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Old 03-09-2011, 08:16 AM   #1
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Icon6 auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

first and foremost, i did a pretty extensive search, found nothing conclusive.

98 civic dx, 160k, auto, never has had any mods or overhauls. i bought it with the bad trans from a friend of mine with the intent of converting it to a manual, but if i do that, my POS 94 won't have a transmission (it runs, but the engine has a warped head) and it will be a much bigger pain in the *** to sell.

SO.
when you start it up, it's all fine. drive it, it runs....heavy throttle, steep hills, you name it. when the engine gets up to operating temp, it starts to shift rougher, and sometimes shift into the wrong gear or not downshift. eventually it will just pop into false neutral. when this happens, it won't go into any gear except park. i have to turn it off and let it cool down a bit before it will drive again. it should be mentioned that it's very hard to get it into 2. when it's cold, i can get it into 2, but it likes to pop into D3, but it will drive in 2.
i did a full trans fluid flush and replaced it with warren dexmerc. the old trans fluid was dark and kinda burned smelling but not really bad or anything. it seemed to run a bit better for longer with the new fluid, but eventually still popped false neutrals.
the speedometer doesn't work. it quit working about a year ago.

codes:
P0700 Transmission generic
P0730 Incorrect Gear Ratio
P0740 Torque Converter
@2400RPM

so my question is: is this a sensor issue, or do you think the torque converter is bad? the shop my friend took it to before i bought it quoted him something over $1200, but i think we all know not all shops are trustworthy. the mechanic was, however, very nice, and did not charge my friend for 2 weeks of storage. he even kept it behind the barbed-wire fence. we tipped him. also, what sensors are on the auto trans, and which ones should i try and test?
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

Sounds like you just need to get it rebuilt honestly. I don't think its a torque converter normally when those go bad it won't just start working when it cools off.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

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Originally Posted by Crashtestdummy View Post
Sounds like you just need to get it rebuilt honestly. I don't think its a torque converter normally when those go bad it won't just start working when it cools off.
all of the gears work fine when it's cold. no bumps, grinds, good shifting, and everything. that's why i don't think it needs a rebuild.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

I called my friend at a his transmission shop but he wasn't much help but he did agree he didn't think it was the torque converter
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

don't really understand why it would throw a torque converter code and go through every gear perfectly then....
the thing that really makes me think it's a sensor is that it works fine when it's not at temp.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

doesn't have anything to do with temperature...reset the ecu, didn't throw codes the first 2 times it popped out of gear. got stuck in 2nd on the road til we stopped it, then it threw the same codes and went neutral.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

If the old transmission fluid was dark and smelled burned, that sounds bad. Given the symptons and the mileage, I doubt any external sensors are going to fix this. The thing to do with a busted Civic automatic transmission is swap it. Do your 5 spd swap, or find a good automatic from someone who did the swap before their tranny went bad. That would be the cheap way out of this mess.

It probably isn't worth diagnosing at this point. The incorrect ratio code probably means it's slipping, the burned and dark fluid are further clues that the clutches are worn, I'd find a good used one.

Last edited by cheggie; 03-09-2011 at 03:57 PM. Reason: more gratuitous info
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

not a conveter issue... lol. Probably burnt up clutches. Get a rebuild.
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

this happened to me also on a 2001 civic lx auto transmission...it was throwing those 2 codes..and the oil was burned black..
P0730 Incorrect Gear Ratio
P0740 Torque Converter..

so i opened up the transmission...all the gears and clutches were fine...the only thing messed up was a sensor on top of the transmission(for some reason that sensor/solenoid broke

http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/de...3-1622774.html

thats what it looks like^ ,which in return messed up the torque converter) and the torque converter was bad..i replaced both w/o rebuilding and works just fine...but in your case it might be different..... hopefully that helped
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

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Originally Posted by yourboyluigi09 View Post
this happened to me also on a 2001 civic lx auto transmission...it was throwing those 2 codes..and the oil was burned black..
P0730 Incorrect Gear Ratio
P0740 Torque Converter..

