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

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 (Page 4 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #272

Feb 142011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles


I bought a used 2003 ex from carmax in 2006 with 36K miles on it. It now has 82K miles on it. We have taken good care of it and always serviced it at a Honda dealer. A month ago we occasionally started to feel bumpy shifting of the gears between 20-40 mph. The problem slowly worsened and the check engine light came last week. I got into the service center to get it checked up and was told that I needed a new transmission. I couldn't believe it ! we have always bought and stuck to Honda for its reliability and longevity. Apparently we were wrong ! the quote given by them for the repairs was $4521 + tax !! I am still dumbfound and infuriated. This is a serious safety hazard which has been un-acknowledged by the parent company. Please do something about. Honda is taking the american consumer for a ride. Their compensation package offered for the tranny by the Honda is very adhoc and suspect.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #271

Feb 142011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 108,645 miles
My wife drove this minivan, Honda Odyssey 2003, and just before entering the interstate freeway the "check engine" light turned on, the transmission became "sleepy" or lazy and the car just stopped. She panicked because this was during heavy traffic and the situation became dangerous. She slowly drove to her friends' house and left the car overnight. The next day, I checked the diagnostic codes and had P0730 and P0780 (transmission failure). Poway Honda dealership, in san diego, ca, was asking for $4,565 to replace the bad transmission with a refurbished unit. I am very disappointed with Honda's "high" quality product. This vehicle has only traveled 108,000 miles and now requires such a high repair cost. I found one private repair company that will repair this problem somewhat cheaper. My question to Honda is, is the mechanical designer in charge of this bad design part still working for you?

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #270

Feb 142011


  • 108,645 miles
My wife drove this minivan and just before exit to 15 freeway "check engine" light turned on, transmission starts sleeping and car just stop. She gets in panic because in this time was heavy traffic and situation become dangerous. She slowly drove to friends house and dropped the car overnight. Next day I checked codes and had P0730 and P0780 (transmission failure). "poway Honda" in san diego, ca was asking for $4,565 to replace bad transmission with refurbished unit! I was very disappointing with Honda "high" quality product (only 108K miles and ~$5,000 have to pay for used transmission!) I found one private company for $3,300 to replace this junk from Honda.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #269

Nov 102009

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 84,000 miles


2003 Honda Odyssey; transmission shifted erratically for several weeks prior to failing completely, and leaving my in-laws stranded on the highway.

- Indiana, PA, USA

problem #268

Feb 112007

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 89,400 miles
We own a 2003 Honda Odyssey ex with 89,000 miles on it. We bought it used in 2007. Last week the transmission "shuddered" for two miles while on the highway. I pulled over, turned off the vehicle, restarted it, and continued. About 50 miles later, the transmission slipped out of gear while I was trying to merge into traffic on an interstate. I was able to pull over, get the van into a gear, and "limp" home. I have now studied this issue and learned that Honda has a serious problem with transmissions with their V-6 engines. The van, in fact, does require a new transmission - and it will me significant dollars. Fortunately I was alone in the van at the time, and no accident occurred, but one very certainly could have. Losing all power at the wrong time could be disastrous(goes without saying). I am disappointed that Honda knows about these problems, and has not taken proactive steps to prevent them. I would hope that NHTSA would compel them to.

- Indiana, PA, USA

problem #267

Aug 012010

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
My 2003 Honda Odyssey started experiencing transmission problems in August 2010 at around 62,000 miles. Most of the problems were observed when shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear. Due to the unpredictability in shifting, it creates a hazardous situation when merging into traffic.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #266

Jan 102011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 121,000 miles


No advanced warning for automatic transmission failure. Transmission failed while driving on busy parkway at about 9:00pm at night. Vehicle suddenly decelerated and had no forward drive. Fortunately, this incident occurred at night in light traffic as in heavier traffic the vehicle would have certainly been struck from the rear by a following vehicle given the sudden and unexpected deceleration. Car was safety hazard as it was driven home in a single gear at no more than 25-30 mph. The transmission failed to engage it "limp-home" gear (1st??) on several occasions on the drive back home and became stuck in the middle of the intersections. This would occur when the vehicle would engage the "limp-home" gear for a moment (enough to pull into the intersection from a stoplight) and then fail or if the intersection was sloped downhill, releasing the brake would permit the transmission to "freewheel" like the transmission was in neutral (but it was not)and the vehicle would roll into the intersection. The car had to be turned off and restarted several times before the automatic transmission could re-engage the limp-home gear. Manual shifting of the gear lever was either impossible (I.e. gear selector would not change) or ineffective (I.e. limp-home gear would be selected but not engage and the vehicle did not move forward). Van has not been repaired and is located at my home as it is now dangerous even to drive on a public road.

