Odyssey rebuilt transmission whine in 3rd gear

Our 2003 Odyssey had the transmission rebuilt last month after the original finally failed (215,000 miles). After the rebuild, third gear has a whine. (I don’t recall if it was there before the rebuild – it’s the wife’s ride, she wouldn’t have noticed it anyway, and apparently I didn’t either). The whine pitch varies with RPM, and is louder if the transmission is under a load. Going up a hill with the accelerator depressed makes the whine louder – taking your foot off the accelerator quiets it. I have a warranty for two years on the rebuild, but before I go back and start asking them about the noise, I was wondering what would cause it? I am worried they didn’t rebuild everything and will just tell me the whine is “nothing to be concerned about.” The transmission shifts smoothly and appears to operate normally other than the whine in third gear under a load.

I’d take it back and see what they say. I know there are many shims in a trans used for end play clearence and they may have shimmed something a little too tight.


Usually on a rebuild after disassembly and a through cleaning, only the frictions and seals are replaced. This assumes that none of the hard parts (shafts, gears, clutch housing, cases, etc.) have been replaced. They might have replaced either main shaft bearings and/or counter shaft bearings. It is possible that the bearing tolerances have added up to make the 3rd gear clearances cause tooth noise. This could be just accumulated wear of the mainshaft and counter shaft gears.

You might look over the invoice for the rebuild to see if there is any mention of 3rd mainshaft gear, 3rd countershaft gear, 3rd mainshaft needle bearing, and/or 3rd mainshaft thrust washers. If any of these were replaced the noise could be because of an out of tolerance part. There is not much fitment involved in this transmission other than the final drive, not like a hypoid rear differential gearing.

Thanks for your comments. There is no mention of anything to do with any specific gear in the repair invoice. [It simply states under parts: rebuilt converter ($425), rebuild kit (($372) clutches, steps(sp?), thrust bearings, seals, gaskets, filter shift kit), center case ($538), 2 pressure switches ($129), dual linear solenoid ($279), single linear solenoid ($226), and transmission fluid ($98) for a parts total of +$2,000. Labor for the remove and reinstall, plus bench labor on the rebuild was $1431.]

I took the car back the rebuild shop for a test drive. First thing I need to correct is that the whine is in fourth gear, and not third. (Doh!) We drove around in D3 for ten minutes and nothing. As soon as he upshifted to D, the whine kicked in to where we both heard it. Before the drive the mechanic said that these cars have noisy transmissions, so I was worried they were going to lump it into the “that’s normal” category. He did agree that the noise was there and said that it could be a bad wheel bearing. He asked me to bring the car back in two weeks (overworked at the moment) so they could put it on a lift and see if it might be a bad wheel bearing. That’s where it stands now. I think the wheel bearing issue is bogus because it would probably make a noise at a specific wheel rpm and not just in fourth gear, but I guess we’ll see what they say after looking at it in two weeks. It would be nice to know if they failed to rebuild something that should have been fixed, but I suspect I will get an answer that this whine is a normal sound for this transmission, especially after a rebuild and “opening the case.”

Wheel bearing would not be quiet and the start whinning when shifted to D

+1 for knfenimore. The wheel bearing diagnosis is totally bogus.