Why does my 2000 CR-V drag like the brake is on out of first gear and going up hill?

210

Asked by Arnoscopy Aug 26, 2012 at 09:34 PM about the 2000 Honda CR-V LX AWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I've changed the tranny, new air filter, plugs.  Sometimes hesitation out of first, sometimes it drags when i accelerate from a stop or going up hill.  Cold start works fine, no problem, once warmed up these problems crop up.  Good, steady idle. No check engine light, passed smog test.

55 Answers

8,195

sounds like the catalytic converter.

9 people found this helpful.
48,165

Does it rev high but doesnt move fast? Torque converter is the problem. Try to listen for gear changes to tell what gear you are in to make sure its actually starting in 1st

5 people found this helpful.
210

i just had the tranny replaced, that problem should have been addressed, no? what about clogged fuel injectors?

2 people found this helpful.
210

haven't checked the cat converter yet. what about fuel filter?

2 people found this helpful.
48,165

The shop may not have replaced the torque converter, and if not it may have metal shavings in it and messed it up. You didnt answer my question about rpms and gear changed. Parts can be defective and labor can have accidents. Recent work is a good thing to check

3 people found this helpful.
210

yes, it revs high but doesn't move fast...but curiously, only when the engine is hot. from cold start there is no problem. i'll have to double check but the tranny was a rebuild, torque converter should have been considered, shouldn't it?

48,165

It is supposed to be changed with a new one but that doesnt mean everyone is going to do it. Ask if it was replaced, commonly to keep price down people reuse them, best price wont always mean best results. Does your car have an rpm gauge?

1 people found this helpful.
210

i will follow up with questions to the guy...sorry, you keep asking about rpms, i have high rpms 3500-4000 when taking off from a stop or going up hill, nothing above that tho.

2 people found this helpful.
48,165

Ok, i want you to hold the brake and not allow the car to move but hit the gas hard. Tell me how high the rpms go. Do this for about 10 seconds and then allow the car to idle for another 20 seconds to cool the trans. This is a stall test and the rpms shouldnt exceed about 2500. This will test Torque converter or tans slipping.

2 people found this helpful.
210

thanks, i will do that...i don't have an opportunity for a bit as i work but i will. on way to work i paid more attention. it works fine at the moment, but if i strain it, like going up a hill, or really gun it, i struggle afterwards. that was my experience the last couple of days driving up and down mtn hwy rds. my flat commute i avg 2000- 2500 rpm at about 50 mph.

1 people found this helpful.
210

I did the test and it went to 3000 and stayed there

48,165

Ok. That sounds accetable. Next time you drive it listen for the shifts. I have a feeling this isnt the problem but i want to make sure its not starting out in 2nd. Maybe it is a power issue.

210

Well here is another tidbit. It drives fine until it revs high than i have sluggish 1st and uphill action

2 people found this helpful.
210

And I really appreciate your help...this mystery has been driving me crazy

1 people found this helpful.
48,165

So the issue are high rpms. Is it not going past a certain rpm or slowly going thru till redline?

4 people found this helpful.
210

Never redline...I don't need to push it that hard. But it does work hard from stop and up hills. Harder than it should and only after its been revved the first time. Somehow the first hard rev makes the difference. If i was to let it sit for a few hours it would be back to normal again

210

Example: it was fine til I performed the torque test

2 people found this helpful.
48,165

Maybe a cooler line got clogged or kinked. I dont know a way to check this. Any check engine lights or codes?

1 people found this helpful.
210

well, no. no check engine lights or codes. my friend suggested that maybe THAT is faulty, so i'd never know. hah. so, no on the fuel injector possibility? does it makes any sense to add additive at this point?

48,165

The fuel system could have a problem. IDK, this is a wierd problem. I would use my scanner and monitor the sensor outputs while it was being driven.

210

see? it's weird, isn't it? and i think it's been a problem since i got the car 2 yrs ago that just got worse. thanks for your help, i would really like to rule out torque converter, that's the most annoying of the potential problems as that should have been changed out w/ the tranny. will call the guy and ask him. seems like when i gas it, it just doesn't get the gas. that's the feeling.

2 people found this helpful.
48,165

the stall test ruled out the torque converter. Try doing it again, wait 20 sec and do it again since the problem occurs after the 1st time. But 3000 rpm from the stall test is good

2 people found this helpful.
8,195

you better hope its not the catalytic converter those things can be pricey...my friends impala had the same issue..wasn't accelerating and it just got worse as the engine temps increased...i thought it was the tranny...he took it to a shop and they said it was the catalytic converter

3 people found this helpful.
210

well, i'm already into this thing for a new tranny, which it needed. i had considered the converter, will have to check it to see. thanks!

