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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems



  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    Brilliant! Thanks for the information. I've been looking for something like this. I would love to think that popping off the solenoids and cleaning things out would to the trick, but the tranny is already out of the van, and with all the miles we have (at least 145,000 on this unit) I'm sure the clutches are worn out. I already know that the second shaft bearing is toast. When I turn the bearing by hand it occasionally clicks and grinds.While the tranny is terribly complex I still feel confident that I can rebuild it.

    If anyone here has done this, please let me know.
  • dlwidedlwide Posts: 9
    ... PG, though Theojo is works on a 1998, if you didn't already, be sure to catch his very detailed write-ups on his rebuild of that transmission. Guessing there might be something there of use to your brave soul.
  • dlwidedlwide Posts: 9
    ... PG: Couple follow-ups.

    (1) Regards cooler -- just got my 1999 hardcopy of the Honda manual today, and pages 14-128,9 show a radiator-style transmission cooler being flushed, probably a good scope adder for your work, if you hadn't already planned it, recalling Theojo had done that. I'm a city apartment dweller, don't have time to go look at the car just now, but believe the cooler in the not-so-clear diagram to be the closest to the bumper. Moving towards the engine must then be the AC condenser and then of course engine radiator. Maybe. Haven't yet done a proper look but should be doing so tomorrow, when I'm going to attempt to at least look at the screens of the four hopefully accessible transmission solenoids; LockUp + Shift Valves A, B, & C. Anyway, thought that cooler worth mentioning.

    (2) Theojo apparently used a Helm manual for his 1998 trans rebuild, perhaps only for the clutches, as that's all I could locate just now on the Helm web site - 085D8AB505CAE&Style=helm&class%5F2=AHM

    Hope things are going well for you.
  • dlwidedlwide Posts: 9
    ... Actually, after re-reading the Odyclub Blunney & Theojo threads, I believe I will be looking at the Clutch Pressure Control Solenoid A/B, and not sure which of the others are accessible. Will report back after head first dive tomorrow.
  • I had 160000 miles on mine when I began to feel that same "shudder". Unfortunately the shudder started one day before family vacation. I talked with a friend of mine and he said the tranny can go tomorrow or it could stay that way for another 35000 miles. So we embarked on our family vacation to the east coast of Canada (from Michigan). Everything seemed to be going well and I thought we were going to make it home when on the last day of the journey the tranny fails at mile marker 357, westbound, on I-90 in New York state. I had the car towed to the local AAMCO. I really had no other alternative. They did a decent job and $3000 later I have a rebuilt tranny in my Odyssey with a 12 month 12,000 mile warranty. Thankfully there is an AAMCO in Kalamazoo, no too far from where we live. I plan to take it there to have them check it over and to let them know there is a person with an AAMCO warrantied tranny in the area.

    I know there are some who have spoken unfavorably of AAMCO. I've check online and a Jasper tranny for the 2004 Odyssey runs $3200.00. So I guess it wasn't too bad getting the entire job done for $3000.00. Had I put in the Jasper tranny I'm certain the bill would have run near $4500.00 (p/l).

    If your tranny is stil shuddering get a flush and fill or just have a mechanic you trust in your area have a look at it. It may just need a flush and fill or you may need a new tranny.
  • UPDATE: Thanks for all of your suggestions. I called around and almost settled on a transmission shop. Luckily I did an online search and found it was rated D- by the Better Business Bureau and had tons of customer complaints. I finally found The Transmission Doctor in North Lauderdale (rated A+ with no complaints I could find). They sounded honest and straightforward and fixed my transmission - plus a cracked engine mount and replaced a rear engine seal - for $2700 in only two days (vs $5,300 and 5 days at the Honda Dealer). Best of all, they didn't try to sell me a new car! They also said the car's computer, which the Honda service advisor insisted must be replaced - was fine. The lesson? I learned not to blindly trust everything the dealer says...if you need a big job like a transmission, get a second - or even third - opinion, just as you would if YOU needed an operation. And because you'll encounter a lot of slick, fast-talking, honest-sounding service advisors, always check out the shop's reputation and track record (again, just as you would for your own doctor). Good luck! :)
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    Finally, the cases are split! I was going blind on this, and unfortunately broke a few parts in the process. They aren't expensive, though, so I'm not too irritated.

