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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems



  • gr26gr26 Posts: 12
    If you can get it done for $2-$3K, to me that changes the thought process a bit. Could you buy a used vehicle for that price to replace the van? If the van is in otherwise good shape, 105K miles is not much. If it's a Honda rebuilt transmission, typically that would come with a 3 year/36K mile warranty (mine did). At the same time, you may be ready for a new(er) vehicle (grin).
  • my family and i just came back from a 2000 mile trip in our 03 with 114000, we averaged 75-80 mph checked the mpg 24-25mpg wow i am very happy with this van. :)
  • I have received a letter from Honda announcing my 2010 Honda Odyssey Touring model is subject to a recall to replace the transmission software. I have long noticed the odd performance at relatively low speeds, particularly going down hill, where the car appears to downshift, particularly as you hit the brake, and then suddenly the downshift happens and you slow much more quickly than intended, and it happens with a noticeable lurch that passengers have complained about. We'll see whether it makes any difference when I have the new software installed this week. I will come back and report anything I notice. The job is supposed to take 1.5 hours at the dealer, and be free of charge. :confuse:
  • Thank you for the 2010 trans software recall update. Please do follow up and let us know if it drives any different. When you do post follow up, please include the honda recall info, link, or similar so we can see if our vehicles are effected, and/or qualify or not also.

    Also, do you know what years the recall effects and whether it is related to Honda's ongoing struggle with front and rear hydraulic engine mounts allowing vibration when running on less than all cylinders to save gas?

    Thanks again, T
  • Do some simple checking before you Jump off! 03 Odyssey; 130K: Had local Honda dealer change oil at normal interval and "check fluid levels" A few days later tranny shifted hard and D flashed for about 7 miles; no other malfunctions. I checked tranny level and found it 11/2 inches above max fill level on dip stick! Took van in to another Honda dealer and ordered tranny drained and filled also stating that I wanted to see removed fluid. Mechanic filtered fluid with paint stainer as I watched. No metal, no deposits found, no metal on magnetic drain plug. Removed fluid was just a little dirty but mechanic said it looked perfectly normal for being used 30K. He did not measure amount removed, but agreed with me that it was probably over filled. Over filling can create excessive pressures and foaming in the gear train and possibly trigger the flashing D. Extended use can damage transmission. I have routinely checked level since new and it has never been as high as found. I'm sure first mechanic did not check level properly and added unneeded fluid. Words to the wise; check fluid levels yourself after having service; oil as well as transmission fluid. I'm having meeting with first dealer who "checked the fluid levels"!!!
  • That flashing D is a warning of pressure in the transaxle case that is out of range. It won't trigger the MAL light (check engine light), and will go out whenever the pressure level returns to normal. Yes, too much fluid can trigger that light, but so can a partially blocked filter or fluid transfer tube. Honda transaxles have lots of those tubes, some accessible from outside the case, and some only accessible from inside.

    When was the transaxle serviced, i.e. who overfilled the case? If you drove it like that for a few hundred miles it probably didn't do any damage. The internals in that case are pretty stout.
  • Dude, just change the transmission fluid yourself... especially if you have tried to let Honda shop do it... I don't trust them a bit... especially the Honda shop in Asheboro, NC... crooked.. they told my wife that it was the engine bracket mount and would cost us over $1000 to fix it... I may not know much about cars, but knew enough to follow through to see what they say is correct.. which it wasn't... anyways.. change it urself.. not hard..and will only cost u about $35 for transmission fluids.. good luck.
  • Here is my situation:
    Odyssey 2002 - 89K miles -
    well known issue - accelerator increases rpm but not speed - check engine light is ON.

    One dealer did the diagnostics:
    p1750 Clutch Pressure Failure
    p1751 2-3 shift malfuntion
    p1676 fptdr signal failure
    road test harsh shifting 2nd to 3rd also flaring 2500-4500 rpm

    Dealer is asking:
    Replace Transmission
    Front Engine Mount broken - replace it
    Ignition Switch Electical - to be replaced
    Total cost = $4545 + tax

    I was talking to other dealer and they say:
    Alongwith transmission replacement, you also need PCM (computer ?) to be replaced - additional $1000

    So, went to AAMCO:
    they got the same codes as above. and tells me that those all codes are electrical - may not need transmission to be replaced. So, asking for 2 hours labor ($230) for further diagnostics. They said transmission fluid is low and contaminated. Now I had replaced transmission fluid 5 months back at local reliable auto shop.

