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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,881
    So, what will you buy?

    You can go to any "problems" forum on any car and read the stories of woe.

    Honda's "minimal" support? They didn't have to do anything.
  • First I want to mention that I purchased from Honda the extended bumper to bumper warranty (5yrs or 100K Miles) which is still active for another 7 months. All my service work has been done by Honda (oil changes etc.)

    To date the warranty has covered the replacement of the following: replaced the CD changer due to skipping, replaced the power steering pump due to whining after long distance travel and replaced the catalytic converter which tripped a code that it was failing/clogged. Honda did not give me any problems with these replacements and based on the repair costs I'm flush on what I spent on the warranty.

    Now here's the kicker. The last 3 times I brought the car in I also complained about the intermitent shudder at 40mph where it seemed the transmission couldn't decide which gear to go into. Shift up, shift down (back and forth) 10-15 times before it settled down. The problem developed at around 60K miles and the car currently has 68K on it. The first time I brought it in the service man who handled my work could not replicate the problem as it was intermitent. So he told me to contact them again if it returned. At the next scheduled maintenance I mentioned to the man on the phone who I was making my appointment with about the issues and was told it was the torque converter and that they would diagnose and fix it this time. So I brought the car in. However the man I spoke to on the phone was not the person I ended up with. My service work was redirected to another person. I thought that was weird but did not make an issue of it. She told me she could not find anything wrong with the transmission and to contact her if the issue returned. She seemed to be very adept at conforting the customer and downplaying the issue. Since that time the issue has gotten worse and occurs at other speeds and gears as well. I did as much research on the internet as possible on the issue and to see if similar complaints were occuring and as you know very well they are. So I called again to make another appointment for service and was mentally prepared to fight if necessary to get the car fixed under warranty and hoping that this would not be necessary. I brought the car in and spoke to the service rep I made the appointment with and was immediately referred to the same woman that handled me last time. So I asked the guy why her and not you and he reluctantly told me he didn't know. So now I knew I was in for a battle. She immediately tried to talk me out of it this time telling me that this shudder was normal, there's nothing they could do to correct it and that even though it was under warranty it was not an issue. So now the fighting begins...just loud enough for other customers to hear but not to look like a crazed idiot. Every illogical claim she made I countered a logical response showing her logic made no sense. Not going into every detail but in short most customers would have backed down by now. She got increasingly unmoveable with me and so did I with her. In the end I made it very clear to her that when I bought the car new it did not have this issue and that it developed over time and was not normal and I insisted it be fixed before the warranty runs out so I didn't have to foot the avg bill of $2,200. She told me she had to refer my case to the service mgr. I said that's fine and to hold on to the car as long as she needed to properly diagnose and fix the car.

    The following day I run into a friend in the elevator at work who was exceited to tell me he just bought a brand new Honda (same dealer) and got the extended warranty like I did but had not taken possesion of the vehicle yet pending detailing. I told him what happended to me. The reason why he got the warranty was because the Sales Mgr told him that he got one for his wife on her new Honda due to the torque converter issues. So my friend went back that evening and spoke to the sales mgr and mentioned that I had my car in the shop with the very same issue and that they were not going to honor it. So the sales mgr went to the service mgr and pulled my work order. All the sudden I'm getting a phone call from the woman working on my account that they were able to relicate the issue and that they would be contacting the warranty company about a full transmission replacement. What was also intersting is that my car never left the same spot it was first placed in the day I brought it in. So much for really replicating the issue seeing they never test drove it or brought it into the garage to run tests (I checked the car twice a day and it never moved an inch). After several days I contacted her to find out when I should expect a resolution and she told me that they got approval to replace the entire transmission and that it would be another week before they got the part and completed the work. I drove by yesterday and now the car was on the lift and the mechanic was dismantling the tranny. So far it looks like I'm going to get full satisfaction but the work is not complete yet. I will let you know the final outcome.