    It turns out that some of the bearings in the transfer gear, mounted just under the transmission cover (driver's side), were toast. They were grinding as I spun them in my hand. Today I order the rebuild kit and torque converter. Next week I'll break down the shafts one at a time, rebuild the valve body and accumulator, and clean everything before reassembly.

    If anyone is interested in seeing the carnage, let me know and I can send some pics!
  • dlwidedlwide Posts: 9
    ... Meanwhile, back on the El Cheapo ranch, I did get into the Clutch Pressure Control Solenoid assembly today, and sure enough there was significant blockage in the screen of the center tube of the "line of three" tubes (fourth tube "off to the side" has no screen). Photo available.

    Honda, it would seem, should've definitely made cleaning that screen part of routine maintenance.

    Bought my van with 154k miles almost two years ago, and it's now at 206k miles, going on 300k miles, all goes well. If I only new at 154k what I know now at 206 ...

    So, got in the minivan cautiously optimistic, felt a discouraging initial minimal lunge into 2nd, however, after a few blocks, things seemed to improve, to the point where I had let myself believe major healing had occurred, only to then, a few blocks further on, have the trans start acting up some, slipping out of 1st gear shortly after taking off and hesitating before hitting 2nd with a lunge on occasion. Thus, cleaning that screen was not the "El Cheapo walk away from the trans for a good while" fix I had dreamt of, though the van does drive differently, and after later heading to the grocer and back, I would say things are definitely better, for whatever that's worth.

    Was doing my work today at my mechanic's garage, as I feared the potential for need of professional assistance, and my mechanic had been kind enough to offer (known him for many years). Did not check the resistance nor test the solenoids, as I forgot my newly acquired Fluke meter at home and the mechanic's meter was out-of-whack, and the nice Fluke test leads I just bought were also conveniently at home. Planned on going back into that solenoid assembly again anyway, in case more gunk should appear (doubtful though, as it was more like a film type build-up), and will test those and any other solenoids I can get at later.

    PG: It would of course be of great use were you to keep, if you will, a "phlog"
    (= photo log) of your work. You are blazing a trail that I hope to follow at a later date, presuming the van can limp along for a few more weeks. Good luck to you.
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    With all this talk of tubes and screens, I should probably chime in. The tranny case is apart, the clutch baskets are empty, and I have for sure found the grumpy bearing. It was very close to *grenading* in the case, and binds up and clicks when turned by hand. I consider myself lucky that it didn't let go completely and load the case with steel bits.

    When tearing down the tranny, I took great care in inspecting every ATF tube. The now famous *Three Musketeers* that inhabit the Clutch Pressure Control Solenoid assembly...the tubes with the screens in them...were completely clean. Actually, the case is nearly flawless in terms of cleanliness, and the fluid is bright red, like cough syrup. I believe this is a direct reflection of two things: 1.) My hypermaintenance schedule, i.e. draining and filling the tranny 2 of three times a year using Honda ATF Z1 fluid, and 2.) The installation of an inline filter.

    I'm saying this again to underscore the imprtance of proper maintenance for this particular transaxle. This unit was used in the Accord, Pilot, Acure TL, and Isuzu van. It's a good design, but the extra weight and power of the 1999-2001 Odyssey, as compared to the 1995-1998 models, means the gears and bearings are under greater loads, which produces extra heat. This heat cooks the fluid into a gummy sludge, which then clogs the ATF tubes and results in the automotive equal of a heart attack for your transmission.

