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Honda Odyssey vibration



  • 2008 Honda Odyssey - this vehicle has a low droning sound, the droning sound is most prominent when cold and in reverse or cold in gear and stopped (this droning sound can be recreated anytime by placing the vehicle in drive, pressing the brake down and bringing the rpm to 1000). Once the vehicle warms up it isn't as bad but still present and annoying.

    The vibration seems to occur every time the transmission drops into 5th and you remain at a steady speed/load at 1500rpm.

    There is also a slight engine shake when in park at idle all the time regardless of temperature.

    The transmission seems a little harsh when downshifting, it seems to hesitate and then drop into gear causing the vehicle to jerk slightly.

    Can anyone comment on these concerns? Have other 2008 Odyssey owners experienced the same issues and is the a fix I can pass onto my dealer as it has been in 3 times with NO PROBLEM FOUND.
  • Hester, I have this same exact issue on an 07 Touring I just bought with 27k miles. Did replacing the motor mount completely fix the issue?

    BTW this is good for a laugh, I contacted the former owner of this vehicle asking what they knew about this vibration, and they told me that the dealer told them they should always drive with overdrive off. Their gas mileage must have sucked.
  • hesterhester Posts: 4
    It turns out that did not fix the problem. The torque converter was the problem. Fortunately, I have the extended warranty. Honda just put in a new trans.
  • I own the EX-L platform of the 2005 Honda Odyssey and had no complaints until about 90K. I experienced the vibration issue posted all over the internet and yes had the broken rear engine mount replaced. The dealership and local honda representative made a number of concessions to reduce the bill to just under $200. It's been about a month since the repair and I still have some vibration issues around 40 mph (1800-2100 rpm), also at higher speeds around the same rpm level. The dealership can not find the issue after two revisits. I notice more in the morning (cold engine). Any advice?
  • Wow. no kidding...I could totally see it being the torque converter. It definitely feels like the transmission is trying to downshift gears and it just can't. It will finally downshift if I give it enough gas.

    Just trying to gather some ammunition before I take this van in. If they don't drive it right they may not feel this vibration at the dealer.

    I have the extended warranty too but I'm not even to 30k yet. At least if they have to replace the tranny I will get rental car reimbursement with the extended warranty.
  • poocatpoocat Posts: 35
    We have a '06 EXL with VCM and it does the same thing. The droning sound comes from the A-pipe. It was way worse before we had it changed, it used to drone really loud at 2100 rpm. The also change out the mounting bracket and hanger to a different one. Now it drones as you described. The vibration is also the same with ours. In other forums they describe this as lugging, it basically has something to do with the gearing in the transmission being so high. For saving gas at cruising speeds, but in the 1500 rpm range the car just isn't going fast enough or the rpm is too low for the gearing and it lugs or vibrates. As soon as you give it a bit of gas or hit the button to shift to D3 the vibration goes away. The '08 should already have the new A-pipe and hanger assembly. I think yours also has a different transmission than mine but it seems like the same problem still exists. One other thing I should mention is that we notice a slight vibration in the steering wheel when sitting at a stop light in "D" with the brake on. Then when you drive off the vibration is more pronounced and the whole steering wheel rumbles. You can really feel the vibration when you put your thumb on the gap between the steering wheel and the air bag cover on the bottom of the steering wheel. We had the rear engine mount replaced but it didn't do anything, the same vibration is still there.
  • vlentzvlentz Posts: 9
    I just posted the same problem. The dealer states that it is normal. I can tell you that I get the vibration/noise as soon as it drops into fifth gear. It seem that most of my driving is between 40 and 52 mph and that's where it is most prominent. I also complained about it dropping gears harshly. (normal) Do you notice that it gears down until you're almost stopped and then free wheels causing you to get on the brakes harder just before the full stop? Seems like it almost "steeds up" just as you get to the full stop.
  • I have an 05 odyssey touring. Have severe vibration in steering wheel at speeds 65-72 and also 45-57. Have taken to 2 honda dealerships with a total of 22 visits concerning this problem. Have been without my van for 42 days since purchase on 9/2006. Trying to seek legal council-- but no luck there yet. Sent several letters with no luck, but did rec. a reply from Honda Japan. No help there either! Requested Honda to buy back my van-- but being put off!! Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  • mooger1mooger1 Posts: 14
    Our honda had the same droning noise that drove me crazy, after months of concern our local mech. discovered a small noise by rotating the front wheels with the van on a hoist. He said he did not think a wheel bearing would cause the noise but would change the one making the noise if I wanted......The rest is history he changed the front drivers wheel bearing and the noise is completely gone......forever. I had already had the engine mount changed with no luck there..We have had our van for two years and I really like it alot, its far from perfect but i think it's still the best choice..To All who are having the droning noise please have them check the front wheel bearing that noise will drive you crazy and ruin your driving experience, take care and good with your honda van
  • No I haven't noticed that, monkeymunchkin. To be clear, my issue is more of a "shudder" that starts and stops. Only lasts about a second, then occurs again if the conditions are right. For example it won't occur when going downhill at 40-45 mph but when I start a gentle uphill that is not steep enough for it to have to downshift, it will occur over and over. And the rpm gauge pops up and down a few hundred rpm.
  • ee4lifeee4life Posts: 14
    You will need all of these references to help you. Start with the TSB and 5 part article series....then the tech line summary, if needed. Ask that the technician follow them to the letter.

