really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
113,142 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.

2003 Honda Odyssey drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Honda Odyssey Owner Comments (Page 8 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #51

Jan 262012

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 100,325 miles


Without much or any warning my transmission failed (the dreaded P0730 code showed up on the scanner) on my 2003 Honda Odyssey ex-L van with only 100,325 miles. The van was never abused or used to tow. Transmission was rebuilt 1.30.12 by private shop Continental transmission for $1800. (torque converter blown to pieces). Honda does have limited recalls on trannys but mine was not included (only if 2nd shaft is broken & scored and burnt/ bluish color) this will documented tranny problem with 2nd generation Odyssey is very upsetting and I blame it on a poor design by Honda engineers (under sized tranny paired with a power V6 240hp heavy 4500lbs van has been a recipe for premature failure). The worst part was on 1.5.12 I just had extensive preventative maintenance done at don davis Honda (timing belt, water pump, tensioner and power steering belts) and two weeks later the transmission fails!!! other issues with the van have been, ac compressor failed May 2010 88,648 miles. Rear wiper motor failed March 2011 89,240 miles, both sliding power door rollers had to replaced. Brake switch failed (locked up), Dec 2011 98,750 miles van would not move out of park. Not real happy or confident with Honda right now!

- Hamburg, NY, USA

problem #50

Feb 072012

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 137,000 miles
137,000 miles, transmission failed. All service had been completed by the dealer during the life of the vehicle, and I am the original owner. The dealer and Honda of America would not replace the transmission and the ECU. Even though there have been many similar problems with other people with the same make and model. The ECU has a tsb on it.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #49

Dec 152006

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 113,965 miles
On 12/16/2011, the transmission failed without warning. The tcs and engine light were on and had been on for a few weeks. On 9/27/2011, I had informed my Honda dealer, penske Honda of indianapolis, of the tcs light. They thought is was oil on the sensor and said it would finally wear off. The oil they said, was coming from the rear head bolt that had developed a leak. As it turned out, the bolt was stripped. This vehicle was never used for towing. It was a "carpool the kids to school and a two spring breaks to Florida vacations" van. At 113,000 miles, this is disappointing. Especially since we bought another Honda in 2005 and now we are afraid of failure there as well. The head bolt repair necessitates a new engine and the transmission repair was made at a private shop. I spoke with Honda Motors America's customer service and they offered no indication of help or serious consideration. I have yet to repair the engine.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #48

Jan 192012

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 107,000 miles


Transmission failed to shift gears, caused engine to stall while driving, would not shift into or out of gear.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #47

Dec 282011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
The transmission is beginning to fail as indicated by the transmission slipping (press accelerator and engine races with no power to the wheels) for about 5 seconds at random times while traveling about 40 mph on a trip of about 5 miles. This happens on about every other trip and is increasing in frequency.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #46

Jan 152011


  • 177,000 miles
The contact owns 2003 Honda Odyssey. While driving approximately 60 mph the vehicle began to decelerate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated the transmission had to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 177,000.

- Delran, NJ, USA

problem #45

Jan 132012

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles


Transmission failure at 94,000 miles caused by faulty torque converter.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #44

Jan 132012

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
I was driving my car told the dealership my car jerk he told I need a fuel injection. I paid for a that service. Was driving my kids home from school when the car jerk 3 time repeatly so bad we all got scared. My husband drove the car to the dealership. They did a diagnostic test and told me it was the torque chamber in the transmission would cost $4500 dollars to fix. As a hard working american I feel duped and stupid. I feel they sold me a lemon. I think consumer should be told if their is a problem with the vechile before purchasing it.

- Goldsboro, NC, USA

problem #43

Jan 072012


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact stated that the transmission caused the vehicle stall while driving 35 mph. The contact stated that the vehicle would also stall while shifting gears, causing the vehicle to jerk abnormally. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and inquired about NHTSA campaign I.D. number: 04V176000 (power train:automatic transmission) but the dealer advised that the vehicle was previously repaired under the recall. The contact stated that the vehicle was never repaired under the recall. The failure mileage was 82,000.

- Novi, MI, USA

problem #42

Jan 052012

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
While driving my two children to school, my transmission failed in the middle of an intersection. The transmission would not catch but I had enough forward momentum to coast to the side of the road just past the light.

