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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems



  • As many have stated about the 1999-2001 Oddy, my tranny had to be replaced about a week ago at 101,000 miles. It actually started slipping between 3rd and 4th gears at around 95 or 96k but I thought it may have just needed a flush so I took it to get the flush done and the slipping didn't get any better. After doing a little research I found that the recall for the 2nd gear oil jet (which I had done in 2004) was actually the result of the 3rd gear clutch pack wearing down and leaving debris in the tranny causing the 2nd gear to heat up (Honda doesn't acknowledge this little tidbit as a problem yet in the 02 oddy). After opening a complaint with Honda America Cust. Serv, I took my oddy to the dealer and found out that the tranny needed a replacement - $3200 quoted from the dealer which Honda extended a "good will" offer to pick up half. I didn't think that was all that generous so after actually opening up a complaint with the BBB (the info for the BBB is in the front of warranty book that comes with the vehicle)and calling back to Honda Cust. Serv to speak with a manager (wouldn't you know it - my case agent was one of the regional supervisors)he decided to check my service records from my original dealer (I have moved across country since buying my oddy) Honda decided to pay the full cost of parts and I had to pick up the $640 labor bill. Much better than $1600 but still seems like Honda is trying to put a case by case band-aid on a situation that they know needs stronger attention. From my experience with customer service, the reason a recall has not been issued for any other trannys except for 1999-2001 is because the maintenance technicians in the field (dealerships) have not collectively sent the message to Honda that the tranny workmanship is still poor and the units need to be replaced or extended in warranty just like the 99-01 models. If you are running in to any problems make a complaint with Honda cust. serv., the BBB, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( The BBB will mediate between you and Honda to reach a decision as to the deposition of your issue and the NHTSA will compile all of the complaints logged and then make a decision as to if Honda needs to make a recall on the trannys. If at all possible, try your best to state your case calmly and politely when dealing with Honda as that will definitely get you closer to getting the entire replacement picked up totally by Honda or a combination of Honda and the dealership.
  • I call BS on the %75 thing. If you read my post #186, after the whole BBB submission (they actually got a copy in the Honda America office 1 day after I submitted online) Honda agreed to pick up all parts prices and I paid dealer labor. I had a 2002 with 101,000 miles on it. I also got word from a friend of mine that just bought a new 2007 Oddy that he hadn't even made his first payment and his oddy was in the shop for a tranny tell me Honda really fixed the problem between 1999 and 2001. Too many problems still coming from the Oddy Trans.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    Why would BBB offer to mediate, or even take your complaint. You are out of warranty and over 100,000 miles.
  • So why would Honda offer to pay half or any amount right off the bat if being out of warranty was so cut and dry? Again, seems like they know there's an outstanding problem but they're also trying to keep it under the radar and not end up with another class action suit for the transmission that has been "fixed" since 2001.
  • Hi

    We have a 2000 Honda Odyssey LX. All services prior to 100K @ Honda dealerships.

    I just got the Timing and AC/Alternator/PowerSteering belts/Spark Plugs/Water Pump changed at a certified shop at 109,431 mile.

    2 days ago check engine light came. The private shop diagnosed two codes

    1. 1457 Evap Leak
    2. 1738 2nd Clutch Press SW

    No problems until 2 days ago. I noticed that van slowed down before picking speed (I had just started it) and then the check engine light came on after 5 minutes.

    Today, I noticed ONCE that it took little longer time to shift from 2nd to 3rd. I had sensed it ONCE @ 95K miles and had taken it to dealer. They hooked a laptop and ran it (If I remember correctly), and told me there was no problem with the transmission. Also, told me that van was not Canadian.

    Is this the start of transmission problems?

    I know that the transmission oil change is due. Should I get it done at the dealer?

    Or time to sell it. We love the van and it is in excellent condition otherwise.

