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Discussion Starter · #81 ·
Today was contacted by a regional case manager from Honda Customer Service. All she had to say was that Honda considers the unusual noise on the 7-8 shift with PPs w/transmission coolers to be "normal". I asked for her supervisor to contact me. I was told that may or may not happen. Great customer service Honda! Meanwhile I am waiting to hear from the Center for Dispute Settlement.


Have a 2019 PP Elite. Also experiencing the same noise on the 7-8 shift. Dealer installed hitch and ATF Cooler in June. Didn't experience noise till October.
Mine did not make the noise until approx 2000 miles on the odometer. When I mentioned that to Honda Customer Service I was told that all of their components have a break-in period !!!
 

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The noise from the ATF cooler just got to annoying over time, so I went to the dealership and had it removed. The transmission is now back to normal and quiet as a mouse.
Just curious... how much did they charge you to remove the ATF cooler? I am considering trying this... the noise continues to drive me insane. Apparently most of my driving is 45-50 MPH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #83 ·
I also find the noise intolerable! 45mph to 55mph is where the PP is shifting from 7-8 and where the noise occurs....I am meeting with an arbiter from National Center for Dispute Settlement and a Honda rep this week to find out what Honda is willing to do about the trans cooler causing the transmission noise. I will post what I find out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #84 ·
I feel they need to come up with a fix and release a service bulletin. They also should reimburse me for the cost of the extended warranty to insure I never have to pay for any potential long term transmission problems. ...I have never been told if the noise is internal or in the cooler lines. I hope to at least find that out.
 

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Just curious... how much did they charge you to remove the ATF cooler? I am considering trying this... the noise continues to drive me insane. Apparently most of my driving is 45-50 MPH.
If you kept the hard transmission lines that were removed to install the ATF Cooler, then it will cost an hours labor. The removed lines were not given to me after installation of the ATF cooler, so I had to purchase again for $650.00!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #86 ·
I met with the Arbitrator and a Honda rep yesterday. Trying to have them tell me exactly what is causing the 7-8 noise. I also want them to pay for the cooler parts and labor, and reimburse me for the extended warranty. They kept saying it was " a normal characteristic " and is not a defect. Also that the value has not been affected. If course, I argued differently. I should hear back in a week or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #87 ·
The arbitrator working for the National Dispute Settlement Center denied my claim regarding the 7-8 shift transmission noise. After going on a long drive in my PP with trans cooler the arbitrator included in his report that indeed the noise was very apparent. He wrote that it sounded like the PP was driving over a rough section of asphalt. Honda had two reps at the meeting. Their response was, as they have said in the past, that the noise is a "normal characteristic" of passports with transmission coolers. In fact, their position is that all Passports make the noise on the 7-8 shift and the noise is amplified when a cooler is installed. I tried to get Honda to say why the noise is amplified and whether the noise is internal or external but they refused to address that concern.
The reason the arbitrator declined my claim, which asked for a repair, reimbursement of the cost of the cooler, and cover the cost the extended warranty, is that the defect is considered a "design" defect because it is found on all Passports with coolers. Design defects are not covered by the Honda warranty. "Manufacturing" defects are covered. Since the transmission works properly otherwise, the noise issue is not considered to be a manufacturing defect. I have written a short version of the results from the hearing. I can give more info if anyone is interested.
I must say, I really like the Passport (other than the usual Honda Sensing issues),and have always had high regards for Honda. In fact we have a 2016 Accord in the household, but I would never buy from Honda again. While I found Honda of Escondido to be a great dealer, American Honda Customer Service is terrible. I recently upgraded the speakers in my Touring and added sound dampening to the doors. When my wife asked what I was going to do next I told her I guess I would just have to keep the audio turned up !
Actually, I plan to follow up with a lemon law attorney. Each state has different provisions in their lemon laws. I will see what CA provisions may apply.
 

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For what it’s worth, I had the dealer install the hitch and transmission cooler on my Passport a couple of weeks after my initial purchase when the parts came in, and I did notice that they had a couple of quarts of the Honda transmission fluid on the repair order (conceivably to top off/adjust the fluid level after cooler install), and I have not had any unusual noises in about 1000 miles of driving since the install. That makes me wonder if the noise might be related to an improper fluid level after the installation of the cooler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #89 ·
Could be. Mine was ok the first 2000 miles then started making the noise. Still does now at 6600 miles. The 2nd dealer I took it to at 4500 miles found the ATF low by only 1/2. Nobody seems to know, or at least will not say, if that 4500 miles with 1/2 qt. low would have caused any damage. ( 2qts, that about $82 worth!) But well worth it if it prevent the noise from ever appearing !!!
 

