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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems



  • jlsflajlsfla Posts: 4
    First time posting but desperately need advice on my 2000 Odyssey transmission. Never had any major problems with car until now. ALWAYS service at HONDA dealership and they have been great. Developed a SMALL leak under car which i noticed after 14 hour round trip to SC. Took to dealership immediately. Was told seals needed to be replaced which I did that day. However, upon checking car again next day still small leak..Back to dealership 4 more times until they diagnosed a leak in the transmission case. Was told they could repair with HONDA BOND since fixing problem would be around $1500.00. I followed their suggestion and saw no further leaks UNTIL another emergency road trip to SC and upon getting home decided to recheck for leak and there it was again! VERY SMALL....didn't even have to top of the fluids BUT now the dealership is saying NEW transmission to the cost of either $5500.00 - $6500.00. Have had NO problem with car on the interstate, no lights coming on and no slipping of the transmission. Called HONDA USA and talked with them. They think the price quoted is higher than national average and suggests discussing with service mgr.What i don't understand is how the problem can go from leak in transmission case to suddenly replacing the transmission. I am older lady with just enough car sense to get into trouble :).but i really don't want to get rid of my Odyssey which i LOVE but wondering if it's worth the cost of replacing the transmission at this point. NO OTHER problems with car. Have had all hoses, belts replaced long before they recommended and oil changes every 3 months. Sorry for the long post but any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,174
    if the trans works fine, I would not consider a new one. Sometimes you get a leak that to actually fix would require tearing the whole thing apart (gaskets wear out over time). In your case, put a piece of cardboard on the garage floor under it, check the fluid level regularly, and live with it, assuming it does not get worse. Maybe reseal it?

    My guess is that it will be fine around town, but those long highway runs really heat it up and expand the pieces, letting the leak reform.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • same issue. do not replace the tranny. there is no fix and the tranny that they will replace yours with is no better then the one you have. Get rid of the van ASAP for the tranny will fail. I did and was glad I did. Honda lost a $90 law suit of this tranny and many others. Like you I lived and learned my lesson with Honda and will never buy again. Mine only have 60K miles on it. I will bet you motor mounts are broke as well.

    The leak can only be fixed by replacing the tranny. Do not waste your time or $$$. Trust me on this one. Been there done that. Loose the van and stay away from Honda. The 2012 tranny is no better either!
  • jlsflajlsfla Posts: 4
    THANKS loads for the replies....I DO put something under to check for leaks..and ONLY happens on the darn long trips....NO leaks at all around town driving....guess it's time to think about another car...this is a great forum. All info is greatly appreciated.
  • vanmom6vanmom6 Posts: 12
    I haven't posted since May 2009. Three years ago I fought Honda and finally got them to pay 1/2 of a rebuilt transmission for my 2001 Odyssey. They did give me a 3yr/36k warranty on it and I planned on selling the car before we got to the end of that warranty. I forgot! BIG MISTAKE! I'm a few weeks short of 3 yrs. but just over the mileage. And I was stranded at midnight with 4 ballerinas in the car in Atlanta! And my van with 143K miles is getting its THIRD transmission! I paid top dollar because I wanted a reliable van that I could drive forever. I have had no other expenses (except maintenence things like timing belt $$$, brake work.... things you'd expect to maintain a car so you can get to 200K). But 3 transmissions in less than 150K miles???? Called HOnda and they told me again that they know there were problems with that design, but if I were over by 100 miles they would NOT honor the warranty. Frustrating that they won't stand behind thier reputation and do what it takes to fix this problem. My Honda transmission lasted less than 3 yrs.! I won't buy Honda again!
  • autowriteautowrite Posts: 224
    Did your garage where you get service start using synthenic transmission oil 2 years ago? Have you got a tranmission cooler?
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347

    First off, sorry for your Honda experience with the infamous Honda Odyssey a/t's.
    Your decision to get rid of the Van before the rebuilt a/t warranty ran out was a GREAT one.
    Honda built their reputation on their engines, but if the motor is hooked up to a junk transmission, then people should stop buying them...forever.

