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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems

sawhneyvsawhneyv Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Honda
I am an all out Odyssey fan.

I was very excited when I took delivery of my 2002 EX-L RES after waiting for full six months after I had booked it. Owned a 2001 LX earlier which never gave me any problem.

However, less than two months of taking delivery of this one, one day I suddenly got severe jerks while driving and the engine malfunction light came on. Took it to the dealer immediately. They took all the time in the world diagnosing and ultimately replaced the transmission. The vehicle stayed in shop, out of service, for full 30 days.

Does any else ever faced similar problem ? Can I file a lemon law claim ?


  • ohloneohlone Member Posts: 55
    haven't heard of problems arising on the 2002 model.

    Mine was purchased and built in June this year - built in Alabama. I've had no problems through 3k miles.

    Maybe it was the last one built on a Friday, when everyone is in a hurry to get out of dodge.
  • bowkebowke Member Posts: 169
    the one part of honda that is equal to all other manufacturers is their automatic trannys...for some reason, all manufacturers have similar problems with them, and in similar numbers. however, if they replaced the tranny, nothing more should go wrong with it, judging by the odds. honda may buy the car back from you to do research, and furnish you a brand new one at no charge, but only if they cannot fix the problem at all...enjoy the fact that this was done under warranty, and that it was only 30, GM, and Chrysler would have taken 2-3 months. enjoy your were one of the unluckys that had to deal with this problem, but it sounds like you came out of it relatively unscathed.
  • jagelsjagels Member Posts: 2
    Just found out my 1999 Ody. w/69,000 miles on it had an "internal failure" in the transmission. It was making a loud "thunk" and the whole front would jerk when in reverse.

    Since I have no extended warranty, and we are well beyond the 30,000 mile included warranty, we are stuck w/the replacement cost. Our dealer worked out a deal w/Honda, and they have agreed to pay 75% of the cost of a remanufactured trans. The other thing is that remanufactured trannies are on backorder from Ohio, and it will be two weeks before my van will be fixed.

    Does this sound fishy to anyone besides me? Why is Honda paying for 75%, why not all? And why do they have so many trans. on backorder?
  • bowkebowke Member Posts: 169
    a remanufactured tranny has to start with 1 key component...a used one to if there arent many to remanufacture, it will be like a replacement have to wait for 1 to die before you get theirs, as yours will be remanufactured after it is removed. the 75% thing should be a godsend, as they really dont have to give you any of it, since your warranty is up. most people never have enough problems to need an extended warranty, but the occasional unlucky soul ends up seeing a different value in an extended warranty. count your blessings, and enjoy the rest of your vans life.
  • pluto5pluto5 Member Posts: 618
    You must be kidding; haven't you heard of the salvage market?? Since when is Honda from heaven, anyway. Sounds more like the van from hell.
  • bowkebowke Member Posts: 169
    the salvage market derpends on 1 thing, like i said: salvaged parts. how many '99-'01 odysseys are in a salvage yard, smart guy? you have to get 1 salvaged before you can reman any part, as honda only makes enough new ones for the factory to use on new extras. in addition, out of all the odysseys sold, how many have actually had this problem? you only hear about the ones that fail.
    is it an issue for honda to look into? maybe.
    is it a problem for lots of them? no
    van from hell?!?! not even close.

    every manufacturer...yes, even honda...has bugs every now and again, and unfortunately, the person that posted to this discussion is one of the few unlucky ones.
  • xafxaf Member Posts: 37
    Any back order suggests that demand for transmissions is greater than the junk yards can supply. Makes me think that more transmissions are crapping out than vans are being written off.

    As the Ody's age there will be more transmissions needed. Might be time to get that resale value on the Ody, before everyone is aware of the reliability issues and the resale decreases.
  • bowkebowke Member Posts: 169
    the bck orders could stem from either...but logic dictates that after only 3 years of use, there are just not that many salvaged. the new tranny will be in even shorter supply, since its a totally different piece of equipment. the 4-speed auto used from '99-'01 will never be built again, so i say again...back orders will rely on newly totalled vans that still have operable trannys.
  • xafxaf Member Posts: 37
    With limited parts available, the cost of repairs will increase.

    As the Ody ages more transmissions will break, then the "value" of the Ody will decrease.

