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Discussion Starter #1
Looked through all the posts on this topic and can't find anything that matches what my E is doing. But stop me if you've heard this one before.

2003 4WD Automatic. 83K miles. Last serviced (according to documentation) at 62K.

Car is running great once warmed up but for the first 10 - 15 minutes there's a rumble/rattle coming from the transmission and the gears seem to be slipping a little. As I say, once I've driven a few miles this eases off, although I sometimes hear it under hard acceleration or steep hill climbs.

I haven't changed the transmission fluid but checked the levels and look of it and that seems ok. (tbh, I'm putting off changing it unless I'm sure it's necessary because my local Honda garage here in Spain wants to charge me 29 Euro for a litre of DW1, which is over $30).

I've seen a number of posts about worn/damaged transmission brackets causing noise but don't see how this would stop when the engine warms up, but would welcome confirmation of this.

Thoughts?
 

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I paid 360 euros for a transmission fluid change (with a gear flush) in a workshop that specializes in this.
My Element (2009) currently had 63tmls and after the change I noticed a softer shift.
I don't know if that will help with your problem, but at least if the transmission fluid has never been changed, it's time to change ... 17 years old.
206212

Left old fluid, right new fluid, middle (tin) cleaning fluid
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hmmm could be your torque converter? Saludos desde San Diego California
Could be. I've looked at other posts citing torque converter, as well as other sites, and the problems look pretty similar. Although it actually sounds like a knackered bearing (but I don't know if that's possible or likely).

Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I paid 360 euros for a transmission fluid change (with a gear flush) in a workshop that specializes in this.
My Element (2009) currently had 63tmls and after the change I noticed a softer shift.
I don't know if that will help with your problem, but at least if the transmission fluid has never been changed, it's time to change ... 17 years old.
View attachment 206212
Left old fluid, right new fluid, middle (tin) cleaning fluid
I'm definitely going to try that first. I'm not within striking distance of a garage that I'd trust with doing it (at least until I get to know them) so I've ordered some ATF and will do it myself.

What's the stuff in the can in the middle? I've heard from other sources that it's not a good idea to use additives etc on Elements but if it works for you?...

Thanks for the help, really appreciate it.
 

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....What's the stuff in the can in the middle?....
Cleaning fluid for the Transmission. It was not just a change because if you just drain the liquid, a lot remains in the gearbox. So i had the gearbox flushed by professionals..

"The official Honda specified fluid capacities are:
4wd - 3.3 quarts at change, and holds 7.6qt overall
2wd - 3.4qt at change, and holds 7.2qt overall"

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Okay, this is a bit strange. I've still got the annoying/worrying rattling/grating sound, but I've discovered that it's MUCH worse when I'm in the car on my own. When my wife is sitting in the passenger seat it's almost completely fine (which means she's never heard it, and thinks I'm bonkers as a result). Could the extra weight (sorry wife) be having an effect?
 
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