2013 Civic - PICK A #&$% GEAR!!!

Messages
1,322
Location
Central Oklahoma
As the title implies, I'm absolutely fed up with the 5spd automatic in my 2013 Civic. It's not driver error, because everyone who drives the car has the same problem. When I drive my Elantra, it ALWAYS knows what gear to be in, and I never have issues. Ironic, considering it has an extra gear. The Civic is NOT having any mechanical issues, and I just did a drain and fill with DW-1 fluid at 49K. No change in performance before or after. I'm VERY good at keeping a transmission in the gear it wants, and have NEVER had any problems with a car switching gears as much as this car does. I'm also very good at 'hyper-miling' and squeezing the mpgs for all they're worth (I recently attained 44mpgs in the Elantra on a road trip). So I know how transmissions work, and know how to help them when driving. No matter what I do or how I drive, this car can literally never make up it's mind and just pick a gear. From a stop, getting the car up to 55mph at a normal to slow pace usually involves 7-10 shifts. This is with NO change in elevation/grade, and NO change in throttle input. I keep my foot deadly still on the pedal and it still is confused. It starts in 1st.....2n1st....2nd...................3rd......2nd...........3rd...........4th............5th....55mph It's absoutely maddening! I've tried grannying it, same result. I've tried accelerating faster, same result. I've tried variable inputs at different times to try to help it, same result. The only time it actually shifts properly is if I hit 4 grand (rpms) or higher before each shift. Then it actually works correctly, but then I obviously lose fuel mileage like crazy. Yes, I know the ECON mode changes the transmission shift points, among other things. Yes, I've tried experimenting with it. I get the same bad results (although different) and worse fuel economy (I've gauged it over 10 tanks each way, definitely worse with ECON on, and this is also true for my Elantra's ECO mode). No help there. What is also worth noting is the MASSIVE drag the A/C compressor puts on this engine (1.8L). The trans still acts up whether the A/C is on or off (worse when A/C is on due to varying engine load), but you can really tell when the compressor stops, because you take off like a rocket with the same pedal position. I'm having it checked this weekend to make sure it's normal (it seems to be, air works perfectly), but it cycles excessively (seems to be Honda's compressors in general in my experience shrug). 7 seconds on, 4 seconds off. At a stop, under heavy throttle, cruising at 70mph, doesn't matter. Always 7/4. It only changes if it's on full blast and the doors are open. Then it doesn't shut off at all. I just can't see this transmission lasting 2-300K, or even 150K by shifting this much. Even if I take pristine care of it. I'm about 1 or 2 indecisive shifts away from installing a shift kit or (more likely) buying a hand-held tuner to stop the insanity. I'm to the point of pure rage. I don't know what else I can do, but I refuse to accept that this is normal. I've driven many Hondas. Never had this issue on others, but then again they all had 4 gears. I'm even going to go on the record and say the original, never repaired transmission on a family member's 98% city-driven 2005 Pilot @200K is WAY better than my Civic's.You all should know how notorious those transmissions are for being junk. Hopefully that conveys how irked I am with this. Does anyone have any advice, input, cures, product recommendations... anything? Thanks in advance for help, and thanks for reading my rant novel.
 
Messages
1,647
Location
Ocala, Florida
Thats why I never buy a Honda with an Auto Trans... learned that lesson back in the late 90's, early 2000's. Stick with a manual on your 4 cylinder eco rides. Makes them much more fun to drive and gets even better MPG's!
 
Messages
5,133
Location
Southeast
I've known several civic automatics, plus an accord, an MDX and an Odyssey. I've never experienced this unless I was driving aggressively with a lot of throttle movement. Driving smoothly, this has never happened with me in any honda product. It sounds like there's something wrong with the vehicle, or you're asking it to do something to do something outside of the input range for a given gear. Either take it in for a mechanic to ride along with you, or pay attention to how close you're competing in traffic with associated throttle changes. Leave more space, and be more deliberately smooth. ?? I am indeed a fan of a manual trans in these cars - Civics have so much more potential in a manual than with a slushbox. The trans in these is the difference between an appliance and a full-on driver's car. They can have the fun factor of a go-kart with A/C. With an auto, they will run forever, but the personality is restricted to an economical commuter with some canyon-carving heritage, with a stick they will stand up on hind legs and bark for a treat. -m
 
Messages
18
Location
Orange County, CA
Have you tried replacing the pressure switches on the transmission? I replaced the ones on my 2006 TL because it started to exhibit the same symptoms you have. did that then did a trans fluid drain and refill and the problem went away. kept the car for 6 years from new and let it go around 95k.I changed the pressure switches around 50k iirc.
 