    I have a 2003 Odyssey that is a rolling money pit as well, I know from the many discussions that my tranny will fail, and soon, but I can't get my wife to part with it or it would be SOLD.

    So I have been doing everything possible to extend the life of the thing by changing a/t fluids often, installed a Magnefine in line filter, changed out the Z1 and drive it like it will break any moment.

    The hardest use you can do to an Odyssey is loading them up (even with little ballerinas) and then endless stop-start-stop-start driving in the city.

    There are a/t rebuilders out there that actually do a pretty good job of fixing the multiple issues inherent with the Honda transmissions, but you keep getting the Honda Rebuilts with the same problems as the last one, so nothing gets resolved.

    This time, don't even go near a Honda Dealership for a re-build.
  • ramy1995ramy1995 Posts: 39
    i will not buy a honda again either , never, ever dever
  • shasolshasol Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 odyssey with now 181000 miles, I changed transmission at 130000 miles. My TCS and check engine light are on (for the last 5 months) it some times go off by itself and re-appears maybe after a week The ODB code is P0135 I believe this refers to an upstream O2 sensor. why the tcs light is on beats the hell out of me. Additionally my A/c at the front only partial cooling while the back unit works fine. Can anyone explain this too me?
  • hilapat12hilapat12 Posts: 26
    I have a 2002 odyssey and the check engine light has been on for at least five years. I did get it checked out at some point and then just let it go. My TCS light will come on at odd times here and there. I have posted that my trans has had issues for a couple of yrs...i have 191000 miles now so I was told that i was lucky and see that i am at this point. When i accelerate from being stopped...i have the van in second gear. When i get past 30 mph I shift into third and drive right away...the problem is usually hills. I think it would go into gear itself if i wasn't on a hill. I have a trans place ready to go to when it goes out...they fix the problem that the vans are notorious for having. It is not a honda dealer...
  • Anyone install the transmission cooler early on in the life of their 2000-2005 Honda Odyssey's and STILL have to replace a transmission?

    Would be interesting to see what the replacement stats are for those odyssey's w/ the cooler vs those w/out the cooler installed.

