1995 Honda Accord LX - Blinking D4 light. (Transmission?)

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Mojoed, May 8, 2009.

  1. Mojoed

    Mojoed Diamond Member

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    In February of 2008, the 1995 Accord that I now own (I bought it from my step-sister in 1/09) had it's engine replaced. It was a pull from a '96 Accord.

    As she drove it off the lot with the replacement engine, the drive 4 indicator light (D4) began to flash. This was the first time it ever happened. Her mechanic told her the timing was just a strange coincidence. My research has pointed me to transmission issues, but since the car drives and shifts PERFECTLY, it kind of slipped our minds.

    I bought the car from her in 1/09 not caring about the D4 indicator flashing, because like I said, it shifts fine to and from every gear.

    Here's the problem: I've been trying to sell the car for about a month now, as I've decided to get an 07-08 Ford Fusion. It's all your fault ZV, Skoorb, AndrewR, and Scoobmaster! ;) Anyway, EVERY potential buyer is afraid of the D4 issue and runs away. It does not matter what I tell them. It has been a dealbreaker on FOUR different occasions now.

    I had it checked out by 3 mechanics.

    #1 He told me everything is fine and the codes are lying. The problem is due to small differences in the '96 engine compared with the original '95 engine.

    #2 He told me I need a new transmission.

    #3 I was told it was an uncommon problem and the solution would be to replace the Pressure switch on the side of the transmission.

    Three different transmission experts, and three different opinions. :(

    The light can be reset by any mechanic, but it comes right back as soon as I hit 5mph. Once I hit 5mph, the D4 ALWAYS blinks, until I turn the car off. It blinks even when in reverse or park.


    My questions:

    What the hell is going on?
    Could the mechanics who replaced the engine have caused this transmission D4 issue?
    Could the timing just be a very strange coincidence?
    How do I convince potential buyers that it is NOT an issue? (I honestly believe the transmission is fine, there are NO signs of slipping.)

    I very much look forward to hearing what you guys have to say about this, thanks!!


    EDIT 5/12/09

    Today on the way to my dentist appointment, I passed Southwest Transmissions in Radford, VA. I figured what the hell I'm early for my dentist anyway, so I pulled in. Within 2-3 minutes of being there, they pulled the code: "LOCKED SOLENOID B". He then popped the hood and there were two plugs, right near the battery, one of which was UNPLUGGED!!!!! He plugged it in, and BAM problem fixed. Couldn't have been more than 10 minutes.

    I explained to them how I had been to three different places prior, and got three different expensive opinions. The kicker here is, they didn't even want to charge me! I threw them $40 anyway and thanked them profusely.

    I KNEW there was nothing wrong with my transmission. Maybe I can sell the car now. It mattered not to people that in the past 4 months, I have done the following maintenance: new timing belt, water pump, cam seal, crank shaft seal, valve cover gasket, ABS sensors, brakes, turned rotors, sway bar links, bushings, full exhaust, battery, cruise control servo, Power Steering Rack & Pinion and valve job. That damn D4 light scared all of them off regardless of all the work I have done.

    Anyway, topic resolved. Thanks for all the help!
     
  2. SSSnail

    SSSnail Lifer

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    Does it flash in any other gears? How is it flashing? Periodic on a set interval or just randomly flashing?
     
  3. lsd

    lsd Golden Member

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    You need to pull the codes, the transmission computer sees something wrong.
     
  4. PottedMeat

    PottedMeat Lifer

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    Yeah, that's what all the postings from searching '1995 accord flashing D4' give. If I saw a flashing 'D4' on a vehicle I definitely wouldn't purchase it either.
     
  5. lsd

    lsd Golden Member

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    If the car drove fine I might bitch about it and give a super low ball offer. Chances are like the in op's case the light is driving off potential buyers and he's possibly getting desperate to sell it.
    It could possibly be nothing major with the 95 tcm just not liking the 96 tranny or then again those accords do have major auto tranny trouble.
     
  6. Mojoed

    Mojoed Diamond Member

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    Only D4 blinks, it blinks continuously like a cursor prompt, about once every second. And yes, D4 continues to blink even when other gears. I just showed the car AGAIN this morning with the same result, the potential buyer pretty much just ran away. That's happened five times now. :(
     
  7. Mojoed

    Mojoed Diamond Member

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    All three transmission guys listed above pulled the codes, and I got three different opinions. I'll try to post the codes when I get home.
     