Originally Posted by JustN89
Resetting the ECU might help.
That's the first thing that came to my mind as well after reading the OP. I would disconnect the battery for few minutes to reset the adaptive logic in the transmission. Always start with the easiest fixes first, especially ones that don't replace anything. Of course this is BITOG, so people may recommend replacing all sorts of things just based on the initial post, it's not their money going down the toilet after all.
 
Last edited:
Messages
456
Location
FL, USA
I have the same 2013 Civic with Auto Transmission and have never experienced this issue. I'm always in Econ mode, though would be interested in understanding if that is worthwhile. I accelerate reasonably from a stop, Probably try to maintain 2500-3250 rpm until reaching desired speed. Sometimes a bit higher, but not often. I think it accelerates quite well for what it is. I've done transmission flushes at dealer at 40k, 80k, then drain/fill at 105k and will do 1xdrain/fill every 25k from here on out. But i don't think this is your problem. I previously had a 98 civic with auto trans, no issues, drove over 200k miles, and sold to someone locally and still see it going...probably nearing 300k on original trans.
 
Messages
13,453
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Alex Dykes of Alex on Autos(AoA) Youtube, mentioned the same thing about the 2012-'13 Civic's 5spd auto, during his road test/evaluation of the 2014-'15 Civic with the CVT. He said that "the '13 Civic's 5 spd auto felt like it never had the right ratio(gear) for me!" ........See where he mentions this at around 9:22. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8tIBlCwWpg
 
Last edited:
Messages
3,976
Location
Chicagoland
My 545RFE that my Durango had did something similar. It tried to get into 5th as soon as possible, and if you were accelerating at one pace, then changed pace you'd just confuse it and it'd start shuffling gears.
 

tony1679

Thread starter
Messages
1,322
Location
Central Oklahoma
Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl
Programming updates?
Doubtful, but worth looking into I guess.
Originally Posted by JustN89
Resetting the ECU might help.
Maybe, but that would probably reset my 'lifetime mpg tracker' aka trip B. Probably gonna happen when this cheap battery goes anyway. Gotta pick my battles, and right now correcting the trans will trump all.
Originally Posted by racin4ds
Thats why I never buy a Honda with an Auto Trans... learned that lesson back in the late 90's, early 2000's. Stick with a manual on your 4 cylinder eco rides. Makes them much more fun to drive and gets even better MPG's!
Actually...

Screenshot_20190627-195332.png


Screenshot_20190627-195423.png
 

tony1679

Thread starter
Messages
1,322
Location
Central Oklahoma
Originally Posted by meep
I've known several civic automatics, plus an accord, an MDX and an Odyssey. I've never experienced this unless I was driving aggressively with a lot of throttle movement. Driving smoothly, this has never happened with me in any honda product. It sounds like there's something wrong with the vehicle, or you're asking it to do something to do something outside of the input range for a given gear. Either take it in for a mechanic to ride along with you, or pay attention to how close you're competing in traffic with associated throttle changes. Leave more space, and be more deliberately smooth. ?? -m
I'd be inclined to agree with you, but again, my foot is deadly still on the pedal, on a smooth flat rural road, and no traffic. A cakewalk for any other transmission. I'm not giving it too much or way too little throttle either. I typically rev up to about 2200-2400, which seems about right/average for this 1.8L (and no, it's not my LS4-trained foot talking either). My Elantra tends to like 2000-2250, but also has a 6 speed and slightly more power.
Originally Posted by Macky
Have you tried replacing the pressure switches on the transmission? I replaced the ones on my 2006 TL because it started to exhibit the same symptoms you have. did that then did a trans fluid drain and refill and the problem went away. kept the car for 6 years from new and let it go around 95k.I changed the pressure switches around 50k iirc.
I wouldn't think they'd be bad after only 52K, but then again, who knows. I may put this on the list.
 

