I am documenting this for reference.

I have a 1999 Honda Odyssey, bought brand new from the dealer, Rock Honda it was. I was on a waiting list and waited a couple of months to get this van. It was purported to be the best van, efficient engine, and we trusted Honda as a maker of reliable cars.

We were wrong.

In 2003 with 45,000 miles on the van, the transmission went bad. At that time, Honda had not yet realize the extent of their transmission problem and had not extended their warranty. With 45,000 miles, the warranty on my transmission was expired.

A car with 45,000 miles requiring a new transmission was unheard of!

Diamond Bar Honda dealer says, sorry, your warranty is expired. You have to pay about $3000 for a new transmission. The dealer was no help at all. They supposedly made a call to Honda to ask about the warranty. Came back and gave me the same story: the warranty expired on the transmission.

I called myself to complain to Honda Customer Relations (1-800-999-1009 is their current number). After reviewing it with a case manager, they agreed to pay for the part, and I pay the labor. The labor was $471. I give Honda credit for excellent service at that time.

After this, Honda extended their transmission warranty to 100,000 miles on all their Odysseys.

I asked Honda to extend my new transmission warranty 100,000 miles from the time of the new transmission, giving me a warranty to 145,000 miles.

They said, no.

I said, since you are willing to extend new cars to 100,000 miles, it would make sense to cover my new transmission 100,000. It is obviously a defect in design that this transmission goes out so quickly.

They said, no.

Fast forward to now, 2008. My van has 129,000 miles.

My transmission is out again!

Less than 90,000 miles later, my transmission needs to be replaced.

My mechanic (not the dealer) tried to save me money by replacing the automatic transmission lock up solenoid and thought that might help. It didn’t.

Today I called Honda and registered a complaint. Marlene answered the customer service call and assigned me a case number. A case manager is suppose to call me within 2 business days.

I’ll update after I hear from the case manager. If they are as cooperative as last time, I will give Honda a 5 star rating. If not, my next car will be a Toyota.

If you’ve had similar problems, please leave a comment.

Update: Honda covered the transmission replacement, I paid the labor. See my post about that experience here.

131 Responses to “Honda Odyssey transmission problem”

  1. Toyin Says:

    This question is for DJ who posted on August 17th 2009 at 9:20am. What do you mean by replaced transmissions with Jaspers? Maybe I need to advice my neighborhood mechanic to get one for me. Please advice. Thanks.

  2. DJ Says:

    A Jasper transmission (aftermarket component):


  3. Rose Says:

    Have 2nd transmission on 2000 ODY. Many honda installed replacement transmissions are made by jasper. Jasper Engines rep told me that their replacement transmissions for ODY carry their own 3yr/36k warranty, no matter who installed it. He also told me that the PCM was the cause of failures for some models. Get service shop/jiffylube to put the car on a lift to see if there is a jasper engines tag on the transmission, get the # and contact jasper at 800922 0204. I haven’t done this but plan to because this 2nd transmission is slipping after just 3k miles. This is the worst car I have owned in 45 years of driving. the worst. I hope this info turns out to be helpful for all of us in this situation. Good luck: Honda is counting on customers to give up and to be easy to cheat. So far, they have cheated us out of several thousand dollars on this terrible car which lasted only 75k miles.

  4. Joyful Says:

    Rose, thanks for the info.

  5. Brendon Says:

    2003 Odyssey with 102,000 miles. Tranny started slipping while on a trip to Central CA. Went to Speedylube and had the tranny flushed. It seemed to be working great… for about 250 miles, and then the same thing started happening, but at the lower gears this time instead of up at highway speed. Limped over to Honda this morning. Diagnosis – needs a new transmission. Estimated cost – $5000.
    The service guy gave me the 800-999-1009 number which I called. The person I spoke to basically told me that without all of my receipts, they would have no way of knowing if I had been taking proper care of our vehicle. The main receipts they are talking about are the ones showing that I did all my fluid changes. Well, I’ve done the majority of my oil changes in my driveway. I have done other oil changes and tranny flushes in various lube-n-tune places, in various cities and in various states. I have a few of the receipts, but the majority got thrown away, since I did not forsee the tranny failing after only 100,000 miles.
    I’ve heard talk of another class-action lawsuit involving 2003 and later Odysseys. Does anybody have info on that?