    If you haven't serviced your transmission in the last year, do it today. If you don't have a filter, install one today. If you don't have a cooler in the system...install one today. Just like your heart, you must take care of this extremely important and expensive piece of equipment. Grumping about and talking about sueing Honda won't correct the problem. These vans are all way out of warranty range now, and crying about it is useless. Address the issues head on and you will be happier as well as educated about your van. That's a good thing in my book.

    By the way, the factory filter consists of a plastic case with a sump that lives at the bottom of the case, and a sponge type filter material. It's completely inaccessible without splitting the cases, and I think it's a toy, so supplementing with an exterior / servicable filter is, in my opinion, very important. The Honda filter is $15, and a Magnefine unit is about the same price.

    Also, there is a smallish rubber mount that helps to hold the tranny in place. I believe the engine and tranny assembly have five mounts in total, and this is the smallest one. Mine was almost torn in half, and I'm sure it was contributing to the *lurching* when coming to a stop. Again, eleven years from such a little part is pretty good, and it will be replaced.

    Anyway, I still need to get the case bearings out, so it's back to the store today to rent a bearing puller. Wish me luck. After the case is completely stripped I'll scrub it with solvent and brushes. By the way, I have a B7TA tranny. I finally found the sticker under years of gunk.
  • n3tton3tto Posts: 13
    I have an 06 Van.

    How often should I have a transmission flush?

    I had one done in Oct 09 and I have been told the van needs another now (after driving 13k miles) does this sound about right?
  • mdashimdashi Posts: 6
    edited August 2010
    I'm original owner of an '01 Odyssey EX w/ 125k miles on original tranny. Never had any transmission issues, until a few weeks back on extended 1000 mile roadtrip in Texas heat. Transmission lock up torque converter isn't locking in overdrive anymore. RPM will climb ~2-300 as you go up hills. Never had any codes or blinking green D light. Drove the rest of the way back to Dallas, and after van has cooled, it has been OK for daily short trips around town. Only on 1 trip yesterday of ~50 miles did it start doing it again (it was 105F out yesterday). Never had any harsh shifting in 1-3 and I've been changing the ATF every 30k miles. I thought I had heard somewhere about a torque converter solenoid failing that could be replaced for cheap, or am I just in denial about an impending full transmission failure?

    BTW, Carmax offered me $3k for the car yesterday. Should I just take the money and run?
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    does this sound about right?

    No it doesn't. Usually flushed every 30k-60 k miles. Who said it needed flushed and why? If a Valvoline Instant Oil Change type of place then I'd forget about it. If dealership I'd want to know why. Take a look and take a whiff of the fluid is the best way to see if it needs changed. Should reddish or pinkish in color with no burn smell.
  • When my Ody 2005 tranny went (56K) and my good dealer helped me score a rebuilt tranny from Honda for free, I was still quite uncomfortable that the same thing wouldn't happen again.

    I began investigating and found Amsoil synthetic tranny fluid and convinced my dealer to dealer (didn't need much since the dealership's service manager himself has used Amsoil's other products) and did the usual drain and fill (thrice over following 15000 starting at about 60k on the car). I got my inspiration from some other post on bob is the oil buy forums who apparently claimed to be using the Amsoil fluid in his Honda's.

    At this time I have about 120k miles on the ody and it shifts beautifully, no shudders, etc. I will probably do another tranny drain and fill and have my dealer give me sample of the old fluid - I suspect that it won't be as dirty as the Honda fluid would have been. I will report back with the results when I do so - sometime in winter.

    I don't know if my Ody tranny is going to last any longer or not, but this has certainly given me hope.

    This solution to me has been the cheapest and did not require any changes to the tranny such as after-market coolers, etc.

    See my previous posts.

    FWIW, I think the problem with the underdesigned and crappy tranny can be taken care of by the Amsoil fluid (note, that I have in my Acura TL with the same results).
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    DO NOT FLUSH A HONDA TRANSMISSION! These gearboxes have lots and lots of ATF transfer tubes which direct fluid to various parts of the transmission. Frankly, I think it's genious. However, *Flushing* a tranny might mean you push debris into one of these tubes...then it starts to act funny...then it won't shift into third like it used to...then it dies...and you are out $4,000.00 for a rebult unit.