so i opened up the transmission...all the gears and clutches were fine...the only thing messed up was a sensor on top of the transmission(for some reason that sensor/solenoid broke

http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/de...3-1622774.html

thats what it looks like^ ,which in return messed up the torque converter) and the torque converter was bad..i replaced both w/o rebuilding and works just fine...but in your case it might be different..... hopefully that helped
thanks a lot man. this helps a lot. i can get the sensor plus a valve lock solenoid for 60, but i haven't seen 4th gear, and i still can't get into flat 2nd without force. considering just yanking it out and getting a great transmission shop nearby to rebuild it for a decent price....that way i'm sure it'll be fine without having to troubleshoot this **** anymore. i hate autos. if i could find a manual transmission in st. louis i would have probably bought it already.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

the transmission is fried i had this happen i threw lucus in it and i had a tranny cooler with a fan built on it wired it up direct to the battery and drove home that was about the end of the tranny after that. so id look into buyin a new one.
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:45 AM   #12
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

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Originally Posted by apexi_rsx View Post
the transmission is fried i had this happen i threw lucus in it and i had a tranny cooler with a fan built on it wired it up direct to the battery and drove home that was about the end of the tranny after that. so id look into buyin a new one.
i don't really understand what you're talking about.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:43 PM   #13
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

i had my transmission doin the same thing it was actually slipping between 3rd and 4th for a few months prior to this happening. when this issue occured i threw lucus transmission slip fix in the transmission and at the time i had a tranny cooler with a fan built onto it i hooked the fan up to the battery constant(kept the fluid extra cool and the lucus was thick stuff). i also cleared all the ecu codes disconnecting the battery. i drove it home( being 4 hrs from home)and once i parked it and tried to drain the transmission fluid and threw new fluid in it. the transmission would stay in neutral in every gear and the D would flash. i cleaned all the solenoids and nothing fixed it. that's when i finally went 5spd because id never wanna be stranded far from home in a automatic. there are many perks of 5 spd even if ur battery dies u can push start it as with an automatic u cant. if the automatic doesn't wanna shift at up it wont. with a 5 spd you can just skip the gear. hopefully that explains what happen to me with this same issue and if u can or cant relate to the way your car is acting. when the D was flashing i had to reset the codes just for it to get into 1st. i believe when i reset the codes the transmission kept starting off in 2nd gear but the d stopped flashing( i cant remember its been like 3 years ago). i replaced it with a 5spd and did it myself for 500 bux for all the parts i needed and the transmission. the transmission was fried there was nothing to really save it. maybe throwing the lucus int he transmission messed it up but it got me home and that mattered more then having a huge towing bill.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:45 AM   #14
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by apexi_rsx View Post
i had my transmission doin the same thing it was actually slipping between 3rd and 4th for a few months prior to this happening. when this issue occured i threw lucus transmission slip fix in the transmission and at the time i had a tranny cooler with a fan built onto it i hooked the fan up to the battery constant(kept the fluid extra cool and the lucus was thick stuff). i also cleared all the ecu codes disconnecting the battery. i drove it home( being 4 hrs from home)and once i parked it and tried to drain the transmission fluid and threw new fluid in it. the transmission would stay in neutral in every gear and the D would flash. i cleaned all the solenoids and nothing fixed it. that's when i finally went 5spd because id never wanna be stranded far from home in a automatic. there are many perks of 5 spd even if ur battery dies u can push start it as with an automatic u cant. if the automatic doesn't wanna shift at up it wont. with a 5 spd you can just skip the gear. hopefully that explains what happen to me with this same issue and if u can or cant relate to the way your car is acting. when the D was flashing i had to reset the codes just for it to get into 1st. i believe when i reset the codes the transmission kept starting off in 2nd gear but the d stopped flashing( i cant remember its been like 3 years ago). i replaced it with a 5spd and did it myself for 500 bux for all the parts i needed and the transmission. the transmission was fried there was nothing to really save it. maybe throwing the lucus int he transmission messed it up but it got me home and that mattered more then having a huge towing bill.
did you have a lot of metal shavings in the transmission oil? my D never flashed, we couldn't get it to. i love 5 speeds, i just can't find one in StL.
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:35 AM   #15
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

One of the biggest issues with automatics is people use the wrong fluid or it's low. Using the wrong fluid can even make the transmission not work at all. Was the fluid changed shortly before this began? Or what is the level?

