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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I've got a 2006 Honda Accord V6 auto with 140,000 miles. I've owned it for about 5 years now and for the most part it's been trouble free. However, when I bought it, I knew about the 03-05 transmission issues and some of the other problems with 7g Accords. When I bought it, I did a 3x3 drain/refill and have done it one other time since then (averages out to about 35,000 miles between). I replaced the pressure switches at about 80,000 miles and the inline cooler filter as well. It made a huge difference in the shift quality back then and for the most part everything seemed fine. I was just about to do another 3x3 when last week my wife and I were driving to a town about 15 miles away on a state highway when we had to stop for a car ahead of us turning. When I went to accelerate...nothing. It was like the car went into neutral...no blinking D or VSA lights. I pulled over...then put it in neutral...then put it back into drive. It moved forward this time but would not leave 2nd or 3rd gear (it decided which one it was going to lock itself into each time we came to a stop). Right before we got home, we stopped...and it barely moved forward. It felt like it was missing really bad and seemed to me that most likely it was either the TC or that clutches completely shot. I got home, pulled the dipstick, the fluid was brown and had the burnt smell to it.

My thought is this...if I switch out the solenoids, replace the fluid...does anyone know of a friction modifier that I can put in there to maybe get me 500 miles? If the clutch packs are shot, it's a new transmission. Same for the TC. I just can't bring myself to pay the 3000-5000 to get it fixed considering I've got an annoying knock coming from the engine as well. My thought is that I could at least get it far enough to trade and then buy a 2017 Accord V6 Touring within 300-500 miles of my house (they're hard to find up here). Any thoughts on a band-aid fix that could get me that far? I'm just looking to get 2000-3000 on trade. Any thoughts otherwise? Thanks!
 

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2017 Honda Accord, Coupe, Touring (V6, 6AT), 2017 Honda Accord Sedan, EXL V6 w/ Navi, Sensing
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I think I’d do the 3x3 like you planned and see how it works.

I’d like to think that if you get it sort of rolling, you’d disclose the tranny trouble if you trade it in. I don't have any good idea on a friction modifier, but that would seem to go towards perhaps masking the trouble during trade in evaluation? I’d think trade in value would be less than $2k if the tranny is shot.

Your proposed replacement choice is a good one. You’ll enjoy that car. I’ve got an ‘07 like your ‘06 plus a few 9th gen V6s, a couple are Touring. Nice cars
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think I’d do the 3x3 like you planned and see how it works. I’d like to think that if you get it sort of rolling, you’d disclose the tranny trouble if you trade it in. I don't have any good idea on a friction modifier, but that would seem to go towards perhaps masking the trouble during trade in evaluation
Yeah, I'm definitely going to do that. Might just clean the solenoid screens too for good measure.

As for the rest...if I were selling it to someone private party, I'd let them know and wouldn't charge them squat for it. The thing is...it's not personal, it's business with dealerships. Most vehicles traded don't end up back on their lots. They end up at auction somewhere. If I tell them it's got a bad transmission, they'll give me 500 for it, auction it (and not disclose) or drop in a transmission for a quarter of what they would charge me, then turn around and sell it for six grand. I really, really try not to be shady but from an affordability standpoint, it's going to cost me $4000 for a rebuild, $3000 or so for a highly used transmission (most around here have 160K+) or $6000 for a brand new one. The most I'll get for trade is 2000-3000 if I'm lucky. If I did it myself, which I'm contemplating, I could do the job for far less but finding time is tough. I just need a reliable car with as little put in to this current one as possible.
 

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Transmission spec'd fluid for Honda already contains a friction modifier, adding another one may cause the trans. to slip further. You talk about the fluid being brown & smelling "burnt" in 35K miles (5 years). The wear on the transmission had already taken place before you bought the car, you just bought yourself some extra time. I would do the 3 changes again, then go from there.
 

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2017 Honda Accord, Coupe, Touring (V6, 6AT), 2017 Honda Accord Sedan, EXL V6 w/ Navi, Sensing
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I get it. Hopefully you can repair it yourself.
I do follow your logic on trading to a dealer. Like you said, it would likely get auctioned and then sold a time or two and probably end up belonging to an average Joe, who then has the same issue you do, if the tranny is bad. Since it is an older car, it may well end up with someone that can ill afford to repair if it does have a tranny issue.

Clearly dealers do this all day every day (sell cars with undisclosed problems). Regardless, what comes around goes around. It would be a real bummer if you found yourself in that situation with the car you elect to replace the ‘06 with.

