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Honda 6 Speed manual transmission problems..

Every car group has a few models that create a buzz that fills internet search engines with data for analysts to observe. Be it the Honda Accord transmission or the Honda Civic Type R transmission, enthusiasts love new sports cars.

In the 90s some of the North American market had a taste of the Acura NSX and the Integra Type R. While millions had their heart in Civic’s and Integras. The message boards filled up with questions on how to make these cars faster and more extreme. Fast forward to year 2000 and Honda has provided the market with the S2000, a more powerful Civic Si with limited slip and 6 Speed manual transmission and near 300HP versions of the TL and Accords.

This past decade has been one exciting time for Honda owners. The issue is that of the 6 speed manual transmission problems in several major Honda models. The complaints range from gear grinds, difficulty shifting, and loss of gears all together.

The Problem:

  • Certain Honda 6 speed manuals problematic for most owners.
  • Dealers not trying hard enough to troubleshoot issues with owners.
  • Problem demonstrated in videos below.
  • Problem is real and Honda may have mechanical fix in the works for certain models.

Lets start in 2000 with the Honda S2000, referred to as having one of the worlds best feeling gearbox. But as the number of owners increased so did the talk of frequent 2nd and 3rd gear grinds and owners losing 5th or 6th gear all together. As time advanced owners of the car had learned from hard core owners and mechanics that skipping gears such as shifting from 3rd to 5th could cause loss of a synchronizer on that gear. Or that the Honda transmission fluid was not up to the task in wear protection for the long term. Owners tampered with different trans fluids, fluid levels and shifting techniques.

As the 2002 model rolled in manufacturing improvements were said to be made but no one could really decide what they were. In 2004 the transmission synchronizers received an update in materials in hopes to alleviate balky shifting and grinds. As owners brought in their cars to the dealers the same story like a broken record was heard in many cases, dealers suspecting abuse or refusing service due to modifications.

To take an unbiased approach there were many stories I have read where some of these owners were very negligent. I understand that many sports car owners of all makes and models like to drive with spirit, and many don’t want to leave their car stock, so dealers tend to be very cautious about honoring warranties. But moving away from the S2000 problems we come to the Honda Accord released in 2003 for the first time with a 6 speed manual. Also the nearly brand new 2006 Honda Civic Si also equipped for the first time with a 6 speed manual gearbox.

Trying to Fix the Problem:

There are other models such as the Acura TL and TSX with 6 speed transmissions and much of what will be discussed will apply more so to the TL. An aquaintance of mine liked the Accord Coupe and decided to buy a new 2006 EX with 6 Speed.

After 1000 miles 3rd gear seemed difficult to engage or sometimes refused to engage at all and popped out when attempts were made. The owner suspected it may just need to be broken in further. At 3000 miles the issues continued and the first trip was made to the dealer. This dealer has a good reputation in terms of repair and sales and most likely due to them selling higher end vehicles such as Porsche and BMW too. After the usual day in the shop the owner got the call from the service manager saying that “They could not replicate the issue.” This is a quote most Honda owners of these types of cars dread and have heard often.

At 10,000 miles the problem continues and the second attempt at dropping it off at the dealer returned the same result, nothing. Frustrated and upset the owner asked friends and a local Honda mechanic and they pointed her to a few websites that printed a Honda bulletin from the tech line about a different transmission fluid that may help her issue. At 14,000 miles the owner paid to swap out the transmission fluid in hopes it would help the issue. While she claimed it felt better, a few weeks later the gear pops were happening again.

In conclusion we must say that it’s obvious there is a problem and Honda needs to address the transmission issue with a mechanical fix. In 01/2008 a TSB was issued and in usual dealer fashion they will need to replicate the issue in order to service the car.

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