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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems



  • mctmct Posts: 1
    :cry: I have an '02 Odyssey. First transmission replaced at 113,000 miles. Honda covered 3/4 the cost. Surprising especially since I'm the second owner (bought from in-laws ~59,000 miles). Got 3 year/36,000 mile warranty. Now at 177,000 and that second transmission is going out. Honda says they'll pay about 1/4 of it, but that still leaves me with ~$3,800. Hubby thinks it's worth about 5,000 if repaired. Checked just to make sure we weren't putting $4,000 in a van worth less than that. Advice on what to do if I can't get Honda to pay anymore? Have someone else rebuild the transmission? I was hoping to get quite a few more miles out of this one. Of course, I do have two broken motor mounts I suppose I should fix . . .
  • I'm the original owner of a 2004 odyssey with 147k miles. Our family loves this car as it very functional for us and minimal problems up to now.

    Over this past summer, we embarked on a 10k mile road trip in the odyssey. Prior to the trip, i had the basic tune-up performed (oil change, inspection) and had all 4 tires replaced. Also 2 motor mounts were replaced.

    During this trip, we were driving through Texas during the heatwave and experienced a massive burst of oil from the front drivers side area. Driving with cruse control about 80mph, suddenly there was a loss of acceleration and the engine reved up over 4000rpm's. We were luckily planning to exit the interstate for gas/food and the off ramp was a few hundred feet ahead. When the loss of power occurred, I quickly ahifted to neutral. Upon limping (back in D but only idling speed) to the closest service station, i could see a lot of oil leaking. Again it seemed a bursting of oil due to the heat. Ill add the car was not overheating temp gauge wise and the a/c radio etc working fine.

    So pretty concerned at what i saw, i took the car to different mechanics in the small town. They were not transmission specialist nor was there a honda dealer. They both basically told me that engine oil and atf levels were fine. One mechanic thought the atf was overfilled and "overflowed" but couldnt pinpoint where. The other mechanic mentioned a similar theory. The strange thing is after restarting the car after it cooled down, it seemed to run just fine. Although leary at first and driving quite conservatively, we made it from Texas back to Southern California without any problems or a repeat of the oil "burst" with odyssey performance quite normal.

    Recently, im experiencing a clunking sound from the drivers side area. Like a metal to metal sound shaking inside an enclosure. It seems that the sound is at its worst when the car has not been driven for many hours (overnight) and hitting small bumps in the road. But after driving for approx 5-10 minutes the sound seems to reduce quite a bit. But lately, the sound persists constantly though always improving from the initial startup. Also I park on an incline with the front of the car up about about 25 degrees. My mechanic which has been very fair and reliable for many years cant explain it. I dont know if the oil bursting episode and the sound I'm hearing now are related. I'll also add that steering and breaking seem normal and the check engine ligjt is not lit.

    Im not sure if this a transmission issue but trying my luck here. Any insight or any guidance to diagnose this would be gratefully appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    Was it motor oil, or a/t fluid?

    Did they put it up on a rack to see where the oil came from?
  • This is probably more common than you think. More than likely, it is a transmissin problem. i had a 2001 with 68K miles and it went out. You will read plenty of stories where people are drivng doen the road with their kids in the car and all of a suddne the engine revs up and ultimately, the transmission leaks and fails.

    Honda has had this issue for many years and thousands of consumers have been affected. Honda was invovled in a class action lawsuit over the ODY and lost a judgement of $$90 million. They knew of the issue when they made the van and still sold it to unsuspecting consumers. I called Honda and tried to work things out with them and they told me bascially, too bad so sad. There is nothing we can do. If I were you, I would get rid of the van now why it is still running. The rplacement transmission is of no use. It is the same one they put in originally which has failed again and again. For some owners, 6-7 times.

    When I traded mine in they asked me if I had any transmssion issues with the van. That was the first questin they asked. That should tell you something.