    Thanks for your answers!
  • I had my transmission fail a couple months ago (August/2007) on my (hardly used)1999 Odyssey w/only 57,800 miles on it.
    I did not know anything about the extended warranty at the time but found some information on the web about it.
    I contacted Honda Motors about it, and the end result was that they decided to award me a new (rebuilt) transmission but I would have to pay for the labor. The extended warranty was expired by a couple months when the transmission failed and I felt that i was being penalized for having used the van so little (It would have failed long ago if I had higher mileage on it.)
    I was told that this was my only recourse with Honda Motors.
    I did complain about the unfairness of their decision,considering that those afected transmissions were defective so, it shoud be the manufacturers reponsibility to correct the defect by installing a replacement transmission ,totally at Honda's Motors expense.
    Their answer was that they consider de case close since I ACCEPTED THE OFFER.
    I'm contemplating taking Honda Motors to court in this matter and maybe also complinning to the Attorney General.
    It is frustratig,to say the list,having being abused in such way. Honda is trying very hard to pay for THEIR MISTAKES.
  • I should have said :Honda Motors is Trying very hard NOT to pay for their mistakes..Sorry !!
  • You need to check the recall provisions and the class action suit that was taken against Honda for the 1999-2001 Odysset transmissions. Just "Google" the words "Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems" and you will find a lot of details. I do not know all of the specifics of that settlement nor what exactly was covered. What I do know is that my sister's 2000 Ody, my old bosses 1999 Ody, and one neighbor's 2000 Ody all had their respective transmissions replaced free of charge. Each of these had more than 60K miles when this occured. The fact that you van already had one transmission replaced may be a factor. I do know that the repair on my replacement transmission is 3 years and 36K miles, and it is writing. If you get no further with Honda of North America, then go to your state Attorney General's office, or local consumer protection agency.
  • bob333bob333 Posts: 4
    I had the same problem. I have an 07 EXL-r and the tranny went at 2k miles. Got an extended warranty out of it, but looking for them to give me a new car. To top everything off, had it back for 2 weeks and came home to find 3 quarts of tranny fluid on my garage floor. Seems as though the tech didn't tighten a line correctly. Let's just say i am beyond aggrevated with this whole thing.

    I will keep you posted....
  • autowriteautowrite Posts: 226
    My dealer will only give a 20,000 kilometer on a rebuilt.
    There are no new replacements. How long did your replacement last?

    Did anyone (readers) use a national transmission repair shop, ie Mister Transmission, AAMCO, etc?
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I'm sure not many people used an independent store; I know I didn't, since I got Honda to pick up the tab at the local Honda dealer.

    Is Honda offering to pick up the tab? I'd try to get Honda Canada(I'm assuming since you're using kilometers that you're in Canada)to pick up the tab for a new transmission.
  • autowriteautowrite Posts: 226
    Honda has not offered to pay. I will go after refund & 60K warranty. This is a Honda Canada vehicle & I live in Canada.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Don't go after a refund; it's much more difficult than trying to get them to pay the dealer to install it from the get go.

    If you absolutely have to, rent a minivan for the time that your car is out of service, and try and get that covered, while trying to pry a new transmission from Honda Canada. It's slightly easier that way; Honda rented a car for me when my Odyssey needed a new transmission.
  • autowriteautowrite Posts: 226
    re: Don't go after a refund; it's much more difficult than trying to get them to pay

