The major difference between Honda transmissions and other automotive transmissions is that Honda does not use planetary gears. Honda uses individual and traditional gears which are similar to the manual transmission. Each gear is engaged by a different hydraulic clutch.
The design of this transmission is such that the shift from the second to third gear is achieved by one clutch and with no release; this transmission has no sprag clutch which reduces the need to brake and this in turn brings down the wear and tear on the engine.
Honda introduced this transmission system in its vehicles to avoid any patents violation since most of the patents for automatic transmission were held by other companies. The automatic transmission in the Honda, as in other cars, is made of high tech components. Though most traditional auto mechanics would not advise you to replace any part with a non-Honda one, a lot of people are doing just that for improved performance of their vehicle.
So if you, as an owner of a Honda, are not averse to risk you can reap the reward too by investing in a rebuilt Honda transmission. This rebuilt transmission integrates broader and more superior bands than the company equipped ones. Many users have testified that these bands are longer lasting with a higher performance quotient. Almost all the other original components, be it the torque converter or the gear sets, can be substituted with higher quality parts.
There is no need to change the transmission just because the vehicle has problems once in a while. You should start looking to replace the transmission in your vehicle when there are leaks, vibration and generally a lackluster performance.
The easiest and most expensive option would be to just buy a new one. The second option would be to go in for used Honda transmissions. But this would mean that you visit junkyards and try and locate an automatic transmission which would suit your vehicle. The easier way would be to go online and locate the right transmission.
The big drawback for junkyard purchases is that you will have no clue about the mileage or history of the vehicle. However, this is an option if you are financially strapped. Just don’t expect too much from this transmission.
The third option is to rebuild the transmission, especially if you are mechanically inclined. Or you could have it done at a transmission outlet. If you are rebuilding it yourself, then you save on labor and can also be sure of the components. The core and the case of the transmission assembly can be reused; parts such as the seals, gaskets, valves, clutch components and the filters will have to be replaced. Rebuild kits are also available in shops as well as online. However, you will need to verify that all the parts you require are in the kit before you buy it.
The cost of rebuilding the Honda transmission would vary from shop to shop. So it is advisable to get an estimate from two or three shops before asking anyone to do it. You could also check with online shops about the cost of rebuilding.