Transmission shifting question [Archive] - Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums

: Transmission shifting question


speedlever
11-10-2008, 11:46 AM
My RL has just over 1000 miles, so it's not yet broken in. I keep the RL in my garage and outside temps are still pretty mild so far.

I've noticed several times lately that in the first mile or two of driving, the transmission will do a hard shift as it backs up through the gears as I go up a hill with light, steady throttle application.

The hard shift happens right about 39 to 40 mph as the tranny is up/down (?) shifting from 4th to 3rd gear. The shift from converter lock (5th) to 4th gear at 45 mph is smooth, but at ~ 40 mph when it shifts from 4th to 3rd gear is when I get that hard shift.

Later, it seems to do the same shift smoothly and only seems to do the hard shift when first driven after sitting overnight.

Has this been observed by others or is this just an isolated event?

bobpres
11-10-2008, 12:33 PM
My '07 RTS does the same thing. It isn't a hot/cold issue for me, either. Basically, when driving and the tranny downshifts (at roughly 40mph), I sometimes get a rough shift. I think it's normal (for the Ridgeline), but others may have a more technical reason for it doing this. Since mine has done it since Day 1, I don't worry about it.

Enjoy the ride!!

fbj913
11-10-2008, 12:38 PM
let it warm up before driving and see if it does the same thing. no engine likes to be run cold

speedlever
11-10-2008, 02:33 PM
My '07 RTS does the same thing. It isn't a hot/cold issue for me, either. Basically, when driving and the tranny downshifts (at roughly 40mph), I sometimes get a rough shift. I think it's normal (for the Ridgeline), but others may have a more technical reason for it doing this. Since mine has done it since Day 1, I don't worry about it.

Enjoy the ride!!

It's good to know that this is not isolated even if it seems a bit odd.

I checked my tranny fluid level a few minutes ago after driving a bit. I'm not sure how sensitive the dipstick is for a level vehicle. My garage floor has a slight slope down towards the garage door. But I'd say it checks about 1/2 to 3/4 inch below the hot range. Seems a bit low to me. I think I'll take it by the dealer tomorrow and let them check the level and see if that makes any difference.

speedlever
11-10-2008, 02:36 PM
let it warm up before driving and see if it does the same thing. no engine likes to be run cold

I never run a cold engine hard. But I will drive away on a cold engine.

I may have to retract my statement that it only does it cold. That's when I've noticed it before. But I'm trying to pay attention and it still seems to do it (although at reduced intensity) even when warm.

OwnerCS
11-11-2008, 06:46 AM
Mine has that same shift feel also. I noticed it last night. I don't mind it.
It reminds me of the Jetaway Hydramatic (4 speed automatic) from years ago. That transmission was usually rough between 2nd and 3rd. If it was a little rough between 2nd and 3rd, you knew it was right.

steppy
11-11-2008, 09:19 AM
yea mine does this too, has since day one.

if im in O/D going over 47mph, then slow down to around 40mph ......it almost always dumps hard down into the lower gears(especially when you start up a hill)

I drive on alot of roads with 40 mph speed limit, usually I go about 5 over and the RL hates going that speed! it is always shifting up/down/up/down :mad: and never can be happy...I have learned to ignore it because it seems to be typical of this vehicle.

speedlever
11-11-2008, 10:58 AM
It appears to be a common phenomenon and nothing to be concerned about.

I had the dealer check my tranny fluid (while I observed) and it was right at the bottom of the hot range after about 5 miles of driving today. Apparently the dipstick reading is very sensitive to the vehicle being level.

MikeT
11-11-2008, 10:59 AM
It appears to be a common phenomenon and nothing to be concerned about.

I had the dealer check my tranny fluid (while I observed) and it was right at the bottom of the hot range after about 5 miles of driving today. Apparently the dipstick reading is very sensitive to the vehicle being level.


Not just level, but how warm as well.

speedlever
11-11-2008, 11:03 AM
Not just level, but how warm as well.

Would you think 5 miles of driving (45mph) would be sufficient to warm it properly? When I first checked in my garage, I'd driven 10-15 miles in stop and go type driving with multiple stops and restarts.

