Drive Accord Honda Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Learner's Permit
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been the sole owner of my Accord since driving it off the lot, and I'd like to learn more about fixing it up myself. This will also help me know when mechanics are being dishonest w/me. I get lied to a lot about my car because I'm female, so I have a Haynes manual which I use to verify recommended repairs. Ex: Last year I took my car to a shop to replace the brake pads, which were worn pretty thin. I was told the pads were fine, BUT the rotors would need to be replaced REALLY SOON, within a couple of weeks- the mechanic actually said: "just come back in when they gave out/when you're ready, we can do both for you at the same time and save you money- that way you don't have to come in and pay for the labor twice". I KNEW the pads were worn (b/c of my Haynes manual:thmsup:) so I went home, took off the hubcaps and when I checked the rotors, they were perfectly fine! I changed the pads myself, but I was livid b/c if I'd waited till the brake pads gave out, they would've damaged the rotors. I was so angry someone would put my safety in jeopardy to make a few xtra bucks.

So I'm having issues right now, and I'm suspecting the culprit is the clutch. I was hoping someone could help confirm or deny my suspicions as the clutch is a little more complicated than changing brake pads or windshield wipers:dunno::

I drive a 7th gen Accord: 2004 LX 4-door Sedan, 2.4L 4 cylinder Engine, and of course Manual Transmission.

-Problem started this evening, I was in bumper to bumper traffic when I smelled something so foul, I was almost nauseated. There was no smoke coming from the engine or wheels, and initially, I thought the smell was coming from the blazing muffler ahead of me. Its hard to describe the smell, it was like dirty machinery.

-Pulled over, checked oil, radiator. As I mentioned, there was no smoke, the thermostat was normal, yet the mysterious smell seemed to linger from somewhere behind the engine. The oil was dirty and due for a change, but not dirty enough to cause problems; and again, the oil wasn't smoking and wasn't low. I will add that I do need an oil change, I usually go every 7-8k using premium oil, and I don't live in an "extreme climate"

-Check engine light comes on when I start the car, but doesn't stay on. Was off the entire time I was driving.

-Car has 81K, has never had any major repairs/maintenance issues, other than bodywork in 2006 after being rear-ended and subsequently rear-ending the jaguar in front of me- but the damage was purely cosmetic, and the car has been driving just as well as it did prior to the accident.

-Terms of mileage: relocated to DC area also in '06, and safe to say probably driven about 20K since then, most of it is commuting to work in the second worst traffic city in the US. Prior to that I was living in Nevada, and most of my mileage was from highway travel/interstate trips.


Thank you in advance for any help/advice anyone can provide. Please let me know if there is any other information or details I should provide.
 

·
Learner's Permit
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Sorry for the long posts, but when I tried searching the forum, I didn't find any answers, nor descriptions of similar issues.

When I read posts about clutch issues, I didn't read anything about foul engine smells, and I haven't had problems with shifting, slipping out of gear, shaking, rattling, clacking, or other weird noises. I think I thought it was the clutch b/c it happened during Friday afternoon stop/go rush hour traffic.

So now I'm wondering if the strain on the engine due to the driving conditions triggered the smell from somewhere else? could it be that I'm low on one of my fluids perhaps? Also, this might be another coincidence, but my car had been towed earlier in the week, maybe during the drive, something was damaged?

I keep mentioning the smell because it was so strong I felt nauseated. My sister called me on her cell phone when this started to happen, she was driving in her car behind me, we were going somewhere. She could smell it too, but b/c the car ahead of me had a lot of smoke coming out of its muffler, we thought it was the culprit, or the mac truck a few cars ahead. In hindsight, the heat was on, and I believe the smell was coming in through the vents up front on the center dashboard. Opening the window didn't help. After we stopped to check the oil and reservoir, we got onto the hwy, and the car didn't give me any trouble driving. The smell still lingered, but it didn't start up again, or at least if it did, it wasn't as strong as it was when we were in the traffic jam.

BTW, I will take my car in for diagnostics, I was just curious to know if this sounded like something anyone had heard of, or perhaps someone else on here had a similar problem and could share how they fixed it.

