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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems



  • I bought a 2001 Honda Odyssey and had a defective transmission replaced by Honda at 102,000 miles. the 2nd transmission lasted only 58,000 miles! and the amazing thing is my Odyssey had an expensive towing package, which meant that i had a transmission cooler. The transmission burned up anyway. i live in Minnesota which has no hills, so my van was never subjected to uphill pulling, and i never added the trailer hitch. The mechanic said there was no reason my transmission burned up except that it had to be defective. i told Honda i was a lifelong Honda buyer and loyal Honda customer: My first new car was a 1987 Honda Accord that got 200,000 miles on the original transmission. I current have a classic 1985 Honda CRX Si with 89,000 miles on it and the original transmission. I also currently own a Honda Gold Wing motorcyle with 85,000 miles on it and the original transmission. So what did Honda do for me? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Sumnary: Honda gave me a defective transmission in the Odyssey, and then they replaced it with another defective transmission! And they offered me nothing.

    The dealership offered me a 10% discount on a 3rd transmission, so the price would be $4800 instead of $5300... big deal!! My mechanic gave me the same thing for $2600.

    Nobody should every buy a Honda again. up until a few years ago, they were handling these problems consistently and somewhat fairly. Then they made a decision to stop helping their customers because of the cost. They have destroyed their reputation for reliability and quality by treating each customer differently and having no consistency in their decisions. by not admitting to defective transmissions and doing a recall, they have forever lost my trust.

    American Honda Motor Company broke my heart. i welcome anyone who wants to hear more or discuss this with me, to give me a call.

  • i have 2000 ody, and yes, join the club< zo, i fivgured out the problem , sort of, at first sign of trans heart attach, i took selonoids apart, clean them, put them back, worked for almost 10k miles, funny, it did it again, and i just did it thisvery afternoon. did not find out yet if it worked again or not, did not drive it long engouh. if you v same problem, let me know.
  • I have an 2002 with 132,000 miles and just had an oil change and was told it was very low on transmission fluid and what was in there was black. They informed me of the problems the vans have with transmissions and recommend that we check for a leak and flush the tranny about $180 and see how it goes. We've decided anyways we're going to trade it in as my van days are over but was wondering if anyone has had any lucky with flushing the tranny.
  • If you survived this long without a transmission failure, you are very lucky indeed. The transmission fluid actually needs to be flushed every 15k miles. And the proper way to flush it each time is to fill and drain it 3 times with fresh fluid (yes, that much fluid!).
  • autowriteautowrite Posts: 226
    My dealer told me a 2002 transmission cannot be flushed. You just drain and refill. I had a replacement at 184,000 kms and currrently have 313,000 kms and 2 years ago added an after-market transmission cooler. Honda dealer said not to buy the Honda cooler.
  • I think the trans flush made my 02 worse...have the second and third gear problems. we have 192,000 on ours right now...
  • mine is 2000, 155k, at 145k, i pumped out tran fluid n refiil the first time, made car much better and almost normal, but it came back. did it again, but this time is giving problem between 2 and 3ed < but drivable. do you know why it is doingthat?
  • About a year and a half ago I noticed that when I was excellerating up even a small incline that it would start to feel like I was driving over those stripes on the side of the highway you know when goes bump,bump, bump and when I let my foot off the gas it went away. The macanic couldn't feel it but mentioned it could be transmission related. I got used to correcting the issue with my driving and it didn't do it every time. They are going to check for a possible leak when I take it in or the flushing. I' ve heard mixed reviews about flushing good to made it worse.
  • If I didn't have to go up any inclines on the road the van would be alright. Does your "D" light flash intermittently at times? Mine does that plus we now have to start in 2nd. gear and then shift into 3rd and drive at about 35 mph. The van is fine until it goes below 30 mph...then the shifting has to take place again. I really don't know what to say will help...I talked with the tranny place that I might take mine to and asked about the cleaning of the solenoids that was mentioned in this blog. He said everytime he takes a van apart to look at those he finds they are still clean?? I guess our transmission's are on their way looks like we had our van's made on Wednesday since our trans didn't go out early like the majority of them on this blog. The trans place said they will give me a free check to see what they can find or maybe how long I have until the trans goes out. Flushing the trans fluid did not help.
  • Hi I don't think I'll get it flushed as many have said it didn't help or even made it worse and the dealership doesn't recommend it. As regards to the lights on the shift panel my "d" light has not lite up for several years now and was told in order to replace the light they have to take the entire front console off and that's not worth it to me. So I've been driving it without it lighting up
  • For real? I just bought a used 2009 and have been a little disappointed. We have replaced the gas cap, the power steering and jugger (the dealer said it was a recall), and the struts. Dealer said we needed brakes and a transmission flush but my mechanic said no. What do I need to know about these vans? It only has 49,000 miles and no warranty as we are the second owner (we bought it from an off lease company). My engine light is back on and we are baffled.
  • hi
    what are the syptoms for bad thrust bearing in my 2000 odyssy? could you tell me how to replace thrust bearing in my 2000 odyessy?
  • My engine light has been on for 5 plus years...way before the problem with the vehicle moving from second to third gears as it should and the D light blinking intermittently. I am finally taking the vehicle in on Monday to a trans shop to get an estimate. With nearly 200K miles and 10 years old now...I will let everyone know what they say.