  8. Vette73

    Vette73 Lifer

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    This is not from my experiance but what I found by reading other sites...

    Seems most have a speed sensor issue when D4 light flashs. Was the trans replaced with the engine or just the engine?

    Speed sensor on most cars is not that hard to change. If it is cheap you could try that first.

    But D4 just means there is a issue with the trans. Could be as simple as a ground issue or a wiring harness between the swap that is no right or left unconnected.
     
  9. ScoobMaster

    ScoobMaster Platinum Member

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    Well, it is not everday I get called out by name in an AT thread, so I have to respond :D

    First, good choice on going for a Fusion, obviously I approve (and I'll take the "blame" proudly)

    Second, after reading through your list of responses from the three mechanics, I find the third to have the most rational response. The car's main computer simply monitors a plethora of electronic sensors around the vehicle to see if the voltage or resistance of said sensor falls in an acceptable range. If one is outside the range, it alerts you by flashing the appropriate code. As all of us are aware, I am sure, receiving a value outside the norm may not mean an actual problem (it could be NO signal due to a broken wire, a faulty sensor, or a poor connection). With the engine change in a mid-90s car, it is VERY easy to miss a connection or pinch a wire somewhere.

    Since mechanic #3 mentioned changing a pressure switch, I find it plausible that the switch is slightly different than the original '05 and perhaps the values it is sending to the PCM are "out of the norm".

    In any case, clearly the computer is getting an out of range value from one of its sensors programmed to give off a transmission fault error. Is it possible to get more accurate/detailed information from the control computer from the OBD-II diagnostic port (know anybody at a Honda dealership)?

    ** Edit for grammer - I REALLY need to start proofing BEFORE I hit "post" **

    Good Luck.
     
  10. grimlykindo

    grimlykindo Senior member

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    Why don't you just pull the D4 bulb out of your cluster that is blinking? I've done this to multiple cars with annoying seatbelt lights and false check-engine lights (not to sell - only on my cars)
     
  11. Mojoed

    Mojoed Diamond Member

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    I asked my regular mechanic about this, he told me if you mess around with disabling the light, the car may not start at all if the computer doesn't detect a circuit.

    As far as the codes goes, I'll have them and post them by Monday night!
     
  12. thomsbrain

    thomsbrain Lifer

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    I was going to say that this car doesn't have an OBD-II port since those were introduced in 96, but with your new 96 engine, you might actually have an ODB-II port somewhere after all. It would depend on if your mechanic transfered the new emissions equipment along with the new engine.

    If it was the speed sensor, you would be noticing the speedometer/odometer cutting out along with warning lights and/or flashing transmission lights. Doesn't sound like you've seen that. This is a common issue with ~15 year old Hondas, though.

    Anyway, the TCU is either getting a fault from one of the sensors or is damaged itself. Mechanic #3 is the one I would take it to for this issue.
     
  13. Mojoed

    Mojoed Diamond Member

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    Today on the way to my dentist appointment, I passed Southwest Transmissions in Radford, VA. I figured what the hell I'm early for my dentist anyway, so I pulled in. Within 2-3 minutes of being there, they pulled the code: "LOCKED SOLENOID B". He then popped the hood and there were two plugs, right near the battery, one of which was UNPLUGGED!!!!! He plugged it in, and BAM problem fixed. Couldn't have been more than 10 minutes.

    I explained to them how I had been to three different places prior, and got three different expensive opinions. The kicker here is, they didn't even want to charge me! I threw them $40 anyway and thanked them profusely.

    I KNEW there was nothing wrong with my transmission. Maybe I can sell the car now. It mattered not to people that in the past 4 months, I have done the following maintenance: new timing belt, water pump, cam seal, crank shaft seal, valve cover gasket, ABS sensors, brakes, turned rotors, sway bar links, bushings, full exhaust, battery, cruise control servo, Power Steering Rack & Pinion and valve job. That damn D4 light scared all of them off regardless of all the work I have done.

    Anyway, topic resolved. Thanks for all the help!
     
  14. ScoobMaster

    ScoobMaster Platinum Member

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    Congrats on the cheap and easy fix! (I had a feeling it would turn out to be a broken connection, loose wire, or something similar) Now find a buyer for it and then go out and find that shiny new FUSION! ;)
     
  15. lsd

    lsd Golden Member

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    Computer > Auto mechanic "experts".