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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems

px260px260 Posts: 42
edited November 2018 in Honda
I have an '03 Honda Odyssey at 58k miles. Lately I've been having problem shifting/moving the gear selector out of "P" Park position. It takes a few times to get it to move. At first, I thought maybe I wasn't stepping on the brake pedal hard enough - but that wasn't the case. I always park on a flat surface so there shouldn't be any issues with a "transmission lock-up". Does anyone have any similar experience?
Thanks in advance for your comments.


  • smat5smat5 Posts: 1
    I have an 03 ody w/ 53000 miles and just had the same problem. It happened off and on for a while then one day would not go out of park at all. It is not a transmission problem though it is the brake switch. The gear shifter is controlled by the break switch and when the small plastic bearing that triggers the switch breaks you can't get out of park. If you get stuck there is a small "cap" on the top of the steering column on the key side pop that off insert the key then you can release the gear shifter into Neutral start the car and get to the dealer.
    Good luck! I would takt it in before you get stuck though.
  • px260px260 Posts: 42
    Thank you, smat5, for the insight. Can you tell me roughly how much did it cost to replace the switch/bearing?
  • On a recent quick family trip to San Diego, my 2002 EXL suddenly begain to shift un-naturally from 2nd to 3rd gear. Fwy traffic was stop-go & the tranny would shift 1-2, then in 2nd gear would suddenly soar to about 4000 rpm, before clunking quite loudly into 3rd gear. It repeated & appeared to be getting worse, so we turned around, went home and dropped the car off at our local dealer who had always given us exceptional service. At 73K miles and out of warranty, I was needless to say worried about the possibilities of a $3000++ repair bill.

    I looked through my repair records and noted that I had taken the car in a few years earlier for a transmission recall, where they installed an "oil jet kit" to put more lubrication into the engines 2nd gear area, to help keep it cool, a known 5 spd odyssey tranny problem & what seemed like a responsible thing for honda to do to recall all odysseys to check for existing damage and as a precaution, do this free service. Searching on the web, I found was alittle upset to find alot of discussions regarding Odyssey tranny problems at the National traffic Safety administration (apparently some people had even worse experiences of them locking up - a safety hazard) and there was even a stop sales order from Honda to all its dealers for all 2002 odysseys until they could all be fixed with this kit in april 2004. This was not an isolated incident.

    My dealer was somewhat non-committal when I brought it in, but eluded to the fact that Honda had often "gifted" repairs on these cars (he admitted honday was not happy about how many cars had problem!). I was very happy when a day later, my dealer called, saying honda would replace the transmission with a new model, which had all the latest fixes, at no charge (parts or labor). Although this may sound like a "gift", its something I personally expect from honda or toyota, given the premium we pay for their products and their strong reputation and committment to quality. I have my car back, it drives like new, Im alittle uncertain as to what whether they will "gift me again" if I have problems in say another 15K miles (my next door neighbor is on his 3rd or 4th tranmission on a 2001 Acura - "all gifted"), but my confidence in honda is once again maintained by how I was treated. I also love my local orange county dealer, who has never let me down now for many years. I urge anyone in similar situation to use their dealer, then if they dont get proper resolution, call honda directly and complain quite bitterly. I do believe they understand the value of repeat business, of the power of the consumer network regarding these things, and especially with honda, have an incredible pride and desire to be recognized as an ultra high quality manufacturer. The web is also a great resource to see whether you are truly the 1 in 1000 or whether your problems are systemic and something which a manufacturer has a responsibility to resolve.

    I do wonder why honda did not simply extend the warranty on the transmission to 100K for the 2002 as they did for the 2000-2001. Unless people are making things up on the web, 2002's and even 2003's still have quite a few transmission problems, but they appear resolved to work them one by one after people complain. The only thing that could have made my experience better is not having to worry that Id be taken care of (which a simply warranty extension would have done). Im also slightly miffed about the lack of information about what actually was wrong. My cars engine light code was P1750 (clutch pressure failure)and of course I was told, my problem wasnt the same as those I cited to them as reading about so widely. I am an engineer though and dont believe that one bit. Im sure the dealers have strict rules with Honda Corp reg what to say to consumers.

