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Master Auto Tech.
Master Auto Tech., master tech.
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 465
Experience:  A.S.E. Master technician. Over 20 years working on import & domestic. Owner/operator of an auto shop
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My 1998 acura RL 3.5 AT (honda legend outside US) does not

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My 1998 acura RL 3.5 AT (honda legend outside US) does not shift properly anymore. I need some help in troubleshooting the exact cause.
The symptoms:
When in drive releasing my foot from the brake the car sometimes will not move. Applying a minimal amount of throttle will cause the transmission to kick into gear.
Shifting from 1st to 2nd under moderate load/acceleration will sometimes cause a grinding noise.
shifting from 3rd to 4th is not as smooth as I remember it
when in 4th and driving around 80-100 km/h the transmission seems to have trouble locking up. I can feel a fast shuddering which can be solved by either depressing or releasing the throttle.
Since removing the transmission is quite a job and there a no mechanics (not even honda dealerships) that will work on this transmission and give a 100% guarantee in my country I will need to work on this issue myself and I would like to be as effective/efficient as possible in tackling this problem. I have 20+ years of hobby car mechanics, have plenty of tools but have near 0 experience with automatic transmission.
Thanks in advance
I'm sorry you are having problems with your vehicle. I will try to help.I'm a full time mechanic and have been a mechanic for over 20 yrs and I work part-time here on JustAnswer to help you and others repair their own vehicles, and I get credited by your ratings.. So before leaving the site make sure and leave me a rating. You can still reply to me as many times as neeed, even after the rating.. I will need for you to be my hands and eyes since I'm not there.So the first thing I would check is the fluid level and quality. Drain and fill and see if there are any shavings or debris on the magnet or in the fluid. Also make sure it's at the proper level.
If all of that checks out then there is a tsb that says if there are any noises or problems between 1-2 shift then replace the transmission as the #2 clutch pack has deteriorated and is causing problems in the transmission and likely clogging ports from the debris.
Let me know what questions I can still help answer in regards ***** *****I strive to provide 5 star service. If I have satisfactorily answered your question please rate it as such and hit submit. Doing so is the only way I get compensated for my time. Also it doesn't close the discussion so we will still be able to communicate if there are further questions.
Thanks
Sonny
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you for your response. I am uncertain if I should rate you for this answer or continue the discussion and rate you afterwards? How does this work? :)Regarding the transmission: I have changed the fluid and there was no visible debris present. I have a copy of the honda / acura workshop manual and have also looked at the symptoms/cause table. The suggestion that the #2 clutchpack is worn did not come up so that is a good suggestion!Replacing the transmission is not really an option due to the price of a new one. Rebuilding the current one would be preferred. Before I take this route though I need to be certain what the problem is. Your suggestion only touches on one of my symptoms and the one that is the less problematic to me. Do you have any advice on the other symptoms or is your opinion that this is most likely the main cause of my problems?I might add that (outside) temperature does seem to influence the behaviour.Thanks,
Pascal
Rate me after is fine. I'm reading your reply now. Sorry for the delay
Do you have a scanner?
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I can scan paper and can scan/read fault codes. (not sure which you meant)
Haha. I meant scan the codes. Lol. Does it have data?
Show you other things besides just codes?
I only ask so I know where to go with the diagnostics.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Last time I checked there was no data but I would have to check again if I want to be sure. Since the unit is not with me right now I would have to get back to you on that.
Did you replace the filter as well? and if so is there any chance that you opened it up and looked for the debris?
what would really help to diagnose it properly is transmission oil pressure at Idol, in first gear and in reverse and at torque converter stall speed in those gears.
If the oil pressure is low it will cause it to jump out of gear at idle. It will also cause shifting problems. Worn pump seals and or worn seals in the clutch packs can easily cause low oil pressure. Also the electronics Solenoids in the transmission can cause shifting issues as well.
If you can get your hands on a oil pressure gauge that goes up to 300 PSI it would help immensely.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I have a manometer that can go 250bar. Not sure where to connect it though. I just checked the old school method of reading error codes by bridging the 2pin connector under the dash and there are no error codes in the auto transmission.
That should work. I believe it's a 10 mm bolt I think it's in the front of the transmission but I will see if I can find a diagram to pinpoint it Exact location for you.
Sorry the professional side of the site kept going down last night. I wanted to send a picture of the tests to test the solenoids.
Close up.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thanks for the pictures. I will have to dig into that but I will be out for a week. Please tell me how to proceed? Is a delay acceptable or shall I rate you now and get back to you later?
It's up to you. I will continue to help you either way. The post closes after a week but it will reopen ea time you text me. :-)
Master Auto Tech. and 9 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi,I have just returned from a trip to the UK. Driving in London is quite the experience! Anyway, I have just picked up a nice new rover V8 stage 3 tuned for my range rover at RPI in norwich. Regarding the Legend, I will be looking into that car hopefully in the new Year. I will say that your help so far has been excellent so I'll rate you now and get back to you when I get around to the Honda again. Thanks a lot!
It's my pleasure. Thank you and I'll look for your inquiry. :-)