    Refer to these Honda Service News for a 5 part article series on Excessive Steering Wheel Shimmy and Chassis Vibration:

    Part 1 of 5

    Part 2 of 5

    Part 3 of 5

    Part 4 of 5

    Part 5 of 5

    Good Luck!
  • Thanks for the info! I am going back in tomorrow for my 23rd visit to the dealership. I have been told that the wheel hub and nuts will be replaced. They have already replaced the wheel and tires 2 times, installed a new exhaust pipe, brakes, calipers, rotars.. (hope I am spelling this all correctly). Dealership stated a Field Engineer would be coming out-- but now getting the complete run around on this subject from Honda Customer Service & dealership! This vehicle had it's first issue with the vibration at 5628 miles. This vehicle has not lived up to the "Honda Standard" that I have encountered with 5 other owned Hondas. I appreciate the response and information! :)
  • gmm1gmm1 Posts: 3

    I also have a 2005 Odyssey EXL and am experiencing the same shudder / vibration when gently accelerating at 1500 - 1800 RPM in the 35 - 40 MPH range. After reading these threads, I called the dealership and told them others have experienced this and they found it to be the torque converter. The dealership said the Check Engine light should be on. Mine is not. Did your check engine light go on when the shudder / vibration occurred? I don't have an extended warranty and have over 70,000 miles on mine so I'm trying to get Honda corporate to cover but the dealership said the Check Engine and its accompanying code would be needed to get corporate to cover.
  • gmm1gmm1 Posts: 3

    I also have a 2005 Odyssey EXL and am experiencing the same shudder / vibration when gently accelerating at 1500 - 1800 RPM in the 35 - 40 MPH range. After reading these threads, I called the dealership and told them others have experienced this and they found it to be the torque converter. The dealership said the Check Engine light should be on. Mine is not. Did your check engine light go on when the shudder / vibration occurred? I don't have an extended warranty and have over 70,000 miles on mine so I'm trying to get Honda corporate to cover but the dealership said the Check Engine and its accompanying code would be needed to get corporate to cover.
  • Mine is not on. I have not taken it to the dealer yet because I am trying to make sure I have all the ammunition I need before I go there and have the dealer try to tell me the vibration is normal.

    I will be taking it soon and I will let you know if they diagnose it as the torque converter. This would be good evidence for you if they do diagnose it as torque converter. If so I will try to get them to document that the check engine light was not on and I will send you a copy.
  • Pretty sure I have the same problem - started 3 weeks ago - the first sign was after starting the engine I notice a droan and slight vibration - that continues to exist.
    Later I experiened a "shudder" in the 20-30 mph range... after being in a gentle cruise and applying a slight load to the engine (pretty sure ECO is active) the reduced power and lower gear cannot deliver the needed torque - so a rapid shudder develops until all cylinders kick it. Felt like misife, or driving over a washboard - a second or two and the shudder is gone but there is still a definite vibration from the engine.
    Had the plugs and the transmission fluid changed with zero improvement.
    Had a transmission guy test drive it - car acted up beautifully - but he didn't believe it was transmission since the vibration is apparent at stand still - get the vibration looked at.
    Test drove it with a Honda mechanic on board - couldn't make the car act up - but he did notice the vibration - also said he has a current complaint from 1 other Odyssey owner but does not yet have a solution. He suspects it could be an issue with the electronics / VCM program.
    Took the car on a long hwy trip yesterday - car runs better at hwy speed but that is because the symptoms less apparent. Its amazing how often the vehicle is in ECO mode - with cruise on I could feel an engine vibration - then given the right uphill grade (slight load on the enginer) the vibration would drop and I noticed every time that the ECO light would turn off within a half second. Seems to me that the VCM program is messed up - as is regular ignition since it is not like it used to be. I have no fault codes. Perhaps if the computer is sending bad instructions - then it doesnt have the right info to create a fault code. A few more days of shudder and I'll be going back to Honda -or maybe future shop to buy Norton antivirus :confuse:
  • gmm1gmm1 Posts: 3
    Wertzee and Arekay1,

    We all have the same problem. You both have described the issue and conditions in which we get the shudder / riding over washboard feeling under light acceleration in the 1500 - 1800 RPM range between 30 - 40 MPH, up a slight grade. Won't happen going down a slight grade. You both have a 2005 EX-L right? I have 71,000 miles on mine.