  6. Sherri Says:

    It irks me how they want ‘proof’ of maintainence when they have an obvious bum piece of equipment. It doesn’t matter if fluids were changed; the tranny is flawed by design, and WE have to pay up every time it goes out-they’re just wanting to minimize their expenses by requiring the proof. Too bad they can’t produce an aftermarket part with a better reliablility and install them instead of the remanufactured lemon parts. I wonder if the Jasper tranny is a better fix… Anyone have experience with this?

  7. Mike Says:

    Almost done selling my Honda van. I threw in the towel with the bums at Honda. 6 attempts to get Honda to step up and was denied at every turn. No reimbursement on my 3rd transmission, no apologies, no nothing. Too bad, I probably would have bought another Honda if I was taken care of somehow. Now, I am against Honda for the rest of my life and will make sure everyone who is looking at a new car hears this. I even passed on a honda lawn mower….

  8. JENNY Says:

    well as i had posted at an earlier date my 2004 odyssey transmission went out at 99000 miles. i was told by honda dealership that it would cost 3700.00 to replace with a rebuilt one with a 36000 mile/ 3 yr. warranty. i was pissed! i went to jiffy lube where i had transmission flushed at 30000 miles and got a copy of my receipt. i took it back to honda and complained and told them i was going to join the class action law suit and the service manager made a phone call to his boss and i ended up getting the transmission for 40% off.costing me 2000.00. this is crazy but what was i to do i needed a vehicle. i got the transmission and it is running great thus far. i am a firm believer that honda needs to change the warranty to at least 6 yrs. for this issue! for now on you can bet i will be sservicing my honda at the dealership only and getting my transmission flushed every 45000 miles!

  9. Jude Says:

    My tranny is starting to go out at 104k. The TCS light stays on an dat 2000 rpm’s, the gear slips and feels like we are in neutral. Does any one know what happened with the class action law suit? I tried going to the website but it doesn’t seem to be there. Also, any one know a good repair shop that won’t expect my first born as payment? Thanks.

  10. Brendon Says:

    I have not heard from anyone regarding the class-action lawsuit. Website didn’t help me either. Honda ended up paying for the labor ($1329) to install the tranny. I also received various 10% discounts from the dealer on parts for the 105k service they performed. All in all, while I was not happy with having to fork out $6138.09 in all, I can’t complain about the service. They made an ‘effort’ to help me. Am I still seeking info on the CAL? You bet! They have not yet responded to my requests for the warranty to be extended to 100k. I think they should stand behind the Honda name and take ownership of the tranny problem, since they installed the same tranny which is going to go out in 100k miles again…which would start this whole process all over.
    I have heard from someone that it is possible to go online and purchase a used tranny from Japan. Japanese cars are only allowed to be on the road for 6 years, and then many are torn apart and sold as parts. You can purchase a tranny with 65k on it and have it shipped here and installed by your mechanic. You’re only going to get a 1-year warranty from him though.

  11. Tom Says:

    bought a 2000 Odyessy with about 40K on it, Transmission went at 89K, found out that I made the extended warranty by 2 weeks, felt very luck… 2 years later at 122K Transmission has gone again, I am looking to get any advice to help offset the cost of $2500 new Transmission. Will Honda help me? we have had lots of other issues with this Odyessy, doors stick and broke several times, electrical issues etc. This ws our first Honda, I feel very unlucky cause I know alot of families that have had better luck, but this Transmission issue really has me upset.

  12. Marvin V Says:

    i have 01 honda odyssey and i have the same problem…hopefully this site HELP all of us../www.hondatransmissionsettlement.com/php/login.php

  13. S R frisby Says:

    2000 Honda Odyssey which I have owned for 7 years is by far the worse car I have ever owned. Buy Toyota…I could write a book about the great service I’ve received form them and another about the NON-SERVICE from Honda. Hondas are expensive to repair, need repair often and any mechanic will tell you what a pain they are to work on.

