I've got a 2007 Honda CRV that I wish to continue to flog for a few more years at least. Yesterday I noticed that the 'D' light for drive on the dashboard was blinking. It stopped once I turned the car off and on again but today it started blinking again as I was driving. From what I see online, it seems that this is an indicator that there is an issue with the transmission.

A few weeks ago I had two tires that were punctured and needed to be replaced. I had been told in the past that in an AWD vehicle that you needed to replace all the tires at once because it can cause issues with the transmission otherwise. The mechanic in this case said he didn't think that was true and that people said that because they wanted to sell more tires and that he would put the 2 old tires in the back and the new ones in the front.

I understand why having different radius tires can cause issues with the differential but for the CRV I understand that AWD only kicks in when they are needed. Would having the back wheels spinning more quickly than the front cause this to happen? I think there is a light that comes on when the AWD kicks in and I am not seeing that.

I found a forum thread here where a person claims that the CRV requires "3% difference, fronts rotating faster than the rear, before engaging the rear differential". And that you'd need to have a 0.4 inches of wear difference. There are no sources for this 3% figure and I'm not sure where I could verify that or find authoritative information.

UPDATE: The code was for a pressure switch. The transmission shop says there's a quarter-inch difference in circumference between the front and back tires.

According to the shop the torque converter was shot and needed to be replaced. I've now done that at great expense. The owner of the shop (who doesn't sell tires) says I should get a matching set. I'm still unsure whether this matters. Could issues with the torque converter be related to the rear differential? I have a basic understanding of this and I'm not seeing how it would but I'm really biased towards not going through this again any time soon.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Commented May 17, 2018 at 14:25
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    Commented May 17, 2018 at 16:19
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    Commented May 17, 2018 at 17:22
  • The flashing D is an indication of a problem with the transmission but it could be electronic rather than mechanical (there are quite a lot of possible reasons, actually). I'd recommend checking for codes via the OBD port (code readers are cheap these days and handy to have around).
    – Bob Cross
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 17:33
  • @BobCross Yeah, I'm going to take it back to the guy who changed the tires and said it wasn't a problem. He said that he's never had anyone come back with a transmission issue after doing this and that might very well be what I am going to do. I'm also trying to figure out if it's worth shaving down the front tires.
    – JimmyJames
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 18:03

1 Answer 1


Your transmission has only one output shaft. If there is a problem with the tire revolutions your differentials and transfer case will have to compensate for that.

In other words:

There is not a single chance that your different size tires damaged your torque converter.

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