    I'm the original owner of the vehicle. American Honda is saying 25% discount ==> ~$5000 cost.

    Of course, as most of us guessed this van will last for a long time without any major issues and kind of upset how Honda is treating it. Has anyone done any action against them?

    Mainly, I'm looking for some auto expert help on what shall I do?
    Have AAMCO spend another 2 hours and find out what really is bad?
    OR get it transmission replaced ???

    Any suggestion will be greatly help.
  • You are correct about changing the fluid yourself; it is just a little hard to get to without a lift. Your front engine mount may be bad. Ours in the 03 went bad at about 125K.. The engine would bump when accelerating hard. The front engine mount is vacuum operated. It stiffens up when the engine is torquing like during acceleartion, but at idle it is a shock absorber to dampen vibration. Honda dealer wanted $485 to change it out. I got it done for the cost of the part with another shop for around $200.
    The part had to come from Honda or at least we could not find one anywhere else.
    I'm beginning to believe the Honda dealers are driven to drive us out of the older vans and hope we will trade for a new one. Not gonna work with me! I think we are gonna drive something else real soon!
    Good luck,
  • Just remember: Often free advise is worth what you pay for it! If it was my van; I would first try a drain, flush, and refill with a close inspection of the fluid at each drain. If no particles, in oil; try it out with new fluid. If not better, you may have real transmission issues. I would go find a Jasper dealer to see what a remanufactured transmission from them would cost; I have also heard good things about how Cottman treats their customers. I would do a lot before spending $5k with Honda!
    Good luck
  • xjbearxjbear Posts: 2
    edited November 2010
    after owning my 03 odyssey for awhile now, 50k miles since bought 101,200k now my dealer tells me i need a new trans. d letter blinked once in awhile over the last 2 years, but not alot, tcs lamp flashed a few times in the past but never got a check light, the dealer says no codes are coming up at all, just alot of slippage in the 2-3 gear upshift or 4-3 downshift and it lags awhile before reverse will kick in. was quoted $3500 by dealer, called Honda 1-800-999-1009 and got a case# yesterday, they called back today with more questions, said they would research the problem and my Honda "history" I presume, and call me back. I was very polite and can't wait to hear back from them, I certainly can't afford that expense right now. I've owned Honda cars and motorcycles for most of my adult life and love them, just did not expect it to happen 1k miles past extended warranty, especially since I buy Hondas based on the reliability. I've had 3 chevy pickups and work vans that ALL made it over 250k without a single issue save for the fuel pumps. i would like my
    Hondas to be the same.
    I also own a 2009 Accord
    My mom owns a 09 Accord also
  • The recall is listed nowhere on the Honda website or any other recall website I can find. The letter from Honda notifying me of the recall says it applies to 2009 and 2010 Odysseys. I took it to the dealer and they did in exactly the 90 minutes they said it would take. I haven't noticed the problem that it used to have, but I haven't driven home from work yet down the hill in Georgetown, DC where I usually notice the problem when I'm doing maybe 20-25 mph, so it's hard to say. Noticing the absence of a problem is harder than noticing the problem of course.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    I do this all the time no matter who services my vehicle. As soon as I drive out of the service center or dealership, I pull into a parking lot and pop the hood. I check the fluids and make sure the dipsticks are in place. I check the caps for the oil and coolant. In my experiences, I have found pliers, screwdrivers, a scissors, and a wrench under the hood. Another thing is that I never buy bulk oil at any rapid lube shop. Most of these places have kids working there. One time they overfilled a young lady's Plymouth Sundance and oil was gushing out everywhere underneath the car. The mistake probably did serious engine damage.
  • I received the same letter for my 2010 EX-L. I wasn't having any problems, but the letter said that problems could occur if the software issue was not addressed, so I took it in and had it done. I haven't noticed any change in the van's performance, but I didn't have any problems anyway.

