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SEVEN (7) transmission changes for 2001 Honda Odyssey, now stuck

I’m the original owner of my 2001 Odyssey. The 1999-2001 Odyssey has been plaqued with TRANSMISSION FAILURE http://www.odysseytransmission.com/ It’s got 219K miles now, and American Honda refuses to replace the transmission for free or at a discount. At the 6th change, they forced me to pay $200 as a “token” amount so that they could “doctor” their books ie. then they could warranty a purchased item, so that if it failed & needed another replacement, then the 7th time could be free. So I was able to replace the 7th for free. Now we’re at the 8th, and they’re balking & refusing to lift a finger.

The service dept at the dealership can’t do anything – they can’t get the OK from American Honda to do it for free/discount, so they have to charge me full-price for the transmission replacement. I can’t even drive it out of the service dept w/o it stalling. I can’t afford another car (new or used) at this very moment and not in the past years as well because I’m a single mom who’s financially strapped to the bare bones for at least another 8 months-1 year.

Does anyone have any suggestion of where to go to (auto shop for “cheap” transmission job)/what to do (besides junking it)? I wish I had tried looking into the Lemon Law when this car was new if I had the foresight to realize that every 1 – 1 1/2 years after that, I would be replacing a transmission & fighting with American Honda who would not do it for free once it was past 100K miles!

For the fact that even newer than 2001 models still have transmission problems, American Honda should do much more to preserve their Honda reputation! But nope! There’s absolutely nothing that would motivate me to buy another Honda – don’t care what model – ever again!

Thank you!

Sorry but the only thing I can think of now is to find a good, local independent transmission shop. Forget about everything that has happened and don’t look back, it will just make you mad and your car will not run any better.

A warranty is only good for the time/miles agreed on.

They gave you 219,000 miles with minimal payout. Maybe you need a new vehicle.

I’m not sure how long you expect Honda to provide new transmissions for free? Your car is 11 to 12 years old and now has 219K miles. I think Honda owned up to transmission problems with the car, 7 past transmissions prove it.

Since you had this recurrent problem, why did you keep the car after the 7 transmission replacement? Then you had an opportunity to sell it and get another car. Now you are stuck with an old car and a non-functioning one at that, making it worthless.

You got your money’s worth out of this car and Honda made good on warranty repairs, perhaps even went way beyond good. You are in a tough spot, but Honda did all they could for you in years past. It is time to move on and get another car.

I have to agree with the previous responses.
Yes, it is of record that Honda had signficant transmission problems with some of their vehicles–including Odysseys–of the late '90s and early '00s. Nobody, including Honda, could deny that.

However, it appears that the OP has received more support/assistance/free repairs over an extended period of time than other car manufacturers would provide. Everything comes to an end–eventually–and at 11 years/219k miles, I believe that Honda’s responsibility for assisting with the transmission ended long ago.

How anyone could assume that more free repairs should be available after this many years and this many miles is a mystery to me.

Everything has an expected useful service life, including cars and trucks. I think that 200,000 mile is generally accepted as the end of a vehicles expected service life, anything over that is gravy. It looks to me that Honda has gone over and above for you and you should be grateful, not bitter.

You basically paid $200 for seven transmission replacements that normally run about $3500 a pop, and you are complaining? Honda America has been way, way beyond good to you, in spite of the well-known fact that the transmissions they put behind their V6s in the late '90s - early '00s were complete and utter garbage (and really expensive garbage at that). If I were in your shoes, I would pretty much be worshiping the ground they walk on and spreading the news about how good they have been to you over the years instead of swearing them off for life because they won’t fix something for free on an 11 year old vehicle with 219k miles on it. Your powertrain warranty was up in 2004; if Honda doesn’t want to replace another one for free, or you can’t afford to fix it at whatever cost they are quoting you (or other shops have quoted you), it’s time to move on.

Hmmm… My '98 F150 has fewer miles than your van at a mere 213k miles and is starting to develop low oil pressure and a soft knock at idle. It’s only a matter of time before it spins a bearing and ends up needing a new engine or significant repairs. I wonder if Ford will give me a new engine for free (or $200). I’ve already fixed their famous timing cover leak on that V6 at my own expense and my own labor, so maybe that can be used to persuade them to see things my way.

This is what I don’t get, usually even the bad trans will go 60,000+ miles before failing, and usually the second lasts much longer. Why do they keep dieing on you, how many miles was on this last one. It sounds like there is another issue with the van causing the issues.

Eight transmissions (assuming each and every one legitimately failed) points to a problem somewhere else.

Personally, I’m having a hard time seeing corporate Honda warrantying every one of these failures.
Once, sure. Twice, maybe. After that there would be some serious questions being asked of the dealer.

While Honda doesn’t owe you anything and has been fair, there is the matter to consider that most cars this old would pretty much be on their second transmission or maybe only on their first if they had good maintenance. While they’ve been good to cover it, I expect it’s been a real hassle having to probably have the car towed, be without it, maybe live with or even pay for a rental, plus all the lost time going to and from the dealership over the years, and the stress of wondering when the next one will die.

I don’t know what the answer is though, but if you can get Honda to cover any of the repair (or not), it’s probably time to move on to a different vehicle asap.

What will u do if u junk it? I am sure u will find another car. Take the money from selling it and get another car

I agree with most of the comments. The warranty is a condition of sale contract between you and the manufacturer entered into at the time of sale for a specified time and conditions. It is not changeable.

Considerations after the warranty period are made on the basis of a good will gesture and are not an obligation but are generally referred to as policy.

The reason the dealer asked you to pay a nominal amount for the last transmission is that there is no warranty on a part that was given to you and they wanted you to recieve some warranty in case there was another failure. I doubt if the OEM looked at their deal with a lot of favor if they did in fact charge the replacemnt to warranty.

I’d suggest you find a good independent shop, see if they can repair it, and if they can get rid of it asap. You might also ask their opinion as to what is causing this particular vechicle to “eat” transmissions. There must be some kind of an outside influence to cause this many failurers; drive line problems, plugged or nonfunctioning oil cooler, or ???

Bottom line they aren’t going to keep replacing transmission as infinitum.

For the fact that even newer than 2001 models still have transmission problems, American Honda should do much more to preserve their Honda reputation!

They replaced the transmission 7 times over the course of 219k miles for the price of $200. And you’re complaining? Wow, just wow.

I’m staggered.

Take it to a new place with a good warentee if you want to keep it. Has the car ever been in an accident?

It would sure be interesting to hear the details behind all of these alleged transmission swaps.
I’m having a near impossible time seeing Honda or any other car maker doing this 7 times in a row.

Misinterpretation over what was really done, BS from the dealer, etc; I have no idea but I’ve never seen warranty work like that.

I can’t even drive it out of the service dept w/o it stalling.

This seems like a strange failure mode for a transmission to me. Most of the time they die where you give it gas but it goes nowhere or limps along.

Is this the same symptoms you had before when they replaced them?

Did they ever tell you what specifically failed in those transmissions?

If you get the same result after seven times, why would you think the eight one will be different?
The van is tired now so I’d start looking for a new vehicle.