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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems



  • There is a class action settlement suit against Honda for the defective transmissions. They are extending warranties to 109,000 miles in V6 equipped Honda & Acuras from '99-'03.

    You are entitled to a free transmission replacement. Many people are reporting "goodwill" consideration from Honda well beyond the mileage warranty. I heard many are paying for the labor & Honda will buy the parts. If you have over 110k.

    Here is a link for the settlement link title

    With your case, don't pay anything!!!!
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    My goodness. The car has 110,000 miles on it! I'm not saying it should be going bad, but to expect Honda to foot the entire bill for a tranny with that many miles on it is unreasonable. I don't know of any manufacturer including the likes of Cadillac, Mercedes, BMW who will warrantee their tranny that long.

    Before you get mad, contact Honda and see what they'll offer to do. As other posters have noted, they know they have a problem and have offered to do more then most manufactures would.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    I can understand your frustration but in reality I have little sympathy.

    Back when you bought this Odyssey, there were waiting lists and over MSRP pricing - I know as I was on 2 of them for 12 weeks. You bought this gray market vehicle and knew exactly what you were getting into. It was a "used" car and came with an aftermarket warranty - you knew Honda wasn't covering it. You probably didn't have to deal with a waiting list and didn't pay over MSRP. You probably felt you were getting a better deal than the rest of us.

    Now it's come back to bite you. You realize the only people who made out on this deal were the two dealers who were involved in this cross border trade. Back then with the exchange rate, the MSRP in US$ was less in Canada - hence Honda actually made less money on units sold in Canada.

    Canada is considered a separate market from the US. Honda Canada is a different company than Honda America. All auto manufacturers clamped down on warranty for these gray market vehicles. And NAFTA doesn't apply in consumer purchases - it's designed to make B to B cross border transactions easier.

    I wish you luck but when a deal is too good to be true...

    Flame suit on.
  • My goodness. The car has 110,000 miles on it! I'm not saying it should be going bad, but to expect Honda to foot the entire bill for a tranny with that many miles on it is unreasonable. I don't know of any manufacturer including the likes of Cadillac, Mercedes, BMW who will warrantee their tranny that long.

    As you are aware, Honda vehicles are more expensive to purchase than equivalent American models. I pay more money therefore I expect more.

    If you can get 200k miles on a $18k Chevy Venture transmission. One would expect a $30k Odyssey to last just as long or longer.

    Most people buy Honda for reliability. Just look at one of their recent sales brochures "Every Honda is a model of smart value, thanks to timeless design, loads of standard features, legendary reliability, and extended maintenance intervals".

    My old beater was a '94 Ford Tempo & it ran well over 250k miles with the original engine & transmission.

    100k miles is a premature failure for a transmission in today's market.
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    I disagree..

    All makes profess to be reliable.

    Statistically you're going to have breakdowns that will occur anytime with any vehicle. When you pass 100,000 miles mark you're well into the period of increasing problems and that's why most manufacturers stop warrantee's on vehicles well before that threshold(Hyundai's only offering it to buy market share and to overcome a lot reliability issues they've had with earlier models.). Throw in drivers who tow more weight than the transmissions are designed for and the reliability question becomes even more murky.

    Chevy's are a poor comparison because while they have some issues; there power train isn't one of them. The GM 4 speed transmission gets critqued for being old, but it's darn reliable and shifts fairly smooth. I've owned a lot of them and 200,000 to 300,000 miles is very easy to do. Now they have problems with intake manifolds and electronics, something the Honda doesn't.

    I'm not saying your transmission should be failing. I am saying it's unreasonable to expect Honda to foot the whole bill on a vehicle with that many miles. Besides while the light has come on, I think you said it's still working. If you think you can't live with it, trade it while it's still working, get the legendary Honda resale value, and buy that Chevy Venture. :shades:
  • bobber,

    I agree with most of your points. Manufacturers can't warranty a car forever for free. However, the Honda V6 transmissions were defective with very high failure rates. I had 2 replacements in 100k miles on my 2000 Odyssey.

    What people don't know is when Honda replaces your transmission, you get back the same defective design. Problem not solved just delayed again for another early failure.

    I can't comprehend why Honda didn't force Aisin (transmission supplier) to come up with an engineering fix for the problem. This class action suit may not be the last we hear of this debacle. People are going to be upset again when their "replacement" transmission fails agiain after 30k miles.

    The fact that Honda took responsibility for a design error shows great integrity. They extended the warranty to 100k before the class action suit. Other manufacturers probably would wait until a law suit occurred before fixing a design error. Hence, why I still buy Hondas after having tranny failures on my Odyssey & '03 Accord.

