Q: What makes my transmission so rough?

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My 2008 Honda Accord with an automatic transmission has had trouble shifting smoothly lately. The transmission is really slow to get into gear and when it finally does get into gear, it jerks the car forward. This is extremely uncomfortable for myself and my passengers. I also feel it is not good for the rest of the drivetrain. What is the problem here? Car has only 40,000 miles on it.

In order to tackle this question appropriately, more information would be needed to guide us in the right direction. One question is, does the transmission slowly engages when you first drive your vehicle, or after it has sat for a few hours. We want to ask if this happens regardless of the vehicle being cold or hot. It’s also helpful to know if this only happens when you are parked or parking and shifting from Park/Neutral to Reverse/Drive or does this slow engagement and jerking happen while the vehicle is in motion between gears as well. Knowing this information can narrow down the possibilities and guide you in the right direction.

Have you noticed any puddles underneath your vehicle? It’s possible you have developed a small leak. Low transmission fluid can also duplicate the issues you are experiencing. Honda recommends replacing the transmission fluid every 60,000 miles, however it may be necessary to change the fluid sooner due to the condition of the transmission fluid itself. Dirty fluid can block passages in the transmission and cause delayed and harsh shifting. Having your transmission inspected for leaks and having your transmission fluid serviced by a certified mechanic would be the first and easiest thing to recommend.

If despite these repairs you are still experiencing this issue, there is also a known issue with shifting problems for your year vehicle and Honda has issued a recall to correct this concern. I recommend contacting your local certified Honda dealership to find out if your vehicle is eligible for this recall. If it is, it’s a matter of scheduling an appointment with your Honda dealership so they can perform a software update to the transmission control module.

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