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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems



  • In 1999 we bought a new Odyssey,Oh they are so great,just had to have one,They would not come down off the price.Oh it will last for ever.WRONG.I will never own one again,The frist one Trans went out.Trade it in on a 2002.Same dam problem.Transmission.Now we find out the word is out ,Honda Odyssey has made the (LEMON LIST)wE SOLD OURS OUT RIGHT,I REALLY FELT BAD,NOW HAVE A DODGE CARAVAN
  • Did you pay for the transmission or did Honda?

    What lemon list is the Odyssey on?

    And do you really think you are going to be better off with a Caravan? Read CR and Edmunds own long-term toad test.
  • lsinclsinc Posts: 270
    I am in the process of replacing my 1995 Mercury Villager that has 103,000 miles on it. I paid $7K for my Villager on the used market and have put over 30K miles on it in less then 2 years. It runs like a champ. One of the vans in the running was the Honda Odyssey but now I'm not so sure. I had a car some years ago that had awful tranny problems. I refuse to pay $25K to $30K for a van that isn't going to run well. For that kind of money, it should be flawless!!
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    ...Making a reference to a resource without actually reading it, not even the first sentence.

    Kinda like when he claimed that Consumer Reports showed the Odyssey in a downward reliability trend, but was unable to justify his claims. The 2003 Auto issue is just out, and no Honda Odyssey model years were below average; 1999 and 2000 were average and 1995-1998 and 2001-2002 were above average. The overall reliability projection was 22% above average. No years appeared on the, "Used Cars to Avoid" or, "Reliability Risks" tables. The Odyssey did, however, appear on the, "CR Good Bets" table.

    In the category breakdowns (p.95 for Xaf's benefit), the transmissions area was given the top marks (2% problem rate or less) for 1995-1997 and 2000-2002, and the second best category (2%-5% problem rate) for 1998 and 1999.

    This is not to say the transmissions are problem free, but certainly no where nearly as bad as Xaf wants people to believe for some strange reason.
  • sbpceapsbpceap Posts: 67
    I am an 'O3 Ody owner. But it is true that the '99 Ody was on Consumer Reports' "used cars to avoid" list. If you look in previous years' auto issue, 'tis a fact. You're right about there never being a "downward reliability trend", unless you look at 1998 & 1999 years in isolation. Now that I'm looking at the April '03 issue, you're right. How does a vehicle come off a "used cars to avoid" list retroactively?! I'm starting to wonder about Consumer Reports! I've had an '85 Voyager. It was "good, but not great." I have more faith that Honda is addressing quality control problems, however. Corporate culture doesn't change quickly.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    There were probably some first-year issues with the Odyssey which Honda has now addressed and those owners are no longer experiencing problems.
  • dave594dave594 Posts: 218
    I would think that the 99 Odys to avoid should specifically be the EX models, since they had more problems relating to their doors. I have the LX, and to date it's been a champ, just requiring routine maintenance. Overall, the problem rate was still low, and your chances of getting a major problem was still in the small minority of total owners.
  • I think I'll buy a 10yr/100K Miles extended warranty from, Emerald Plan, for $279 with a $200 deductible. This will cover the transmission, engine, and A/C. I hope I will never have to use it, but even if I pay the $200 deductible, it would still be less than what it would cost to repair the transmission/engine/ or A/C.
    Does anyone disagree?
  • wpalkowskiwpalkowski Posts: 493
    I found that 3rd party extended warranties have a lot of fine print and a lot of weasel wording that enabled them to slease out of fully covering tranny repairs on my old '95 Plymouth Voyager. I bought the HondaCare warranty ($875) with my (so far absolutely flawless) '00 EX. Haven't had to put it to the test yet, but it seemed very comprehensive and specifically states the few things that are NOT covered. Of course the two potential problem areas on my van the EGR system and Transmission are now covered by addtional Honda warranties, so I probably didn't need to buy the extended warranty.. but it's still nice to have the piece of mind.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    "How does a vehicle come off a "used cars to avoid" list retroactively?!"

    Each new CR auto issue is based on problem rates over the last 12 months. So, the April '03 issue is based on a new 12-month span than the April '02 issue. So, it is certainly possible that the 1999 Odyssey could have been "average" for the last 24 months, but "below average" for the previous 12. There were a number of first year recalls for the 1999 Odyssey, particularly on the power doors. Once fixed for the recalls, those issues may not recur and that alone may account for this (just speculation). Pretty much what anonymousposts suggested.