Thanks again!:banana:
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,322 Posts
How old is the mtf? If its the original I would change it out. I'd also use Redline mtf since its a full synthetic and will last a very long time. Plus it will probably shift much smoother. Usually I recommend mostly oem fluids but this will be an upgrade.

I suspect your old fluid is burnt and your smelling the fumes. The old fluid is prob worn out and not capable of doing it job anymore.

There's even a tsb on some mt's to replace the Honda fluid with GM fluid that is FM(friction modified). Which isn't a great testament to the Honda stuff.
 

·
Learner's Permit
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I thought of the fluid today; yes, the mtf would be original. Also, the clutch isn't something that one day just breaks, you would feel it gradually and today I had no trouble driving.

Thanks for the advice, I'll try out the Redline like you suggested, switch it out when I change the oil this week. I've never burned my clutch before, so that's why I got so nervous. My mom was telling me though that sometimes it just happens, if its an accident after one time, its no big deal.

How ironic the TSB recommends different manufacturer's fluid. I didn't think Honda actually manufactured their own MTF? Thought it was made by mobil or something and they just stamp their name on it? Thanks again for the suggestion, I'll post an update after I change the fluid.

Joanna
 

·
Legitimate hack
Joined
·
1,673 Posts
Was the smell along the lines of rotten eggs? The way you describe the location of the smell and your sister smelling it from behind you leads me to believe your catalytic converter is shot. The cat tends to have the smell you describe or the rotten egg smell and lingers until its replced. You would also notice a decrease in performance, fuel mileage, and so on. The longer you wait, the worse it gets and it'll eventually choke your engine dead.
 

·
Learner's Permit
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
uh oh. the cat is kind of pricey to replace, right?

The smell was not like sulphur, i thought at first it was burning oil. Isn't 6 years a bit early to replace a cat though? i thought they were supposed to last till about 150K?
 

·
06 6MT Sedan
Joined
·
898 Posts
Sorry for the long posts, but when I tried searching the forum, I didn't find any answers, nor descriptions of similar issues.

When I read posts about clutch issues, I didn't read anything about foul engine smells, and I haven't had problems with shifting, slipping out of gear, shaking, rattling, clacking, or other weird noises. I think I thought it was the clutch b/c it happened during Friday afternoon stop/go rush hour traffic.

So now I'm wondering if the strain on the engine due to the driving conditions triggered the smell from somewhere else? could it be that I'm low on one of my fluids perhaps? Also, this might be another coincidence, but my car had been towed earlier in the week, maybe during the drive, something was damaged?

I keep mentioning the smell because it was so strong I felt nauseated. My sister called me on her cell phone when this started to happen, she was driving in her car behind me, we were going somewhere. She could smell it too, but b/c the car ahead of me had a lot of smoke coming out of its muffler, we thought it was the culprit, or the mac truck a few cars ahead. In hindsight, the heat was on, and I believe the smell was coming in through the vents up front on the center dashboard. Opening the window didn't help. After we stopped to check the oil and reservoir, we got onto the hwy, and the car didn't give me any trouble driving. The smell still lingered, but it didn't start up again, or at least if it did, it wasn't as strong as it was when we were in the traffic jam.

BTW, I will take my car in for diagnostics, I was just curious to know if this sounded like something anyone had heard of, or perhaps someone else on here had a similar problem and could share how they fixed it.

Thanks again!:banana:
A burning clutch does smell pretty foul. When you put it into gear, you should be able to tell if the clutch is slipping. When the gear engages, the rpm's will go up very high and slowly go back to normal. Your acceleration will be very bad. Notice anything like this?
 

·
Legitimate hack
Joined
·
1,673 Posts
uh oh. the cat is kind of pricey to replace, right?