    Tell a prospective Honda buyer that the transmission in their new Odyssey/Accord/Pilot will probably not last much past 100k. You would see a dramatic drop in Honda sales - guaranteed.

    Also, The Hondas of the past ran 200k miles usually without major mechancial problems. Hence how they built their reputation. We started buying Hondas for this very reason.
  • After reading all these posts about the transmission problems on Odysseys, I'm not so sure that I want to bother, but would I be covered by Honda's 109k tranny warranty if:

    1) I buy used '03 Odyssey
    2) I buy from a NON-Honda dealership
    3) I don't go to a Honda dealership to have tranny fluids

    Also, is there a way to determine if one particular Odyssey is problematic vs. another simply by looking at the VIN number? Or would Honda give me this information if I called them?

    Any opinions or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • The extended 109k mile warranty covers the vehicle whether you buy it from a Honda dealer or private sale.

    I bought my '00 Odyssey used from a Toyota dealer & they replaced my transmission twice with no questions asked. It helps if you establish a repoir with a local Honda dealer & use them for service maintenance, oil changes, etc.

    Also, most of the transmission failures occurred on the '99-'01 Odyssey's with the 4-speed auto. The '02+ Odysseys have a 5speed transmission.

    My opinion you should buy the car if you like it. The '03 & '04's are probably the best Odysseys to buy. They hold their value so be prepared to pay $$$$.

    A new '07 EX costs around $26k so weigh it out. I personally think the '03,'04's are built much better than the new ones (I own a '00 & '06 Ody). My new one has a droning defect that cannot be fixed & it is truly a shame we have to live with an otherwise great car.

    If you have the VIN# you can check the coverage on the Honda transmission settlement webite.

    Here's the link link title
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217

    Good posts.

    I'm just curious why the heck you hung onto your Odyssey after the first transmission went out?? Especially since you know there is a design flaw. I would have dropped it like a ton of bricks after getting it fixed and moved onto bigger and better things(and yes probably would have switched to a Toyota who has had none of these problems)

    Knocking on wood, I'm glad I just bought a new 2007 Honda Odyssey EX.
  • panmaxpanmax Posts: 24
    "would I be covered by Honda's 109k tranny warranty if:
    1) I buy used '03 Odyssey"

    Comments for USA market cars only, not Canada, not grey market. For USA market, some were made in Canada. Here is a link about the class action lawsuit.

    No. Not 2003 model. Original warranty 3yrs 36000 miles on 2002-2004. Or per extended warranty if bought at extra cost, time and mileage limits vary with price of extra cost warranty options. On 99-2001, 7 years, 100,000 miles extended warranty for free on transmission only. Class action lawsuit is 109,000 miles or 93 months on 99-2001 Odyssey and several other Honda Acura transmissions. Not for 2002-2004 Odyssey.

    "2) I buy from a NON-Honda dealership."

    Possibly if it is within warranty or class action lawsuit.

    "3) I don't go to a Honda dealership to have tranny fluids
    changed "

    Maybe if Honda repair place believes you changed ATF by the recommended schedule.

    "Also, is there a way to determine if one particular Odyssey is problematic vs. another simply by looking at the VIN number? "

    Odysseys as a group for that year have problematic transmissions. Even if the recall repair was done.

    "Or would Honda give me this information if I called them?"

    Might deny everything. At least local dealer denied that any problem existed.
  • The first transmission failed around 90k & the second around 97k. I'm not sure why the replacement failed so quickly but we have 136k on it now.

    Basically, we kept the car because it is paid off & couldn't trade in with 100k miles. So...we are running it for free except gas & oil changes. Actually, I like it better than my wife's new '06 Odyssey EXL/NAV/RES...much smoother & quieter engine.

    I am leasing next time because Honda runs great money factor specials & they have probably the best lease programs (for moderately priced cars).
  • Thanks for everyones input. The dealer told me that the van was Canadian and that they had converted it. They did say that they were selling me a third party warranty, but I understood it to be a "better" deal (third party warranty was longer than standard) as they had imported the van and converted it. I did believe the dealer (which is my mistake) that there was no difference. Also, I paid list price for this van. In 2000 there was a waiting list for these and they had an ad of new Vans in stock and I went over. So buying this allowed me to get the van instead of wait 3-6 months. Hind-sight says that I should have waited, but I listened to the dealer.

    I have not talked to the dealer as of yet since this happen just before Christmas and I thought that I need to be talking to the service manager and he may be out this week due to vacation. So my plan is to go just after the new year and see what they have to say. I will update this when I have additional info.

