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Thread: City Vario 2007 (Transmission?) Issue

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    Question City Vario 2007 (Transmission?) Issue

    I've recently bought a used City Vario 2007 106K mileage. Got it checked when buying and it was perfect in running etc.
    I got it through a reliable dealer (dealing with him for the last 10 years). Asked him to get the car serviced before delivering to me. When he brought car to me after service, said it is 'missing'. Some water might have gone in and it will go away in like 2-3 days.

    I started using it and soon realized that engine was not missing (started and checked at different accelerator positions, cold/hot). Checked it by mechanic and there wasn't a water issue in plugs/coils.

    The 'missing' referred to is as follows:
    - In the morning, when I start the car, the RPM is at about 1.5K+, stables to about 1.1K or lower in a minute. I think this is normal.
    - Putting the car in D takes the RPM back to 1.5K+, gets back to normal within 2-3 minutes of driving. I think this is not unusual as well.
    - When I try to accelerate by pushing the paddle, the car takes jerks, RPM goes up and down. It stabilizes after a few seconds.
    - The jerking and RPM variation is directly proportional to the intended acceleration. I.e. if I am (nearly) stopped and press paddle, jerking happens. If I am going at like 20 km/h and wants to speed up to like 60+, jerking happens.
    - The jerking does not happen when I have paddle pressed more or less in the same position and car accelerates gradually to a higher speed. No problems.

    Got valve body service service a day ago. Things are slightly better but jerking has not gone completely.
    Mechanic said if jerking does not go away, transmission will have to be changed. He said Japanese Honda City transmission could fit in local Vario after some alteration. Claimed he has done it many times successfully. Total Cost is 25K. (Mechanic: Shahid from General Motors, near Chandni Chowk Park (Karachi).

    I've recently bought the car and have obviously spent a lot of money in buying it. Don't want to throw away money unnecessarily if the problem could be solved with little cost but with near 100% RELIABILITY (in Karachi).

    I don't know if this information would help. I drive the car daily (7 days a week, 5 days to office, rest for household work, outing etc.) and my average running per day is about 40-45 KM (about 1300-1500 KM per month).

    Could someone here please guide me how should I go about solving the issue. I must confess that I know very little about engine and transmissions. Please consider a layman when giving your advises.


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    - Putting the car in D takes the RPM back to 1.5K+, gets back to normal within 2-3 minutes of driving. I think this is not unusual as well.

    This is not normal. put the car in Park and rev it, see if there are abnormalities, put in N and rev it.
    While in D, floor it and see if the jerks remain throughout, go through the first 2 gears with the foot down, should change at 6k rpm. Kindly report back to help us solve the issue. if there are issues in P, or N, then its not your gearbox which has the problem.
    Also check the gear oil condition and try a hill start(stop on a sort of incline and take a start from there)

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    Thanks a lot for quick reply @dayrider.

    The RPM going up problem in D gear (it used to happen in R gear as well) has subsided a bit (after valve body service) in that:
    RPM does go up in the morning after putting in D (or R) but only for a few moments and comes down to where it was (usually a bit more than 1K in the morning but drops to about 900 when starting with hot engine). RPM drops to normal when in N.
    Flooring it in D requires clear road somewhere (or rather a suitable time e.g. early morning any day). I'll definitely try it (and other things) and let you know ASAP.
    Gear oil was checked by dealer and he said its OK (didn't change). Engine oil was changed (Castrol I think). If I need to change gear oil, please recommend. Should I change to Honda CVTF?
    Some threads recommend 'bleeding' gear oil (meaning changing it 2-3 times in a quick succession i.e. after a little drive). I don't know if that would help.

    It was quite jerky in the morning when I was coming to office. More so when the car is picking up from 20 Km/h to 40-50. Stable afterwards.

    I will come back later with my observations after trying out the recommended things.

    One thing to point out (rather implicit): CNG has never been installed (as claimed by previous owner and checked by mechanic).

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrashidsaleem View Post
    Thanks a lot for quick reply @dayrider.

    The RPM going up problem in D gear (it used to happen in R gear as well) has subsided a bit (after valve body service) in that:
    RPM does go up in the morning after putting in D (or R) but only for a few moments and comes down to where it was (usually a bit more than 1K in the morning but drops to about 900 when starting with hot engine). RPM drops to normal when in N.
    Flooring it in D requires clear road somewhere (or rather a suitable time e.g. early morning any day). I'll definitely try it (and other things) and let you know ASAP.
    Gear oil was checked by dealer and he said its OK (didn't change). Engine oil was changed (Castrol I think). If I need to change gear oil, please recommend. Should I change to Honda CVTF?
    Some threads recommend 'bleeding' gear oil (meaning changing it 2-3 times in a quick succession i.e. after a little drive). I don't know if that would help.

