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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems



  • If you haven't got a transmission cooler on your vehicle, go to a trailer company and get their after market cooler installed.
    I had my transmiison replaced at 184,000 kms (112,119 miles) and I currently have 316,000 kms (192,551 miles). I only replaced the transmisson once and have an after-market cooler from a trailer company; but I do not haul any trailers not have a hitch.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,585
    just curious, but is this an independent trans shop, or a chain? And how much does it cost?

    I am guessing they rebuild in house and supply a new torque converter?

    I know there are some companies that sell upgraded rebuilds (and there seem to be improvements that can be done, that Honda does not implement on their rebuilds), and you just have to find someone to install it.

    And while all this is going on, adding a mangafine (sp?) external filter and a good trans cooler seems to be an obvious add-on. Probably not going to add much if anything to the labor costs.

    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!)

  • Like Tom from Minnesota (whose posting is below) I, too, am furious at Honda. Also, like Tom, I have a 2001 Honda Odyssey, and have never towed anything at all in my life! And, living in Madison WI, I have a similarly flat topography to Tom’s Minnesota.

    In late 2008 a dashboard light went on indicating a problem. To make a long story short, my dealer (with whom I have been pretty satisfied in general) told me that there was a transmission recall going on, and that Honda would replace my transmission free.

    I was ecstatic to be saving almost $5,000 but also annoyed that I had almost missed the cutoff date for the free exchange because my dealer had told me that the light was probably just indicating that I had not put on my gas cap correctly. “Wait a month or so and let us know if the light goes back off,” I was told.

    Well, my original transmission was as 82,672 miles when they changed it our for the “new” one. Apparently even though the transmission was still working at 82,672 miles it was still thought to be likely defective. After the “new” one was put in, it lasted exactly 52,681 miles, 30,000 less than the defective one! Hmm, gives one pause to think: why take one out that is still good at 82,672 miles and replace it with one that’s worse!

    This just happened last week, and I am currently awaiting a response from my dealer, who said he would talk to their Honda rep and get back to me. I am guessing that they will tell me “Too bad” in which case I plan to speak to a lawyer friend of mine to see if anything can be done. I cannot afford $4,500 for a repair, let alone a repair that is necessary only because Honda has not gotten its act together regarding these incessantly recurring transmission problems!

    I will keep you all informed of what transpires. And I will be calling Tom later, who was kind enough to put his phone number on his posting. Mine is 608-332-6287, if anyone wants to get in touch with me.

  • Tom,

    My outcome was similar but not the same as yours, it turns out. I also am going to be paying not $4,800 but rather half of that only. However, in my case I had my dealer talk to their Honda rep for me, and the Honda rep (or whomever he represents) will be paying the other half.

    One thing that my dealer pointed out to me was that, since I the replacement transmission I got at 86,000 + mileage was free for both parts and labor, and since I'm now at 135,000 mileas +, having to fork out $2400 doesn't seem so bad. Part of his meaning is that if I sell the car one day, I can legitimately mention the the transmission is relatively new, and that is, apparently, the most expensive replacement one would ever have to do on an Odyssey.

    If you want to chat about the issue, feel free to call me at 608-332-6287. Here's wishing you a good holiday season.

  • hi peter, tom,
    was there an official honda transmission recall ? for what years? and does it cover anything over 100k miles?
    also, was your cars at time of first bad tranmission dirvable or just irratical in changing gears
    i have 2000, bought it with 120k , started the trans problms at 130, was still drivable, but getting worse. but after many research, i cleaned the linear and shift selonoids and car drove much better and drove more on it until now at 155k almost. did any of your dealers indicated anything about selonoids?
    the funny thing that an odyssey with good trans of these years worse at best 3000 dollars, and to spend 4000 on tranmission is really a scandal .. no more hondas here
  • i am was not new. It was rebuilt with a new torque converter for 2700 with a one yr warranty. I was at almost 199,000 miles on my 2002 when this happened. I feel horrible for everyone and am perplexed when mine went so long without replacement...mine was not completely gone, but i was nervous with winter that it was going to go out at any time. The shop is an independent trans shop in Johnstown Ohio...Hardshift's. I will check into the filter and cooler. thanks for the tips.
  • On my 2002 Odyssey the transmission went at 184,000 kms. I currently have 316,000 kms and I have had a non-Honda cooler for about 2 years.
    How long should these transmissions last if there were no issues whatsoever?
    Do the minivans of Toyota, Chrysler, Nissan (2012 now built only in Japan), GM, Ford (Ford usually broke at 102,000 kms) expect to last a lifetime (what mileage is a lifetime?). If not a lifetime then how long?
    There are some owners that have had no issues but how many miles/kilometes did they trade it in?
  • autowrite,
    your questions need consumer roport to beable to answer.. :) , but if you find out, lets know
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    edited December 2012
    You now have about 80,000 miles on your re-built. I assume it's now well out of your re-builders warranty, so you are now driving on borrowed time......

    If I were you I would be getting rid of it NOW while it's still working. Another re-build would cost as much (or more) than the van's worth as a trade in.

    (I hear good things about the new Chrysler a/t's in the newer Caravans and Town and Country.) It's only taken them 25 years to figure it out..hopefully.

    I still have my old 1992 Dodge Mini Van ( worst a/t's ever built) that we use with the back seats out for nasty hauling and bad winter weather. It's AWD 3.3 V-6 ES with a set of 4 winter tires. Would like to retire it but it just keeps on starting and going when everything else is stuck in the yard or dead in the ditch.