    I'm very surprised at how this whole was handling to this point. I bought the car and the warranty fro them, had all my service work done by them and it took my friend threatening not accepting his new car in order for me to get satisfaction. Needless to say I will not be buying another Honda from this dealer and may not ever buy another honda either.
  • Honda did assist me - it only cost me $3,000 to replace the transmission - but that decision by Honda was made extremely reluctantly and only after some very hard negotiation. You're right - "they" didn't have to do anything since my car was a 2003, not a 2002. Without extreme coaxing they would have chosen the route of doing nothing - other than charging top dollar for a replacement and wishing me well. I give them credit for doing "something." Stimmons, which Honda dealer do you work for? The Honda transmission problems are well documented and Honda knows full well that they chose and installed an inferior transmission in these cars. That is the only reason a car company that promotes reliability as a primary reason to choose their brand would actually do "something" when pressed against the wall about this embarrassing situation. I would hope that the new version of the Odyssey has overcome this manufacturing deficiency, but someone considering purchasing a used 2003 Odyssey should know the facts . . . these transmissions fail with greater regularity than they should . . . and they should not expect Honda to do anything to assist them. Buyer beware.
  • samspade1samspade1 Posts: 5
    How many miles does your daughter's 2000 have on it? I ask because our 2000 Odyssey is currently undrivable, sitting in our driveway due to it's transmission problems, and it has only 75K mi. We purchased it new and serviced it regularly. We have been buying Hondas since 1988, and were always impressed with their reliability, etc. Now, we are being punished for having low mileage because the Honda dealer we purchased it from says it has been too long since our warranty expired and the warranty extension that Honda America issued a few years ago. We had a 100K mi warranty that we purchased when we bought the car. In virtually all other respects, this Odyssey has been a great car for us. Now, we are reluctant to buy another Honda because they are not honoring their product. Honda is making a big mistake on this issue. Whatever it takes to repair/replace the transmission on our Odyssey, we intend to sue Honda and the dealer for cost + whatever grief they've caused due to their irresponsible behavior...
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,469
    just had the trans fluid changed today on my 2005 (at just about 60K). 2nd time for this, since I decided (based on all the reported problems) to go with a 30K change interval, on the better safe than sorry schedule!

    well that, and if something does happen prematurely, no way Honda will be able to argue that I did not take care of the van, since they are the only ones that have touched it (other than for tires), and I am going way beyond what is required.

    also, for the 75K 2000 model, that one you have a reasonable chance of getting assistance, and even if they split the cost, it probably makes sense to spend the 2-3K on it, since it has so little value as it sits, and should be good for a lot longer if you get it fixed (especially compared to what else you could get for the value of a dead van + repair costs!)

    I would not touch a 140K one, unless it was super cheap, and had a replacement tranny already installed not too many miles before.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,881
    edited July 2010
    I guess it's hard to say where they have to draw the line. 75,000 isn't very many miles but ten years is a long time.

    You might want to take this to the next level and be sure to stress the fact you bought en extended warranty and took good care of the car.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,881
    I change the trans fluid iour Hondas every 30,000 miles and I have always done this in all of our cars. 60,000 miles just seems like a long time.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,469
    well, 60K isn't even the recommended interval. That is, I think, 105K or 120K!

    Of course, that was decided upon by the same dim bulbs that think it is a good idea to only change the filter at every other oil change. But, I guess if you are desperate to save $5, it might be a good idea!

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,881
    I'm too lazy to pull out an Owner's Manual but I believe it's 60K on trans services.

    The bean counters and the engineers argue all of the time. some prospective buyers are more concerned with how little money they will have to spend on maintenance that they stretch change intervals as long as they possible can.

    People need to remember that these are MINIMUM service reccomendations.

    Some people like to take better care of theri cars than that.
  • j orbj orb Posts: 4
    Having the same issue with my '05 Odyssey at 69K miles and it's at the dealership right now. At light throttle around 35 mi/hr, the car will shudder if going up an incline at about the time the transmission is about to shift into a lower gear. It seems to happen more often when cold. I too have the Honda extended warranty and it will be interesting if I will need to argue the point to get the torque converter replaced. The service writer was also talking about a software update on newer models but of course that would not be covered by the extended warranty. Very surprising how the "bumper to bumper" extended warranty that was sold to me seems to cover nothing.
  • Following up with the final outcome from Honda. They replaced the entire transmission with remanufactured one. Shudder problem is gone at least for now. The bill which was at a discounted rate came to $4004.00 but the warranty covered it and had no deductible. If it was on my dime Honda told me it would be approximately $4500.00

    Honda exaggerated the issues (added things like trans slipping etc.) on the form they provided to the warranty company to get a replacement transmission and not just a new torque converter. I guess they figured replacing the entire tranny would assure that it wouldn't be coming back again for the same issue. Whatever the reason I'm satisfied.

