Honda City Gearbox issue?

If your RPM goes up and down when you’re going uphill, or when you sudden accelerate – that is NOT the symptom of a gearbox failure!

Based on my research, most had their problem solved by replacing their auto transmission ‘clutch’. Yes, the City does have clutch, and within a few years, it will wear out just like any other manual or auto transmission cars.

cvt gearbox

Of course, some Service Centers are just like your ordinary workshops (or worst!) – instead of telling you that it’s a clutch problem, they will just go ahead and say it’s a gearbox failure. To change the technologically advanced CVT gearbox of the City will set you back around RM20K+ or so, and that is really expensive.

Want a cheaper solution? That is the primary focus of this site! So come on in and read more about it…

As I said earlier, based on my research and talking to a few peoples who had the same issue (they were lucky because it happened during their warranty period) – the solution is to replace their clutch.

I got a friend who happen to be an authorized machanic at a Honda Service Center. He said it will cost roughly RM3K to get a clutch replacement and it should take a day or two because they need to get the engine out (seriously I think their labour charges is more expensive then the clutch itself!).

While that IS a cheaper alternative then getting  yourself a brand new gearbox, it is still considered expensive for some.

honda city 3g

I know a place (externally) where you can get  a clutch replacement for under RM2k – If you are really confident that by changing the clutch will solve your problems that is.. (as I said, all of these are based on my research – I didn’t try it out for myself yet!).

However, if you’re still thinking of changing the whole gearbox, I also  happen to know a place where you can get it for roughly RM3k. It’s not new, but they will provide you warranty if something bad were to happen (hopefully not!).

Currently I’m checking to see if the City gearbox can be replaced with any other standard auto transmission gearbox that uses the AT fluid. That too would be a cheaper solution – if you can live without the CVT.

If you are interested to get the clutch or gearbox from me, just drop a comment below (anyone can comment, there is no need for an account) or you can reach me on



60 Responses to “Honda City Gearbox issue?”

  1. randolph Says:

    Hi. My late wife has a Honda City iDSI, 2003 model. I use the car now.

    Lately, I have this problem:

    When I shift from N to D, there is a clunking noise/shake from the gearbox. It will drive normally, but sometimes (eg traffic light), when I shift from N to D, the same thing happens. When the engine is hot, the problem goes away. I also do not have much jerking problems when driving and the fuel consumption is ok (around 500km per tank).

    Problem only comes from N to D shift.

    I recently sent the car to Honda when they replaced the CVT oil and reset the ECU. The car performed smoothly after that and I thought I had the problem solved. Now, after 3 weeks, the clunking sound is there.

    Appreciate your views.


  2. Muhammad idrees Says:

    Hello dear

    i have honday city IDSI 2005 model and i am living in dubai, my car have problem that when i am shifting Gear from N to D, at the starting point it will vibrate and car will move slowly, by increasing accelerator, vibration will be more, but if i will move it slow then it will show small vibration, but when i am on the signal and we have to move fast then this problem is big headache.
    i show my car to one mechanic in dubai, according to him this is gearbox problem, and it will cost near to 800 $ to replace the old gear box not the new one. can you advice me how i can solve this problem.

  3. Adeboye Says:

    Hello and Hi,
    I drive a honda city idsi(2003/2004) in Nigeria,W.Africa and i have similar gear problem it used to vibrate when i want to move but now its not changing gears again.My mechanics say i need anutha(not a new one) gear box at the cost of $900, do you have any advice to this problem

  4. Adeboye Says:

    Do you think I can buy a new clutch from you and how much will that be in dollars

    • Dipo Adesida Says:

      Hi Adeboye,

      name’s Dipo.
      I live in lagos, Nigeria and I have the same problem with my Honda City too.

      I have changed it once and it’s already giving signs again.

      Were you able to solve yours?
      if yes, please let me know where: you can reply to dipoadesida@gmail,com

      • T manny Says:

        you will need to change the gear box entirely. It cost about N140,000.00 if you go to ladipo or oyingbo. I did that and i have not had any problems with it since then. Cheers.

  5. neato4u Says:

    Guys, head over to lowyat Honda City thread –

    • Anonymous Says:

      I drive a honda city idsi(2003) in Malaysia and same problem, changed to new gearbox under waranty, before 40,000KM appeared again the vibration, changed CVT gear oil then looks ok, after that before 20,000KM appeared again with another problem when shifting gear the RPM go high, change CVT gear oil then the vibration gone, after travelled few days, when shifting gear the problem is there the gear D light blinking untill the car stop, moving back with manual transmission and i don’t see the problem, travel for short distance i don’t see problem. cheers.

