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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems



  • Based on the numbers you provide, you have gotten around 200,000 miles (3 times 60-80K) on your 2001 Ody, without having to pay for a transmission replacement. If that's correct, I'd say you've done great. Car parts wear out, and don't last forever. Sounds like it's time to buy another vehicle. (Our 2006 has 125K on it with no problems yet, so not all Ody's are bad.)
  • I have a 2012 Odyssey that I purchased in October 2011 that is having the same problems. The engine lugs when accelerating, the eco light is on and off constantly and causes the car to vibrate terribly, once when we had been driving all day we stopped at a traffic light and the car would not go when my husband accelerated, then finally lurched forward and started. We had five lights that we had to stop at on the way home and it did the same thing each time. At this point we had owned the car for about a month. We took the car in the next day and of course it was not doing it anymore. We have now had it happen 4 more times. We took it in after the 3rd time again and a technician had me take it out and tell them what was happening. He agreed that there was hesitation on acceleration. He told me that Honda was working on a fix for this and the he would call me to bring it in when they had the software update. This was December 15th and I still have heard nothing. I think it is the torque converter. I am a realtor and actually had a client that I was taking out for showings ask me to take them back to their car so they could follow me, they did not feel safe in my car. I just called them again and told them that it needs to be fixed now. I traded in a Ford Expedition and feel the same as you, wish I had kept it. I traded it in because it was almost at 100,000 miles and did not want to have to deal with maintenance issues. I have had more on the BRAND NEW HONDA than I ever did with the Expedition. :mad:
  • Add our van to the list. 90k miles and the transmission started slipping badly yesterday. Wife almost got stranded with our 4 children on the way to school, luckily she wasn't far and limped home at 15mph as it would not shift out of 1st. 2001 Odyssey with less than 90k miles.
  • It turns out the the van was slipping in/out of gear between 3 & 4. We had to have the transmission re-built for a cost of $2,000 from a local shop with much experience rebuilding and replacing Odyssey transmissions. He compared Honda van transmission problems to the Chrysler Van transmission problems that Used to Be common (based on what he sees at his shop). He's redone many Odyssey transmissions lately.
  • Just in case I missed it, what's the name of the local shop and is it part of a franchise? If so what is the franchise name?
  • charitykw is right to be angry. If this were a domestic vehicle that had it's transmission replaced 3 times, there would be a huge uproar on the forum. Unfortunately, some models have a worse performance (statistically) than others. All major OEM's are designing for a 200,000 mile life and a failure at less than 150K miles shows there's something wrong in either design or manufacturing. Don't drink the Kool-Aid, they all have their winners and losers.
  • Maybe now they are designing for 200K, but that 2001 Odyssey was designed in 1999-2000 timeframe, 12 years ago. And most domestic 2001 vehicles would have been in the junk yard after two transmissions.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,389
    edited February 2012
    >most domestic 2001 vehicles would have been in the junk yard after two transmissions.

    It's broad stretches like this statement that lured many people into buying Hondas despite their long record back into the 90s of transmission failures.

    I have had many cars to 150,000 and now to 190,000 on a 1998 Buick with NO transmission failures. They were all GMs. And if I had failure at 60-, 70-, 80K, and even earlier, I would have been upset just like these owners have been who post here.

    Many relied on past reputation perpetuated. The best source is an old timer mechanic in his own shop that you patronize. Stop and ask him about various cars and brands you are thinking about buying, new or used. Better yet, take the potential purchase of a used car to him for an inspection. Money well spent. And if a trans on a used car does go out, he will direct you to the best replacement in terms of actually fixing the problem instead of putting in another bad transmission. Won't be a $6000 replacement.

    Best thing the unhappy owners can do is spread the word among their friends about the longevity of the transmission problems.-- how the company did not redeign the problem trans and how the replacements were the same problematic units and the company put the same problematic trans in for years.

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

  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    I have had a few infromative e-mails back and forth with Larry, and he does have a good take on the Ody a/t problems.
    Honda certainly knows what the weak spots are in their units too, but as he says, the fixes are patented and to change out all the parts would be opening up the company to a billion dollars worth of lawsuits.