    I did not know about your idea. I had to have the work done as soon as possible & was completed last week. I rented, through my Honda dealer, a Hundau Accent {that's all that was left} and this dealer is 15 miles away from my house. There is no public transportation or shuttles between us. There is a Honda dealer in my city but but its not my selling dealer. This vam has 180,600 kilometers (109,000 miles) on it & the Plus warranty was good for 160,000 ksm.
    My last vehicle (Taurus) went 276,000 ksm with no majors.
    Another thing is that I am retired. I can only pray that I will not have another replacement again.
  • dbonkdbonk Posts: 1
    The torque drive is gone on my 2000 honda odessy and the warranty expired 2 days ago. The dealer says he will fight to get them to honour it. Any advice?
  • bjb5bjb5 Posts: 2
    Why does my brand new 2007 honda odyssey make a occasional clunking sound in the transmission when coming to a stop? it occurs when the transmission is downshifting 3-2 or 2-1 Thanks Brad
  • I also am seeing the same behaviour on my brand new 2007 EX-L. Downshifting is jerky and does not seem to be smooth and not sure if it is normal till we put a couple hundred miles on it or does it need to be taken back to the dealer
  • As I mentioned my transmission had to be replaced. I know of someone who had to nurse their vehicle from a trip in the USA back to Ontario, Canada. He mentioned yesterday that he was told in the USA not to shut down the engine. When he got back home the Toyota dealer found that the computer was at fault and need to be replaced. How often has that happen on the Odyssey 1999-2007? Could the computer make a mistake in the codes (?!?-) His was a Toyota RAV4.
  • :lemon: :lemon: I have a 2007 Odyssey Touring with brake and bearing issues. Honda had to change the front bearings after 2000 miles. Had to get new brakes and rotors at 2500 miles. Had brakes and rotors resurfaced 4 times since then. I won a arbitration( lemon Law) against Honda for a repurchase of this van. The car Grinds to a stop every time, and Honda still Says there is nothing wrong with the car. After a 2 minute test drive with the Arbitrators they awarded me with the repurchase of the car. I will never own another honda, there customer service was not good and they still say that the car is not defective. :lemon:
  • meli3meli3 Posts: 2
    I am glad that I came across this site... I recently started noticing a "slip" between 2nd & 3rd gear in my 2002 Odyssey-74,500 miles. When my husband checked the fluid it was extremly low and we just had an oil change 30 days prior**they claim they check it on your invoice**. Took it to a honda dealer yesterday and 1 hour later the rep came out with a face as if he was a Dr. about to give me a terminal diagnosis. (Mind you I am a female-so they automatically think you mechanically retarted). He announces that my tranny is shot and I need to replace a motor mount as well totalling about $4000.00. My face must have turned because he immediatley changed his tune and stated that he could "talk" with his rep and probably get the work done for 1/2 that-or $1800.00/ Needless to say I immediately called my husband and he was suspicious right away-NO-ONE offers 50% off within 2 minutes of giving you bad news. So come to find out the diagnostic didn't throw any codes but just with a test drive they know it needs a new tranny. Oh and in passing he mentioned that my Odyssey didn't qualify for the "recall warranty". At first I didn't know what that meant until I started looking into replacement parts and came across this site somehow. Come to find out my Odyssey was part of the transmission recall and "fixed" in 2004. Needless to say we have already called our dealer rep back and told him that we are aware of the tranny problems in these models, we are aware that Honda has replaced and/or repaired many transmissions at little or no cost to the owners and we won't stand for an $1800.00 bill-he needs to do better. We also called Honda directly, have to wait 1-2 days for a call back from the regional manager. My opinion-the honda dealership knew they could probably get Honda to pay for the service and hoped we were stupid enough to fall for there generous 50% discount. My husband and I have already decided based on the info we have gained from this site that once repaired we are trading it in. I do not want to go through this again and surely not 3-4 more times like some have. It's a shame because his family has owned 6 Honda motorcycles, 3 Honda generators and my in laws still have a CRV-runs great. But for us a minivan is the best choice.(3 kids)-and if people are already posting problems with 07 tranny's - Honestly I am disappointed, we were finally in a position to purchase a "good" vehicle and Honda was always a top performance car in our opinions. I haven't lost all faith in Honda but they need to do the right thing to regain confidence in the quality of vehicles they put out. We are gonna fight for Honda to pay for the transmission- I am willing to pay a reasonable labor bill, but on the down side I am looking at rental cost as well... Personally I think they should pick up that tab, too.
    I hope this info helps the next person who happens upon this site... :mad: :(
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Looks like your tranny failed at 74,500 miles. Acceptable? No. But..75k is not nothing. IF Honda fixes this for you for free, don't you think you're being a bit drastic?

