Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, 23 time winners, best auto repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. And we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well.
Mark: 2008 Honda Civic had a transmission problem. What was going on with this car?
Bernie: Yeah, so this is a standard transmission and the owner had mentioned that when he had the clutch, either in or out, there was certain times there were some noises coming from the transmission. Figured either there was something wrong with the clutch or the actual transmission itself. So this is the concern we were dealing with. Transmission noises.
Mark: So how do you test or diagnosed those kinds of issues?
Bernie: Yeah so first of all, of course, a road test to verify the concern and see where the issue's occurring. And then from there, we test it on the hoist with some listening equipment, stethoscopes and things to just listen and see when the condition occurred.
Because a lot of times you can kind of get an idea, is that a clutch problem or a transmission problem based on whether the clutch is engaged or disengaged or what gear you're in. So between the road test and the driving test, we kind of thought the clutch was more of the issue, but our next step was to actually remove the transmission to inspect. And actually found that the transmission input shaft bearing was actually the item making the noise. It was excessive of play in the barrel.
Mark: So is this a pretty involved repair?
Bernie: Yeah, it's a transmission removal and transmission disassembly. So yeah, there's a fair bit of work involved. Definitely more than if it was a clutch problem. Because we have to take the transmission apart and either, you know, overhaul it or repair it, there's a fair bit of work to be done.
Mark: So if the bearing is worn out, wouldn't that cause damage to the rest of the transmission?
Bernie: Well it can, and it depends on how long you leave that kind of thing. I'll just get into a picture right now.
So there's a view of the transmission.
These are all the gears, basically the gear sets and the transmission. The bell housing is this part down here. And the bell housing basically attaches the transmission to the engine. And inside this large area here that I'm sort of swirling my mouse pointer around is where the clutch is located. This large gear here, this is the final drive gear. This is a differential section, so it's a transaxle actually not a transmission.
And the transaxle is basically a transmission, which are these parts here. Again, if you're reading this, you're not going to see it, but with the most pointer you can see, these are the transmission gears here. It's a five speed transmission, and this is the final drive section here, which is the differential section.
Anyway, so the bearing the red arrow basically points to the area where the bearings were worn. We actually ended up replacing two bearings in this one. The main shaft bearing, which I believe is over here. We basically replaced both those bearings in that area, but yeah, if a bearing wears bad enough in the gears, develop enough play between them it can start breaking gear teeth or causing damage in that area.
So also metal filings can be flung around inside the transmission, which can cause some pretty serious damage. Fortunately there's a magnet inside the transmission and all the metal filings and where from the bearing, bits and pieces. And I didn't take a picture of it.
I should have, but all the bits and pieces, all went onto the magnet, which was perfect. So the magnet did its job and saved the rest of the transmission. So all we had to do is replace the bearing.
This is a closeup, that's the main bearing that was worn out. And again, that's a kind of a closer view of that. This is the reverse idler gear here just for reference, but that's basically the inside of the transmission. As I said there's two bearings we replaced in this area and that solved our issue.
Mark: So you have to do take the transmission apart. Is this a fairly common for you guys? How do you proceed with this kind of repairs is something that you do on a regular basis?
Bernie: Well as far as commonality, you know, the input shaft bearing failure on Hondas has actually been going on for quite a long time. So you know, as reliable as these cars are, that is one of the areas that does tend to go. We've seen it on Acura vehicles as well. So if you have a Honda with a standard transmission, an input shaft bearing failure is not an uncommon issue. It's not like guaranteed to screw up issue like Subaru head gaskets, for instance, on a 2.5 litre Subaru, but it is common enough and it does happen. And normally, you know, with the transmission repair, often we would just change all the bearings. But in this case, because it's a fairly common input shaft bearing issue, and the other bearings we can spin them and get a feel for them.
They all seem to be in pretty good shape and all the metal filings and all gone onto the magnet. We felt it was pretty safe. We just cleaned the inside of the transmission, cleaned all the gears and just replaced the bearings that were worn.
Mark: So you mentioned, this is a common failure item. What kind of year range are we talking about?
Bernie: You know, I'm thinking that in the 2000, you know, the first decade of 2000s, it's common around then. I think even late 90s, there was issues. I might be a little off on that, but you know, certainly in the 2000s era that's definitely an issue.
Mark: So you always say Honda's are very reliable. Is this still the case with the 2008 Civic, with a manual transmission?
Bernie: Yeah, I still think it's a really reliable car. As I was saying a moment ago. I mean, it's not like if you have one with a manual, it's guaranteed the input shaft bearing is going to go bad. It does happen on some models. You know, the only other defect I've seen on these Honda's is around this model year again, is sometimes the engine blocks crack.
We had one a while ago where, and this is not entirely uncommon issue, although we've only ever seen it with one client, but the engine block cracks and they have to replace the engine. So that's not a good thing, but again, it's an issue that happens, but not really commonly. So something to watch out for. Now the thing is, you know, if you don't have any antifreeze in your engine, you can certainly accelerate that process. But these are for, you know, people maintain their car well and have proper antifreeze. It's just some defect in the engine block.
So it's probably one of those things where you have an inspection on the vehicle. It'll look fine, you buy it and it might happen. But those are just sort of two things to look out for on these cars. Otherwise I'd say they're pretty much bullet proof reliable.
Mark: Is there any way to lessen the odds of this transmission bearing going bad, like changing your transmission fluid a little bit more than what's recommended.
Bernie: Well, I'd say changing the fluid every 50,000 kilometres is a good recommendation, whether that would save the bearing or not. I don't know. We do a lot of Volvo differentials, rear differentials. They wear out even for people who change the fluid it's, I think sometimes it's a bit of a design defect that maybe the bearing just wasn't quite up to snuff for the job. But you know, certainly if you change the fluid more frequently, you've got a better chance of it surviving.
Mark: If you need service on your Honda in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to call and book ahead. They're always busy. Or check out the website pawlikautomotive.com. Hundreds of videos on there all makes and models and types of repairs.
The YouTube channel is Pawlik Auto Repair, same story, hundreds of videos. Hundreds of stories, all kinds of happy customers. Who've had their vehicles repaired. And of course, thank you so much for watching and listening. We really appreciate it. Thank you Bernie.
Bernie: Thank you, Mark. Thanks for watching and listening. We appreciate it.