ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. Notes: The entire 2nd generation Odyssey (1999-2004) is just one giant transmission problem waiting to happen.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
105,056 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Honda Odyssey engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Honda Odyssey Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Apr 042016


  • miles


The 2nd and 3rd gear slips..... speedometer is off the clock

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #24

Apr 082016

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
I took my van to Honda and was advised that the transmission needs to be replaced. It will not shift into 2nd gear 99% of the time. My van only has 111,000 miles on it and I am concerned as to why it was not included in the recall of the transmission on this year/make/model. I am still making payments on it and was told a new transmission from Honda would be $4500. There is no reason a transmission should go out at 111,000 miles when it has been well maintained through Honda over the years. My car will not go above 20 miles an hour on most occasions. If I rev the engine high and get it over 30, then it will change to 2nd gear. It is a safety hazard when trying to merge onto interstates and I have been almost hit a few times. I cannot accelerate to a safe, merging speed. My drive light continuously flashes and my tcs will come on from having to rev the engine. I have 3 kids and I do not feel safe driving this with them in it. Can this be included in the recall? please let me know. Thank you. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Minburn, IA, USA

problem #23

Jan 072016


  • 171,000 miles
Alternator bracket (stay) has broken for no apparent reason. No work performed on engine near bracket with the exception of a new serpentine belt. Multiple complaints from several owners of 2002 to 2004 Honda Odyssey, regarding reoccurring break. Some cases the part has broken numerous times. This is a poorly manufactured part and Honda motor company needs to recall all vehicles, and replace with restructured part. The bracket breaking causes alternator failure, which causes the engine to shutdown. If this happens in a traffic situation, both driver and passengers could be at risk of causing an accident.

- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, USA

problem #22

Oct 292015


  • 206,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Honda Odyssey. The contact stated that while driving at 20 mph, the instrument panel lights started to flicker. The contact noticed that the alternator was detached, the belt was laying to the side of the road and the main screw fractured from the alternator. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 206,000.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #21

Oct 312012


  • 98,000 miles
Transmission slipping in low gears, wouldn't engage/catch. Transmission was determined to need replacing, and service was completed with a remanufactured transmission by Honda dealer. Second transmission is now slipping in low gears and again needs replacing after only 37,000 miles. This second transmission had a warranty of 3yrs/35,000mi, so dealer won't help with replacement costs.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #20

Jul 282015


  • 99,600 miles
I purchased the Honda Odyssey 2002 on tues July 28th 930pm and was driving home. I lived 1 hour away from the Honda dealership. Upon driving for first 40 minutes of highway around 1020pm as I entered jersey city, NJ the van stalled at very 1st traffic into the city. It came up with 2 indicators: Tcs and malfunction indicator lamp. The engine indicator is still on. I tried to drive the van from traffic light and it wouldn't go over 20mph while RPM would move to 4-5. I pulled over and waited 5 minutes, turned off the van and restarted. I drove/made it home slowly with my heart pumping very fast. Please let me know what Honda is going to do to take care of these problems. The van had gone through multi point inspection and we were aware of known issues but these transmission issue was in the clear and happens on my drive home. And thank god it happen in the city while standing at the traffic light vs highway as well as the very same day vs a month later where I would of have been out of luck. But time will tell now who makes what effort to resolve my issue. Feel free to call me at [xxx] or [xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #19

Jun 082015


  • miles


Oil seeping through engine block and pooling in engine valley. Either replace engine or use epoxy. Getting van back today. Will see if glue fix holds up. Outrageous that my engine is now held together by glue! Honda should be ashamed!

- Boulder City, NV, USA

problem #18

May 012015


  • 146,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Odyssey. While shifting into drive, the vehicle independently accelerated. The contact crashed the vehicle into multiple objects before coming to a stop. The contact stated that the engine revved even while the vehicle was stopped. A police report was filed and no injuries were sustained. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the insurance company deemed the vehicle totaled. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 146,000.

- Boise , ID, USA

problem #17

Apr 222015


  • 143,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Odyssey. While driving at 70 mph, the engine stalled and the steering wheel seized. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 143,000.