    I mean, its your money, and if you want to take the hit and get into something else, no skin off my nose, but...if I could get a new tranny on a 75k car for free...I don't know that I'd trade it right in.
  • Had a similar problem with our 07 Ex. Transmission replaced at 2500 miles (give or take a few) and now 2 months later, the new one is doing the same thing as before. Take it in now....there seems to be a service bulletin out about this, although they are not telling us all about it. Make them check your tourqe converter and exhaust system. That seems to be part of the bulletin.
    If ours is not fixed, we are going to try and use the lemon law to replace's been in the shop for over 4 weeks total and we bought it on May 28th.
  • Hey thanks for your input and info on torque converters. It is really sad that one has to face these issues after spending 30K and a Honda brand, supposedly a very highly reliable brand. For me the excitement of buying the car died really fast due to the disatisfaction on downshifting / transmission behavior. Otherwise the car is wonderful
  • Has anyone been successful at getting Honda to pay for all or part of an '99-'01 transmission for a Canadian Ody in the US?

    I just found out I need a new one at 80k. Have seen all the troubles here and read about the lawsuit settlement. Frankly, the text of the settlement at does not say anything about imported Canadian Odysseys not being covered. Just says must be US resident and car less than 109k miles after 1998.

    My dealer says that Honda of America will not cover it. I knew from the start that the regular warranty was not valid due to it being Canadian, but this is a Honda "legendary reliability" brand issue and they should want to avoid driving customers away. If I wanted a minivan whose transmission would fail at 80k, I would have bought a Caravan for a LOT less $ (even including the import deal).

    BTW, I HATE the "grey market" label - salt in the wound. :mad: Not only are they not paying for any warranty work, but the term implies that I did something semi-illegal. Nothing illegal about importing a car - I checked carefully and did it right.
  • Just to chime in - I have a 2002 Odyssey with 109k freeway (!) miles - trans is shot and the dealer will do nothing. I have contacted both the dealer and Honda USA and after keeping the car for a week (rental car cost!) they came back and said they would offer absolutely nothing in assistance.

    I've done lot's of research and this is a major issue - I'm surprised another class action hasn't occurred as with the 99-01 generation; I had seem multiple cases of folks that are on their 3rd or 4th trans by 100k. In many cases, honda has helped in lower mileage cases but ONLY after many rounds of fighting over it. Then the rebuild fails after maybe 20 or 30k. Even if I could put out 4k for a new trans I can't take the chance it'd be toast after 30k.

    It seems like lately more folks are in the same boat as me with Honda offering no assistance whatsoever. Replacement cost is typically 4k +. These are fairly expensive cars (mine was 34k) for such poor reliability.

    I have even found similar stories about non-Odyssey models (accord etc) with half as many miles as mine having auto trans trouble -

    Wikipedia even has a good description of the defect and some history on it -

    The five-speed introduced in 2002 suffered early wear out and failure of the transmission's third clutch pack. This causes large amounts of clutch debris to migrate through the transmission and block flow of transmission fluid, caused slipping, poor or no shifts, or sudden down-shifts from 5th gear to 2nd gear. Under some conditions, the second gear could overheat and break, causing the transmission to lock. An oil jet was added to lubricate this gear but this did not solve the third clutch problem[2

    This was our third Honda but looks to be our last. I can't help but wonder how much of this is Honda USA vs. Honda in Japan;
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Honda is looking at it the same way...why would it put out a couple thousand of its own money on a vehicle that's not even worth it.

    You've got 109,000 miles on your car. Your situation is not the same as those who have had multiple transmissions. You've had one that lasted 109k. That's really not unusual for ANY car with that kind of mileage.