    I asked them to check the alignment, and they agreed it was off, but said they had to order some bolts to fix it. Sounds like there was a bigger problem than just the alignment, but as long as it is fixed with no cost to me, that's fine. Just thought I would let others know that if they feel their newer van is not aligned properly to have it checked.
  • Here is what the actual recall letter says, since there's nothing about this at

    Product Update: PCM Update for Lock-Up Clutch Function
    This letter is to notify you of a potential transmission problem with your vehicle and what you should do to resolve it.

    What is the problem?
    A transmission judder (vibration) may sometimes be felt while driving between 20-45 mph. To minimize the opportunity for judder to occur, a software update for the transmission is available. If you do not feel the transmission judder, the software may prevent it from occurring. If the transmission software is not updated, the transmission may become damaged.

    What should you do?
    (take to any Honda dealer to "reprogram the transmission software" free of charge.)

    Felt what I thought was the original problem again today, which happens when braking, and it seems that the car suddenly downshifts at the same time, or judders for a moment, almost like the automatic transmission is trying to do some kind of engine braking thing. Don't really know what to say, but since they've been making automatic transmissions for half a century, you'd think this wouldn't be such a challenge for Honda engineers, would you?
  • xjbearxjbear Posts: 2
    edited November 2010
    Yesterday I added a full quart of Seafoam trans additive to it and drove it for a half hour hoping it would break up whatever junk was in the trans. Today I did the whole drain tranny-refill-drive, drain-tranny-refill-drive, drain-tranny-refill routine. Added an inline filter to the cooler return line, which is the line closest to the drivers side on the radiator, 'your welcome', replaced the factory filter on top of the tranny, and installed a Rapid-Cool tranny cooler in front of the condenser. I used O'reilly Automotive Global trans fluid which says it is Honda Z1 approved and a "automotive filter"? inline trans filter they had in stock, a wix replacement filter, and no trans additives. So far it is shifting and not slipping at all, goes right into gear quickly and after it warmed up I did a few foot-thru-the-floor 0-70mph runs and it was flawless. I will knock on wood and hope that this lasts and was all that it needed, we will also drive this thing a little more conservatively now. I have a 150 mile trip to take Monday and I will post back with how it does and I will post over the long term, if I forget and you are curious feel free to message me.

    Thank you so much to all the people who have posted on all the forums and who have gone through this as well, the information so far has been a godsend.

  • If you continue to service that transaxle annually and replace the filter as well it will live a long and happy life. You really can't over filter or over cool the fluid in a transmission.
  • Honda dealer tells me you cannot replace the filter. If you replace the transmision it comes with a filter that is not recplaceable. I do not know about 2005 & up models. I have a cooler since 259,000 kms (currently 267,000) Transmission on my 2002 was replaced at 180,000 kms. When you ask for a or throught standard maintence get you tranny fluid done not all of it gets replaced. Apparnetly you must do the fluid-maintenance 3 times and drive it in between to have completely new fluid.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    xibear, good job!
    I have a 2003 Odyssey as well and keep dumping the tranny fluid and wiping off the magnetic plug. Last time I did it I noticed that the magnet was getting weak so went to the local Honda Parts couinter and bought a new one for it. I recall saying that "this magnet is all that stands between me and your service counter"
    He said, "no, there is also a transmission filter you can change" He showed me the diagram and sure enough there was a little, what looks like a spin on filter that sits parallel to the top of the case.
    I have put a trouble light down there and for the life of me can't find the thing..I noticed that you mentioned changing yours...could you explain the process please? I thought it was on top of the trans case, but is it visible from underneath?

    Also, did you have to do any mod's to the line to the rad cooler to add the new filter?

    A service tech was standing at the parts counter and said that they "always put on an in line filter every time they have to change a tranny" but strangly enouigh, he said he had never seen the external filter!
    Would really like to hear more of your modification system.
    Thanks in advance for checking back...
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    In searching for clues as to where that Honda Odyssey a/t filter is, I found this You Tube showing the a/t guts on a table and some very good info...but I still don't know where it is or how to get at that tiny filter to change it...
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