    If Honda admitted to the issues and started bringing back the 100's of thousands of the Odys that went out the door with a/t's doomed to fail they would have to take a couple of years off to catch up.

    I also think that the Honda Z1 a/t fluid they used was crap, and the company has now quietly changed over to a synthetic without much fan fare. This is after the dealerships claiming that the world would end 10 seconds after using anything else. HOnda doesn't even sell the Z1 anymore.

    I bought a new 2003 Ody and paid $34,000 for it thinking, like everyone else, it was a bullet proof unit. Wish I had of Googled, "HOnda Odyssey transmisson Problems" back then.

    I now change the a/t fluid using a synthetic every second motor oil change, have added a Magnefine inline filter to catch the clutch pack debris and liquid metal, don't drive it like a sports car, had the pathetic oil squirter recall installed, and know that in spite of all this it will still fail, soon.

    If I am lucky enough to be in Utah when it does , I will get Larry to do his re-build using all the new patented aftermarket parts to replace the Honda crap. The engine will outlast the rest of the Van, but that doesn't help when it's hooked to a boat anchor transmission. :mad:
  • It was rebuilt by A&B Tire in NE Ohio---not a franchise or part of a chain.
  • 01intrigue01intrigue Posts: 92
    edited February 2012
    First of all, no one makes better transmissions than GM; I consider them the standard, so I agree with your Buick example. I've been watching the posts here, as a 2006 Ody owner. My point is that nearly all the problems with Ody transmissions are with those thru 2004, until they redesigned the Ody in 2005 model year. So telling everyone to avoid ALL Odys is not a responsible message to convey. The Ody weighs in at over 4500 lbs empty, and perhaps those 1999-2004 Odys did not have a tranny to adequately handle the 4500 lbs plus the 1000 lbs. in people and the 200 lbs. of stuff that folks pack into and on top of their Ody (hey, I'm guilty of this too on our 2006.) If someone has gotten 200K miles without having to pay for any tranny replacements, I'd say they got a decent deal, and looking at the lack of complaints on 2005-2010 models, I'd reco buying one of those to replace it.
  • ODY model years 2004-2009 has a class action lawsuit for the tranny as well. This is an ongoing issue and not just the early model years. In addition, the ODY is not recommended by Consumer reports and Motor Trend tested the van and said the following, "February 2012 Motor Trend Long Test Article 2011 Odyssey Touring Elite, 6 months old, 14999 miles "...we'll have the technicians look at the transmission as well. Over time, shifting has become rough, and occasionally upon acceleration between first and second gears, the transmission seems to be shuddering."
  • my odyssey 212300 miles and still going like new
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,737
    you certainly got your money's worth.

    points out an important fact. Not every unit is going to fail early. Maintenance and usage also play a part in longevity.

    I have a 2005 that just turned over 70K. We are considering replacing it next December (2012) when it should have ~ 78K on it, and a big part of the decision to do it then or keep it a couple more years (up to 100K or so) is whether I trust the tranny.