    Another question for all - I still love this van and would like to keep it. If I need to put a transmission in it myself, what are my best options (costs, dependability etc.) and how dependable are the new transmissions as I see some having two or three replaced? Thanks for your help!

    One other question is I see many from 1999-2003 vans listed having this issue. Was this fixed in 2004 and newer?

  • I bought a new '00 Odyssey EX online from

    (An aside: Back in 2000, the EX was in high demand and there was a $5K market premium which I refused to pay to the dealer. Enter I ordered the car through the web site, chose my color, put down a $1K deposit on my credit card. Very cool. I paid MSRP but no market premium to carsdirect. When I took delivery of the minivan a couple of weeks later, I happened to see's delivery papers and noted that online company had, in fact, paid a $3K market premium to the dealer from whom the Honda Odyssey was acquired. The cost of the premium was not passed on to me! Needless to say, the carsdirect does not directly sell cars anymore. End Aside.)

    Transmission failed at 108K in 2004 -> Took to a local dealer -> a repair rep was nice enough to whisper to me that this condition was quite common and well-known and if I raised a stink, Honda would cover the replacement. I did (create a stink), and they did (cover it 100%). Transmission failed again at 128K. Covered again, 100%. This one was tricky since, technically, the 12K/12 month warranty was expired. However, the dealer went to bat for me and Honda covered the cost 100%.

    Now the car has 158K and I am shopping for an '07 EX-L or Touring. Does anyone know if the transmission problem has been fixed definitively in the '07 Odyssey model? Or should I go w/ the Sienna XLE Limited AWD?

    Finally, I agree with the many previous posts which imply that Honda should be held to a higher standard than other automakers when it comes to quality. If a non-Honda tranny fails, on average, at around X miles, a Honda tranny should fail, on average, at Y miles, where Y miles is much larger than X miles.

    After all, Honda automobiles command a price premium and Honda has successfully built a strong brand on the back of its reliability history. The Honda brand is a promise (for you marketing experts) to us consumers which the Company needs to fulfill. If it can't deliver on that promise, either the brand needs to step off its pedestal or the prices need to come back to Earth (or both)...

    So, is the transmission fixed in the '07 models?
  • I think it is safe to say the transmission problems have been addressed in the '07 Odyssey. The '07 has a 4-shaft design shared with the Ridgeline & Pilot. If it were me, I would buy the '07 & not worry about a tranny failure.
  • I've got a 1999 Odyssey that is on its 3rd tranmision. The The first on went with about 80k on it and Honda replaced it free. The next time with 120k Honda said that it would cost $4,000 for a rebuilt transmition.

    I had it rebuilt for $1,800. The gentleman who did the work said that the problem was that metal was flaking off of the torque converter and clogging the filter screens, which caused low fluid levels and pressure.
  • I just returned from Florida, w/o our 02 Odyssey because the second transmission failed at 101,000. The Honda dealership went to bat with Honda and got the 3rd transmission replaced for free (including labor). Basically Honda is using rebuilt transmissions of the same design, with the same flaws so I would guess that yours will fail sometime before 200K.
  • cgfcgf Posts: 1

    My situation sounds somewhat similar to yours. I bought a 2000 Odyssey in November of 1999. It is a Canadian "grey market" vehicle, which I bought in Washington from a non-Honda dealer with a third party warranty that has long since expired. About two weeks ago, the "check engine" light came on. After checking with Honda, they suggested that we drive it for a while to see if it would go off on its own. It did go off after about a week, but promptly came back on again. We then took it to a Honda dealership, who said that the error code for this problem (P0740) required that the transmission be replaced. We haven't actually had any problems with the transmission yet, so I was a little shocked. After doing some research, I've found that the transmission problems are fairly common after all. I was just wondering what happened in your particular case. If anyone has any adcvice, I'd love to hear it. Thanks.
  • Sorry I got quiet on this topic for too long.
    Yes, I did get the transaxel open, put in the rebuild kit, closed up, back in the car, and it seems to be working fine.
    Here is what I learned: It comes apart from the back, there are 3 large gears (in series) that have size 34 mm nuts holding them on to large threaded shafts. Those have to come off first. Beware: two of them are LH threads, and the other is RH. What makes no sense at all is that the one RH threaded nut is not the one in the middle. All 3 nuts are have flanges that are dinged into a flat spot on each shaft so they have to be cut with a cold chisel before they will come off. Once I had the nut flanges cut, I rented an impact wrench to give me the power to get the nuts off without using a long torque arm since it is hard to keep the gears from spinning.
    When the tranny went back into the car, it apparently had some serious leaks. By that time I had it taken to a (thankfully honest) transmission shop who said that there were just some loose "plates" and a bad seal. They took care of the leaks and the transmission worked.
    The only other note of interest is that the kit I bought (from Makco) did not have everything in it that I needed. Specifically I had to buy a filter and 3 replacement nuts for those 3 large gears (they have to be cut off with a cold chisel).
    Good luck if you decide to tackle this one yourself.
  • Thank you HondaLover for your detailed description. Our 2002 Odyssey "torque converter/clutch system" failed. And the Honda Dealership was going to charge us $4480 to put in a re manufactured transmission.