    I guess the Ody will end up being the relative no one talks about in the Honda family. Quick sell the Ody before its too late :).
  • pluto5pluto5 Member Posts: 618
    Being a smart guy I figure they probably get plenty cores from US, Canada and third world countries where these little vans are used as taxis.
  • dchoppdchopp Member Posts: 256
    Why don't you just have the dealer repair it as most GM and Ford dealers do?
  • bowkebowke Member Posts: 169
    i was responding to a post that the dealer had to order a remanufactured tranny for him...if the dealer remans it, which they are capable of doing, it would take just as long as the reman would to come off backorder. one of our techs is doing this very same thing as we speak. i dont think this will hurt the odyssey in the long run, but i do agree that honda should do some work on it soon. heck, hondas tranny reliability is down with everyone else's now!!! lol.
  • petertpetert Member Posts: 23
    My 2000 EX has noise from the transmission since
    its delivery while driving at around 50 MPH.

    After I read post #2116, etc. I mentioned this
    to a service advisor at one regular maintainence.
    They found this is a problem and placed a
    "back order" on a remanufactured transmission.
    Like someone sadi there are so many back orders
    with the transmission, Honda must have its own
    design or manufacture fault with the transmission.

    My question is, how can the customers like me to push Honda issue a recall on this kind of transmission or get a new transmission, or get the back orders go fast.

    As this noise is very hard to notice or distinguish from the road noise, I believe there
    should be more Odyssey having this problem.

    I'm thinking to file a complaint against it to
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
    Since some times the rpm jumpping up and down
    in this situiation. That's dangous on highway
    when driving at 50 MPH.

    Thanks for any suggestion.
    Thanks the people who
    posted the transmission problems on this board.
    Thanks the HOST, thanks all.
  • bodydoublebodydouble Member Posts: 801
  • ktrainktrain Member Posts: 1
    Well, I'm joining the club... My 99 EX has a transmission problem. The Honda Service folks are stating that the lack of changing of the transmission fluid caused this result? What?? It has 52k miles on it!! Anyway, I am in the early stages of dealing with Honda,, would anybody be nice enough to give some advice. thx
  • jagelsjagels Member Posts: 2
    I would try to get your service rep. to negotiate something with the Honda Corporation. They know that something is going on with the trannys in that model. I would NOT recommend calling the customer service department for Honda America. They were the rudest people I have spoken to in a long time, and basically said that if I sent a complaint letter to Honda they just might rescind their original offer of picking up 75% of the cost.

    After 2 weeks, I am still waiting for my reman. tranny. Might be in tomorrow.

    Good luck.
  • sutton4sutton4 Member Posts: 34
    Honda has finally acknowledged there is a problem, but they refuse to recall them!!

    From the LA Times,

    "Mike Spencer, a spokesman for Acura, Honda's sport-luxury division, confirmed that there has been a "higher than normal incidence" of problems with two Honda-built automatic transmissions. Although many involve high-performance models such as the 260-horsepower Acura Type-S, others afflict 200-horsepower V-6 Honda Accords and 240-horsepower Odyssey minivans not usually associated with racing and speeding abuses.

    The two transmissions are the five-speed used in V-6-equipped Acuras since the 2000 model year and in Honda Odysseys since the 2002 model year; and the four-speed automatic used in V-6 Honda Accords since 2000 and in 2000 and 2001 Odysseys. "
  • bowkebowke Member Posts: 169
    the reason there is a back order on remanned trannys is that they are no longer produced new, so honda has to wait for one to be removed from an odyssey to be remanufactured. as you can undoubtedly imagine, there may be a few odysseys waiting on the others to be removed, all delaying each other... the only thing that will really catch the back-order up is using trannys from totalled or salvaged vans that wont be getting a replacement. kinda like waiting for someone to die to get a liver
  • dkrabdkrab Member Posts: 77
    The idea that a backlog is created because the older transmission is out of production cannot be correct; the old and new transmissions share the same case. If rebuild parts are in short supply, ORDER MORE! Just because they don't install the exact tranny in the vans anymore does not mean they don't make the parts. I have a 92 Accord and can still buy NEW parts for it!

    Two possible senarios:

    1) Too many Ody's need tranny transplants, Honda can't keep up!

    2) Not that many need new trannys, so Honda doesn't consider it a priority.

