Acura Legend Forum banner

'91 Acura Legend Automatic Transmission Problems(1st->2nd)

4293 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Blyss Sarania
Hi all. I recently bought a 91 acura legend. I thought I got a pretty good deal on it as the motor has been replaced recently and has about 60k on it. Here is the problem. About a week after I bought it I noticed the transmission making funny sounds when shifting from 1st to 2nd. It's a weird sound, like if you took a house fan on high and stuck a playing card in the blades. It lasts about half a second. This concerned me but this is my only car(I was without any car for 5 months) so I kept driving it. The other day I was using the decent acceleration to pull into traffic and the damn thing locked right as it shifted to second and I almost got killed when the car basically halted from 30 to 0. Fortunately I didn't get hit. Since then it has only done the noise thing and only intermittently. I can drive it 100 miles one day and it never happens, on another day it happens every shift to 2nd. I can get around it by starting in 2nd and shifting up but I'm sure that driving it more is not helping. It does not do it when shifting in any other gear or when downshifting. The only other thing I noticed is a lot of times when it makes the noise it shifts early, around 900-1200 RPM when normally it shifts around 2000-2200. This is bad, being my only car and as I said I was without one for 5 months because I live on a fixed income of 730 a month(really...) So I was wondering if anyone had any advice? I took it to a local mechanic and all he said was "Probably needs a new transmission, I don't know really". I really hate to pay someone to figure it out only to find out it's gonna cost way more than I have. And of course it did not do this on my test drive and I drove it hard. I bought it as a private party sale so it's mine for better or worse...

Oh and though the engine was replaced the transmission was not and thus it has 220k on it.

Oh and I've read about the D4 light and transmission stuff. My D4 light is solid off 100% of the time. Either it's burned out or someone disconnected it to fool me...
See less See more
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
well what dose the trans fluid look like? then check you front diff fluid also inspect the under side of the car for leaks.
well what dose the trans fluid look like? then check you front diff fluid also inspect the under side of the car for leaks.
Transmission fluid is perfectly normal(first thing I checked).
No leaks.

Didn't even know I had differential fluid, where is it roughly? I don't have a manual.
It's behind the pass side tire there's a drain and fill plug there
It's behind the pass side tire there's a drain and fill plug there
Okay I'll check it in the morning since it's dark now. Thanks.
No problem glad I can help.
When draining and filling the differential please remember to first remove the fill plug to make sure it is not frozen. Very typical for people not to change the diff fluid which then usually ends up being the diff being empty and running dry.
Couldn't fit under car and didn't want to slither under with only a scissor jack. Had a mechanic friend put it on a lift today. Diff is completely full of normal smelling, non dirty oil. Transmission is leaking slightly but fluid is within acceptable level and clean.

Someone who was at the shop told me something about 2nd gear and reverse being the same gear and some sort of valve thing that could cause this? I have no idea what he was talking about or if he was correct or not, can anyone verify or debunk this claim? He said this "valve" could get dirty or worn if you didn't always use Honda spec trans fluid. I have no idea what people have been putting in it over it's life of course.

Mechanic friend doesn't really do transmissions/engines etc. Like me he is limited to knowledge of the "other parts" he recommended me a guy to take it to but i wanna know about this "valve" thing and whether it exists first.

Thanks for the replies so far!
You don't have to get under the car to do the diff flush. Turn the wheel all the way to the right and you can access every thing.
Fix the D4 light, it will give you the best indication of what is wrong.
In all honestly I'm not sure it matters now. *something* caused the thing to overheat dramatically and almost instantly(I live rurally and it took me about 2 mile before I even had a place to pull over and it's possible it was hot before that). In that time dramatic damage was done - cracked head and possibly block, head gasket, etc. I've been told it's basically worth scrap now. So after 3 weeks of owning it and the best thing about it being a low mileage engine, I'm without a a car again. I'll save the expletives for the son of a ----- who sold it to me.

Thanks for trying to help though. I never found out what was up with the tranny, although who cares now... not me.
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.