    I hope this helps. I got rid of my ODY and traded for another brand. I will never buy another Honda as long as I live nor will any family member or friends after this issue.
  • The mechanic was sure it wasn't motor oil. He did raise it and I had an oil change performed. He mentioned that the amount drained was close to normal. He thought it was atf but with the oil splattered everywhere, a discharge point couldn't be pinpointed. The amount that was splashed along he underside and front left wheel area seemed like a large amount, like I would guess at least a quart... but that's just a guess. But the level on the atf dipstick was right in the middle.

    I'll add that there is no leaking now.... not even a drop.
  • I'm hoping that a new transmission is not required but I'm not too hopeful after reading so much about them here. At this time, I need to keep driving this car but if I get a chance to retire it, I will. Thank you.
  • It's a transmission.

    If you go to fix it and they blow you off - and they will - calmly tell them you are going to post your experiences on Honda's facebook page.

    They completely blew me off: Honda and the dealer (who couldn't find the problem until the moment it went off warranty).

    I called corporate and they yawned it wasn't their problem. I explained I was going to post on Facebook and make it my mission to ensure the cost of blowing me off would greatly exceed the cost of a new transmission.

    After a few days of me calling and directing them to my facebook posts they magically decided they could fix my transmission.
  • Original poster here. Got my car back a week later and a few months later all is okay. Car rides different and I think I'm going to live on the "uh oh is this a trans faliure" edge again. Noticed on here that many have a 1-2yrs warranty on the trans. Our rebuilt a got 6 mo/6000 miles warranty. Have been researching pre owned vans since we got this fixed, sadly none are Hondas, we are done with them as soon as this van dies it's slow death. Dang it, I drove my brand new 91 Nissan Sentra to 212,000 before I sold it after 10yrs only because I had more kids than I could fit-lol! Anyway, the person who bought it (a new teen driver) had it for three more years when the engine seized and it was done. I never had to do much beyond oil changes, the usuals like brakes etc. That car never broke down on me! Why oh why don't they make cars that last anymore like that?
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    " Why oh why don't they make cars that last anymore"

    Every car company goes through a bad patch of years, Honda has been in trouble since the late 90's with their a/t problems. Sadly it's been bad enineering, cruel intentions and a denial brought on by puffed up pride in their brand that is part of the Odyssey's a/t issues (and other HOnda's that used the same tranny)

    Someone once cynically said "Honda engineers must be the best, else how could they design vehicles that fall apart right after the warranty runs out"

    Chrysler a/t's were once the benchmark of bad a/t engineering, and they too lost a class action lawsuit that cost them a kazzilion dollars in once loyal customers.

    There are Ford F 150's that will blow the spark plugs right out of the engine. VW's that eat their camshaft and bearings. GM cars that hydrolock the motor from leaky intake manifold gaskets, Subarus with blown head gaskets, Toyota sludge monster engines, and the carnage goes on.

    If I've missed any of your personal favorites , please add to this list. :lemon:
  • I own a 2004 Honda Odyssey which I have been very satisfied with. It has approximately 180K miles. Prior to this I owned a '99 Windstar which I why I will never own another Ford. Enough said on that. I was driving with my young children in the back seat on the highway when I started hearing a noise that sounded like my engine was struggling to reach another gear. I was traveling around 55, so I don't quite know what gear comes next, but maybe it was downshifting - don't know. Anyway, the engine light comes on, the TCS light comes on and the tackometer (excuse spelling) shoots up to 7. I note that I was not going as fast as I should be an navigated the car safely to the side of the road. After I recovered my initial panic and rejoiced in my children and myself still living, I called my spouse for assistance. He drove the car to the dealer. The car needed to be pulled off the road several times, turned off and restarted on the way to the dealer. 2 days later I am informed that my transmission needs to be replaced which entails having the computer panel replaced and extraneous fluids replaced as well. The estimate is approximately $6,000. Does that sound realistic?? Should I replace or dump the 6K down on something else, in which case what?? Suggestions welcomed. Thank you!
  • Well you say you were very satisfied with this Honda and you had 180,000 miles on it which I think is good... Why not buy another Honda van, maybe a little newer with less miles on it... Some of the complaints I read on here and other web sites are unrealistic. Cars do not last forever.... I love my 2004 Honda van which has 94,000 miles on it and if I get to 180,000 I will be really happy.... no complaints... Of course this is just my opinion, but one observation I have is a lot of these vans seem to have transmission problems and it could be just the way they are loaded down and used really hard..
  • sassafrass,