    Our 2003 Honda Odyssey EX-L (bought new) sulks in the garage as I'm afraid to trust it to go anywhere, that van has no soul, never has.
  • g3guyg3guy Posts: 31
    They SHOULD last about 250,000 miles with nothing more than routine maintenance. But they don't.
  • I live in a size-able city wherein there are 2 well known transmission shops that are held in high esteem as they have established an outstanding reputation over the past 30+ years.
    I had a good talk with one of the top 30 year veterans from one of these shops after having a transmission failure in my 03 Honda Odyssey. Here is what he told me.
    " Pursue the lawsuit if you must, but to get your tranny fixed properly, do not go to the dealership for the rebuild. Here's why: Honda is doing a repair not a rebuild. This means that if third gear has gone out, they will repair that one gear, throw it back together and call it a rebuild. No wonder people are having to take their tranny's back two and three times.
    Honda is using a very different clutch plate. It has a soft material that wears off quickly and gets slippery smooth. There is nothing else like it and yet the after market clutch plates are hard like they should be."
    He further told me that he had rebuilt hundreds of these with no failures or returns. So the key here is to NOT use factory clutch discs/plates, but quality after market discs. He also mentioned that the spline going down through the center of the tranny has a bushing in it that must hold air. He said most of the time Honda and others will not fix this. He spreads that bushing out till it holds air and he said that will last forever. If this leaks air, it can cause pressure problems in the tranny which results in shifting problems and possible slippage and failure. I asked if this was just a cheap under rated tranny for this vehicle prone to failure and that after having it fixed if he thought I should sell the van and move on to something different / better? He said NO! Honda makes a great vehicle and the motors in these vans is of the best in the industry. Once the tranny is fixed right, it will be worth keeping till you run it in the ground.
    I hope this helps and that you have good success in your future rebuilds.
    For a healthy cup of coffee try WholesomeCoffee.Info It will help with your transmission stress. :)
  • Interesting... You should post that information on this Ody Trans website too:

    I think they would find that info useful...
  • This is what the trans shop Hardshift's told me that they do...Have put new trans on Odyssey's with 300,000 miles.

    Thanks for the coffee tip!
  • Is HARDSHIFT under a franshise? I checked google for Guelph, Ontario, Canada and could not see this name.
  • No it isn't. It is a local shop in Johnstown Ohio. Maybe they could recommend another shop closer your way? Good luck!
  • Thanks, but since this is an independant shop I cannot use him. I would need to travel back to his place of business if anything went wrong.
    There was talk on this forum a few years back about using National Transmissions which are in both the United States and Canada.
  • Foxfire,

    Can you elaborate more on what your mechanic used for rebuilt transmission? Do you have any model #'s to provide so I could give them to my mechanic to make sure I get the right parts?

  • ody, 156k miles
    tranny started acting up around 130k , acting on tip here, i cleaned 2 sellooids, went fine for few thousands miles, back worse, did it again, second time did not improve much better, with total replacemnt of fluid everytime. third time, replaced fluid, cleaned selloids , were dirty, and this time installed inline filter.
    this time, it drove much better, but still have problem shifting from 2 to 3 if car under 40 miles per hour. so, u shift to 2 gear, getcar over 40 n go back to D, no problem.
    if this does not amuse u, here is the kick, it has been driving like this without any change for last 5k miles.
    i am sure every other white guy would v changed the tranny long ago, but i cant afford it, so it is working now , hahaha
  • Here is my tragic story of our Honda Odyssey experience...

    Honda Odyssey 2003 was purchased used on 10/31/06. (No mention of a recall)
    Jan 22, 2008 The Van began to slip gears.  Had it towed to Aamco for transmission repair due to free towing.  Charged $3062.06 to rebuild transmission.

    April 10, 2009 Van again began to slip gears. Took back to Aamco and needed another rebuilt transmission and 3 mos out of warranty. Charged us $1587.55.

    June 22, 2010 Van is packed with the entire family going to our vacation destination in SC in the middle of a down pour, the transmission again begins to slip.  Called the local Aamco and they picked up the van.  Same story, needed another rebuilt transmission in the amount of $2406.59.
    After spending our vacation week with phone calls to Honda Corporate and Aamco to no avail, we had to borrow money from relatives in order to get our family back home.   

    July 20, 2011 Van is again packed with entire family to travel to NC vacation.  30 minutes outside of our hometown, Louisville, Ky it happened AGAIN!  13 months after last repair. Had to call a relative to pick is up off the side of the highway to return home.  Unsure what to do at this point...we had the Van towed to our nearest Aamco dealer.  We fortunately were able to borrow a car from a family member and continue with our vacation trying not to despair.  The new tab from Aamco is $2835.60.

    No assistance from HONDA Corporate nor Aamco Customer Relations.  They are very, very hard to speak to.  Just leave a message and wait to see if anyone calls you back.   This would make it $9891.80 in four years for FOUR transmissions.

    Update:  01/11/13  Odyssey transmission fails once again on the way out of town and has been towed back to Aamco since they agreed to give us a 3 yr warranty.!

    There is a reason that these transmissions are not lasting. I wouldn't feel right to try to resell this car to another person. This is not right, this is not fair, this is not safe and HONDA should back their products and stop ignoring this issue.
  • wow, and i thought i had it bad>
    even with much less troubl, i put 5 bibles on top of each other, and swor not to buy honda again,,
    you need a ladder to swear
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