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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems



  • Reading all these posts have been quite disturbing I guess I've been lucky to have made it to 107 thousand miles before experiencing transmission problems on my '02 Odyssey. But after doing all this reading it doesn't look like I have a chance in hell for any corporation from Honda. This sucks. 'Specially, since I just bought a '05 civic hybrid last week for one of my kids. Maybe I sure turn around and sell it.
  • I have a 2002 (bought Feb 2002) as well & had to replace the transmission at 180,600 kms ( or 110.047 miles). I put an aftermarket transmisison oil cooler in this past August (Honda recommended over theirs). I do not tow. I just started to replace the tranny oil with Honda's synthenic (the only one they use since Apr 2011). I will keep replaceing it every 6,000 kms with 3 litres until I reach the capacity quantity); then every 24,000 kms. I currently have 271,000 kms on it. That's 165,000 miles. I got half my money back from Honda on the replacement or $2,100. I will drive it till it's over-the-hill. Then I will buy a used Odyssey or CR-V or maybe a CVT-Quest. I am a senior who will not be able to spend money like water.
    Although I put alot of kms on each year I do not treat it like a racing machine and I let the transmission decide when to change gears. I cannot believe how hot the transmssion can get if you floor it from a stop until it reaches 119,000 kms/hour on the 401.
  • I was a previous owner of a 2000 Honda Odyssey, Van and had the transmission replaced 3 times by Honda but when it went out in Oct. 2010 for the 4th time Honda refused. Mindful, all work including oil changes were done by the Honda dealership where I purchased the van and was told it would cost $5,000.00 to replace it again and I would have to pay for it this time myself. What happened to standing by your product especially when I've done everything I was advised to do to keep my van in very good running condition. The reason I turned to a foreign auto was I thought for good workmanship and country that stood behind their product. The year before I had just spent $1,700.00 on it for normal wear of things. Honda knew they had a problem with the trans and acknowledged it. Then I'm put in a catch 22 situation where if I drove my van off the lot I wouldn't be offered the $1,500.00 they gave me to put down on another car. Well, I needed a car but could not afford a new one at this time so I had to settle for a 2008 CR-V. My Service Tech in the dealership couldn't believe Honda wouldn't honor my request for a new transmissionfor my van and was as upset as I was. The only reason I purchased another car from Honda and that dealership was because of my Service Tech there and the trust I have in him. Shawn Carr is his name and the dealership is in Lansing, Illinois. But, after thinking about this grave disappointment I'm going to trade this vehicle in and go back to an Amercian made car or van real soon!!! I AM A VERY UPSET AND DISSATISFIED CUSTOMER and yes Congress should call Honda (Japan) company out and put them on the spot to compensate us and be responisible for this faulty transmission.
  • The third transmission in my 2000 Odyssey EX came with a 3yr/36k mile warranty. It was starting to show signs of failure within the warranty period, so I brought it back to the dealer for a warranty replacement. They said that there were 2 error codes (PO401 for the EGR valve and P1739 for the 3rd pressure switch) that were the cause of my shifting problems, but that they could not find anything wrong with the transmission itself. So, they charged me $1200 and sent me on my way. Well, a couple of months later, and by then 1900 miles past the 36k mile warranty, the transmission suffered a complete failure. Smoke was pouring out from under the hood and it wouldn’t shift into any gear. I had it towed to the closest dealership, and surprise… because it failed “out of warranty”, they wanted to charge me $5000 for a new transmission. So what should have been a free warranty transmission replacement a few months earlier was now going to end up costing me $6200?

    I filed a claim with American Honda, but it got denied. I called multiple times to petition the denied claim, but each time was told there was nothing they could do for me. I wrote a letter to the president of American Honda (although I doubt it ever got anywhere close to him), and that too got denied. I filed a claim through the Bureau of Automotive Repair, and once again, Honda denied it. When I realized that Honda was never going to budge on this, I filed a small claims suit against them. It ended up being a pretty easy win. The judge ordered them to pay me $5000 for the cost of a new transmission and to reimburse me for the $1200 I spent on the dealership’s mis-diagnosis.

