, Salem, MA


July 13, 2013

Auto Scanner: Minivan may have broken mount

Q: I have a 2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L minivan with 111,000 miles (transmission fluid flushed at 90,000). Drive train seems “loose” when engine power is applied and backed off. There seems to be a slight rumbling sound when just enough gas is applied to maintain speed on basically level roads at most speeds in high gear. Are there adjustments that can be made to any part of the drive train? Is there a part or parts that typically wear out that can be replaced without replacing the whole transmission/transaxle?

A: There could by any number of parts broken that will cause this feeling of looseness. The good part of your Honda is the transmissions computer diagnostic module. If indeed it is an internal transmission issue, you could almost bank on the fact that the Check Engine light would be on, or other indicators telling you there is a problem with the computer-controlled and monitored transmission. Most likely you will find a broken mount for the engine and/or transmission. I wouldn’t rule out a worn bushing on the lower control arms or even in the front strut assemblies. For safety’s sake, I would have it professionally looked at as soon as you can.

Q: I own a 2001 Subaru Forester with automatic transmission and about 150,000 miles. In December 2009, at about 124,000 miles, the catalytic converter failed. My local mechanic put in a new Subaru converter which has a year warranty. In the fall of 2011, almost two years later, that catalytic converter failed. My mechanic wanted to try cleaning (rather than replacing) the converter, which I allowed. It was good for many months, but it eventually failed. We recently put in an after-market converter. These cost less, but have a five-year warranty, so supposedly they last longer. My Check Engine light came on again with the catalytic converter code. The mechanic took it on the highway to test the oxygen sensors that are before and after the catalytic. They are both fine. The engine is firing properly and not leaking oil. He thinks it must be a defective converter. Is there anything else we should check that might be the cause? This will be my car’s fourth converter.

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