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Honda Odyssey Engine Problems

I have a '06 Odyssey Touring and it pings/knocks when I first drive it. The sound is very similar to to the sound that a car makes when driving a manual uphill without downshifting to a proper gear. I've been searching both Carspace/Edmunds and the internet in general and I found about a dozen incidents being written up in forums and may affect many more cars. If you have the same issue, please contribute to this discussion.


  • My Odyssey has had the ABS light (and the SRS light) on for years. Several years ago, I took it into the shop thinking the brakes were bad. The shop charged me several hundred dollars to do diagnostic and said my brakes were fine and I needed a whole new electrical panel (about $1000). I passed and put up with it.

    Since that time, I have heard there was a TBS regarding this issue. refers to a bulletin 1002, but I have to pay to get a copy. Does anyone have experience with this problem or know if there is a place to view TBS info without a purchase?
  • Although it was 0 degrees in Chicago last evening, it seemed to take a long time for my '07 Ody to reach normal operating temperature. After 50 miles of driving at highway speeds, I stopped and left the engine running. After about 5 minutes the engine temperature dropped below the normal point on the gauge. Is this a thermostat problem or just to d*#@ cold?
  • 2003 Honda Odyssey races up and down in idle. The engine speeds up and down from 1000 rpm to 2000 and back. Just up and down...just started this morning.

  • can't offer any insight but my 2003 Odyssey's SRS light is on. Cost me $80 for the dealer to plug in the diagnostics, and it would cost close to $500 to replace the part. Guess I'll be without airbags.
  • Has anything been done to the car lately?
  • teacostateacosta Posts: 1
    I take this car in every month. The car would stall b/c it isn't heated enough (I live in Miami!) Also, throttle disconnected and left me stranded on a highway with 3 kids.
    The car is a 2004. Now, the RPM's are racing when in park or in idle. Also, I get only about 15 mi. to the gallon. I am disappointed. Anyone have a clue about the rpm's?
  • for jaybeckham and teacosta, my '03 Odyssey has had two serious problems in a row: EGR valve change and clogged gas line then the enging start to race in idle. these problems happened 2 weeks apart in the past month. I don't understand why Odyssey has such rave review.

    The EGR problems cost me $500 and I don't know how much the idle problem will cost me! Can't trust dealer and now we can't even trust a Honda car. whoelse could I turn to?
  • acg007acg007 Posts: 1
    About 37K, rpm started to race between 1000 and 2000 when parked (idle). No problems with driving performance. However, it is annoying and it feels like it may stop or go with no driver input. Any body had similar problems. Is this under power train warranty?
    Thanks for any reasonable explanation or guidance.
  • I just bought a brand new Honda Odyssey 06 from a local dealership here in Virginia. After about a week, I started noticing that my engine was vibrating in the idle position. I noticed that the problem was getting worse. I immediately take the car to the dealer and talk with the service manager. I ask to get into another Odyssey to compare and there is noticeable difference. He denies any major difference and says that if there is a slight vibration its because some new cars had to be "broken-in". This dealership told me to wait until about 4000-10,000 miles to see if the vibration would go away!!! I found this absurd!! I put my hard earned money into this not so cheap car not even a month ago and I already have to deal with this?? I demanded a new vehicle and they denied my request. Am I freaking out about nothing or do I have a case here? Anyone with similar issues? What are my rights in this case? Basically they're telling me that I have to wait it out to see if my car gets worse. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    :mad: in VA
  • blackexv6blackexv6 Posts: 503
    riceking80 -

    Sorry to hear about your Odyssey. Too bad you didn't read the forums before buying. Unfortunatley you will most likely have to live with the vibration problem.

    I'm assuming you have an EX-L or higher model with the VCM. Also, did you just buy an '06 or '07?

    Our '06 had the engine mounts replaced to attempt fixing the droning defect. The '05 & '06 Odysseys had bad mounts that collapsed after a short period of operation. This repair was also supposed to smooth out the engine vibrations at idle. Didn't fix the vibration or the droning defect.

    Here is a link discussing the collapsed engine mountslink title

    There are many theories about this vibration problem. One theory is the active engine mount controller software has a glitch/bug & forgets to set the mount back to "idle" after running on 3 cylinders (highway).

