02 Honda Odyssey van does this mean I need a new transmission? HELP!


I am a single Mom. I have an 02 Honda van. So far so good at 130,000 miles and only oil changes. No maintenance needed. Now, twice in one week, as I press down on the gas, the engire whizzes up and tries to go but I LOSE POWER and coast. Then it snaps a bit (like being kicked in the back of my seat) and picks up speed again. PLEASE tell me I do not need a new transmission!!!


I have to tell you that the symptoms that you describe certainly sound like a transmission that is slipping. Unfortunately, I also have to tell you that, if you are serious about your vehicle not having needed maintenance (other than oil changes) during its 130,000 mile life span, then you may have contributed to whatever mechanical failure you may be currently experiencing.

It is even remotely possible that you have a problem with your engine, which can be determined by having the vehicle’s onboard computer scanned for stored trouble codes. If there is an electronic fault with your transmission, this scan would also reveal that problem.

While the mechanics are looking your vehicle over, you might want to pass the time by reading the maintenance schedule that is probably in your glove compartment, in order to see all of the mainteance procedures that were called for since the vehicle was new. Believe me, there are more things listed than oil changes, and this list may include changing the transmission fluid and filter.

I hope that your mechanic finds something relatively minor and cheap to fix, but I have to say that I am not optimistic. And, whether your van is readily repairable or not, please give some thought to “playing catch-up” with all of the fluid changes, filter changes, spark plug replacements, timing belt changes (your engine may have a timing chain instead of a belt), etc. etc. that you apparently skipped over the past 5 years.

Good luck with your van!


I believe your age of Honda minivan had a number of transmission related problems. Fortunately, many people have had the problems repaired or transmission replaced for free by Honda under a ‘goodwill’ warranty. It wouldn’t hurt to look up the symptoms of a faulty Odyssey transmission, and if it is similar to what you’re experiencing, you might get it repaired by Honda with no cost to you.


Thank you for your thoughts! And I was not clear - I have had all the maintenance you listed done except hte timing belt. I meant no transmission maintenance but I was told the timing belt is reaching the end of it’s life. The tranny fluid was last changed 10,000 miles ago and was good they said. But I do think I have some big problems anyway. Bummer.


there was a recall for odyssey transmissions a little while back. My brothers 2003 I think got a new tranny no charge. Doesn’t hurt to look it up


Here’s a link


It’s true that Honda has had transmission problems on Accords and Odysseys of that vintage, so it might be worthwhile checking into a “secret warranty” or a goodwill repair–especially if the vehicle has been serviced at the dealership. However, IIRC, the extended transmission coverage being given by Honda was only up to 100,000 miles.

Hopefully I am wrong on that point, so check it out at the dealership and/or with Honda of America’s customer service people via the telephone. Maybe you will get lucky. And, if not, please DO NOT have any transmission repairs done at AAMCO, or Lee Myles, or Cottman, as they invariably find more things to repair than really exist. Ask friends, neighbors, relatives, and co-workers for recommendations on independent transmission shops that have been open for more than a couple of years.


There is, also, this government web site for recalls: www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls. It would take more than a miracle for a dealer to “find” these conditions, of the recalls, on your van. ++ Has the transmission fluid level been checked (with the engine running, transmission in PARK)? A low level can allow slippage. ++ That timing belt should have been changed at 100,000 miles. timing belts DO lose teeth. I’ve seen them go (strip teeth) at 120,000 to 140,000 miles. When the timing belt slips, your engine WILL be expensively damaged. I DID check. Your V6 engine IS one which is called, “an interference engine”. When the timing belt strips teeth, slips, or breaks, the fast moving pistons and valves interfere with each other. + I empathize with you on this problem.


Before jumping to conclusions, couldn’t this be an engine/driveability issue? A misfire or bad speed sensor or throttle position sensor? Any check engine lights? Does the engine rev up when this happens or the engine bucks?


No check engine lights come on and the engine revs up but does not accelerate - it loses power - then a “kick” that throws me a bit forward and it goes again.