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Old 12-18-2008, 09:37 PM   #1
dcolello
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2005 VUE 3.5L
Mad 3.5L '05 w/ bad torque converter :-(

I've got a 3.5L '05 AWD with 70K on it (out of warranty). I've been having a slight vibration around 20 or 30 mph when going from coasting to accelerating slightly, as if the transmission doesn't know what gear to go into. Very reproducable, but not very noticeable. No check engine light, no error codes. My wife doesn't notice it, but I'm anal about every noise or vibration...

From reading posts, I was worried about the torque converter and my suspicions were confirmed by a tech at the dealer today. Since they're quoting $2,600 to replace the TC, a couple of questions:

- I haven't done a transmission service yet...any chance of that helping?

- if I don't replace the TC immediately, what's the possible downside?

- will the noise/vibration get worse over time? If not, can I ignore the repair indefinitely?

- is $2,600 in the right ballpark for the fix (I'm in northern CA)?

Thanks.
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:52 AM   #2
alank
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2004 VUE 3.5L
2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: 3.5L '05 w/ bad torque converter :-(

I had the same problem and did a drain and refil of the transmission fluid and this solved the problem. Make sure that you use Z-1 spec fluid for the honda trans. Mine had about 60k on it when this happened. Good Luck
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:34 AM   #3
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2006 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: 3.5L '05 w/ bad torque converter :-(

I would definitely change the fluid (with Honda Z1 fluid or Saturn equivalent...but NOT Dexron VI). Do 3 dump and fills with a short drive in between. That will get almost all of the original fluid out with the slight downside of "wasting" a few quarts of fluid.

If you can find a transmission place with a flushing machine and can VERIFY that they'll use Honda Z1 fluid (don't take their word for it), that's another option if you're not mechanically inclined.

Cheers,
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:01 PM   #4
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2005 VUE 3.5L
2007 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: 3.5L '05 w/ bad torque converter :-(

It could pay to shop around for the Z-1. The Honda dealer is a bit closer to my house so I called them first ... I recall they wanted around $9.75 per quart. Next call was to Saturn dealer who had for $7.30 per quart.

Pricey stuff but none of the area auto stores carry Z-1.
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:34 PM   #5
dcolello
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Default Re: 3.5L '05 w/ bad torque converter :-(

Yep...that was it. One transmission flush and refill and it seems like I'm good to go. I'll be doing another flush or two shortly to make sure that the majority of the old fluid is gone.

Thanks!
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: 3.5L '05 w/ bad torque converter :-(

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcolello View Post
Yep...that was it. One transmission flush and refill and it seems like I'm good to go. I'll be doing another flush or two shortly to make sure that the majority of the old fluid is gone.

Thanks!
Good times! Glad that worked!

Cheers,
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Old 12-21-2008, 04:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: 3.5L '05 w/ bad torque converter :-(

Everyone should change their transmission fluid every 30K or even 15K if driving in heavy traffic or heat.

I have a 2004 Vue V-6 (Honda Drivetrain) and I first did it at 50K (I went by the owner's manual for severe service- almost waited to 100K). Glad I did, as the fluid was dark red by 50K. I did it again at 75K. No problems with the transmission, knock on wood. I will drain and fill again 90K or 100K, depending how I drive it. Never go over 30K without a drain and refill.

Good Luck!
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