    Thanks for the backup, in any case:-) It is clear that the trend is upward, for the last couple years at least.
  • Have a 2000 Ody. Replaced first Tranny at about 45000km (1 year ago - scraping/rotating noise). Was told replacement was "new" but having read recent posts on the Remanufactured replacement program, now I am not so sure. Just had the Transmission replaced again!! (65000km, odd shifting, Engine Light). Overall, impressed with Honda Service on both occasions - provided rental, relatively quick replacement etc.

    Howver questions remain:
    Should I expect another trans problem in 1 to 2 yrs?
    Has the transmission design really changed since this time last year (as the Honda Canada rep is insisting)?
    Are the 2003, 2004 Model transmissions (5 speed) any better?
    Anyone tried/have success in getting assistance from Honda in "trading up" to the newer 5 sp model?

    Like the van generally but don't want to be living in fear of the trans failing some time when we're far from home...
  • wpalkowskiwpalkowski Posts: 493
    "Anyone tried/have success in getting assistance from Honda in "trading up" to the newer 5 sp

     I had gotten the impression looking at the shop manuals that new 5 sp tranny wouldn't be an exact mate for the '00 engine.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    If the Engine computer also controls the transmission, the 5 speed cannot replace the 4 speed without a computer change.
  • msibillemsibille Posts: 275
    I'm a 1999, 2000, 2002 Ody owner. The tranny in the '99 and '00 was the same, the tranny in the 2002 is different (5spd). In fact, much is different, even the stupid engine air filter is different btwn the '99-01 and the 2002-03. (I always buy 2 at a time, so I had an extra to give away to a friend.)

    So far, I've had 4 Odys since '99 (before then, it was the smaller 4 cylinder Ody, so those don't count in the reliability of the current model). The '99 was replaced after a botched replacement (3rd repair) of the tranny. The 2000 was replaced because we were rear-ended the first wk and I was fortunant enough (over the 3 month wait for a new one) to convince the insurance co. that they should pay and run. That one (3rd) was replaced after tranny replacement that was also botched. I also was told "I'm sure it's a new, not reman tranny. They haven't built enough to have cores yet. Hogwash. When pressed for documentation I was first told that they couldn't find any. -Really? an outfit like Honda with no traceability? Get real. Further pressure resulted in the admission that it was a rebuild. They offered cash compensation which I refused, then offered add'l assurances regarding potential failure of the tranny -not much, since at this point, I had the 7yr/100k HondaCare- which I accepted. About 10k miles later, that tranny failed, they replaced it, botched it, and we traded for another, the 2002. Why would I continue to subject myself to this, you ask? Because my wife LOVES the features of this stupid vehicle, and admittedly, the dealer bent over backward to resolve the prblms once they became ridiculous. I paid only for the mileage and a very reasonable rate at that. If I could lease a vehicle at Xcents/mile which was twice what I paid, I'd be tempted. However, my wife has been informed that if we have another major prblm, this is it. Even she says she'll never buy another Honda. I'm not that adamant because I have to admit they handled this far better than the evisceration I rec'd at the hands of Ford in 1984 (and never have considered another since). I'd consider another Honda, but not the Ody until it's a totally different vehicle. We still have sticking doors (LX), rattles out the kazoo, creaking brakes, etc., none of which are worth the risk of letting them work on it.
    Anyway, the point is that 2002 had a new, even visibly different, 5spd tranny - and that did NOT solve the prblm. Keep in mind that 2 to 5 percent of 1.2 million vehicles equates to 24000 to 60000 owners, for whom the problem is 100%.
  • ""Anyone tried/have success in getting assistance from Honda in "trading up" to the newer 5 sp

     I had gotten the impression looking at the shop manuals that new 5 sp tranny wouldn't be an exact mate for the '00 engine. "

    Thanks for the info on the 5sp. However I intended to ask if Honda would help trading the whole vehicle to a new model year.