    I’m not sure if the Honda representative they sent to court was told to lie, just didn’t know his facts, or was a complete idiot. One of the questions the judge asked him was if there was a known problem with the transmissions in this model and year. The judge said that he knows Honda keeps statistics on stuff like this and would know if these transmissions had a higher than normal failure rate. The Honda rep replied “Within American Honda, we don’t acknowledge that there is a known problem with these transmissions.” I then presented the judge with the warranty extension, the class action suit, a Honda press release and thousands of Internet posts. Really? Honda has no idea there’s a problem? This isn’t what ended up winning the case for me, but I thought this was an interesting interaction that everyone here would get a kick out of.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,282
    You done good! What was Honda Corp. thinking? At least you got all your $ back but nothing for the aggravation? That's not right as stuff like this takes up your time & patience with something that could've been avoided if they just did the right thing in the beginning. You should've gotten something extra for the nonsense they caused in your life. Sometimes life just ain't fair!!! :(

    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)

  • Well done. You spoke of a class action. Can you please give more information on the class action that you know of? I hope it addresses not only the transmission, but the torque converters, the engine mounts/eco vibrations, and programming/updates problems. Thank you from all of us.
  • No new class action that I'm aware of. I was referring to the class action in 2006 that extended the warranty on 1999-2001 Odysseys from 7yr/100k miles to 7yr 9mo/109k miles.
  • My 2004 Odyssey with 102,000 is currently in the shop having it's transmission replaced. I just don't know what to do with it after. Have any of you had success with the transmission after it was replaced? It seems a lot of people talk of repeat failures.
  • I have a 2000 Odyssey with 158K on it-never had any transmission problems. This van has been a GREAT car with no major problems. So I guess I am one of the lucky ones.

    But my check engine light did come on and my mechanic said that it was a code for the transmission, but he couldn't find any problems. The van was in for a check for everything, thought I would need a tune up of some kind, did not, just rotors and the front brakes needed replacing-only the second time I have had to replace the brakes. He "cleared" the code, said to drive it and if it came on again, to come back-that he knew that this specific make and model has had transmission problems-and that it might be time for a new tranny.

    So the question is, what is an approximate life of a tranny? I used to be a VW bug mechanic back in the 70's, and I would like to think that any tranny's life would be around 175k-200k, but I also know that it depends on the driver, etc. I am a cautious defensive driver, never drive radically, anticipate my stops so I don't ride my brakes or tranny, service it regularly, etc. So I started doing some research on the Web and was amazed at how many problems other owners of this model have had.

    I am planning on driving this van from MA to FLA in April. So you can imagine why I am wondering.

    Thank you.
  • autowriteautowrite Posts: 226
    I have a 2002. I drove it on many long trips in each year till the transmision needed replacing in 2007 at 184,000 kms. The tranmssion shifted weird and it needed the replacement close to home (60 kms) a trip we made every Sunday (Guelph [home] to Mississauga [Mississauga is a suberb in east Metro Toronto]). It currently has 272,100 kms. We never had a problem on long trips (Texas twice, Colorado, NB, ME, AK). If one makes it to 300,000 kms without a failure I would say that was very good. I NEVER had a replacement tranny in any of my previous vehicles. My last was a Taurus that I traded for the Odysseey which had 276,000 kms. The one before the Taurus was an E100 travel van with 267,000 kms. If you do not have a transmsiion cooler in put to in now (after market, not from Honda, whether you tow or not). Honda has been using synthetic ATL fluid since April 2011. Work on replacing the old fluid.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    Autowrite has good advice, take it.

    As for trying to prevent future Ody Issues a friend of mine has an A/T repair business and sends his re-builds out the door with a 5 year 50,000 mile warranty..
    BUT to maintain that warranty, he requires you to bring the unit back once a year so he can change the fluid and the "Magnefine" external filter he adds to the return line from the cooler.
    Oh, and BTW, he doesn't use Honda a/t fluid in his re-builds, hasn't for years.
  • February 29, 2011: I own a 2004 Honda Odyssey with 136,961 miles. I loved loved loved my Honda, until now. TCS & Check engine lights came on. Took to my local repair shop and they got the codes P0700AT & P0740TC. They advised I take to the dealer because it was a transmission issue which they don't. Dealer said could find nothing wrong with transmission but battery was weak and timimg belt & timing belt holder needed replacement. After paying $1200 I picked up the van and drove it home. The next morning the TCS & Engine came on again. Took it back to the dealer. They said local repair shop must have erased the transmission coded when they check them and that is why they didn't see them and thought there was nothing wrong with transmission even though I told them there was something wrong with it. They said I will need a new transmission. I called Honda America to file a case. They took my information and then told me there was nothing they could do to assist me. I asked to speak with a supervisor who told me the same thing. I don't know what to do. We are a one income family. I am a stay at home mom who takes care of her 92 year old Grandfather who has Alzheimers. We bought a Honda because we have always loved how dependable they are and now I don't have a car. With so many cases of transmission problems, I can't believe Honda won't back up their product. I can't afford a new transmission and have no idea how I am going to get my kids and my grandpa to school, doctors appointments, etc.
  • autowriteautowrite Posts: 226
    Opening CASES with Honda of America does not work in Canada. We also do not know of any garage up here that has 'bring it back once a year'. I gues I could let a BWM garage do it; but I trust Honda more than BMW. It my case my Honda dealer is side-by-side the BMW dealer.
  • spdrcr61spdrcr61 Posts: 4
    Is a transmission that easy to rebuild? Yes, I am a back yard mechanic. And is the torque converter part of the rebuild? Where did you get the parts?
  • spdrcr61spdrcr61 Posts: 4
    No, I did not research this car like I've done every other car I purchased in my life. It was on the side of the road, ya know, kinda like 'Christine'. Didn't have much time to make a decision and Bam now I have a 3500$ beater car, that I plan on using for work (50mi each way) so I can limit the wear and tear on my 2010 car now with already 20K on it. Anyway, the Transmission which has 50K on it, I understand, from research and driving that it has more issues than 'Life' magazine. It slips and bangs into third. Here's the thing, when I purchased it, it drove ok... they probably filled it with Lucas or something. When I changed it, it smell horrible, not sure if it was a burning smell, but my garage still stinks. I performed a Drain and Fill 5X with Val Max Life Dex/Merc fluid. Well, now it has gotten 3X worse. Is it because I didn't use a 'Lucas' type bandaid? Is it because there's new fluid in it? Or (Skepticism alert) is because I didn't use the recommended Honda z1 atf fluid or the replacement DW 1?
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    I thought it wasn't bad at all. If I did it again I would by a rebuild guide. They are $100, but I wouldn't have broken $162 in parts if I would have had the guide.

