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I just picked up my 2008 Honda Accord EX-L from the mechanic that replaced my radiator and completely drained my transmission fluid multiple times until there was not any antifreeze left since it mixed with the radiator.

Before I had it towed to him there was a delay in shifting from drive to reverse and when I put the car in drive it took a few seconds to start driving because the engine would just rev and not go anywhere until the transmission caught. There was also a banging noise at times. (I experienced all this in a few minutes window before I stopped driving it.)

All these things are gone, and it drives fine except while I was driving the car home from the mechanic there is a hesitation only when lightly accelerating between first/second, second/third, third/fourth. It is a slight hesitation/bucking/lagging/choking feeling. Then as I get into fifth gear it drives fine. It may be fine after fourth gear-I’m not sure.

I also noticed the rpm needle does not glide upwards when this happens. Instead the needle jumps a little then a little more and then again.

If I press on the accelerator hard from a stopped position to accelerate fast the car goes through all the gears fine with no hesitation or any of those other things and the rpm needle glides up. There is also nothing noticeable at highs speeds.

This hesitation was not there before all this happened with my car, so I am not sure if it is transmission or engine related and I do not know where to go next. The check engine light is not on and I am not sure if bring it somewhere to have it tested for codes if anything will come up.

It turns out the mechanic used Valvoline Dex/Merc ATF and I contacted Valvoline and many other sources and this is the wrong fluid. If anything he should have used Valvolime MaxLife if he was going to use Valvoline.

So I have 3 questions regarding all this.

1. Could this wrong fluid cause this slight hesitation?

2. Does it make sense to have him replace the fluid or have a shop do it since he works from home and doesn't have any machines? (I've already had 2 transmission shops tell me that once even a teaspoon of water gets in the transmission you have major repairs and I don't know how valid this is.)

3. If I go the route of trying to have the transmission fluid replaced without going the extensive transmission route could I be causing more damage then what's already done?

Thanks for any insight.
 

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Yep, wrong fluid.
He didn't know what he was doing, sorry to say...and then, he took the cheap way out.
Have him replace it and do a 3x drain and refill.
If anything he should have used Valvolime MaxLife if he was going to use Valvoline.
or, Honda's fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for that reply. Do you think it makes sense to try this before having a transmission shop look at it?
 

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Thank you for that reply. Do you think it makes sense to try this before having a transmission shop look at it?
Yes.
And, the first question they'll ask is, "Do you know what kind of fluid he put in??" As soon as they hear Dexron, they'll know what the issue is.
 
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Use only Honda DW1. I strongly suggest you find another shop.
 
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completely drained my transmission fluid multiple times until there was not any antifreeze left since it mixed with the radiator.
I agree with the others that the wrong fluid was used and that Maxlife or Honda ATF should be tried.

However, I suspect ATF is not the problem. Antifreeze mixing with ATF is a transmission killer. From what I have read across multiple Honda forums there is a 50/50 chance that a transmission can survive this.

I suspect the worse and that you will need a replacement transmission.

Is your car a V6?
 

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I would also change the external trans. filter (if you have one). Go back to the mechanic & have him do 4 d/f's (NEVER use a machine to change trans. fluid) with you driving in between ea. one. Make sure you bring the fluid. Clean the throttle body as an extra precaution. If you still are having trouble look into changing the pressure switches also & find another indy shop that knows Honda's.
 

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I agree with the others that the wrong fluid was used and that Maxlife or Honda ATF should be tried.

However, I suspect ATF is not the problem. Antifreeze mixing with ATF is a transmission killer. From what I have read across multiple Honda forums there is a 50/50 chance that a transmission can survive this.

I suspect the worse and that you will need a replacement transmission.

Is your car a V6?
Thank you so much @2Accordz @slimm1469 @97trophy @KW2004Accord I have an update.

Update: Yes it's a V-6. I was completely wrong with what's in the transmission.

I just got back from the mechanic and it turns out he used that transmission fluid only to flush out the coolant inside the transmission. He used Valvoline Dex/Merc ATF twice to flush out the transmission and then Valvoline MaxLife once for the final flush. Then he filled it up with AISIN DW-1 so I was completely wrong with what's in there. He also does the work in the back of his house outside so he's not using any kind of machine to the best of my knowledge.

He connected a Launch Code Reader and we watched it go through all the diagnosis which found nothing except for low tire pressure which is one of my tires with a bent rim that has a very slow leak.

Then we went for a test drive and he felt what I was talking about. We drove for about 15 minutes including the highway. He firmly does not believe it's transmission related because he said Honda's would act differently if was transmission related including on the highway. He explained to me what it would do-I think in the way it shifted or what the rpms would be doing but it's very hard to understand him speak so I'm not sure exactly what he said. It turns out he's certified in Honda so I'm assuming he knows them but I just wish I understood everything he said.