    That's quite a story. When you say 'botched', how exactly did they botch it? Have you noticed any problems yet with your 2002? I don't think my wife would be quite so patient ... ;=0
  • gilgilgilgil Posts: 2
    Traded in my 99 (perfect and no mx problems 41k) on 2003 in Oct. The 03 has done one trip to Guadalajara(2100 miles one way)and going again. I'm sure not going again with the same confidence after reading this thread....sure looking for someone to say they had the problem fixed before the 03's came out..
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    If you look at the vans available is there really anything better than the Odyssey? The Caravans are a nightmare, Mazda's reliability isn't rated that high, the Windstar was notorious for blowing transmissions AND engines, the Quest and Villager are in their last year but weren't rated very high according to CR, so what is left? A EuroVan? Good luck.
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    Actually CR's 2003 car guide that just came out says that the Mazda van has better reliability than the Honda. However, the Mazda is smaller and the satisfaction ratings aren't as high as the Odyssey's.
  • msibillemsibille Posts: 275
    Re the '99, since the replacement tranny was after several trips to the dealer, I decided to lift the hood when I got home and check fluid levels (when you replace the transaxle, you essentially remove everything of importance from the vehicle). It was an unbelievable sight. Cable and hose retainers were not connected, bumper and air damn fasteners were missing, the aux trans cooler was bypassed making it several hundred dollars of unseen ornamentation, the PwrStrg reservoir was dangling from the 2 hoses that connect to it instead of being snapped onto its mntg brkt, but the best of all was an elec. harness that passes by the cam shaft pulley and is normally attached to a brkt to keep it from being damaged by the belt or pulley. Instead, it was caught btwn the bracket and the belt, the belt edge was beginning to fray and to melt the plastic connector. Luckily my wife had only driven the 4 miles from the dealer to our carport -further and we could've had an engine fire, or at least my wife stranded on the highway somewhere. I was furious and expressed myself with language not suitable for print nor speach. Fortunantly, the dealer was closed by then, and the shop not open until Monday. I took photographs of each problem area, then put enough stuff back so that it would be safe to drive (at least what was visible) back to the dealer on Monday. I called the Svc Director and asked to have a mtg, explained that I bought the Honda so my wife would have safe, reliable transportation, and I now had no confidence in any part of the engine/transaxle since they did such a poor job w/ the part I could see. Upon seeing the pics, he said he didn't feel confortable with my wife driving it in town, and he sent someone to get it w/ a tow vehicle, and brought her a rental. -As I said, after the disasters, they've been very accommodating, but I'd rather avoid the prblms to begin with. The subsequent botches were similar-hard as that is to believe. If I hadn't been there or didn't have the pictures, I'd think it couldn't have happened. The last time, the new tranny was put in, wife drove home, I went out to raise the hood and found transmission fluid on the concrete before I even got to the vehicle. A loose plug near the top was allowing tranny fluid to leak down the side of the case. I was beside myself that they not only made the error (mistakes do happen though) but more importantly that they had not looked over their work as it leaked immediately upon starting, more so upon driving, and was readily seen when the hood was opened. Would've expected them to test drive and inspect.

    Again, the "botching" was by the dealer svc dept, but we never would've gotten to that point if the tranny hadn't malfunctioned to start with.
    -And, the vehicle that was hit the first week- it was repaired by the insurance co, and I traded it, and the insurance check for the replacement. When the replacement was making noise, my wife brought it in, and the repaired vehicle was on the rack - getting a new transmission. That's right, the first 3 vehicles we got, all 3 had to have replacement trannies.
  • I noticed that there was some discussion on the Consumer Reports not accurately rating the Odyssey. I just wanted to express my view that CR is only a guide. I believe it should only be used as an initial tool in finding what you are looking for. You can narrow down the type and model of vehicle you might want. I believe the really useful tool for gaining insight on the vehicle(s) you might be interested in is found right here where you are reading this post. I have used to buy three different new vehicles and have been very happy with each one. This site is the greatest for keeping informed. Thanks

    I am interested in finding out if anyone has had any transmission problems, or any other problems for that matter, on the '03 model Odyssey's? I realize there may not be very many with higher miles. I would like to know of any quirks or disappointments? Thanks.
  • Had my EX transmission replaced @78K. Honda wanted 6K for the rebuilt transmission. The dealer got them to pay for 4500 of it plus the $85 for the diagnostic since the idiot light (check engine) was on. Seems like the 75% coverage is standard from American Honda.

