Shifted into reverse by accident while driving on freeway, now Honda Odyssey '01 won't reverse

It drives just fine, otherwise, though.

But no reverse.

Roommate accidentally shifted into reverse (don’t ask) on his Honda Odyssey 2001, going about 50 -55 mph.

He just bought this car and the catalytic converter was stolen from it before he got it so the car is very loud. Sounds like a motorcycle.

He is saying that the loudness of the car made him nervous and this is part of why he shifted into reverse. It’s a very, very loud sound, so I think I believe him.

Anyway, as I already mentioned, the car won’t reverse, now. It makes some sort of whiney sound, like it’s trying to work the way it’s supposed to, but it can’t and doesn’t reverse.

Is this the end of the Honda Odyssey or can it be repaired? And if it can, will it cost an arm and a leg or be fairly cheap?

Otherwise, is there at least something that we can try to fix the problem?

The Odyssey needs to have 1) the cat replaced and the exhaust system repaired or the fumes from the exhaust might just kill your roommate and 2) The transmission needs to be rebuilt as it likely has shredded reverse gear and that trash will destroy the rest of it if not fixed.

And EVERYthing can be repaired with enough time and money, so Yes!

Expensive is relative. The exhaust may cost $500 or more, the transmission $3500 or so. It is a 17 year old car but compare it to what $4000 or so will buy you as a replacement. If the Honda is still in good shape, less than 200,000 miles, everything works, no rust, it might just be worth $4000 to fix it.


01 honda van. main weak point. trans. usually they fail if you do nothing bad like shifting into reverse. how do you go from drive thru neutral and than into reverse? is the shift indicator broke too?

Seeing as he probably won’t be able to afford a several thousands of dollars repair for a few months, couldn’t he potentially keep driving the car around without any issue as long as he makes sure not to get into situations where reversing is mandatory?

No, not exactly. It doesn’t work exactly how it should, though. D4 blinks all the time. Unless that is what it’s supposed to do when there is a problem…

If the internals are trashed, the debris will likely finish off the transaxle completely.

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Did you just edit your reply three times? Lol. I remember you from before.

Yeah losing reverse is not a good sign. I think it would mean the clutches for reverse are shot. I would have thought though on the cars now, the computers did not allow going into reverse or you had to at least push a button first so you couldn’t accidentally go into reverse. Yeah no point in opening up the transmission just for that without doing a full overhaul.

Reversing is optional, breathing is not and an open exhaust under the car might make that difficult.

The longer he drives like this the bigger the repair bill.


I liked your first unedited response better :smiley:

One would think you would not drive the car… or at the very least get it checked by a mechanic if it were making such a loud noise to scare you. Suppose you have enough answers to give him from all the other replies.

Just out of curiosity, isn’t it dangerous to shift an automatic transmission into a different gear while traveling at the op’s roommates speed ?

all the gears work, except reverse which whines loudy, spurs are not catching

Those hot exhaust gases could also start melting things under or even inside the vehicle.

Have you never heard of paddle shifters on an automatic transmission?

I have… I just wasn’t sure if this particular car was equipped with paddle shifters

the honda V6 exhaust is kinda loopy. is this y-pipe also gone?HD19501__ra_p

if the exhaust was stolen before he bought it, why did he buy it?

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There’s at least some possibility whatever’s wrong with the transmission is minor, so don’t toss in the towel yet, until you’ve at least had it evaluated by a pro. The transmission computer is supposed to prevent shifting into R when you are traveling at high speeds, and may have locked out reverse temporarily, thinking there’s some issue with the shift linkages or something that needs to be addressed by a shop before it will allow R to be engaged now.

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Thanks for the hopeful response George, the roommate paid for the van for what it’s worth, because he needed a ride on short notice

It had a good trans when he bought it. But, he should have a muff shop at least look at the exhaust to se what is missing.