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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems



  • 2002odie2002odie Posts: 32
    They could have bee talking about the Idle Air Control (IAC) Valve.
    That went out on mine the same time as the transmission.
    The engine would not hold idle at a stop light and would just sputter to a halt.
    This also caused the RPM's to surge between 1000-2000RPM while parked in the wanted an extra $250 to replace it, I said no way, and did it myself for $110 (the price of the part at AutoZone), and did the labor myself.

    Good luck with getting the warranty on the replacement tranny.
    I was told that with no customer "participation" (translation: paying any $$$), that the tranny would have 12months/12,000 mile warranty, and that when the customer does "participate" then the warranty is 36months/36,000 miles.
    Not sure about your case, since you have the extended warranty...

    Also, make sure they replace the rear main seal (per the previous posting...) and tighten up the suspension (and recheck the front-end alignment too...)
  • You probably may know that my new rebuilt transmission with 3 years/36,000 miles was installed only on January 10,2008. It went out on me on March 1,2008 with less than 1,500 miles. Even with the new rebuilt, I still think it saves problem but just to trade it in. I don't think the rebuilt is any good.

    Honda's does not know how to make a transmission for big cars. They are so dishonest. You cannot rely on them to disclose any information about any defects. Honda does not care about human lives or road safety. Honda only cares about profits.
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    I really don't think it's reasonable for anyone to expect Honda to extend their warranty beyond 100,000, if that is what you purchased. If your tranny craps out at 90,000 miles and they replace it, then you have 10,000 miles left on your warranty, not another 100,000 miles on the rebuilt one. You cannot expect things to last forever.

    Our 1999 Odyssey has 140,000 and the original tranny. I service that transmission myself every couple of months. It still slips occasionally, and I drive it like the ears of made of glass, but it's my problem. If or when it locks up, or the soleniods seize then I have to fix it, not Honda.

    Also, Honda didn't design or build that transmission. One of their vendors did. You are right about one thing, the design isn't really right for a heavy vehicle. However, after your warranty expires, that's just too bad.
  • I think you are very confused and maybe I did not repeat all the words that I repeated said in my prior postings. Please go back to read my and other angry customers' postings and you will know.

    I did not expect the tranny to last forever. Honda did not replace my last tranny for free. I had to battle with them in order to pay only the labor charges. Please refer to American Honda's 03 Service Bulletin. Their transmission had a design flaw which could result in sudden transmission lockup due to heat buildup.

    I serviced my cars at Honda's dealership and did all the work there as recommended. I took my car there in 04 for their recall to let them install this oil jet kit which I found out from postings here that the reason for that recall was due their design flaw. When I asked my dealership at the time for the recall and they told me that the recall was to enhance the car's performance.

    My family and other people on the road almost got killed because my transmission sudden lockup due to heat buildup on a busy freeway in California which almost resulted in a deadly car crash if the other drivers' did not jam their brakes and swerved to the side of the the busy freeway. Whatever happened to me was described in their above service bulletin about their imperfectly designed transmssion.

    When it comes to a design failure, American Honda should have the decency to disclose the information to their affected and potential customers on the possible outcome. It was truly dangerous and my near death experience could have prevented if they did not lie to me about their recall. I like a lot of people blindly believe in Honda without doubts. If I did not blindly believe in Honda , I would have found out the reasons for their recall so I would not have been fooled by them.

    They paid for the cost of the transmission only because I studied all the postings here and did my own research but the battle was lengthy and hard fought. They could not deny their their responsibility because I learned everything here about their transmission flaw and was able to cite to them their service bulletin and whatever happened to me was exactly the same as what they described there.

    I did not expect American Honda to be responsible tor my tranny forever. But they should not conceal information and start taking responsibility on their design flaw. My rebuilt only lasted for less than 2 months and less than 1,500 miles after replaced. If you think that is the quality that you should expect from Honda, I can't say much about it. I have to tell you that my Toyota is still running well with nearly 300,000 miles on it without any transmission problem. At the time I bought my 03 Honda and that was their selling point that I could well expect it to last over 250,000 miles with only minor maintenance. My tranny died at 89,000 miles and my second Honda tranny died in less than 1,500 miles. That is what you call reliability.