Cochise111
11-11-2008, 02:21 PM
Just get used to the erratic shifting. Honda can't seem to update the shift logic in the PCM no matter what they try. I think they've given up. The 2009 supposedly has much smoother shifting. After a while you get used to it.

tigertom1965
11-11-2008, 09:35 PM
According to the Honda owners manual you don't check it hot after its been running on the highway. (I will bet you (No I won't) checking it the owners manual way you will get a different answer. I will also bet you (Not a betting man) it is different every time if you try checking it after running it because the temps will be different every time.)

You check it like this (According to the owners manual page 251):

Check the fluid level with the engine at normal operating temperature.
1. Park the vehicle on level ground. Start the engine and let it run until the radiator fan comes on, then shut off the engine. For accurate results, wait about 60 seconds before going to step 2, but do not wait longer than 90 seconds.
2. Remove the dipstick (Yellow Loop) from the transmission, and wipe it with a clean cloth.
3. Insert the dipstick all the way into the transmission securely as show in the illustration (On page 251).
4. Remove the dipstick and check the fluid level. It should be between the upper and lower marks.
5. If the level is below the lower mark, remove the fill plug, then add the fluid into the hole to bring the level between the upper and lower marks.
Pour the fluid slowly and carefully so you do not spill any. Clean up any spill immediately; it could damage components in the engine compartment.
Always use Honda ATF-Z1 (automatic transmission fluid). If it is not available, you may use a DEXRON III automatic transmission fluid as a temporary replacement. However, continued use can affect the shift quality. Have the tranmission flushed and refilled with Honda ATF-Z1 by your dealer as soon as it is convenient.
6. Insert the dipstick all the way back in the transmission.
If your not sure how to add fluid, contact your dealer. Yes; don't tell us on this web site or you will be razzed the rest of your life.:D

speedlever
11-12-2008, 05:32 AM
According to the Honda owners manual you don't check it hot after its been running on the highway.
snip

Check the fluid level with the engine at normal operating temperature.

snip


Tom,

Those two statements do not appear to agree.

It would seem to me that if the vehicle is cold and you just crank up and run the engine until you get to normal operating temp, the transmission fluid is still cold. I would think you would want to check the tranny fluid after driving the vehicle until all fluids (especially the tranny) is up to normal operating temps.

speedlever
11-12-2008, 02:05 PM
I took a look in the service manual to see if there was anything about the shifting issue mentioned in the OP.

On page 14-21, the SM describes a symptom which sounds similar to what I and several others have noticed w/r/t a hard 4-3 downshift.

The description is as follows:
Excessive shock or flares on 3-4 upshift or 4-3 downshift.

Here's a pic of the probable cause and notes:
http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/7671/2008rtstrannyp1421rj3.th.png (http://img208.imageshack.us/my.php?image=2008rtstrannyp1421rj3.png)http://img208.imageshack.us/images/thpix.gif (http://g.imageshack.us/thpix.php)

I couldn't get the page to show the symptom on my scanner due to the binding, but the description is as shown above. Now whether or not the hard shift = excessive shock is subject to interpretation... and probably would not be considered as such. But it sure seems hard (bang!) to me.

This is just a fyi post. I plan to drive it and not worry about it unless something else turns up.

alexander
11-12-2008, 08:16 PM
all I know is with royal purple ATF and cold outside temps it starts to get more and more seem less.

The best way to fix the problem is to address the trans cooler then perhaps

arteegee
11-12-2008, 08:30 PM
all I know is with royal purple ATF and cold outside temps it starts to get more and more seem less.



Good to hear as that is my project for this weekend along with the transfer case.

Jack
11-12-2008, 09:03 PM
Even if you just start it up and let it idle, the tranny fluid still circulates through the tranny cooler built into the radiator. Once the engine gets to where the fan cuts on, the tranny fluid should be warmed up also. Maybe not to road tempuratures, but to a level where it can be checked.

