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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems



  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    What is the factory recommended transmission fluid change mileage? Look in the owners manual? I'll bet it's not 30K miles.

    On the 2000, it is 30K for severe duty. Since that is how we drive our Ody, I've had it done every 30K.
  • farmdog1farmdog1 Posts: 9
    edited August 2010
    “in talking with some other Honda owners, they tell me that if you are faithful to have a tranny oil change every 30-40k and throw in a flush and fill once or twice, your tranny should last you a long time. Maintenance is everything!”

    “The mechanic told me if I maintain this tranny there should not be any issues with it. LESSON LEARNED - and an expensive one at that!”

    Not true, Honda’s design is flawed, they fail regardless of their care. There have been many failures before 10k mi, mine had crud looking fluid at 30k miles even though I was easy on it and has whined ever since. I was told by Thomas Tipton at Honda of Ft Myers they could do nothing since it set off no code, and Thomas Tipton from Honda of Ft Myers (a Sonic Automotive dealer) LIED on my paperwork and claimed they could not reproduce the whine. Now that it has set off a transmission code they don’t want to fix it even though I complained about the same problem under warranty, HONDA SUCKS, they are nothing but crooks! I have done 3x fluid changes with Honda fluid every 30k since the original 30k and still have problems. Don’t believe a word Honda or a dealership says, they are LIARS and CROOKS.
  • We have a 2003 Honda Odyssey Ex-L with the tow package and transmission coolor. We took it in for the recall and had the jet kit put on for second gear lubrication. The van has 156,000 miles on it and so far no transmission problems.
    1. Should we keep or sell the vehicle?
    2. Is there any way to prevent the transmission from going out?
    3. Does anyone know the failure rate of the 2003 Odysseys?
    4, What is the design flaw that is causing the failures?

    Thanks for any help you can provide :shades:
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,179
    Absolutely believe the folks who've posted with problems in here. Why on earth would someone take the time to be in here if they didn't have any issues...doesn't make sense.
    And Johnnyboy18, posting in all capitals is "shouting" and considered "rude". Most will just pass over the the future, don't do it! Nobody likes to be shouted out even if that was not what you meant to do.

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    No one here seems to understand what the core issue is, but the transmission in our 1999 Odyssey (at 190,000 miles) needs to be rebuilt after discovering a failing countershaft bearing. After speaking with my mechanic and a few Honda techs, here is what I've learned:

    The transmission in the 1999-2001 Odyssey is nearly the same as the Accord and Acura TL piece. It is essentially a computer controlled manual gearbox, not the typical planetary design that most automatic transmissions use. The design isn't flawed at all, but it is inadequate for something as heavy as an Odyssey.

    This extra weight, coupled with a typical minivan driver, creates extra heat inside the gearbox, and heat kills transmissions. Heat cooks the fluid, gums up passages, destroys clutches, and eventually causes failures. The pieces that fail are the *consumables* in case. That really means clutches and bearings. The shafts aren't breaking, the cases aren't warping, and the gears aren't breaking.

    There is no filter on these units, only a magnetic drain plug. This is actually fairly typical anymore regardless of the manufacturer, which is too bad, but that can be fixed.

    The only thing that can really be done here is to rebuild the transmission (which I am going to do myself), add the best aftermarket fluid cooler that you can get (The Honda unit isn't really up to task here), add an inline filter (I uses a Magnefine unit) and take it easy with the right foot.

    The root cause is NOT a flawed design, but it is a case of Honda not really putting the best part in the drive train. There is a difference.

    If anyone would like to discuss this in more detail, please let me know.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    If you've changed your trans fluid at least 3 times I'd keep it.
  • cy123cy123 Posts: 3
    Just want to add one more case with my 2003 Odyssey, 110K miles, check engine light on with code P0740 (Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Malfunction) after 105K maintenance (Timing belt package).

    I've been taking care of my Odyssey, and all the major maintenances done in Honda dealer service, never towed anything, several long trips from Dallas to New Mexico (~600 miles distance).