    100k is the life of the car to many people. I'm sorry it failed, and maybe I'm just conditioned by my American car experiences, but I'm not sure why you think Honda is going to pick this up.

    But then again, this is coming from a guy who had a steering system fail on an American car that was 3 years, 1 month old and had 21k miles (out of warranty by a month) and who had GM tell me tough luck, bad break, here's your bill for $2500 for a new steering system, so maybe I'm jaded...
  • While I certainly agree that 109k is much better than many other with much lower mileage, I would argue that mine lasted that long largely to do with the fact it's nearly pure highway miles.

    I don't expect Honda to pick it up by any stretch - however, given the extensive history on this part, I wouldn't expect them to offer nothing, after keeping the car for better than a week.! I've found many examples of folks post 100k that they have covered 50/50! (I expected less than that, maybe a token good faith gesture - one of my early calls to Honda indicated this was not an unreasonable expectation)
    They told me a new trans for this goes for over 4k, without the ECU - I'd dance in the streets to get it done for a couple of thousand.

    Really, nobody expects more than 100k on a ~35k car? I put 200+ k on a GM transmission 25 years ago! Notwithstanding much worse stories, my point is that many people may not realize how extensive this problem is, and should realize that Honda very well may tell them to go pound sand.

    This is my 3rd Honda and this was quite unexpected - your last sentence made my point exactly; albeit this is not as severe case as yours, I'd come to expect the "tough luck" stuff from American car companies, up to now that certainly has not been my experience with Honda (as now seems to be).
  • Yup, I'd say you are jaded. I was always amazed that friends of mine with American cars just expected them to fail at ~100kmiles. It seemed like brainwashing. Like living with your Windows 98 PC locking every 20 minutes. I had 2 Hondas go to 200k. My extended family had half a dozen Hondas do the same. This was the primary reason I looked for the Odyssey and paid more. All good things have to come to an end and maybe Honda's run is ending. I have many friends very happy with their Toyota's of similar model years. And, all things considered, I might have bought American if I thought I was looking at ~ 80kmiles for the expensive Honda.

    Not expecting a handout. And frankly, I just wanted to check all options before I repair or sell this thing. It is a business deal. They are under no obligation to me apparently, but I am under no agreement to buy Honda next time now that I know the score.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Though I will say that Toyota might not be your answer, either...see this month's Consumer Reports for an article about Toyota's "slipping" reliability.

    If you troll through enough of these forums, I think you'd see that on balance, Honda is probably the most generous manufacturer when it comes to product failure. Now, I don't blame you for feeling the way you do, at all, and I don't even own a Honda, so I'm not schilling for the company, but when it comes time for your next purchase, perhaps instead of giving Honda an advantage, you'll just view them all equally because if your tranny had failed on your 109k Sienna--which, statistically, is probably almost as likely to happen as it did on your Ody--you wouldn't even dream of getting anything from Toyota.

    Its true on American cars, absolutely---though I will say that I consistently paid quite a bit less for them. You do get what you pay for. Now, however, an 08 DGC-CTC costs more than an 07 Ody by a significant amount, so we're looking at the Ody.

    We drove a Sienna but...frankly...we just didn't like it was much, even if all things were equal. So that steers us to Honda.

    BTW--I wouldn't assume that highway miles mean a heck of a lot when it comes to a transmission. Rotors, brake pads, even suspension, yes, but not so much on the tranny.

    Are you both 100% sure Honda will do nothing for you? Have you taken it as far as it will go?
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    Have you guys done what Chrysler told its clients to do? They said to flush the transmission fluid every 60K and it would help significantly. I just passed 172K on my 2000 Chrysler T&C and still on my original tranny. Still no slippage or rough shifts yet. Maybe Honda Odysseys need the same maintainence. I go to Midas who only charges $89.99 for a tranny flush.
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