  6. Says:

    I too have the similar problem of the clunking noise when the gear shift from N to D and N to R in my HondaCity DSI2003.Can tht be rectified with replacing the clutch. Your advice is appreciated.

    • neato4u Says:

      have you tried replacing CVTF? If not, try that one and get the mech to recalibrate your ECU. That will be a cheaper (try and possible) solution first. Just don’t forget to ask how much before you begin!

  7. DILANTH Says:

    I use a Honda City idsi 2003 and since of late there is a vibration when the car slows done and comes to a stop (specialy if the AC is on). I have also noticed a slight vibration when shifting the gear from N to D. A full tune up was also done but the problem still continues. What could be the reason for the vibration and what could be done come it??

    • neato4u Says:

      This was formerly discussed in one of the Honda City club forum. It’s common issue and I have never stumbled across anyone which had fixed it. Some says it’s the transmission lag which caused the vibration. Well consider yourself lucky, many out there suffers from the R gear symptom – shifted to R but it didn’t engage and felt like N for some seconds, then all of a sudden it thumps you out reverse.

  8. Travis87 Says:

    If the gearbox design got problem!why Honda still silent?why Honda didn’t call the Honda city owner back to sevis?u want kes like Toyota?buy a Honda city around 80k!!!plus gearbox 20k?total=100k ? Honda!the power of dreams?the power of suck is it?reply la honda!I’m Honda owner!

    • neato4u Says:

      Well they did recall some batches – but this is due to their ‘accidental’ use of normal AT transmission fluid rather than using the CVTF that spoils the gearbox. Those who were called were damn lucky! The rest are.. well, like us.. had to suffer for their mistake. The 2003 is the first model to have this IDSI, CVTF and 7speed feature.. so I guess it’s more like a ‘test’ open laboratory car..

  9. Leong Says:

    I owned an used honda City IDSi 2004 too. I realised that my cars will star jerking when i accelerate over 90km/h. What is the problem actually? according to my mechanics said, the problem it’s about the Electric box. Actuall i doesn’t know what is that. I don’t want to waste money to change the gearbox, i know it’s expansive! So, Please tell me the best solution to solve this problem. I wan the cheapest prive by solving this problems. Thx! 🙂

    • neato4u Says:

      The Electronic box should be the ECU. If it is, it’s just need reconfiguring (should set you back around RM50). But this is NOT usually the case with jerking (believe me, i’ve done ECU resets a couple of times and it didn’t help!). I believe it’s a sign of your clutch issue as well. Did you experience this when climbing hills as well?

  10. Leong Says:

    I owned an used honda City IDSi 2004 too. I realised that my cars will start jerking when i accelerate over 90km/h. What is the problem actually? according to my mechanics said, the problem it’s about the Electric box. Actuall i doesn’t know what is that. I don’t want to waste money to change the gearbox, i know it’s expansive! So, Please tell me the best solution to solve this problem. I wan the cheapest prive by solving this problems. Thx! 🙂

  11. yunus Says:

    i’m also have problem at my hondy city gearbox L15 model,how much clutch or gearbox used you sale?

  12. amr Says:

    pleas help me i have the same prob what i do

  13. T manny Says:

    I have a 2008 Honda city. Recently on my way from the office i noticed a cranky sound around the gear box area. The car suddenly stopped and I could not engage the gear anymore. My mechani said i have to replace the gear box. Do u think changing the clutch will solve the problem?

    • neato4u Says:

      Well I’m not sure on this one. My best advise is for you to ask several mechanics around your area and see what they recommend. Some of them like to ‘exaggerate’ things when it’s actually just a minor thing (same like those PC technicians in the old days – when it’s just a battery CMOS issue, they told you to change the entire motherboard, then resell the motherboard or just take it home with them.. *sigh*). As we’re not mechanics and our knowledge are limited, it’s best to ask around before we make any decisions. I’m sorry to hear about your car as well. Hope it gets well soon!

  14. Weiler Says:


    Where can I do the clutch replacement.Tq.

  15. cwwong Says:

    I have a 2005 City DSI. Very recently, my engine light on my dashboard lit up. Honda CS says I have to change the valve sensor which I did. At about the same time, I began experienceing some of the problems mentioned here. Esp when I reverse, there is a brrrr noise and the car will jerk and/or stall momentarily. My mechanic said that when he accelerates, the same thing happened and he concluded its a gearbox problem. Also when I am in traffic light sometimes my gear is in D with breaks on, I do not engage N when I expect the light to change soon. A brrrr sound and jerking occurs. Is this a gearbox problem ?