    Honda dealer gave estimate of $4500 to change transmission and torque converter. I'm looking for re-building it for less cost.

    It's disappointing to have transmission failure just after 110K miles on a Honda, but it seems we can do nothing about it. Any other suggestions will be welcome.
  • Thank you for sharing that information with us. I believe you did an excellent job of explaining it in layman's terms. However, it seems that many people are having different kinds of issues, as well as the one you described in your post. While I might agree with you regarding the root cause of the Honda Odyssey transmission problem, and I may accept that it is NOT a flawed transmission design, I can still hold Honda responsible for their oversight in putting the wrong part in the drivetrain and the wrong transmission in the Odyssey. In that sense, their design of the Odyssey transmission is flawed!
  • I don't appreciate being yelled (all caps) at by a cheerleader!

    I've owned Hondas for over 23 yrs and never had a complaint against Honda until our '00 Odyssey trans stopped working at 75K mi. We bought it new, paid a premium due to their excellent reviews/popularity, and purchased a 100K mi Honda Care Warranty. So, after regular maintenance and low mileage usage, we're told it's too late for any help from our dealer or Honda America, because it's been 10 yrs since we purchased it. Now, I'd be alright with that if we did something wrong or neglected to have it serviced. However, we did neither. Of course, we could discuss the question of time vs. mileage, but the point is, I feel cheated.

    What am I supposed to do with that? Smile and walk away? I've owned Accords, Civics, an S2000 and an Odyssey. All of the other cars were reliable and performed beyond my expectations. I put 286K mi on the original engine and transmission of my '89 Accord! Despite all of that, I will take Honda to court before I walk away from their responsibilty for the transmission on my Odyssey because they're wrong, and I'm the customer...
  • Pgnagel, truth is there are two filters on the 2003 transmission, one external and one internal, but as you say they designed the transmission as a manual that shifts automatically and along with that they did not give a removable pan to access this internal filter. Even most dealers don’t know these filters are there. The design flaw is very real, in several areas including torque converter and lack of second gear oiling (that’s why they added a spray jet kit) the transmissions shed internal material that overwhelms the filter which apparently (according to rebuilders) the filter either stops flowing adequate fluid or ruptures sending the crud through the system and plugging it.

    Here is a quote from well respected builder Jasper about a 2003 Odyssey transmission:

    “NOTE: Due to overheating & bluing of the torque converter from the
    insufficient OE cooling system, 100% of these units will include the
    required transmission cooler (P/N LPD4490). Installation instructions
    will be included along with the unit & cooler.
    Jasper updates the OEM converter's poor design by adjusting the
    clearance and updating with a new Kevlar friction lining.”

    Have a look at this Google search, there are filters in this transmission: =Google+Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=Honda+Odyssey+transmission+filters&gs_rfai=Cv7M- QtbxiTOG3IIGgjgO3jYmQCQAAAKoEBU_QztQr&fp=8631cdd35a4d476d

    Want more proof? Have a look at the rebuild videos at the bottom of this page:
  • From and Acura board with excerpts from NHTSA documentation.
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    I drive a 1999, which has no filter aside from the one that I installed, so your points about the 2003 are irrelevant to my case, but thanks for sharing.

    I'm also well aware of Jasper's stance on this issue. Like I said, heat kills transmissions. Jasper offers a 3 year, 100,000 mile warranty on their rebuilt transmissions, so you better bet your britches they are insisting on a cooler being installed. Only a fool wouldn't put a cooler on a transmission that is hauling 5,000 pounds.

    Regardless of all the complaining that is going on, none of this information really helps me. I got 190,000 out of my transmission, and if not for a $20 bearing letting go, I'd still be driving it. What's more, I'm going to fix it. Not my mechanic, not What I really need is some direction about the rebuild, not a bunch of pointless and wasteful whining about how someone is going to sue Honda.