    Neither makes Honda look very good. There is simply no good excuse to make a customer wait weeks for a new tranny to perform warranty work, period. Take a new one off the line if you must, but get a transmission to the customer who trusted your company to build a product worthy of his very hard earned money. A poorly served customer won't long BE a customer.
  • mliongmliong Member Posts: 231
  • danandkatdanandkat Member Posts: 67
    It sounds like what you are saying is that anyone with a failed Honda tranny is going to get a remanufactured replacement. Even if someone wants and is willing to pay for a new one, there are no new ones being produced, so they have no choice but a reman. Is that the story? And per the organ transplant analogy, they don't have a warehouse full of remanned trannys to tap into, so you get to wait until someone else's fails. dan
  • dchoppdchopp Member Posts: 256
    From what I'm reading on this board the last three years, the wait will not be long.
  • bowkebowke Member Posts: 169
    the '99-'01 models had a 4 speed tranny, and the 5-speed DOES use a different housing, however slight the difference. (has to do with connection points rather than the actual shape)

    yes, you will ALWAYS get a reman tranny unless yours is still in production, which the '99-'01 is not. a reman is basically new except for the housing, so i wouldnt worry about that part.

    and yes, you have to wait till another fails, is removed, shipped to honda, remanufactured, and shipped to your dealer.

    i dont think honda is DELIBERATELY trying to displease its customers...they are intelligent people, and i would be surprised if they had some kind of motive for making people wait unnecessarily. im sure thay are doing their best to get people their replacement trannys, and i would expect they will follow what ford did with the '92-'95 3.8l v6's. ford offered 50% off a replacement not under warranty or $2000 toward the purchase of a new car without the problems. i think this would be a fair undertaking IMO. tell me if you think it is fair.
  • ext25ext25 Member Posts: 32
    I agree, unless Honda recalls the bad transmissions, resale value will suffer. Once Consumer Reports or Dateline gets a hold of this information and does a story, the resale value will be hurt.
  • petertpetert Member Posts: 23
    Schedule to replace it next week.
    It's less than 3 weeks after the order placed.

    My 2000 EX is still under warranty.

    The technician said all the internal parts
    are new and re-engineered, only the box is old.
    The remanned won't have the same problem.
    That means at least the problem parts is
    redesigned to avoid the fault.

    Honda is smart that if you do not complain,
    they don't have any loss. For the sensitive
    drivers if you complain, they will replace it
    if it's under warranty. After the warranty
    expires, customer has to pay.

    I'll let you guys know how the remanned works.
  • terryd1terryd1 Member Posts: 1
    I am considering buying an Odyssey, but was worried by the article in the LA Times. Honda dealer says they HAVE NOT had a problem, that the issue was with the Acuras; they said that after reading the article. Is Honda stonewalling, or is there a potentially catastrophic probelm with the 2002 5 speed? Also, is there a way to tell when the redesigned trannys (certainly implying that there was a problem)went into production either by VIN or by production date?
  • pluto5pluto5 Member Posts: 618
    I wouldn't consider a Honda dealer to be a very good source of unbiased information on defects. Honda is well known for handling problems under the table as "customer goodwill" policy. One Honda salesman told me there were absolutely no problems with the power doors!
  • saber86saber86 Member Posts: 128
    I just read it on the USAtoday the honda is going to offer free extended warranty up to 7 years or 100k miles on 2000-01 vehicles with tranny problem.

    It goes to show even mighty honda have to listen when enough consumers complain about their product.
  • mliongmliong Member Posts: 231
    The fix has supposedly made it into production, but the question of what VIN it will be, is anyone guess. My best geusstimate it that a the newer models made in a few months will have this fix - since demand is still so high, and inventory is almost non-existant.

    If you have to wait a few months for an order today, chances are probably good you'll have the reenginineered tranny. Honda wouldn't want to keep increasing the number of warranty extensions, right?
  • luauluau Member Posts: 3
    AARRGH - My 1999 Odyssey (please note that Honda is only extending warranties to 2000-2001 Odysseys) trashed its transmission at 35K and only after repeated discussions (thru my local dealer) with Honda, did they grudgingly agree to pick up the cost of my rebuilt and I had to eat the labor cost ~ $600. They started at a whopping $4,300 for the Transmission and $750 for labor.

    It helped that I was armed with numereous postings on the Internet on similar "deals" swung by other Odyssey owners... "Thank you Town Hall!"

    So tell me - WHAT customer focused logic is being applied to exclude the 1999 Odyssey when it was the 1st year of the redesign and (at least to my limited research) suffered the most problems... Don't get me started on my EX Power Doors...