    You absolutely need to dump the car! The replacement transmission is no better than the original that came with car. Honda knew about this defect when they sold us the van. Mine had 68K when it went out. There was a class action lawsuit on this and Honda lost the judgement to the tune of $90 million. Look at the Toyota or other brand. Even the latest report from Consumer Reports rates the ODY as below average. There are many stories of owners driving down the road and the transmission locking up on the almost causing an accident. People have been reporting the issue to the NHSTA. Don't waste your money trying to fix it. I suspect you will also need new motor mounts for they have cracked, too.
  • I towed nothing in this van and loaded it with nothing and the transmission lasted for 68K miles. I changed the fluid when I was supposed to. What a disgrace! Honda told me take a hike and wanted nothing to do with me or this van. Not to mention that the motor mounts were broke. Those should never fail.

    Try a google search on thius van and see what you find. There are hundred of thousands of former owners out there where the transmission failed, not to mention the $90 millio class action lawsuit that Honda lost.

    The van is a disaster and Honda knew it. Shame on them!
  • Be sure to take Honda to small claims to address the issue as well. I have heard of people winning these cases. Be sure to visit and tell your story on Facebook. Honda has a page on the Honda ODY. We all need to let unsuspecting consumers know to avoid Honda.
  • eng2eng2 Posts: 10
    Yes we had to replace the transmission on an 2002 Odyssey with under 101,000 miles for $4,600. This car has been serviced regularly since new at the Honda dealership, and I'm hoping that Honda will come forth to help. If it had gone even 150,000 miles I would have been pleased, but my concern now is what else would go as the car is not worth much more on a trade in than $6,000 or less. I wish we had traded it before the transmission had gone, as with a blown transmission we will not get anything for the car. If repairs start to cost more than the car is worth I think it is time for a new one. Odyssey's appear to have transmissions as a weak point.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    Sassa' I passed your post on to my friend who is a kind of local guru on Honda a/t issues, here is his reply...hope this helps.

    The first question I would ask is "What's the warranty?". Somebody is on the ball if they want to replace the PCM as well. Tell him to find an ATRA member shop and he will get better service, all the latest and greatest updates, and a longer warranty. A lower price is questionable. The dealer isn't going to have the updates that fix the inherent design problems within the transmission. He'll be getting a transmission designed and build just like the one that failed. Here's the ATRA Shop Finder to where he can find the nearest ATRA shop. Let me know which one it is as I personally know many of them.