    Best of luck to others in similar situation :)
  • I have a 1999 Odyssey with 122K+ miles on it. The transmission recently started having trouble shifting and I (brazenly?, foolishly?) decided to rebuild it myself. I bought a rebuild kit from Makco and am ready to go.

    I have the transmission off from the car and have removed all of the various outer parts and the torque converter. I have taken off the back cover and removed the shift rod linkages on the back. I have removed the bolts around the perimeter of the case and I can separate the front section from the mid-section of the case by approx. 5/8" but that is as far as it will go. It seems that it might be hanging up on the main shaft somehow but I don't see how.

    Can anyone tell me the magic key to finish opening up the case so that I can get to the clutches, bands, etc. inside?

    I appreciate any advice. :confuse:
  • We bought a '99 Odyssey EX with 70K miles on it in 2002 having had great luck with Hondas in the past. 45 days after we bought it at CarMax we were told it needed a new transmission. Had it replaced and paid labor only, then the recall came out and they paid us back for the labor. Fast forward to last week, the lights are on again and now it is making awful noises. It has about 125K miles on it now. We are afraid that the replaced transmission needs to be replaced again and that its not worth the money to do it at this point, were planning to trade it in for a Civic in 9 months or so anyway. Any experience with having the replacement transmission fail? Any advice for dealing with the dealership?

  • I bought (brand new at the time) a 2000 Honda accord coupe. At 32,000 miles I noticed that I was having problems with the transmission. The dealership replaced it for free under the original 36,000 mile warranty. Since 2002, I have replaced 4 transmissionsunder the recall. The dealership took care of me but what about all the hassles for me and wondering if this will continue. I decided to call the Honda plant in Ohio and get this resolved. They agreed 4 transmissions was ridiculous and offered to put in a brand new one if it happened again. (not reconditioned)
  • I own a 2000 Accord coupe that is under the transmission recall. Since 2002, I have replaced 4 transmissions under the warranty. Your new transmission should be covered and they should continue to replace it until your issue is resolved. The problem is-the replacement transmissions are not new and all reconditioned through Honda....
  • HondaLover10:

    We are in a similar situation as you have detailed. We have a 2002 EX-L, bought new, serviced always at Honda Dealer, with 61750 miles. Transmission started slipping a few weeks ago. This past Monday, we had the 60K service done (including another tranny flush and fill). Yesterday, it was slipping in 2nd gear almost constantly. Took it in today, and they are telling us new transmission (at $4500), and will NOT be covered. We did not buy at extended warranty, as we did not think it would be needed. What were you able to do to get your dealer and/or American Honda to cover the cost of your repair? Any idea on what needs to be said in order to get them to "gift" the repair? Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
  • We just got ours back today having had the rebuilt transmission replaced again. Honda footed the bill for the transmission, we paid for labor ($700). The first time my husband went in armed with information from the web that Honda was offering a "good will" warranty on the transmission and they were willing to go along with it. This time there was little discussion, we have been working with the same service advisor so he took care of it. Best of luck!
  • I heard from the dealer on Friday, and they offered at rebuilt transmission, with Honda paying for the parts, and we need to cover the installation. I was quoted $750 for the work. Do you know if any one is getting Honda to cover the entire cost on any of the 2002 Odyssey's? What exactly is their "goodwill" warranty? Was there any warranty for the rebuilt transmission? If so, for how long? This is our first transmission many have you had done?
  • My 1999 Ody with 118,000 miles is giving me fits.
    The tranny is acting up and missfiring - Dealer replaces the tranny (we pay 25%), the car runs good.

