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Advice Appreciated - 2003 Odyssey

Hello all,

My wife and I are lifelong Honda owners - we currently have 2 Honda Fits and 2 Honda motorcycles. My family just expanded to four, so we're now in the market for a minivan. Our first choice naturally gravitated to the Odyssey. We test drove two 2012 Odysseys over the weekend at two separate dealerships. My wife test drove a 2012 Toyota Sienna today, as well as looked at a 2003 Odyssey for sale by a private owner. My wife loves driving her Fit and doesn't really want to drive a minivan, but over the weekend she realized how beneficial the added room is with two little ones. One option is to buy outright the 2003 - we would have 3 cars - she would be able to keep her Fit and have the bigger vehicle when needed. However, we're really, really concerned with what we've read about the transmission. The 2003 is a one-owner who just replaced it with a fully-loaded 2012 Odyssey - they said they have never had an issue with the transmission (vehicle has 130,000 miles on it - it has apparently been well maintained and is in very good condition). If we got the 2003 (assuming everything checks out fine with a mechanic), are we just throwing good money after bad?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Comments

  • blackexv6blackexv6 Posts: 490
    Run as fast as you can from this vehicle....Odysseys all have major transmission problems. Just look at the posts in this forum.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,661
    Absoultly not true! They don't ALL have major trnasmission problems.

    I will say that a lot of them did have trouble which is uncharastic for Honda but the majority of owners didn't excperience this.

    It has to be remembered that many Odysseys get subjected to extreme use. People over load them, install Class 3 hitches, pull things they shouldn't be pulling and never bother changing the transmission fluid.

    This is true of any minivan and if you compare Odyssey transmission problems to say, Chrysler you wold know what I mean.

    Forums attract people with problems and the horror stories will abound.

    Now, that I'm retired, I really don't care. I'm just telling it like it is.

    That said, 130,000 is a lot of miles and that seller has a car that won't be easy to sell. I would insist on seeing service records and I would definatly take it to a dealer or a good independant for a look over and I would tell them to pay special attention to how the transmission is operating.

    If you can buy it for a cheap price, it could be a good buy.
  • We bought a 2003 w/~98,000m and it has served us well as a 3rd vehicle. The original owner had motor mount issues and had them replaced. Also serviced it per Honda's maintenance schedule. We paid $8900 for it ~2.5yrs ago and now have ~110,000m. Luckily the original owner had Honda's oem transmission cooler installed at purchase and knock on wood no issues yet. This Forum scares the beejesus out of me but I appreciate everyone sharing their experience. With so many trans issues I have a concern that Honda, which had a pretty decent rep, has not stayed in the front and been a better company. Will make me think twice next time I go to replace a vehicle. Technology is out there to build a transmission which will not give problems. Shame on Honda for not doing so.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,661
    To Honda's credit, they stepped up and replaced transmissions that were WAY out of warranty. People tend to forget that.

    Also, of all of the cars we would take as trade in's minivans were usually in the worst shape. People TRASH them and use them as rolling restaurants.

    There is no such thing as a car that will never break. Technology is NOT out there that will do that.

    If you "google" millionmilejoe you can watch an interesting clip just released of
    a 1990 Accord that just turned ONE MILLION miles!

    Don't let these foruns scare you. Change your trans fluid on a regular basis, don't overload your Odyssey or use it to tow something it shouldn't and you should be OK. Just know that EVERY automatic transmission will eventually fail at some point given enought time and miles.
  • patnicpatnic Posts: 22
    Don't buy the 2003. We have one and had tranny replaced at 80k. We never were rough on the car.

    Check consumers digest for the 2003 and you will see that many people have reported problems with the tranny.

    Also, timing belt must be changed at around 100k, that is $1000.
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