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Honda Odyessy Reliability

We bought a new Odyessy in 2000 and performed all the recommended services at the proper intervals. My wife and I both love this car, but it is falling apart at 91000 miles. We replaced the ABS, TCS module for $1300 and it needs a new catalytic converter ($1300) and the transmission is going bad, ($2000 to $3000). It also has a bearing noise from an unknown source. We’re probably going to buy another Odyssey in spite of this, but with an extended warranty this time. My question is: Is this common. Are there others with this experience. I thought we would get 150K miles from this car. I’m especially disappointed in the transmission and the ABS module. I can understand the catalytic converter going bad.

In spite of the low mileage, this car is nine years old. I just have to wonder why you are considering another if this one went bad so early. Does this car receive brutal treatment from your significant other? I question whether an extended warranty is the solution to your problems. After all, they often expire with time (if it doesn’t hit the mileage limit first). Will one that lasts more than nine years be worth it in cost? That remains to be seen.

I think you should consider other models. The Toyota Sienna isn’t perfect either, but it might stand up to abuse better. You should consider both it and Nissan’s minivan.

I’ve been researching the Car Talk forum since posting my original question and it seems that Honda has replaced some transmissions free because of a known problem. To answer your question about abuse, the answer is no. We are both in our sixties and our hot rodding days are long over. As for other brands, we are both just Honda people as we have owned Hondas for twenty years and this is the first one to give us trouble. Thanks for your input.

Looking at Consumer Reports, the Oddysey had “much worse than average” for “major transmission” from '99 to '02. From '04 on it’s been “much better than average”. I don’t know if there’s any available special transmission warranty on your '00. I know Honda did extend warranties for transmissions for several vehicles of that era.

A friend of my wife uses a minivan for her business. She had a Ford Windstar before, and now has an Odessy, 2007 I believe. She thinks she’s died and gone to heaven; the vehicle has been totally trouble-free and only the necessay timimg belt replacement has been a significant expense.

Daughter has an older Odyessy…it has been very good but not trouble free. A 2000 with 91K on it will have troubles. Some people treat vans hard , carting kids around,stop and go, heavy loads etc.

I wouldn’t buy a minivan unless I knew the previous owner or it was new. Like buying a plow truck…it’s very use (stop and go, kids and door slamming. poor maintenance etc.) often contribute problems regardless of make. If you use them like a sedan…they should be just as good IMO. But that’s not why people buy them in the first place. Hence the popularity of many third row SUV’s…a little tougher for that added abuse. How long would you expect an Accord’s mechanics (which the van is based on) to last if you loaded and used it like that of your Odyessy ?

Slowly, moms went to SUVs from the vans because of that.
FWD was never meant to be loaded in the rear as much as a van is; a minivan is a contradiction . The best designed for their purpose was the original RWD Toyota mini vans. But…people struggled with rwd and the attention required and the space it takes up…
I hate to say it…but if you use an older van for what was intended, get an older SUV instead. You’ll have fewer problems.

So, an older Pilot (with more beefed components) would generally be more reliable than an older Odyessy van for “van use” I feel.

This is interesting, because I purchased a new Ford Windstar in 2000. I had very few problems. I sold the Windstar in 2006 to my son who has had no problems and the Windstar has probably gone 110,000 miles at this point. I replaced the Windstar with a Chevrolet Uplander in 2006. After 50,000 miles I have had no problems. I guess I am on the good side of the repair curve–my experience with both the Uplander and the Windstar doesn’t match the repair records in Consumer Reports. In each case, I saved about $10,000 purchasing the Windstar or Uplander over a Toyota or Honda minivan. I think I would really be upset had I sprung for the Honda Odyessy and had the problems of the OP.

The Honda and Toyota minivans do have some features that aren’t available on the Ford and Chevrolet minivans. In fact,Ford and GM no longer market minivans. However, I’ve been satisfied with my purchases.

JD Power rates the Odyssey with average dependability and below average initial quality. The best rated minivans for initial quality are the Sienna, then Mazda5 and Hyundai Entourage. The best rated dependability models are the Mercury Monterey followed by the Sienna and Ford Freestar. CR likes the Sienna best.

Triedaq, I think we’ve had this dialogue before, re:Windstar. This van seems to have a Jekyl and Hyde personality. Many owners (including my wife’s friend who is very punctual on maintenance) have had transmission, head gasket, fuel pump, elctrical, body hardware and other problems, while others seem to have escaped most of these.

In another post, someone wanted to tow a 3500 lb trailer with a 6c ylinder Freestar with automatic. Most of us recommended against this!

Check with your local Honda dealer for transmission problem - We got it replaced for our 2001 odyssey at 106,000 miles at NO COST. Class action suit in California forced Honda to take care of Transmission problems (models 1999 to 2003 most probably)at no cost to the owner. Give it a try.
You may even call Honda in Torrance, CA - I did it when the dealer was not being cooperative. You can get the telephone number from the internet.


Many thanks. I’ll try it.