    I'm wondering if it would be 1) a good idea to ask Honda to pick up the other 1500 and have them extend the warranty on the rebuilt transmission to 100K after reading everyone else's horror stories.

    Anyone have any ideas?


    '99 Honda EX owner in GA.
  • dchoppdchopp Posts: 256
    Did anyone out there check with Amco and see what they want for a repair or exchange. They use to offer lifetime warranty's on their work. They replaced the transmission on my 1988 Delta 88 and it came with a lifetime guarantee, which I put to use four years later.
  • We had or transmission replaced by the dealer. Unfortunately, its too warm now to see whether the problem is fixed. Read somewhere else that their tranny has been replaced several times without fixing the problem. Replaced engine mounts, etc.... Guess we will have to wait until next year and cross our fingers it doesnt fail....
  • macodymacody Posts: 18
    have a 99 ody with 97000 miles on it (it will be 4 years old on july 31). The transmission will be replaced on Monday at no charge to us. No, we don't have the extended warranty. We will replace the car in September/October. Had planned to trade it in in June anyway, this will delay that a bit. The tranny the dealer is putting is under warranty for 1 year, 12000 miles (which is about 4 - 5 months at our house). I have to say we didn't have to scream or insist on replacement of the tranny. They read the codes on the engine (TCS & check engine light); said it was likely the transmission; did a minor tranny repair, ($500), said if that didn't work they would contact Honda and "see what we can do". This does shake my trust of Honda reliability, but have to say I'm impressed re the treatment we've received. Looking at replacing the Odyssey with the new 2004 in September or a Pilot. Will get the extended warranty in either case. Oh, yes, I understand I've already paid $500 for overall repair. Have to say it could be MUCH worse. Paid ~$4000 for two transmissions and a head gasket for a Ford in 1998 and didn't get a dime from Ford.

  • mepplermeppler Posts: 3
    I posted a message several months ago about my '99 Honda on its third transmission. I don't want to say exactly what Honda did for me, since they may do this on a case-by-case basis, but I can say they treated me very fairly. The incident increased my regard for Honda and I will definitely look there first the next time I buy a new car. Go Honda!
  • johnferjohnfer Posts: 1
    Took my LX to dealership to get tranny inspected at 60k. Dealership told me that transmission may need to be replaced. I called American Honda (since I was aware of 2000/2001 warranty extentions on the Ody) and inquired why 99 models were not included and they informed me they were different transmissions but may assist in the repairs. Can anyone give me information on what Honda did to assist??? Did they replace tranny at 100 % or just a portion?
  • macodymacody Posts: 18
    To update:

    Transmission replaced at no additional charge to us ($500 paid previous week for solenoid in tranny). Runs so much smoother! However, check engine light came on 2 miles from the dealership on the way home. Turned around and took it back in; code was "catalytic converter deterioration". Found out (from our service manual) that the o2 sensors and converter are removed to replace tranny. Returned the car this am for recheck; Honda replaced the converter at no additional charge. Have to say, as before, that my "faith" in the reliability is somewhat shaken, but the service provided by Honda so far is great.

  • blakevblakev Posts: 6
    I am currently facing arbitration with American Honda Motor Corporation concerning our 2002 Odyssey. The first transmission failed at 15K and it was annoying - we had to limp home at 30mph in 3rd gear for 70 miles with screaming kids. The second failure - at 21K - almost killed us. While cruising at 70mph on the interstate the transmission popped, whizzed and, after slowing down to 50 mph or so the front wheels locked up and we 'rode' the roller coaster to the shoulder. Nothing like see smoke in your rear view mirror as the 18 wheelers hit their brakes!

    Any advice or help would be appreciated. Check my profile for my email address.


  • lj225lj225 Posts: 33
    Im new to the ODY... Well I dont even own one yet. But I keep reading about the tranny issues, and wondering how the 03's are doing. Is this an issue with JUST the prior model years, and has been corrected in 03 Models? Or is this type of problem to be expected in a Minivan?

    I dont know kinda scares me. Just trying to learn more about the Honda cars, as I make a decision on what to get.
  • blakevblakev Posts: 6
    I had the same question when I bought my '02. Dealers told me the problem was fixed with the NEW, 5-speed tranny. The NEW, 5-speed tranny in my Ody has failed twice in the first 21K miles.

    Good Luck!

This discussion has been closed.