I am having transmission problems

Jan 6, 2007
1988 Acura Legend 130,000 miles I have had this problem for quite some time now. The car has been broken down for over a year, because nobody wants to touch it. The reverse went out first then it just wouldn't go at all. Someone put Lucas and new trans fluid in and it went into first but would shift past first. I was told it could be and most likely is the transmission filter, but also that this type of car requires transmission disassembly to change the filter and this is where the problem lies. I have called every mechanic in town possible and they either don't want to deal with it, or don't know how. NOBODY will work on it. I was told by National transmission that a gunky filter wouldn't make it stop shifting and that it is most likely a transmission solenoid. He says these types of cars have external solenoids that tend to go out alot. Is this true? I have looked in owners and repair manuals and have found nothing about transmission solenoids, actually nothing about transmission at all really except to rebuild one. Everyone is completely stumped and I am ready to give up. Is there an easier fix to this problem? Also we noticed that the transmission fluid is disappearing but there are no visible leaks. Is it possible that it is going into the radiator?
Do you
have the same problem?
Friday, January 5th, 2007 AT 9:46 PM

1 Reply

The owner's manual won't pertain to the technicals of the car.

Was the problem present before the fluid & lucas change?

Was the right fluid used?

Check your fluid conditions for possible mixing.

Technical Bulletin # 226


SUBJECT: Erratic shifts, no kickdown, wrong gear starts

APPLICATION: Acura, Honda Sterling

DATE: Jan 1994

Erratic Shifts, No Kickdown,
Wrong Gear Starts

1988-89 Honda Prelude - K4
1990 Honda Prelude - PY8A
1991 Honda Prelude - MY8A
1987 Acura Legend Coupe - L5
1988-89 Acura Legend Coupe and Sedan - L5
1990 Acura Legend Coupe and Sedan - PL5X

1990 Acura Integra - RO
1991-92 Acura Integra MPRA
1989-90 2.7 Sterling - L5
1991 2.7 Sterling PL5X

Erratic shifts, no kickdown, wrong
gear starts, early shifts, skips second
on medium to W.O.T, upshifts or skips

All of the above conditions are usually caused by shift solenoid related problems. The
solenoids may be restricted with metal particles or debris causing shift malfunctions. The
modulator valve (which hydraulically feeds the solenoids) may be stuck open, flooding
the solenoids with more fluid than they can exhaust. Follow the test below to determine
the cause of the problem.

[Step 1]

Road test the vehicle on the road (not on the rack) to verify the concern. LEAVE THE
ENGINE RUNNING. If the check engine light is blinking check the ENGINE computer for
codes and correct as necessary. DO NOT rely on the 'S3' light on the instrument panel to
blink (indicating TRANSMISSION codes). Inspect the transmission computer for blinking
codes BEFORE STOPPING THE ENGINE. Correct as necessary.

See figures 1A through 1G for transmission computer locations.

[Step 2]

Stop the engine. Disconnect the connector to the shift solenoids (Figures 2A THROUGH

Check the resistance of each shift solenoid terminal to ground (Figure 3). The resistance
should be 12-30 ohms at 70 F. Replace as necessary.

[Step 3

Attach a 0-100 psi pressure gauge to shift solenoid A and B for the modulator pressure
ports (Figure 2A through 2D). If only one gauge is available, attaching it to one part at a
time will work fine. Place shift lever in park and start the engine. Check the pressure on
both parts. It should be 70-95 psi. If it is over 95 psi the modulator valve is stuck. See
Figures 4A through 4D.

[Step 4]

With the engine running connect one end of a jumper lead to the positive terminal of the
battery and the other end to BOTH solenoid terminals in the connector. The pressure
should drop quickly to under 6 psi. If the pressure is above 6 psi or drops slowly, replace
the shift solenoids.
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Friday, January 5th, 2007 AT 9:46 PM

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