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BLOODY ADMENSTRUATOR
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A few days ago, I noticed a puddle on the garage floor. This in itself is not that unusual as it is Ottawa in the wintertime and my garage is heated.

The puddle in question, was a little different. It formed right between where the front wheels park and didn't seem to dry out like the others. Upon close examination and giving the sloppy mess the "thumb and finger" rub test, the oily texture raised some concerns.

Normally, I would jack the car, pull off the belly pan and have a look. however, I decided to book it in to the dealership as another problem also needed seeing to.

During the past cold snap, the steering had become progressively stiffer. My car was an early 2004 build and I was aware of a TSB on this issue that required the replacement of a cover/boot on the lower steering arm that was prone to splitting. this causes the lubricant to escape. Perhaps the oil on the garage floor was from the steering?

I dropped the car off at my dealer on a Thursday and asked them to:
  • fix the stiff steering
  • check for fluid leaks
  • do a 4 wheel alignment (I always keep my vehicles aligned - this car has 23,000 miles and had not been on the alignment machine)
They loaned me a Sebring Convertible (just what you need in Ottawa at -12 celcius in January). Later that day, they called and said they would need the car longer. I was very busy when the call came in, so didn't get any details.

Friday afternoon, I call the service department to find out all is not well with my 300C. As suspected, the steering boot was replaced to correct the stiff steering. That was not the cause of the fluid on the floor.

Unfortunately, the transmission was leaking fluid from the two O rings on the side that seal the opening for the plug adapter to the Electronic Torque Management System on the W5A580 5 speed transmission. There is a TSB for this issue, as well. A number of members have documented the same leak recently - usually on older vehicles with over 7,000 miles on them.

The transmission was flushed and the unit resealed. The car then went to the alignment specialist. After completing the alignment (right rear was out - probably a consequence of the racing collision on the track with the Acura back in October), the tech took the car out for a road test. The transmission failed to shift and went into "limp" mode.

Back to Andre, the tranny guy (he hates it, when I call him that!). Apparently the circuit board for the TMS didn't survive the O ring operation. So, I get to keep the convertible for the weekend while they wait to get the computer board expressed in from a U.S. source.

Mon day afternoon comes and I get the call that my car is ready. At the dealership, I ask to speak to Andre to get all my facts right for my forum buddies about the transmission problems.

When Andre comes out, the first thing he says, with a grin on his face, is, "The biggest problem we had with your car was getting the remains of a Honda Civic out of your Volant Cold Air Intake." An obvious reference to this - .

He goes on to explain that they have not seen very many with the O ring issue and he has not seen the problem on any 06 models. He said the repair was tricky, especially since the processor is inside the transmission.

He also mentioned that a wiring harness going across the back of the firewall appeared damaged from high heat. He asked me if my car spent long periods idling. "No", I innocently replied. He was at a loss as to what would have caused such high temperatures in the engine compartment. By this time, the service writer, Dave, the Service Manager, Ron and the dealer owner Jim, who have all joined the conversation, are unable to contain their laughter.

I put Andre out of his misery by saying that the car had seen some sustained WOT driving from time to time. The harness had literally melted and they pulled it completely apart to ensure that no wires were exposed before wrapping it again.

I am convinced that the plastic belly pan on these cars was put there for aerodynamic reasons (better gas mileage). I am going to remove mine completely to allow more cold air to surround the engine.

Now for the good news. My car runs better than ever! Especially the shifting. I don't know why - but the difference is really noticeable.

Can't wait until the SuperChips tuner arrives!
 

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Well NR, unlike your 300cForums mini-novel-that-wasn't, this story certainly has a happy ending!
A wonderful read... no sex, no randy Rambit, just a hint of violence... :popcorn::beerchug:
But the monster gets devoured, what more could we ask?:wizard:
All's well that ends well...
And they lived happily everafter!

<cue deafening applause - roll credits>

Thanks NR for sharing your experience with us!
I wonder how long the belly cover contained the tranny fluid before allowing it to escape and give you the heads up? Maybe another reason to remove it.

As an epilogue, please let us know how the cover removal works out for you... increase in drag? decreased mpg? increased cooling? any difference noticed at all?
 

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Yeah Hemeee! Thanks for scolding NR regarding the worst-selling mini-novel idea last night!

Anyway NR, I'm surprised you obtained such high mileage before reaching the tranny o-ring failure. Thankfully, you had a good ending to this story. Let us know about any future reviews you have regarding removal of the pan.

Your future author....
bruno
 

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Northern Rider said:
...He also mentioned that a wiring harness going across the back of the firewall appeared damaged from high heat. He asked me if my car spent long periods idling. "No", I innocently replied. He was at a loss as to what would have caused such high temperatures in the engine compartment. By this time, the service writer, Dave, the Service Manager, Ron and the dealer owner Jim, who have all joined the conversation, are unable to contain their laughter.

I put Andre out of his misery by saying that the car had seen some sustained WOT driving from time to time. The harness had literally melted and they pulled it completely apart to ensure that no wires were exposed before wrapping it again.
Do you have a lower-temp thermostat in? What kind of indicated coolant and oil temps have you seen?
 
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