    I have traded in my Odyssey with a Dodge because Dodge/Chrysler dare to offer life time warranty on their products and their prices are so good. I have the most pleasant buying experience at the dealership in Pleasanton, California. People should not blindly believe in Honda like a rock star fan but to objectively research on the car makers.

    My experience is that Honda only cares about profit and they don't care about human lives and road safety anymore.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    April 2008 issue still recommends the Honda Odyssey slightly below the Toyota Sienna and does not acknowledge the many Odyssey transmission failures reported by Odyssey owners. ;)
  • My 2002 Odyssey had the rear main seal replaced a few months ago, with less than 90k miles. Seems like a pre-mature failure to me, but Honda said it wasn't. I guess they don't expect their vehicles to last very long. Repair cost at a Honda dealer was over $1200.
    After searching on this failure, it seems like more and more people are reporting it. Our van has always been serviced at the dealer and had the transmission replaced around 50k miles.
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    Actually if you look in the transmission section of Consumer Reports it does show the Honda problem.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    Actually if you look in the transmission section of Consumer Reports it does show the Honda problem.

    Yeah... on the 2002 and 2003 models. Not current enough to put on the not recommended list.
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    Well the problem has been addressed in the current line up. Pretty much all the problems that people complain about are in the 99-2004 Hondas. Consumer Reports is showing exactly that.
  • sonofknudsonofknud Posts: 50
    I'm surprised they recommend them as good used cars for the 02-04 years. I believe the transmission changed in the 06-07 Odyssey. Adding a delay in going from Park to drive. Are you sure the 05-06 have different transmissions from the 02-04? I know the 05 was a redesign but did you use a different transmissions. They are weird about needing a towing package. I just wanted to put a bike rake on the hitch on my 06 and they said I would void the warranty on the transmission. That should have been a clue they have been having issues with the transmission. Haven't checked on the towing package for the 07 and 08. I know the Toyota allows towing up the 3500 without any package.
  • jettafacejettaface Posts: 15
    Sorry I didn't respond sooner to your question. After the dealer told me $4K or so to fix, I went to this site and printed a number of these complaints with the happy ending of Honda America paying for the fix. I went to the dealership with a folder and plenty of printout of complaints. I advised the dealership that I would contact Honda America. That made the dealership nervous. They told me the District Manager was due in the next day and he would review my issue and I would receive a phone call. I didn't wait for a phone call. I went to the dealership the next day armed with my folder full of printout of these complaints and LORD and behold, the District Manager stated Honda America would pickup repair fee. ;) This site is wonderful and without it I would have been behind the 8 ball. Again, sorry so long in responding. I hope you had a happy ending too.

    To others out there, do not fear about bringing this issue to light. Honda is well aware of the problem. The dealerships, I suspect, try to push back and get you to pay.
  • 2002odie2002odie Posts: 32
    Was your van actually noticeably leaking oil? Or did the dealer just tell you that it failed and needed replacing?
  • 2002odie2002odie Posts: 32
    Congratulations, you are one of the luckier ones, to not have to pay.
    I've seen other postings at for people who have had similar experiences to yours.
    It seems like Honda is playing the "one out of three get a tranny free" game.
    If I were you, unload the Ody after you get the new tranny, and find something else.
    You might not need to pay for the tranny now, but it will eventually become a money pit (motor mounts, idle air control valves, timing belts, and now I am hearing about rear main seals going out...)
    In my situation, I am stuck with it until I get my $3k worth of use out of it before trying to get rid of it...
    It's actually running pretty good now, but who knows how long that will last???
  • srickardsrickard Posts: 8
    We have had few problems with our 2003 Odyssey. Our dealer (Honda Cars of McKinney) has been great over the 5+ years we have owned the car. They have performed all service. My wife loves the van. However, 3 days ago the transmission failed. I was just barely able to get it to the dealer and they confirmed a transmission failure. The car has about 83K miles on it. I don't know the projected repair cost yet. I have opened a case with American Honda for assistance. Wish me luck!
  • I suppose your new tranny only comes with 1 year/12,000miles warranty because my case manager told me after my transmission was replaced that I only had to pay for labor as my new tranny came with a 3years/36,000 miles warranty. My new tranny died in less than 2 months and I only had driven it for 1,300 miles. If I were you, I might just trade it for an American car like a Dodge which comes with lifetime powertrain warranty. I traded mine for a Dodge after my tranny went out on me and I was too tired to work the warranty and didn't want Honda to rip me off for something else.
  • Great Result - Congrats - I fought the same battle with my 02 and it was ultimately Honda Corporate that told me they wouldn't offer any assistance at all.