    Drain and fill. One week later, drain and fill. Another week after it again. When the fluid that comes out looks like the fluid that is going in, then you can just change it annually. A 30,000 mile change interval for this gearbox in this vehicle is tooooo long! In an Accord it's just fine, but in a vehicle with a 3.5V-Tec pulling a vehicle that's 4,000 pounds without driver or cargo it means suicide for your transmission.

    Oh yeah, install a transmission cooler, too. And an in-line filter. Your checkbook will be much happier.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    and did the usual drain and fill (thrice over following 15000 starting at about 60k on the car)

    Can you do a complete drain and fill on the Ody using the trans. cooler line? This way you drain a quart, add a quart etc etc. till the oil comes out red.
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    When you drain a transmission (or engine) you never get all the fluid out of it. Transmissions have a pump and a valve body that always contain fluid, and require the input shaft to be rotating for the fluid to be moving.

    Do the drain and fill until the old fluid looks new. It took me about three times until I started feeling confident about the fluid in the gearbox. Again, when I split the cases last week the fluid in the tranny was bright red and smelled new. This transmission needs fresh, clean fluid to work properly.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    When you drain a transmission (or engine) you never get all the fluid out of it. Transmissions have a pump and a valve body that always contain fluid, and require the input shaft to be rotating for the fluid to be moving

    You would be getting all the fluid out as you would be using the trans pump to do the work. One quart in and one quart out, when the dirty fluid comiing out looks like the clean red fluid being put in, then you've exchanged every drop.
  • autowriteautowrite Posts: 226
    My Honda dealer recommended Sauder's Trailer for a transmission cooler. I had them install it today at 265,000 kms. Sauder's is in St. Jacobs, ON. They put a E 4452 model on.
    I wished I had had this on before the tranny went at 180,000 kms. Dealer said Honda charges too much. Some of the Honda service desk people were once mechanics.
    On my summer trip to Maine & the Maritimes I kept the speed at 105,kilometers/hour and got mostly 32 miles/gallon.
  • Who is your Honda dealer? After years of buying domestic cars I was talked into buying a Honda because they last forever. 3 months later my used 2002 Honda Odyssey with only 80k miles is down and out with a transmission problem. Honda USA says "sorry, but since you bought from a non-honda dealer and the vehicle is old we can't help".

    I understand the push back, but this is clearly a known issue. Now I am gonna be out somewhere between $1500-2000. Yeah, I won't be buying another Honda unless they step up and help.

    Anybody want a used 2002 Odyssey? Needs a transmission!
  • What do you want for it? I'm rebuilding the tranny in our 1999 right now. The parts came yesterday, and soon the valve body will be in dozens of pieces!

    Seriously, it isn't that hard. I'll spend about $800 on parts. If you have access to another car and you're decent with the wrenches you can do it and save yourself $1000.
  • If I had the space right now it would definitely be in pieces. Unfortunately I don't have the space, so I will pay to have it fixed. At least the dealer is covering half of the cost. If it happens again though....
  • “…Honda USA says "sorry, but since you bought from a non-honda dealer and the vehicle is old we can't help…."

    Honda has an excuse for everything except why it is they continue to screw Honda owners and slink out of responsibility for their faulty design. I don’t understand how a company thinks it smart to screw their customers, where do they think the next sale comes from? Certainly not me after how I was treated on a dealer and corporate level. It’s unfortunate Honda benefited from recent Toyota bad PR when Honda deserves as much bad press but the lawyers and NHTSA are too lame (or corrupt?) to help. I do blame NHTSA as being similar to SEC when it comes to they are hiding behind little scrutiny of their jobs. You see what happens when there is no accountability in govt. agencies, you have mortgage fraud, AIG, insider trading, unjust severance packages, and nearly great depression revisited. It would appear to me companies like Honda screw their customers because just as CEO’s had no fear of the SEC, they have no fear of class action attorneys and the limp NHTSA. threadid=100814
  • Hi

    We have a 1998 Odyssey. So far, it has been a great minivan. Reliable, good to drive, etc. 160,000 miles,

    But, last week, the transmission started to go bad. To replace it will cost 4000 or so. This is more than the blue book for the car. But, the car is in okay shape otherwise so we are tempted to fix it anyway. But, what will go bad next? Anyone driving a 1998 with more miles than 160000? Any problems?