    8 weeks later it is missfiring again - Dealer says cat convert, valve job, and finds other problems, we don't do the cat converter, or valve job, runs good leaving shop

    4 weeks later, missfiring again, take it to my local shop, bunch of codes, but they can not figure out what the problem is, they don't believe the cat converter is causing my problem
    All they do is clear codes, car runs good leaving shop

    I borrow a friends code reader, I drive the car (usually my daugher drives it) after awhile I detect slight missfiring, over several reading and resets, P0300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 420, 1399. Can not find any info on P1399. At first the reset would help for awhile 50 to 100 miles. Now it only turns off the check engine light, soon the symptons come back. Oh yes, the TCS light comes on some times. Turning the engine off a stop light and turning back on will turn off the TCS light. :sick:

    Anyone have any ideas. Anyone think the EGR has anything to do with this.
  • I have 2002 Ody with 74,000 miles on it. Lately, I have notice that once in while engine drops power and RPM goes 3500 to 4000+ to just change 1 or 2 gear. Has anyone seen this problem? I called Honda for warranty and of course it is expired, but they are willing to look into. But what she, Honda customer Service person, told me that they need all maintenance records. I get my maintenance done at my own mechanic shop not at Honda dealer. She said they may not cover it even if its transmission problem.

    Question is Any one is experience this?

    I would appreciate for any help or advice on how to convince dealer? I know I will have hard time to convince them.
  • I had this same problem with my 1999 ody. The problem i had only happens when the car is very cold (early in the morning), it would not shift gear and the RPM goes very high. I engine light came on, they determined the code was P730 which was transmission problem. They say this could be caused by driving in D3 for a long time and over 80 km/hr.

    Honda extended the warranty on the transmission for up to 16000km.
    Do not let them get away with it?. The Honda odyssey (1999 -2003) had transmission problems and they know. They should fix it period.
  • I purchased a used 2001 EX (from friends), knowing that they had gotten it from a broker and that it came from Canada, but had no idea what a mess that could lead to. Now my transmission has failed, my local dealer can't get any warranty coverage because American Honda says it's a Canadian, which they don't cover, and even my extended warranty company (Heritage) says they won't cover it because Honda issued a warranty update! Does ANYONE have any suggestions? I am unemployed and don't have $3000 for a new transmission.
  • Honda has extended the warranty to 100K, at least my 1999, and I just got a class action deal in the mail the other day, looks like it is now 109K miles. Check on Honda website Owner link. It should tell if your Ody is covered. My mechanic told me the tranny was bad, when I took it to the dealer, they said no at first and then said yes it is.
  • Replying to: mechacknic (Oct 29, 2006 7:38 pm)
    Have you had any luck getting the tranny open? I also have a 1999 Odyssey with 121,000 on the clock. The TCS and engine check lights came on last week and it's shifting 'funny', much softer than usual. Those seem to be the classic failure symptoms, so I figure it's time to rebuild or replace the transmission.

    The best price I can find on a rebuilt unit is $1,250 from an outfit in Phoenix, with a 12 month warranty. I was thinking about just rebuilding it from front to back, but I'm limited on the amount of time I can take for the project. The family will probably only tolerate about 4 days start to finish.

    I'm pretty mechanically inclined and I've been doing my on maintenance for about 15 years. I typically do oil changes, brake jobs, suspension, clutches, etc. so I feel kind of comfortable, but I also know that an automatic transmission rebuilt is a daunting task to say the least. I would be interested to see how you are doing on your project.


    Paul N
  • We have a 2002 also, with only 61500 miles. Please see my prior posts for all the gory details. The best thing I can recommend is that you get it checked at the dealer. IF it is the transmission, I suggest you go through the dealer to the zone manager for covering the cost of at least part of the transmission. Ours was not under the extended warranty either, but the dealer and Honda NA offered to cover all parts, and we only needed to cover the installation. While the offer is not ideal, at least they are covering a large part of the cost. IF you have problems with the dealer, or they refuse to pay for any of it, call Honda US Customer Service at 1-800-999-1009. It was helpful if you have has your service at the dealer, but in lew of that, be ready to forward most of your maintenance records.
  • I recenlty changed tranny fluid myself. After that I tried to shift through all gears to see how it feels and found out it doesn't shift to D1 and D2. However, I never tried these two gears before so I am not sure if I did something wrong in the process of fluid change or it's always been like that. My transmission apparently had the recall done since I saw the oil jet mounted on it. Any idea why I am having shifting problem with D1 and D2?
  • Your tranny is failing. My 2000 Odyssey did the same thing & then the TCS & check engine light came on.

    Get the tranny for free from Honda. Make sure you let them know that you are well informed on the Honda V6 transmission failures.

