Driving your Honda Jazz every day, you probably would not have noticed when the fault started but it is now very obvious. As you accelerate from a stop just after you get off idle, the car gives a shudder through the body of the car. Odds are on it started very mildly and progressively got worse to the point that it’s so bad it has forced you to google the fault.
First up, this is a common fault that plagues almost every single automatic Honda Jazz that was released in the first series of the Jazz. The fault is caused by a part called a start clutch and is specific to the CVT transmission.
If you have read any of our other blogs you will know we advise against buying cars that are fitted with a CVT transmission. The reason for this is that the technology is still experimental and whilst it is now many years since its release it is still getting fine tuned. Many manufactures use them including Suzuki, Nissan and Mitsubishi. In this case, Honda was one of the early adaptors and got on board with the CVT technology long before they were perfected.
By the time the face lift model was released Honda had changed the CVT transmission in the Jazz and the fault stopped occurring.
Honda is well aware of the issue and has released multiple bulletins on it. The technical Honda description for the fault is “start clutch judder on acceleration”.
There are two possible solutions to this problem. The first has a mild success rate which is basically a change of the oil inside the transmission, however the process is a little more complicated than just drain and refill. The car needs to have the oil changed, the temperature at correct operating temperature and the transmission “loaded up”. The easiest way to do this is drive the car on a hoist with one foot on the brake and go through the gears. Then change the oil again insuring that you do this with the genuine Honda CVT oil.
The above mentioned repair sometimes does not work and in cases where it does, it only temporarily repairs the fault. The sure fired way to repair the fault is to replace the start clutch part with a revised Honda part. Honda has released a revised part that has superseded the faulty start clutch. This job does require the transmission to be stripped down and rebuilt, but if you ensure the revised part is used the fault should never be seen again.
We have rebuilt a few of these with the cost to the client coming in just shy of $1100. We estimate that the cost to do this repair through a reputable repairer, should set you back anywhere from $1000 – $1300