Wishing you the best with sorting it out.
 

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Did you have the 3rd gear fluid lubrication recall done?

A trans cooler might fix the issue, but only if you want to spend another $100 to forge ahead there.

Sounds like trans overheat from super thinned out hot ATF fluid since it happened on the highway.
 

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Do a google search on a used replacement. I did that with an 03, found an 05 with 34k miles. Or visit a rebuilder who can place an external cooling device. It won't be inexpensive but less than a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to everyone for the replies.

t-rd…I actually did not know there was a recall. I’ve had it to the dealer a couple of times for other repairs though so I guess my assumption was that they would’ve let me know if it needed to be done. Yet I know there wasn’t one done. Was that on previous years or did it apply to 06-07 as well?

Turns out, and I forgot I did this but I had them drain and fill the fluid about 10000 miles ago…based on how bad the fluid is something must’ve happened to cause it to overheat the way it did. Or the fluid was never changed. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve paid for a service that a dealer claimed they did but didn’t do. I’m draining and filling tonight with DW-1 that I’ve had for awhile. Any thoughts on Red Line D4? Have a bunch laying around for another car…and I won’t have to wait for a package of DW1 to come in for the full 3x3.

I ended up getting several quotes today:

$3800 - Rebuilt - 1 year
$3500 - Used transmission, no warranty - 110,000 miles
$6500 - Remanufactured with 1 year warranty

Or 1500 for a reman that I do myself…800 for a used with close to same miles. Any thoughts on pulling engine and trans as a unit from the top? Looks like it would be pretty tight unless I drop the spool valve and crank pulley first…and pull radiator/fans.

I’d be more inclined to spend the money if the plan was to keep it but I’ve got the wrist pin knock in the engine as well.

As for the other point, people trade in bad cars for new ones everyday. I’ve ended up with several of those over the years…it’s a part of life and keeps mechanics employed and car dealerships in business…and everyone that owns a car is used to it. I hope you can understand why fiscally it makes zero sense for me to replace the transmission when the car isn’t worth it. No matter what I do, aside from putting in a new transmission, the car is going to be a headache. It is 15 years old after all…expectations for any new owner should be pretty low.
 

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Thanks to everyone for the replies.

t-rd…I actually did not know there was a recall. I’ve had it to the dealer a couple of times for other repairs though so I guess my assumption was that they would’ve let me know if it needed to be done. Yet I know there wasn’t one done. Was that on previous years or did it apply to 06-07 as well?

Turns out, and I forgot I did this but I had them drain and fill the fluid about 10000 miles ago…based on how bad the fluid is something must’ve happened to cause it to overheat the way it did. Or the fluid was never changed. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve paid for a service that a dealer claimed they did but didn’t do. I’m draining and filling tonight with DW-1 that I’ve had for awhile. Any thoughts on Red Line D4? Have a bunch laying around for another car…and I won’t have to wait for a package of DW1 to come in for the full 3x3.

I ended up getting several quotes today:

$3800 - Rebuilt - 1 year
$3500 - Used transmission, no warranty - 110,000 miles
$6500 - Remanufactured with 1 year warranty

Or 1500 for a reman that I do myself…800 for a used with close to same miles. Any thoughts on pulling engine and trans as a unit from the top? Looks like it would be pretty tight unless I drop the spool valve and crank pulley first…and pull radiator/fans.

I’d be more inclined to spend the money if the plan was to keep it but I’ve got the wrist pin knock in the engine as well.

As for the other point, people trade in bad cars for new ones everyday. I’ve ended up with several of those over the years…it’s a part of life and keeps mechanics employed and car dealerships in business…and everyone that owns a car is used to it. I hope you can understand why fiscally it makes zero sense for me to replace the transmission when the car isn’t worth it. No matter what I do, aside from putting in a new transmission, the car is going to be a headache. It is 15 years old after all…expectations for any new owner should be pretty low.
Redline D4 works, but apparently the friction modifier is off a bit and it'll wear the transmission faster. I believe the current recommended stuff is Valvoline Maxlife ATF, it's very similar to DW-1, fully synthetic, and real cheap at Walmart. It should be much more tolerant to heat than DW-1, and doesn't effect the transmission shifting at all.

