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Old 06-15-2011, 10:54 PM   #1
Tonya
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Default Burned transmission fluid

Hi, So I have entered the nightmare zone of the Honda awd Transmission. I have a 2004 Saturn Vue v6 AWD and I was driving at about 70 and I started smelling something burning. I pulled off the FWY and couldnt get the trans to engage after that. My mechanic opened the trans and it looks brand new? Belts seals pump all look fine so what burned up my fluid? I have 96,000 mls but never really had a problem before other than the breather tube blew the the little cap off a year ago and would splash a little once and a while.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Burned transmission fluid

Honda transmissions run hot. That's the reason for the frequent fluid change intervals dictated in your VUE's maintenance schedule.

In real life owners change the fluid more often around every 20k to avoid problems. Make sure to use only Honda Z1 fluid.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Burned transmission fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonya View Post
Hi, So I have entered the nightmare zone of the Honda awd Transmission. I have a 2004 Saturn Vue v6 AWD and I was driving at about 70 and I started smelling something burning. I pulled off the FWY and couldnt get the trans to engage after that. My mechanic opened the trans and it looks brand new? Belts seals pump all look fine so what burned up my fluid? I have 96,000 mls but never really had a problem before other than the breather tube blew the the little cap off a year ago and would splash a little once and a while.
Your post leads to a few question ...

1. Was there fluid in the transmission when mechanic examined? (Amount of fluid has direct relationship to fluid temperature).

2. How much fluid was in transmission? (See question 1).

3. Did you notice a flashing CHECK COOLANT TEMP at any time? (This is indication of transmission fluid overheat or torque converter overheat as estimated by PCM).

4. Did you keep track of fluid level after "the breather tube blew the little cap off a year ago and would splash a little once in a awhile"?

I wonder if a low transmission fluid level led to overheat of remainder of fluid (instrument panel light should have been flashing). And, if the tube was still venting fluid it could have blown on exhaust system causing the burning odor.

The torque converter is the primary source of heat for transmission fluid. The mechanic has probably checked the TC by now. They could be in short supply based on recent customer service letter for 2005 - 2007 3.5L Vues.

BobbyP mentioned using only ATF-Z1 - which is a good idea - but Z1 is no longer available - in my area at least. The local Honda house is now stocking ATF-DW which is supposedly fully compatible (and at least $2 higher per quart).

Please keep us updated - this could be an expensive ordeal for you but perhaps others (me too) will learn from your experiences.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Burned transmission fluid

The fulid always read a little full and we did drain out a quart but it still read full. I bought the vue from a Toyota dealer and I didnt notice the problem until 45 days afer I bought it. How can you check a TC when are sealed?
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Burned transmission fluid

I had no warning lights either. If a solenoid failed would it trigger a light on the dash? Thanks for the replies btw
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: Burned transmission fluid

Now my mechanic says the 2nd 3rd bands are slightly burned and thinks maybe both gears were engaging at the same time.
But he also told me not worry because he just bought a memory foam mattress and hopes it will help him to remember how to put it back together
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Burned transmission fluid

Tonya ... you have a great sense of humor. I'm still chuckling thinking of mechanic and memory foam mattress. My mechanic only says things like: (1) parts are back-ordered, (2) it'll take five days to fix after parts, and (3) you'd better have a seat while I figure the bill.

I counted 36 trouble codes for the 5AT (Honda trans) and probably 35 of them will cause a service vehicle soon light. However, the one for transmission fluid temperature (TFT) only causes the COOLANT OVERTEMP light to flash.

Your mechanic will know how to tell if torque converter is shot or has been drastically overheated simply by examining.

Fluid level check for 5AT is different than many vehicles as its done with engine off. Basics are:

a. let engine idle until fan comes on once,
b. move shift lever thru all positions after pausing for three seconds in each,
c. turn engine OFF,
d. pull ATF dipstick and wipe clean,
e. push stick back in,
f. wait at least three seconds
g. pull stick and check both sides to read lowest level,
h. fluid must be between upper and lower mark.

Too much or too little fluid and/or incorrect fluid can cause the transmission to do very strange things.
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: Burned transmission fluid

Thanks this is good info.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Burned transmission fluid

My mechanic said he wants a refund on his memory foam mattress. He put my car back together and there is no reverse but it will drive forward, But when he puts it in neutral its like its in park.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: Burned transmission fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonya View Post
My mechanic said he wants a refund on his memory foam mattress. He put my car back together and there is no reverse but it will drive forward, But when he puts it in neutral its like its in park.
Could be shift linkage adjustment ... my knowledge is from book ... lets hope 3RedLines comes on board - he is very bright. There's a dozen others who would know what they're talking about - I'm not one of them.