After looking over the repair records for vehicles in Consumer Reports for a number of years, minivans, in general, seem to have a worse repair record than regular cars from the same company. I always thought that a minivan would be a good vehicle for cab service, but apparently it was tried in New York and whatever makes of minivans were used barely lasted a year.

It seems to me that some car maker might just test its minivans by letting them be used by a big city cab company. I’ll bet weaknesses in transmissions, power sliding doors, etc. would show up quickly under this kind of service. Furthermore, the cab companies would expect the minivans in the fleet to be serviced or repaired easily. I’m certain that a lot of minivans are used by soccer moms to transport kids to school, sporting events, etc and for week-end runs to the grocery store, home supply stores, etc.

I’ve had minivans, by necessity, for the last 18 years. I’ve had no major problems, but I keep seeing posts about big problems with minivans. I had once thought about purchasing a full size van, but it was too clumsy for what I needed. I hate seeing GM and Ford leaving this section of the market.

Based on the latest report from their auditors, GM may be leaving every segment of the market.

To say that they are like a hospital patient on life-support would be very accurate.
The only remaining question is whether there will be a DNR order on this patient.

Is it possible we expect perfection from Honda and Toyota? Every Honda dealer has a service department, and they do more than preventive maintenance at them.

Compare your experience with your Odyessy and the guy’s post on the Audi 1.8 Turbo! Your car’s not perfect and it is 9 years old. The ABS module is an electrical component full of chips, contacts, and the like. These things can last forever or burn out without warning. Yours happened to be one that burned out. The catalytic converter going is not uncommon either, some last longer some don’t.

From reading on this forum it seems the Honda Odyessy does have a weakness in the transmission. This is a pretty heavy vehicle and the boxy body creates more drag than other cars. Perhaps the transmission was not strong enough to provide long service life. Honda has handled transmission replacement for some customers. Give that a try.

If the car is still driveable you could take it to an good independant transmission shop for an evaluation and estimate. If Honda say’s no, you may have an option of a repair/rebuild that you can live with. Or, drive the Oydessy to a Honda dealer and work out a deal and trade it in on a new Oydessy. The new ones seem to have upgraded the tranny and resolved the problem.

Price the long term service contract and get it if you feel it is of value. I purchased the 100K policy for my '03 Civic and so far not needed it. I have about 1 year and 15K left on the contract but so maybe it will pay off, but so far Honda won and I lost on that deal.

The GM shares will now just buy you a gallon of gas. A government supervised Chapter 11 is in the cards; that way customers will not leave in droves. The reorganization will likely only leave Cadillac, Chevrolet and Buick as unique brands. Dealerhip consolidation will likely see Chevrolet/Cadillac/Chevy trucks, and Buick/Cadillac/GMC trucks. Buick dealers might alsdo sell a rebadged Chevy as a Pontiac.

The government will pick up whatever health care and termination costs the company cannot provide. Even Obama is now realizing that GM is a lethargic bottomless money-pit, and, although he owes his election partly to union dollars, this will be a watershed year where union power in that industry will be broken.

IMHO, GM’s problems started a long time ago. Back in the pre 1970’s era, the GM divisions competed with one another. There were three or four different body shells (the A body, B body and C body), but the engines among all the divisions were different. A Buick Dynaflow automatic transmission was very different from an Oldsmobile Hydramatic. The company was run by “car guys” like Ed Cole and Bunky Knudsen who encouraged competition among divisions. When a manufacturer builds the same car with just a different nameplate, there is no competition. Chrysler built a car called the DeSoto that fit between the Dodge and the Chrysler. Chrysler introduced a lower priced Newport, then DeSoto built a junior model on a Dodge platform and presto–no DeSoto. The senior Edsel was almost a Mercury and the junior Edsel was a glorified Ford. The Edsel disappeared in a hurry.

I think that the appearance of quality in manufacture also helps sell cars. The VW Beetle sold very well from the late 1950’s through the early 1970’s. These cars gave the perception of quality in the body work and the fit of the interior. We own a 2003 Toyota 4Runner and a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander. Neither vehicle has given me any mechanical problems. However, the 4Runner certainly gives a better appearance of quality. GM should have looked around and seen what made some vehicles successful and others go under. There was enough evidence to suggest a reasonable path.

“GM’s problems started a long time ago. Back in the pre 1970’s era, the GM divisions competed with one another.”

That is actually a strategy that pays off in many businesses, including automobiles. Proctor and Gamble was the first to score big with it. They figured of they were going to lose business because someone didn’t like their soap, they should lose it to themselves; they created the multifaceted product line. It worked for a long time for GM. They were the largest auto company for decades. The strategy seems to be working or Toyota, who builds 15 different Toyotas, 14 Lexus models, and 3 Scions. And that’s just for US consumption.

I too wonder what it is in human nature that causes so many to replace a problem vehicle with one of the same make, but it is common. Manufacturers seem to rely on this effect, and perhaps it’s caught up with them. I can almost purchase Chrysler with the Simon (mall) Gift Card I got for Christmas.

Hopefull. Frank, when you replace yours with a newer one the problems will have been solved.

Sincere best.

Wise and kind words.

Thank You.

Thank you.

You’re welcome.