I've got a 07 V6 auto with 210k miles now, and the transmission works great. The fluid was all burnt and full of crud when I got it, but after 3x3 drain and fill with Valvoline Maxlife, replacing the filter, and installing a trans cooler, it hasn't given me any trouble, and the fluid still looks good. I'd do the 3x3 drain and fill with DW-1 or Valvoline, and see how it feels, it might still have some life left in it.

If you can get a used transmission from an 06-07 and put a cooler on it, it'll probably last a good while, but it will be a bit of a risk if the transmission was really abused. Rebuilding it is the safest option, the 06-07 transmission fixed most of the issues (other than the overheating obviously), and with a rebuild, shift improvement kit and a trans cooler they should be pretty bulletproof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Redline D4 works, but apparently the friction modifier is off a bit and it'll wear the transmission faster. I believe the current recommended stuff is Valvoline Maxlife ATF, it's very similar to DW-1, fully synthetic, and real cheap at Walmart. It should be much more tolerant to heat than DW-1, and doesn't effect the transmission shifting at all.

I've got a 07 V6 auto with 210k miles now, and the transmission works great. The fluid was all burnt and full of crud when I got it, but after 3x3 drain and fill with Valvoline Maxlife, replacing the filter, and installing a trans cooler, it hasn't given me any trouble, and the fluid still looks good. I'd do the 3x3 drain and fill with DW-1 or Valvoline, and see how it feels, it might still have some life left in it.

If you can get a used transmission from an 06-07 and put a cooler on it, it'll probably last a good while, but it will be a bit of a risk if the transmission was really abused. Rebuilding it is the safest option, the 06-07 transmission fixed most of the issues (other than the overheating obviously), and with a rebuild, shift improvement kit and a trans cooler they should be pretty bulletproof.
Thanks for the tip. I just did a quick drain and fill with the D4 I have. I apparently disposed of the DW1 I had. I’ll definitely pick up some MaxLife for the remaining drain and fills.

I’ll admit…I’m a bit miffed. The fluid was black and burnt…the drain plug was absolutely covered with material. No test drive yet except for up and down my driveway just to make sure it moved…it did shift from 1st to second though so that’s better than before. I’m wondering if the fluid was just that wrecked that once it heated up it just couldn’t maintain the right pressures. ::shrugs:: ???

Since I’ve owned it (75,000 miles), it’s had at least 27 qts of DW1 looking over my receipts. Its not abused…and after the first 3x3 75,000 miles ago everything seemed to shift great. There were some quirky shifts at times but nothing that seemed too abnormal. It’s too bad because it’s one of the better all around cars that I’ve had. Not really sure what to make of it….faulty since I bought it or is it just that inadequately cooled by design? I see a couple of comments about the auxiliary cooler…so I’m assuming this is probably fairly common with these?

Just an update after my test drive…it’s toast. Drove fine for a mile or two then started shuddering pretty bad. Took it in the highway, got it to 60 for about 5 miles then when I went to turn basically lost forward drive for a moment and then wouldn’t shift out of 2nd. Got it into my driveway and wouldn’t go forward unless I have it gas then it would shudder and engage…same with reverse. No lights, no codes. Think the TC is trashed. Whatevs…kinda figured as much but for a second I had hope.
 

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Thanks for the tip. I just did a quick drain and fill with the D4 I have. I apparently disposed of the DW1 I had. I’ll definitely pick up some MaxLife for the remaining drain and fills.

I’ll admit…I’m a bit miffed. The fluid was black and burnt…the drain plug was absolutely covered with material. No test drive yet except for up and down my driveway just to make sure it moved…it did shift from 1st to second though so that’s better than before. I’m wondering if the fluid was just that wrecked that once it heated up it just couldn’t maintain the right pressures. ::shrugs:: ???

Since I’ve owned it (75,000 miles), it’s had at least 27 qts of DW1 looking over my receipts. Its not abused…and after the first 3x3 75,000 miles ago everything seemed to shift great. There were some quirky shifts at times but nothing that seemed too abnormal. It’s too bad because it’s one of the better all around cars that I’ve had. Not really sure what to make of it….faulty since I bought it or is it just that inadequately cooled by design? I see a couple of comments about the auxiliary cooler…so I’m assuming this is probably fairly common with these?
Honda has always had trouble with automatic transmissions. The 6th gen V6 and 03-05 V6 auto transmission did have some serious flaws, and would lock up at highway speeds, destroy gears, and overheat. Honda put out a recall that mitigated some of those issues after a class action lawsuit. The 06-07 automatic redesigned and reinforced most of the transmission internals, but never fixed the overheating problem.