    I guess stay away from any trans flush like your mechanic said...I wish I would have known this before I told them to go ahead and do it.

    Any problems with the second and third gears connecting properly?
  • after i cleaned the selonoids first time, at 155k , car ran much better, almost normal, after 5k miles, went back to same, cleaned them again, and they were petty much clogged, ran better, but not like first time, and only after 500 miles, started the trans dance again. is it really getting clogged that fast? thistime i am going to install the inline filter that i did not have time to put in ,
    anyone can shed light on this?
  • Hi, I really have to tell you we've no other trouble and it has been a very reliable vehicle. We've always maintained it well and other than the regular maintance stuff no other problems until the transmission. We have 132,000 miles at this point. Hope you can still enjoy it, it's a good family van.
  • Yes my "d" light has not worked for at least 2-3 yrs I have a leak in the transmission it is going in on Friday. I've decided we're not doing the flush only fix the leak and we're looking at new small SUV 's and trading it in before the tranny goes.
  • bean5ohbean5oh Posts: 1
    edited November 2012
    I am having the same problem & I took it to the dealer. They said the torque converter is failing, which leads to a $5200 transmission replacement. I have a 2004 Odyssey with 85000 miles.
  • can you describe your transmission problem more elaborately ?
  • I finally broke down and took the 2002 Odyssey in for a new transmission. I will get it back more shifting from 2nd to 3rd. The vehicle has 199,000 miles now. Supposedly any trans problem will be fixed before the new trans is placed in my vehicle...They do over 200 new trans in Odyssey's every year.
  • If you haven't got a transmission cooler on your vehicle, go to a trailer company and get their after market cooler installed.
    I had my transmiison replaced at 184,000 kms (112,119 miles) and I currently have 316,000 kms (192,551 miles). I only replaced the transmisson once and have an after-market cooler from a trailer company; but I do not haul any trailers not have a hitch.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,301
    just curious, but is this an independent trans shop, or a chain? And how much does it cost?

    I am guessing they rebuild in house and supply a new torque converter?

    I know there are some companies that sell upgraded rebuilds (and there seem to be improvements that can be done, that Honda does not implement on their rebuilds), and you just have to find someone to install it.

    And while all this is going on, adding a mangafine (sp?) external filter and a good trans cooler seems to be an obvious add-on. Probably not going to add much if anything to the labor costs.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • Like Tom from Minnesota (whose posting is below) I, too, am furious at Honda. Also, like Tom, I have a 2001 Honda Odyssey, and have never towed anything at all in my life! And, living in Madison WI, I have a similarly flat topography to Tom&#146;s Minnesota.

    In late 2008 a dashboard light went on indicating a problem. To make a long story short, my dealer (with whom I have been pretty satisfied in general) told me that there was a transmission recall going on, and that Honda would replace my transmission free.

    I was ecstatic to be saving almost $5,000 but also annoyed that I had almost missed the cutoff date for the free exchange because my dealer had told me that the light was probably just indicating that I had not put on my gas cap correctly. &#147;Wait a month or so and let us know if the light goes back off,&#148; I was told.

    Well, my original transmission was as 82,672 miles when they changed it our for the &#147;new&#148; one. Apparently even though the transmission was still working at 82,672 miles it was still thought to be likely defective. After the &#147;new&#148; one was put in, it lasted exactly 52,681 miles, 30,000 less than the defective one! Hmm, gives one pause to think: why take one out that is still good at 82,672 miles and replace it with one that&#146;s worse!

    This just happened last week, and I am currently awaiting a response from my dealer, who said he would talk to their Honda rep and get back to me. I am guessing that they will tell me &#147;Too bad&#148; in which case I plan to speak to a lawyer friend of mine to see if anything can be done. I cannot afford $4,500 for a repair, let alone a repair that is necessary only because Honda has not gotten its act together regarding these incessantly recurring transmission problems!

    I will keep you all informed of what transpires. And I will be calling Tom later, who was kind enough to put his phone number on his posting. Mine is 608-332-6287, if anyone wants to get in touch with me.

  • Tom,

    My outcome was similar but not the same as yours, it turns out. I also am going to be paying not $4,800 but rather half of that only. However, in my case I had my dealer talk to their Honda rep for me, and the Honda rep (or whomever he represents) will be paying the other half.