    The hitch issue mentioned above is also a good point; I put a hitch on my Van to haul my trash cans to the road in a little trailer - only ended up using it a few times and then just bought a truck.

    Maybe the dealer saw the hitch and just said no dice on that note - anyone with this issue remove your hitch before you bring it in; I hope Honda gets what they deserve on this issue - American carmakers would be lambasted for handling such an issue so poorly with such a clear design issue.
  • i saw that someone on this forum was able to get their transmission replaced by honda america. right now my car is at a mechanic (not a honda dealer) and it isn't under warranty. is it worth is to ask honda america to cover this as well?
  • jal1948jal1948 Posts: 7
    I THINK THAT WE (THE AFECTED HONDA OWNERS) SHOULD CONTACT THE MEDIA TV/NEWSPAPERS ilustrating (in detail) all of this mess that have been brought upon us by Honda Motors.
    Most of us bought Honda vehicles based upon their reputation ...but sure had a rude awakening by experiencing this unexpected chain of events.
    Honda Motors abused ...and continues to abuse...all the afected customers by refusing to act responsibly and fairly with EVERYONE that had their transmissions failed due to A DEFECT on those afected transmissions.
    They are getting away with doing the barely minimum ,leaving thousands of inocent customer with little or no recourse of recovering their losses.
    The general public should be informed of this abuse!!
    Let's go about divulging the facts!!
  • I was left stranded yesterday with a failed transmission. It got to the shop today but with what I have found here, I feel that I already know where this is going to take me. We have 108k miles. My wife (her van) told me that she had previously discussed with the dealer that the D (DRIVE letter designation) was flashing and they told her that it was not a problem and that it would reset itself when restarted. We had purchased the 100k warranty and now it appears that they have postponed the inevitable just long enough to make it nearly impossible for us to win. Before reading these posts, I thought it must have just been a rare problem, but now I see that I have been duped. I am FURIOUS!
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Just remember the lifetime warranty is non-transferable, requires an inspection every five years by a Chrysler dealer, and only applies to the engine and transmission- not bumper to bumper ;)

    Other than that, enjoy your new car!
  • ehmgvsehmgvs Posts: 4
    Took it to the local Honda dealer and they quoted $922.00. They said this was not unusual at this mileage, 81K+. I beg to differ. Then took the van to a Honda/Acura repair shop. They confirmed the seal leak and quoted me $650.00....18 month/18k mile warrenty. Guess who I'm going with? This was my first Honda, bought new and may be my last, but I really do like the Ridgeline. We'll have to keep our eyes and ears open. Many thanks for your reply.
  • srickardsrickard Posts: 8
    The transmission my 94 Chrysler Concorde failed at 44K. I got no help from Chrysler and had to pay for the repair myself. It was the last Chrysler I'll ever buy. I traded it on a Prius. Now if only Honda will help with my Odyssey transmission failure...
  • I understand your frustration. Honda's attitude is just disgusting. They don't care about human lives or road safety. I don't really know if the media or the government cares about the people. I filed my complaint with Safer Cars, BBB, Department of Consumers Affair but without success. If the government does care, they would not have allowed Honda to continue selling these cars until they have corrected their design flaw. Their transmission design failure traced back to 1999.

    The fact that the transmission could suddenly lock up which could result in deadly car crashes. Does anyone with the appropriate authority even care?
  • I understand your frustration. Honda's attitude is just disgusting. They don't care about human lives or road safety. I don't really know if the media or the government cares about the people. I filed my complaint with Safer Cars, BBB, Department of Consumers Affair but without success. If the government does care, they would not have allowed Honda to continue selling these cars until they have corrected their design flaw. Their transmission design failure traced back to 1999.

    The fact that the transmission could suddenly lock up which could result in deadly car crashes is extremely dangerous. Does anyone with the appropriate authority even care?
  • nash1234nash1234 Posts: 22
    I have an 07 EX with 1000 miles on it and the transmission issues on this thread really bother me. I want to know if there are some driving habits that may be triggering the failures such as abrupt starts, driving near mountains, hills, or towing a trailer - just as a general idea so that I do not do those kinds of things when I drive mine (which is a shame, I paid so much money for the van and I should be able to drive it any way that I like).