The transmission relies entirely on a small water-oil heat exchanger to cool the transmission fluid. It is completely inadequate for the amount of heat generated by the V6, so V6 transmissions will overheat very easily, made worse by the fact the DW-1 transmission fluid isn't synthetic and breaks down quickly when overheated. However, the transmissions are built heavily enough that they will survive constant overheating for years, so Honda just ignored it.

Installing an external transmission cooler should fix the overheating issues, and make the 06-07 automatic pretty solid. I followed t-rd's instructions for installing a transmission cooler, and even with a huge cooler installed, it still gets up to 180-190 degrees under heavy load, so it's clearly doing something.

If your transmission does recover, I would install a cooler as soon as possible, It only cost me about $250 for the parts and tools, and took me about 6 hours.

t-rd's transmission cooler install thread is here:

MikeCZ's website (MikeCZ is an Australian Accord owner and mechanic who did a lot of research and testing to determine why Honda automatics failed so often)
 

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For a transmission additive, you can try the Lucas Stop Slip. I added 1/2 bottle during a trans fluid change on my '99 Accord. It made the shifts quite firm, almost like a shift kit!
That Brisdance link that @capkirk123 has in the post above is a wonderful resource for Honda automatics. As I recall, the main attributes to transmission failure were that the OEM DW-1 fluid is meh (haha!), the logic for torque converter lock-up is wonky, and the circulation pump does bumpkis at idle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone for the comments. I think this is where I'm at...and it's somewhat of a dilemma:

I work fully remote now so other than going into the office on the rare occasion, I don't drive very often. I'll go to the store...maybe drive to a friends every now and then. My wife has a 2019 Outback 3.6 we bought brand new so when we go on trips, we drive that. We thought we could tow somewhat with it but it's about as useless for towing as a VW Jetta. I just lost my pickup about a year and a half ago...it was a lemon-lawed F-150 Platinum. I loved that truck but couldn't stomach having a $60,000 pickup sit in a dealer lot waiting for the part of the week to come in and get replaced. Nevertheless, I've been holding out for the new Tundra expected next year. The problem is...if I replace this car with a newer Accord for like $27000...I doubt my wife will be cool with me also spending another $60000 for a pickup. So...knowing that I need something reliable to drive at least until then...what makes more sense:

1. Spend the money for the transmission then trade at a loss on this current Accord and have another car payment...and most likely not being able to get the new pickup I've been waiting for. I've been wanting a 2017 Touring for awhile though to replace my current Accord. I just didn't have a reason to replace it until now.

OR

2. Do something kinda crazy and put a remanufactured transmission and engine in the car for the same price the dealership would charge me to do a reman transmission? The car, outside of the engine and the transmission (ha!) is actually in pretty good shape. New tires...did the suspension last year...new brakes...a new rack two years ago...and it's comfortable. Looking around, this car would be $6000 off the lot at a dealership. This option would also allow me to get that pickup and camper I've been wanting for a long time.

3. Dump the car at the salvage yard and be done with it...buy the 17 Accord and hope that not only it ends up being a long-lasting vehicle (I drive my cars into the ground) but also that my wife lets me buy the new Tundra a year from now.

Not sure what's the best option at this point. Option 2 seems pretty attractive...but I'll definitely miss out on the low mileage 17's with the V6 pretty much for good.

At the end of the day, I'd hope I could get another 100K+ out of that $6500 option #2 but who knows. I'm going to start tearing it apart in a couple days. I think at the very least I've opted to not pay someone to do it whether I just do a used transmission or go all out. Thoughts?

Oh and that MikeCZ write-up on Honda transmissions is excellent. Thanks for sharing that!

And as for the Lucas Transmission Fix...I only wish I had done that a few weeks ago. This tranny is dead...there's no saving it now. I kept eyeing that stuff up yesterday and contemplated grabbing some to try, but the drain and fill + test drive tonight confirmed that it's destroyed. It won't make it down my driveway now, let alone a dealership.
 

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Ouch. I'd look to see if you can find a private transmission shop that will work on Honda transmissions, they should be able to reman the transmission for cheaper than the dealer, and add in a cooler for you. Generally it's better to Reman the transmission you have, since you know what's wrong with it and know what work is being done on it.

