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Old 05-17-2011, 08:08 AM   #1
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Default Possible Transmission Problem

I have a 2003 Honda Accord 2.4L Automatic with 88,500 miles on it. Around 87,000, I started hearing a rhythmic wah-wah-wah noise coming from the driver front during acceleration. I first thought it may be the tires (4 years old with virtually no wear on the tread, but some minor crack lines on the side walls), the 2 driver side tires were dropping 20 pounds with the major temperature swings we had. I had them inspected, balanced and rotated, but the noise was still coming from the front.

If I put the car in neutral after bringing it up to 40mph or higher, the noise will go away.

I did a driveway check on the wheel bearings (jack up the car, rock the top and bottom of the wheel in and out), and didn't see any play. Took it to a shop, and they suggested replacing the driver front wheel bearing and hub. They said it was on it's way out. After the replacement, the noise remained, and they thought it may be the transmission.

I took it to a transmission shop, and they did a basic check...no metal on the transmission plug, and no leaks. They felt the noise was coming from the axle. The axle CV boot looks good.

The transmission fluid was last replaced by Honda around 60K.

Finally to my question, what do you think could be making the wah-wah-wah noise, and what basic check can I do to determine that the part is bad?


Thank you,
Zach
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: Possible Transmission Problem

UPDATE:
I took it to another transmission shop, and they believe it may be the transmission bearings. Would the bearings create the noise?

Thanks,
Zach
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: Possible Transmission Problem

We don't see very many bearing failures on that particular transmission. Not saying its not possible, just not common. I would take a second look at your axles besides only inspecting just the boots. It sounds load related since the noise only comes under load and not when you place it in neutral.
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Possible Transmission Problem

If you don't know what gear and bearing noise sound like, now would be a time to listen to some clips on youtube.

Drive the car, and shake it from side to side vigorously, (not into oncoming traffic). The intent is to shift wheel load from side to side, and loose wheel end parts will generally make less noise with load on it, while with the load shifted off will make more noise. General way to find wheel bearing noise.

Next item would be engine/trans mounts, flexing of the powertrain will force the axle to transmit power at angles that may produce noise. Although in my experience this is not likely, should still be checked.

Tires can make a lot of noise, especially tires that are old, and not worn. A tire will harden over its life, which will encourage the plies of the tire to shift or distort due to rubber hardening. This normally manifests as a vibration (separation), or noise (hardening).

About 75/100 noise complaints that I see are tire related.

Video of the noise would be very interesting.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Possible Transmission Problem

My car made the same noise, got worse over time, stopped doing it when I put it in neutral. The axles boots looked fine, but when I pulled the axle and took it apart it was destroyed. Hope that helps
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: Possible Transmission Problem

Thank you for the posts.
We drove the car about 800 miles on a round trip to make the sound loud enough to hear. We checked the wheel bearings at 400 miles, and they seemed to be okay. It doesn't sound like it is coming from the transmission.

The noise increased after we returned the other day, and it seems to be coming from the front tires.
I did the side to side driving, and the wheel bearings seem to be okay.
The tires are 4 years old, and we are replacing them tomorrow. If the tires do not fix the problem, I will pull and axle and see if that is the issue.
I'll post an update tomorrow.

Thank you again for your suggestions.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Possible Transmission Problem

Update:
The tires were replaced, and 80% of the noise went away. The noise is starting to come back, and took it to a Honda Shop. They say the noise is coming from the transmission.

I will be taking it to a dealer to see if it qualifies for a good will warranty.

Before the transmission is replaced, I will have the axles checked out.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Possible Transmission Problem

How loud was the whines OP? Was it really loud or did it sound like a computer sound?
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: Possible Transmission Problem

Honda said it was the rotors/brakes. Had the rotors replaced, the brakes had 70% life left. The noise remains.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Possible Transmission Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzbal View Post
How loud was the whines OP? Was it really loud or did it sound like a computer sound?
The wha wha wha noise is not very loud, but louder than a computer. You can easily hear it from the front seats at 40 mph, but not from the back.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: Possible Transmission Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by zachstevedave View Post
The wha wha wha noise is not very loud, but louder than a computer. You can easily hear it from the front seats at 40 mph, but not from the back.
Can you describe what the wha wha sound sounds like?
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