- Plain City , OH, USA

problem #41

Jan 032012

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles


Single owner 2003 Honda Odyssey LX. It was parked in garage. Attempted to reverse but reverse gear won't engage with grinding noises coming. Honda says it is out of warranty and not covered. This is poor workmanship if transmission fails before 100K miles.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #40

Oct 012011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Although having brought the car in to the dealer under a power train/automatic transmission recall in 2004 as a result of NHTSA campaign #04V17600, the automatic transmission began to fail some months ago and the malfunction indicator light came on with P0730 (gear ratio error) being decoded by my mechanic. Some months later, the transmission was even more problematic and the difficulty in it shifting from second to third gear was so bad that the car could not be driven (95,000 miles). The problem appears to be with the overheating of the torque converter. This problem is even more likely to happen on a V-6 Odyssey, which I have, because the Honda power train/auto. Transmission cannot handle the extra torque of the larger engine. Replacing all the solenoids did not solve the problem and the transmission is currently being rebuilt but not by Honda as replacing it with a factory-rebuilt Honda transmission will only lead to the same issues. There are thousands of complaints on the internet of transmission failure in Honda Odyssey from 1999 up to the present. A class action suit forced Honda to extend the power train warranty to 100,000 miles on 1999-2001 Odyssey... but those of us with newer Odyssey have been left out in the cold. My car is a one-owner vehicle, regularly serviced according to Honda specifications and never used for pulling heavy loads or any sort of irregular driving. In fact, the car has been 'babied' from the day I bought it.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #39

Dec 122011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 153,256 miles
Hi, Honda had a recall on the 03 Odyssey transmission for chipping of metal, over heating, etc. Right now my car will not engage from reverse to drive for 10-15sec and while driving will accelerate for no reason, which I believe are very major safety issues. Spoke to Honda customer care and they will not take care or fix these issues case#[xxx] on 1229/2011. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- North Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #38

May 012011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
Transmission failed egr valve failed.

- River Forest, IL, USA

problem #37

Dec 192011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 246,000 miles
Complete transmission failure while vehicle was operating at highway speeds.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #36

Dec 172011


  • 133,200 miles
While traveling from Florida to Virginia down I95 at 70mph in cruise control, I suddenly lost acceleration and looked up in time to see smoke coming from the rear of the vehicle. I pulled over and transmission fluid continued to burn and smoke from engine compartment and then the plastic engine cover caught fire. We were able to extinguish it and have it towed to a Honda dealer, where we were told the transmission overheated for an unknown reason. This van had already had three transmission cooler line recall performed after a similar incident by a previous owner that caused the transmission to need to be rebuilt. After being left with no other option, I opted to refill transmission fluid and continue to drive the can back to Virginia. The van operated perfectly and had no issues for the rest of the six hundred plus mile trip home. I am of course now scared to drive it anywhere even though it runs like it never had a problem. It gave no indication of trouble before this sudden overheating either. This could have been much worse especially since we were traveling with three small children including a baby.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #35

Dec 102011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 97,014 miles
I was driving the car along and it felt as though it went into neutral. The motor continued to show revolutions on the tachometer but the car slowed down to a stop. I coasted into a shopping center parking lot and turned the car off. I waited about five minutes and started the car again. I was able to put the car in drive and proceed for about three minutes and the same thing as above happened. I called my husband and he came to my location in a different car. I followed him for about four miles while he drove the Honda Odyssey, 2003 and observed the same thing two more times until we reached a garage where our cars had been worked on before. The next day on Saturday, my husband drove his car to the garage and took the Honda to the dealership less than a mile from where it was parked all night on Friday, December 9.

- Charlotte , NC, USA

problem #34

Dec 142011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 93,576 miles
Transmission suddenly began slipping - no warning lights appeared -- occurs intermittently -- have read about many similar cases with the Honda Odyssey transmission ---Honda should be fixing/replacing this defect for its customers!

- Columbia, MO, USA

problem #33

Dec 082011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles
Attempting to move the vehicle from our driveway to the street, the automatic transmission failed on our 2003 Honda Odyssey ex. The clutch would not immediately catch in either reverse or drive. Once it did engage, in either direction, the engine and transmission would shake and jerk the entire vehicle. We drove the vehicle about 2 miles to a local repair shop. The mechanic told us we needed to replace the transmission and also install an electronic control module. The repair will cost us $4,700. While he noted the vehicle otherwise looked in excellent mechanical condition, transmission failures were very common for Honda Odyssey manufactured for the 2002-2004 model years. Further research shows hundreds of complaints around Honda's automatic transmission for both this vehicle and other models. What other information does dot/NHTSA need to move toward a recall?

- Annandale, VA, USA

problem #32

Nov 082011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
First trans drive indicator light started flashing.paid to replace sensor and flush trans oil.three weeks later trans refuses to shift out of park.,I opened steering wheel override and trans is working fine except I must employ override feature to shift gear.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

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