  14. Lauren Says:

    FYI…there are some good ones out there 🙂 I have a 1999 Odyssey with 170,000+ miles on it. Overall has been a great car with no major repairs other than routine maintenance and normal wear/tear (tires, brakes, etc.). We have traveled many miles in this vehicle with no breakdowns, including a 6,000-mile trip west last fall. Transmission has just recently started acting up, and I was hoping to drive it until it died completely, but now looks as though I will have to replace car or tranny as it won’t pass inspection in a few months with the check engine light on (triggered by transmission torque converter failire). Rats!! I really love this car, and while I was hoping it would last to at least 200,000 miles, it’s close. Also have to say that my dealer, Saratoga Honda in NY, is EXCELLENT. Very helpful with all services and repairs – has even fixed the car several times for free (yes…free! – a chipmunk got in and chewed some wires, and they fixed this several times to the tune of about $450). If I could afford it right now I’d buy a new one in a heartbeat. But college tuition comes first right now, so I guess I’ll be buying a transmission soon…
    Also…the class action suit settlement website is there – I just read it. Website is: http://www.hondatransmissionsettlement.com. Good Luck!

  15. Craw Says:

    Bought the car from original owner. He replaced at 68k and again at 98k. I managed to get to 215k replaced, on my dime, and got again to 244k (under 36k warranty reman), so I am off again to replace tranny. What a design flaw and apparently repeat flaw.

  16. Joyful Says:

    That ‘s a lot of miles you got on the van. Got your money’s worth!

  17. Swapnil Says:

    I have 2003 Honday Odyssey. I had problem a month back with transmission (Oct’2010). It thought the transmision was not smooth.
    So I showed to a NJ dealer (Open Road Honda). They adviced me to fix something in transmission + they asked me to do transmission belt package, which I did.
    It did cost me around 2500$. A month later (Nov’2010) my automatic transmission failed. The car stopped in mid of the road when I was driving with me and family with check engine light on. I had to tow in the vehicle to the same dealer on Black Friday (11/26/2010). Now today dealer called me and told I have to spent around 5000$ to fix the car.
    The error code which he mentioned to me are >>
    P0730-automatic transmission need to be replaced
    P0845-There is problem with 3rd gear pressure issue
    I checked online and my car is in the list of RECALL for ‘Automatic Transmission’
    I have 120K on my car. I called Honda company they told me the vehicle is not on warranty. They can not help. Dealer did not fix the issue earlier when I had shown the car to him earlier before engine light could come ON. Don’t know what to do next. Any help in this matter will be highly appreciated. [email protected]

  18. arnie sera Says:

    I have a 2003 Honda Odyssey with transmission problem. I contacted Honda and they covered only 40% of the total cost (5600.00USD). I paid the remaining 60%. My van has 95K plus mileage. The dealer put a remanufactured transmission plus a new ECU (computer). The amount I paid was still expensive.

  19. Stone Says:

    I have my 2001 honda odyssey transmition problem also, I only have 85K miles on my van and now its goes bad on me, I took to Honda Dealer and then they charge me $110.00 for dialnostic overall they said its the transimission I need to replace, they estimate me over $4700.00 for it, I call a number said to be Honda of America for help but they said they can’t do anything to help at the moment. I love Honda, though, its not making me any happier due to the vehicle went out before hits 100000 miles. I am not happy with this at all. Most of car have warranty up to 100000 miles and Hondas car dont have it, and not lasting that long? I am not happy with this at all.

  20. twall Says:

    I am now waiting for replacement number four on my 2001 Odyssey. The first one went out at 76K Honda replaced it, the second lasted 1,500 miles. The third one went out at 128K in the middle of the Arizona desert with my whole family in th car. It cost me $4100 to replace. It came with a 3 year 36k warranty. Now just 34k miles later I am waiting for my transmission to be replaced once again. This car has had 5 transmissions in 160,000 miles. It has been in the shop for over a week because it was installed in another state and the warranty is by the transmission rebuilder.

  21. EV Says:

    DO NOT BUY A JASPER TRANSMISSION. I replaced mine at 95K with a jasper for $4000 on a 2003 Odyssey and 18K later the jasper died with TCS and P0740 code.

    Jasper says they only cover $400 for labor to install a new (or better rebuilt) one, out of $950 my mechanic asked to have it installed, BUT I need to front all the money and Jasper will investigate if it was the transmission or the car that caused the problem, so I may never get the $400 from them either.