Keeping your current Accord means keeping a car that you are already familiar with, and other than the transmissions they are very solid cars. My auto is still perfectly happy at 210k, and there are people with many more miles than that on their original trans. You might've just gotten a Monday morning shift transmission. If you rebuild it, you'll probably get another 200k miles out of the Accord without too much trouble. You will still need to replace various suspension components as they wear out, but it'll probably total less than a newer car.

That said, a newer V6 would get you more power, an infotainment unit (if you like those), and better fuel economy, but if you're getting a new truck soon anyway that might not matter much.
 

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Have you done the timing belt yet?

Since you're doing the labor yourself and you said it has the wrist pin knock (are you sure it's not the timing belt hyd tensioner?), maybe consider getting a not incredibly high mileage used tranny for about $800, do a 3x3 with the Valvoline Maxlife, and see what you get out of it.

Otherwise, maybe consider selling it as a project and getting a beater car til the new Tundra.
 

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There are a few things you need to know, since I did a rebuild on my trans:

  • Nothing will save your transmission right now, since you are seeing a bunch of debris internally, it's past the point of no return. At most you can try a tube of Lubegard red to add ATF friction modifier for more clutch pack friction but it lasts only the duration of that fluid run. Once you drain it, you need to add it again. Trans cooler, ATF change, pressure switch changes, shift solenoid cleaning, nothing will help at this point. Been there done that.
  • 2003 - 2005 V6 trans is inferior in many ways compared to the 2006 - 2007 V6 transmission. You can swap in a 06/07 V6 trans, you just need to use the drive plate from a 06/07 V6. It's been done before on this board, just search for it.
  • Do not get a used trans from the junk yard, because you do not know what was done to that transmission from that previous car.
  • If you do use a 06/07 V6 transmission, you need to fix the valve body issue by using the Translab shift kit to bore out and enlarge the valve body channels and seal the fluid leak to avoid torque converter overheating. The overheating issue is not solely because of the lack of a factory integrated cooler, it's because of valve body defects. This is documented on Sonax' website. A trans cooler helps a ton, ANY car should have it installed. Search and follow my DIY like @capkirk123 mentioned.

My rebuilt cost $2300 with Translab shift kit, along with rear main seal change (you should do this while there). Torque converter clutch wore out at 275K and I had to drive in D3 frequently to avoid the "wavey" "warpy" feeling while TCC is engaged. Go ahead and dump the car if you'd like, it's a free country, your choice. But just know that you'll be financing a new car with a monthly payment for 3 to 5 years depending on how much you pay a month, which ends up being quite a bit more than $2000 to $4000 in one shot. You basically crest over $2000 in car payments within 6 months making payments on a new or lightly used car. Or if you have the means, plunge $20 to $30k directly into a new car. The return of a new car is about 7 to 8 years in, but you need to wrench yourself or you aren't really saving.
 

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  • 2003 - 2005 V6 trans is inferior in many ways compared to the 2006 - 2007 V6 transmission. You can swap in a 06/07 V6 trans, you just need to use the drive plate from a 06/07 V6. It's been done before on this board, just search for it.
OP's Accord is an 06, it should be a direct swap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey all…thanks for the tips. I’ve opted to do it myself over the next few weeks. I started tearing into it this afternoon for a couple hours before dinner. Already have the hood off, removed the fluids, removed the radiator and cooling fans, battery tray, belt, intake, and a few of the hoses. I’m dreading the cats and exhaust pipe though….thinking based on how they look that they’ve pretty much welded themselves together at this point. Hopefully nothing a torch and aircat can’t handle. I’m pulling the engine and trans as a unit through the top…so if anyone knows of any tips let me know but I think there’ll be more than enough room after I remove the crank and fuse box. I haven’t ordered anything yet. I’m thinking that once I get them pulled apart I’ll take a peek at the engine on a stand and see what the condition is. The wrist pin knock bothers me a lot. There’s a pretty good chance that I’m going to buy a reman transmission and reman long block. For 6500, I should have a car that’ll give me another 150,000 miles.

As for the trans lab kit mentioned above, does anyone know of any remanufacturers that would include that as part of their rebuild?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just an update for everyone…had a few hours today and was able to get everything else off that I need prior to pulling…now just need to pull the mounts and pick it out. I also need to find the best reman reseller. Recommendations? Looking at Powertrain Products and Jasper.

Any thoughts on a derale thermal bypass plus a B&M’s super cooler 70264/70268? We’ve had days here -30F. Based on the warranties out there…I’m going to be confined to DW1 so keeping things cool is critical but also want to make sure it’s not too cool.
 
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