"Don't get me wrong. I love my van and it is a pleasure to drive, but i would now call it a lemon.
Honda replaced the first transmission after 40k miles free of charge. Since we are a Honda family and always have been happy with the brand + their excellent reputation, I assumed this problem was fixed and was looking forward to drive this van for the legendary 200k + miles Hondas are famous for.
Now, at 101k miles, the check engine & TCS lights came on. Had hubby take van in; dealer ran diagnostics for $90 and says: need new transmission for $3,300. Hubby said: "no thanks" and drove it home.
I called my regular service adviser at the dealership and she was astonished to hear that no offer of "free replacement" was made. I brought my van in the next day. Now it was more like "I'm sure we can do something for you". They would have to talk to American Honda (AH).
2 days later they reported that AH was offering to pay 50% on a rebuilt transmission. Anyway, somehow the price was set at $1300. I said: "NO, we shouldn't be having this problem in the first place". They went back to AH and now we are at $1024 for the tranny with a 3yr/36k warranty. I am willing to pay $500 and just consider it very expensive transmission maintenance / or insurance, since given the Honda track record on this, it won't be the last tranny I'm putting into this van.
I finished my negotiations with Honda yesterday... ended up calling American Honda because the dealership service wouldn't go any lower. End result: I'm paying 25% of the bill which is $630.
At this point the car has been at dealer service for nearly 2 weeks and I need it back! Otherwise, I would not have taken the offer.
I am the original owner, have never abused the car, and have had all my service done at the dealership.
This has left a very bad taste in my mouth, and has ended my 20-year love affair with Honda.
I have 3 young adult children that have watched this from the sidelines. They would have been lifetime Honda buyers, but are surely looking at other brands now. I wonder if Honda thinks $630 are worth that."
"The transmission went at 30k, just after dealer service - they replaced under warranty. One front disc brake locked up at 60mph and burned up the seals in the master cylinder. Front wheel shimmy was a problem for 30k miles until we got new tires. Overall a bad experience with a name that supposedly represents "quality"."
Pros: "Fun to drive, handles well and get's up and goes."
Cons: "Need a new transmission roughly every 100,00 miles"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Purchased van new with 28 miles on it with the intent of many family vacations so we splurged and got the EX with leather and DVD rear entertainment. We have kept up with the regularly scheduled maintenance and service bulletins. Took it in to the dealer for the transmission "recall" fix when it came out. It has been a wonderful car meeting all of the family's needs. Then at about 108,000 miles the transmission suffered "catastrophic/total failure"! Luckily it was in town and I was able to get it to a shop. Ironically the shop had 3 other Hondas of the same vintage that were in there for transmission failures, all V-6's with automatic transmissions between 70,000 and 145,000 miles.
After $3000 I had a new transmission and complete explanation of what had occurred. In short the clutch pads on 3rd gear had deteriorated and fallen down in the transmission fluid. Since the transmission is never completely drained and this filter is not changeable, over time more of the clutch pad from the other gears as well as 3rd build up. Once the big chunks of the pad start to fall off of 3rd gear they start to get sucked up by the filter that sits in the bottom of the transmission. This filter feeds fluid directly to the transmission pump and so the pump gets starved and the transmission ceases to be lubricated and fails.
In the beginning phases you may shift from reverse to drive and notice that the transmission doesn't engage like it should. Then you will shift it to park and try shifting again skipping past reverse and it will probably engage. You may also turn the car off and let it sit thinking it will work when you turn it back on, and it will work, but this only works because the debris in the transmission fluid has settled to the bottom. However, after starting back up and driving a little the debris gets stirred up and starts to clog the filter again. You may also notice a new high pitched "whine". This is the transmission pump being starved for fluid. Get to a reputable transmission shop ASAP! Unfortunately by the time any of these symptoms manifest themselves, if they do at all, it's to late!
After talking with several transmission shops and Honda dealerships this seems to be a common occurrence on the larger Honda vehicles (Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline). It may be due to the extra torque generated by the V-6 along with the increased vehicle weight on the larger vehicles. It appears from further web searches that it has occurred on some of the V-6 Accords.
While I feel that the transmission should have lasted longer, say 200,000miles, I would still have purchased this vehicle. That being said I would have liked to have know that around 100,000 miles I would need a spare $3,000 to keep it running. Hence my reason for posting this review, to let others know to start saving up for a new transmission/rebuild now."
