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J30A1 2002 Coupe hard shifts

940 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Davis
Hey everyone,

this is my first post here. I'm the new owner of a 2002 accord coupe with the famous already failing 4-speed tranny. Since I'm still in college I really don't have the money to let it get rebuilt or something else, as for my concern it shifts into all gears, it doesn't go randomly into N or anything, it's just the shifts itself: when the tranny is cold it slams the gears so badly, you can really feel it in your back. After about 10-15 miles it gets better. When I bought it from an older woman it got an oil change, tranny oil also got changed, new ball joints, and a complete brake job with new disks and everything. In total my honda cost me about 6g's by now.

So my questions are:
  1. Is there anything I can do that is low budget so my tranny maybe last about another year?
  2. What does a tranny rebuild usually cost?
    1. Can it still be done or are the parts just not available anymore?
You have to understand, my honda isn't my first car, but the first car I truly enjoy and love. The 6th gen is my favorite, a timeless unique car.
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About $2,000 to $2,500 to pull the tranny, rebuild it then put the tranny back in the car.

Tranny rebuilders use the terms "Soft" parts and "Hard" parts. Soft parts are the gaskets, seals, clutchpacks, filter and some other items, which are supplied in Master Rebuild kits. These soft parts are usually supplied from Raybestos(Clutchpacks) and I also see the name Transtech. Master rebuild kits should be still in production. I searched real quick and found a few sites that show they are available.

Hard parts are the actual steel gears, etc. If you needed a Hard Part replaced, I don't know where those would be obtained. Honda MIGHT have those in stock.

I can't give any advice on a low cost band-aid fix to make it last longer. It sounds like an internal part failing which could blow-up any day now.
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Hey Wheeelman,

thanks a lot for your answers, really appreciate it!
It's just as I try to repair my Honda more stuff falls apart - for example, did a complete suspension rebuild Thursday, woke up this morning, sat in my car, and smelled water inside the car, quick check my passenger and driver side floor is wet. Pulled the passenger side floor up and found a giant amount of water sitting underneath. Since it's still raining I found the cause of this relatively fast, the drain tube of the moonroof/sunroof is disconnected from its vent.
Thankfully I had a fitting tube home and did the driver side and sealed it all up with silicon, but as far as I see there's no way for me to do the same thing with the passenger side.
  • Heres a picture so you better understand of what I mean:
Slope Triangle Font Parallel Engineering

As said, my leak is between point 2 and 12.
Sadly there's no way to access or even see the tube on the passenger side since Honda really did a good job to put it in a place where you would have to take out the entire glove box, including the blower. Fast forward: I am not doing that.

Option B however
Looking at how this sits inside the car and what Honda did here, I think its also possible to access this tube from the outside. The vent itself sits inside the wheel housing, easy to pull out, just take off the protecting shield and I should be able to see it. From that point on, also looking thru my phone's camera the tube itself sits right in front of it, my hope therefor is to be able to pull the larger horse over the original drain tube, somehow secure it, stick it into the vent and put it back into its place.
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Yes, you are experiencing old age in a vehicle. I don't have any experience fixing the drain tube issue as no one ever had trouble until now...if you can "fish" the old assembly out, then it might be easier to just replumb from the top down...
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Hey Wheelman,

well, the day came. Was cruising on the intercity when suddenly my tranny had a hard time downshifting, followed by a flashing D4 light. Ive drove with the flashing D4 light for about ten more minutes until I reached my uni. It's a strange feeling when the tranny decides to go into "emergency run", only first gear, when you stop it goes into N and only pushes the car forward when you give it some throttle.

But here comes the weird part, after I restarted my car, the problem was gone. No more flashing D4 or what so ever, my fluid became a bit darker, yet still red and it doesn't smell burned or something, for the next 2 days it slammed the gears even worse, but now it gets better?
I'm also thinking about taking out the solenoids and flushing them, sometimes there's dirt and debris building up in them that may also cause the hard shifting.
I am assuming that my clutch or whatever it called for an automatic transmission is about to wear out, I mean it's been about 124k miles on the road and surely the owners before me did not have any mercy on it, well to be honest I also pushed it here and there, its a V6 with about 200hp nevertheless.