    If anyone can point me to someone who has successfully rebuilt Honda Odyssey transmissions I would appreciate the chance to contact them. In the mean time I've got wrenches to turn.
  • _Transmission_FilterQQ19992001QQW0133-1822741.html?apwcid=P1135867996W43b3f85c7a- b9e&apwidHx42kX1&apwidK6m2u5E

    If this link times out, look up 1999 Odyssey “AT Shift Fork 4AT” it will show the filter, they call it a strainer (part number 007) but if you look at close up pictures elsewhere or in the videos from my previous post you’ll see it is indeed a filter. cgry1=ODYSSEY&catcgry2=1999&catcgry3=5DR+EX&catcgry4=KA4AT&catcgry5=AT+SHIFT+FOR- K+%284AT%29

    I have a service manual for 99-04, it shows everything including how to rebuild the transmission, highly recommended.
  • rona46rona46 Posts: 1
    I just returned home from being stranded for 4 days 250 miles from home with my 2001 Odyssey. On my way, the check engine light came on. I took it to a Honda dealer and was told that I needed a new transmission at a cost of $5500. This Honda has less than 65,000 miles on it and purchased new by me. I called Honda and was told in rather unfriendly terms that the warranty had already been extended and mine was past warranty. Therefore nothing would be done by Honda and the only suggestion given was to go back to :mad: the dealer and ask them to do it for cheaper. As others have said the main reason I have only purchased Hondas for the last 30 years was so I wouldn't have to worry about these type of issues and if something did happen I believed that Honda would be more helful than others. Very frustrated!!
  • Yesterday I was about 80 miles from home, and at highway speeds...all was well w/ my 2003 Odyssey. But after I slowed at a tollbooth, the car went haywire. It wasn't shifting properly, the "D" started flashing, and the TCS and Check Engine lights came on. If I didn't have kids in the car, I might have tried to make it home. Instead, I slowly and nervously made my way to the nearest Honda dealer. It was near closing time, and I was in a bind. I had to get home, but didn't think my car would make it (and they said it wasn't safe). I agreed to leave the car, pay a $106 diagnostic fee, and rent a car from their onsite rental company. I hated to do it, but choices were limited. Today the service advisor called and said I had a 'hydraulic failure' and it would cost $5,300 to fix. Yikes, are they crazy?! In the same sentence, he said he could have a salesman contact me about some great oppportunities in case I opted to buy a new car instead. No thanks. Then he offered to check with American Honda to see if they'd 'help'. He later said they'd pay $1,000...Still - no thanks (I wonder if he even called American Honda...). I spent the day - ironically, Friday the 13th - calling repair shops, and got more confused with each call. Each mechanic told me what I wanted to hear, that they were sure it would be 'much less' and that dealers "always quote high on transmissions." So now, time is money. I still have the rental car, and my car's at the dealership, untouched. Tomorrow we'll endure the hassle of paying Honda for absolutely nothing (although the service advisor was kind and I DID end up getting home safely....). We're towing it to another repair shop (just add it to the tab..sigh...), and I'm hoping for the best... But what a headache! Hearing all these other complaints about the same issue makes me seriously question Honda's reliability - and their service.
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    Jasper sells rebuilt transmissions for the Honda. A replacement for my 1999 Odyssey would cost $2,790, and includes a transmission fluid coller, which is really a must for these gearboxes. The rebuilt unit has a 3 year, 100,000 mile warranty. My mechanic can do the transmission swap for around $1,000 more, but any other shop should be about the same. Expensive? Of course. Transmissions are expensive, even more expensive than an engine. Fix the van, drive it for 50,000 miles, then sell it.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    >We're towing it to another repair shop (just add it to the tab..sigh...),

    Do you have AAA? Road hazard on your car insurance.
    Check to see if they may pay for the tow to get the car repaired at a shop.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,179
    edited August 2010
    Also take into consideration how the rest of the van is holding this going to be the start of a huge money pit where it just might be worth it to just trade it in or sell it privately? You need to figure out at what point do y'all cut your losses and just move on to another vehicle. 133k miles is pertty good in this day & age for a minivan with a tranny that's just not up to par. Only you guys know how much more $ you want to spend on the ole rig.

    Personally, I'd probably look for something else as y'all have gotten your $ out of your Ody. Good luck and let us know what happens.