Here are three service manual extracts: (1) for you to ponder, and (2) to smack mechanic around with.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 04 Vue - 5AT - No Reverse.pdf (24.2 KB, 12 views)
File Type: pdf 04 Vue - 5AT - No Shift to Park.pdf (22.3 KB, 8 views)
File Type: pdf 04 Vue - 5AT - Shift Indicator Wrong.pdf (22.6 KB, 7 views)
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: Burned transmission fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by far2grumpy View Post
Could be shift linkage adjustment ... my knowledge is from book ... lets hope 3RedLines comes on board - he is very bright. There's a dozen others who would know what they're talking about - I'm not one of them.
You're far too modest F2G!

Could be a renegade piece of trash in the valves, stuck valve, bad 5th clutch,or something that didn't get put back in just so during reassembly.

My questions are:
Did it have reverse before the transmission tear-down?
In Neutral are the wheels locked as if its in park?
Will it start off in L and I as well as D?
And last but not least, Will it shift into 5th gear without slipping?
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:57 PM   #12
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Default Re: Burned transmission fluid

I just took the Vue in to Honda today and had the transmission flushed. As stated previously, Honda here in BC no longer carries the Z1 fluid, they have fully switched to the Full Synthetic DW-1. Z1 was discontinued at the start of 2011.

Don't notice much difference but I hadn't driven the truck much, but had this done based on the numerous reports around here that it was a good idea.
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:37 AM   #13
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Happy Re: Burned transmission fluid

I finally got my car back. My mechanic ended up finding a tranmission with 23,000 miles and bought it. That means he ate $950. Everyone told him these transmissions are not rebuildable. Anyway I got a half mile away and the check eng light came on, so I went back. He changed the pressure valve and again I got a half mile when the light came on. This time after throwing wrenches and stuff he reset the codes and said he would drive. We pulled out of the driveway and he punched it he was so mad that he kept it floored to 111 mph. Turned around and did it again. The light never came on and it runs great Question now is should I keep this vue? I dont want to go through that again.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:14 AM   #14
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Default Re: Burned transmission fluid

My 06 vue has done this twice. Symptoms are transmission starts slipping, some fluid comes out (probably breather tube), and it smells burnt. The first time, the fluid was changed and a pressure sensor was replaced. This didn't really fix it because this summer on a long drive in 95+ degree weather, it did it again. Taking it to a different shop this time.
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:02 AM   #15
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Default Re: Burned transmission fluid

I don't mean to thread jack Tonya, but my question is related to this thread. So if I were to bring my vehicle into a Chevy(has certified Saturn mechanics) dealership to get fluids checked, flushed etc., which kind of tranny fluid would they use?
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:18 AM   #16
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Default Re: Burned transmission fluid

First off... you all realize this thread is like 3 years old right???
Second off, as I am having this discussion via PM with Satlite440, a GM Master trans tech, right now... Take it to a Honda dealer, provided you have the Honda Trans, and have them do it... The trans fluid is supposed to be Honda ZL1, or whatever is listed in the manual... now days is gonna be DW1 I think... or do the drain and refill method at home.... which is EASY and can be done in about 20 minutes with simple hand tools. But if you don't know the cars history, or haven't done it and you are over about 75K miles, take it to the Honda dealer and let them do the fluid flush and exchange on their machine with the correct fluid. The key is don't EVER POWER FLUSH these trans.... if you hook to a machine, the car needs to be started and the built in pump on the trans is the one that needs to do the work... NOT THE MACHINE!!!
Any questions PM me, Satlite440, far2grumpy, or anyone of several others...just look around and you will see who knows what they are talking about.
...
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:05 PM   #17
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Default Re: Burned transmission fluid

im late to the party again..my 1s advice would be find a reputable trans shop or the dealer..anyone who tears down a tranny and doesn't know what exactly they are looking for is a hack plain and simple..i know by training and by watching input such as gear ratio,iss.oss,shift time and lots of other things I won't bore you with where the problem is BEFORE I remove the trans for teardown&inspection..as the op found out the hard way..if they want to open it up to find out whats wrong,run unless they can tell you what part they suspect has failed.in the op's case I would have been looking at the 1st gear cluches and sprage and solinoids and ruled out the electrical componants 1st.before removal..this hack opened it up,did he get a o/h kit?did it come with fibers&steels and pistons? did he change them?there are a lot of specialty tools needed to size seals and install pistons and without them it won't work when you are done..only deacated trans shops and dealers have the tools for this unless you think the guy is going to buy a 600+dollar tool kit to do your 1 job and save it for the next one....99% of indapendant shops don't have any trans capability and only 60% of dealers have a good trans guy..trannys are one of the dark voodoo mysteries 9 out of 10 auto mechanics are afraid of. for a good reason.it seperates the men from the boys..
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:22 AM   #18
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Default Re: Burned transmission fluid

Sat,
Ya know, I have been seriously considering going Autotech when I retire from the Navy... And the more I listen to you, the more I want to do that with a heavy in transmissions.... I already am reasonably up on engines, but trans have always been a bit of 'dark voodoo' as you call it... and I just don't like that... when I see something mechanical I don't understand.. I just wanna take it apart and figure it out.
That being said, I am trying to figure out how come BriantheK brought this post up from almost 3 years ago when we have talked this over in the General and Tech sections many times in the past few months.
...
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