    If your car has over 100k miles then just pay for the labor or parts whatever is cheaper.
  • Thanks for the info. I did a quick search on the board today and was shocked to see so many posts complaining about oddyssey tranny. With the problem of this scale, I am wondering why Honda is not replacing every transmission for fee, instead, I saw different outcome to the complaint. Based on your experience, what's the best way to approach my dealer for this problem? My car has only 26k miles on it.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    if you changed the tranny fluid yourself, you didn't run the shifter through it's paces?

    before thinking all is lost, bring it in and have it looked at. possibly a shift lever/cabling issue.
  • No, I couldn't shift through all gears in the process of refilling because the fluid will splash out of the fill hole when the engine is running. I tried to cycle through all gears after the refilling that's when I found out the problem. Is it necessary to shift through when refilling? Also, where is the shift lever/cabling located so I can take a quick look before bring it in. Thanks.
  • link title

    Looks like there is a class action law suit against Honda with the transmission failures.

    It's about time...a tranny failture on the highway can be dangerous. I know first hand...2003 Accord V6, 40k miles (bought new) failed uphill on I-78 in New Jersey, barely moved off the road in heavy truck traffic.

    Also, my 2000 Odyssey with 135k is on its 3rd transmission (all free replacements). Instead of putting another defective tranny in the cars, Honda should have sued their supplier & demanded an engineering solution to the problem.

    Now I'm dealing with the 2000rpm drone on my new '06 Odyssey. Some say I'm a glutton for punishment.
  • link title

    Looks like there is a class action law suit against Honda with the transmission failures.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,357
    You're a glutton for punishment.
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • Same here, 2002 Ody with 60k miles. It cost me $3,100 to have the transmission and motor mounts replaced at a local transmission specialist (excellent reputation). I wish I could have found this forum earlier and at least tried at the dealer. I have called Honda and two local dealers and they all said I am out of luck because I already had the transmission replaced.

    I guess I will have to wait and see if there is another class action to include the 02's and 03's.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,357
    Man, that brings up an issue I debate with myself. My 02 is now up to 110K and is on its second transmission (replaced around 65K). My question will be what to do should the current one fail. If Honda will do something for me that would be fine, but otherwise I;d take it to local transmission guy who would rebuild it himself for a lot less than an out of warranty Honda repair.

    I plan to keep the van to 200K and am basically making car payments to myself so I'll be ready when the time comes.
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • Can anybody confirm my problem is or (is not) a result of fluid change I performed myself? I don't go to the dealer for regular services and may have tough time arm wrestling with them.
  • bg18947bg18947 Posts: 184
    I just had the tranmission changed on my '00 Odyssey with just under 60K miles, under the extended warranty. I've driven two tanks of gas since then and it appears that my gas mileage has dropped. It seems like the new tranny has problems shifting from 3rd to 4th. The old bad one had trouble going from 1st to 2nd with a thunking sound and also experienced slippage. I hope this replacment tranny isn't going to give me problems.
  • I purchased the van NEW from a local dealer. They told me that they had purchased the vans from a Canadian dealer (because of the demand for these at the time) and converted them (instrument panel, exhaust etc.) and that this were made on the same assembly line. They also had a third party warranty on the van. I have 110,000 miles on it and am getting a P0740 error code which is "The PCM has determined that a malfunction exists in the electrical circuit for the torque converter clutch." This is a sign of needing a new transmission!

    If I would have wanted a Hyundai or Kia I would have bought them. They are offering a 100,000 mile warranty and I could have saved a bundle of cash. Instead I went with a reliable name and now feel like I am getting burned. I have not talked to the dealer yet, but think Honda should replace all of these that need it regardless of miles, due to a fault of this transmission.

    Now that I have treated the car well and been able to get 110,000 miles from a defective transmission I get punished. It also looks like I will get the double shaft according to what I have seen others posted with Canadian versions - Honda America says we can not touch it and Honda Canada says you have it registered in the US. Can Honda not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing!?

    Someone from Honda should be on these boards and giving some feedback. Another option is to give this a LOT of publicity (local news, letters to editors etc.) and see if they will step up to the plate. I love this van, but I do expect it to run well into the 200,000-300,000 miles if not why buy this and pay the extra?

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