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 3 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #292

May 042011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


Today, while driving my kids to school, my 2003 Honda Odyssey started to act funny. The engine revved up and down. The car started shifting gears up and down when driving at the same constant speed. Then, the tcs light and check engine light came on. Also, the D in the shifter display started flashing. Barely had time to pull part way into a mall parking lot driveway, halfway out of traffic before the car lost all momentum and stopped. Had it towed to the dealer and they say the transmission needs to be replaced. Car has been serviced by dealer and authorized Honda mechanic at suggested intervals since the van was bought off the lot new.

- Lancaster , CA, USA

problem #291

May 012011


  • 130,000 miles
Our Honda Odyssey van - 2003 - has had numerous issues. Most recently, the transmission has failed. It appears that many minivans from this same era have had similar issues and Honda is not offering me any assistance (except for a new $4,800 transmission). I love Honda, but this is an outrage - clearly they have issues and they should be forced to correct their error.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #290

Apr 042011


  • 159 miles
Started slipping on a major street....leaving me in a dangerous position. Occurred at $159 miles after being serviced at the original dealer I purchased from. Was first told $4300 for rebuilt. Got Honda involved, and it was reduced to $1900 after voicing my complaint.

- Oro Valley, AZ, USA

problem #289

Mar 252011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 65,150 miles


Transmission failure - 2003 Honda Odyssey @65,000 miles - lost 4th gear first, then 2nd gear when I slowed down. By the time I got to the dealer, all of the gears were malfunctioning and car was undriveable. Pending a response from Honda as to whether they will grant me a "goodwill repair" allowance, I have not taken any repair action. This transmission was the subject of a recall in 2004, which I responded to. Honda settled a lawsuit regarding transmission problems in their 1999-2002 transmissions. It's time for an investigation on the 2003-2004 transmissions, particularly those which were subject to the original recall.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #288

Mar 252011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey transmission, when up-shifting actually causes the van to lose power and slow down.

- Lake In The Hills, IL, USA

problem #287

Mar 202011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 78,800 miles
Noticed hard shifting into reverse of my 2003 Honda Odyssey with just under 80,000 miles. A few weeks after that, persistent slipping of the transmission into neutral (causing stall) was noted and addressed by a dealer. Dealer could not reproduce slippage and I was told to bring it back when it happened again (difficult when it stops on the side of the road). Dealer quoted me approx. $4500 for transmission replacement, which is more than half what the van is worth. All transmission servicing was done according to Honda service advice.

- Grand Forks Afb, ND, USA

problem #286

Mar 252011


  • 143,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact stated while driving 45 mph the vehicle would sputter and stall. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who diagnosed a transmission failure and advised replacing the transmission. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 143,000.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #285

Mar 142011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact was driving 35 mph when the check engine and traction control system warning lights illuminated causing the vehicle to decelerate to a lower speed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who inspected the vehicle and stated that the transmission would need to be replaced. There was no warranty or recalls for the failure and the contact would be held liable for the $5000 repairs costs. The manufacturer was contacted and a claim was filed but no assistance was offered. The failure mileage was 106,000. Updated 5/2/11 the consumer stated he experienced sluggish acceleration and a noise when the gear was shifted from park to reverse. Updated 05/16/11

- Wrightstown, WI, USA

problem #284

Mar 152011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
We had purchased our 2003 Honda Odyssey brand new from a Honda dealership after extensive browsing, researching, and comparing, we felt Honda was the way to go due to their reputation for "making quality vehicles that last a long time and work great." How wrong we were. We babied this van. Made sure it got any oil, lube, or fix it needed and have the documentation to prove it. Shortly after buying it we had received a recall notice regarding problems that year's model had with the V6 transmissions, so we took it over and had them fix what was "supposedly" the problem. In April, 2009 we decided we'd get a detailed "full servicing" done and fix any issues or potential issues the Odyssey had at that time which, after all the repairs, cost $1,300. At that time they had performed a complete transmission fluid change along with everything else. Last Tuesday while I was driving home I was going about 50 mph when the transmission just completely stalled in the middle of the road causing the car behind me to swerve into oncoming traffic. I took it straight to a shop nearby who then showed me that the transmission fluid was so burnt up it was black and thick like engine oil. After initially assuming from the looks of it that I hadn't ever had a tfc, he was shocked when I told him it had not even a year and a half ago. The next day I took it to the Honda dealership where they told me it would cost $5200 to fix. I then asked why, if the tranny went out just because, was the tran.fluid so burnt up after only a year. They basically said they couldn't do anything for me in regards to owning up and replacing the defected transmission which they should have done in the first place when the recall happened back in 2004! I refuse to pay for this and am demanding that Honda take care of this transmission so I can sell this van and never buy another Honda again. Go ahead and google "2003 Odyssey transmission". it's horrifying to see how many stories are just like mine and unresolved.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #283

Mar 182011


  • 138,000 miles
Van will sometimes stall in second gear, necessitating that I either step on the brake or shift into neutral before shifting back into drive. This is not a problem when I'm the only one on the road, but becomes a safety issue when turning corners or accelerating in heavy traffic. 2003 Honda Odyssey with 136,000 miles. Honda dealer says that the transmission and computer must be replaced completely.

