Try to ex­plain this one

Seaway News - - AUTO TALK - CAR NEWS

Ev­ery week I re­ceive emails re­gard­ing car re­pairs that are hard to solve. The sub­jects range from a de­sire for more in­for­ma­tion to a cry for help. There is a com­mon theme in the ma­jor­ity of the let­ters I re­ceive: a lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the owner and the re­pair tech­ni­cian. The owner can’t ex­plain cor­rectly the symp­toms of the com­plaint or the tech can’t ex­plain his lack of re­pair. This lack of abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate is a se­ri­ous prob­lem and it’s only go­ing to get worst. As cars go high tech the com­mu­ni­ca­tions gap be­tween gen­eral knowl­edge and the abil­ity to grasp new con­cepts grow.

Case in point: We had a 9-year-old model Cadil­lac Deville in for a driv­abil­ity is­sue. The car would start, run un­til you put it into gear and shut off. To top it off, the car ex­hib­ited this con­di­tion in­ter­mit­tently. The owner didn’t trust the car any­more and stopped us­ing it. How can a tech ex­plain such a com­pli­cated re­pair? You see, this Cady uses a com­mon com­mu­ni­ca­tions BUS to trans­mit data from the var­i­ous com­put­ers and mod­ules that are in op­er­a­tion. A fail­ure in a com­puter or even a short in 9-year-old wiring would cause the en­tire sys­tem to fail. Big job! Big bill! A lot of this work in­volves re­mov­ing in­te­rior com­po­nents and test­ing each com­puter or mod­ule in­di­vid­u­ally. A very time-con­sum­ing process.

Well, as it turns out, there was a short in the harness that op­er­ated the passenger elec­tric seat. A sup­port­ing clip had failed and caused the wire to pinch. Easy re­pair? It took us eight days to find it. Now, the hard part— try­ing to ex­plain that your car didn’t start be­cause your wife has short legs. Some days it doesn’t pay to get up.

I have a 2008 Honda Civic LX sedan au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. The auto tranny is ter­ri­ble: it al­ways seems to be in fourth gear. When­ever I step on the gas pedal to ac­cel­er­ate af­ter ei­ther cruis­ing or brak­ing,

Q:

the tranny needs a full sec­ond or two be­fore down­shift­ing to al­low ac­cel­er­a­tion. The “ lag” is fol­lowed by a lurch/ jerk. A search of the eighth gen­er­a­tion Civic dis­cus­sion fo­rum shows that I’m not the only one with this prob­lem. My ques­tion: Is this purely a “ de­sign/ man­u­fac­ture” prob­lem and thus can­not be fixed, or can there be a way to “ cure” the ter­ri­ble trans­mis­sion?

Thanks for the ques­tion. I have never heard of this is­sue. Civics are re­ally be­nign cars and easy to drive. You may have is­sues with this trans­mis­sion it­self. Con­tact your tech and book a road test. I’m as­sum­ing it’s un­der war­ranty. Make sure they take the time to run the car and un­der­stand the is­sue. The re­sult maybe a com­plete trans­mis­sion re­place­ment.

A:

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