    We are going to court in the Fall for our Lemon Odyssey :lemon: 5 repair attempts for the droning defect. Good luck & keep us posted. Also, don't accept the problem...keep fighting, unless you have enough money to sell the car.
  • riceking80riceking80 Posts: 2
    Thanks for your help....I made a mistake in the car's year of is an '07. Do you know what kind of rights I have as a consumer on this matter??
  • blackexv6blackexv6 Posts: 503
    You really don't have many options since the vibration issue is being ignored by Honda. Just have them check your engine mounts to see if they are not collapsed & are working properly.

    Just be thankful you have an '07 and the droning defect has been pretty much been eliminated. Your car has the new stronger transmission & the shift points were changed (maybe to avoid the 2000 rpm harmonic drone on the highway).

    At the end of the day, you still made a good purchase (for a van). The Odyssey holds its value & is a very safe vehicle. Maybe if Honda gets enough complaints on the '07 they will try fixing the vibration 100% this time.
  • sherrib1sherrib1 Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Odessey with 112,000 miles. In the last week it has died on me 3 times, twice when I was backing out of parking spot and garage, and once as I started down my street. All 3 times the car had only been running for 1-2 minutes at the most. The dash goes black. I pull it into Park and it starts right back up and doesn't die again. Does this sound like an ignition switch or maybe some other electrical problem? Thanks for the help!
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    Try another chipped key. It may be losing it's ability to transmit.
  • Hi jynewjersey and friends,
    My 2003 Odyssey has the same problem as you described. Please share your experience and solution. Thanks for your help in advance!

    Best Regards,
    Daniel Szeto
    Boston, MA
  • I have the 02 odyssey and most the probems posting in this forum I do experience, Plus, I have already replace the hub bearing on both front!
    but here is the wise thought.
    my vehicle just hit 85K miles and I decided to change timing belt myself, I replace all the parts related to this function also, from tensionner to rollers.etc.
    while disecting my front motor, I noticed that my right side engine mount was very bad also. the main discovered that the timing are not perfect!
    After all the new parts and belts back in places and timing correctly to the marks. My engine now is much smoother then EVER before, more power and noticeable gas saving from $50.00 weekly down to $40 in the past three weeks.
    Thought, I have to put back the broken engine mount, because the work was done in the long weekend and the parts dept. was closed. but the engine has No vibration at all. still waiting Ebay shipping the new motor mount.

    Here is the list of my problem right after I bought new in 02:
    * Idle unstabe (engine like misfire for a flash of a second, but noticable.
    * Idle RPM at 900 and above.
    * some what vibrations at any RPM, more noticed at idle
    * when hard accelerate slightly Vales noise like.
    All of this problems was noticed after a month of brand new

    After tmiming belt replaced and ajusted. all the problems listed above DISAPPEARING.
    the Idle RPM is now at 700 (adjust by it self).
    like I said, the engine is running smoother then EVER before.
  • daveop1daveop1 Posts: 1
    We also have a '99 Odyssey with over 100K miles, and similar problem over past 2 weeks. We had the ignition switch replaced last week and it seems to have solved the problem.
  • shannijshannij Posts: 4
    I have a 2005 Ody. 2mths after getting this car the a/c was hit with a stone and broke. Dealership fixed under warranty after a lot of hassle and my researching and finding similar problems.
    Friday, I drove the car 2 miles got out and fan came on. I thought it strange but had no idea. Drove another 4 miles and a/c quit. Thought probably the same problem it had been hit by a stone again. 3 miles later the van sounded like a diesel truck and was overheating so I pulled over and all the lights were on.
    Dealership says the radiator fan was somehow damaged causing a hole in the radiator and it is not covered under warranty. Is this a Ody problem? Are stones breaking the fans? I am more concerned for the engine because they said the temp reached 350 degrees. Any thoughts?
  • cometrcometr Posts: 1
    My wife's 99 van (111,500 miles) had a similar problem. A new ignition switch has appeared to have solved the problem.
    The van supposedly had the ignition switch service bulletin accomplished in 2002.
  • pflukepfluke Posts: 1
    An elderly person smashed the front end of our 04 Odyssey. The repair shop wants to use aftermarket parts. How reliable are aftermarked radiators and AC condensers? Any suggestions on what I should do???
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    It's hit or miss deal. I guess it would depend on the manufacturer of the aftermarket part.