  • Show other people how Honda treats its customers:!/hondaodyssey
  • Its really sad all these complaints were seeing about the Odys
    We have an 07 and have the Tranny replaced already , luckily extended warranty covered it, even though manager was hesitant to admit it was the Trans.
    Now have 80k on it and debating weather to move to Sienna now or what
    Overall the Ody drives great and we really love it but was wondering future headaches
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,181
    I'd trade now since it's working fine...probably just a matter of time till it goes again. Friend at work has an older model but still going strong on tranny # 3...also told him to dump it now that it's working o could crap out again tomorrow. Sometimes it's just better to cut one's loses & trade. Did that with my '03 Sentra after they got the service engine light to finally go off. Once it hit 36k, I traded it in that day & never looked back. Financially not a smart move but felt it was a ticking bomb waiting to go off again. Right decision for me!

    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)

  • Have a 2001 Ody with 85,000 miles. Today when i first started driving it, the check engine light came on, along with the TCS light. The D4 light was also blinking. I took it to the dealership and they ran the codes and, you got it - the transmission is going to need replaced. I have been able to drive it the rest of the day, but it could go at any time.

    Since I knew about the problems here with the Odyssey, I called Honda of America and talked to someone there. They said they couldn't help because though I was far below the mileage for the extended warranty, I was passed the allowable time. I said I wasn't satisfied and wanted to talk to a manager. Manager said the same thing and told me to talk to the dealership to see if I can get a discount from them, but Honda of America couldn't/wouldn't help out. The dealer was suprised by that and said he'd make some calls, but I haven't heard back yet today.

    Couple questions for others that have been through this -

    1. when the tranny first started having problems, how long did it last before it completely failed?

    2. anyone have luck working with Honda of America to get some help paying for this if they were past the mileage or time warranty deadline like I am?

    3. if honda of America won't help, anyone have luck working with the dealership to get a discount?

    4. if I have to get a new tranny from a non-Honda shop (because it would be cheaper than the dealership), what's a reasonable price?

    5. anyone have their tranny replaced with a Honda remanufactured one and have it last for a while? the dealership worker said he hasn't seen one come back as Honda has made changes to the tranny and it's not just replacing it with the same faulty one.

  • Hi Sam- Do you know of anywhere online where there is documentation for the extended warranty settlement? Links that I go to are no longer active, I've searched everywhere. we have a 2005 EX with 94K and the transmission did this WEIRD STRONG shuddering/vibration last week like I was going over train tracks! the whole steering wheel shook. also it seems to be making a weird hum/slip sound at 45 mph lately. i am bring it to the original dealership (i am 2nd owner) tomorrow afternoon to have them diagnose issue, which i am assuming is going be VERY BAD NEWS. so i want to know i can find ANY documentation online about if it's covered under the ext warranty?? help? anyone? thanks so much... this is our 2nd honda.... might switch to toyota next,
    :confuse: :mad:
  • I had the same issue but I owned the 2005 Odyssey since the start. It always shuddered shifting gears around 40MPH when accelarating slowly. I complained about it for years and they said they could not see any issues and updated the software twice, which ultimately made it worse. I took out the car for a drive with the dealership technician and I was able to replicate the issue.
    They finally replaced the torque converter (although not the trannmission which is odd/probably bad) and it seems to be better. I had a 5 year/100k warrantee and they honored even though I was a little over because I reported the issue during the coverage period. The engine/tranny still is not silky smooth for such a new car so I wonder if something else down the line is looming...
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