tony1679

Thread starter
Messages
1,322
Location
Central Oklahoma
Originally Posted by KrisZ
Originally Posted by JustN89
Resetting the ECU might help.
That's the first thing that came to my mind as well after reading the OP. I would disconnect the battery for few minutes to reset the adaptive logic in the transmission. Always start with the easiest fixes first, especially ones that don't replace anything. Of course this is BITOG, so people may recommend replacing all sorts of things just based on the initial post, it's not their money going down the toilet after all.
Yeah, I may try this first. Not sure yet. Still thinking.
Originally Posted by Davejam
I have the same 2013 Civic with Auto Transmission and have never experienced this issue. I'm always in Econ mode, though would be interested in understanding if that is worthwhile. I accelerate reasonably from a stop, Probably try to maintain 2500-3250 rpm until reaching desired speed. Sometimes a bit higher, but not often. I think it accelerates quite well for what it is. I've done transmission flushes at dealer at 40k, 80k, then drain/fill at 105k and will do 1xdrain/fill every 25k from here on out. But i don't think this is your problem. I previously had a 98 civic with auto trans, no issues, drove over 200k miles, and sold to someone locally and still see it going...probably nearing 300k on original trans.
FWIW, ECON for me resulted in *slightly* better shifting characteristics, at the cost of fuel economy (worst drop-off in mpgs noticed on the highway). I've always heard people (even here) say they love a transmission that knows what gear it wants. I've always thought they were weird. Now I understand.
 
Messages
5,765
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
You need to have it data logged.....Most notably, The Pressure Switch states, TCC state, TPS, APPS, ATF temp, & MAP. We can all guess at what's wrong, But what does that really accomplish. Light/steady acceleration from a stop should never involve upshift-downshift events which we call Shuttling, Even on poorly programmed units.
 

tony1679

Thread starter
Messages
1,322
Location
Central Oklahoma
Originally Posted by clinebarger
You need to have it data logged.....Most notably, The Pressure Switch states, TCC state, TPS, APPS, ATF temp, & MAP. We can all guess at what's wrong, But what does that really accomplish. Light/steady acceleration from a stop should never involve upshift-downshift events which we call Shuttling, Even on poorly programmed units.
I knew you'd show. Thanks! This targets several things I wouldn't have guessed. Always on point thumbsup!
 
Messages
1,468
Location
Perris, CA
Sounds like what my Tacoma does. It'll go into 4th at like 45 mph / 1500 rpm, the engine will fall flat on its face and have no power, and it'll switch back to 3rd. I don't drive the truck much so I've just learned to live with it...
 
Messages
5,133
Location
Southeast
Originally Posted by tony1679
Originally Posted by meep
I've known several civic automatics, plus an accord, an MDX and an Odyssey. I've never experienced this unless I was driving aggressively with a lot of throttle movement. Driving smoothly, this has never happened with me in any honda product. It sounds like there's something wrong with the vehicle, or you're asking it to do something to do something outside of the input range for a given gear. Either take it in for a mechanic to ride along with you, or pay attention to how close you're competing in traffic with associated throttle changes. Leave more space, and be more deliberately smooth. ?? -m
I'd be inclined to agree with you, but again, my foot is deadly still on the pedal, on a smooth flat rural road, and no traffic. A cakewalk for any other transmission. I'm not giving it too much or way too little throttle either. I typically rev up to about 2200-2400, which seems about right/average for this 1.8L (and no, it's not my LS4-trained foot talking either). My Elantra tends to like 2000-2250, but also has a 6 speed and slightly more power.
Originally Posted by Macky
Have you tried replacing the pressure switches on the transmission? I replaced the ones on my 2006 TL because it started to exhibit the same symptoms you have. did that then did a trans fluid drain and refill and the problem went away. kept the car for 6 years from new and let it go around 95k.I changed the pressure switches around 50k iirc.
I wouldn't think they'd be bad after only 52K, but then again, who knows. I may put this on the list.
Copy that. Sounds like you're well in tune with the commands you're sending to it. My thoughts on an ecu/tcu reset is that if it changes anything at all, it will eventually develop the same tables and behaviors. Clinebargers path is interesting and makes me wonder if there's something upstream which could be driving it without understanding how to log all that data and understand it. Vacuum health, hoses and seals, grounds?
 
Top