When we got back just in case he checked some things like the plugs because I asked him if he could and he found nothing wrong. He was confident it's not transmission related but of course the issue is still there and I'm not sure what to do. He said to continue to drive it and if by some slim chance it is the transmission it will get worse and I will know and then call him.

The other thing I noticed when I put it in D3 there is no hesitation. I may have noticed it a little when I got home driving up a steep hill in my parking garage but I can't be sure. On the road driving it shifted very tightly. Even in regular drive when I press on the gas hard it shifts tightly. Also, I was testing it out on some back roads today and going very slow trying to not get it to even shift out of 1st or 2nd it seemed to be doing that slight hesitation even when it wasn't ready to shift. I don't know if all this means anything but I thought I would test it out since I read something where other people had the same exact problem and it din't happen in D3.

I don't feel great about driving it in this condition and quite frankly not sure what to do. I don't know if I could do worse damage if it is the transmission or if it doesn't matter at this point and the damage is already done. I hardly even drive the car since I work from home and don't go far when I do go out which sometimes in only once a week.

If I decide to bring it somewhere else to get to the bottom of it should I go to a highly recommended foreign specialty shop my friend recommended or a transmission shop?

Is it possible this is not transmission related and something completely different with these symptoms?

Thanks again for all your help. I'm just trying to do the simple things first since I'm on a tight budget.
 

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You need someone with a dealer level scan tool to see what's going on

Please let us know how you get on.
 

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Honda’s are very finicky with fluid viscosity. Proper fluid (Honda brand) and level is needed for an automatic transmission. It is imperative to start here before jumping to any conclusions?

- Ron Burgundy
 

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You have a mixture of 3 (+ a little of the orig. fluid) different types (viscosity) of trans. fluid - you / mechanic are thinking in terms of quantity instead of dilution. 44,66,83,92% is what ea. d/f gives, Honda trans. are very picky about having the correct amount of friction modifiers. You need to do 3 - 4 more d/f's with Honda brand DW-1, then go from there. Another poster talked about the ASIAN brand of DW-1 as having a different viscosity than Honda OEM fluid. While it worked OK in his 7th. gen., it may of been because he did a complete change.
 

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I'm not sure about next steps, but I do know that you should ALWAYS use genuine Honda ATF in the Accord V6. They seem to be the most unforgiving. Given Honda's history, I would play it safe and just use genuine Honda fluid in all Honda models and years. For your next transmission fluid change, I would definitely suggest you use that over any other product.
I wish you the best with this situation, good luck!
 

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Hey all I was told I need an automatic transmission rebuild in an 08 accord but the car still drives. It seems like there's slight slippage which made me think it might be the transmission. It doesn't jerk or anything and the rpm doesn't go way up. I'm going to bring it to 2 other places to make sure.

I don't drive that much so I'm wondering if I keep driving it will I do any more damage if it needs a rebuild? Is there any other damage I could cause to the car driving it this way? I don't care about it getting worse if the damage is already done but I don't want to cause any more problems with the rest of the car. thanks!
 

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seeker1111,
So, what happened between your last visit, and now?
What changed and who told you this new info?
in your old thread, you mentioned your guy didn't think it was as serious as you thought??
Not trying to doubt you, but at one point you said your mechanic put Dexron in, before he handed you the keys..and he really didn't.

KW2004Accord suggested you do a 3x D&R on the tranny...have you done this??
This is good advice, IMO, because your guy has put so much different ATF in the car in the last two days, it's hard to say what's going...first Dexron, and then the Honda "clone" type fluid..
I'd say before you go ahead and spend big money to do the re-build, at least get the fluid back to normal, so you can make an honest assessment.
 

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seeker1111,
So, what happened between your last visit, and now?
What changed and who told you this new info?
in your old thread, you mentioned your guy didn't think it was as serious as you thought??
Not trying to doubt you, but at one point you said your mechanic put Dexron in, and he really didn't.

KW2004Accord suggested you do a 3x D&R on the tranny...have you done this??
This is good advice, IMO, because your guy has put so much different ATF in the car in the last two days, it's hard to say what's going...first Dexron, and then the Honda "clone" type fluid..
I'd say before you go ahead and spend big money to do the re-build, at least get the fluid back to normal, so you can make an honest assessment.
Hi @2Accordz thanks for the reply and thanks for posting that thread. I completely missed those last 2 posts.

I probably shouldn't have created a new post. I had so much in that old post I didn't want to confuse people but creating a new one maybe made it more confusing so I'm going to go back to the original post and delete this after I update the original. Sorry for the confusion.
 

