How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask acramstr Your Own Question
acramstr, ASE Master Tech
Category: Acura
Satisfied Customers: 5331
Experience:  ASE master tech ,CA smog, ASE L1
Type Your Acura Question Here...
acramstr is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

TL: 98 3.2L Acura TL. Auto trans. Vehicle towed to our shop.

This answer was rated:

98 3.2L Acura TL. Auto trans. Vehicle towed to our shop. Customer states while driving 50 mph, a grinding noise started and vehicle lost power. Park does not hold, no movement forward or reverse, and the grinding noise in all gears except park. Sounds like a stripped gear or shaft. It's a loud heavy grinding noise. Trans fluid is full and clean. Both axles and cv joints appear intact.

Trying to determine if it is a trans or differential failure. Have not dismantled anything yet. And, will differential seperate from trans in vehicle or do both units have to be removed? How are they connected?
We are familiar with transmission, transaxle exchanges, but have not serviced a TL before. Would appreciate your advice please.
Thanks in advance, John

Hi Sir or Madam, welcome. I'm Steve. And I will be assisting you today. This is actually common in these. What happened is the sub shaft between the trans and diff stripped out. Pull the plug over the shaft and you will find the cavity filed with red rust dust. Sometimes you can get away with just replacing the shaft. But usually the output gear in the trans will need to be replaced as well.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Plug is frozen in case. Trying to break it loose. Your pic is a bit different than our trans. This plug is on trans case right side above pan correct? Takes 1/2 drive square rachet or breaker bar?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Yes that is where it is. They can be very tight. Try a 1/2 extension and an impact. In some cases it might take a chisel on the edge of the plug to break it loose.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How do we determine if the failure is the transmission or the differential?

When you pull the shaft if it is covered with red dust then it is the transmission and shaft. If it is clean then the Differential or an axle are the problem. What happens is the splines wear and slip in the gear. When you get it apart you will see. After you get the plug out ,Screw an 8mm x 1.25 thread bolt into the hole in the end of the shaft and pry it back. It has a lock ring similar to an axle holding it in. Then you will be able to see the splines .
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes, we can pull the shaft back a couple inches. It is covered with red , brown grit. But if we mis-diagnosis this, it will be a major problem. The shaft will not come out all the way will it? It looks like the splines on the shaft are ok, but cannot see the gear.

If it is covered with red grit then the shaft and gear are bad. You need to remove the diff or trans to get the shaft out . It has a large bell end that indexes into the diff. It pulls out forward after you remove the ring on the shaft.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok, so it sounds as if the trans will have to be replaced. Either reman or good used. Thats gonna be customers choice. But if the shaft is bad as well, I'll bet another trans won't come with a shaft would it?

A reman trans usually will not have the shaft. A used one usually will. I ask the supplier to provide one when I get a used one. The shaft is about $350 new.

acramstr and 5 other Acura Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK, well I suppose that answers our questions. These jobs where you cannot positively identify the problem are a major pain. I like to be exact when I diagnose and price a job so there are no surprises for us and the customer in the end. Thanks again...John

If there is anything else you need let me know.