    Now, a class action settlement where they extend the warranty on the trans to 10/100 or so would help sway the decision! Though my wife is also ready to move into something smaller, if I can get away without paying for it, all the better.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • Consumer Reports did not say "not recommended" for the Odyssey. They just did not mention any words, one way or the other.
  • so the mere fact that they did not recommend the ODY does not suggest that it is not recommended? If it is not listed as a recommendation seems to me it points to the fact that it is not recommended and the Toyota is. In years past, they always seemed biased for the Honda. They finally have seen the light.
  • it all started in a cold cloudy day, about 2 yrs ago, when? oc three months after i bought it used from this guy who supposedly took care of it since new. i noticed that when it is cold outside, tranny is in a bad mood??) or someone mentioned something about some sensor somewhere ? how do it troublshoot that? or just i should shoot the car out?
    drained , replaced fluid twice, no good so far.
    live in dc area ,
  • dd09dd09 Posts: 4
    Is this a problem with just the touring models? Wouldn't the extended warranty take care of this? I'm looking at the 2012 elite but this is scary! Is there anything I could do to protect myself before I make the deal?
  • yesterday i took my ody to the exclusivly transmission shop in herndon, va. he got in can, plugged all his gadgets and drove, and checked under hood, and brooded , and told me: i have no idea why your honda odyssey is doing whats doing. although, on average they rebuild five transmissions for odyessys per week at his shop. his conclusion was: it is not the transmission, it must be something else and counted eight difrnt posibilites.
    van does not go in reverse unless you turn ignition off, then on, then drives in reverse like a charm. it will not shift over second gear no matter what, or even first gear. on take off , shudders and kicks like mule then drive normally. he mentioned the computer of car might be the vilon. but not sure. so, back to square one.
    the van started acting up at 125k, and now at 145 still moving , but you dont want to be the guy driving behind me, used to slip and stall, then, now totaly difrnt symbtoms. is it the sellonieds??? anyone has any idea here? ???????????
  • My mechanic, an expert Acura mech, just changed the tranny on his 2005 waht I see only ''expert drivers'' can drive the Odys and MDXs....I was forgetting, my Odys tranny was changed 2 yers ago with an original Honda tranny, and guess what, its already shaking.
  • I have a 2008 Honda Odyssey. I took it in to dealer in 2010 for recall "transmission judder" issue. They fixed it with a "program update". The same problem has returned. Now they say it needs a new torque converter and they think I should pay $1800. I think not - since it is a recurring recall issue. I think the "program update" bought them time - so that my car could go out of warranty and now they say "your car is out of warranty". I think - if it was a known design defect - they are liable. I've read all the forums about Honda's atrocious handling of this issue - and I have just begun to fight. One step is to post/share on these forums. I plan to contact: BBB, attorney general, class action lawyer, NHTSA, and my Senator. Any other advise? :mad:
  • dd09dd09 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info and so sorry for all your troubles. I'm being offered a lifetime warranty on the drive train. We keep our cars a long time so that was attractive to me. Do you think it's worth it? I've compared it extensively to the other mini vans and love the Odyssey otherwise.
  • No warranty is any good if they won't admit there is a problem. My 2012 Odyssey Touring has been in the shop 4 times since October. They originally said they had to wait for an update, they knew there was a problem. Since the update it is still lugging, shuddering and I feel is unsafe to drive. They say they can't duplicate anything except a "slight" hesitation which is normal for the car since because of the new emissions requirements. The mechanic that rode around with me said that Honda warned them that the 2012 Odyssey's would have more vibration and less power on acceleration because of these requirements. I still think that I should have enough power to accelerate and merge safely with traffic which, depending on how my transmission is acting each day, sometimes I don't. If I were you I would not purchase this van. They have my van right now, if they do fix it and I find that I am no longer having a problem, I will let you know. I did ask the mechanic if they had anyone else complaining about the 2012 models and he said yes, there were others.
  • My 2001 Odyssey transmission was replaced by the dealer in June 2008. It now needs replacement again. This is after 55,000 miles and 3.5 years. Honda refuses to help. They quoted a price of $4200. It is not worth it to pay this much considering the value of the car.

    Honda does not stand by their transmissions or work. A transmission should last longer. The company does not stand by their products.

    I will not be buying an Odyssey. I would recommended that people buy a Toyota instead. My 1995 Corolla is still going strong.
  • dd09dd09 Posts: 4
    Thank you soooo much!!! I feel like I dodged a bullet. I can't imagine your frustration. I'm not that keen on the Sienna so I thought I'd look into the Town & Country. Thanks again.
  • Odysseys tranny issues started in 1999 and 13 years later we are still complaining about their quality . I dont think, maybe im mistaken, that there is any other brand at this point in time with soooo many complaints about transmissions, and when you consider how many odyys are out there you can't denny that this is a big issue. Yes there have been lucky owners of oddys, but many of us have realized that this is not an urban myth...Odys do have transmission problems, more than any other car and in the age of the internet we the costumers can share our bad experience with this crappy van. My new honda tranny has not even 30K on it and you can already feel it cant take the heat. Maybe the frame of the car can las a very long time, but your tranny will most likely go somewhere before 150000Km, which by todays standards is a very low mileage for well maintained trannys.
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