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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems



  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    Where exactly was the steam coming from? There aren't a lot of fluids in a car, so it should be easy to figure out. It sounds like you may have popped a hose. It happens.
  • Hello all, I too am having problems with my Honda. We are getting a shuddering when the vehicle tries to change gears from 25 to 45 mph range. It doesn't do it all the time, mostly when in normal mode vs ECO mode. I am the original owner and the vehicle has under 58,000 miles. I took it to a local repair shop (not dealer) and they informed me they have replaced numerous Odyssey transmissions because of this known issue. They suggested using a Jasper transmission as it comes with a 3 year 100,000 mile warranty. But, the cost is $4800. I started doing a net search and it appears Jasper is the way to go as the Honda transmission don't seem to hold up even if you can get Honda to pay anything toward a replacement. I have not really had too many problems with our vehicle to date with the exception of the transmission. I find all the posts disheartening. This is the first foreign vehicle I've ever bought and I expected more. For a transmission to go out this early, with nice and easy driving, it's a shame. Honda should have a recall and fix this once and for all.
  • It's coming from somewhere on the upper left side of the engine (passenger side) and must be down towards the wheel-well as I can't find anything leaking or sprayed on the top side.

    I can't find any leaks after letting it idle for a solid 30 minutes and it hasn't happened again. It almost seemed like when you vent a pressure cooker or something, and I would think that if a hose popped off it would be pretty easy to duplicate the problem.

    It's just kind of annoying since it happened on a weekend when all the shops are closed, and I don't want to put my wife and 4 kids in the car without knowing what the heck it is.
  • pch2001pch2001 Posts: 2
    I've owned a '99 Odyssey EX since 12/98. I have 182K miles and have never had a transmission problem. I live at sea level in CA and have driven it to above 7,000' in elevation (the Sierra Nevada mountain range) countless times. I was hoping to keep it untill 200K miles and sell it before the major tune up (timing belt, water pump, plugs...). Some idiot rear ended me in January 2011, so I used the insurance $ as a down payment to purchase a 2011 Odyssey LX. Keep driving your '00 as long as you can. The'11 LX isn't much of an improvement over the second generation Odyssey.
    I plan on selling the '99 tomorrow for $2K. It still runs great, but has $3.2K of damage to the rear end. The insurance adjustor didn't consider $3.2K worth of damage a total loss for a Honda Odyssey minivan with 182K miles!
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    Just letting an engine sit and idle won't always reproduce the problem as engines that are running at speed produce huge amounts of heat and pressure compared to something that's just purring. I would have the cooling system pressure tested. Sometimes radiators can develop leaks that are intermittent, and may not show up if it's just sitting in the driveway. Also, have some UV dye added to your coolant. You can do this yourself for about $10. If the cooling system is to blame, the next time it happens a UV light will show the leak as a huge purple mess.
  • spdrcr61spdrcr61 Posts: 4
    Replying to: pgnagel (Mar 06, 2011 5:28 pm)
    Thanks for your advice. I just hate to put out 80$ in fluid but I guess it's much cheaper than a new trans ,, And yes, you bet, I wanna pop a little cover, pull some tubes, and clean out the slime !!!! Do you have a DIY on this or something that may help me out... ?? Just askin'...
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    Buy your fluid here:

    $6 a quart. I have to go to work now, but search this site:

    for info on your transmission. The B7TA and B7YA were used in Accords, Odysseys, Pilots, and Acura RL(TL?) from 1999-2002 in different variations, but share the same internals. Instructions on how to pop the soleniod cover and clean out the fluid tubes is on that site. If you can't find it, please let me know and I will find a resource for you to use.

    Good luck! It's not that hard to do if you have a little patience.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    I have a 2003 Ody, and am wondering if anyone knows if these supply tubes with the screens were also built into the a/t for that year?

