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Jerky shifts?

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Old 09-16-2015
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Jerky shifts?

Hey guys, I just recently bought a 93 hatchback automatic transmission. The engine and trans only has 87k original miles on it. I know these things aren't the smoothest shifting cars, but driving around I've noticed it jerks into gear some. When it downshifts it jerks also. The jerks are usually shifting in 1st and 2nd and comin to a complete stop. Sometimes the jerks are more noticeable than others, and it's not like a snap your head to the steering wheel jerk, but it is a noticeable little kick. I actually bought it from a dealer he said they never touched the transmission fluid, but the fluid is at the correct level and looks almost like new. I've read it could be a tps, or throttle cable? The cable didn't seem very loose at all when I looked but then again I've never really messed with tthem so not 100percent sure what it should be. Any help or advice on the issue would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-16-2015
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Re: Jerky shifts?

Originally Posted by Tyler93 View Post
Hey guys, I just recently bought a 93 hatchback automatic transmission. The engine and trans only has 87k original miles on it. I know these things aren't the smoothest shifting cars, but driving around I've noticed it jerks into gear some. When it downshifts it jerks also. The jerks are usually shifting in 1st and 2nd and comin to a complete stop. Sometimes the jerks are more noticeable than others, and it's not like a snap your head to the steering wheel jerk, but it is a noticeable little kick. I actually bought it from a dealer he said they never touched the transmission fluid, but the fluid is at the correct level and looks almost like new. I've read it could be a tps, or throttle cable? The cable didn't seem very loose at all when I looked but then again I've never really messed with tthem so not 100percent sure what it should be. Any help or advice on the issue would be greatly appreciated.
Sounds like the transmission or the fluid is bad, I would do a fluid filter change on the trans, if that doesn't work, then your trans probably needs rebuild/replacement.
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Old 09-16-2015
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Re: Jerky shifts?

I'll try draining and refilling the fluid. The manual says Honda Atf or any dexII fluid, would the dexron be alright?
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Old 09-16-2015
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Re: Jerky shifts?

Hondas DW1 fluid may get it to shift a little less firm than Dexron.

I always thought those older transmissions shifted rather firm to begin with, and I personally prefer that they do.
If the fluid is clean and there aren't any other issues, I might say to leave it well enough alone as it may be normal. Can you find another old Civic to compare with?

Newer cars really shift soft compared to some of those older cars. It's just how they were made.
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Old 09-16-2015
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Re: Jerky shifts?

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Hondas DW1 fluid may get it to shift a little less firm than Dexron.

I always thought those older transmissions shifted rather firm to begin with, and I personally prefer that they do.
If the fluid is clean and there aren't any other issues, I might say to leave it well enough alone as it may be normal. Can you find another old Civic to compare with?

Newer cars really shift soft compared to some of those older cars. It's just how they were made.
I have had 3 cars that have had slipping transmissions with jerky weird shifts. I fixed all three of them with a fluid and filter change. I would try it because it is cheap easy and regular maintenance anyways. changing the trans or taking it apart is quite a task. But you are right, it could be a faulty part on the outside of the trans to.
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Old 03-20-2016
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Re: Jerky shifts?

Just bought myself an 88 DX yesterday. Kinda the same problem. When I go from park to drive or reverse it shifts hard into gear. Once engaged it shifts fine, I get the thump into gear just when I put it in drive. Normal?
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Old 03-20-2016
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Re: Jerky shifts?

Originally Posted by Kfret View Post
Once engaged it shifts fine,

Normal?
Probably.
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