  16. Frank Says:

    hello, i have a problem with my honda accord 2006 model, when you engage it on jar and hold your break the full body of the car will be shaking, i was ask to change the engine seater and jar box seater too which i did , i dont know what will be the cost of that shaking when the car is on jar? please tell me what to do

  17. davidlee Says:

    hi all,
    i own a 2006 vtec city model. and i have been having intermitten gear box issues. having read some of your comments i realised i have all of it!!
    my issues were, 1.shifting from N to D and vice versa during parking at times would give me a “thud”(gearbox jerking) feeling n sound. This also happens from N to R and vice versa. Problem is this happens intermittenly and at times its more frequent….and sometimes it just goes away…..sigghhh!
    i have been having this problem over a year…
    2.Also the vibration thing from the engine…normally it happens after starting the car when i engage to D. this also happens from occasionally.
    3.occasionally when i engaged R, it doesnt makan gear and the car wont move till after a few of seconds.
    I tried bringing to Honda service centre, but the problems seems to go away when i am there!! after a while i kinda gave up trying to solve it with the service center.
    my car is fully service at honda sc from day 1 till today. so there is no issue of having the wrong ppl handling my car and 3rd party parts/consumables.
    Is there a way to fix this?….i mean the gearbox costs rm27K!…would have put a dp for another car! thanks!

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Hello hi, am using honda city ivtec model in Lagos Nigeria and recently the gear “D” icon start blicking and the car suddenly stopped. Effort to repair the gear raised another challenge of the gear pump being eaten up and my machanic advised a complete repalcement or change of the gearbox. My concern is that the spate of issues raised about this model and getting an authentic gearbox replacement is a challenge as a lot of junks are at both ladipo & ebuta Metta, please can you help response to as the car is now grounded with less than 50000km milleage.

  19. aaronlim7787 Says:

    Hi there,
    Am driving a 07 city, idsi blue like urs. Starting to have jerking while driving d. Might be clutch problem as you highlighted above. Where to get it done outside? Am in Penang. Thanks.

  20. vincent chan Says:

    why got ppl say is flywheel problem,and u is clutch problem?

  21. ranjan gurung Says:

    I owned an used honda city 1.5 GLI auto (GD8693P) 2003 model. i do have the same problem like others, normally when i start my car and tries to put gear from P to R gear it starts to give clunky sound from inside and sometimes wnen i on my ac and put the gear from P to R gear it starts to give clunky sound immediately when i off the AC the noise go down.some times when i am driving on highway the speed meter go down and the speed becomes slow although i press the acceletor and after a while it stars to work normal. once i have discover this problem i have gone to garage for check up then the mechanic said that u have problem with your gear box and need to change which is damn expensive and cost me a lot so is there any solution to fix it out if you have then please let me know immediately thanks

  22. Anonymous Says:

    Hi can i know for new city design model 2009 till 2012, is it still using CVT gearbox and means this problem still exists? has honda rectify this? thanks

  23. anonymous Says:

    Hi, it was my first time to use automatic car like honda city vtec 2005 model, my problem is, i don’t know how to use the sifting gear like S,L. I only know is the 4 common uses of automatic car like P for park, N for neutral, R for reverse and D for drive. when will I use the S and L of my car? please help me. thanks

  24. samad Says:

    I got same problem my Honda Vtec 2006,from N to D and the car wont move.what is the problem?

  25. aininin Says:

    I owned Idsi 2003 and Im the first owner. I’m very upset with Honda. We trust Honda but what we have are problems. My car start jerking when stop. When driving its running smooth. Its happened few times until the gear box changed last year. The flywheel also make me upset. Now need to change for third time. I just drive in the city, the mileage also not much. The problems is repeated

    • neato4u Says:

      It jerks when stop? Brakes maybe? Or probably you’ve changed battery and forgot to recalibrate the ECU.

  26. Deana Says:

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up
    and also the rest of the website is really good.

  27. nazaru Says:

    i’m using idsi 2004. sometime, during acceleration, my car is jerking……happen so many time….what is the main cause?is it the clutch or gearbox?

    • neato4u Says:

      When was the last time you changed your CVTF? If it was quite some time ago, maybe it’s time for a change. I would recommend to do this first before going to more expensive stuffs. Or you could just visit ‘several’ Honda SC and ask them about this. However in my personal opinion, it sounds like a clutch issue.

  28. Anonymous Says:

    Hi bro neato4u:

    I’m driving Honda City I-DSI year 2005. Lately, when i press the accelerator up to 2,000 rpm there’s a sound like ‘gedek gedek gedek gedek gedek.’ It’s like when u drive a manual car & u didn’t shift down when u’re supposed to & the engine is about to jerk & die. Only that with this Honda City I-DSI, the engine didnt die down. Just the ‘gedek gedek gedek’ sound. Is it bcoz of the clutch plate?


