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2003 Honda Odyssey Consumer Reviews

3rd transmission @ 101K miles

By on Friday, August 22, 2008

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

"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."

72 people out of 72 found this review helpful

The most problems I've had with a new vehicle

By on Tuesday, August 26, 2008

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

"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"."

22 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Great family vehicle:Transmission is achilles heel

By on Thursday, November 17, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

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."

20 people out of 20 found this review helpful

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