bravenrace
bravenrace PowerDork
4/1/13 9:24 a.m.

I apologize for asking this here, but I have looked at every appropriate brand/model specific site I know and haven't been able to find anything very helpful.
The shudder happens when travelling 35-40 mph under low load, and feels and sounds like you are going over rumble strips. If you get on or off the gas it stops. It "appears" to not happen if driving with the overdrive off, so I'm suspecting the trans or the torque converter, but hoping it's neither.
On the interwebz, there are a lot of theories as to what causes the shudder, but not so many substantiated fixes, so it's hard to say. Some of the other ideas are drive shafts, the rearend, the center bearing, wheel bearings, front brakes....
I'm hoping someone here has some experience with this problem and knows the solution, or can at least narrow it down for me. I've inspected the chassis and find nothing wrong, and the trans fluid is at the correct level and looks and smells fine. There are no trouble codes or lights on.

Mmadness
Mmadness Reader
4/1/13 9:46 a.m.

From my understanding, Honda's notorious transmission problems date back to the 1970's. Back in the day, ZF had patents on just about everything we now take for granted in a transmission including planetary gearing. To avoid paying for the patent rights, Honda defied convention and included sliding gears (like in a manual) in their automatic transmissions dubbed "Hondamatic". Needless to say, sliding gears aren't nearly as durable as planetary gears and as a result, automatic Hondas have been plagued with transmission issues since their introduction. Because they use sliding gears, Hondamatics have multiple "clutch packs" and often, the third gear clutch pack will wear out premturely which is likely what you are experiencing. I would recommend fixing this as soon as possible. As the clutch pack disignerstes, it spreads into every conceivable niche in the transmission which then wears out other components prematurely as well. In some instances, pieces of the clutch pack have been known to "lock" the gearbox and prevent it from moving so the front wheels cannot turn which can lead to a collision if this happens while you are moving. If you decide to only replace the third gear clutch pack (instead of the entire tranny), I would recommend doing a very thorough flush of the transmission. Normally, when you change the tranny fluid in a Honda, you actually only replace about 25% of the fluid. I would recommend changing the tranny fluid at least three times to get all of the disintegrated clutch pack out of there if you go this route. Or you could do a manual swap There may be a class action lawsuit for CRV owners, almost all automatic Hondas have gone through a class action suit of some kind.

bravenrace
bravenrace PowerDork
4/1/13 9:58 a.m.

In reply to Mmadness:

The problem happens in 4th gear, not 3rd, but thanks for the info.

Mmadness
Mmadness Reader
4/1/13 10:25 a.m.

Your transmission is probably having what is the automotive equivalent of an aneurism: http://www.driveaccord.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2025. I would try changing the transmission fluid once first and then two additional times if the first flush doesn't fix it. If this still doesn't fix the problem, it is probably cheapest just to Take the fuel economy penalty by leaving the transmission in D3 until about 45-50mph and reserve D4 for highway cruising. My mom's 2007 Odyssey had exactly the same problem, it is a notoriously universal issue across all Hondamatic cars.

bravenrace
bravenrace PowerDork
4/1/13 10:27 a.m.

In reply to Mmadness:

I'm well aware of the problems with the V-6 Accord/TL/Odyssey, but have not really heard of that problem with the CRV. Do you have any references to it?

Mmadness
Mmadness Reader
4/1/13 10:29 a.m.
bravenrace wrote: In reply to Mmadness: I'm well aware of the problems with the V-6 Accord/TL/Odyssey, but have not really heard of that problem with the CRV. Do you have any references to it?

http://autorepairservice.wordpress.com/2009/12/08/honda-crv-transmission-troubles-shudders-at-low-speeds/. However, it is a little bit laking in technicalities.This is why Honda enthusiasts are anal about changing their transmission fluid.

dj06482
dj06482 Dork
4/1/13 12:54 p.m.

I'd start with draining and filling the transmission 3 times in short succession. I usually reserve a 1/2 day for it, drain what's in the pan, fill it back up, take it on the highway to get the convertor locked, and then repeat 2 more times. I go through about 10 qts of new Honda ATF fluid (a single drain/fill takes about 3.3 qts) to do it, but it's still cheaper than replacing the transmission. I don't bother with anything other than Honda ATF, either. After the 3rd drain/fill, most of the transmission fluid in the transmission and convertor should be new.

As a side note, Honda's AT transmissions are not supposed to be flushed, it can cause more harm than good.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy UltraDork
4/1/13 1:14 p.m.

This is unlikely, considering your story. The CRV has a coupling in the diff that applies the rear wheel drive. When the oil gets old, they start to shudder, but thats usually low speeds, going around corners. You haven't got differently worn tires front to rear, do you?

bravenrace
bravenrace PowerDork
4/1/13 1:40 p.m.

In reply to Streetwiseguy:

No, tires are practically new all the way around and all are the same size. No problem around corners, only going straight.

bravenrace
bravenrace UltimaDork
7/31/13 2:05 p.m.

Thought I'd give you guys an update. I did the three trans oil changes in succession, and so far the shudder is gone. My wife has been driving it for over a week since I finished it and normally it would have done it by now. So hopefully it took care of the problem.
Thanks to all for your help!

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 PowerDork
7/31/13 2:37 p.m.

Timely topic. I have been driving my wife's '10 Mazda5 this week and have been noticing some of this shutter (like rumble strip) headed toward top gear (automatic). Only 26k miles.

Vigo
Vigo UltraDork
8/1/13 11:33 a.m.
Needless to say, sliding gears aren't nearly as durable as planetary gears

That must be why manuals are so much less reliable than automatics!

Slippery
Slippery Reader
8/1/13 11:42 a.m.

I experienced the same problem on my wifes Acura RDX. Changed the oil three times and it went away as well.

Keep in mind that it will return after around 30k miles. I just change the oil every 25k miles or so now.

dj06482
dj06482 Dork
8/1/13 11:47 a.m.

Glad it worked out for you! Honda ATs seem to require more frequent ATF changes than anything else I've owned...

switchless
switchless
10/18/13 9:51 a.m.

FWIW,

I've read many comments....... I took my crv to my "Master Mechanic" (10/14/13)service guy and he said he's seen the problem many times. He said you "must" use Honda trans. fluid or you will have the shudder. So....... He flushed the trans, put in OEM Honda fuild and "YES"..... the shudder is now gone. Hope this helps everyone.....I almost got divorced over this problme.

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