8,195

arlight well let us know when you find out whats wrong or if it gets fixed

210

ok...well, i made sure to run down the tank....filled it with 91 octane Chevron gas and changed the fuel filter. so far so good. lots of pep, none of the issues. we'll see if it holds. i might throw in some fuel injector cleaner after this tankful if need be. cheap gas is cheap gas.

1 people found this helpful.
48,165

If you have been having the problem filling up at the same station i'd report them

2 people found this helpful.
210

not exclusively but i favor them. Circle K. so, you're saying that 87Octane isn't necessarily bad? i try not to go to real discount places, however appealing saving a bucks might be, but thought this was ok. there are better 87's than others apparently.

1 people found this helpful.
48,165

I wouldnt say it's bad. That's all i use and would use unless the car calls for it. Higher octane burns slower than lower octane, have you had the timing checked? I doubt Honda made the Cr-V need premium

2 people found this helpful.
210

you're not the first to ask about timing...i should do that next. everything i've done til now has made an improvement so my problem was a many-headed hydra. it's a good car, just needed a little TLC

1 people found this helpful.
210

OK...things seem to point to the 2 side by side cylinder sensors that externally sit on top of the transmission just to the lower left of the head. are they the lock-up sensors or pressure sensors and are they responsible for performance when stepping on the gas first gear or up incline, which is the problem i'm still having. the guy who rebuilt the tranny - minus this part - swears by the internals.

2 people found this helpful.
48,165

A lock-up solenoid failure would trow a code if not working. Usually a shift solenoid will to. If it's not downshifting when you stomp the gas it may be a shift solenoid but i was under the impression that it does. A lock-up solenoid if sticking will make the car stall when coming to a stop in drive, and if stuck unlocked you will more than likely not notice. I am not familiar with the trans so i dont know what the cylinder shaped things are on the trans.

210

actually my problem is when engine is hot and when i gently apply the accelerator. stomping makes it go just fine. gently...engine revs high but doesn't go like it's starting in a higher gear. if tranny was replaced properly and the guy swears by it, what else could it be? thermostat? it is fine when engine is cold/cool

48,165

Did you ever get the timing checked? From stop till highway speed count how many times it shifts and try to keep track of what gear it's in. It is more than possible for it to start out in a higher gear if a solenoid fails or the trans decides to go into limp mode. Your trans should have 4 gears and should be in 4th if cruising down the highway.

1 people found this helpful.
210

i took it to a guy yesterday who spent 5 min. with it, determined it was the torque converter or gear - tranny issue - and he was satisfied with his diagnosis. so, no, i haven't had timing checked yet. guess i have to take it to someone else. i don't have problem on the highway, runs great. problem is exclusively with starting off from a dead stop when engine is sufficiently warmed up. it seems like it's in a higher gear. engine revs with light touch to the accelerator but it does not move forward as it should unless i floor it, then it moves straightaway

48,165

next time you drive it count the shifts and note at which MPH they happen, also note rpm. I believe i had you do a stall test that ruled the torque converter good. The first gear change should come before 35 mph. Either a sensor/solenoid is heating up and failing or the trans is overheating and going into limp mode.

210

i don't know what the shift solenoid does but it is the one part, externally, that was not replaced when the tranny was rebuilt. so my suspicion is there because it's an old part but no check engine light. could it be thermostat as this is exclusively a hot engine issue?

2 people found this helpful.
210

i don't think it's limp mode...from what i'm reading about it that's a more severe failing of the system and it really is just a first gear phenomenon, or incline. why would it slip if everything is rebuilt?

48,165

could slip if it's not rebuilt right, but it sounds like a shift solenoid failed, slipping was just an afterthought. Keep an eye on when and how often it shifts. I had a truck that I replaced a shift solenoid on becasue it started in 2nd all the time. At moderate throttle the first shift came at 50 mph, should have been at 25.

210

ok...that's what i'm thinking too...shift solenoid. only when it's warm tho, someone told me that the sensors kick in at higher temps, is that true? that would definitely speak to this problem.

48,165

shift solenoids are always active no matter of temp as they make the trans engage gears, but it is common for a sensor to fail only when it gets hot as opposed to cold.

next time it does it pull the shifter manually into first gear. have to see if it really is in first gear or if its in another gear

10

I have crv 2005 it's groding when I take off fast from stop.I did do your test and my rpm it got to 2000 and stop it there what do you thing

1 people found this helpful.

Hi!! I have same problem as arnascopy...hey there! How did it fix your car?

10

I have the same exact year model 4wd and the same problem. Runs great when its first starts. If I rev it out it's like someone out the e-brake on in first gear after sitting at a light. I drop it down into first. The tranny freaks out a little bit. And then I'm off in first gear no problem. Just changed shift solenoid which made a world of difference because it would never go into first. Was a solution found?

1 people found this helpful.
10

just changed the transmission. it shifts fine now, but is running poorly when it warms up. has anyone solved this problem yet?