TraumaTruck1
11-12-2008, 09:43 PM
I have an 07 rtx, and it has shifted funny from day one, but I haven't had any trouble in almost 100,000 miles. I believe it's just the way this truck is.

steppy
11-13-2008, 09:00 AM
...my 07 only has 18k :eek:
I have an 07 rtx, and it has shifted funny from day one, but I haven't had any trouble in almost 100,000 miles. I believe it's just the way this truck is.
but thx for posting, that is very re-assuring since you have SO many miles

also: I have noticed that it shifts in/out of o/d smoother if you maintain throttle position while its happening

for me, it is more throttle input during o/d shifts the more pronounced

speedlever
11-13-2008, 11:44 AM
I have an 07 rtx, and it has shifted funny from day one, but I haven't had any trouble in almost 100,000 miles. I believe it's just the way this truck is.

Shifting funny is not exactly descriptive to me. Generally, I find Honda automatic transmissions to shift funny... ie, sometimes they tend to hunt around depending on throttle input and road grade and I can feel the vehicle lurch a bit. It may be the Grade Logic feature that causes that, I dunno. But given the quality product Honda normally produces, I choose not to let it bother me.

But if by shifting funny you mean hard downshift (bang!) = funny, then I understand. This is our 4th Honda with the Grade Logic tranny since we bought a new 1995 Accord. However, I don't recall any of them having a hard downshift like the RL sometimes exhibits.

ridingsupreme
04-28-2009, 11:56 AM
royal purple atf? how about mobile one? (MOBILE ONE FTW!!) I went full Mobil Synthetics on my 97 Jeep Cherokee and not only did my gas milage jump like 3-4mpg (old stuff was absolute stew) but shifting was improved and the diff was smoother under heavy loads (like the one tire fire donuts and drifts i like to rock with my open diff.)

I will say that now she leaks a bit of oil (just oil) but nothing serious. It runs smoother, quieter, and stays cooler on long trips. I plan to go full mobile synthetics on my ridgeline but maybe royal purple is the way to go? (after all it cost more right therefore its better! LOL!!:D)

Thoughts?

tigertom1965
04-28-2009, 01:41 PM
No one makes a full synthetic VTM-4 compatible fluid for the rear diff or any compatible VTM-4 fluid. Honda also recommends using only their Honda ATF-Z1 fluid for the tranny. They do say if anything else is used that it be a temporary use and have it flushed right away or you could have problems.

If your truck is not under the drive line warranty which is there for 5 years or 60000 miles (I think) than you can do what you want but using royal purple oil and Mobil 1 for the transfer case or even Mobil 1 oil and Mobil 1 in transfer case plus new VTM-4 fluid in rear diff I didn't notice any change in gas mileage. My truck did get really quiet running though. At least in the engine compartment. The tires are still noisey though.

Shifting is still as goofy as ever. It is definately not like any other vehicle I have ever owned.

TeamRidgeline
04-29-2009, 08:02 PM
There are oil manufacturers that disagree with your synthetic comment. The last time I mentioned the one brand in particular I was blasted by a bunch of h8trs that assumed I was marketing for them, which isn't the case at all. I simply buy and use it for myself.

tigertom1965
04-29-2009, 08:37 PM
There are oil manufacturers that disagree with your synthetic comment.

Was that directed at me?

I have yet to find anyone that sells a VTM-4 replacement fluid except Honda. :( I was also told I would be voiding my warranty if I tried to use something else.:(:(

If there is a synthetic VTM-4 fluid out there please do tell.

I was reading all that info straight from the owners manual.

I realize RP makes their ATF for the Honda but Honda states anything but their oil should be temporary use only.

I have Mobil 1 synthetic gear oil in my tansfer case plus I tried Mobil 1 in the engine and right now it is Royal Purple I have yet to notice any extra gas mileage. My mileage is down because of my tires right now. The engine is super quiet but that changed once I started using synthetic. Temperature runs the same as ever.

I have used that amsoil junk in a previous vehicle with no change in gas mileage and then changed over to Royal Purple and noticed a 1-2 mpg increase. So I thought it would work in my Honda as well but no luck so far. Maybe it will change after a second oil change?

TeamRidgeline
04-29-2009, 10:22 PM
Sorry, my bad. When I went back to pull the info they recommend their trans lube over the Honda ATF-Z1, but not the Honda VTM-4 lube.

My apology.