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Hmmm, had my cooler installed before delivery. so far, no noise... about 1K miles. Am monitoring for the noise. Is this a confirmed issue with EVERY PP with tranny oil cooler???
 

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I've seen this exact same behavior, with the same steps to replicate the issue. Mine's noticeable with everything quiet (low A/C fan, low music, etc), but it's not loud enough to hear when noise level in the car is higher. Glad I'm not the only one with that same issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #93 ·
I went through arbitration with Honda on this issue. Lost because it is considered a "design" defect", not a "manufacturing" defect! I don't really notice it too much anymore. Especially since I upgraded the speakers and put dynamat everywhere I could. :)
 

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This is what Honda keeps saying. "Normal characteristic" of the Passport transmission. I noticed mine before I had 500 miles on it.

Below is the noise. Can hear it better with headphones.

I know it's kind of late, but:
Who filled the transmission, with fluid, after the cooler was installed?
Your clip's sound reminds me of air being sucked thru a straw, because you ran out of milk shake.
The zf9 has a unique refill process, which includes knowing when the fluid is between 104 - 117 degrees F. Ask the installer if they followed the refill, by the book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
The dealer I bought the PP from was 100 miles away. They are the ones who installed the cooler. When I became aware of the noise a local dealer checked the fluid at no cost. it was 1/2 qt. low. But noise was still present after filling to correct level. That is when I took it to arbitration.
 

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I have to thank you guys, you saved me this problem when I wanted a PP. and it had the factory with and cooler installed. I found one without and it is quiet.......
 

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Thing about these modern auto transmissions. Whether they have dual clutches, or internal clutch/brake setups, or dogs or not...it's all about the software. Old style autos "shifted themselves" ... meaning no input from driver or computer. Fluid pushed through various valves and made things happen -- all hydraulic. That's why they feel "mushy" and slow to respond to input from the pedal.

These new ones are dumb on the inside. They don't do anything unless the computer tells them to; they have their own controllers and software. If a particular shift isn't crisp or if the trans "hunts" for the right gear...it's the software. If a particular shift is grinding the dog faces against one another (which is what the 7-8 shift seems to be doing for the drivers having problems), it's the software not using the internal clutch and brake and actuator the way it's supposed to. There's nothing wrong with dog gears. Every manual has had them for over 60 years. Nearly every race car you've ever seen has them, even today. The new Corvette has them on every gear. The key is...you have to release the torque from the input shaft, slam the dogs into each other fast and decisively, then put the torque back on. The Corvette does that with concentric dual conventional clutches, computer controlled and actuated faster than a human could ever shift; an internal actuator pushes the dogs back and forth. The ZF9 does that with a little internal clutch that can act super fast and super accurately.

Given that the software listens to lots of inputs, I wonder if the presence of the cooler is altering pressures and other factors at certain points and the software isn't keeping up with the new information. The noise sounds suspiciously like the dogs are being pushed together kinda hesitantly, rather than fast and decisively.

One hopes Honda will edit the software and sends us an update.
I've wondered about that also if the oil pump can handle the excess oil in the trans-cooler and its lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #98 ·
Very good points. Thank you for taking the time to write....From what I understand, the dog clutch in the PP engages at the 4-5 shift where lots of folks complain about rough shifting. The clutch disengages at the 7-8 shift where folks with trans coolers hear the odd noise and can feel a vibration. I have read where Honda does perform a software upgrade to fix the 4-5 shift but has done nothing re the 7-8 shift. They continue to say it is " normal operation". I have given up and just keep the music on. Though wonder if there will be any long term damage to the clutch. To that end, I bought the extended warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #100 ·
https://www.reddit.com/r/Honda/comments/ctlyxq/update_on_my_svcm_controller_vcm_suppressor/
Search google for: honda VCM for a 2 min video that shows how VCM works.
VCM Suppressors are used to disable VCM (Variable Cylinder Management), a system in many honda/acura cars. S-VCM is a brand of such suppressors. VCM turns off three cylinders when the computer senses the PP will run fine that way, usually when cruising. Supposedly it will improve gas mileage. Some folks comment about how their PP engines run much smoother when the VCM is is suppressed. In my case I do not have a S-VCM and cannot feel when the VCM is activated.
 
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