    It would be one more thing I could service to prolong the inevitable.
  • fuvangfuvang Posts: 6
    Try to change your transmission fluid. I had the same problem. Read it and talked it over. I changed the transmission fluid twice. Have you ever changed the transmission fluid in it? If you tell me that your dealer shop did it, then I would say do it yourself this time. I don't trust them. They would more than likely want you to changed your transmission anyways. My dealer shop in Asheboro, NC told my wife that it was a engine bolt that broke and that's why it shook like that... that was full of crap. I looked and the bolt was fine. The problem I think it comes down to is that the converter box for the transmission is very sensitive, needing clean transmission fluids to change gear smoothly. The vehicle has a breakdown period where all the metal shavings comes to the bottom of the pan where the fluid is. Some floats and prevents the smooth gear changing, which then will lead to other problems more severe down the road. I know they recommend 35000 miles to change the transmission fluid everytime and I am changing it sooner for the first 100000 miles. When you get that bolt out, just look how much metal shaving you have on it... you'll know why your van isn't changing gears smoothly. Good luck.
  • See website and search transmission fluid change.
    Switch to the transmission fluid Honda is now recommending DW-1 a full synthetic. I did it on my 2007 Honda Odyssey. I will not have transmission problems.
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    Try, sign up for a membership and search the forums for a exploded drawing of the transaxle.

    If you play nice your local Honda dealership will print that drawing for you so you can see all the detail yourself.
  • jdmars02jdmars02 Posts: 2
    Hi jaydowns001:

    My wife just experienced the same exact problem/mystery yesterday(March 21). Do you have an answer to this problem? We are scheduling an appt with our Honda dealer. It's a mystery. Did you get the matter resolved@!

    Thanks, jd

    2009 Honda Odyssey EX-L
    mileage: 39K
  • jdmars02jdmars02 Posts: 2
    edited March 2011
    I went to the ODYCLUB forum. note post below. same symptoms (this person had a 2008 Ody) ANSWER is a bad AC RELAY.
    (I will let his post do the will give my dealer a good head start
    to look at the my AC system/compressor)...

    The weirdest thing happened the other day on my '08 EXL.

    Went to start the van and the battery was dead. Jumped it, drove about 4 miles, and while parked at a gas station with the engine running, there was an incredibly loud noise coming from the vicinity under the AC compressor and the engine started to smoke badly. The noise was a VERY loud buzzing/hissing/low groaning sound that I have never heard before. Like compressed air was being forced out of something.

    Brought it home, jacked it up and removed the skid plate to take a look. There was a coating of light, clear oil on the large round crossmember in the vicinity under the AC compressor and also in that area on the skid plate. It was not engine oil and not red trans fluid.

    And what I witnessed was truly bizarre. When the noise was happening (it only happened intermittently, at idle) I felt with my hand compressed air being forced out of the hole in the bottom of the big round crossmember that runs across the whole front of the van. And the compressed air was mixed with the light clear oil, like an oily mist. The oily mist hitting the hot exhaust pipe was making the smoke, so at least I figured out why it was smoking.

    I know this does not make sense because there are no tubes/oil lines that run inside that crossmember, but this is what I witnessed. And I could not determine exactly where the noise and compressed air was coming from. Very strange.

    During this process my battery died again and I had to jump it. Now here is another piece of the puzzle. Turns out the negative battery terminal was not tight, causing the battery to lose its charge. The van had recently come back from the dealership for the infamous tranny "judder" problem and they had replaced the torque converter, but forgot to tighten the battery terminal when they were done (and did not replace half the clips that hold the skid plate on! But that is a side issue...) So I tightened the battery bolt and low and behold after more noise!

    I was still concerned about this problem so the next day I brought the van back to the dealer to take a look. The service manager, shop foreman, and myself all looked at it while it was up on the lift. But now it was no longer making the noise. I explained to them exactly what I had witnessed with the compressed air/oily mixture coming out of the hole on the bottom of the crossmember, in the vicinity under the AC compressor. They could not explain it either, but they thought the oil was power steering fluid because the power steering lines were disconnected and flushed during the tranny remove and replace process, and the Honda power steering fluid is clear, not red.

    So they did nothing to fix it (other than replace all the missing clips in the skid plate!) Again, the noise seemed to stop right after I tightened the battery bolt (which I also voiced my extreme disappointment at!)

    So what really happened?