    I found out about the extended warranty this evening and I go to battle tomorrow. Stay tuned...
  • mghorethmghoreth Member Posts: 14
    My '99 transmission went out at 65K. I do not have an extended warranty. Honda is covering everything; parts, labor and a rental car. It took less than two weeks to get the remanufactured transmission and it will be installed it today. Keep your fingers crossed.
    If anybody needs assistance, write to me.
    I haven't read much from those that have had it replaced?
    I was also shocked that they didn't include the '99's in the extended warranty. At least my '00 Accord is covered!
  • lok888lok888 Member Posts: 1,788
    Just read an article on the extended warranty for 00-01 Odys. Why not include the 99 Odys? I thought they are sharing the same tranny. And it should include in this offer. On the other hand, does anyone experience any tranny problem with their 02-03 Odys? I think it should be trouble-free since they are redesigned (5 speed auto vs. 4 speed).
  • dawnw2dawnw2 Member Posts: 3
    At 62k miles my transmission is shot! Dealer made me feel it was my fault since I had never changed the transmission fluid. I had no idea others were experiencing this problem until I logged on to this site tonight! They told me "$5,000 for a rebuilt, $6,000 for a new trans." I'm a female fighting this alone and need to know where to turn for help. mghoreth said to write for help so here I am. How did you get this replaced for free? Anyone's suggestions would be very helpful. I've loved this car and am still in shock!
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Member Posts: 1,207
    I'm sorry to say I don't think you have a leg to stand on. If you don't follow the recommended maintenanace regime for your vehicle and failure occurs I don't think that any manufacturer will help.
  • dave594dave594 Member Posts: 218
    I think they got you for not following the recommended maintenance schedule. You should have had the tranny fluid drained and replaced at the 30k service. If you didn't do that, then I think Honda has a case for now doing anything for you now. Sorry.
  • mliongmliong Member Posts: 231
    So you don't lose critical information when it's time to make a claim - and yes, you have to keep your car up to date on maintenance.

    All automotive manuals state the mileage / dates needed for what. To make sure you never forget it, have it posted somewhere on your windshield as to what needs to be done at what date/mileage.

    Sorry, but you're out of luck there.
  • redheadhrgalredheadhrgal Member Posts: 3
    Our 99 ODY trans failed at 70k. Dealer quoted $5400. Thanks to a previous post, I knew enough to call Corporate. After I provided the service records, they agreed to pay almost everything. We paid $408 for labor. They didn't offer a rental, but after I asked, they offered 50% rental coverage. After calling them back a week later, they gave us 100% rental coverage, max of $30 per day.
    I did not have my service records, but thankfully all my mechanics did, even Wal Mart had the oil change records on the computer.

    We were #300 on the backorder list, but it only took 3 weeks. Honda warranty is 3/30. Outside vendors only offered 12 months.

    This is our 6th Honda, and other than this transmission issue, we will continue to drive Hondas. The corporate office was great, and they have always treated us well. Just remember that you will get NO assistance at the dealer level. We did get GREAT service from Poway Honda, they were friendly, nice and FAST. ( This means a lot to us, as we never use the dealer for service issues.) If you have any reimbursement questions, you always have to call American Honda.

    We are still happy with the van, and with 3 kids, boy were we happy to get it back!

    Thanks to all you happy posters out there who have been so very helpful!
  • redheadhrgalredheadhrgal Member Posts: 3
    Hi, I forgot to add that we WERE NOT under warranty when this occurred.

    Also, I want to remind people that if you had all regular major servicings, then your trans fluid should have indeed been replaced as a part of that service, even if Honda did not do your service.

    Do not waste time at the dealer level, go to the corporate office. My "case manager" was Pat Evans, and she was fabulous.

    I think that Honda has a huge problem with this issue, and in our area, we are seeing a lot of used ODY's on the market, which is a real change from prior years when there were none to be found!

