1999 Honda Odyssey Unexplained Power Loss


We have a 1999 Honda Odyssey LX.

Recently, when I drive it, it will lose power, for no apparent reason. This usually happens when I have my foot off the accelerator. When I put the car back into Neutral and turn the key, it starts up just fine.

This can happen several times in a 2 mile stretch around the neighborhood. This also happened as I was coasting down a freeway onramp onto a freeway (very unsettling, as well as dangerous). Luckily, there wasn’t much traffic on that day.

My husband (the main driver) has never had this happen to him, ever. This only happens to me when I drive it. He tends to drive a bit more aggressively than I do, so I don’t know if the problem is related to our driving habits? Could it be that the idling mechanism is having trouble? We live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so extreme weather conditions are not a factor.

We’ve taken it in twice and the dealership has failed to reproduce the problem, so they aren’t able to diagnose it. I’d love to hear any ideas you might have.

Whenever you take your foot off the gas pedal (you would more often than your hard charging husband), the THROTTLE goes to the idle position. The problem can be a dirty throttle plate and bore, and the rest of the air intake tract. The carbon deposits and oil can come into the intake tract through the pcv (positive crankcase valve). To clean, spray some “carb and throttle body” cleaner into the large black intake tube and into the throttle bore. Let sit a few minuets. Start and run engine at fast idle. It’ll smoke. Repeat as needed.