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Thread: 89 lxi automatic

  1. #1
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    89 lxi automatic

    what commonly goes wrong with these units fellas? I mean to say, when the transmission does go out, what are the common causes/failed parts, and solutions?

    Short of carrying a spare transmission with me, can I stock a few key parts at home? My lxi has 202k on it, and it runs great, shifts great, just seeing an aweful lot of parts cars out there for $200 or so, and cant imagine it would be a bad bet to buy one for the transmission and a few other parts. You'd have to come out ahead, if you could do the work yourself, right? Ive wrenched on many things and am not intimidated by the accord. I love learning. just want to be prepared for when she does go out. no reason to suspect it yet.



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    SEi User Hauntd ca3's Avatar
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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    without regular sevicing, the valves in the shift cicuit start to stick and the trans will shift later and later.
    Eventually wont at all.
    When mine died, it shifted into second and then wouldnt shift at all.
    Best option is to just stick a manual in it.
    Prob solved

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    what is "regular servicing"? Is it simply changing the fluid? or is there a filter that I can get to, somewhat easily? I dont want a stick anymore, I do entirely too much city driving and with no cupholders, I cant have a stick. Dont have enough hands.

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    2.0Si User labeledsk8r's Avatar
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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    normaly the auto trans starts giveing out with performance mods, keeping it all stock shouldnt have to bad of a problem, just normal wear and tear, if your in a hotter climate or do alot of heavy driveing you might wana think about throwing a AT tranny cooler on the curent cooler sytem for it, will help even out its temps

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    Quote Originally Posted by labeledsk8r View Post
    normaly the auto trans starts giveing out with performance mods, keeping it all stock shouldnt have to bad of a problem, just normal wear and tear, if your in a hotter climate or do alot of heavy driveing you might wana think about throwing a AT tranny cooler on the curent cooler sytem for it, will help even out its temps
    Although it may be true that some of these transmissions cant handle performance mods, keep in mind the same tranny is used cars that come with 130 to 180 hp engines.
    These transmissions have the throttle valve cable, some use electronics that use shift solenoids. The ones with cables, are very particular when you start changing the torque curves, off idle power, etc. because the cable is set to activate shifts according to pre engineered specs. In other words when the car gets out of tune, the shifts will be different, and visa versa.. if you do a performance mod you will in turn need to adjust the cable to match it. With more extreme mods, you may not be able to find a happy median where the transmission will ever act right.

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    This brings up a question I have. I have owned my LXi since new and changed the transmission fluid using synthetic ATF every 30K miles. Often, when the car is not fully warmed up it hesitiates to shift into fourth. I have nearly 276,000 miles on the thing. A few years ago I could just change the fluid early and the delays would subside. Now, it does it even when the fluid was recently changed.

    The question is has anyone here ever resolved this kind if issue without an overhaul? It is not that bad at this point since it will eventually warm up and shift.

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    wow, not only are you approaching 300k miles, you actually are the one who put them there... hardcore 3geezman there !

    Can you make it go into fourth by either letting off the throttle just a tiny bit, or either pushing down on the throttle just a tiny bit? does your car go into "fifth" ? If you are surprized at that question, or answer yes to the first question, you likely need a small adustment/and lube to the cable, or it is at least worth a try.

    If not the TV service procedures, then I would look into oring sealing or debris in accumilator area of modulater valve body
    Last edited by 2oodoor; 10-02-2007 at 11:45 AM.

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    If the engine and transmission are "cold" I can get it to upshift to fourth sometimes by letting off the gas slightly and then goosing it a bit, but more often it just has to warm up, or reach high enough RPM's (around 3,500). I am not familiar with the location of the accumulator or modulator on this transaxle, but I can surely look them up in my factory shop manual. My guess was that something is partially clogged due to age. Honda made sure made a durable automatic for this car!

    Having owned the car since new has offered certain advantages such as being able to say it has been waxed every 3-4 months. The fact that the car still looks good means I still feel good about driving it. You get a lot more attention driving an immaculate old car than you do driving a new one!

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    I checked the throttle input cable and it appears to be fine. There is pretty much no slack and the lever on the transaxle moves with the slightest movement of the throttle. I was under the impression that you can't do anything to these transmissions from the outside. Is that true?

