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2005 Honda Civic Hybrid Question: When starting to accelerate from a stop or going uphill, the car shudders a lot.

 

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momikemac, Los Gatos, CA, June 11, 2013, 17:31
 Rookie

My dealer is telling me that the problem is the CVT valve body and needs to be replaced... for $1,769.24. This feels like theft to me if this is a known and common problem.

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    ziptie12 June 12, 2013, 06:49
     Master

    Do you have an independent shop you TRUST? IF SO , reply and I can tell you what to have them do.How many miles on it and has it EVER had the CVT fluid replaced with non-Honda fluid?

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    momikemac, June 12, 2013, 07:04
     Rookie

    Yes, I do have a great mechanic for more "typical" work. And no, the CVT fluid has never been replaced with non-Honda fluid. In fact, I don't think it has ever been changed. the car has about 135K miles on it. Thanks for your help!

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    ziptie12, June 12, 2013, 20:18
     Master

    Very simple , but effective procedure , if followed correctly. Go get a CASE (12 quarts) of HONDA CVT fluid from the dealer (maybe $130.00-$150.00). Bring that (and the car) to the shop. Ask them to charge you a flat-rate 2 hrs. to "take their time" doing a trans fluid change. This is what they need to do SPECIFICALLY- with vehicle warmed up and on lift - drain fluid completely AT LEAST 5 min., then put drain plug back in with original washer just snug enough so no leak. then let down and remove fill plug (17mm. socket) on rear of trans towards firewall and add 3 full quarts of CVT fluid and replace plug (snug) ---With wheels OFF ground , start up and run it through each gear position several times , including reverse (engine up to 4000 rpm briefly each time gear switched (I use the phrase 'gear position loosely- I know it's continuosly variable). After at least 5 minutes of going through the positions shut off and drain and fill again. repeat the same running procedure again. IF at any time while they are running it , as it's slowing down , it may go into 'auto-stop' mode , this is GOOD if they can do that. NOT required , as not easy to get all conditions met for that up in the air.repeat the drain and fill and run cycle again , but this time after the first few minutes and the fluid has warmed up a bit , then stop the wheels(brakes) do not shut off- if it goes to auto-stop that's okay----THIS IS THE IMPORTANT STEP(S)--------with foot FIRMLY on brake pedal,put in 'drive' and floor the accelerator pedal and hold it for at LEAST a full 4 seconds (Honda manual states 3 sec. I've had much better results with just a tad longer) then let up on gas and put in neutral and idle at 2000rpm for at least 1 minute. Then do the same for reverse. repeat this once more in drive and reverse then run it through the gear positions again for a few more minutes , then drain and fill with what should now be the last three quarts of fluid .This last part is just as critical as the burnishing (flooring in gear with brakes held) in the air. Once the vehicle is back on the ground and ready for test drive , you need to figure out a test drive route for the 'start clutch calibration'. You will need to find a road that you can accelerate to 40 MPH and then let it coast down on its' own(no braking at all) , But right before you do that , 'burnish' the start clutch again (foot on brake , in drive , floor the gas 4 seconds), do that twice with a minute in between to cool the trans fluid(fast idle in neutral). Once the 'coast-down is done , then hopefully if all was done patiently and correctly , you should have a smooth take-off from your trans.........NOTE......I have done this procedure with over a dozen 'condemned' start clucthes (even ones checked out by 'techs' I work with (Honda in No. Va.) and EVERY customer that's test driven with me afterwards has told me it was 'smoother than new' and the other part of my deal(I do not expect your shop to make this guarantee!!!- not fair to them)........and the reason I said at the beginning to offer 2 hours flate rate labor is that I was willing to let the customer know that if my method did not fix the start clutch 'judder' I would not charge them the labor , only fluid would be what they covered. Every one of them gladly paid the 2 hours after they saw & felt the results. I hope this helps you and sorry it's so long.

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    momikemac, June 13, 2013, 13:48
     Rookie

    Wow, I don't even know what to say! Thanks so much for taking your time to provide this detail... you could save $1,800 for a lot of people. I think it's interesting that the dealer didn't even mention this. I hope you get tons of "good karma points" for being this generous with your knowledge.

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    ziptie12, June 14, 2013, 03:15
     Master

    I hope they follow instructions to a 't' , and it works for you. Please respond with results!

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