around the neighborhood a few more times and see if giving the new fluid more time to circulate will help.
 
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