    Your insurance policy sets out the requirements for OEM and aftermarket parts. On what is basically a 4 YO vehicle, they will most likely only pay for aftermarket parts. But on the positive side, the insurer typically covers the part for the life of the vehicle.

    You can offer to pay the repair shop the difference between OEM and aftermarket if you are concerned about it.
  • cxccxc Posts: 122
    It is interesting to know that you found that the timing for your Odyssey is not right. When I was changing my 1999 Odyssey timing belt, I noticed that the rear timing gear is one-tooth off. After correcting this problem, I got 2 - 3 mpg improvement. Now the transmission of my odyssey with 140,000 miles is dead. I may have to junk it. Everyone, I talked to, said that I should not give another trust to Honda.
  • blackexv6blackexv6 Posts: 503
    Your insurance company most likely will not pay the extra money for OEM parts. It's usually not the body shop's decision. We use our Honda dealer for body repairs they are excellent & will use OEM parts when possible.

    I requested a Honda OEM windshield recently & the insurance company shot it down - no way they said.
  • pgnagelpgnagel Posts: 60
    Our 99 Odyssey has been doing the same thing. I ended up taking it to a local mechanic. He discovered that the wiring harness that connects the ignition switch to the main harness was defective. It's a Honda only part, and total cost was $248 to repair.

    Am I understanding correctly that there was a TSB on this item?


    Paul N
  • poocatpoocat Posts: 35
    I normally drive pretty easy. I noticed that the ECO light is on quite often. Mileage right now after 4000km is 10.8 l/100km city and 8.8 l/100km highway. Seems to be OK so far.
  • Last week our '04 Odyssey with about 50,500 miles stalled while my wife was driving. She pulled over put it in park and restarted the engine. It started up right away, but the Low Oil light came on and stayed on. I checked the oil and it was full. After towing it to the dealer it's now knocking something fierce.

    To make a long story short, Honda says "our engines don't blow up, you must have run it without oil" We're in to it for $800 of 'diagnostic' work and just learned that the 60,000 mile power train warranty is only for '06 and later models. (the only reason I went to the dealer was because I'd seen many websites touting Honda's 5yr/60,000 mile powertrain warranty)

    Anyone heard of this before... I know it's not common. That's why I bought a Honda. (It sure was painful to watch our practically new beautiful van hauled away on the back of a tow truck.)
  • barbjhbarbjh Posts: 1
    In April '06 we had the dealer check the car because when we slowed to a stop, the engine would race up to 4000 rpm as I stepped on the brake. I used my right foot. No foot was on the gas. The dealer repair couldn't find a problem. Since then, we have had this happen more times, three in the last week. Has anyone had this problem? My husband thinks it is the computer.
  • tjhoupttjhoupt Posts: 1
    Hi Everyone, Looks like a great site to get some helpful advice. Today, our 2000 Honda Odyssey did not start after a quick stop at a local drug store. Lights, electronics, all seem to work. The engine does turn over and starts for about a second and then turns off. Did this numerous times. I was able to keep the engine running by pressing on the gas pedal, keeping the other foot on the brake pedal, and nursed the van back to our home (only about 1/2 mile). I wish that I knew more about cars... any advice on what it might be and how to get it repaired? THANKS!
  • As an update......we're 3 weeks into this ordeal but it looks like we might get our van back soon. It turns out the oil pump failed. Even though there is no warranty Honda is buying us a new engine, but we're paying for the labor to put it in.
  • agc7agc7 Posts: 2
    Hello, I have a 1995 Honda Odyssey EX, 113,000 miles, after a recent 500 mile trip I have noticed that my car turns off when idle. In the mornings it starts easy, its fine when it idles, but as the day progresses and it gets hotter out, the car has difficulty starting. And when it does start, it tends to turn off when idle. Any ideas? Any help out there? Thank you!
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