    Good luck to all of you, email us if you have any questions.
  • donkirdonkir Member Posts: 1
    After only 500 miles, we have noticed that our 02 Ody transmission seems to be prematurely shifting into a higher gear. This is a very subtle problem (unlike the jerky downshifting occuring in previous models). At a constant 50 mph, there is a loud humming sound that disappears only when we speed up to 55. (It's a similar sound to a manual tranny shifted to a 5th gear earlier than appropriate.) This also occurs at lower speeds also. The dealer thinks we are crazy, but two others who also have Odysseys say that there is something amiss. Anyone else with a similar situation?
  • dchoppdchopp Member Posts: 256
    Had the opportunity to drive three 02 Ody's including my own and they all did the same thing. It seems that the 5th gear is looking for a place to go at that certain speed and when it locks up there is a small hesitation at the lower speed upon accellerating. I think I read the explanation for this on the MDX forum given by Honda Engineers. Basically its a characteristic of the 5 speed. I bought the extended warranty just in case.
  • dkrabdkrab Member Posts: 77
    My 02 Ody did exactly the same as you describe; resnonance/rumble at 50-55 mph when it shifts into top gear and the torque converter locks up. It's very common in Odys. On mine, a Honda field engineer did something to better isolate the shift cable, and he replaced the original "dynamic dampner" with one off a v6 Accord. The dynamic dampner is a block of rubber coated metal, mounted in a frame, and bolted to the front cross member near the front motor mount. It's about 4" square. This "repair" reduced the noise quite a bit. It's still there, but not nearly as noticable.

    Hope this helps!
  • lok888lok888 Member Posts: 1,788
    I noticed that the Honda transmission (don't know anything about the manual tranny) has some kind of ill manner which has some of metallic sound and vibration when shift. You may not notice it when it's new, maybe a car with few months ago. I can feel it on my '93 Accord with 10,000 miles. I don't know if this is related to the latest Odyssey tranny problem.
  • alisa4homealisa4home Member Posts: 5
    We have a 99 which was bought only a few weeks before the 00 came out. At 50,000 miles the transmission failed. We are very discouraged that the 99's aren't included in the warranty extension that the 00 and 01's are--Especially since our van is identical to the 00. Honda will cover all of it but won't give us a warranty. IF we pay 500 they will give a 36,000 miles warranty. Does anyone know how to get the 99 included?
  • dchoppdchopp Member Posts: 256
    I would let them fix it and then get rid of it. At least they are fixing it at no cost to you. Thats more than I can say about some on this forum.
  • jdhoangjdhoang Member Posts: 3
    Our 99 Odyssey transmission started failing at 67k miles. The TCS light would intermittently turn on and off, and the Check Engine light remained lit. My wife noticed the transmission was not as smooth as it used to be as well. The first time we took it to the dealer, they just reset the Check Enginer light and said to come back if it turns on again. Less than a week later, the light came on again, and this time the dealer agreed it was a transmission problem. Of course, he tells us the cost of parts/labor for a new transmission is over $5k. Thanks to this forum, I was able to tell them about the frequent occurence and how some people got Honda to pay for all/most of it. The service advisor then puts me on hold to talk to his manager, and then tells me that they will talk to the regional Honda manager about the situation. Ten or so minutes later, the service advisor calls me to let me know that Honda will take care of the price of the part, while I will be responsible for labor ($500). That certainly made me happy and I could hardly quibble as I know my warranty has expired a while ago. Better still, they said it would take only a week to order and get the part.

    Kudos to Honda for taking care of their customers. Between my wife and I, we have owned over 6 Hondas, and this was the first time we experienced any major problem. If they did not take of the situation, we probably would be looking at different manufacturers the next time we brought a car.
  • lok888lok888 Member Posts: 1,788
    My relative has a 2000 Odyssey with 21,000 miles. There is no transmission problem. But the TCS and Check Engine light remained lit. Is this a sign of trouble?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    I would go get it checked out. You are still under warranty and Honda has extended your warranty to 7 yr/100k. So you should have nothing to worry about by taking it to the dealer.
  • the_droid_00the_droid_00 Member Posts: 7
    My wife and I have a 2001 Ody with 27,000 miles. We have had the TCS and Check Engine light come on intermittently, the most recent case is now. I have a scheduled service for next wednesday. Any suggestions as to how I should "steer" the service department into finding the problem?
  • dchoppdchopp Member Posts: 256
    The service dept. will do their own steering. The vehicle I believe is still under warrenty. The computer fault codes will indicate the faulty part or parts.
  • mghorethmghoreth Member Posts: 14
    Do not be content with paying the $500.00. While you "ONLY" have to pay $500.00, the people that waited until the next year pay nothing if they have problems and it's the same transmission.
    When I was told the same thing, I opened a case directly with Honda America. They covered not only the parts and labor, but also for a rental car!
    I am a 22 year Honda owner. Those of us that "took the chance" on the '99's should not have to suffer.
    Just my two cents.....

    p.s. As far as I know and have experienced, if you have a check engine light and TCS light, you are headed for bad things.
This discussion has been closed.