Honda Civic manual transmission whine

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4 years 7 months ago #109682 by kazienova
Honda Civic manual transmission whine was created by kazienova
My 1994 Honda Civic LX make whiney noises in 1st and 2nd gear. Shifting is smooth and the gears never grind. I changed the fluid with Honda MTF less than 1k miles ago and the noise is still there. Is there anyway to fix this or does the transmission need a rebuild?

It doesn't feel like it needs work, the car drives normal and shift like butter. Reverse sometimes will grind unless I put it in 1st then reverse then it always go in smoothly.

Is it safe to drive in higher rpm while it whines like that?

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4 years 7 months ago #109710 by Fopeano
Replied by Fopeano on topic Honda Civic manual transmission whine
I've replaced a few input shaft bearings in Civics due to that kind of noise. In most cases, you will also notice that idling in neutral the trans is noisy and it stops a few moments after you hold the clutch pedal down and the insides of the tranny stop turning. The noise you're talking about should change pitch with engine RPM and not with road speed if it is input shaft bearings.

There's 2 bearings supporting the input shaft (the one that is spun by the engine). Normally the one closer to the engine wears out because 1st and 2nd gear are next to it and those gears produce the most torque multiplication and therefore that's where the highest forces in the trans are. The one on the other end with 3rd, 4th, and 5th near it just doesn't see much force in comparison and lasts much longer.

If it is that bearing, the trans needs to be opened to change it, but not really a rebuild. Honda input shaft bearings are the easiest internal trans jobs I've done. You basically get the case open, pull the 2 shafts out, change the bearing off the input shaft, put the shafts back in and put the case back together. The other thing that makes it easier is that the bearings come off and go back on the shafts with light hammering and prying, although you have to know where and where not to hit the bearing. Most trans models, you need a puller set and a press for this kind of work, but Honda gives you an easy time of it here.

Anyway it will just get louder and louder until it's insanely loud and has to be addressed. You can milk it out a little while longer by accelerating very gently and changing the fluid to get some of the metal debris being produced out of there. You would expect to be charged 8-10 hours of labor and around $100 in parts that should come from the Honda dealer.

To be clear, it's engine speed and not road speed that turns that shaft with the noisy bearing so you want to keep your engine RPM down, road speed doesn't matter.

Also, the thing with putting it into a forward gear for a second before going into reverse to prevent that grinding noise is common to most manual transmissions and does not indicate a problem.

I've been a foreign car dealer A Tech for 10 years, with Mitsubishi for the last 6. Just here cause I'm still interested in doing what I do, and I like Eric's videos.
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4 years 7 months ago #110130 by kazienova
Replied by kazienova on topic Honda Civic manual transmission whine
In neutral my car makes no noise and revs like a regular car should. The 1st gear whine is quite loud that it is almost embarrassing.

The transmission fluid was clean when I changed it.

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4 years 7 months ago #110300 by EricTheCarGuy
Replied by EricTheCarGuy on topic Honda Civic manual transmission whine
It does sound like a bearing issue. It doesn't take much for a bearing to make noise. Meaning, it may be some time before it becomes a mechanical issue that effects the transmission operation. In the end you'll likely have to replace the bearing however. More info here.

www.ericthecarguy.com/faq/solving-transmission-problems

Stay dirty

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4 years 7 months ago #110918 by kazienova
Replied by kazienova on topic Honda Civic manual transmission whine
I don't have a video to show you guys but first gear makes the same whine as reverse and we know that sound is normal for reverse. Input shaft bearing right? I wasn't able to find a related video for this.

Is it still safe to drive at high rpms or at all?

I took it to a mechanic and he just said to rebuild it.

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4 years 7 months ago - 4 years 7 months ago #110930 by Fopeano
Replied by Fopeano on topic Honda Civic manual transmission whine

kazienova wrote: I don't have a video to show you guys but first gear makes the same whine as reverse and we know that sound is normal for reverse. Input shaft bearing right? I wasn't able to find a related video for this.

That is a good way of putting it, it actually does kinda sound like that on Hondas.

kazienova wrote: Is it still safe to drive at high rpms or at all?

Like I said before, that bearing turns with RPM, not road speed, so more RPM = more wear. Also, more gas pedal = more wear. Safe? Usually, but I don't know for how long. Usually the noise/vibration gets the car in before anything safety-wise happens. If you push it too far and it seizes, you will come to an abrupt stop and will need to deal with it quickly in whatever situation in at the time (it will probably be scary). Nothing will explode or anything, but the transmission case cracks and is destroyed any time I've seen it go that far and is junk (you put a used trans in it).

kazienova wrote: I took it to a mechanic and he just said to rebuild it.

I'm a mechanic and I've already said a lot more than that. The trans needs to come out and come apart. It is not a full rebuild and is about the simplest internal work on a transmission that I could imagine, but there is no shortcut. Someone will have to spend the time to do that work and it will not be cheap to pay for. It should be on the very cheap end of trans rebuilding, but that is still a lot of work.

I've been a foreign car dealer A Tech for 10 years, with Mitsubishi for the last 6. Just here cause I'm still interested in doing what I do, and I like Eric's videos.
Videos showing my cars and some of the more interesting work I've done
Last edit: 4 years 7 months ago by Fopeano.
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4 years 7 months ago #110936 by kazienova
Replied by kazienova on topic Honda Civic manual transmission whine
Alright so if the noise comes from first and second gear then driving on those gears as minimal as possible will prolong its life? The car is used for mostly highway driving, will it seize in 5th gear if the noise is coming from first and second?

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4 years 7 months ago #110940 by Fopeano
Replied by Fopeano on topic Honda Civic manual transmission whine

kazienova wrote: Alright so if the noise comes from first and second gear then driving on those gears as minimal as possible will prolong its life?


Correct.

Cruising in 5th gear at low RPM will cause the least possible amount of wear. I can't say how long you can milk it out for, or if/when something will seize. I can only say that it will be very loud before that happens.

I've been a foreign car dealer A Tech for 10 years, with Mitsubishi for the last 6. Just here cause I'm still interested in doing what I do, and I like Eric's videos.
Videos showing my cars and some of the more interesting work I've done

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4 years 7 months ago #110960 by kazienova
Replied by kazienova on topic Honda Civic manual transmission whine
Do you know the average cost for this kind of rebuild?

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4 years 7 months ago #110962 by Fopeano
Replied by Fopeano on topic Honda Civic manual transmission whine

Fopeano wrote: Anyway it will just get louder and louder until it's insanely loud and has to be addressed. You can milk it out a little while longer by accelerating very gently and changing the fluid to get some of the metal debris being produced out of there. You would expect to be charged 8-10 hours of labor and around $100 in parts that should come from the Honda dealer.


I've been a foreign car dealer A Tech for 10 years, with Mitsubishi for the last 6. Just here cause I'm still interested in doing what I do, and I like Eric's videos.
Videos showing my cars and some of the more interesting work I've done

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