    I got the parts from, except for the stuff that I broke, which I got from my local Honda dealer. Any decent transmission shop can rebuild or source a rebuilt converter. You can't do it home as they are welded shut during assembly. I didn't rebuild mine since it didn't fail, but if I did it again I would fork over the extra $200 to have it done.

    I was very organized, took lots of pictures, labeled EVERYTHING, kept my work area as clean as I could, and took my time. I disassembled, rebuilt, disassembled, rebuilt, etc., until I was comfortable with how it all went together. It's just a 3 shaft 4 speed with differential. There is planetary gear set or clutch band witchery to fool with, just shafts, gears, clutches, servos and the like. Not bad at all.

    If you decide to do this and you have questions, let me know and I'll answer them as best I can. The hardest part was splitting the cases. After I saw the guts of the thing it pretty well made sense. If you are comfortable doing other work on your car and you have a decent imagination you can do this work and save yourself thousands.

    Our van now has 6,000 miles on the rebuild and I'll be changing it over to synthetic fluid soon, and adding a transmission cooler.
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    Use ONLY Honda fluid. I did the same thing with our 1999 Odyssey years ago and it was a mess. The Honda fluid has more friction modifiers in it, allowing for smoother shifts. Honda has recently switched over to a synthetic fuild, which should give a longer service life.

    Also, it sounds like your second and third shift soleniods are plugging up. It's a little work on the outside of the transmission to pop a little cover, pull some tubes, and clean out the slime. The passage tubes have little screens in them that jam up with clutch material. Once partially plugged it takes a lot of pressure to trigger that shift, and SLAM! you think the bottom is going to fall out of the car.

    Let me know if you want to give it a try.
  • spdrcr61spdrcr61 Posts: 4
    Thanks for your advice. I just hate to put out 80$ in fluid but I guess it's much cheaper than a new trans ,, And yes, you bet, I wanna pop a little cover, pull some tubes, and clean out the slime !!!! Do you have a DIY on this or something that may help me out... ?? Thanks
  • jaydowns001jaydowns001 Posts: 2
    edited March 2011
    My wife was idling and speaking with one of the neighbors and this loud buzzing/spraying sound started coming from the engine. She freaked out and turned off the car. I started it up again and drove it the few houses down to put it in the driveway and popped the hood. About 4 minutes later the sound was duplicated and smoke/steam started coming out with it.

    It sounded like something was spraying out or venting somewhere on the left hand side (if you're facing the car). The smoke was kind of sweet smelling (not like oil or radiator fluid). The reservoir for the radiator was about a quart low (which I filled) and the oil was a bit low (which I also remedied). Afterwords, I ran the engine for about 30 minutes with the AC on high... can't seem to duplicate the problem. No leaks. No smoke.

    I did notice the power steering fluid was a bit high, but otherwise the normal stuff seemed OK.