    One thing that my dealer pointed out to me was that, since I the replacement transmission I got at 86,000 + mileage was free for both parts and labor, and since I'm now at 135,000 mileas +, having to fork out $2400 doesn't seem so bad. Part of his meaning is that if I sell the car one day, I can legitimately mention the the transmission is relatively new, and that is, apparently, the most expensive replacement one would ever have to do on an Odyssey.

    If you want to chat about the issue, feel free to call me at 608-332-6287. Here's wishing you a good holiday season.

  • hi peter, tom,
    was there an official honda transmission recall ? for what years? and does it cover anything over 100k miles?
    also, was your cars at time of first bad tranmission dirvable or just irratical in changing gears
    i have 2000, bought it with 120k , started the trans problms at 130, was still drivable, but getting worse. but after many research, i cleaned the linear and shift selonoids and car drove much better and drove more on it until now at 155k almost. did any of your dealers indicated anything about selonoids?
    the funny thing that an odyssey with good trans of these years worse at best 3000 dollars, and to spend 4000 on tranmission is really a scandal .. no more hondas here
  • i am was not new. It was rebuilt with a new torque converter for 2700 with a one yr warranty. I was at almost 199,000 miles on my 2002 when this happened. I feel horrible for everyone and am perplexed when mine went so long without replacement...mine was not completely gone, but i was nervous with winter that it was going to go out at any time. The shop is an independent trans shop in Johnstown Ohio...Hardshift's. I will check into the filter and cooler. thanks for the tips.
  • On my 2002 Odyssey the transmission went at 184,000 kms. I currently have 316,000 kms and I have had a non-Honda cooler for about 2 years.
    How long should these transmissions last if there were no issues whatsoever?
    Do the minivans of Toyota, Chrysler, Nissan (2012 now built only in Japan), GM, Ford (Ford usually broke at 102,000 kms) expect to last a lifetime (what mileage is a lifetime?). If not a lifetime then how long?
    There are some owners that have had no issues but how many miles/kilometes did they trade it in?
  • autowrite,
    your questions need consumer roport to beable to answer.. :) , but if you find out, lets know
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    edited December 2012
    You now have about 80,000 miles on your re-built. I assume it's now well out of your re-builders warranty, so you are now driving on borrowed time......

    If I were you I would be getting rid of it NOW while it's still working. Another re-build would cost as much (or more) than the van's worth as a trade in.

    (I hear good things about the new Chrysler a/t's in the newer Caravans and Town and Country.) It's only taken them 25 years to figure it out..hopefully.

    I still have my old 1992 Dodge Mini Van ( worst a/t's ever built) that we use with the back seats out for nasty hauling and bad winter weather. It's AWD 3.3 V-6 ES with a set of 4 winter tires. Would like to retire it but it just keeps on starting and going when everything else is stuck in the yard or dead in the ditch.

    Our 2003 Honda Odyssey EX-L (bought new) sulks in the garage as I'm afraid to trust it to go anywhere, that van has no soul, never has.
  • g3guyg3guy Posts: 31
    They SHOULD last about 250,000 miles with nothing more than routine maintenance. But they don't.
  • I live in a size-able city wherein there are 2 well known transmission shops that are held in high esteem as they have established an outstanding reputation over the past 30+ years.
    I had a good talk with one of the top 30 year veterans from one of these shops after having a transmission failure in my 03 Honda Odyssey. Here is what he told me.
    " Pursue the lawsuit if you must, but to get your tranny fixed properly, do not go to the dealership for the rebuild. Here's why: Honda is doing a repair not a rebuild. This means that if third gear has gone out, they will repair that one gear, throw it back together and call it a rebuild. No wonder people are having to take their tranny's back two and three times.
    Honda is using a very different clutch plate. It has a soft material that wears off quickly and gets slippery smooth. There is nothing else like it and yet the after market clutch plates are hard like they should be."
    He further told me that he had rebuilt hundreds of these with no failures or returns. So the key here is to NOT use factory clutch discs/plates, but quality after market discs. He also mentioned that the spline going down through the center of the tranny has a bushing in it that must hold air. He said most of the time Honda and others will not fix this. He spreads that bushing out till it holds air and he said that will last forever. If this leaks air, it can cause pressure problems in the tranny which results in shifting problems and possible slippage and failure. I asked if this was just a cheap under rated tranny for this vehicle prone to failure and that after having it fixed if he thought I should sell the van and move on to something different / better? He said NO! Honda makes a great vehicle and the motors in these vans is of the best in the industry. Once the tranny is fixed right, it will be worth keeping till you run it in the ground.
    I hope this helps and that you have good success in your future rebuilds.
    For a healthy cup of coffee try WholesomeCoffee.Info It will help with your transmission stress. :)
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