My cousin has a 2002 Honda Primus, which was experiencing transmission problems,
like jerky stops. Luckily, he had taken out an extended warranty with
Honda, so he is covered for this repair. At first, Honda tried different
fluids, which did not fix the problem. Then they said the transmission was
they needed to replace it. After getting the OK from the extended warranty
and the dealership to replace the transmission, another group in Honda vetoed
decision and said it could be fixed by replacing his start clutch. This
the transmission from the car to replace it. After waiting over a week, he was
told that the part was on back order. It finally arrived Friday and he will
pick up the car tomorrow. When he asked the dealership why they didn't just
replace the entire transmission, he was told they prefered to try the start
clutch first. Honda wants to
know if this approach will fix what is evidently a widespread problem. Then
they can keep a goodly stock of start clutches in the dealership inventory for
What appears to me is that my cousin is getting short changed here. It is not
the customer's job to do field testing of Honda fixes. There is no guarantee
start clutch will fix the problem, so he may be back to the dealership for more
Also, it occured to me that since 2002, there must have been several upgrades to
entire transmission. Is he getting short changed because they are not doing all
upgrades, which might be inside a rebuilt transmission? Maybe the stop clutches
themselves have been upgraded and the rebuilts they have in stock don't have
newer version. Not knowing what upgrades Honda has done to the transmission
makes it difficult to determine if Honda is just doing the expedient thing for
themselves, or the best solution for the customer.
I think you are a little off on this one...
The warranty covers the broken component. Using your logic if they
replaced the entire transmission then there must have been upgrades to
the engine as well since 2002. So should they should just give
him/her a whole new car?
In some cases it is easier and more cost effective for the local
dealer to replace an entire unit, like a transmission, with a factory
rebuild than it is to pay local labor to rebuild that component. It
sounds like in this case they have decided that it will be easier and
more cost effective to replace the single failed component than it
would be to replace the entire unit. Should this repair not resolve
the problem the vehicle is still under the same warranty that it is
under now so your cousin can take it back. I know what you mean about
this might not fix the problem but a replacement transmission might
not fix the problem either... it could turn out to be electrical issue
or an engine problem or a suspension problem or.....
Also consider that sometimes you are "better off with the one you
know". Rebuilt isn't always all that it is cracked up to be. You
could get a transmission that was rebuilt by the plant drunk first
thing on Monday morning or you could get the transmission that
belonged to little Stan down the street who put 200k on it jumping
hills at the dirt track.
My personal experience with this kind of problem was with my 1990
Plymouth Voyager. I had my transmission replaced after one year,
and that lasted me another 9 years. That was around the time when these
vans were having loads of problems. My replacement transmission was
a rebuilt, but re-engineered transmission which had all the design corrections
that Chrysler should have put in the first place.
Since they have to pull the entire transmission and take it apart, I don't
think there is any savings here in labor. Honda is just trying to 'field
this problem at the customers expense ( time and frustration).
I suppose you would tell the same thing to your surgeon. Well if you
don't cure me, you can always cut me open again and try something else.
The chances of that are pretty damm small. If Honda can't pin it down
to the transmission, they have even more serious problems. Besides, this
is a relatively common problem with this model of Honda.
You could say that about a new car rolling off the assembly line. I
would hope that these rebuilt transmissions are tested before installation.
If Honda were supplying less than satifactory rebuilt parts, there would
be a big scandal about that.
The issue here is, are there other upgrades to this transmission besides
the start clutch. Even the Honda dealer was not certain that this start
clutch would solve the problem. Evidently, they had cases where it didn't.
Son has a relatively new Honda hybrid. Very nice car, but recently began to
with the tranny under warranty. The dealership seemed to be trying to avoid
the issue, but
he had all his documentation, and they finally checked it out and came up
with the recommendation
to 'backflush' it. They wanted to charge him a few hundred bucks to do this
and said it 'might'
solve the problem.
Anyway, they finally capitulated and flushed it for free. And, believe it
or not, it seems to have
solved the problem. (All of you know what a skeptic I am! )
I hope they fixed it, but my cousin said his transmission worked ok for a
they changed to a different fluid. It then went bad again. Sounds like your
car is newer than my cousin's, since it is still under the warranty (3 years,
Looks like this problem is not restricted to the first year models. I guess
Vans, it will take a few years to iron out the problems. Don't these car
ever learn from each other?
What I was looking for was useful technical information, which you obviously
not provide. You're the kind of guy that dealers love to deal with, or maybe you
work for one yourself.
"Steve B." wrote:
The only complaint you really have is how long it's taking for the
repair, esp if you don't get a free loaner car. The extended warranty
is to repair what's broke. When it comes to transmissions its usually
cheaper to just rebuild them once they are out and apart and not risk
putting used parts back in and have them go bad in a month. But I
doubt your policy says you get the whole thing rebuilt if only one
part needs replacing. Luckily you do usually get a rebuild but
sometimes you don't.
It seems to me that the only safe way to repair a transmission is to bring it up
factory specs. Anything else is a partial repair job, which is subject to some
kind of failure, later on. There is ususaly a very good reason why they do these
service upgrades. As long as they are tearing the transmission apart anyways,
like they should do a complete job. It would really be helpful to know what
upgrades Honda has suggested for the entire transmission. I get the impression
are just guessing at a cure, like trying different trans oils, and installing
to see if they fix the problem, so they can decide how many of these they should
stock. If I were my cousin, I would accept nothing short of a CURRENTLY rebuilt
transmission. It's also amazing that one department of Honda okayed the
transmission, while another vetoed it.