- Chatham, IL, USA

problem #282

Mar 092011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 78,413 miles


Transmission failure on Honda Odyssey 2003. Vehicle part of the recall that was issued in 2004. Oil cooler installed but it did not fix the original issue of the second gear having tooth chipping. Transmission fluid was changed as recommended, according to Honda. The car has 78K miles on it and the second gear is slipping. Honda never fixed the original issue of the second gear failing. This car was one of the first cars issued in the 2003 year model. I think this is still a safty issue because Honda never fixed the original problem.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #281

Mar 122011


  • 135,517 miles
Approximately 2 weeks before the total transmission failure, vehicle started making a whirring sound and was sometimes slow to engage in drive after a cold start. There were also some erratic shifts. Vehicle was driven to Honda dealer where were it was purchased new and always serviced and maintained.(including transmission fluid services).dealer diagnosed the repair as a transmission replacement at a cost of $4177. Because of the cost, I decided to consider my options and started to drive home. Approximately 2 miles later the transmission began to slip, lost power, and stopped dead against oncoming traffic as I attempted to turn onto a side street.(since this occurred on busy state highway 303 with a 50 mph speed limit, there were a few anxious moments until I was able to push the van off the roadway). After a 2 hour wait for a truck, the van was towed to a transmission shop who confirmed the transmission had completely failed. This shop rebuilt the transmission for $3000. I am disappointed that Honda is unwilling to accept any responsibility for the failure due to the fact that the vehicle was purchased new and I was loyal to the dealership for all my service, and all maintenance performed as recommended vehicle was always gently driven and never used for towing or hauling.

- Stow, OH, USA

problem #280

Mar 042011


  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. While driving approximately 65-70 mph the check engine and traction control light illuminated on the dashboard. He drove onto the side of the road and turned the vehicle off, waited approximately 5 minutes and turned the vehicle back on. When the vehicle restarted the traction control light shut off but the check engine light remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who performed a diagnostic test and advised him that the transmission needed to be replaced. The dealer also advised him that they would call the manufacturer for assistance with the repairs. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 04V176000, power train:automatic transmission and was not sure if his vehicle was not part of the recall. The failure mileage was 96,000 and the current mileage was 96,500.

- Davis, CA, USA

problem #279

Mar 012011


  • 106,472 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. While driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle began exhibiting a loud, abnormal noise and became resistant to acceleration attempts. This was the second occurrence of the failure without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for the failure where the contact was advised that the transmission would need replacing. The manufacturer was contacted and she was awaiting a return call. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 106,472.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

problem #278

Feb 182011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 99,899 miles
The transmission on my Honda Odyssey is failing starting just before 100,000 miles. It lurches into gear especially up an incline and when it put into reverse. I have keep meticulously care of the car and have the records to prove it. I spoke with the service manager at our local dealer and it would cost me $3750, which is considered a reduced price from them. This is a documented problem with Honda starting with their recall 04V176000 and it is a disgrace that they aren't held accountable.

- Morristown, NJ, USA

problem #277

Jan 282011


  • 85,000 miles
I bought a 2003 Honda Odyssey van from a Honda dealer in bowie Maryland. It had (30,000) miles on it, I put down ($3000) cash towards the purchase. I have been up to date with the service maintenance at the same bowie dealer. Last month just (2) years after the purchase the light came on the dash board I took it back to the dealer after examining it they told me it was the transmission and it would cost ($5000). The extended warranty had expired. They were not helpful at all. I decided to get a second opinion from a specialized Honda mechanic how confirmed the problem. He suggested rebuilding the transmission. I had to get the van fixed quickly as I needed the van for the family, it cost ($3400) which I put on my credit card. I complained to Honda America they asked me to fax the bill to them which I did and then told me they would only pay me back ($500) towards the repairs.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #276

Feb 252011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey transmission failed at 63000 miles. This seems to be a regular occurrence with this vehicle and model. My wife was driving the vehicle and it simple stopped moving in the middle of a highway. Not very safe and it seems that Honda is not willing to take full responsibility for this issue.

- Camp Hill, PA, USA

problem #275

Feb 072011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 136,000 miles
My husband experienced a catastrophic breakdown of the transmission in our 2003 Honda Odyssey while he was driving on the freeway. The car just stopped working at 65 mph. He was able to partially pull off the road and another vehicle stopped to help push him off completely. He had to call a tow truck which cost $150 to tow the vehicle to our home town and our repair center. Our Odyssey has 136,000 miles on it and has always been meticulously maintained. The new transmission that was required cost $4700 and we were without a vehicle for 12 days.

- Olympia, WA, USA

problem #274

Dec 282010


  • 104,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey transmission slipping, leading to eventual failure. Transmission slips out of gear when going from 2nd to 3rd gear, engine revs, wheels lose power. Event has occurred 10-12 times over the last 2 months, particularly when accelerating from a slow speed (traffic light, stop sign, turn, etc.). it gets hazardous when there are cars behind yours because your vehicle loses power to the drive wheels leaving the driver to pump the accelerator, down shift to D3 or shift into neutral then back to drive. I've had to pull off to the shoulder to prevent getting run off the road by cars behind me.

- Ashland, MA, USA

problem #273

Aug 242010


  • 82,000 miles
I have a 2003 Honda Odyssey with a transmission problem. Seems it slips out of second gear a known problem in Honda Odyssey from 1999 to 2004. Honda issued a recall for a temporary fix to get the cars out of warranty. The sales manager at Honda in gurnee Illinois confirmed that this is a known problem in Honda Odyssey and Honda is burying their head in the sand. My car now needs a new transmission estimate cost 3800. I called Honda and they denied any recovery of this cost. I searched online and this problem is huge in these vans. I know 3 people with Honda Odyssey with the same problem.

- Antioch, IL, USA

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