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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems

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  • 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:

    www.odysseytransmission.com

    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?

    Thanks!
    Josh
  • 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
    dan
  • 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
    dan
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,433
    honestly, the issue seems to be more with AAMCO, not Honda. No idea what the initial issue was, or if you could have gotten consideration from Honda (certainly possible for that new a car)

    but once you let AAMCO go at it, Honda wasn't going to do anything.

    and after the first time, why let them keep charging you every year, when it must have been obvious they had no clue what they were doing?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • The transmission kept failing right beyond the 1 yr warranty w Aamco. (We have been at 3 different Aamco dealerships) We had no other alternative but to get it fixed. I went after Aamco w Consumer Complaint and finally was given a 3 year warranty which it is finally being fixed 'no charge' this time. Yippee!

    Aamco fixes transmissions all the time. WHY won't a transmission work in my 2003 Odyssey!

    They have tried to add an exterior fan to keep the transmission fluid cool and obviously that did't work either.

    I guess we will try to trade this sucker in once we get it back. Really, who would want it.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    Really what you should be happy about is that when AMCO "fixes" it his time you will have a chance to get rid of it. An old used Ody with a 3 year warranty on the tranny should still sell for 4 or 5 thousand.

    If I were you I would keep the Honda repair history out of your sales pitch.

    Make sure the AMCO warranty is transferable so you can sleep at night with out fear of the new owner driving the old van through your living room window.
  • Oh It is NOT transferable....
  • I found these links about a defect investigation and a petition about Honda Odysseys transmissions; maybe if we all complain to HOnda at the same time they will stop ignoring us and will finally accept their responsability by making a second recall.

    Defect investigation:
    http://www.wcclaw.com/CM/ClassActions/ClassActions58.asp

    Petition
    http://www.change.org/petitions/american-honda-motor-company-inc-admit-recall-an- d-fix-1999-through-2012-honda-odysseys?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=url_- share&utm_campaign=url_share_before_sign
  • why did they close the list?
    dan
  • I know the NHTSA closed the investigation about these tranys because according to them they do not represent a hazard.
    This is what they say
    '“Transmission failure can occur for any number of reasons, such as a defect, wear or improper maintenance,” Ms. Aldana wrote. “While overall transmissions complaints are high, the agency does not see a trend of transmission failures that indicate a continued safety consequence related to the original recall or any new defect.”

    Honda, meanwhile, has said that the transmission problems occurred on models built more than five years ago and that “the vast majority of our customers have positive experiences with their vehicles.”

    The link I posted is about an investigation that could lead to a class action. I hope they didnt close that one also.
  • Interesting, I didn't know there was a new class action possibly in the works. I wonder when they started that....

    Did you post that info on this site?
    http://www.odysseytransmission.com/
  • There is not a class action yet, it is a defect investigation by an LA lawyers firm. My guess is that if they find good arguments to start a class action, they will. I hope they do
  • I have a 2002 EXL Navi whose tranny died at 90k miles at 8 plus years (time wise past the extended warranty). We had told the dealer that it was rough while still covered by they said that it was 'fine' - IOTW the car still moved and there were no codes. I ended up paying for the Honda rebuild (not knowing better). Since then, maybe 10-15k miles into the rebuilt, I added a Haydn cooler and magnefine filter and the new Honda fluid, and will change the filter and fluid once a year. I can't afford a new car anymore and am hoping that we can make this trannie last a lot longer then most Honda rebuilts.
  • ....how do you make a word a link like that?
    'amount' underlined
    and click on it to take you to the junk web page? thanks :)
  • is there any 2013 ody owner experience transmission problem? I am considering getting one. but this transmission issue scares me.
  • The Odyssey's high-tech features and a notoriously weak automatic transmission not only bump the sticker price, but foretell pricey repairs to come.

    The choice between a Toyota Sienna and a Honda Odyssey is a toss-up. According to TrueDelta, which collects maintenance data from drivers, both minivans hit the shop less often than the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. The Sienna is the smarter choice, though, because of its simplicity

    The Press is finally recognizing that Hondas (weak transmissions) have problems that would end up costing you $$$$$$.
    This is a good piece of proof if you are su
    ing Honda on your own.

    http://autos.ca.msn.com/editors-picks/twelve-cars-that-will-go-300000-km-or-more- #image=11
  • We've heard stories of people pulling out of the dealer lot with brand new 2012's and already experiencing rough shifting and other problems. I've no verification, though. Supposedly the Ody now uses the trannie built for the Pilot, supposedly nowhere near as bad as the earlier Ody trannies. But these trannies are designed for high efficiency using many gears / clutches in a small case without any 'spare' fluid flow and I would think that they too are at high risk for failure, but who knows. My guess is that until the Ody goes to a (well tested) CVT that they will still wear out prematurely. So good luck!

    BTW, NYTIMES had an article a while back on this, but Consumer Reports still doesn't seem to want to admit to the problem, and when subscribers contact them, they are pretty much told what to do with their report.
  • I bought a 2001 Honda Odyssey in Aug 2001 and in June 2009 the transmission had to be replaced at 98000 miles (within extended warrnty on miles and 2 months outside the extended warranty on months.

    Now it is 145000 miles and this winter since January (I live in NJ) I notice that when it is cold and the engine is cold and I start driving without warming up around 20-25 mph the engine revs (possibly because the gear shift from 1st to 2nd or 2nd to 3rd doesn't happen smoothly). I want to forestall any major problems with the tranny since I hope to use it for another couple of years.

    What can I do? Do I flush the transmission? In some other post in this thread, someone had recommended using Amsoil ATF. What do you think?
  • Service the transmission if it hasn't been done in the last 20,000 miles. Use the Honda fluid. Our 1999 Odyssey has 215,000 miles and I service the trans annually.

    If that doesn't do the trick then have the 2nd then 3rd gear pressure switches replaced. They wear out and lead to hard shifting due to higher than normal engine rpm.
  • Took it to the Honda dealer who had installed the replacement transmission in June 2009 (36 month/36000 mile warranty). It is now little over 43 months and around 47000 miles on this transmission. They say that the transmission is slipping and will have to be replaced ($5500) and that replacing the fluid/flushing the transmission would not do anything. Asked about the pressure switches and they said that it is not the problem.

    Is slipping due to broken gear teeth? Are their transmissions so badly built that they fail in such a short time?

    Any advice on furtehr course of action? :mad: :lemon:
  • A lot of us are of the opinion that the rebuilds not only don't fix the original problem that causes them to fail, but that they also do the rebuilds in a way that ensures that they wear out prematurely. I've seen a number of people who have replaced their Ody trannies more often then they replaced their tires. The only answer I've heard of is to add a tranny cooler and Magnefine in hope of extending the life of these rebuilds.

    If you are going to spend the money though, get something like a Jasper rebuild instead of one done by Honda.
  • Honda dealers put the same trans in when they replace. You need to go where they recognize the problem and fix it before they rebuild it. my 2002 went almost 200,000 miles before i had the trans rebuilt...the business is well aware of the problem they said with the odyssey trans. i guess only time will tell with my rebuild...good luck!
  • for anyone, is the second and third pressure switch the samething as the linear and other ( can not remember the name of it) selonoid> ??
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