Problem with '04 Honda Odyssey Transmission?

The last couple winter’s we’ve experienced a significant “clunking” sound when placing the van from Park to Reverse. It doesn’t do this by moving the gear shift from Park to Drive or Neutral. This only happens when the engine is cold and has been sitting for several hours. Outside temps below 35-40 degrees. Don’t have the problem in Spring, Summer, or Fall. We have 177K miles. Transmission fluid/filter has been changed regularly by my mechanic according to Honda’s instructions. No problems with the transmission or engine since we’ve owned the vehicle, and we’ve been the only owners. No leaking found. Honda thought the problem could be a rear engine mount. Just had another local mechanic (I’m 65 miles from the nearest Honda dealer) whom we trust replace the Rear Transmission Mount. Twenty bucks for the part and $50 in labor. Still have the clunking noise, and you can really feel it too. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. It’s been a great van for us, and we’d like to keep it another 50K, if possible. Bottom-line is I’d never sell the van with this happening unless the person was willing to buy it with the problem and I’d get less for the van. Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

When the engine is cold and you first start it up, it will rev up a little high. This is especially so when the weather is cold. It’s basically the equivalent of the “choke” being on. If you wait a minute the revs come back down to a normal cold idle. The higher the engine is revving, the higher the computer sends the line pressures in the transmission. If the transmission is at a dead stop but the engine is revved up a bit high, it will go pretty hard into gear. Is anyone in the habit of starting the van cold and pretty much immediately putting it in gear? If so, then just wait a minute.

The good news is that, within reason, a firmer shift actually means less wear on the clutches. (Outside of reason and you can do damage).

Read about the Honda tech service bulletin on this issue, plus ways other owners have found to alleviate the clunk:

Thanks Cigroller and Jesmed for your feedback. Cigroller, it didn’t matter how long we waited for the van to warm up. Jesmed, we’ll pursue the TSB first and then simply work to get it fixed one way or another.

Back into your driveway when you get home. Then you won’t have to shift into reverse when it is cold.

Seller had odyssey forsale. Says sometimes u need to wait 10-15 min to shift into drive. Not a big deal. Sez seller. Hmm.

A clunck while shifting from forward to reverse can also be caused by faulty engine mounts. Those on a Honda minivan are notorious for wearing out prematurely.

Please have the enbgine mounts checked as well.