    F-ing thieves, both Honda & Jasper.

  22. JD Says:

    I bought a Brand new 2001 Odyssey back in 2001. We use it on the highway quite a bit. The original transmission started going out at 100300 miles. We were on a trip 450 miles away from home. We stopped at the Honda Dealership. Called the hotline. They documented it. And said they would replace it. under the 100k warranty. We took the chance and drove it home. They replaced the original with their replacement at 101120 miles.

    The 2nd transmission lasted another 38000 miles. (no warranty at all on the replacement that Honda originally covered)

    I had that transmission rebuilt thinking I was going to sell it. So this is #3 transmission at 140k. I drove the replacement transmission for 2600 miles when it totally burnt up- So with my total dissatisfaction, the shop rebuilt it again under their warranty. So that was technically the #4 time it was redone.

    After this we pretty much use this vehicle as a pick up the kids and local use (3-15 miles a day sorta thing) Been doing this for years now.

    Well this week the SAME thing happened again. Started slipping between 1-2 and 3-4. So I am going to change it again. -BUT SELL IT AFTERWARDS! as I cant get nothing for it without it running…

    I am not sure if the newer odysseys have any issues, but this transmission issue makes me avoid Honda….

    BTW- for what its worth, I worked as a consultant inside the Honda plant in Alabama back in 2002/2003 where they make the Odysseys. My job allowed me to go through the complete plant (minus the R&D section with new models) But it is interesting that Honda makes the engines, and complete vehicle EXCEPT the transmissions…Yes- They have their own Engine plant that makes the engines. Pretty kool to see.. But the transmissions. they come from a 3rd party supplier. Ironic that the ONLY major component that Honda doesn’t make, fails… I am sure (hope) they fixed this issue but that bad taste it left- is just…. Bad…

    Good Luck-

  23. Riaz Qadeer Says:

    I have a Honda Odyssey 1999.
    I got it before 2 months. It has 201000 KM on it.
    I checked the transmission oil its getting black now. Should i flush it?
    Another thing during backup it give me sound like gear slips.
    I am thinking to change the tranny oil and put a transmission cooler and put locus transmission fix to fix the slipping,
    Please suggest what would be a good step to resolve it.
    Riaz Qadeer

  24. ARTA Says:

    I purchased a 2001 Odyssey new. The first transmission went at 46,000. The second one went three weeks later(it was defective). #3 lasted about 30,000 miles. #4 just went at 100,236 miles, with the car at 11 years old. Do I hold the record????? I just had the fifth transmission installed at just over 100,000 miles. I plan to ditch this van ASAP. Honda replaced the first four transmissions under the recall/warranty program, but won’t help out this time–236 miles over 100,000. It is pretty pathetic that their transmissions don’t last longer than 46,000(my record). I don’t tow anything behind the van, and have never done anything that would overly tax a transmission. I would think Honda would be embarrassed about their crummy transmissions, and it is really sad that they haven’t figured out how to make the transmission function properly after all this time. For transmission number 5, I went to Aamco–$2000 less than Honda and with a 3 year warranty (Honda would only give 90 days!). Their transmissions are bound to be better than anything Honda can provide. Too bad–I love the van otherwise. Now that it is running I am going car shopping. I will never own another Honda. Don’t buy one if you are thinking about it. I’m not convinced that they have ever resolved this problem, or even want to.

  25. Adeyemi Says:

    MAN, i am in deep trouble! Just bought a clean, looking brand new Odyssey 2000 model on November 26, 2012 and by December 28, it started to change gear erratically, and after some time the D4 light blinked and it will just keep sounding without moving on pressing the accelerator. I thought it was ajoke, a trivial problem. Man, i was damn wrong! I have spent over $1400 equivalent so far , and the problem is not solved yet! I am so surprised that HONDA can manufacture such an appealing van, with a big problem such as that- and moreso no solution in sight this far. With the wizards and genuises in Honda, can they not manufacturer a better transmission for this model instead of improving on newer models only? This is pure selfishness, leaving owners of older models to their ill-fate? Please, can anybody direct me to a very good Honda Odyssey expert in Southern Nigeria for repairs? I am frustrated! I was too impressed by the Honda Civic 2008 model i bought as a used car and served me for 4 good years without one single problem than to change the oil and filter that i blindly extended the goodwill to this odyssey! I am in deep shit with this erroneous thinking. Help out pls. HONDA, you …………ah, i am short of words!

