really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,006 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Honda Odyssey Owner Comments (Page 2 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #312

Aug 082011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 103,900 miles


Vehicle popped out of gear while moving at 50mph and would not accelerate. Upon stopping on side of road and shifting from D to park and back to D, the van was able to move for a few hundred yards. At 35mph it popped out of gear again. Did same thing with transmission and was able to "limp" home as long as vehicle stayed under 30mph. Towed vehicle to dealer and found out transmission is bad. I have a 7yr/105,000 mile warranty, but it expired last year. I only have 103,000 miles on the van. The repair is quoted at $4200. I have complete and timely service records at a Honda dealership for the life of the van.

- Queen Creek, AZ, USA

problem #311

Jul 102007


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. While driving approximately 65 mph, the contact noticed black smoke from the rear of the vehicle. The vehicle also decelerated. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostics, where the technician stated that the transmission would have to be replaced. The failure occurred on two different prior occasions and the transmission was replaced. The vehicle was not again repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Columbus , TX, USA

problem #310

Aug 032011


  • 162,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact stated the vehicle was taken to the dealer for routine maintenance when the dealer advised that the transmission was defective and recommended replacing the transmission fluid. The dealer replaced the transmission fluid and later, caused the transmission to fail completely. The vehicle was towed to the deale where the contact was awaiting diagnosis. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 162,000.

- Mechanicsville, MD, USA

problem #309

Jul 312011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 103,400 miles


Minivan started to accelerate upon push of accelerator (rpms jumped significantly). Jerky/harsh acceleration from 0-40. Severe shudder of van when decelerating between gears. Malfunctioning overdrive (will not down shift to D3, 2, or 1st gear while rolling. Reverse gear did not work unless the car was started again.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #308

Jul 222011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 101,500 miles
At 101,500 miles and less than 2 years and 20,000 miles after the first transmission rebuild, our 2003 Honda Odyssey van is once again in need of a complete transmission rebuild. This is the same problem that thousands of other Honda owners are reporting. We purchased the van new from Honda in December 2002 and have religiously maintained it (oil changes, tires, brakes, tune-ups, check-ups, etc.). at 82,289 miles, the original transmission "came apart" while my wife was driving one day. Prior to that, the gears seemed to be slipping. Frustrated with the poor service from the dealership and the run-around Honda has been giving their customers (specifically with Odyssey owners), we had the transmission rebuilt by aamco ($3500) and were "assured" that we were getting a better transmission than the original. How is a transmission that lasts 1/4 of the time than the original a better one? this 2nd transmission was fine until Friday 7/22/2011, when we were taking a trip down to nags head, nc. Suddenly, I noticed when we were approximately 45 miles away from home (on I-95) that the RPM was up around 6X, the van was not shifting gears, and there was smoke coming out the back. I quickly got off the interstate, came to a stop and then it would not shift at all. We had it towed back to fredericksburg, va and were informed that the transmission fluid was "burnt, " the transmission itself would have to be replaced, and the radiator would need to be replaced. We are once again looking at spending $4-5K for a vehicle we bought new, kept well-maintained, and has relatively low miles for its age (101K). When we bought the Odyssey, we also purchased a CR-V and declare we were Honda people. This is why we are no longer Honda people. The Honda Odyssey have a well documented history of problems with their transmissions, and Honda has not stepped up to take care of their customers. Honda owes every Odyssey owner an apology!

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #307

Jul 162011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 148,417 miles
I was driving on the freeway about a mile outside of rawlins, wy and the RPM indicator suddenly went all the way to the top and then smoke started coming out from under the hood. I decided to drive it into rawlins although it was slipping gears and I had a hard time getting it to shift from 2nd to 3rd gear. I had to drive very slowly and carefully and when I got to the gas station in rawlins, there was transmission fluid all under the car and on the under side of the car. So I called and took it to a mechanic just before they closed. He quickly checked it and said it probably just needed a transmission service. So my boyfriend and I towed it to casper, Wyoming and took it to the Honda dealership there. They checked it and it came up with 3 malfunction codes P0710N/P0780/P1750. So it needed a new transmission. The mileage is at 148417 and I have only owned the vehicle for about a year now. It has been well taken care of and there was no previous indication that it had any problems. I was told it would cost me between $3200-$4500 to have a new transmission put in my car. I do not have the money for that. So now I have no vehicle for my family.

