Honda Odyssey back in business

We bought a Honda Odyssey just over three years ago and have enjoyed it a lot. It holds the four kids, our dog and piles of kid related stuff that I don’t understand. I don’t understand why my three year old daughter needs three pillows, two dolls and a Nintendo DS to make a trip across town. But I’ll leave that blog post to Kim.

But over the past few months our Odyssey would shift abruptly from first into second gear. It become increasing worse until this past week when it would not engage 2nd gear at all from a cold start. I took it to an independent Honda specialist called Auburn City Import, who diagnosed a major problem with the transmission. Bad news. But the service manager informed me that Honda had issued a warranty extension on our transmission and it would be fully covered at the local Honda dealer. He told me to expect to be quizzed and basically hassled. I asked him who he would recommend I talk to at Hinshaw’s Honda and he gave me the name, John Matteson, who is a service advisor.


I called John and told him about the problem and asked when he could take a look at the van. I took it in the next morning and he quickly diagnosed the same problem Auburn City Import did. At this point I assumed that I’d be barraged with questions about how I had the van serviced, my driving habits and the like. But that never happened. John turned the monitor screen to me which displayed the transmission warranty extension sent to all Honda dealers and said, “We’ll take care it for you, no charge”. He ordered the transmission that day and installed it the next. We had some other maintenance performed at that time but the $5000 transmission replacement was done at no cost. I feel very lucky because we have 107,000 miles on our Odyssey and the recall is good up to only 109,000 miles. Had we taken another trip to Utah to see family we would have been outside the warranty extension restrictions.

I am very impressed with the high level of service John provided me and will return to Hinshaw’s the next time I’m in the market for a minivan. We took our van for a drive tonight and it’s much improved. It drives as well as it did nearly three years ago. I had the front brakes replaced too and it sure feels a lot more secure. I hope to get another couple of years out of it.

This specific problem affects the following Honda vehicles with automatic transmissions.

1999-2001 Honda Odyssey

2000-2001 Accord

2000-2001 Prelude

You can find the details of this Service Bulletin 02-061 at this link which opens a PDF.

9 thoughts on “Honda Odyssey back in business

  1. The transmission on our last Odyssey (a 2001) went out too! Just one day it would not move out of 1st gear until I was going about 30 mph, then it would switch so hard it would about throw us out the windshield! We were just getting ready to sell it so I was so disappointed that we would have a big transmission expense only to then turn around and sell it. LUCKILY my Honda dealer told me about the extension and so they completely covered it. No questions, no hassle, big relief. We loved our Odyssey so much we turned right around and bought another one (2006). If you’ve got to drive a mini-van, they are the best one out there! I’d buy another in a heartbeat.


  2. Enjoyed Your Odyssey story. I too have had some Odyssey Tranny problems.A few years back my 2001 exhibited all of the failure symptoms at 97,000. Honda replaced the transmission, I felt like I hit the lottery. A few weeks later the van was rear ended pretty hard and Totaled out. The crumple zones in the back accordianed just as they should and there were no injuries to any of the four people in the van, But the transmission lottery was lost. I turned around and bought the same van This time an Ex with 54,000 and only had to put 800 of my own dollars to it. Great van but The transmission did not make it to 60,000. Honda replaced it, It did not make the 10 mile trip home.Honda replaced it again and I am up to 96,000 on it now and its starting to whine (worse than I am)on the freeway. I took it to this legendary transmission guy in our area, He flushed it and said it does not have a lot of life left The fluid was black and Its hard to beleive that there is such low mileage on the tranny. He suggested That I talk to Honda about it. I noticed that You had Yours replaced past the 100,000 that is called for in the recall. How did You do that, Any tips would be appreciated,I would love a 4th free transmission. Well that is my transmission odyssey so far.


  3. Rick,

    Honda settled a class action suit brought on by Odyssey owner that extended the transmission replacement coverage from 100k to 109k miles. Our Odyssey had 107k miles on it when I took it into the Honda service department. They didn’t hassle me at all.


  4. Well, I just found that I also have the transmission problem on a 2000 Odyssey with 97,000 miles. Unfortunately, I am over the 93 month warranty period by, get this, 2 WEEKS! I had the 3rd gear shift replaced within the past 6 months, but I was never told about the extended warranty. I don’t feel that it has really shifted properly since then, but the problem became very exaggerated in the last week. I have appealed the decision and am awaiting the reply from Honday. I have owned 3 Hondas over the past 20 years, but if they do not give on this point, I feel that this may be my last Honda. Glad everyone else has had such good luck getting theirs replaced.


  5. Hello, my name is Jose and I have the same problem with my car. Here are some info. about my car: color white, 2,000 year old, Honda Odyssey, 93,000 miles. My car has been having strange sounds and other type of problems lately. So I took it to MANY local auto repairs to take a look at it but only one of them could tell me the answer and they said, “It’s you’re transmission, so we can fix it for you but you have to pay $2,500”. Well I didnt want to pay that much because that was too expensive. So now my car is just sitting there doing nothing and I am not secure with my car at all. So if anyone knows a better deal with a lower price, please contact me at (323) 388-8653. Thank You for your patience.


  6. Jose,

    Did you try taking it to a Honda dealer? It sounds like your Odyssey would qualify for a new transmission under the settlement regardless if you’re the original owner. I suggest calling your local Honda dealer and giving them your VIN # to see if you qualify. $2500 for a transmission isn’t a bad price. I was told a typical new install can run well past $5000.


  7. My problem is similar to yours – I'm at about 108,000 miles. The bulletin says the limit is 100,000 miles. Where do you get the figure of 109,000 miles?


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