Replace transmission?

My 1997 Honda Odyssey minivan needs a new transmission. It has 143,000 miles on it, and I am not in good shape to replace it right now. Is it wise to invest the $3000 for a rebuilt transmission, or the $2500 for a used transmission, or will it die too soon of other causes? I love it but don’t want to throw away money on it.

Can the transmission that is in it be repaired? 143k miles does not seem like all that much on this year of car. Just what is it that is wrong with the transmission anyway.

How much could you buy a running 97 Odyssey (with 143,000 miles) for?

According to Kelly blue book, $4,800. Maybe less in real life?

In terms of accounting this is an “extraordinary repair” and just adds on to the asset ledger. If you like the van then go for it. 3k is a lot less of a hassle than 17k for a new Honda. And you can drive it another 143k.

While there may be other minor repairs in the future, if the rest of the car is in good shape and the engine has been properly maintained I see no reason why the vehicle should die within the near future. Like Jeffmw05 said, you could probably drive it another 143k miles.

I know this is a little late, but did the transmission get regular (30-50,000 mile) fluid changes? If not that could well be why it is now failing. Most manufacturers are not recommending very long or no regular transmission fluid changes, and short transmission life has been the result. Don’t fall for the argument “I changed the fluid and then it died” thing. Those transmissions died shortly after the fluid change because the fluid change was prompted by a already failing transmission.

Mr. Meehan has provided some very good advice, above.
However, a typo in Mr. Meehan’s post will make for a VERY confused interpretation when the OP reads it.

His third sentence should read as follows:
“Most manufacturers are NOW recommending very long or no regular transmission fluid changes, and short transmission life has been the result.”

Joseph–Isn’t this what you intended to say?

anyone out there still driving a 97 or 98 odyssey at very high miles? Or others who had to retire it sooner for reasons other than transmission?

When I look on Craigslist, it looks like I could buy a running 1997 Odyssey for about $3,000 - so I wouldn’t spend this much fixing one.