- Bountiful, UT, USA

problem #306

Jul 182011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 154,005 miles


My family and I were traveling on the freeway with cruise control set and began smelling smoke and then started seeing smoke behind our families vehicle. We immediately pulled over and found transmission fluid all underneath and on back of our vehicle. We managed to make it to a Honda dealer and after 3 hours of "we're not really sure" we were told "Honda" told them our torque diverted was bad and our transmission needed to be replaced. $5000!!

- Cabot, AR, USA

problem #305

Jul 112011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey transmission failed at hwy speed on the tappen zee bridge NY after being told by two dealers one in Canada and one in NY state that the vehicle did not have a transmission problem. Vehicle shifted into low gear, revved high, tcs light came on, check engine light came on and D3 light started flashing.

- Toronto Canada, 00, USA

problem #304

Mar 022006

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
2--3 Honda Odyssey transmission problem: I purchased a 2003 Odyssey brand new in September of 2002. The van was great for a while until the electric doors started to stick and we had something strange happen several times with the transmission. We took it to the dealer for a check-up right before the warranty expired at about 34K miles (warranty expires at 36K). The dealer loosened the doors and explained that the heat in Florida required us to place a little of lithium grease in the gaskets on the doors. The dealer did not find anything wrong with the transmission, but since I had already started to hear about the transmission problems, I made sure they noted the complaint on the work order. At 40K miles bang! transmission out! we took the car to the dealer and after a couple of days, the service representative called us to let us know that Honda will provide us a new transmission for replacement, but we would have to pay the $1000 installation. My wife and I had little choice but to pay. Well, the van now (6/28/2033) has 119K miles and I just left it at a mechanic shop to get the transmission rebuilt. I will cost $1200, and there's not much else I can do right now. I have to practice my houdini skills and make $1200 pop out of thin air. This issue is a real shame because the van is awesome. Honda could be embracing their problems and capitalizing in building long term customer loyalty. Instead, I just want to place the Honda logo in the train tracks, the way I placed small coins in the track to flatten them when I was a kid. I hope we can get something to happen though the courts about this.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #303

Oct 202010

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 134,760 miles
My 2003 Honda Odyssey's transmission went out in fall of 2010. I am a careful driver, taken care to maintain my car according to suggested maintenance schedule. The transmission felt a little loose for a few days, and then one day on the way home from work it completely failed. I couldn't get into any gear. I called Honda and asked for help and they said my car was too old and it was normal for transmissions to fail. The mileage on my car was 134760. I had to have a complete transmission replacement at aamco for $3000. This car has had so many problems, and Honda refuses to stand behind their product. I've had the key core go bad, my drivers side rear door had been "fixed" 3 times and still won't close properly, all the paint is peeling all over the car, and Honda would only repaint portions of the car as part of the recall. So one side of my car and the back is completely peeled away, and they refuse to repaint it, unless I pay to have it done.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #302

Jun 182011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 89,500 miles


We discovered today that our 2003 Honda Odyssey was in need of a new transmission, the sad part is this vehicle only has 89,500 miles, the Honda dealership that inspected the van told us that the cost to replace the transmission was going to be $4200. We pretty much experienced all the same problems that many other users are mentioning on this site, it first started by skipping gears between 2nd and 3rd, then the tcs and emc light came on and after this everything came downhill. The dealer told us that the van was serviced in the past to take care of the recall by installing the jet fan cooling thing, apparently this was a bandage to the real issue as a couple of years later the transmission finally died on us. We bought Honda for their apparent "superior quality" and have never been more disappointed. We feel like we got screwed and if there is a recall or some lemon law we would like to know about it because this just can not keep happening!!!!!!!!

- Kronenwetter, WI, USA

problem #301

May 202011


  • 101,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact stated while driving approximately 30 mph she applied pressure to the accelerator pedal but the vehicle would not accelerate further. The tachometer and check engine lights also began to illuminate on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 101,000.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #300

May 282011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Approximately 60 days ago on a Saturday I took my 2003 Honda Odyssey to one of the local Honda dealers for and oil change service. I asked the service advisor to check out the check engine light because it had come on the week before. He told me that the regular service department was closed and that I shouldn't worry about it until it come up for the smog check. About 3 weeks later on memorial day weekend I had my wife and three children in the vehicle traveling on a major freeway and without warning the transmission failed. The vehicle lost power and we were very lucky to get to the side of the road without getting into a collision. I had the vehicle towed to the same dealership that had done the service and they confirmed that the transmission was bad and recommended a rebuilt replacement at a cost of over $3700 dollars. A new computer was also recommended for an extra $1,100. The van is still sitting in their lot. After a brief internet search it appears that this is a major problem with some Honda products. My wife and children were very scared of some of the large trucks that past by us on both side at what seemed to be a high rate of speed. But it was probably more that we were slowing down at a fast rate.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #299

