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September 14, 2009 11:35 AM   Subscribe

I am disappointed in my relationship with my 97 Honda Civic. Maybe you can give me some advice. YANMM.

I’ve tried to talk it out, but it's just not hearing what I'm saying... I've got a 97 Civic AT (106K mil.) and after filling up with what I think was some questionable fuel a while back, it has started to “slip” when I go into 3rd. It feels like something is "whirring" trying to find itself. Once past that bumpy spot, it runs great. I have had regular maintenance on it – flushings, fill-ups, tuneups, etc. I even added some Lucas transmission fix to my tranny fluid (which is pink and not burnt). Also, when low on gas, I have trouble starting it. Could it just be my fuel line, or is the transmission in the crapper?
posted by bunny hugger to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I also have trouble starting my 97 Civic when I'm low on gas, but haven't had any of the other issues you're talking about here. I'll keep an eye on this thread though.
posted by shesbookish at 11:36 AM on September 14, 2009

Best answer: If I understand this correctly, the engine is revving up as it goes into 3rd, before things "catch." If that's the case, then you describe is called "flaring," and it's a sign of an internal transmission problem. Questionable fuel is unlikely to be related.

I'd take it in to a foreign car shop and have them look at the transmission -- there are a few tests they can run on it, such as a pressure test, that will give you some insight as to its condition.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 11:48 AM on September 14, 2009

Best answer: If I remember correctly, there are two little valves sticking out of the front of the transmission on older Civics and Accords. Those little valves direct transmission fluid pressure and the little mesh screens that filter the fluid get totally clogged. I've fixed a couple harsh-shifting Civics and Accords by removing those valves, flushing them out with clean trans fluid and replacing them.
They look more or less like this and are on the forward face of the transmission.
posted by Jon-o at 12:08 PM on September 14, 2009

Oh, and PS:
Your transmission and starting problems are unrelated. Fixing your transmission will not result in a car that's easier to start. The least expensive solution for your starting problem is to just keep X amount of gas in your tank.
posted by Jon-o at 12:17 PM on September 14, 2009

Response by poster: thank you all, great answers
posted by bunny hugger at 12:44 PM on September 14, 2009

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