"I bought and have recommended Honda to many many others based on the assumption that they have a good reputation for building a quality product. The bottom line is that there is a known issue with the transmission on this vehicle and they aren't standing behind it. I paid a premium for this vehicle with the assumption that I would not have major issues for an extended period of time and I was wrong. I know that all cars will have issues, but if there is a known defect, stand behind your workmanship, fix it and customers will remember that when they go to buy a new vehicle. All I remember now is that they hung me out to dry with a $3000 transmission bill and the nagging thought that the new one may not last very long either. Besides the lack of Honda to stand behind their defective transmission, I enjoyed driving the Odyssey and it had no other major issues. It is very roomy, fun to drive and had no other major quirks. I would have continued to buy and recommend Honda's, but I can't.
Sorry...You lost a good long term customer."
"I'm 62, have owned a lot of cars. My 2000 Odyssey is the best one. Still tight, rattle free at 150,000 miles (orig. owner). Motor sounds like new, great power. The exterior and interior design is better than the current model which went a little overboard.
The transmission went out at 120,000 but Honda gave me a rebuilt free because I was a good customer and took care of the car with regular maintenance. If you buy a used one just make sure the transmission is good (have it checked by a Honda service center) or has been replaced by Honda. By the car from the original owner or a Honda dealer. Don't buy from a third party. I suspect many of the negative reviews are of cars that were mistreated. The transmission was a known problem that was fixed in later models. Honda stood behind the replacement even up to 100K for most cars (120k on mine). Beautifully designed car. I would rather drive it than my wife's 2005 Camray."
"All I could say having this van at this mileage with the original transmission and engine I could not find any complains at all. Major works that were done on this van were timing belt replaced x 2 every 110,000 miles and a catalytic converter that got replaced at 180,000 miles. Had changed all gasket seals on oil pans both transmission and engine. Never had a major breakdown. The Secret Oil changed and transmission oil changed regularly retains the life of it. I'm proud of this Odyssey. Not to mention original rear drum brakes which I have to replaced soon. My rating falls short only on value as I have to pay MSRP at that time when it first came out. I was lucky enough since some other dealers were selling it @ $2500+ over MSRP due to its popularity."
"A minivan is not my dream car. But, it is perfect for tail gating, hauling my three kids to all their activities, etc... Nice pick up merging onto the highway and really like the responsive breaking. Have not had to put any additional money into the vehicle except the usual brakes, tires, filters, and oil changes."
Pros: "great seats; long lasting engine and tranny"
Cons: "automatic doors"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"We purchased this vehicle used with a little over 200,000 miles. According to the previous owner, they had not made any major repairs (only minor things like new tires and brakes) and had driven it to Florida a couple of times and also to California and also back and forth on the interstate for their work. We put the additional 65,000 on it and have only had to get new tires and replace the wheel bearings on one side. It has never left me stranded. It isn't the fastest off the line and it doesn't really have any bells and whistles but it runs good. The transmission is starting to get sluggish, which I think is appropriate at 265,000 miles. We still drive this vehicle daily and I'm feeling sad knowing that her days are numbered and I need to choose something else. My only complaints are the "automatic" doors. They don't work properly and it was going to cost over $200 a piece to fix them. Since they still work..just annoyingly slow and when it rains you have to help them a little, we opted not to fix them. The seating is very nice. The chairs are very comfortable and large."
"After 200,000 miles I can say that this is one of the most dependable vehicles I have ever owned with one exception. The transmission was replaced just before 100,000 miles under warranty. Honda has a bit of history with transmission troubles in this era. Having said that, almost every other major system is still original. The A/C lasted to 195,000. Other vans I have owned cost far more in repairs than even the cost of a transmission so this is still a winner in my book."
"We purchased our Odyssey in '02, knowing the Honda reputation and planning on driving the van for 10 years. At 6 years and 139000 miles, we have replaced the transmission (AH gave us a "deal" with a cost of $2500) and had water pump, heat, and electrical problems with our van. At this point, I am ready to replace rather than repair it again- it hesitates when shifting. All maintainence was done with Honda dealership- expensive! I don't feel we got our $$ worth with this van."