    Based on your experience and after talking with local transmission places, I learned that this chronic problem. I called back the dealership and they reduced the price to just labor ($800). Much better...not a gift...but better.

    I wish others luck with this issue.
  • soterosotero Posts: 1

    I am in the same boat. With the 2000 ODY still at the dealers and renting a car until I figure out what to do. The dealer told me initially he would exchange it but took three days to tell me (today) that it would not be covered. When I bought the van I also got the 3rd party warranty from Heritage that served me for very little. In less than a year from getting the van it had a leak in the gas tank and I had to hop between three dealers to find one that would take that "good for nothing" warranty. I would also like to hear some advise in this matter.
  • rduelrduel Posts: 39
    I bought my 2000 Odyssey EX in November 1999. In January 2007 at 116,000 miles, I noticed oil leaking from under engine area. Dealer said it was tranny, and that the fix required a new (rebuilt) transmission. I have never had a transmission fail on any car I've owned before, and felt that due to "Honda's reliability" claim, I certainly wouldn't have to worry with the Ody, especially since every recommended service in the manual was performed by my Honda dealer,everything except new tires, including the transmission fluid flushes,etc., which I've not done to any of my other vehicles. At 116k miles, dealer says the tranny replacement cost is $2700, however, because I was such a good customer, I only have to pay half that cost. I'm thinking.........with all the tranny problems with this premium vehicle, we shouldn't have to pay squat. But what's a guy to do? You need the vehicle and can't trade it that way. Then you read where a rep advises someone else that Honda will cover the replacement if you yell enough.(?) Anyway, so much for following service recommendations on the tranny. I could have saved that money toward the eventual tranny replacement cost. Now I'll sit back and wait for the replacement tranny to fail, as other postings have indicated.
  • Our reimbursement was opposite for bad tranny. We paid $800 and American Honda picked up the rest.
  • One other thing, when parking the car after it is warmed up, I've noticed what seems to be a longer than average delay in the transmission's engagement when shifting into reverse or drive. Its as if the car hangs out a second or two longer than it should in neutral before engaging. Discovered this the hard way when I shifted and applied throttle (after a normal seeming period when the tranny should've been engaged) only to have the engine rpm climb in neutral and the tranny then engage with modest thunk.

    Anybody else have this and, if so, what's the remedy :confuse: ?

  • jwb18tjwb18t Posts: 45
    I had the same thing on the tire pressure light....cold temps caused it where I am. Also have had the same experience with the transmission. Does not seem to happen everytime...will be waiting and watching to see if it continues though. Thx.
  • Hey everyone. I have a 2004 Honda Odyssey with just over 44,000 miles on it. Has anyone else had an issue with shifting from park to reverse first thing in the morning, especially when it is cold? Mine is making a loud clunk when it shifts into reverse. I did check, and it only does it when shift into reverse and not drive and also first thing in the morning. After that first time, it works great. Has anyone else had this issue? If so, what was the cause of your problem and your fix? Right now, I'm thinking I need to get it serviced and then maybe I can see what's wrong. I appreciate any help.
  • Wait 10-15 seconds after starting before shifting to be sure that all fluids are lubricating all of the components. Has the transmission been serviced?
  • rduelrduel Posts: 39
    Classic pre-transmission replacement sound.
  • The transmission has not been serviced, but I plan to have it done this week. This way, I can have some one look at it that is not related to a dealer. Thanks for your help.
  • It seems to me that it happens more once the car is fully warmed to operating temperature. On cold starts, the shift is near instantaneous when engaging reverse to back out of the garage and then drive to start moving forward for the first time that trip.

    Have you noticed the same?

  • sml2sml2 Posts: 2
    We have an '04, it currently has 48K. For the past 8K miles or so we have heard a grinding type of sound when we cross the 1500 RPM mark. My mechanic told me to bring it to my Honda dealer, who basically charged my $100 to tell me that they could not find anything. Now the problem is becoming more obvious.

    My mechanic tells me that the transmissions on these cars is not very good and they have a history of problems. He also told me that he knows of people for whom Honda has replaced the Transmission past warranty. Has anyone had any luck getting this done? If so how do you go about it?
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