    I went to the dealership today and had a mechanic ride with me...guess what??? IT DIDN'T HAPPEN! How frustrating is that? So the service manager said to leave the car and they'll have a tech take it out a few times. I didn't want them tearing the car apart to diagnose, because they "have never heard of this issue". That would cost me $$$. He said he would go to bat for me with Honda corporate if it is the transmission...My question is if this is a transmission problem, is this just a nuisance or will the car fail at some point?
  • Yes an '05 EX-L with 65000 mi. Because of the vibration I experience while in park...with little or no transmission influence, and my experience at hwy speed where the vibration diminishes considerably when the engine leaves ECO mode - I totally rule out transmission at this point.
    If it was transmission the symptom would be the same in normal mode as in ECO mode - also the transmission service tech who drove my car did not think transmission was the cause - not to mention that transmission slip would generate a fault code. To me its like a timing issue - and since there is no timing - only a program, I think its computer related. It wouldn't be the first time a computer needed to get replaced on a car. The other thought is that the hardware devices (whatever they may be) which are used to control the VCM are faulty.
  • vlentzvlentz Posts: 9
    I just saw a different dealer about the vibration. Had a service rep ride with me. He said that he felt the vibration and stated it kicks in when overdrive kicks in. He didn't know if it was normal or not. When we returned to the dealership the service manager handed me a printout stating that they "couldn't reproduce the problem". The rep absolutely said that he could feel it. When I questioned it they "dummied up"
    On the way home I got a call from American Honda on my cell. They said that they opened up a folder on my car and were going to send me to the dealer that I just left. What's that about? If they didn't know that I was just there why did they call my cell? I called my wife at home and they hadn't called my home phone.
    American Honda suggested that I ask the original dealer to schedule a test ride with their factory rep. which is supposedly on the property once a month.
    My opinion is that they don't want to do anything about the problem. I only bought this car six weeks ago and it only has 3000 miles on it. I have to drive it for at least five years hating the way it drives. Also, I feel compelled to buy an extended warranty now. With this vibration something has to fail eventually.
  • Thanks for the info (ee4life). Well, I went back for the 23rd visit at the dealership. I had the Hub assembly, Bearings, and R/L knuckle replaced. The shimmy is still there-- not as sever as it was, but it always seems to progress over a few days. I just received a call from the SM at the Dealership and now Honda wants to replace the Transmission. I still have the whining noise from the steering-- fluids checked out ok. Now, all the steps from the bulletin you posted have been completed with the issue still left to resolve. I have been requesting a Field Engineer for assistance with this matter for the last few months. No luck there-- and only if Tech Line has no other options/things to replace that could be causing this. This has been a nightmare to deal with over the course of 1.5 years! Thanks again for the info-- as it is greatly appreciated! :)
  • cja2cja2 Posts: 3
    Hello arekay1 (05 EL-X w 65Kmiles). I just purchased 05 EX-l W 55K miles and had same vibration, from Starting car before I bought it, I felt constant engine vibration. Driving around town under 35, same vibration, not much more. On Highway Much greater, when engine in ECO mode, Wow I thought I bought a junker but was hopefull anyhow. Had Rear engine Mount $440 replaced by dealer, Car now smooth as a honda should be. There is a TSB but intended for under warranty repair. Honda split cost w/ me I paid for install. You can check the engine mount with a helper. Raise Engine hood, Put car in Reverse and w FOOT ON BRAKE press on gas to see if rear of engine raises up a few inches (over 2") If so, your Rear motor mount could be torn and causing your problems like mine. After Replacement, when in ECO mode, you can't feel a thing. You can hear engine is different but you don't feel it anymore. Hope this helps
  • Had the Factory Rep ride with me today. Vibration kicked in right on time. He agrees that he feels it. States that it's normal and had me drive a 2009 LX which did the same thing. He tells me that they all do it and Honda knows it. He states that there is no fix for it or he would have it fixed. He claims that it will not cause a failure and there is no wear being done. If there is a drive train failure after the warranty runs out and it's been serviced on schedule he claims that Honda will "help me out" with a good will service. He didn't recommend the extended warranty. I can get the ext. for a thousand dollars six yrs 120,000 miles. I think it's probably worth that for peace of mind.