I've worked some overtime this month and thinking about taking out my ECU and SRS module and sending it to repair, they told me to check both modules for $40 but when they have to be repaired, it's going to be expensive, so not quite sure what to do here.
Strongly hope my SRS has an error code that can simply be deleted, the light is on since I've swapped out the fuses, and a normal OBD scanner can't read the SRS module, that's why Honda has a separate SRS service connector under the dash, but I'm not paying $60 for them to give me the codes and sadly the SRS reset by connecting a paperclip in them doesn't work for me.

Just out of curiosity, I've seen you modified your tranny with another gear selector in it, how did you do that?
I've read about a few modifications you can do to your tranny to kinda help it change gear and all that.

Yet again, thanks for your answers!!
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Just out of curiosity, I've seen you modified your tranny with another gear selector in it, how did you do that?

I didn't do that work, I paid a former V6P member to do that. That is a 5 speed automatic tranny shifter from a 03 Acura TL-s. It was necessary when I paid him to swap in a 5 speed auto from an 06 Accord, while he also swapped in a 3.5 litre.
Hey Wheelman,

thanks for the answer. Well since it's running just fine right now, I'll save some up for a new tranny or let it get rebuilt, not quite sure what's right or wrong in my case.

If i may ask you something, do you have any idea about ECU's and SRS Modules?
Highly believe that at least one of them can not be saved so I searched around eBay and Facebook marketplace and found a few ECU's that have almost the same part number: 37820-P8C-G64 is mine, I found a few used ones but the last number doesn't match, I've called a shop in my town that repairs ECU's and asked them, they gave me the information that my ECU is swappable as long as the two number match (37820-P8C), the following G, A and more are just for manufacturer and software, same thing with my SRS module. Same vehicle, same year, same engine just different G, A numbers.

Here's one I've found: 2001-2002 HONDA ACCORD v6 ecu engine control G8 37820-P8C-A62 37820P8CA62 d8 | eBay

I am aware that my current ECU has to be cloned or if that's not possible the immobilizer has to be programmed out. Also saw some comments and videos about taking the Eprom chip out and putting it into the "new" ecu so the immobilizer doesn't do its work...
This would be my last hope since here in Germany we have strict laws and every vehicle has to be checked every 2 years, as soon as there's a check engine light or others on, It won't pass the check and the car is a write-off.

I'm thankful for all the help you already provided. If there's anything I can do for you, please let me know.

Best regards,
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In regards to the ECU:

The ECU issue will be an easy fix....

I agree with the repair shop. Based on my amateur research skills the "A62" indicates the most current software in the ECU. The ECU you referenced on Ebay would be perfect. Over the years, I have seen individuals on car forums and also junkyards/salvage yards sell those for around $100. So, $80 is a good deal. Hopefully you can find a seller here in the USA that will ship it to you over in Germany.

Since your country has what we in the USA would call "Tech Inspection", I think your best bet for the Immobilizer Chip issue is to have your key "reprogrammed" -- what you referred to as "clone". In the USA we have two options for that: Honda Dealer or using an reprogram device ourselves. Sounds like the shop knows what they need to do though, so I bet they can take care of you.

I have no idea about the "Eprom" chip in the ECU.

On a side note; what I did for my Acura ECU, which also ended in "A62", is to just take out the Immobilizer chip. However, that will generate a check engine light, so don't do that over in Germany. They might just throw you in jail...right? (I'm joking here :cool:)

In regards to the SRS issue:

This one, might be a headache for ya....

I also had an issue with the SRS. It was due to a bad "sensor"(?) in the passenger seat. I could bang on the seat and the SRS light would go off. Honda always had a problem with that system in the 98-02 Accords and they never issued a fix.

If I remember correctly, even a bad seat belt connection will set off the SRS light. If you remove the seat belt latch, or even take out the seats, that will generate the SRS light. Honda dealers can reset the system...I think?

In the USA, our government has a federal law that pertains to certain safety features. Any dealer is required to repair the SRS system, as well as seat belts, at no charge to the owner. We still have to pay the diagnostic fee but the repair work itself is covered by the dealer, not the owner. I would check with a Honda dealer in your country to see if maybe they would do the same.

