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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Generation
    4th Gen
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    New South Wales
    Posts
    5

    H23A1 Auto Transmission Question - Long gearing? Or Failing Transmission?

    Hi Everyone,

    I have tried searching but couldn't find an answer that solves or answers my query. So I have bought my first Prelude and slowly fixing it up, but runs very good. This is my first Prelude so I have nothing to compare it with so I can't exactly say if it is even a problem or not.

    To cut a long story short. When I first got the car, it had rough gear changes from 1-2. So the first thing I did was a service. I drained the old Transmission fluid out and replaced it with Honda ATF-Z1, a total of 3 times in a span of about 2 months, just to ensure MOST of the old fluid is out and it's not BLACK like when I first drained out the old oil. It's now a reddish colour and the gears are more smoother. Around this time I also have a blinking 'S' light on my dash. I did my research and found out it was the Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) being faulty (Or so at least I thought). So that's fine. I got rid of the annoying blinking 'S' light. But now, after I fixed it, my gear changes seem to be slightly higher now. For instance gear 1 to 2 is 3100 Rpm (Regardless of how much Throttle I give. The gears won't change once I hit that mark) and 2-3 is also around 3000-3100 mark.

    The MAIN problem is, I can't get into the final 4th gear without revving the engine till almost 4000 RPM and the speed is nearly 90 km/h!!! To me that doesn't sound normal at all. So basically in Sydney Roads with medium traffic, the optimum cruising speed would be around 70-80 km/h. So at those speeds that I have to be cruising in, my gear is in 3rd with the rpm steady at 3000 RPM, when it should be in 4th gear, with the RPM's around maybe 2000-2500 RPM or maybe even lower.

    So let's recap. Prior to transmission drain and fill x3 and replaced VSS, the oil was blacker than black, and had rough gear change from 1-2, and a blinking 'S' on the dash, however after 1-2 gear change, everything was smooth, and changed into 4th gear as expected (Still higher than I would consider as normal but definitely way lower than what it is now).

    I've done my research and found out there's many factors.

    1. Throttle Control Valve Cable (T.V Cable) needs to be in sync with the Throttle Cable located on the Throttle Body with the correct amount of slack and not too tight that the throttle cannot read close. I made sure it's all adjusted properly (I didn't really have to adjust it as I haven't tampered with it to begin with and everything seemed fine)

    2. Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) - Communicates with the ECU/TCM-TCU to change gears at a given speed appropriately aswell as fixing 'S' lights and broken speedo (However my speedo was fine just the S light)

    NOTE: Interestingly enough, when I switched to the new VSS, the light went away. But I'd rather a blinking light in exchange for an easier 4th gear anyday! But I changed over to the supposedly faulty VSS, now the S light doesn't even flash anymore! :S

    3. Non Genuine ATF Fluid - Obviously the car is used, thrashed. Who knows, maybe the oils in the car weren't even genuine to begin with and may have caused internal damage as Honda Transmissions are very delicate and sensitive.

    4. Possible faulty Transmission Control Unit or TCM? (However no CEL lights or D4 blinking lights. Still possible to be faulty?) - The electronics side of the transmission could be playing up? I was told to make sure everything works before throwing money at the car and coming to a conclusion straight away that I need a new gearbox. Which is true. I don't want to buy things that I don't need just yet. Only buy when I need to.

    I'm running out of ideas. Hopefully an experienced member/s can help me solve my problem. I have a feeling that it's something small that I might've overlooked or a simple adjustment or tweak that needs to be done. Not really keen on buying a new gearbox just yet.

    If someone can convince me and back up what they're saying in regards to what's normal RPM for particular gears and cruising speeds or if this particular Transmission in this car is supposed to be high then I guess I don't have to worry about it TOO much. I know eventually I'll have to change the gearbox one day.

    Thank you so much in advance.
    Last edited by DJ_Rubz; 25th October 2012 at 12:06 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Generation
    5th Gen
    Model
    Manual H22A
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    575
    I'm going to say it's a failing tranny but I wouldn't quote me. Mine didn't have the exact same problems but when mine farked up, it farked up. I converted my car from auto to manual with aid, and I tell you what, if your tranny does fail then don't reco the auto and convert it to manual. Be the best thing you'll ever do to your Prelude (apart from a lightened flywheel).

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Generation
    4th Gen
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    New South Wales
    Posts
    5
    Changed the TPS sensor, now car shifts perfectly. Shifts at about 2000-2500rpm under light throttle and 3000 when put your foot down abit

    Moral of the story, just because your transmission isn't shifting properly doesn't automatically mean a transmission problem. Exhaust all options first. I easily saved myself a few hundred dollars

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