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My Element has 260,000 km (161,000 miles) on it, and I love it to death. Up until recently it has been very reliable. Then it started to make something of a grinding noise when backing up, and the transmission light came on (the horrible "flashing D").

I took it to a transmission shop in mid-February. They diagnosed the light as a clutch pressure switch, and the grinding as a worn out u-joint on the driveshaft. So I got them to fix both the problems. Since the driveshaft is one piece on a Honda, it was mighty expensive, but it had been basically cost-free up to that point so I did it. And it was good.

However, recently as the weather has warmed and I drive with the windows open, I have noticed a whine from under the car when I shift into gear (either reverse or drive). I don't think it continues as I drive, but I can really only hear it in a parking lot where there are cars close on either side of me, and I have the windows open.

Should I be worried about this? I think I'm going to check the transmission fluid level once I get home, as I've heard low transmission fluid can cause the problem. I had a transmission fluid change at the dealership two summers ago though. Is it possible that the shop didn't refill it properly when they changed the clutch pressure switch? Do they even drain the fluid when they do that?

Could it be an indication that my transmission is on its way out?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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