Don't bother getting a rebuild. That's just wasted money. Find a good used transmission and just swap it. You'd be looking at $50-100 instead of more like $500-700.
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:03 AM   #16
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

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Originally Posted by NotAJDMFanBoy View Post
One of the biggest issues with automatics is people use the wrong fluid or it's low. Using the wrong fluid can even make the transmission not work at all. Was the fluid changed shortly before this began? Or what is the level?

Don't bother getting a rebuild. That's just wasted money. Find a good used transmission and just swap it. You'd be looking at $50-100 instead of more like $500-700.
i've found a few autos for ~250, but i would really love to get a manual swap if i can. autos are so fragile and i would rather be stuck with a broken 2nd hand manual that i can fix as opposed to another broken auto. my friend said he changed the fluid a year ago, so he must have used the right fluid. he most likely had a shop do it since he knows nothing about cars. it didn't appear to be low when we drained it.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:45 PM   #17
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

"the only thing messed up was a sensor on top of the transmission(for some reason that sensor/solenoid broke

http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/de...3-1622774.html

thats what it looks like^ ,which in return messed up the torque converter) and the torque converter was bad..i replaced both w/o rebuilding and works just fine...but in your case it might be different..... hopefully that helped"

Yeah, I just bought a 2002 DX civic with a bad transmission to fix and sell. The car would jerk whenever I shifted from neutral. It would drive for the first ten minutes, then would give up the ghost and do false neutral. When I got to looking at it I found that the electrical connector on the TCC solenoid was broken off and the harness was not connected at all. No wonder the transmission did not work!

So, I replaced the TCC solenoid. The transmission shifts much more smoothly, but after about 5 minutes of driving it just goes into false neutral. Anyone know what I need to do to get this fixed. The fluid is nice red color, no halos when I blot it (dipstick is loose in the filler hole, but I don't think that matters). Is there anything in particular that would have been damaged by driving the car without the TCC connnected? I am getting "shift solenoid A" code now. I am reticent to just get a new tranny because It works perfectly until it gets warm. What should I try next?
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:58 PM   #18
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

Hey Brian

did you find out what the problem was? I'm having the same problem right now.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:28 AM   #19
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

@smabuki
automatic transmissions have lil clutch things for every gear. When they wear out like all clutches do, there's no easy way to fix it like with a manual.

I got one in my Honda. Milk it as much as you can, but more than likely the transmission will be scrap metal soon.
if you dont have the means to fix it, and I know this is unethical which is why I'm not doing it, you can pretend there's no problem and sell the car
except a trans swap in my Honda costs 4,000$. Not 400$
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:04 PM   #20
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Default Transmission speed sensor

Quote:
the speedometer doesn't work. it quit working about a year ago.
That would suggest that the vehicle speed sensor has had it - full explanation
.

I'd guess that this is consistent with there being something seriously and fundamentally wrong with your gearbox, as others have explained above, and that this problem essentially took the speed sensor with it. I had an occasional fluctuating speedometer (the speedo would suddenly drop to zero and then come back to life again a few minutes later) about a year ago, too, and replacing this sensor solved the problem.

But in your case, putting a new speed sensor into a bad gearbox isn't going to address the shifting issue - sorry.
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:35 PM   #21
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Default Re: auto trans slips to false neutral when warm--torque converter or sensor?

did you ever figure out your problem? i seem to be going through the same thing.
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