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2013 Honda CRV - Automatic trans car shudders and slight booming noise inside the car


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83K Miles bought from private party, no codes - As the title says - There is a "whirr" sound after shifting into 2nd and then a slight shudder going into 3rd when accelerating lightly. A lot of people online seem to think it's a bad torque converter, but the dealer said it's not likely, and that taking apart the trans now to check it would probably not help much. There is also a booming noise that changes as the wheels spin faster, seems like its coming from the back, they didn't comment on that. Said the car is in great shape, but these things are bugging me quite a bit, got it for not very cheap and would like to have it in top shape if possible.

Should I take it to someone else for advice or just keep driving it for now and learn to live with some extra sound effects?

p.s car has a towbar, maybe the previous owner damaged the trans by towing too much or doing so improperly.

3 Answers

From what you described, it sounds like a torque converter issue. Try taking it to a good independent shop that knows Hondas and get a 2nd opinion. It would also be a good idea to drain and fill the transmission fluid with new OEM genuine Honda ATF. That won't get all the fluid out, but it will replace a good amount.


I say, drain and refill automatic transmission with Honda ATF DW-1 ( this is upgraded fluid and it is compatible with the original Z-1). If improvement is not significant enough after a week of two of driving, … repeat drain and fill one more time. In most cases, it’s all that’s needed. Happy long motoring after, … 

As to the noise in the rear, … if it’s 4WD, … fluid change is called for. Again, those rear differential tend to whine at about your indicated milage. Fluid change almost always makes it quiet again, … but make sure you use Honda fluid - Honda Dual Pump Fluid II.

Anyway, … that should do it, … in most cases does.



Thank you very much for the advice, I will try it out and get back with results.

Okay, so I got both fluid changes with the proper fluids (ATF DW-1 and dual pump).
Turns out the rear noise is likely from the worn rear tires, which the previous owner likely switched from the front to the back, my mechanic couldn't find bearings or any other probable causes for the noise, so I will just change those when the time comes. Seems it was due time for an oil change anyhow, given that it wasn't replaced before that.

The transmission still shudders, albeit somewhat less than before, there's definitely a difference in comparison, he said it's quite possible that the source is the torque converter, but didn't really recommend replacing it at this point. I might do as the above comment says and do another one to see if it goes away completely.

From my experience with Honda’s automatics, … shudder will fade away with time, in most cases within 1,000 -2,000 kilometres of driving. Quicker if mostly highway driving, …

As to torque converter replacement, … I wouldn’t. In cases that shudder was not completely eliminated, transmissions didn’t fail for many, many long miles. Actually, transmissions outlasted the rest of cars systems, ie, other problems caused owners to rid of their Hondas.

As to the tires, CRV benefits a lot from rotating tires more frequently. Reason is that front wheels are normally set at positive camber and rear wheels at negative camber. This causes accelerated tire wear on front at the outer edge, …and on rear at the inner edge. Tires left for too long on front and rear axles, … when suddenly are switched will suddenly howl. So just do tire rotation more often, …


After a long drive stick your hand in center of each wheel. If one is warm or hot your brakes are dragging or you have a bad wheel bearing. Either one can cause AWD systems to act funky. Otherwise change gear oil in rear differential see if that helps. Good luck!