Ashton Crusher wrote:
I agree with you that what you describe is the ideal way to do it. But
if the only thing wroing is the broken part and if it works like it
used to when they replace it you are back where you were before it
broke. Is this a Genuine Honda Warranty or a third party warranty?
When the transmission on my Mustang went out the Ford Dealer didn't
even bother to disassemle it, they just ordered a completely
rebuilt/new one from "the coast" and put it in.
The issue here is that Honda does not have enough data to know for sure
that the start clutch is the culprit. The dealer told my cousin that this
did not always work. Again, it seems like Honda is doing this engineering
in the field by letting the customers test it out. Also, since 2002 Honda
have discovered other potential design problems, so as long as they are
apart the trans, they should bring the whole thing up to factory specs.
It is a Genuine Honda Extended Warranty. Their Warranty department okayed
a complete transmission swap, but some other group vetoed it.
My cousin was smart enough to realize he was buying a first year model, and
that he needed extra protection with an Extended Warranty.
Same with my Plymouth Voyager, and I never had any more problems since
they did more than simply replace the broken part. Honda is trying to cut
corners here at the customer's expense.
Sounds like a reasonable approach so far. Why replace the entire
transmission if a replacing a single part could fix the problem.
No big deal - that happens.
There is no guarantee that any one repair job will fix the problem the
first time. There is however a warranty to fix the problem. And if
this fix doesn't work then it's back to the repair shop. I had a
comparable problem with the AM reception on a Volvo car. Several fixes
were tried until they figured out that it was a poor ground connection
in a closed in location. There are times the repair shop and the car
manufacturer are faced with some new problem and finding the best
solution may take several tries. It sounds like that is what you have.
I think your expectations are a bit unrealistic.
Do you know that for a fact or are you just guessing.
Specifically which upgrades have you found that were not done.
Why don't you or your cousin cousin find this information out instead
Who said a single part will fix the problem? The labor here to bring a trans
up to specs by replacement vs. tearing it apart to replace a single part is
How can you compare an 'oddball' occurence of a badly connected
ground connection to a design flaw affecting maybe thousands of cars?
I am basing this partly on common sense and also on my experience with my
Chrysler Voyager that also had trans problems with the earlier year models.
That's one reason I put this thing to the forum, hoping that someone could
me more feedback. It appears as if Honda has not fully solved this problem
this fix they are putting in doesn't always work. If they haven't gone
with a fine tooth comb, that doesn't say much for them as a car
I already tried an extensive internet search, but Honda doesn't put out this
I found zero references to this start clutch replacement, yet we know from my
dealer that it is a common problem.
There is no guarantee that any one fix will fix a problem. You have
awarranty that says they will fix the problem not that they will fix it
in one try. That said it is in their interest to repeat this process
as few times as possible because it costs them lots of money to do it
over. I think that you are expecting way too much.
Actually in my situation it was a common problem that involved
thousands of cars over 2 model years. And it took over a year for
volvo technicians to figure out where the problem was and let everyone
know. The fix was simple - solder in a copper ground strap. Remember
that problems are solved by people like you and me looking at a problem
and trying to figure out a solution. Sometimes it takes a bit of
digging and trial and error.
I would count on Honda and Volvo to do the right thing because it is
in their best interest to do so. Honda along with the rest of the
Japanese big three have excellent reputations and they work hard to
Well, before you lock yourself into a position of thinking the car
maker is somehow shortchanging you be sure to check the facts first.
How do you know it doesn't always work in other situations with
symptoms exactly like yours.
They are solving a specific problem, not combing a transmission.
I suspect that what you or your cousin heard was an off-hand comment
from a service writer - correct? Look, you can agonize over the
motivations of Honda until the cows come home. But in the end they are
on the hook to make the transmission work. And it is in their best
interest to make it work or they stand to tarnish their excellent
reputation for making solid cars. And that would hurt car sales.
The end result of all this is that it is an inconvenience to the customer to
coming back to the dealer, or worse yet, having the problem re-appear after
the warranty is up.
If this were an airplane engine, I would hope the airline would not only fix
part, but bring the engine up to full engineering specifications. Here the
human lives (hopefully), but human inconvenience.
As far as I'm concerned, Honda has already damaged their reputation.
rush a design in 2002 out on the market without the proper testing.
they discover design faults, they put customers through agony of repeated
repairs. Thirdly, they let the customers do their testing for them by
in the field, they should be doing themselves in the factory. I'm sorry, I
buy a Honda automobile.
Really? You think every time there is a delay because of some
mechanical problem with an aircraft they replace the entire assembly
of whatever is not working rather then just fix what is broken? I
rather doubt it. There's something to be said for not fixing things
that aren't broken.
Here the issue is
Pretty much, yes, and it's because they are losing revenue every minute
that a plane is down. It's faster to swap an entire assembly out and
ship it off to the repair depot than try and troubleshoot a problem while
the plane is sitting on the ground sucking up money.
Note that aircraft are also designed for quick replacement of modules...
on a lot of modern passenger craft, dropping an engine and replacing it
is a fairly simple task. Passenger cars, sadly, are not designed for easy
and fast repair.
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
The problem is, whose are you going to buy? I can think of a couple
mfgrs. that your description could apply to, Honda would have been about
fourth at best on my list had I to guess which mfgr. to whom you were
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
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