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    "Honda made sure made a durable automatic for this car!"
    you got the good year one. I've got two burn ones 86 87 the old one went with heat so i've learned here. i LOVE this site i learn somthing everytime i log on. you guy probably just named three or four parts i've never heard of! course i try to stay stick but if i can learn bout these auto's maybee their fixable? time to start looking auto trans manual

    "Weight is relative to power like time is relative to speed"

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    Quote Originally Posted by DBMaster View Post
    I checked the throttle input cable and it appears to be fine. There is pretty much no slack and the lever on the transaxle moves with the slightest movement of the throttle. I was under the impression that you can't do anything to these transmissions from the outside. Is that true?
    It really would not hurt to make sure the cable is returning to the exact same position every time you let off the throttle, in other words, no dirt, rust, or binding of the cable.. not even a tiny bit. Also it would not hurt to try some minor adjusting on the cable, it is like a turnbuckle style adjustment, move it about two turns and try it. Since you mentioned it would shift by letting off a hair, that means you could try shortening, it takes some experimenting sometimes because the factory setting is not always your best shift points, just a base line.
    Use a stubby 12 mm wrench, you only have to loosen the bottom nut so the whole thing will clear the socket it sets in. Slide the cable ball end out of the lever . Then you can pull the whole cable up to the top by the battery and spray it down good with WD40, Remember only move the actual adjuster nut a couple threads at a time and try it, you may have to fiddle with it some to make sure you are going in the right direction, test drive a short distance each time.

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    Quote Originally Posted by roodoo2 View Post
    .. if you do a performance mod you will in turn need to adjust the cable to match it. With more extreme mods, you may not be able to find a happy median where the transmission will ever act right.
    After examining this, I think you could adjust the perimeters of the TV lever, internally, to possibly gain an adjustment to accomodate more movement of the throttle on modified applications.

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    I am in the process of playing with the throttle input cable (aka TV Cable). Can you confirm what I am observing? It seems that as I increase the cable tension the shifts happen at higher RPM. The change was slight. It could just be my perception. Is that generally what should happen as you tighten the cable? Since the hesitation to shift into fourth (OD) is intermittent I cannot really tell yet if tightening the cable helped, but I do like the perception of higher RPM shifts I am getting.

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    Quote Originally Posted by DBMaster View Post
    I am in the process of playing with the throttle input cable (aka TV Cable). Can you confirm what I am observing? It seems that as I increase the cable tension the shifts happen at higher RPM. The change was slight. It could just be my perception. Is that generally what should happen as you tighten the cable? Since the hesitation to shift into fourth (OD) is intermittent I cannot really tell yet if tightening the cable helped, but I do like the perception of higher RPM shifts I am getting.
    If you are hanging in gear too long then you are going the wrong way , in regards to your original problem.. but continue.....just dont move it but two threads at a time and try it.

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    Thank you for your help.

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    I call reguar servicing 20,000 kms.
    To best of my knowledge they have a filter in side them which you have to pull the tranny off to get at.
    Most tranny service places have a machine which will back flush the thing and change the fluid at the same time.
    I never serviced mine and it died within 50,000 km.

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    The servicing that I have performed has merely been draining and refilling with three quarts of synthetic ATF. I also clean the magnet on the drain plug. I am not sold on the complete flush. If you change the fluid regularly you shouldn't have to do that. Mine still shifts just fine, with the minor exception mentioned. Before I got this car I had a 72 Pontiac Catalina. I had 212,000 miles on it when I sold it and it had its original Turbo Hydramatic 400 transmission on it. All my dad and I ever did on that car was change the fluid and filter annually.

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    So, can a guy with tools and shop area change the filter on this unit himself? I know I can change the fluid out. Or is the filter something only the dealer can do?

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    I mentioned filter when talking about the GM transmission in my old Pontiac. The Accord transaxle has an internal screen that is not a serviceable item. You would clean it or change it only when rebuilding the transmission. I have been tempted a few times to add one of the inline type filters. It's basically a kit that allows you to splice a full flow spin on filter (like an oil filter) into one of the transmission cooler lines. I got too paranoid about what might happen if it got clogged or if the flow was at all restricted so I have just left it alone.

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    shifting into fourth any better now? its tough doing the trail by error adjusting, once the hardware is good and lubed you can get it with just the stubby wrench but my hand gets burned by the tranny sometime, it gets contortionally agrivating.

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    I like the slightly modified shift points I have, but the fourth issue is about the same. It just has to warm up for a few miles before it will make the shift into fourth. I don't think this is related to the controls. It seems to be more related to fluid flow. I have used synthetic Mobil 1 and B&M Synthetic Trick Shift fluid. There have been numerous comments on this board about Honda's fluid. I wonder if that would make any difference.

    It's really not a huge deal.

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    you never said... does you car ever go into "fifth" . It won't if the adjustment is too "tight"

    Yes from what I heard, Honda fluid makes a big difference.

    Like I mentioned too, you probably went the wrong direction with the adjustment to address the condition you described...but it is still fun tweaking the adustment. You will definatetly find out when you have gone too far either direction dont drive it like that

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    Re: 89 lxi automatic

    There is no "fifth" on this automatic. Fourth is the overdrive gear.

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