- Diamond, IL, USA

problem #16

Apr 102015

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
The car is S stalling and bubbling. It is like im in nuetral all the sudden.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #15

Oct 102014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 190,000 miles


I have had my alternator mounting bracket crack and break twice in the last month. I am now replacing it for the third time. This is a major defect and problem, and there are no parts out have to search salvage lots. This is ridiculous, and I am really fed up with it! this is my first Honda, and have been incredibly disappointed!

- Motley, MN, USA

problem #14

Oct 232014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 159,000 miles
I was driving 2002 Honda Odyssey ex-L on the freeway. It was a stop and go traffic, vehicle in front of me stopped at certain point and I couldn't stop quick enough. To my surprise the air bag never deployed which caused a whiplash, bruise on the right side of upper body and also my left knee bump in to the dashboard.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #13

Sep 102014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
On 9/10/14 I started noticing transmission slipping/down-shifting at 40mph/2K RPM many times during a less than an hour drive. RPM would suddenly jump to 4K, and then comes back while the car suddenly jerks/slows as if it's put on engine brake. Vehicle is 2002 Odyssey and has 69K miles. Took the car to Honda dealer where the car has been serviced for years and they were able to reproduce the issue, and I was told it requires a new transmission which would cost $3700 for a reman transmission with 3-Y/36 kmil warranty. Talked Honda America and tried to "seek goodwill assistance for transmission" per some recommendations. They took my info, and details, and eventually told me they reviewed their parameters, and decided this is not a case they are willing to assist. Checked my maintenance record and was able to find a recall repair performed many years ago. I searched online and found there are tons of such transmission issues reported on Honda Odyssey. In some cases, there seems to be require a transmission replacement every 50K miles or so. Apparently Honda has been knowingly selling such defective transmissions for many years w/O telling the customers. I'm disappointed to say the least at Honda America, and the so called Honda quality which is proved to be a costly myth. I have a Hyundai with close to 90K miles and so far I don't have any transmission/engine issues. I think I'm done with Honda.

- Superior, CO, USA

problem #12

Jun 162009

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The first time while driving engine drive belt broke engine shut down suddenly could not stop hit vehicle in intersection second time similar situation my son driving to much oil on the belt, belt jump from tensioner and wrap around every thing vehicle too hard to stop engine not running ran in the back of some one mechanic diagnostic says it is the tensioner, water pump, oil failed causing a over heating internally in the motor blowing the head gasket with only 70,000 miles I notified my dealer and no reply because you cant drive the vehicle in to the dealership.

- Victorville, CA, USA

problem #11

Feb 282014


  • 78,000 miles
Transmission 2nd and 3rd gear are slipping. Car wouldn't accelerate while in motion but engine RPM went up. Had to pull over and try again. Honda dealership said I need a new transmission ($5,700). Honda America customer service refused to provide any financial help and claim that the faulty transmission was due the age of the car and is out of warranty.

- Beaverton, OR, USA

problem #10

Jan 032014


  • 170,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Odyssey. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken for routine brake service when he was advised that the engine motor mounts had worn prematurely and needed to be replaced. The manufacture was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 170,000 and the current mileage was 180,000.

- Liberty Township, OH, USA

problem #9

Sep 132013

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
I purchased this 2002 Honda Odyssey new and after only 69995 miles, my transmission stopped working. This is unacceptable to happen at this low of mileage to a car that had no prior accidents.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #8

Jul 142013

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 82,300 miles
My Honda Odyssey started showing symptoms of transmission failures on 14-July. Gears shifting between 1st and 2nd and 2nd and 3rd was noticeable, it would not pick speed while entering freeway. Also, check engine light came up, tcs starts blinking when this gears shift happening, also D sign blinks. I went to redwood city, ca Honda dealer, where I service my car all the time. they told me they don't do transmission and suggested I work with other companies like aamco. I read and understand this is known problem but Honda is not forthcoming and helping owners to address this issue.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #7

Jun 082013


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Odyssey. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the vehicle would shook abnormally and stalled. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic however, the mechanic could not diagnose the vehicle. The contact did not take the vehicle to the dealer for a diagnostic test. The failure mileage was 160,000.

- Perkasie, PA, USA

problem #6

Feb 012013

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Car did not go the 2nd and 3rd gear. Made noise. Was very scary and dangerous. Had to rebuild transmission.

- Skokie, IL, USA

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