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • This is the first post I've seen about this problem. It's exactly what has happened to our van. Usually if we put the emergency break on first before we put it in park then we don't have this problem when we start it the next time. However, that's not a guarantee all the time.
  • autowriteautowrite Posts: 226
    I have 260,000 kms on my Odyssey. A replacement was done at 180,000 kms. (converstion to miles x .609344). I am planning to professionally install an after-market transmission cooler. I am not planning to tow. The Honda dealer says a cooler will help in stop & go traffic; and it would not hurt.
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    A cooler is always a good idea. The Honda version is something of a joke, and it's well known that heat kills transmissions. Also, consider installing an in-line filter (I use Magnefine) if you don't already have one.

    I have the transmission out of our van and on the bench. I should have it open by tomorrow.
  • nedlyjnedlyj Posts: 89
    Unfortunately, our run with our 99 Ody EX has come to an end. While it was on its 3rd tranny (with 165,000 miles) it has been excellent otherwise - until its recent and sudden encounter with a whole bunch of trees. :cry:

    No longer a 2 Ody family (also have a 2010 EX). At least we can't say it was the transmission that made us get rid of it. :)
  • lbreeslbrees Posts: 3
    I have a 2004 Odyssey with 142k miles, and it "shudders" at low speeds but stops when I take my foot off the gas. I have been reading some of these related posts, but would like to know if this is a chronic "nuisance" and/or will the transmission eventually fail on me? I am taking it to a transmission specialist this week to get his diagnosis. Should I just bite the bullet and get the tranny rebuilt?
  • “…In the same sentence, he said he could have a salesman contact me about some great oppportunities in case I opted to buy a new car instead….”

    They tried the same sales tactic with me. Sanjay Prakash, general manager of Honda of Ft Myers FL (a Sonic Automotive dealer) said he could “trade me out” for my Odyssey, wow what a great guy, I call about a problem with their dealership and he wants to sell me a car. He says he can make me a great deal, $1000 below invoice, I had already been looking at cars and knew AAA is at $3000 below invoice on 2010’s. Bad enough Honda sold us a bad product and won’t stand behind it, but Honda and the dealers are making money off the problems, which is not incentive to ever fix a problem. threadid=100814
  • dlwidedlwide Posts: 9
    ... Me not mechanically-inlcined, but old retired transmission guy friend says you sound credible. If I may, two follow-ups: (1) Presuming the Magnefine is a "dual filtration," magnetic & media, any possible issue with flow due to additional pressure drop? (2) Hayden Customer Service guy Bruce suggests a "678" Cooler from Pep Boys / O'Reilly which looks like a supplementary, not replacement, whereas I was thinking fewer parts better, meaning, preferably, replace existing Honda cooler with adequate Hayden. Hayden guy also recommends an always on fan. Any thoughts / recommendations?
  • dlwidedlwide Posts: 9
    ... Actually poked my head around today. Looks like no transmission coolor per se other than a looped pipe. Looked like there might be space there for an additional cooler. I'm going to check into the Jasper deal too.
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    Yes, theMagnefine unit is a dual filter, magnet and media. The first one latest two years, and I replaced it just about 2 months ago. The guy who runs the company is super nice, and ships promptly. Get the model with the 3/8" fittings.

    The model 678 cooler looks like a great unit. Lots of fins to push heat out of the fluid. Should you also run the fan constantly? I'm not so sure on that. It won't hurt anything, but you might get tired of the noise.
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    That looped pipe IS the transmission cooler. It's a piece of crap. Just leave it there and plumb in the new cooler. I'll be putting one on our van as well.

    In other news, I've nearly got the cases apart. One of the shaft bearings is bad for sure. I'm documenting and shooting video of the whole deal if anyone wants to see it.
  • dlwidedlwide Posts: 9
    ... Whoah Nelly! Stop the wrenches!! If you haven't already, be sure to read this link -

    link title

    ... and definitely for you PG, this, all five(5) pages of Master Theojo -

    link title
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