    Has anyone had a similar problem or have any ideas?
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    Where exactly was the steam coming from? There aren't a lot of fluids in a car, so it should be easy to figure out. It sounds like you may have popped a hose. It happens.
  • Hello all, I too am having problems with my Honda. We are getting a shuddering when the vehicle tries to change gears from 25 to 45 mph range. It doesn't do it all the time, mostly when in normal mode vs ECO mode. I am the original owner and the vehicle has under 58,000 miles. I took it to a local repair shop (not dealer) and they informed me they have replaced numerous Odyssey transmissions because of this known issue. They suggested using a Jasper transmission as it comes with a 3 year 100,000 mile warranty. But, the cost is $4800. I started doing a net search and it appears Jasper is the way to go as the Honda transmission don't seem to hold up even if you can get Honda to pay anything toward a replacement. I have not really had too many problems with our vehicle to date with the exception of the transmission. I find all the posts disheartening. This is the first foreign vehicle I've ever bought and I expected more. For a transmission to go out this early, with nice and easy driving, it's a shame. Honda should have a recall and fix this once and for all.
  • It's coming from somewhere on the upper left side of the engine (passenger side) and must be down towards the wheel-well as I can't find anything leaking or sprayed on the top side.

    I can't find any leaks after letting it idle for a solid 30 minutes and it hasn't happened again. It almost seemed like when you vent a pressure cooker or something, and I would think that if a hose popped off it would be pretty easy to duplicate the problem.

    It's just kind of annoying since it happened on a weekend when all the shops are closed, and I don't want to put my wife and 4 kids in the car without knowing what the heck it is.
  • pch2001pch2001 Posts: 2
    I've owned a '99 Odyssey EX since 12/98. I have 182K miles and have never had a transmission problem. I live at sea level in CA and have driven it to above 7,000' in elevation (the Sierra Nevada mountain range) countless times. I was hoping to keep it untill 200K miles and sell it before the major tune up (timing belt, water pump, plugs...). Some idiot rear ended me in January 2011, so I used the insurance $ as a down payment to purchase a 2011 Odyssey LX. Keep driving your '00 as long as you can. The'11 LX isn't much of an improvement over the second generation Odyssey.
    I plan on selling the '99 tomorrow for $2K. It still runs great, but has $3.2K of damage to the rear end. The insurance adjustor didn't consider $3.2K worth of damage a total loss for a Honda Odyssey minivan with 182K miles!
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    Just letting an engine sit and idle won't always reproduce the problem as engines that are running at speed produce huge amounts of heat and pressure compared to something that's just purring. I would have the cooling system pressure tested. Sometimes radiators can develop leaks that are intermittent, and may not show up if it's just sitting in the driveway. Also, have some UV dye added to your coolant. You can do this yourself for about $10. If the cooling system is to blame, the next time it happens a UV light will show the leak as a huge purple mess.
  • spdrcr61spdrcr61 Posts: 4
    Replying to: pgnagel (Mar 06, 2011 5:28 pm)
    Thanks for your advice. I just hate to put out 80$ in fluid but I guess it's much cheaper than a new trans ,, And yes, you bet, I wanna pop a little cover, pull some tubes, and clean out the slime !!!! Do you have a DIY on this or something that may help me out... ?? Just askin'...
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    Buy your fluid here:

    $6 a quart. I have to go to work now, but search this site:

    for info on your transmission. The B7TA and B7YA were used in Accords, Odysseys, Pilots, and Acura RL(TL?) from 1999-2002 in different variations, but share the same internals. Instructions on how to pop the soleniod cover and clean out the fluid tubes is on that site. If you can't find it, please let me know and I will find a resource for you to use.

    Good luck! It's not that hard to do if you have a little patience.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    I have a 2003 Ody, and am wondering if anyone knows if these supply tubes with the screens were also built into the a/t for that year?

    It would be one more thing I could service to prolong the inevitable.
  • fuvangfuvang Posts: 6
    Try to change your transmission fluid. I had the same problem. Read it and talked it over. I changed the transmission fluid twice. Have you ever changed the transmission fluid in it? If you tell me that your dealer shop did it, then I would say do it yourself this time. I don't trust them. They would more than likely want you to changed your transmission anyways. My dealer shop in Asheboro, NC told my wife that it was a engine bolt that broke and that's why it shook like that... that was full of crap. I looked and the bolt was fine. The problem I think it comes down to is that the converter box for the transmission is very sensitive, needing clean transmission fluids to change gear smoothly. The vehicle has a breakdown period where all the metal shavings comes to the bottom of the pan where the fluid is. Some floats and prevents the smooth gear changing, which then will lead to other problems more severe down the road. I know they recommend 35000 miles to change the transmission fluid everytime and I am changing it sooner for the first 100000 miles. When you get that bolt out, just look how much metal shaving you have on it... you'll know why your van isn't changing gears smoothly. Good luck.
  • See website and search transmission fluid change.
    Switch to the transmission fluid Honda is now recommending DW-1 a full synthetic. I did it on my 2007 Honda Odyssey. I will not have transmission problems.
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    Try, sign up for a membership and search the forums for a exploded drawing of the transaxle.

    If you play nice your local Honda dealership will print that drawing for you so you can see all the detail yourself.
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