    I am thinking what I saw was maybe a "pop off valve" of some kind on the AC compressor that was triggering to release excess pressure in the compressor. And I think the oily mist I saw was not power steering fluid, but the oil that is inside the AC compressor (I think it is called PAG oil). And the compressed air must have been entering the crossmember from somewhere above and coming out the hole in the bottom.

    That's the only thing I can think of that would explain the oily mist being forcefully released. And I think the whole thing was related to the loose connection on the battery because it all stopped after I tightened it. I'm thinking there must be something in the electrical system, some sort of sensor that detected low voltage that caused this to happen.

    I would like any AC experts (or anyone else) to weigh in on this and give me their thoughts. Have you seen anything like this? Is there a "pop off" valve on the AC compressor somewhere that would explain this? Am I correct in thinking that the loose connection on the battery could cause this?

    Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    It was a bad AC relay...which caused excess pressure to build up in the AC compressor...which caused the "blow off" valve on the compressor to trigger...which caused the loud noise and the oily mist I saw. It all makes sense now!

    And yes indeed, there is a "blow off" valve on the AC compressor.

    A few days after I got it back from the Honda dealer, it was a hot day and I noticed that my AC was no longer blowing cold. So back to the dealer I went. This time they properly diagnosed the problem...service manager said "they were having trouble with the AC relays" so they put in a new one and recharged the AC. Problem finally totally solved, but why they didn't think to check for that the first time I was there I'll never know! Especially when I described the symptoms in exact detail (loud noise of unknown origin, oily compressed air coming out).

    What happened is because the relay was not cycling the compressor on and off like it should, it built up too much pressure and triggered the blow-off valve. This valve is located on the bottom of the compressor just above the large cross member. The oily compressed air that I witnessed was actually the freon coming out mixed with compressor oil which is clear. The blast of freon/oil coming from above the cross member was wrapping around the crossmember, giving the illusion that it was coming out the hole in the crossmember (this explains that mystery!)

    Whether or not the loose battery connection contributed to this whole ordeal is unclear. It might have, or it may have been coincidental.

    So if you have symptoms on your Ody like I describe, check your AC relay. I would suspect that all Ody's from 2005 on (mine is an '08) have that blow-off valve, maybe the older ones too.

    Hope you find this post useful.

  • Let me add my latest to the long list: My 2000 Odyssey had the original faulty transmission replaced under the "extended warranty" at 88,000 miles. Thinking I was now in the clear with that problem solved, I fully expected to enjoy the great reputation of Honda reliability that I had paid a great deal of money for initially.
    Fast forward to two days ago when on a trip to the valley, my beloved minivan lost power, revved up to 5000 rpms before I got it to the side of the road. A $180 tow later, I paid $600 for a dealer to fix other "might be" problems before they could road-test it, and got the report that the transmission had, again, failed. This was exactly 88,000 miles after the first one had died.
    A call to Honda Customer Care did nothing because I am at 174,000 miles. My choice is to pay nearly $5,000 for a new trannie, or find a new car.
    I join the many of you who wonder where the Honda reputation has gone, and why we are paying the price of poor engineering and design. I fully expected that my Honda would outlast my friend's Chrysler Plymouth minivan (she has topped 250,000 miles with NO serious problems) and paid the premium price for that assurance.
    No more Hondas for me. This is only my second but will be my last after this experience. There is a lot of competition these days.

