Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems

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When you search for the Honda Odyssey on the internet, you might be confused about the type of car you get results of.

There are, in actuality, three different Honda Odyssey types that have been made by Japanese Manufacture.

These include the ATV, discontinued, and international and North American models. In this article, I will be talking about the North American model.

Sold in Canada, the United States, and Saudi Arabia, the Honda Odyssey transmission problems have been quite common over the years.

Some models have suffered more than others. Here is what you can expect from a general perspective:

  1. Gear Slipping
  2. Vibration
  3. Loud Whining
  4. Smoke Coming From The Transmission
  5. Check Engine Light Coming On
  6. Gears Being Unresponsive
  7. Fluid Leaks

I will explain all these problems and mention, in detail, all of the models that had issues with their transmission. This is why I recommend that you read the article in its entire entirety.

7 Signs Of Transmission Problems In A Honda Odyssey

Learn how to know if your Odyssey's transmission is bad

Before your transmission fails, it will show various signs indicating that it is not working properly.

Some of these signs can be quite obvious, while others, you will have to carefully look for and notice.

I have listed some of these signs below and will explain them in depth:

1. Gear Slipping

Due to wear and tear, your car’s gears will slip and stay out of sync. You will run into this problem near the tail end of your transmission’s lifespan.

If you are experiencing this early on, this is likely due to a manufacturing fault in the transmission itself.

Alternatively, it could be due to an issue that the transmission is developing, which can be felt by power loss and difficulty in accelerating.

2. Vibration

Transmission vibration in a Honda Odyssey is a common issue and a sign that it is degrading.

This is often the result of a problem in the gearbox meshing process, but other times, it could be related to the transmission itself.

The main cause of this happening is a low amount of transmission fluid.

Check how much fluid it has. If it has a decent amount and the issue is occurring, your transmission needs to be checked out.

3. Loud Whining

This is another issue that a low amount of transmission fluid can cause.

It occurs in both manual and automatic transmissions and is often the result of poor lubrication between the gears engaged.

The sound is the result of the friction between the moving parts. The issue could also be the result of a faulty torque converter which is quite common in the Honda Odyssey.

4. Smoke Coming From The Transmission

Smoke from any part of your car must be handled as quickly as possible. In the case of transmission, it could be the result of a good amount of overheating.

As you can expect, this issue is also caused by a lack of transmission fluid.

Additionally, it could also be the result of a blown transmission. Regardless, you need to get this checked immediately.

5. Check Engine Light Coming On

The check engine light on your Honda Odyssey’s system panel is a good sign that your transmission system has an issue.

This is often accompanied by a respective code that will tell you the corresponding issue it is facing.

The most common issue with this car was the code P0730. This code means an incorrect gear ratio.

Other codes mean anything from transmission overheating to a control system malfunction.

6. Gears Being Unresponsive

Trying to shift between gears should be seamless, but due to issues in the transmission, they can be hard to shift to or do nothing when you shift to a new gear.

This problem can result from the shift lock, bad engine computer, and dirty transmission fluid. With so many causes, you should take your time to diagnose the issue.

7. Fluid Leaks

As I have mentioned throughout this list, a lack of transmission fluid can cause many issues.

Fluid leakage is a common way for this to occur. Your transmission can leak fluid over time due to wear and tear or a puncture.

Either way, it is a problem that can easily lead to many other problems; hence you need to get them patched up as fast as possible.

How To Prevent Your Honda Odyssey’s Transmission Issues

Now that you know how the Honda Odyssey will act when developing an issue with its transmission. Here, you can learn how you can avoid these issues.

1. Top Up Transmission Fluid

Low transmission fluid is the death of any transmission.

Keeping that filled up to a healthy amount is often enough to prevent many potential issues, especially in the case of the Honda Odyssey.

2. Regular Transmission Maintenance

Since a lot of potential issues can crop up in the transmission, you should have it serviced every 2 to 3 months so that you can catch the issues early on and stop them in their track.

3. Abstain From Driving If You Feel There Is An Issue

One way to further break apart your transmission is to continue to drive it when you know you have a problem.

Once you think there is an issue with the transmission, you need to get it checked out and stop driving your Honda Odyssey.

How To Fix The Honda Odyssey’s Transmission Problems

Now that you can identify the issue in your Honda Odyssey, you first need to locate and figure out the source of the problem.

The most common issue you will face has a low transmission fluid.

All you need to do is fill it up, and you should be good to go.

For specific components, you will need to consult your car’s manual and see how you can replace them yourself.

If your transmission is completely totaled, you will have no choice but to get it replaced.

Which Year Did Honda Odyssey Have Transmission Problems?

As I mentioned above, not all models had the same issues regarding the Honda Odyssey. This is why I have compiled a list of the roughest and transmission-heavy models of the lineup.