10

the solutions was..... wait for it.... CATALYTIC CONVERTER... thank you jonathan

my 2000 honda crv transmission does not engage gears past 3 gear

20

Damon, the solution was not a catalytic converter. Your car was running bad because of the bad cat, but it was shifting bad because of the transmission (which you replaced). I have the exact same problem too. Can't find any info out there about it. Maddening. I've got a new transmission in there, all new solenoids, new honda atf fluid. And the stupid thing drags like it has an anchor attached to it in first. But only after it warms up! Also it wont go into 5th (od?) until after it warms up. Maddening I tell you! Especially after all the effort, time, and money. Any other ideas of what it could be!?

2 people found this helpful.

GuruW7882 I'm having the exact same issue. Brand new trans. After warming up it won't take off unless at high RPMs.

10

Same issue here too with my '01 CR-V. I have 295,000 miles on it, and everything else still works great. Bought it new in '01. I'm about to buy a 2016 certified used this week though, mainly because of this (alleged) transmission issue. I called a local, reputable trans repair shop near me last year when the issue started, and I was told that some if these older Hondas develop a small INTERNAL crack in the casing, which will expand when hot, and it can cause a drop in internal pressure. This could possibly be the cause of this "1st gear when hot" issue. However, I noticed that one of you had a new tranny installed, yet it still has the issue. Hmmm...

1 people found this helpful.

Anyone with this problem... Have you tried power braking? you know put it on D and press brakes and give it gas. My 2002 CR-V shakes like the ABS pump is going off or like your slipping in gravel. Put it in 1 and it still does it 2 and reverse do not either.

I have this issue with my 2000 crv did you find the solution

10

Hi, Galantetoberto. Unfortunately, I never was able to figure out the issue on my '01 CR-V. I sold it as-is last December to young guy. Was his 1st car, and he loves it. I've been enjoying my 2016 CR-V EX now. Great vehicle! A lot smoother, more power, more room, and better gas mileage. But, getting back to the older "V" issue, before I sold the car, I discussed this with a Honda tech at my local dealership. He said it's most likely an o-ring seal that typically dries up in the 1st gear circuit and causes a loss of pressure when it gets hot. The other idea is what a nearby, reputable transmission place told me a while ago...They said these automatic transmissions in the 1st generation CR-Vs, and some older Civics, had an issue when they got older where a small, internal stress crack would form inside the transmission housing. The crack would expand when hot, causing a loss of internal pressure in the 1st gear circuit. He told me that I'd need to replace the actual transmission housing, and that they didn't do that. They'd have to instead replace the entire transmission with a remanufactured one, and not just a rebuilt one. A remanufactured one, he explained, would come with a reconditioned housing that's inspected for any possible cracks, and all new parts inside. Whereas, with a rebuilt one, only certain vital parts are replaced. He quoted me a price of $2400 to $2700 for a remanufactured unit. Just wasn't worth it on a 2001 with almost 300k miles on it. A dang shame though, since the rest of the vehicle was in very good shape, and the original engine was still going strong and with no oil burning. Had it since new, and did most of the maintenance myself. Definitely, so far, the best vehicle I'd ever owned! Oh, btw, I also pulled & checked the shift & torque converter lock- up solenoids, and all tested fine. But just so you know, the 2 solenoids that sit on top of the trans... one controls the 3 to 4 shift, and the other controls the torque converter lock-up. They come attached as a set. There are 2 other solenoids that nobody on this post has discussed though...They are the 1 to 2, and 2 to 3 shift solenoids, and are located under the car, (passenger side, close to the front of car), located on the side of the transmission, near the bottom. They are protected by a small, black, metal cover that's bolted on by 3 10mm bolts. If checking them, you'll need a really good penetrating oil to crack them loose. I used something called Mouse Milk (got it on Amazon), which was recommended by an aviation technician. They swear by this stuff, and it worked way better than WD40, or PB Blaster. Anyway, you can electrically test all the solenoids with power from the battery by disconnecting their connectors and hitting solenoid contacts with 12 volts. You should hear a "click" on each one. The solenoids on top of the transmission I believe are grounded to the casing, so you just need to run voltage to the one wire (I think it's a green wire if I recall?). I believe the other solenoids under the car might connect the same way too. Yes...because one contact is the positive connection for one solenoid, and the other contact in the connector is the positive for the other solenoid. Just remembered! If you don't hear it click, replace the solenoid. One last thing: I you remove the solenoids, there are little filter screens under them, as well as rubber gaskets. (If you remove the ones at the bottom, put a pan underneath! Fluid will start to pour out until you reassemble it! Just be sure to top off what you loose when your done.) You can check if the screens might be clogged & clean them out. Be careful not to tear the rubber seal gaskets. Mine were all clean, so not the issue. Hope any of this helps? Good luck!

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