    I've heard that some folks are seeking a lawsuit against Honda for this issue. Anyone have information? I would certainly join the group!
  • abbeyrose,
    I have had the exact same experience, only the Honda dealer offered me a 10% discount on that $5000 transmission service. Well you can imagine what i was thinking when I heard that. The forums tend to suggest there are tube that need to be cleaned out. If this works for you please post your results. Tis is what I am going to pursue next, I will let you know if it works.
  • autowriteautowrite Posts: 224
    I have had one tranny go. If I ever have another one the cost to do it would be out-of-reach knowing that a third replacement could be just-around-the-corner. (Oh, rhe best year was 2004). Looking at readers results in ConsumersReports for 2011 the only choices are the following (these have had no tranny or engine problems 2005-2011).
    Acura - All, Ford Fusion v6 FWD, Honda CR-V, Honda Civic (no Hybrd), Honda Fit, Honda Pilot,
    Hyundai Sonata 4, Lexus I5 250, Lexus I5, Lexus LX, Lexus RX, Madza 3 Sedan,
    Subaru Forester (non turbo), Subaru Impresive (no turbo), Subaru Legacy (4 cyl),
    Toyota 4-runner, Toyota Camry (4 cyl), Toyota Hylander. For the room I need I would need a SUV room similar to my 2002 Odyssey.
    I got my daughter to purchase a Kia Rondo to replace her ill Ford Explorer. Rondos are still sold in Canada for 2011 unlike the USA.
  • hondaouthondaout Posts: 5
    edited March 2011
    Our transmission went out at 143,000 miles which was this morning while my wife was on her way to work. The tow truck operator without even touching the car said it must be the transmission. He has hauled countless Odysseys with this particular issue. The local Honda dealership here in Duluth GA wanted $4,500 and when we pushed back came back with $4,200. American Honda fully rejected assisting us all together. They did not acknowledge our long history of owning Hondas. We have owned three Hondas, but that was not good enough. One reason for not helping is because we are the second owners. I called American Honda and told them they have lost me as a customer. It is not that the car is a 2003 with 143,000 miles, it is because they have lost their sense of quality! For those who think that Honda has done you a favor by helping you pay for their poor quality, please think again. We have to stand together so that Honda can take care of all of us! FYI..Honda just serviced my transmission last week. My certified Honda/Acura mechanic is charging us $2,200 and said that it should last for 1 to 5 years, as it will go out again. We will fix and sell!!
  • Last week, six years and 85k miles later, I too and having the same problem as everyone else. My transmission has failed despite doing all the required maintenance which is documented. (My sister's KIA is still going strong at 125k.)

    We have had nothing but problems with this van. First the a/c had to be replaced completely and thankfully that was covered under the extended warranty that I purchased. Next, the battery keeps draining. I have had 4 in batteries as many years. Some of the dashboard lights never worked. No one can explain why or fix it.

    I bought this van since we have been a very loyal Honda family. This is our 3rd Honda. I have filed a complaint with the Honda executive offices and am waiting to hear back from them. I expect more from Honda and hope to continue being a customer but that all depends on how they handle this situation. If they stand behind their product, do the right thing and help fix this car, then we will remain a honda family. If not, this will be the last Honda we ever own.
  • neilpmcneilpmc Posts: 1
    On April 1, 2011, our Honda Odyssey (model yr. 2002) experienced significant jerking / thumping motion upon acceleration after driving for about 30 minutes. It felt as if the van was hit form behind by another vehicle, which was not the case. We pulled into a parking lot to rest the van, and to try and regain our confidence and courage to continue driving it again. Once on the road the same jerking sensation occurred once more. It truly felt unsafe to drive from then on.

    The Honda Odyssey was purchased from a local Honda dealer (Marty Sussman Honda) and maintained 100% by this dealer. On Monday April 4, 2011, the dealer diagnosed the problem as "complete transmission failure”. Based on internet research and automobile forums, apparently transmission failures are quite common for these models. The dealer quoted us a price of five thousand dollars ($5,000.) to repair our van which has 99,720 miles logged.

    Honda corp. is not standing by their product. We’re not sure what to do or where to turn next, but I’m not giving them another dime. This is bad news from a manufacturer that boasts about quality & reliability in their marketing. I guess those days are gone. Bad news…

    - also filed complaints with BBB,, and
  • Just bought a Certified 08 Ody EXL with 54k miles. Seemed good during my test drives. I had detected very minor juddering during those drives but felt it was par for the course. We bought it. Since... the 20-40 juddering not bad, but it's the gear indecision on highway that is driving me insane. Been researching... obviously, I am not alone. Amazingly, there seems to be no real, lasting fix. Additionally, two weeks in... dead battery. I see that is another common problem as well. I gave up a 185k mile Ford that was rock solid compared to this car. If anyone has any specific advice it'd be appreciated. I see that the judder update was performed at 45k miles. Again, it's not the low speed that bothers me, it's the constant shifting on the highway. Gas mileage doesn't seem too good either. Ugh.
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