Judder from the Torque Converter Lock-Up Clutch – 2012 Acura RL

November 12, 2016
05214 Version 2

04535 Version 1


Judder from the Torque Converter Lock-Up Clutch

Supersedes 16-045, dated August 3, 2016, to revise the information highlighted in yellow



Year Model Trim VIN range



Under AFFECTED VEHICLES, moved 2014–15 RLX to 16-065, 2014–15 RLX: Judder from the Torque Converter Lock-Up Clutch because a software update is available to address this issue.



A judder from the torque converter lock-up clutch may be felt while driving between 20 and 60mph. The problem is typically diagnosed as a bad torque converter. American Honda investigated the judder and found that the torque converter was not causing the judder; rather, it was caused by deteriorated transmission fluid. The transmission fluid deteriorates quicker than expected when it is exposed to intermittent high heat loads under specific driving conditions. American Honda is working on a software update that will maintain the transmission fluid temperature within the desirable range under all driving conditions and eliminate the potential for this judder. American Honda will revise this service bulletin when the software update is available.


Until the software is released, the judder can be fixed by flushing the transmission fluid as indicated in the FLUSH PROCEDURE. Make sure the client is aware that this is a temporary fix and he or she will have to return once the software is available to make sure the transmission judder is resolved.

NOTE: American Honda defines flushing the transmission as draining and filling the transmission with a drive cycle three times to help make sure the deteriorated fluid is removed. There are other aftermarket flush systems available, but American Honda does not recommend using them. 



Take an automatic transmission snapshot, and review the data. For more information about capturing and interpreting the data, refer to the job aid Torque Converter Clutch Shudder and Vibration and the Tech2Tech video “Interpreting Torque Converter Judder Snapshot Data.”

Once it is confirmed that the judder is coming from the torque converter, flush the transmission three times as indicated in the FLUSH PROCEDURE. This is a temporary fix that does not affect the durability or life span of the torque converter until the software is developed.

NOTE: There is no need to call Tech Line before doing this ATF flush repair.



The normal warranty applies.

Operation Number Description Flat Rate Time Defect Code Symptom Code Template ID Failed Part Number
2181BP ATF flush procedure (Includes test-drive). 1.4 hrs 01102 03505 16-045N 26000-5J7-305

Skill Level: Repair Technician



Part Name Part Number Quantity
Genuine Acura ATF DW1 08200-9008A  10
Washer, Drain Plug (18 mm) 90471-PX4-000  1
Washer, Sealing (24 mm) 11107-PWA-300  1



NOTE: The term “flushing” refers to repeatedly draining and filling the transmission with Genuine Acura

ATF-DW1. Other aftermarket flush systems are available, but American Honda strongly recommends that you avoid using them on any Acura vehicles.

  1. Start the engine. Hold the engine speed at 3,000 rpm without load (in Park or Neutral) until the radiator fan comes on, then let it idle.
  2. Position the vehicle on a lift, and turn off the engine.
  3. Remove the ATF filler bolt and sealing washer.
  4. Raise the vehicle, and make sure it is securely supported.
  5. Remove the drain plug, and drain the ATF.
  6. Install the drain plug and original washer, and torque it to 49 m (36 lb-ft).
  7. Lower the vehicle, and fill the transmission with 3 US qts (3.1 L) of ATF-DW1 through the filler hole. NOTE: Do not use non-Acura ATF because it can affect shift quality.
  8. Install the ATF filler bolt and original sealing washer, and torque it to 44 m (32 lb-ft).
  9. Check that the fluid is filled to the proper level.
  10. Raise the vehicle, and make sure it is securely supported.
  11. Start the engine.
  12. Press the VSA Off button.
  13. Press the brake pedal, and shift to Drive.
  14. Release the brake pedal. Press the accelerator pedal, and bring the speedometer up to 50 mph. Make sure the transmission shifts through the first three lower gears and into fourth gear and the torque converter is locking up.
  15. Apply the brakes to stop the front wheels.
  16. Shift to Reverse, then Neutral.
  17. Repeat the shifting procedure (steps 13 through 16) four more times.
  18. Turn off the engine.
  19. Repeat the above drain, fill, and shifting procedure (steps 2 through 18) one more time.
  20. After the second refill and drive cycle, drain the transmission.
  21. Install the drain bolt with a new washer, and torque to 49 N.m (36 lb-ft).
  22. Fill the transmission with 3 US qts (3.1 L) of ATF-DW1.

Automatic Transmission Fluid Capacity

AWD: 3.3 US qts (3.1 L) at change

2WD: 3.3 US qts (3.1 L) at change


NOTE: Do not use non-Acura ATF because it can affect shift quality.

  1. Install the ATF filler bolt with a new sealing washer, and torque the bolt to 44 m (32 lb-ft).
  2. Clear any DTCs set while driving on the lift.




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J2534 Software

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. offers SAE J2534 compliant reprogramming software for Honda and Acura vehicles FREE of charge. This J2534 software, when used with a properly built J2534 pass-thru device , will automatically check for the latest vehicle calibration information.


Important Notice

Do NOT program a control module unless you are directed by a service procedure or an applicable Honda/Acura Service Bulletin. Control Module updating should only be undertaken by a skilled professional using proper equipment and procedures, or module damage can occur. The process of updating to the latest software not associated with a specific symptom may not resolve other specific customer concerns. Unauthorized or self-directed programming may cause unintended and irreversible effects and lead to vehicle harm and/or customer dissatisfaction.

American Honda urges end users to always use the LATEST production release of the J2534 Honda Reprogramming software. Using the latest version of the software is the best way to ensure successful reprogramming of applicable control modules.

It is possible to damage the vehicle’s electronic control modules during reprogramming. Ensure the following conditions are met BEFORE programming a control module:

  • The vehicle battery must be fully charged before programming the control module. Stable battery voltage is critical during programming. Any fluctuation, spiking, over voltage or loss of voltage will interrupt programming.
  • Turn OFF or disable any system that may put a load on the vehicle battery.
  • Make certain all tool connections are secure. Do NOT disturb the tool harnesses while programming. If an interruption occurs during the programming procedure, programming failure or control module damage may occur.


Some modules may require additional programming/setup events performed before or after programming. Please refer to the appropriate Service Bulletins for details. (e.g. IMA Battery Module)

The information in Service Bulletins is intended for use by trained, professional technicians with the knowledge, tools, and equipment to do the job properly and safely. The procedures should not be performed by “do-it-yourselfers”. American Honda reserves the right to supersede this information with updates. The most recent information is available through American Honda’s on-line technical resources.


Warning: Certain control module systems require special procedures and or hardware to be properly reprogrammed. Before proceeding ahead, check the vehicle list below.

Honda J2534 Pass-Thru User Guide

Honda J2534 Pass-Thru Software Download





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