    • neato4u Says:

      You may want to check your tyre bearing.. maybe it’s worn out. You may also want to try turning off the a/c and see if the issue goes away. If it does, then check your a/c compressor.

  29. Jason Says:

    I have a Honda City Vtec 2008, Lately when my car is slow there can hear sound like “jer…jer…jer” and other is when I tread break can hear the sound ” col…col” could you tell me what cause of this…Thanks so much.

  30. Khabeer Says:

    In driving 2004 IDSI city.. Bought a year and a half ago and had problem free.. However, Yesterday i noticed a sound like Prrrr when in first gear going uphill or when i rammed on fh first gear. No wierd sound or jerking after the 1st gear.. went for cvtf change just now but the problem persist.. Should it be the clutch or something else?

    • neato4u Says:

      Shouldn’t be the clutch. You will feel somewhat like a jerking feel if it is. Not sure how to diagnose this. You probably need to send your car to several workshops for diagnose.

  31. PenSg2_Kee Says:

    Hello all,
    Just sharing. I am driving ISDI 2003, I am a happy honda city user all this while, enjoy the low mileage since day 1 & almost trouble free. I am very discipline on maintenance, I drove the car to work most o the time plus some long distance travel once a while, Drive at any speed, idle, slow or fast, no sign of problem except minor lagging which I deemed acceptable. The car never upset me and I feel proud of it. Until recently, as I tried to trade in my car after 10 years solid of service, the SA tested drive and said that my gear did not engage properly as the pedal press. What the heck, why didn’t I realize it until you told me? Thankfully, after reading through all above, looks like it make sense and connecting the dots. Anyway, this will cost me rm1500 to so-called tweak it right. Overall, I still consider Honda IDSI a good car to drive, my 2 cents.

  32. Kc Says:

    I have the honda idsi 2004 with the problem of rpm drop suddenly when press the brake or stop in traffic light. I went to the honda sc changed the idle control valve cost me 1k+. But I notice the problem of vibration for 5 secs when the car in stop position and try to acceralate or pick up. Also, the reverse gear is exactly discribed above which didn’t engage. Could anyone has idea this is the gearbox or changing the clutch will sort the problem?

    • neato4u Says:

      could be an engine mounting issue. How about visiting a local workshop to confirm? (don’t tell them it’s a mounting issue, usually they will know after diagnose). I know a shop in PJ that may be able to confirm if it is. Just drop me a line if you need their contact.

      • Kc Says:

        Honda SC has changed the mounting together with the idle control valve. It is confirm the mounting is fine. Please provide the contact. Will try to visit the workshop.

      • Kein Chye Says:

        Honda SC has changed the mounting so confirm is fine. I would happy to visit the pj workshop if you have contact.

        Sent from my iPad

      • neato4u Says:

        Sorry I had a viral fever and was bedridden for quite some days (will blog about it later) – Call Leong @ 0123221229. Not a Honda specialist, but he helped me with my honda issues before. See what his advice is. And get another mechanic opinion to back it up. Price wise is quite okay. Good fella. Tell him Wan (blue honda city) gave his number to you.

  33. Anonymous Says:

    is there any “trust workshop” can we change auto transmission clutch ?

    • Anonymous Says:

      Hi guys. Im an owner of a City vtec wnd gen fot past 8years. If ur ride has vibrations,loss of power or cant accelerate much, PLEASE check your sparkies too!(spark plugs) Also the most overlooked item. Just recently hav vibrations & slight juddering when gas pedal was pressed on go. Done change & good2go

  34. Anonymous Says:

    For idsi 2003 model, follow this steps to reset your ECU for gearbox setting:
    1.accelerate to 90kmph
    2.turn on headlights
    3.shift gear from D to N
    4.leave up throttle paddle ( let the car slow down itself until speedometer reach 40kmph)
    5. Turn off headlight
    6. Shift gear from N to D
    7. Drive as usual

    * this steps will reset the ECU and let the computer perform the self learning with driving behaviour


  35. Nizam Says:

    Is the workshop location at penang area?

  36. Carrene Says:

    i bought a seconghand city 2009 IDSI, any comment for the gearbox?

  37. Anonymous Says:

    Hi, anyone in Abuja, Nigeria that knows a good honda city mechanic, I got gear problem with my Honda city. Thank you!

  38. Bob Says:

    Hi..i own city vtec 06..problem is my car always jerk.. The rpm up n down. I also done throttle body clean but the problem still happen. Can u advice me..

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