So much for Honda Quality - Accord in the shop

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Nov 16, 2002
They put a new fuse box in yesterday which was a very simple repair/recall. Later that night, by coincidence probably, my car started making a weird sound at low speed. It does this in neutral and when you cut the engine off and coast at 5-10mph

Took the car in today and had the service manager ride with me. Just got a call a few minutes ago and then think it could be the universals. They are going to look at another new Accord 5spd and compare them. They are then going to take the universals out of a new Accord and put them on mine to see if it takes the problem way. It sounds like running over popcorn or popcorn in the microwave. Seriously that is what it sounds like.

Does anyone know what kind of job this is and what kind of impact it could have on other parts if they are to replace them?

Car was manuf. in Ohio. I hope this is not a sign of things to come.
I would first rule out anything in the area that they worked in! The fuse block is unrelated to any mechanical failure of a CV joint but they could have disturbed something else that is now makeing the noise. If the drivetrain parts from the new car fix's the problem then you know it was a simple part failure.

I would still have them scruintize the area they were working to look for lose conectors,tools left behind etc....

I took my Dodge in for an elignment at 10,000 miles and when I changed my oil a month or two latter I found a pair of Vice Grips on my tie rod adjusters!!! I made sure to stop in and drop those off and remind them to keep all of their tools next time unless they were Snap-On!

Originally posted by buster:
It does this in neutral and when you cut the engine off and coast at 5-10mph

Why do you shut off the engine at 5-10 mph anyway? Or do you mean it does it when you take your foot off the throttle?
He shut the engine off to see if it was engine related. It's not.
they're going to pull "universals" out of a perfectly ok car? Tell me where this dealer is located so I can make sure I never go there!!!

what "universals"? the car has CVs not universals.

don't they have a parts department? Honda won't reimburse them for screwing up a perfectly ok car, but they will easily pay for new CVs. Does sound like CVs but these usually give a lot of advanced warning before they get this bad.
I'll let them know......what type of job is this? Is this somthing that could impact other areas of the car? I guess it could have been worse and been the engine.
How many miles is on your Accord?

Generally, the CV joints fail only when the boots fail first and allow dirt to contaminate the grease. The boots usually last 60,000 miles or so.

You can usually pinpoint a CV joint problem fairly easily by jacking up the car and turning the wheel by hand. Bad CV joints make a bad sound.
Only 4,200 miles. They aren't even sure what it is. I hope they figure it out. It's frustrating me. Nothing bothers me more then a new car with problems.
I'd rather have a problem with a CV joint or wheel bearing than something internal to the engine/transmission. Keep us posted.
The couldn't find the problem. Said it's something comming from the drivetrn. Said they don't think it's a problem.
Not too happy with this or Honda right now. Said if it's a problem it will reveal itself. Good thing for warranties. Could be in the diff's they said.

[ April 21, 2005, 04:49 PM: Message edited by: buster ]

Originally posted by buster:
The couldn't find the problem. Said it's something comming from the drivetrn. Said they don't think it's a problem.
Not too happy with this or Honda right now. Said if it's a problem it will reveal itself. Good thing for warranties. Could be in the diff's they said.

Sounds like more of a problem with the service department! "They don't "THINK" it's a problem?" I'd get a bit pushy at this point and if they still don't respond with a fix start contacting people higher up on the Honda food chain.
This is what they did. They swaped all the wheels, did a brake inspection, drained/refilled trans fluid (manual). The sound seems to be comming from the transmission and it resonates out through the axles.

**ONLY occurs at 5 mph, in neutral going backwards and forwards. ***Also, when you coast at 5 mph to listen for the sound, and cut the engine off, it still makes it. So it sounds like a gear issue. The engine can be ruled out bc when the engine is off, the sound still occurs. It's rotational. Honda HQ's said manuals many times do this. I do not know bc I've never had a manual do this before. Noise is very light. Service manager did hear it and wanted to look at it so I'm not being fanatical about it. The problem does exist!

Car runs great and shifts very smoothly.
While I know it is frustrateing sometimes you do have to waite and see! Sometimes you can not pin point the problem until the symptoms fully present themselfs. THink of it like haveing a rash! If you go see your doctor about a rash he might give you some anti-histimines or a cream and send you on your way. He is not going to do a biopsy or culture the fluid or look at skin shaveing under a microscope for a simply rash. Now I am sure somepeople would want cortco-steroids, anti-fungals, anti-virals and a smallpoxs vacine on the spot!

Just like a doctor mechanics treat based on syptoms and the responce is directly related to the seriouness of the problem! On a car this new it could be nothing at all or it could be the first sign of a serious problem!

I have to admit that as buster desribed it as runing over popcorn or poping corn in the microwave it sounds serious to me! If I had to bet money I would say it is in the transmission/diff as I can think of no other parts that could make that type of noise! THe wheel bearing could also be makeing that noise but that is a no brainer to check that!
John I think your right, and he did seem to hint that it could be the transmission/differential.

Here is the service order they wrote up:


Rotation noise while moving slow, under 10 mph noise seems to come from trans area, seems to resonate through the axles to the wheels, noise, however does not occur under normal driving conditions, called tech line was told to poss swap know good components from other car to another, did swap tires/rims from another VEH. Noise still was heard POSS of Trans Gear Noise, which is common for a manual trans, to be heard at times upon low speed, Key off , Engine Off, car moving. CK'D w/Other new some VEH, Trans Noise was also Heard Inside of Trans, Also changed M/T Fluid...Noise seems to be common in Stickshift VEH 05, Accord.

Sorry to hear you're having trouble already Buster. Our 2000 Civic has been flawless! We're approaching 100,000km now, and it has not had one single warranty claim! The only things this car has needed so far has been tires and brakes and oil changes. It's the most reliable car I've ever owned, and it was built right here in Ontario too! (in Alliston)
Only positive thing I can say is that they are certain it's not the engine. Other then that, I'm not too worried about it. Most people might not even notice it.
I have a friend that works at a Honda dealership and see if he has heard of something similar before. I'll post back if he mentions anything.

Another person I know that works for the same dealership, but in the service dept.- joked the other day that he replaces 2 transmissions a day.
It's true that Honda has had it's share of issues with their automatic transmissions, never heard about any issues with their manuals. Overall I think Honda's represent some of the highest quality vehicles made, (of course I may be biased). Just look at any issue of "Consumer Reports"; reliability history of Honda is admirable ... or review any of the long-term tests conducted by the "Car and Driver" staff. I've read some horror stories about Chrysler reliability issues, Honda/Toyota always rate very high.

Back to my initial point, Honda has been challenged when it comes to making a reliable automatic, do a web search and you'll come up with thousands of documented cases referencing faulty Honda automatic transmissions. Hopefully they've corrected this problem in their latest version of the Odyssey.
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