  • autowriteautowrite Posts: 224
    I had the same issues with my 2002 a/c; cooler in back than the front. I checked with my Honda dealer about this and found out the back & front come from the same unit; not 2 sepearate units. They looked into the problem and found my a/c front & back lines were finished and I needed a new compressor & some other unit. Since it was close to replacing my timing belt and water pump I had them replace all the necessary a/c units, lines, etc and the timing belt and water pump to the tune of $2832. I just passed 300,000 kms. There was some savings in doing these things all at the same time.
  • vgervger Posts: 30
    trans cooler upgrade (I believe they are equipted with a stock cooler) is always helpful since heat is the killer of clutch plates and bands. But for our Honda trans, a trans filter is more important. I have a 2000 Honda and the Lenear Solenoid and the A B Solenoid have mesh screens that DO get clogged which causes slippage, harsh shifting, high speed (60mph+) down shift (second gear) upon hitting brakes (usually you can smell overheated trans fluid). People with 1998 - 2003 Hondas who have the slightest shift problems, clean those two filters first, before you burn your bands and plates. You may just find that cleaning them will solve your trans problem even if it doesn't engage in fourth, or slipping a little in first gear before it catches.
  • joep13joep13 Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Odyssey that would have made it to the moon (251000 miles). This is the second tranny and was put in around 80000 miles. It starts vibrating with any accelerating or strain. I suspect the torque converter or active motor mount. I have replace the rear motor mount. Does anyone have any experience with the front active motor mount. This is the cheaper engine
    without ECO. If it is the torque converter I am going to turn it into a chicken coop. (not a joke some would consider me a redneck)
  • blackexv6blackexv6 Posts: 490
    It's most likely the torque converter. Our Odyssey has the same problem and all the engine mounts are fine.
  • autowriteautowrite Posts: 224
    I don't know where you have a transmission filter that can be cleaned. My 2002 has a filter but you cannot clean it. When I replaced my transmission at 184K kms it came with a filter but you cannot re-clean it. This all according to my Honda dealer.
  • vgervger Posts: 30
    It's not the internal trans filter, but the upper Linear Solenoid and the A B Solenoid. The Linear Solenoid has six #10 bolts and the A B has three. It's just under the radiator hose, the other is just below the air intake on top of your tranny. When you take off the Linear you will see four metal tubes (different length, don't mix them up) about straw size in dia, about four inches in length. At the end of each one has a wire mesh screen. The second one is the one that usually gets clogged. The other solenoid under the air intake has a rubber gasket with two wire mesh screens. I'm on my fouth tranny. When it started acting up again, I got fed up with dishing out money so I searched on the net and read about these two shift solenoids. I cleaned them and sure enough the tranny was working again. six months later it started acting up again and I cleaned it again and it was fine again. There was residule crud in the fluid lines so it clogged again, but since the second cleaning I've been driving fine (40K+ miles).
  • vgervger Posts: 30
    @ hilapat post 2211 What you're describing, is exactly what was happening to my trans. I had to do the same manual shifting to move around. Clean those two shift solenoid screens (Linear Solenoid and A B Solenoid) before you burn the clutch plates and bands (major overhaul at that point). Those two solenoids are on the outside of your tranny on top No need to drop or open up the tranny. If you're handy, you can do it and it's about a 3 hr job. check the wires that goes to the Linear Solenoid, if one is broken or if it is defective, you will get a flashing "D". Personally I feel this is one of the main reason for Hondas Trans going out.
  • rj28rj28 Posts: 1
    the solenoid screens are most likely not your problem. if they are plugged up, you have much deeper concerns with the transmission. the most common failure on honda transmissions is the torque converter clutch failing. Honda has a problem with the converter overheating causing the converter clutch to come apart. then the clutch material will saturate the fluid ending up in the internal filter. when this happens the transmission becomes starved for fluid and is not able to apply other clutch packs in the transmission, which in turn causes those clutches to burn up and fail. THIS TRANSMISSION DOES NOT HAVE A BAND. It has a series of clutch drums that when activated lock a hub to engage that specific gear ratio. These honda transmissions actually resemble a manual transmission that has been converted to a automatic. the shift forks,syncros and sliders that you would normally see on a manual transmission have been replaced with a hydraulically controlled clutch drum but the result is the same. gears are engaged and disengaged unlike a traditional automatic transmission that utilizes BANDS, planetary gear sets and sprags(one way roller clutches). Getting back to the possibility of plugged solenoid screens, if they are plugged, then no doubt there are screens inside the valve body(deep inside the transmission) that will also be plugged aswell. There are also feed pipe screens inside the transmission that will be plugged up as well. What you really need is a professional transmission rebuilder to overhaul the transmission. there are upgrades that can be installed during the rebuild that will increase the life of the transmission by fixing the torque converter cooling problems all these hondas have.transgo makes a shift kit that allows better trans cooler flow, better torque converter apply pressure, and cooler flow in park and neutral. Sonnax also makes upgrades for the valve body that also prolong the life of the transmission.and talk on the street says superior(shift kit manufacturer) is in the process of making a complete fix for the honda transmissions that will be hitting the shelves this year.if you have a dealer rebuilt transmission installed you will no doubt have the same issues 3 or 4 years down the road as honda does not install any upgrades to prevent the converter overheat issue.
  • vgervger Posts: 30
    Thank rj28, about no bands in the Tranny. Never opened a Honda Tranny and I was speaking from the GM Trannys I opened up before. I'm a do-it-yourself BYM and the two solenoids I mentioned are controlling the clutch pressure. To some, including myself who are on their second to fourth tranny rebuild, considers the milage and age of our Oddy verses the cost of another complete rebuild again. This is a POSSIBLE fix because myself and others have found that it has extended the life of our tranny. Of course if there are other things wrong, yeh, it won't help. But it cost nothing or little if you're doing it yourself. I had to do it twice because there were more debris in the system, but to date it has been running since the second cleaning. I did have to buy the gasket to the Linear Solenoid second time around for under 3 dollars.
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