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My 2006 LX has almost 94,000 miles on it, mostly "passive" driving and not carrying loads. Recently it began surging when cold. By that I mean the engine revs up freely while acceleration is slow. It is similar in effect as a slipping clutch would cause in a stick-shift car.

I have kept the services up, but honestly I do not trust the places where the services were done, and do not have the skills to check if all that was listed did get done. So I do not know of the transmission got the due attentions.

After some research I think the issue my be one or both of some switch or sensor that 'tells' the transmission when optimum engine temperature has been reached is faulty, and/or the transmission needs a flush.

Now, I live on a very tight budget and avoid credit card debt like the plague, and am leary of dishonest dealers. I also believe in "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of repair." So my question to fellow CR-V owners is: what should I do? My logic tells me to get the transmission flushed either way. Then if the problem still exists, have the switch (and thermostat?) replaced.

Also, should I do this at a Honda dealership (supposing they will use HONDA ATF) or is a reputable (Asin BBB certified) third party dealership okay?
 

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Everything in Moderation
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If the trans fluid has not been replaced yet, you really need to do it. Hopefully the screens incorporated into the solenoid gaskets are not clogged.

If that doesn't resolve your issue, have the thermostat checked or replaced.
 

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What Carbuff2 said. Make absolutely sure that it's Honda ATF and don't use the word flush, that term implies that the fluid will be forced through the tran until it is supposedly clean. This flushing is not recommended by Honda at all and will likely kill a good Honda tran. If you want to save some money you can do this "Drain and Fill" procedure yourself, it has been done by many first time DIYers here. DW-1 can be used but Z1 is the newest (synthetic) from Hionda. Some info http://www.crvownersclub.com/forums/19-maintenance-service/2500-transmission-fluid-change.html After the (or each if possible) change of fluid you will probably see sopme improvement, but the full benefit will come in about 5000ml. It takes some time for the new fluid to disolve and suspend the accumulated deposits. At that time do a 3X drain and flush again to get rid of all the suspended deposits and you should be OK from that point if you do a 1X change every 15-20000ml.
 
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