    To date my 1500.00 extended warranty has covered 5700.00 in repairs, glad I got it but never expected to use it. To date had to replace the CD changer due to skipping (500.00), replaced the power steering pump due to whining after long trips (750.00), replaced the catalytic converter because it was getting clogged and triggered a code (450.00), and finally the transmission which was (4004.00) all in the first 5 years.

    While I still love my Honda and I'm happy with the outcome of this last event, I'll probably lean towards Toyota or Nissan for my next car purchase.

    Good luck everyone!
  • I asked about a software update hoping that it could be a quick and easy solution but Honda told me that there were no software update solutions for the 2005 models. Apparently that is not available until the 2008 and later models. By the way they also told me that in 2008 they started using the Ridgeline transmission in the Odyssey. Ironically they too suffer from the shudder issue although can be fixed via software update.

    Good luck with yours, I hope you get full satisfaction. Don't let them bully you into accepting anything less than full replacement if possible.
  • compal55compal55 Posts: 1
    Per honda you have a warranty of 100000 miles on your tranny because of extended warranty given to all of the vans with the bad tranny, this was done on a class action lawsuit so the fix was that they continue to fix your tranny till it reaches 100000; mine was changed a total of four times on my 2001 van, after the 100000 u are on your own every trans lasted 36000 to 40000, get it fixed and get rid of it, after you reach your 100000 extension which i did, i had to pay for a fix on mine, it cost me $2200.00, then i told my wife to get rid of it, she did not listen and 36000 miles later it died again, now sitting in drive way as a reminder to do what i told her to do.....I'm in Calif, not sure if it covers other states, just call and ask if your tranny is covered under the 100000 per honda tranny recall all dealers may not be the same so call multiple ones to see if answer is the same, honda issued a paper thru mail stipulating this, not sure if you ever got it, not sure where mine is if not i'd send you a copy so you don't think i'm full of %$#@!, any way see if you can get them to do this and GET RID OF IT even if the rest of the vehicle looks great, or get ready to get stuck with it once the extension runs out! good luck
  • micottomicotto Posts: 1
    I've got a 2001 Ody EX with 108000 miles on it and I tow a 3500 lb boat several times a year - sometimes to Canada - never had a problem. but I do change the fluid every 20k miles of so, and did install an aftermarket tranny cooler when I bought it - maybe that's what makes the difference. Does anyone have any statistics on what percentage of vehicles have had problems? And of those, how many have an external cooler?
  • a) A recent clunking noise during shifting led to finding out two motor-mounts were broken. After repair, my wife said the car shifts wonderfully (??? LOL)

    b) On the Honda Odyssey transmittion matter, I needs some other opinions for feedback to wife as she now thinks our trans is uniquely better than all other.
    With 105K miles, and only some periodic slight slippage and jerky shifting, what would be the chance of a safe trip to Estes Park Colorado (Rocky Mountains) from Houston-TX pulling a pop-up camper? ???
  • od685od685 Posts: 1
    2000 Odyssey with 135,000 miles and there goes the transmission....sway bar...and engine mount. From the looks of other threads, I was on borrowed time. Seems like the same problems everyone has with the Ody. Car's worth $4000 if in good condition and it'll cost $3,500 to repair it. Looks like time for the scrap heap. Last Ody I'll buy, that's for sure. Honda reliability....huh! Honda NA, if you're listening, I buy 4 new cars every few years for my business, and the last ones were Hondas. You'd better get behind your product or start looking for some bailout bucks.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Wow, only 11 years on that transmission. I'd ask for my money back.
  • soltalksoltalk Posts: 2
    I love my three girls so much and I bought a 2004 Honda Odssey with only 34,000 mileage and exactly one year later ( mileage now 44,000 ) and i took it Honda dealer the day I noticed " check engine" sign and the bad news i received was the transmission is Bad. The code was po 720 and PO 730 D.

    I was shocked and I could not understand that after 10,000 mileage driving this Van and now, transmission is bad. Is there any one can help me in giving me advice what to do. I was told that the dealer will cover 60 % and i will cover 40 %. and that 40 % will be about $1700 dollar i will pay. Is this fair? I do not have any extended warrantee at all.
  • soltalksoltalk Posts: 2
    I love my three girls so much and I bought a 2004 Honda Odssey with only 34,000 mileage exactly a year ago. Today, i noticed check engine sign and took right away to Honda Dealer to check and a bad news that i received is that the transmission is bad.

