We bought a 2010 Odyssey in November of 2013. It had about 40k miles on it. By spring of 2015 and a little over 50k miles, we had a shimmy when braking at highway speeds. A mechanic replaced the rotors with OEM rotors and new pads. In November 2015, about 3k miles later, the shimmy was back. We took it back to the same mechanic, who gave us a handout on proper braking techniques and resurfaced the rotors.
Within six months, the shimmy was back again. We tolerated it for a few months and then brought it to the Honda dealer service department. The service advisor said he sees this a lot on heavier Hondas, and suggested drilled and slotted rotors. He said this would solve our issues. Within another six months, the shimmy had returned. Again, I tolerated it for a while, because I was so frustrated with the Odyssey by this point, and we had already spent close to $1k on rotors in less than two years. I called the service dept. and spoke with the advisor who had ordered the drilled rotors. I wanted to bring it in to have them investigate and replace the rotors, which were still under warranty. He told me not to bring it in, that he couldn’t do anything for me, and to call Honda directly to discuss the issue with them.
I called Honda, who took down all of the information and then said, “Sorry, we don’t have any service bulletins about this issue. It doesn’t appear to be a problem for very many people.” I had done research on the web and found it was, actually, a problem for quite a few Odyssey drivers, but Honda wasn’t admitting to it. Maybe not enough people have complained? I brought it to another independent mechanic. The brakes guy there said it was among the top worst cases he has seen for a warped rotor shimmy. The car shakes when braking from 75-60, worse from 60-40, and even when coming to a slow stop, has an uneven rolling motion. His suggestion is premium rotors (NOT drilled and slotted) and pads (~$370), and replacing the front struts ($1080), and rear shocks ($300). He said the calipers are fine and the rear brakes are doing their job, so he can’t think of any other issue that could be causing this except for possibly bad struts. I am hesitant to throw close to $2k on a van with only 80k miles on it that has given me repeated issues, without any sort of guarantee that it will solve the problem.
I drive about 8 miles each way to work daily, on surface streets and for a couple of miles on a highway. It’s all relatively flat and easy driving aside from one stop I have to make that is a left turn off the highway. It’s at a street light that is consistently red, so coming from 75 mph to a full stop with not a ton of room to slow down. However, this issue started before I got that job with that commute and that stop light.
So… any experience with this? Is replacing the struts and shocks an important part of this? Any other things we should have checked out before we drop a ton of cash hoping to fix this for longer than six months?