- Cordova, TN, USA

problem #265

Dec 312010

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 93,500 miles
2003 Odyssey with 93,000 miles had the transmission go out on it. I was barely able to get it home. After getting the engine light, the van would operate for a couple of minutes after each start and then it would decelerate until it would not move. The dealership examined the vehicle and determined the entire transmission and solenoid package needed to be replaced to the amount of $3,000. After initially citing a repair estimate of $4,700. We had the repair completed by the Honda dealership.

- Marion, IA, USA

problem #264

Nov 012009

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey transmission failure. Started with long shifts from 2nd to 3rd gear, then eventually within 2 months (maybe 1000 kms later) failed to shift from 2nd to 3rd at all. Ultimate failure and replacement occurred at 165,000 kilometers. No injuries/damage to personal property.

- Point Edward, Ontario, Canada, 00, USA

problem #263

Dec 232010


  • 126,000 miles
About a month ago, I had two occasions when my 2003 Honda Odyssey would not shift from park to reverse. Each time I turned the car off and back on and then it would shift normally. On 12/23/10, I was driving down the street when suddenly the gears disengaged. The tachometer revved, but the van was just coasting. After a few seconds, the gears engaged again. The has happened several times over the past few days. Today I took my van to the dealer and was told the van has fault codes P0740 and P0780. I need a new (rebuilt) transmission and a new ECU. The cost is $5101.80.

- Choctaw, OK, USA

problem #262

Dec 012010


  • 118,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey exl. The contact stated that the vehicle would not shift into second gear and the contact had to tap the accelerator pedal in order to get the vehicle to shift. The dealer was contacted who performed an electronic diagnostic test and informed the contact that the transmission would need to be replaced or rebuilt. The manufacturer was also notified of the failure who advised the contact that no further assistance would be provided until she had spoken with the district manager who was unavailable. The vehicle was not repaired. The current and failure mileage was 118,000.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #261

Dec 012010

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Honda Odyssey. Consumer states transmission problems the consumer stated there was a whining noise coming from the vehicle. The dealer concluded the noise was coming from the transmission. The mechanic informed the consumer it was a normal operating sound. The dealer informed the consumer that unless the engine light was flashing, or the drive 4 light was on, or shifting problems they would not replace the transmission.

- Drummond Island, MI, USA

problem #260

Jun 052010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles
Automatic transmission failed in June 2010 at 8 years and 140,000 miles. Transmission became difficult to impossible to shift into or out of 2 and/or 3rd gear. Transmission started to buck, vibrate and grind. Driving became increasingly difficult if not impossible. Went on for a couple of days before took it to the dealer. Dealer reported that transmission had failed due to torque converter. Recommended replacement of transmission with factory-rebuilt transmission and engine control module. Since previous year model had been included in a "quiet" extended warranty period, customer argued that Honda shoudl cover the transmission repair costs. Honda eventually agreed to cover 40% of repair and replacement costs.

- The Woodlands, TX, USA

problem #259

Dec 012010


  • 72,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey transmission failure.

- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, USA

problem #258

Dec 072010

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey transmission failed without notice causing safety concern as I was driving without any ability to speed up and control.