Jun 092011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
Bought my Odyssey used, certified with the 7yr/100K mi warranty from a Honda dealership in alexandria, va in May 2006 with less than 20,000 miles on it. Have had it serviced by my local Honda dealership exclusively since purchasing. Less than 24 hours ago (at about 99000 miles), I experienced my first odd experience with shifting up/down while at expressway and freeway speeds. I returned home within 50 miles and parked the car until I could get it to the dealership (2 miles from my house). First thing this morning (about 7:30 am), took the Odyssey to the dealership for a diagnostic of the transmission and to have the brakes checked and/or replaced as needed as well as any other routine maintenance that might be needed. Received a phone call from the service department at the dealership about 1 pm today and was told that I needed a new transmission, as the old one was shot. The price quoted to me for a remanufactured transmission and control module was about $5000, not what I wanted to hear or was expecting. I took my vehicle in last just a few months ago for an oil change and any regular maintenance needed, expecting any abnormalities would be noted. I would have been due for another oil change about now, but I just recently changed the oil and oil filter myself, less than 3000 miles ago. How is it that a supposedly reliable vehicle can, without warning, go from 100% functioning to needing a major drive component replacement? I just called Honda corporate for assistance with this, as a major equipment failure of this nature shouldn't be dropped on the consumer, and I have read many similar issues with this model year transmission. I'd be happy paying 25-50% of the costs, with a minimum 36K mi/ 3 yr warranty on the transmission. This would only be the second major expense I've had to pay on the van, as the first one was the regularly scheduled timing belt replacement, which was done well before the typical mileage mark.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #298

May 262011


  • 78,000 miles
Honda transmission problem. When the vehicle switch from 2nd gear to 3rd gear, the vehicle accelerate to high RPM but doesn't move enough causing go slow for a while. Not any responsible answer from Honda.

- Woodstock, MD, USA

problem #297

Jun 022011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 147,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey began slipping in transmission from 2nd to 3rd gear approximately 1 month ago. I took the van to the dealer twice, only to be told they could not identify a problem. They did report that I needed $650 of other maintenance, which I agreed to, but could not "replicate" the problem I was there for. After the 3rd visit in less than 2 weeks, I was told that the transmission had failed and would need to be replaced. After much research, we discovered that the Odyssey transmission has had numerous complaints of failure. The dealership said they had contacted Honda Corp. But they declined any assistance. We are the original owners and have been loyal customers of this dealership for the past 8 years. The dealership did offer a 10% discount, but the cost is still a staggering $3800. I believe that Honda, having full knowledge that they are promoting and selling defective transmissions, should be held liable for their product.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #296

Mar 312011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey transmission slipping out of gear when accelerating after entering highway.

- River Forest, IL, USA

problem #295

May 102011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 117,100 miles
Transmission failure on 2003 Honda Odyssey purchased new from dealer. 2004 transmission recall performed by dealer and factory maintenance schedule performed throughout. In April 2011 noticed slipping when shift from second to third gear occurred. It became immobile while accelerating on a busy street. Taken to Honda dealer and informed transmission needed replacement.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #294

May 092011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 124,440 miles
20003 Honda Odyssey transmission failure while driving. Lost of power in middle of vehicle operation.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #293

May 022011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 101,356 miles
We bought our 2003 Honda Odyssey from a private party in May 2008 with an odometer of 46,000 miles. We have been well satisfied with the van since then. We now have 101,000 miles. We were visiting our daughter & family in oxford, ms and were returning home to rock hill, SC near tupelo, ms (about 50 miles) when the tachometer revved up to 5000+RPM. We had aaa tow it to a shop in tupelo who diagnosed a burned up transmission. The shop estimate of repair time was 8.1 hrs based on the guide the owner said it took about that time to remove the defective transmission. When calling aaa we told them to take it to any shop that could repair it. I will be contacting Honda about assistance on the repair costs, even though it was not the Honda dealer. We have maintained the vehicle faithfully according to the manual.

- Rock Hill, SC, USA

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