pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
79,735 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. new transmisson (2 reports)
2003 Honda Odyssey transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Honda Odyssey:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Honda Odyssey Owner Comments

problem #5

Apr 022017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles


Our 2003 Odyssey has been a family car for almost 14 years. It has served us well through family errands, Girl Scout trips, and thousands upon thousands of miles of various road trips. It was my mom's primary car for 12 years, and it was then passed down to me about 2 years ago. Until this point, we'd only had annoying (but otherwise minor) electrical issues, misc. brake work, misc. recalls, and otherwise "expected" types of repairs with this vehicle.

Back in April of this year, the transmission started going bad. It would shake and "lug" at around 45-60 mph before eventually shifting appropriately. At highway speeds using cruise control, it would shake constantly. The tachometer needle was flying all over the place instead of shifting smoothly. These issues were also murdering my gas mileage (from 25mpg highway to 17 at most).

The "last straw" (so to speak) occurred when I was driving in a very hilly part of New Hampshire. While I was going down a sharp hill with my foot firmly on the brake pedal, the car actually started randomly accelerating and I almost lost control of the brakes and nearly rear-ended the car in front of me. Scared me half to death while it was happening, and I still got to spend over an hour driving it back home. This now occurs every time I am going doing a sharp hill while attempting to reduce my speed. The only way to correct it in the moment is to take my foot off the brake pedal and then brake a second time (and you can obviously imagine how unsafe that is when I'm, for example, approaching a red light during high traffic hours). The most I can do with this car in reasonable safety is make my 10-minute commute to school.

I have taken this vehicle to Firestone, as well as Bernardi Honda (both in Natick, MA) in various attempts to have this problem addressed. Both places have "experienced" transmission experts - yet somehow when I described the problem in minute detail and they supposedly ran full diagnostics, they "couldn't find the exact cause of the problem". Basically what they told me was that either the transmission needed to be rebuilt/replaced or the transmission's computer needed to be replaced - but either one was a $2,000+ job and they wouldn't tell me which one I actually needed. They were essentially asking me to risk wasting $2,000+ dollars (and if that didn't work, then I would have to fork over another $2,000+ dollars, while driving an unsafe vehicle in the meantime).

Needless to say, $4,000+ dollars would be better spent on a newer (and SAFER) vehicle, so my dad and I have decided on a 2005 Toyota Matrix as the replacement for my 2003 Odyssey. The Odyssey will ultimately be sold for scrap, and it's only just shy of 135,000 miles now. We were hoping to get 200,000+ without any serious issues. We will never buy another Honda, or have our cars serviced at either of those locations, ever again.

- , Ashland, MA, US

problem #4

Dec 082016

Odyssey EX 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

I am very disappointed in this van...never thought a Honda would give me trouble..but guess again this junk 2003 Honda odessey transmission jerks hard...cant drive it don't trust it...I just hope Honda can do something cuz this is crazy...so I don't think I willing be buying Honda cars anymore..i wil stick too my ford...always faithfull and has a ton of miles but runs good and no problems...what I can say good about this van is good on gas that's all...

- , Burbank, IL, USA

problem #3

Mar 152007

Odyssey LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,540 miles

I purchased a 2003 Honda odyssey used 2/2007 since day one the van rolls backwards in drive and forward in re erase if on an incline. I was told by the dealership that is normal not when it keeps rolling until you hit the brake. This van has been nothing but trouble since day one. I would never again buy a Honda this one is nothing but JUNK and Jones Junction and Belair Honda did nothing. The dealerships wouldn't do anything to fix it. I have way to many problems to list ignition, locks ,engine doors the list goes on and on.

- , Edgewood, MD, USA

problem #2

Nov 232012

Odyssey LX-L 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

Until last friday I would have told anyone how good I thought Honda vehicles are. That has changed. Not only have I changed my opinion about their vehicles but now have changed my opinion of Honda the company. The transmission wouldn't go into gear when I attempted to start up while sitting a light. It wouldn't engage until I put it in park then would rev up(slipping horribly) when I put it back in gear. I could have been stranded in the middle of an intersection with the possiblity of a collison.

I called Honda "customer service" (that's a joke) and got a case # with the promise of a return call on Monday. I called them back on Tuesday and talked to the "case manager" who informed me that the warrranty had expired and that I needed to take the car to Honda dealer to make sure I got factory parts(????), the same factory parts that had failed in the vehicle already. For me that was just adding insult to injury. Honda sold a product that had approximately 5 years of data showing the trasmission to be defective.

For me Honda was/is on trial and they have shown me that their customer committment is ZERO.

My wife has wanted a CRV for some time and that was to be our next purchase- no more.

I wouldn't buy another Honda because I don't trust the company. The cars aren't great but are SUPPOSED to be dependable.

- , Corinth, TX, USA

problem #1

Jul 132011

Odyssey EX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137 miles

there is a clunk sound with a jerk when shift to drive and reverse. also hard jerk shifting when driving and start changing gears engine light is on, also the traction light comes on at times and go off.

- , Bp, CT, USA

Not what you are looking for?