    My mistake was not test driving this car. I felt that it was a Honda and brand new. If I had it to do over I would have and probably not bought the car. Now I'm stuck with that problem for at least four years. Don't know if the lemon law would apply in this case as it's not a safety problem.
  • We just bought our 2008 LX Odyssey last Friday. We noticed the same problem you're having the next day. The vibrations kick in at about 50 mph. Called our dealer's service dept on Mon, they said it was flat spots in the tires and to wait it out. Called them back to have it checked the next day. They scheduled Wed., rebalanced the tires, sent it home. Problem still there, took it back the next day. They called me Fri., said they'd changed out the wheels and problem was still there and they'd need to keep it over the weekend to check the transmission and axels. Called me just 2 hours later to come get it. Their Honda rep drove it and said that it met with Hondas standards. The Service tech said all LX's do this. I just can't believe they can get away with selling a car at this low level of quality. Why are the reviews so good? You cannot take this car on the highway for any extended amount of time, especially with small children. It's got to be a health hazard.
  • i am pretty sure mine does this as well. thankfully, it is a lease and I am not stuck
    with it. as user friendly as it is, it is a big pos. It will be my last Honda.
  • cja2cja2 Posts: 3
    After reading most of your comments on the Vibration, It Seems to be comming from primarily two causes.ONE is engine Vibration cause primarily by engine and only varys with the speed of the engine. and TWO: Vibration from Speed of vehicle and varys with the speed of the vehicle ONLY. ie Wheel bearing, Drive train, etc. Try to determine which Vibration your have. The Primary, "less noticable" vibration I believe we are all feeling is caused from the VCM "feature" on the engine of EX-L and Touring Models. It will always occur when engine is not required to put out much power. Under most conditions the motor doesn't really vibrate (if your engine mounts are good). However, In VCM Mode it is running on 3 cylinders and will shake because it is now out of balance, similiar to removing 3 spark plugs out of your engine. There is no way an engine will run as smooth in this mode. However, There should be NO Vibration, EVER (no more than any other car) from time you start your car, idling in the driveway, running down the hiway or full excelleration when your Motor Mounts are GOOD. Bad mounts however, will cause the Motor will vibrate in one or all of these conditions and Need to be checked, replaced. If they are bad and your Van has ECM the Vibration Will be magnified severly. TESTING MOTOR MOUNTS: (THIS CAN BE DANGEROUS SO BE VERY CAREFUL TO KEEP FOOT ON BRAKE or have dealer check them). 1st Set Parking Brake. I find you can do check engine mounts with the help of a friend(standing on side of vehicle) to watch the engine move while you operate the van. Raise the hood up, Start Engine, While pressing HARD on the brake Put the Van in Gear and gently press on accelerator (put engine under load) till engine starts to twist forward or reverse, your helper should be watching the motor right now, Engine should twist a little when you do this, that is normal. Check Both Drive and Reverse. IF you notice motor RAISE UP a couple inches, and drop back down when you left off the accellerator, then the motor mount under that part of the engine raising up is most likely the problem. On my 05 EX-L the Back mount was shot and the whole engine raised up a few inches when doing this in Reverse. After Confirming Bad mounts and replacing, the Vibration should NOT be felt after starting the car or driving it. Most mounts are around $65. the rear one is $440, the one that took care of my problem.

    Not sure if we can eliminate the "drooning" sound that is only generated by engine in VCM mode, when engine is under "low" load condition. Perhaps get a Honda van that doesn't have the VCM "Feature". However, VCM is also supposed to be getting us better gas mileage when in this mode, ie: running on 3 cylinders. If anyone Knows how to DIS-ABLE VCM Mode, Please let us know ! The gas mileage increase may outweigh the Vibration.
  • Is yours a 2008 LX Odyssey? And do you notice considerabe vibration at highway speed?
  • It is an EX-L, and it is only noticeable in ECO mode at certain speeds, usually
    between 40-50mph.
  • Does anyone out there know of an instrument which can measure the vibrations of a car?
  • My LX doesn't have VCM. It vibrates at 1500 rpms 42 - 52 mph. The peak is at 48 mph just holding speed. When I let off it smooths right out and if I step down it smooths out.
  • Vlentz,
    Though your vibration issue sounds similar to the issue we have with our 2008 LX, it may be different. Like yours, ours is very noticeable at 50 mph. But unlike yours, ours worsens with increased speed. We are in the process of trying to determine if alloy wheels will eliminate the problem, since our Service Tech told us the problem was inherant in all LX's due to the steel wheels. Any thoughts?
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