    Can any one help me by giving advice what to do? I do not have any warantee. The dealer told me that they can cover 60% and I pay 40 % means i WILL PAY $1700 DOLLAR. Is this fair ? or the dealer should cover the whole amount?

    Any feed back will greatly appreciate.
    Solomon
  • samspade1samspade1 Posts: 5
    Thank you for your response to my message to someone else regarding their question...Well, I'm in California, too, and the dealer I bought my odyssey from was the first Honda dealer in the US. We paid a premium >MSRP since it was in big demand at the time '99-'00 because it was considered to be the best mini-van in the market according to practically all of the auto/consumer publications. I've got too many issues going on right now, but I'm crafting a letter that will be sent to everyone who matters at Honda in America and Japan, as well as the dealer. As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter how long you've had your Odyssey, if the transmission fails within 100K mi it's their responsibility. Otherwise, it penalizes everyone who has low mileage, like my wife who had a short commute to work. If I don't get satisfaction from any of them, I'm going to sue all of them...Seriously!
  • autohowzerautohowzer Posts: 3
    edited July 2010
    I'm away on a trip (from IL to Snead Ferry/Wilmington NC area) and my green drive indicator light in the instrument panel started to blink. So far my Odyssey is driving okay and I can't detect/feel anything yet although I haven't actually driven anywhere here except for around the block to turn the van around.

    In hind sight, I thought I felt some hesitation or slip/miss-shifting when I made slow residential street 90º turns back in IL for the last month or so but I couldn't be sure whether it always did that or even it actually did something at all. It just felt a bit odd but then... not really kinda thing. On the way here going thru some descents in WV & Virginia I thought it felt a bit strange as if the car wasn't accelerating right at certain steep descending sections but then I'm not used to descend like that all that much so I couldn't be sure.

    I'm in an unfamiliar area away from home. What should I do? Should I just attempt to drive back home to IL? I'm not sure whether it'll be okay driving extended steep incline through VA, WV, Ohio or not. Any advise would be appreciated. If I were to bring in to a Honda dealer, which one and how do I approach this, etc etc. TIA.
  • farmdog1farmdog1 Posts: 9
    "Honda did assist me - it only cost me $3,000 to replace the transmission "

    ONLY $3000? They made money off you while claiming they were assisting. Honda is laughing at those of us who bought their defective product at a premium price (could have bought Chrysler/Dodge at least 10k less) and when it fails they make money due to their own bad design.
  • vanwaanabevanwaanabe Posts: 15
    Make sure you post your story on Facebook:

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/hondaodyssey?ref=ts

    Get attention to what's happening.
  • Well here is the follow up report of sorts. I turned my Odyssey on and drove around. Now the 'drive' light doesn't blink and seems to drive okay... I think. I called a Honda dealer/service and Honda America.

    They asked my VIN# and told me my transmission has been ALREADY SERVICED FOR A RECALL IN 2004 so they cannot help me!!!! Well I followed up and called the Honda dealer in IL and they told me it was a minor recall to take care of a transmission noise issue. To be exact it was a very simple procedure that took only few minutes: they either installed and changed out an injector spray for the 2nd gear(?) or some such thing to get more tranny fruid to the area/gear to reduce noise and has nothing to do with current tranny issue (he seemed to hint that they are aware of without actually admitting). I've feeling Honda is using the 2004 recall as one of the their first line of defense against less-willful meek claimants saying that since they've already worked on the transmission once and therefore they won't take any more transmission recall claim from you.