- Park Ridge, IL, USA

problem #257

Nov 262010

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
I have 2003 Honda Odyssey. I had problem a month back with transmission (Oct'2010). It thought the transmission was not smooth. So I showed to a NJ dealer (open road Honda). They advised me to fix something in transmission + they asked me to do transmission belt package, which I did. It did cost me around 2500$. a month later (Nov'2010) my automatic transmission failed. The car stopped in mid of the road when I was driving with me and family with check engine light on. I had to tow in the vehicle to the same dealer on black Friday (11/26/2010). Now today dealer called me and told I have to spent around 5000$ to fix the car. The error code which he mentioned to me are >> P0730-automatic transmission need to be replaced P0845-there is problem with 3rd gear pressure issue I checked online and my car is in the list of recall for 'automatic transmission' I have 120K on my car. I called Honda company they told me the vehicle is not on warranty. They can not help. Dealer did not fix the issue earlier when I had shown the car to him earlier before engine light could come on. Don't know what to do next. Any help in this matter will be highly appreciated.

- Westfield, NJ, USA

problem #256

Nov 252010

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
I have a 2003 Honda Odyssey and was driving on thanksgiving evening on an interstate hwy. In Florida back to my home in orlando. During this trip the check engine light came on suddenly...and then my transmission had a catastrophic failure. Leading up to this the minivan was driving nicely. Suddenly the vehicle spewed out transmission fluid onto the engine and there was a horrible burning smell. The car decelerated, and I nearly lost control of the vehicle. I was able to steer it onto the shoulder. Fortunately, there was very little traffic close behind...so I avoided a collision. After this event, I have found out that my Honda Odyssey was recalled for a faulty transmission. Recall id 04V176000. The dealer is coggin Honda orlando, and they now acknowledge that it was recalled. They were instructed by Honda America to install a modified oil jet kit. Obviously...this fix was not effective. My outcome is that my family was stranded for hours until we could get the vehicle towed. I'm aware that countless other 2003 Odyssey have had the same transmission failure. Some of them involve crashes, injuries and deaths. How many more people will lose their lives because of Honda's faulty transmission design, and their unwillingness to properly fix the problem" I'm angry because neither Honda America or coggin Honda told me about the recall. I never would have purchased this vehicle if I had knowledge of this recall? doesn't this violate my right to full disclosure of the vehicle's history? how is this legal"

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #255

Nov 192010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,850 miles
We were driving on the interstate in stop and go traffic when for unknown reasons the tcs and engine malfunction indicator lamps came on. We pulled off the interstate, parked, turned the vehicle off and read the owners manual to see what it said about the engine malfunction lamp. It said that it could be from a loose gas cap so we tightened the gas cap as is stated in the owners manual. We then carefully resumed our trip. The malfunction indicator lamp remained on during the trip. The following day we took the vehicle to a local Honda dealer service department. The computer error code was read and the problem was diagnosed as an incorrect gear ratio code and that the vehicle requires a new transmission. So far the transmission has only had minor slippage when starting from a stop. The assistant service manager told us that it will only get worse. This vehicle was in a 2004 transmission inspection recall. We had Honda service inspect the transmission and they said it was good. The transmission should not have failed with only 67,850 miles on the vehicle. After researching on line we discovered that the transmission failures on the Odyssey can result in a crash. This is the only car we own and now my wife and I are afraid to drive the vehicle especially with our kids in it. We can not afford a $3,000 or more transmission replacement bill.

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #254

Oct 112010


  • 99,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact previously repaired according to recall 04V176000 (power train:automatic transmission) at the local dealer. While driving 60 mph, the drive indicator on the gear shift began flashing. The vehicle was taken to a repair shop where the mechanic stated that the problem was a symptom of the previous recall. The contact noticed no performance issues. The contact called the dealer and was told that they would not repair it again according to the recall. The manufacturer had not been notified. The vehicle had not been repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The current mileage was approximately 100,000. The failure mileage was approximately 99,000.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #253

Jun 152010


  • 115,000 miles
Transmission started failing at 100,000 miles. Will not shift from 2nd to 3rd. While making a turn from one highway to another, transmission slipped and would not move the car for several minutes. We eventually had to stop the car (on the highway). After stopping, we were able to eventually get the transmission to "kick in" and the car started moving again. The transmission continues to slip from second to third. Took it to the dealer. Dealer states that it needs a new transmission. There was a recall for this transmission but Honda refuses to fix. I will not drive this vehicle again until fixed as we were almost in a major accident. By the way, my van has been at the dealer for 5 months waiting for a resolution.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?