Those tranny's are just a bad design. The 99-03 Acura TL and CL 5 speed auto tranny's had an issue with 2nd gear oiling jets. They just didn't design that one right either and they were known to fail prematurely.

The two fluid pressure switches you mentioned could extend the life of the tranny a little longer. People on this site learned that changing those out every 50k miles was a good maintenance interval. As they wear out, the shifting will become sluggish/slower. Slow shifts generate more heat than a fast, crisp shift. Heat is what kills any transmission. Honda does use a factory tranny cooler, but we would add bigger ones to really keep the temps down. Works much better here in the Southern states, where it gets really hot in the Summer. back as need brother and I'll help as much as I can.
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Hey Wheelmann,

you don't even understand what this means to me. The world.

I have contacted the seller on Ebay and asked him if he would ship to Germany. So waiting for his response and see what the next steps going to be.
I am calculating what the best deal here is, the inspections for my ECU would cost me around $50, and the used ECU $80. What I meant with clone is basically to copy all the files from my old ECU and copy them onto the new one, therefore I am surely downgrading software-wise, but I do not have to deal with the immobilizer that's stored in the speedometer and blinker relay and switch and others (that what I've been told).
The other option however would be to soder the old Eprom chip onto the new one. What this eprom chip does is simply activate the immobilizer and store all the data in it. Yet again, I am just digging into it, all this information is based on the last 3 days trying to find circuit prints and voltages, onboard pictures of the ECU, and others to understand how Honda designed the Accord on the electrical level.
I am studying aerospace engineering so I can kinda relate to my knowledge thanks to that.

About your SRS problem:
I've read about this problem, too. Honda can in fact reset your SRS module, but you are also able to do it yourself depending on which module you have installed. Under the dash, there's a single not-used connector just hanging around. That's the SRS service connector. By connecting e.g. a paperclip in it, your module will first off either give you an OBD I code by a flashing SRS light (long/short flash -> That's what mine is doing) or it will reset the module.
If nothing happens your SRS module has failed entirely. So I have high hopes for this one. But my SRS light is on since I've removed the SRS fuses to see if that causes my check engine light. So I am assuming my module is also (partly) fried.
Yet again, Honda charges your newborn to plug their reader into it and tell you what's wrong with it (it ain't got no gas innit -> sorry, this meme is in my head since I took my ECU out).

I'm just excited and happy to learn more stuff every day.
I am still not sure if the A, G, and others are (only) software version references since the shop also told me that if there's a different chip in them, it won't be possible to copy the data. But there is still option B with the eprom chip nevertheless.

Sadly I don't find any information about the SRS module, yet again, the first 8 digits match with different ones, I am assuming that they also did some changes to them over the year. The worst case is that I connect my battery and my airbags go off, right? :D (joke, already praying that this won't happen).

I'll keep you updated as soon as I made a decision about what my next steps going to be.
Oh and also, no. They just suspend your license and take your car in the worst case (e.g. you have an accident, doesn't matter if you are at fault or not, you will be since your "tüv" is overdue which in my case is already the case for about 1 1/2 months...)

Yet again, thank you so much for everything. For your time, your patience with me, and the effort you put into this.

Best regards,
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Hey Max & y'all, I am down here in Texas, I have an 01 v6, and I was able to keep the tranny issues to a minimum but I did several things to make it keep on driving.

1. I changed the motor mounts to racing mounts (Innovative Mounts)
( I know, not a great option, but stiff as I can make it, NO movement at all. Bad news, it ran about $400 for the set & it was a bugger to do the job. I kept tearing out all the OEM & aftermarket ones but it keeps EVERYTHING solid)

2. replaced all four shift solenoids, but the main one on top, directly under the battery needed a new connector.

3. added an external trans oil cooler and an inline magnetic filter (amazon Raybestos 515554 Magnetic Inline Filter (3/8") & Derale 13503 Series 8000 Plate and Fin Transmission Oil Cooler , Black

4. Every time I do an oil change, for the past year, I also do the 3 quart drain & fill for the tranny. The fresh fluid has finally started to pay off for me. Plus I started adding the blue devil "soft-seal" additive and I believe it has helped

Good Luck
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