    J. Larry Bloodworth Certified TransmissionsDraper, Utah
  • We bought a 2011 touring edition odyssey in May 2011. In august we starting to notice that the car bucks when shifting through the lower gears from a stopped position. we reported this issue to Honda on september 20th. the service manager and the service tech drove the car and corroborated the issue. Service "scanned" the car, to send to Honda Tech service. now after 2 months of reporting this issue, Honda sends a letter offering 1 months payment is=n exchange for us "releasing and forever discharging American Honda and its agents and related corporations or entities, from any an all damages or claims arising out of the drivetrain issue." I am preparing a case for the attorney general. oes anyone have or kow about this issue? what support ahve you received. Our satisaction with this purchase is less than adequate. Oh and did I mention that we have purchase SIX cars from this dealership and also have been bringing our cars there for service for 10 years!?
  • I don't know about the 2011, but there has been several issues with the ODY transmission in years past. In fact, Honda lost a $90 million class acction judgement for just this issue. I would not sign anything releasign them. That seems like a slap in the face by them to even suggest that but based on my interaction with Honda in trying to get mine repaired they told me to take a hike. Be sure to tell your stroy on the Honda ODY facebook page. You might gain some addtional insight there.
  • Finally someone who can"duplicate" the problem. We bought our touring in march. Ours has the same issue under medium to hard acceleration. It's especially bad on roads with an incline. It's also worse when the engine and trans are cold. I have told the service rep. A tech rode with me and my friend who sold it to us. The tech didn't notice anything. Going see the service manager 11/11. Hopefully the van performs with the flaw.
    I'll post what happens.
  • While I have an added aftermarket transmission cooler on my 2002 do any of the models from 2005 to 2012 have the coolers as standard? I know it's a standard on the Sienna.
  • I will be interested to see what happens at your appointment. You hit the nauil on the head that it is more pronounced when the engine and tran is cold and while accelerating on an uphill. I have been told many times that Honda is investigating this and that it is top priority. I was also told by a distric service manager that there are about 80 confirmed vans with this issue across the US.
  • My 2002 Odyssey EX-L transmission died at 111,000. Under the recall, Honda just added the oil jet in 2005, at around 36,000. I called Honda and they said they would offer no remedy. What did you do to get some recourse?
  • Okay......I am having the same problem with my 2001 honda transmission, replaced at 111,000 miles and now it needs another one at 174,000 miles!! only 63,000 miles!! I have record that I took it in one year after they replaced that it was having problems when going down and hill, breaking, then accelerating it would slip, rpms would increase until it catches!! That something was wrong. They said they could not find any thing wrong, well here we are today with tranny failure!! They are trying to tell me that since I did not replace tranny fluid every 30,000 miles that is why I have tranny failure..........BS. Do you have any advice??
  • Well, the van performed the shifting issue, if only a little, with the service manager driving. The only thing he could say was he will report it to Honda and let me know if they send out a fix. I'm happy enough that it is in the system for my van. Whether Honda will fix it remains doubtful.
  • I have a 2003 Honda Odyssey who had to have the transmission replaced at 70,000 miles, a new engine at 140,000, power steering pump, etc. It has been a "lemon" and will never, ever buy a Honda AGAIN!
  • I have a 2011 Odyssey Touring that is currently in the shop (3rd Day) with trans problem. After sitting overnight, my trans does not engage as it should when the car is placed in reverse. You can actually rev the engine with the trans in reverse as though the trans were in neutral. Then after a few seconds the trans engages and works ok, until the next morning. Dealer was able to duplicate the issue this morning. They are keeping the car over night and will repeat the test tomorrow with the trans hooked to the computer and see what the read out says. Disappointing for such a pricey vehicle.
  • vgervger Posts: 30
    I have an Odyssy 2000 with a 3rd rebuild tranny. each time only lasted 60,000 to 70,000 miles. This last time it acted up (P0740) not engaging at first when put into drive, or shfting erractic from 3rd to 4th, I decided to clean the two tranny upper solonoid screen filters (per searching for answers on the net) and changed trans fluid (3.5 quarts) and no more slipping or acting up for 37,000 miles. Started slipping again, cleaned them again and changed fluid and again fixed the problem with 27,000 miles so far. Six bolts holding one solonoid and three bolts on the other. You need to remove the upper radiator hose and unplug four electrical connectors. First time doing the job, took me four hours. Seems to me, first sign of slippage or harsh shifting, clean these two solonoids and change your fluid before damage to the bands and clutch plates.
  • donethat_1donethat_1 Posts: 66
    edited November 2011
    Be sure to share your experience on Honda's facbook page.
  • Be sure to share your experience on Honda's facbook page.
  • Be sure to share your experience on Honda's facbook page.
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