2005 Honda Odyssey

Starting with the most complaints against the model, the 2005 Honda Odyssey.

One of the most major issues that people complained about in the model was its transmission which had a failing torque converter most of the time.

The transmission was prone to failure and would hum and constantly vibrate when it was working.

This would often accompany a loud whining sound when the car is accelerated. It seems that most of the issue was in the automatic version of the model.

2006 Honda Odyssey

Just one year after the release of the 2005 model, Honda was able to up its game significantly.

The issues affecting the transmission of the 2006 Honda Odyssey were few. Unfortunately, there were so common that I just had to talk about them.

The transmission would shudder when shifting, and transmission failure was still quite common.

A new issue emerged, which caused the transmission axle seals to leak. The whining noise had decreased, but it was still sometimes present.

2007 Honda Odyssey

2007 tried its best to match the 2006 model in terms of improvement, but it was unable to do so.

Aside from the slipping and the hard shift, the car would swing out of gear when the brakes were applied. This seemingly happened for no reason.

The transmission, in general, was not shifting properly, and the torque converter was back to its original state of failing constantly.

Once again, these issues were most common in automatic transmission.

2002 Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey was in the middle of a long stretch of transmission-related issues, which hurt its reputation. This was mostly due to the components failing completely and outright.

In 2002 model of the car many people were met with the error code P0730 and the transmission disengaging.

The list would continue with losing gears, sudden acceleration, shaking when shifting, and transmission fluid leaking out a lot of the time.

2003 Honda Odyssey

The 2003 Honda Odyssey was a bit tamer regarding the number of problems.

Where the 2002 Honda Odyssey was infested with issues, the 2003 model had a few select issues that were widely complained about.

The biggest of them was the transmission failure. Slipping of the transmission was also quite common.

There was always some hesitation between the gears, and transmission whining was also a thing. Overall, it was a very annoying experience.

2004 Honda Odyssey

Honda Odyssey in 2004 was even more improved than the last model in this list. It brought the issues down to just 3, but they were still infamous enough for me to put the model on this list.

The transmission, in general, was very sluggish. It also had a bad habit of hesitating when shifting between the first 2 gears.

The final nail in the coffin was the common transmission failure.

2014 Honda Odyssey

Almost a decade later, Honda was back to its worst state.

The 2014 Honda Odyssey showed very early signs of transmission degradation and problems. These included issues such as the vehicle jerking and a loud clunking noise to come with it.

The transmission was prone to shuddering and slipping. In general, the transmission would run roughly and hesitate all the time.

2000 Honda Odyssey

Jumping back in time to the 2000 Honda Odyssey, this model was also prone to many problems regarding transmission.

The biggest of them was the transmission failing. Rough shifting and transmission stuttering were also common.

1999 Honda Odyssey

The earliest model I found that displayed issues with its transmission was the 1999 Honda Odyssey.

This model also set the massive trend of bad transmission for the foreseeable future. The transmission would not shift smoothly at all.

The transmission solenoid value was prone to failure, as was the transmission itself.

While the problem count was low, it was very common, and the issues would also persist in future models.

2001 Honda Odyssey

The final model on this list is the 2001 Honda Odyssey.

It has all of the problems you would come to expect from the lineup now that you have read up to this point. Transmission failure, transmission slipping, the whole 9 yards.

It also would cause the engine lights and TCS lights to come on. There’s not much else to say about this particular model other than avoiding it.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How Much Does A Honda Odyssey Transmission Replacement Cost?

The exact prices for a replacement can vary from place to place. A replacement transmission can go for as low as $2,000 and as high as $4,500.

Typically, you will get one close to $3,000. This is all excluding the labor costs which go into installing the component.

Q2. What Is The Lifespan Of A Honda Odyssey Transmission?

You should look at an easy 300,000-mile life on your Honda Odyssey’s transmission with proper care.

This assumes the transmission does not fail or fall apart during its lifespan. Luckily this can be avoided via regular maintenance.


Q3. Is It Safe To Drive A Honda Odyssey With A Bad Transmission?

Under no circumstances should you drive a Honda Odyssey with a bad transmission.

More often than not, it will fail, and you will be stuck in the middle of the road. Alternatively, you can get into a bad accident, so you are better off not driving with one.


From 1999 to 2014, Honda Odyssey transmission problems were widespread.

Some models in the middle of this timeframe were spared from these issues, but for the most part, each model had some issue related to its transmission.

I recommend avoiding all the models mentioned above and getting yourself a Honda Odyssey that was produced in 2015 or later.

Those models had fewer issues, if and when it came to the transmission, and virtually no issues.

This is a good sight after seeing all of the major missteps that the Honda Odyssey took in its earlier models.