    Well I'll see if I can make it back to IL without this problem blowing up on me and stranding me in the middle of West Virginia Mountains. Well wish me luck. I'm going to call the dealer that did the tranny recall work in 2004 and have them call the Honda America to clarify and make note under my VIN# record that the recall work that was done in 2004 has nothing to with any transmission issue that develop due the design flaw... and if I can I'm trading it in ASAP.
  • farmdog1farmdog1 Posts: 9
    edited July 2010
    Vanwaanabe, I have never posted on facebook but after viewing that link I might have to. Can you say valium pumping shills? Did Honda fix their transmissions for free in exchange for happy posts? Honda really does SUCK, I gave them until today to contact me, they did not. War starts tomorrow.
  • johnboy18johnboy18 Posts: 9
    I AM REALLY AMAZED AT ALL THE BASHING OF HONDA HERE, I HAVE 109000 ON MY 03 I MUST BE VERY LUCKY IT IS RUNNING LIKE A DREAM. HAS ANY BODY NOTICED THE AMOUNT OF ODDEYS ON THE ROAD? LOOKS LIKE A HUGE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE DRIVE THEM. PLEASE DO NOT BELIEVE EVERY THING YOU READ HERE, HAVE HAD MINE 8 YEARS OF GREAT SERVICE :) :D
  • farmdog1farmdog1 Posts: 9
    johnboy18, so do you think all of us with transmission failure are lying? What would be the point of spending as much time as we do other than Honda SCREWED US and we're damn mad about it.
  • rfreitasrfreitas Posts: 63
    johnboy18, you must work for Honda? My Odyssey is piece of junk. I have to replace the transmission, struts, motor mounts, a couple solenoids, and now my replacement transmission is starting to act up. Don't by Odyssey's!!!
  • nedlyjnedlyj Posts: 89
    edited July 2010
    Well, obviously the reality for the vast majority of people is somewhere in between both extremes. If you feel like you had a lemon and Honda did nothing to help you out then of course you feel screwed and would never buy a Honda (or at least an Odyssey) again. If you've never had a problem, then you feel great and suspect that only a few people are whining.

    But reality says that most people have some level of problem and that for most of them it was either taken care of to their satisfaction, or they simply and quietly are resolved to having to fix the problem themselves.

    In my case, I have a 99 Odyssey that is on its 3rd transmission (replaced at 60K and 124K). Currently has 170K so, yes, I'm not too optimistic about it never needing another. But Honda replaced the first one at their cost, and paid for most of my 2nd (I paid $1K). So for the transmission issues, I am relatively happy but ONLY because Honda treated me fairly in my mind. But I also ALWAYS had it serviced at Honda and had developed a good relationship with my service manager, which I do believe helps in the end.

    Now, with that said, over the last 6 months I've also replaced $2K worth of items (struts, engine mounts, sway bar, bushings, tie rod, ignition switch, master relay, etc.) which at 11 years and 175K were quite frankly worn out. Should they have been made more durable? Maybe. Probably. But I can say now that the van drives exceptionally well - and what I thought was a POS 9 months ago is something we can happily drive until the transmission craps out again or we decide to get rid of it becasue we want to not because we need to.

    So, yeah, I'm one of those in the middle - but still happy enough overall with Honda and the Odyssey that we purchased a 2010 Odyssey in December (Yeah , I currently have 2 vans) because we thought the 99 was on its last legs and needed a reliable family transport.

    Unfortunately (or maybe it's fortunately) everyone's situation is different. And some people have every right to be upset without being accused of being "bashers" while others have the right to be happy without being labeled "employees" or "fanboys". I hope that those who are getting the run around can get some level of satisfaction.
  • My tranny (04 Odyssey) just gave out while returning from the east coast on vacation. I had hoped it would hang in there til we got home. I had sensed some issues but the tranny blew it's top on I 90 just south of Rochester, NY. Had only 8 more hours to go before I arrived in Battle Creek, MI!

    Had the van towed to a transmission shop (after I searched the internet, bbb, and other sites to find a decent place). They are now working on it putting in a rebuilt.

    My van has 160K miles on it with at least 3 trips to Newfoundland, Canada, 2 trips to Florida, and multiple trips to MIssouri. Along with that there are many 1-2 hour trips to follow our sons sporting events.

    Unfortunately I did not ever changed the tranny fluid. In all of my 25 years of driving I never changed tranny fluids ever!

    In talking with some other Honda owners, they tell me that if you are faithful to have a tranny oil change every 30-40k and throw in a flush and fill once or twice, your tranny should last you a long time. Maintenance is everything!

    I have worked to maintain all other parts of the Honda Odyssey but neglected the tranny. I am grateful to have gotten 160K out of it.

    The mechanic told me if I maintain this tranny there should not be any issues with it. LESSON LEARNED - and an expensive one at that!

    All cars have issues!

    If you've had a bad experience with a Honda dealership, find another one. But all I've had have been great experiences. This is the only major issue I've had with this van the entire 160K. I'm hoping it lasts another 160K. I would like to see this vehicle reach the 300K mark.
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