  26. Cathy Says:

    I bought 2005 odyssey new.Have had several problems with it..sliding doors..must replace battery yearly..and that “Honda Shuddering” that started in the 3rd year of ownership.It was not diagnosed then, but I took it to Honda dealership last week because the shuddering is so bad now(expecting it to be that 600.00 motor mount they say is giving problems).NOPE-torque converter and transmission-replaceable at tune of 4700.00!!I have 177,000 miles on my van AND THEY WERE ASTONISHED!!I was not as the other 2 vehicles in my yard have >200,000 and >300,000 miles on them and still going strong.The dealership explained to me that the transmissions in the 2005 vans were bad and they just did’nt achieve that many miles…so they’ll be right back with an estimate(4700.00).They told me that this replacement transmission WOULD NOT BE A HONDA TRANSMISSION so I need not worry.I called Honda of America and complained..quoting the dealerships own admission that the trannys were defective.They wanted NAMES!!I did’nt oblige, as they had no interest in my complaint at that point.Besides I did get 177,000 miles out of my transmission she says.That does’nt change the fact that their product is defective and I had been experiencing problems from the 3rd year..just problem not found at that time.Oh yes, the power steering pump is on its way out too from the whinning its doing.NISSAN DEALERSHIPS-HERE WE COME! You’ll get hurt with a Honda!

  27. Mike Says:

    To make your transmission last more than 200,000 you must change the transmission oil every 30,000 or earlier…it’s a great preventive measure to install a transmission oil cooler this will help your transmission to last a long time….

  28. Terry Says:

    I just purchased a 01 Odessey from a dealer less than 48 hours ago.The van has 86 thousand miles .Call the dealer to take back to him and he more less said after signing the papers it was mine.I am furious about this.Today is Sat so of course it will be Mon before he can talk to someone about this.I tried to take it back but was told it have to wait till Mon,so it will put time frame to 4 days and two of them its going to sit in the driveway.State of Alabama has a lemon law I think,this keeps dealers from selling junk.Not sure how it works or even if it still exsist.Can someone give me a few suggestions?

  29. Eamon Conners Says:

    I bought my 2000 Honda Odyssey LX in 2003 with 15,000 miles on the clock, and have experienced similar problems. In present day 2014, there are precisely 211,756 miles on the clock. Unfortunately, I am on my fourth transmission as of now, and am looking for some aftermarket 4-speeds (So far, I’ve had no luck, so if you know of any give me a shout) because I’ve had just about enough of this. Because I held on to the receipts, I know that my first tranny died at 52,003 miles, the second at 109,629, the third at 168,769, and my fourth and current one is about to go. The worst part is that I’ve never towed a single thing, hauled any object heavier than a bookshelf, nor have I driven no more than 15-20k miles with the car at full passenger capacity. I really don’t want to give up on my van because the overall build quality is unmet by any other from that time, nor is the combination of power and efficiency. We also can’t disregard the fact that these cars, despite stereotypical pins, are actually pretty fun to drive.

  30. Mike Moledo Says:

    I think people should change their transmission oil every 20,000 -30,000 miles.also you should install a transmission cooler…heat is the biggest enemy of the transmission…the oil I use is the Royal Purple http://www.royalpurpleconsumer.com/products/max-atf-automatic-transmission-fluid/…I think maintenance will help your transmission out last your car…also try to use synthetic motor oil and transmission oil….its more expensive but its worth the investment… also check your radiator and make sure its working properly, your transmission oil runs through the radiator to cool down…

  31. Mike Moledo Says:

    I think Honda Transmission oil is the problem…try http://www.royalpurpleconsumer.com/products/max-atf-automatic-transmission-fluid/
    you have nothing to loses especially if the told you that you need to change your transmission …
    I bought from Amazon after reading the review on it.


    remember for a mechanic there is not that much of a profit on changing oil….the real money is on telling you that you need a new transmission…