    It was quite jerky in the morning when I was coming to office. More so when the car is picking up from 20 Km/h to 40-50. Stable afterwards.

    I will come back later with my observations after trying out the recommended things.

    One thing to point out (rather implicit): CNG has never been installed (as claimed by previous owner and checked by mechanic).
    Vario is not a cvt gearbox, it requires atf. Let me know, first and foremost, reving in park and neutral. If it's smooth and how far it goes

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    Quote Originally Posted by dayrider View Post
    Vario is not a cvt gearbox
    @dayrider. Hi! You are mistaken on this specific point. Vario is somewhat of a short form for continuously variable transmission (CVT). Here is the link to Honda city fan club page for referral.
    https://www.pakwheels.com/forums/city/64393-honda-city-fan-club

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    Quote Originally Posted by krafiq View Post
    @dayrider. Hi! You are mistaken on this specific point. Vario is somewhat of a short form for continuously variable transmission (CVT). Here is the link to Honda city fan club page for referral.
    https://www.pakwheels.com/forums/city/64393-honda-city-fan-club
    You are right, sorry, about that

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    Vario is known for transmission failures, although I doubt any alterations are needed to swap a Japanese imported tranny with a local one. Should get that aspect checked.
    Apart from pakwheels, my blogs can be also be viewed at http://tajziat.blogspot.com/

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    After valve body service, the RPM problem after putting in D gear is gone I think. Started cold this morning with RPM going from 1.5K to about 1.1K in idle mode (in a minute or so).
    Put the car in R. RPM changed just a little and only momentarily and got back to where it was. Switched multiple times between P, R, N and D and RPM remained nearly stable.


    Floored padel in D mode at zero speed. Speed up to 80, RPM 4K (within 15 seconds) and then RPM suddenly dropped to 3K. Did this dropping three times in quick succession. Max speed reached 100 (before I had to apply brakes; wasn't a long road)
    When I took a U-turn and tried the same thing, the RPM dropped again from 4K to 3K; twice this time.


    Uphill in D mode (climbing to Parking floor of my office), speed about 25 and RPM at 1.5K; remained stable (I had driven the car for about 15-20KM so the engine wasn't cold anymore).


    Last night, I visited Mechanic Shahid again (mentioned in original post) to get idle RPM checed (was dropping too low after valve body service, and vibration was being felt when car stopped in D mode). It was late, so he just made some quick adjustments I think. Adjusted some screw on a device attached to throttle body I think. Also, did what I think was a 'desi' method of resetting codes (key out of ignition, one of the battery terminal removed and then attached back after 10-15 seconds). It made things slightly better with RPM (even the frequency of jerks lowered on my way back!).


    Given that the problem started happening after car service (washing etc.), could this also be some issue with some sensor? If so, how & where to get it checked reliably (preferably at lower cost too)? Also, any recommendation about changing gear oil? Which oil should be used?

    Also, the problem of jerks typically happen when driving light foot, RPM between 1K to 2K and speed below 40. Stabilizes when driving past 50 Km/h, even with RPM around or a little below 2K.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrashidsaleem View Post
    After valve body service, the RPM problem after putting in D gear is gone I think. Started cold this morning with RPM going from 1.5K to about 1.1K in idle mode (in a minute or so).
    Put the car in R. RPM changed just a little and only momentarily and got back to where it was. Switched multiple times between P, R, N and D and RPM remained nearly stable.


    Floored padel in D mode at zero speed. Speed up to 80, RPM 4K (within 15 seconds) and then RPM suddenly dropped to 3K. Did this dropping three times in quick succession. Max speed reached 100 (before I had to apply brakes; wasn't a long road)
    When I took a U-turn and tried the same thing, the RPM dropped again from 4K to 3K; twice this time.


    Uphill in D mode (climbing to Parking floor of my office), speed about 25 and RPM at 1.5K; remained stable (I had driven the car for about 15-20KM so the engine wasn't cold anymore).