    Thank you.
  • Please let me know how you opened the case with American Honda. We bought an 04 Honda Odyssey from Driver's Way in June with just 42,000 miles on it. The transmission went kaput on me this past Thursday. It presently has 51,000 miles on it. We are due with our second child within the next three weeks so the timing is horrible! We took it to a transmission shop who told us to take it to Honda, informing us that the 04 Odyssey had a transmission recall on it. We were very appreciative of their honesty. The van has been wtih Tameron Honda here in Birmingham for two days. They said they are calling American Honda "for us" and not to worry about anything, whatever that means. They also called yesterday and said they have to find a way to replicate the code that happened when the transmission failed on me last week. They can see that something bad happened, they believe me, but they are required to find a way to replicate the code. I have a bad feeling about this. The transmission place told us not to replace the transmission with Honda if they will not pay for it becuase of the price. They quoted us no more than $3200 to replace the transmission, if we have to. We really don't want to nor do we have the money with a baby well on her way! Any suggestions for what we should be doing to speed things along or get Honda to take us seriously would be appreciated.
  • You can open your claim with American Honda by calling the 800 in your owner's manual. Before you call, you should read the postings here which would help you to support your case why you believe Honda should offer you with assistance. You can refer to my posting #510 to know what you can expect from Honda. There are tons of useful postings here that would help you to battle with them.
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    If the government does care, they would not have allowed Honda to continue selling these cars until they have corrected their design flaw. Their transmission design failure traced back to 1999.

    Angela, if you want to have an effect I'd go after Consumer Reports magazine on this one. Probably most of you bought your Odysseys because that magazine rants and raves about Honda and you believed them. I always felt you cannot know an autos reliabilty until it has been tested in the field in large quantities for a few years. Get a few miles on the autos before rating reliabilty - few autos have problems with less than 40,000 on them.

    But CR STILL has Honda rated so very highly - including relaibilty and in particular this most recent issue praised its "power trains" LOL. Their "used cars to avoid" does not mention the Odyssey and they still recommend this minivan. How does anyone know what the newer Odysseys will be like for transmissions? Do their previous models have a good reputation that they could predict stellar reliabilty for them? Don't you think that as the newer ones with the same transmissions get more miles behind them, that they should expect problems too?

    Instead of blaming the government, you ought to write a nasty letter to CR about themselves, your Odyssey, and your personal experiences. This magazine claims it is for the consumer -- then make them do their job!! If you feel misled -- tell them.
  • srickardsrickard Posts: 8
    I contacted American Honda at 1-800-999-1009. I pressed the menu number for customer service. You will need your VIN. The lady asked a number of questions and gave me a case number. I was called back the next day by by an agent and asked a few more questions such as "where have you been servicing your Honda?" (in my case, always at the one Honda dealer). He then asked what I'd like them to do. I suggested that Honda pay for the parts and I'd pay for the labor. I thought this fair since I had gotten 5+ years and 82K miles of trouble free driving from my Odyssey. The agent said that sounded reasonable and he would contact the dealer. The dealer called me about an hour ago and said that the labor to replace the transmission would be $680. I am very pleased with this outcome as the original cost of transmission replacement was ~$3500. I was always professional when talking to American Honda; never accusatory; never angry. They treated me the same way. :)
  • 2002odie2002odie Posts: 32
    I don't believe any driving habits contribute to the failures.
    Mine died 2 blocks from home, going 20mph around a corner.
    It's a family van, not a hot rod, so it's pretty tough to drive it in any crazy manner given it's high center of gravity and curb any "normal" driving conditions (driving on any road designed for auto traffic, whether mountainous, or flat highway) should not have anything to do with that's assuming that the transmission was properly designed to handle normal everyday driving...which is apparently not the case here...

    Towing a trailer may be another story, if you exceed the total gross vehicle rating with the trailer in tow and a full passenger/cargo load, then all bets are off...

    So, bottom line, it's not a matter of "if" just "when" your tranny will go out.
    I've seen others who meticulously maintained their trannys with fluid changes, services, etc., and it still died, and I've read of brand new 07/08 Ody's with less than 1000 miles have the tranny's a lose/lose proposition...
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