The smell was not like sulphur, i thought at first it was burning oil. Isn't 6 years a bit early to replace a cat though? i thought they were supposed to last till about 150K?
Not necessarily. I've heard of cats going at 60k and others lasting for as long as 300k. Lots of things can kill them, main one being running rich. And yes. They are pricey to replace. You're better off getting an aftermarket one as opposed to the OEM one to save costs. Also, installing a used one is illegal, in case you were thinking of going that route.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,590 Posts
Couple of other ideas. Did you by chance turn on the defroster and get that smell? Could your HVAC have been pulling in someone elses car smell? I doubt it was the clutch even if you were slipping the heck out of it.

150K and the converter needs changed?? I better get my car scheduled for a cat change then since Im way overdue............
 

·
<= Jeep differential LOL.
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
Let the car cool off, as I'm sure it has since the incident, and then go drive around to heat it back up. You can check to see if the clutch is slipping by going about 25mph, putting it in 5th gear and stomping the gas after you let out the clutch. If the rpms go up quickly and you do not accelerate, the clutch is slipping and may be getting abnormally hot when it does so. If the engine just bogs and stays at pretty much the same rpm, it's not slipping. After you do that, park and crawl all over sniffing and checking for leaks.
If the exhaust smells REALLY bad like sulfur or rotten eggs, it could be a cat collapsing on itself and would need to be taken care of quickly.

Dirty MTF will not smell as you described. I changed mine(exact same car as yours) at 105k miles and I'm pretty sure it was the first time it had been done. I just bought the car in September with 104k.

I hope that helps. It's pretty hard to diagnose noises or smells over the internet.:lmao:

I wish more women were like you and didn't come across as having zero thought going on inside.:thmsup:
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,322 Posts
Another thing to add to the list is replacing the pcv valve with an oem one. Not related to the burning smell but good preventative maintenance. Plus its often overlooked. One of the guys on here who works on these cars for a living says they usually last around 60k on the 7th gen I4's.

Google "college hills honda" for a decent price even with shipping.

Do not replace with a $2 valve since those usually have a cheap, thin internal spring.

As far as the Redline mtf I believe you will need to order it online. Unless you can find a local source but often times that is difficult.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,322 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
372 Posts
Yet i dont know if im going the right way, we had the same problem a couple days ago,,, a foul smell in and around our car, as we put it up on the lift there was a plastic bag stuck to the exhaust piping, we scraped it off and everything is fine now
 

·
Learner's Permit
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks everyone for all the tips, advice, and kind comments. you've all been really helpful, and its great to find out what kind of things to look out for. It is hard to diagnose smells or noises over the internet, since its so subjective, but at least I have some idea of possible culprits.

The phantom smell has all but left the interior of the car. Its still lingering a little bit, but not nearly as intolerable as it was on Friday. As far as the clutch slipping, I really don't think that's the issue anymore. It still shifts easily, the acceleration is fine, and I've been paying attention to the rpm's.

I will try out the 5th gear test when I drive a little bit later though to doublecheck. I think changing the filters and having the emissions and HVAC checked is a smart idea, too. Thanks for the links for the filters, and I'll order an oem pcv valve also. I think what I'm going to do is take the car in for the oil and mtr change, and ask the mechanic to give the car a 'check up' before i mention anything and see what they say. I'd be curious to know.

Maybe I'm thinking of another part, so sorry if I'm misinformed, but doesn't the cat converter make a lot of noise when it needs a fix? Maybe its just wishful thinking. Even if it did end up being something major like that, i wouldn't really mind so much because these cars last forever.
 

·
Learner's Permit
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I clicked on the link for the AC cleaner spray, and was really pleased to find the link to the Man Club show on You Tube.

*On my way to get a cabin filter* :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
I just want to add that the MTF would not be the culprit. If the MTF made its way to your clutch it would hardly be drivable, and would only have happened if you had the MTF changed and it got over-filled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,189 Posts
-Check engine light comes on when I start the car, but doesn't stay on. Was off the entire time I was driving.
This check engine light could provide a clue about what might have happened to your car. Have you had anyone check the code?

As an aside, in prolonged bumper-to-bumper traffic it is possible to overheat and burn the clutch, especially going uphill. If that burnt smell was heavy and sickly-sweet, it might have just been the clutch. Of course, that could be good news because it would mean there is nothing mechanically wrong with your car.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top