2003 Honda Odyssey Transmission ... how much time do I have?

honda
odyssey

#1

I have a 2003 Odyssey with 110K miles. For the past four months or so the transmission has been slipping. I changed the trans fluid, put in trans treatment (twice) then went online and learned that these transmissions are bad news.



My transmission slips (i.e doesn’t catch right away, allows the engine to race slightly) pretty regularly, but only once has it REALLY scared me–usually it just doesn’t catch for a second or two, then I go on my merry way. So, I’m driving the car around as normal.



My question is: how long do I have before the car leaves me stranded? I do not plan to repair it, but am wondering if I can wait months or even a year or more to trade it in on a new (non Honda) vehicle.


#2

Nobody here knows how long…You should let a transmission expert diagnose the problem. Perhaps just a valve body, which usually can be changed without removing the transmission, will cure this problem. The valve body and associated solenoids control how and when the transmission shifts…


#3

I replaced one of these with a factory (or vendor) rebuilt unit back in 2003 and the transmission did not survive the test drive. I was a bit anxious reporting the failure to the Service Manager but he did not seem to be the least bit suprised.


#4

I searched for more information today on the internet and everything I read just gives me the heebie-jeebies. We are planning to drive this car 1500 miles in about a month. Although the transmission rarely acts up on the highway, getting stranded somewhere in the middle of nowhere (with three carsick cats in the car) would not be fun.

Last year, on the same trip, the AC compressor went out after 300 miles. We are able to get it replaces where we stopped for the night, but this was the latest in a bunch of problems involving the engine, which apparently also aren’t unusual in Hondas. My plan is to trade it in and let a dealer figure it out. Normally I would sell the car on my own but I don’t want to sell it to someone who needs a reliable family van and ends up with a $5k bill to replace the transmission sigh.

I am SO disgusted about this, I LOVE this car but will never consider another Honda again. I thought this car would last at least 200K miles…


#5

By the way, thank you for your fast replies! My plan right now is to trade it in before we make the long summer trip. I’m considering the Mazda Cx-9 but also need to test drive the Highlander. So, if anyone has any advice on either of those, let me know!


#6

“how long do I have before the car leaves me stranded?”

If I could answer that question with certainty, I would also be able to pick winning lottery numbers.
Both of these guessing games usually lead to an unsuccessful conclusion, unfortunately.

Edited to add:
Both the Highlander and the CX-9 are very nice vehicles.
Which one is better at meeting your needs is a personal issue.
The CX-9 handles much better than the Highlander, but the Highlander gets better gas mileage.

After comparing both of these vehicles to a Subaru Outback with the 3.6 liter six-cylinder engine, I opted for the Outback, as it had the best gas mileage and the best ride, coupled with decent handling. Reliability is essentially the same on all three vehicles.

The CX-9 and the Highlander can be had with a 3rd row seat, but the Outback cannot.
Drive all of them and see which one “floats your boat”.


#7

When my 2002 Ody transmission dies, I’ll look into these rebuilt trannys for a lot less than at the dealer: http://www.gatortransmissions.com/

They’re supposed to be higher quality than original too.


#8

I would also look into the Mazda5.
It has been redesigned for 2011.