    Last night, I visited Mechanic Shahid again (mentioned in original post) to get idle RPM checed (was dropping too low after valve body service, and vibration was being felt when car stopped in D mode). It was late, so he just made some quick adjustments I think. Adjusted some screw on a device attached to throttle body I think. Also, did what I think was a 'desi' method of resetting codes (key out of ignition, one of the battery terminal removed and then attached back after 10-15 seconds). It made things slightly better with RPM (even the frequency of jerks lowered on my way back!).


    Given that the problem started happening after car service (washing etc.), could this also be some issue with some sensor? If so, how & where to get it checked reliably (preferably at lower cost too)? Also, any recommendation about changing gear oil? Which oil should be used?

    Also, the problem of jerks typically happen when driving light foot, RPM between 1K to 2K and speed below 40. Stabilizes when driving past 50 Km/h, even with RPM around or a little below 2K.
    When floored, did the car jerk while accelerating? And did you rev it in park? 4k seems to be a bit low to shift if the vehicle was floored, city owners can comment on that

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    No. The jerk wasn't continuous. Happened when I touched 4K in RPM (speed about 80 then). RPM suddenly dropped to 3K, rose to 4K again and then dropped again. Repeated this one more time before I had to slow down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrashidsaleem View Post
    No. The jerk wasn't continuous. Happened when I touched 4K in RPM (speed about 80 then). RPM suddenly dropped to 3K, rose to 4K again and then dropped again. Repeated this one more time before I had to slow down.
    That I believe is the gear Change

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    Quote Originally Posted by dayrider View Post
    That I believe is the gear Change
    I am sorry but didn't get it. Do you mean that drop in RPM was due to shifting of gear (and is therefore normal)? I thought CVT gear shifting is smooth and you don't notice it?
    RPM dropping caused a noticeable jerk. My old Platz (non-CVT) gear shifting was smoother than this.

    If all this looks normal, how do I go about solving the original issue? Sensor problem? How to get it checked (and corrected)?

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    IMO its not a transmission problem. Accelerate the car in P or N and see if engine is smooth.
    Body kits available for all cars...
    PM for details

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrashidsaleem View Post
    I am sorry but didn't get it. Do you mean that drop in RPM was due to shifting of gear (and is therefore normal)? I thought CVT gear shifting is smooth and you don't notice it?
    RPM dropping caused a noticeable jerk. My old Platz (non-CVT) gear shifting was smoother than this.

    If all this looks normal, how do I go about solving the original issue? Sensor problem? How to get it checked (and corrected)?
    Floor it in P and N. If it's smooth, then change the gear oil, and replace its filter

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    Quote Originally Posted by dayrider View Post
    Floor it in P and N. If it's smooth, then change the gear oil, and replace its filter
    OK. Thanks for the quick reply. It is indeed smooth while in P/N and pressing the accelerator pedal. No RPM dropping happens. I'll change the oil and will update this thread about the results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrashidsaleem View Post
    OK. Thanks for the quick reply. It is indeed smooth while in P/N and pressing the accelerator pedal. No RPM dropping happens. I'll change the oil and will update this thread about the results.
    Since its smooth in P and N, then it has to be the gearbox with the issue. Hopefully, it will get better with that, normally it does

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    Quote Originally Posted by bilalahm View Post
    Vario is known for transmission failures, although I doubt any alterations are needed to swap a Japanese imported tranny with a local one. Should get that aspect checked.
    Ecu on pkdm city vario is different compared to it jdm transmission counter part the JDM ecu also requires secondary o2sensor which pkdm city lacks

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrashidsaleem View Post
    I am sorry but didn't get it. Do you mean that drop in RPM was due to shifting of gear (and is therefore normal)? I thought CVT gear shifting is smooth and you don't notice it?
    RPM dropping caused a noticeable jerk. My old Platz (non-CVT) gear shifting was smoother than this.

    If all this looks normal, how do I go about solving the original issue? Sensor problem? How to get it checked (and corrected)?
    CVT transmissions doesn't "Shift"

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    Kindly visit following official Honda page that shows how a CVT RPM operates as compared to any other automatic transmission equipped car. You can compare it with the behaviour of your car's RPM to check for abnormalities.

    Honda Worldwide | Technology Picture Book | CVT

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    As another test, after the car is warmed up do the following.

    Put the car in D, apply brakes so the car does not move, hold the car in this position for a few minutes (2 mins say), observe the behaviour of RPM needle. Does it fluctuate or stay stable? Feel for any car shudder. Usually if there are issues in transmission, you will feel the car shudder slightly with the RPM dropping and coming back to normal.

    Same test can be used by putting the car in R, applying the brakes and observing for any jerks/car shuddering/ car vibrating.

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