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Once that trans cooler springs a leak leaks into the radiator and your trans mixes with coolant, you're most likely funked. When water gets into the trans steel parts rust and there's nothing you can do about it. Ask me how I know.

The only way to hope to survive it is to do what your mechanic did . . . flush the hell out of it and then cross your fingers and say a few prayers. If the flush helped you'll never feel a thing. If not the trans will slowly deteriorate until you need a new or rebuilt one. You'll know because it will act up and eventually you'll smell the burnt/rusty fluid on the dipstick. Sorry pal but water in a trans can be deadly.
 
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You have a mixture of 3 (+ a little of the orig. fluid) different types (viscosity) of trans. fluid - you / mechanic are thinking in terms of quantity instead of dilution. 44,66,83,92% is what ea. d/f gives, Honda trans. are very picky about having the correct amount of friction modifiers. You need to do 3 - 4 more d/f's with Honda brand DW-1, then go from there. Another poster talked about the ASIAN brand of DW-1 as having a different viscosity than Honda OEM fluid. While it worked OK in his 7th. gen., it may of been because he did a complete change.
Thank you for this info. I completely missed these last 2 posts. I ended up bringing it to a transmission shop yesterday to see what they thought. One of the mechanics had a scanner in the car but I'm not sure if he used it. He test drove the car and then the owner test drove the car.

After the test drive he told me I needed a transmission rebuild because the way the car was driving and once you get antifreeze in the transmission the clutch material comes apart and will clog up the filter and fluid won't get to where it needs to go. He said whenever something like that happens you need to rebuild your transmission and put all new seals, rings,clutches, and get rid of the antifreeze that's in there because it will be in your torque converter and other places that you can't flush it. Is this really true that once antifreeze gets in there it needs an automatic rebuild?

Any suggestions as to where I could bring it to have the 3-4 d/fs done? And do I bring them all the fluid to know that's what is being used? I'm thinking this will probably cost a few hundred dollars between the Honda Brand DW-1 and the labor. It would drive me crazy if I had this done to see no change. Of course much cheaper than a rebuild if it works.

Can I do any more damage driving it the way it is either to the transmission or other parts of the car? If it ends up needing a rebuild I'm not sure I want to spend that money and was thinking of just driving it until it either gets much worse or stops driving. Is this a bad idea?

Thank you!

Once that trans cooler springs a leak leaks into the radiator and your trans mixes with coolant, you're most likely funked. When water gets into the trans steel parts rust and there's nothing you can do about it. Ask me how I know.

The only way to hope to survive it is to do what your mechanic did . . . flush the hell out of it and then cross your fingers and say a few prayers. If the flush helped you'll never feel a thing. If not the trans will slowly deteriorate until you need a new or rebuilt one. You'll know because it will act up and eventually you'll smell the burnt/rusty fluid on the dipstick. Sorry pal but water in a trans can be deadly.
That's kind of what I was afraid of. Did you drive yours until it completely failed?
 

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I would have it changed another couple times with proper fluid. Have used Lucas Trans Stabilizer with great results in the past with slipping transmissions. Hard shifting too.. keep driving after and start saving or planning down the road. May last a long time like that.
 
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Transmission shops will most always try to convince people they need a new or rebuilt trans., like any other buss. they are looking for buss. Look around for a shop that will let you bring the fluid & they charge for the labor. I do that & they charge me $20, look for shops outside the metro area. Do the d/f @ every oil change if you want to space them out. Keep driving until the trans. fails, you may get many more yrs. out of it. Sounds like you were able to catch the repair in time, so I wouldn't worry about it. If you can't do the d/f yourself you may want to go back to that mechanic that put the wrong fluid in & convince him to do the next couple d/f's for $15-20 ea. (get a case of DW-1) & buy a pack of crush washers (get mine off Amz.). Driving in between ea. change will get any newer fluid in the same places that any of the anti-freeze got into, like the torque converter. Hopefully the mechanic had a lift (ran through all the gears) or drove the car on the highway between ea. d/f to lock up the torque converter.
 

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That's kind of what I was afraid of. Did you drive yours until it completely failed?
Pretty much. It was a 1987 Volvo that I bought as a rebuilt salvage vehicle. Unfortunately the guy who rebuilt it couldn't see the damaged trans cooler and neither could I til one day the coolant overflow line deteriorated from the oil and out came pink milk shake looking goo. I took it back to him and he flushed and flushed the trans over and over til the fluid was clean as a whistle. I continued to drive the car for months and it ran perfectly fine. Then I took it on a 1400 mile cross country trip when we moved from TX to CO. The day after getting to CO the car shuddered horribly. A check of the trans dipstick and all of that nice clean fluid was burnt and was a burnt orange color. I could have kept driving it til it completely fell apart but it was the family car. I had a shop put in a used transmission.
 
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