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More Honda transmission problems?

Apparently, high heat conditions in these transmissions cause the trans fluid to deteriorate very badly within just a couple of years. I wonder if Honda is going to update their maintenance schedule in light of that problem–and the Class Action Suit.

In all of my Acuras I have changed trans fluid every 30,000 miles without fail, knowing that the transmissions are weak points. I also do the same with my Pontiac though.


That represents excellent judgment, but–as we know–all too many car owners will fall for the myth of “Lifetime Fluid”.

If those folks own a Honda or an Acura, that could wind up being very costly if the trans failure takes place a few weeks after the expiration of the warranty. If you scroll through the attached exhibits of this lawsuit, you will see that Honda has issued service bulletins relating to this problem as recently as their 2017 models, so clearly this potentially fatal problem for their transmissions has existed for at least 5 years, and may still exist.

Will Honda/Acura update their maintenance schedules to mandate fluid changes every 3 years/30k miles? Unless they do that, I think that they will be on the hook for YUGE warranty claims.

Thanks for the information. We bought a 2019 Odyssey EX-L in July. I wonder if anyone has a list of those conditions Honda says lead to these transmission failures. Yeah, yeah, I can look it up on the internet. I’m feeling lazy at the moment.

If you scroll though all of the “exhibits” attached to that Class Action Suit, you will see copies of all of the existing Honda Service Bulletins related to their more recent transmissions. That might take a while, but it just might yield something relevant to your vehicle.

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I didn’t look at the 61 page class action suit - too long. I did look at the 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Odyssey complaints and dealer communications at The problem was documented in several Honda service bulletins for MY 2014-2017. There are no complaints for 2018 or 2019. 2018 marked the next generation, and the transmissions were changed. The issue may not exist anymore. We will just wait and see.

One more thing: Honda contends that it was a software problem that caused the transmissions to overheat. That damaged the transmission fluid, which led to the judder and shudder noted by owners of all V6 Honda’s from MY 2014 - 2017.

One source of that myth might be the cartalk message board, long life automatic transmission fluid is often referred to as “lifetime” fluid.

Honda lists replacing the transmission fluid in the maintenance schedule, it may not be frequent enough but it is listed.

I actually have no idea because they don’t give (at least Acura) you time or mileage anymore, just tell you to consult the maintenance minder. Of course outside of oil changes, the maintenance minder needs to be read by the dealer computer. I’ve tried to nail the service manager down to provide mileage guidelines a little but still they just swear by the maintenance light.

… while cars owners who wish to be proactive in regard to maintenance swear AT the maintenance light…

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