Thailand Honda Jazz CVT Transmission Problems + Solution

Thailand has the Honda Jazz, called Honda Fit in USA
Honda Jazz in Thailand

I’ve been driving a 2006 Honda Jazz for the last couple of days. There is a vibration between 0 and 15kph that is unnerving. I looked it up – there are about 40 people in one southeast Asia forum online having the same problem.

If you too have this problem – it is one of two things:

1. CVTF – You need to change the CVT fluid. It MUST be HONDA fluid. The fluid is about 900 THB per liter. You’ll need about 7 liters to flush your old slush out and get the new life-giving slush in there. Pray that your problem is this fluid because the alternative costs 10 times that.

2. Start Clutch – between 0 and 8 kph Honda created a special “start clutch”. This thing dies quickly over a short time in start – stop and jackrabbit starts. Cost? Over $2,000 USD. For some Hondas the company is replacing them for free as they have finally admitted there is a problem. But, if you have a pre-2003 model – they are not. That’s the way I understood it from the people writing in the forums – so it maybe off a bit.

The Honda Jazz in Thailand gets like 20 kilometers per liter if you’re very careful. If you drive regularly – 16-17km per liter. That’s about half what a Suzuki Raider 150R gets you (motorbike). It’s also about half what a Honda Wave 125 will give you. That’s amazing. It’s not worth a $2,000+ dollar fix after driving 17,000 km though.

If you have a Honda Jazz automatic with iDsi engine – and haven’t changed your CVT fluid to HONDA’s brand in the last 20,000 km if you live outside BKK, or 10,000 km if you live IN Bangkok – go now and do it before you lose your transmission.

Update 7/2012:

We’ve driven 32,000km since the last CVT fluid flush and now the shuddering problem between 1-15kph has returned. It is almost unnoticeable right now, but I notice. We’ll take it in to get another flush.

There is a Honda Service Bulletin that extends the warranty for this issue for 7 years / 140,000KM. The number of the Bulletin is: 2010-12-018. I cannot find it online ANYWHERE since Honda has now password protected their service bulletins at the one source that used to have them.

The full process for flushing your fluid and getting your Honda Fit / Jazz to run normally again is:

1. Drain old CVT fluid.
2. Add Honda CVT fluid (original ONLY).
3. Drive up to 30 kph and coast down to zero – about 6 times.
4. Replace fluid AGAIN.
5. Drive up to 30 kph and coast down to zero – 6 times.
6. Some have said to do a CVT recalibration you can disconnect your battery for a few minutes. The next few times you drive, your transmission resets. This has helped some other people with Honda Jazz transmission problems.

The Honda Jazz iDsi engine has 8 spark plugs – instead of 4. Honda engineers tried to use up ALL the fuel that hits the engine – they pretty much succeeded.

The interior is awesome. There are many ways to fold the seats and get extra room. The dash is futuristic. The air is cold and there is enough power for easy driving and passing.

If you have a Honda Jazz – let me know if you’re having the vibration problem and what you did about it.

Thanks.

[photo by flickr.com member, jiangbabe]