really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
106,369 miles
Total Complaints:
62 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (36 reports)
  2. have it rebuilt (12 reports)
  3. not sure (9 reports)
  4. honda is replacing the transmission (4 reports)
  5. valve replacement to circulate fluid (1 reports)
2003 Honda Odyssey transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Honda Odyssey Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #42

Oct 292012

Odyssey LX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,141 miles


Transmission failed while driving in rush hour interstate traffic right before a busy interchage. The transmission slipped and I was able to coast off the side of the road. Had it towed to a Honda Dealership who told me that the "discounted" rate to replace this transmission is $5585 to include a new PCM. The PCM is the computer that controls the shifting of the transmission. They admitted that the PCM in my van is in working order but after plenty of questioning it came out that there has been an engineering change to help fix this issue.

Honda needs to recall and repair (AT THEIR EXPENSE) these transmissions. By making the PCM change they have already admitted that the transmission is not capable of handling the torque od the 3.5L motor.

My Son was in the van with me at the time and this could have easily caused a vehicle collision. Yes, I put "vehicle collision" instead of "accident". "Accident" would be appropriate if the did not know.

We had already planned on trading this vehicle in on a new civic. Time to rethink that.

- , Fort Mitchell, KY, USA

problem #41

Mar 102012

Odyssey ES 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

Honda of America paid via class action lawsuit minus labor,tax and motor mounts $1300 total. A rebuilt trans. installed with a 2yrs./24,000 mls warranty.I got a smooth 80,000 more mls. before I traded it in.Leather seats deteriorated quickly also.

- , Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #40

Jan 262012

Odyssey EX-L DVD 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,295 miles

This seems to be a known problem as Honda has a few recalls related to transmissions, such as transmission computer updates, and the dealer advised me if the 2nd shaft was broken/scored, blue in color or burnt it may be covered under recall. Naturally mine was not covered and I had to fork over $1800 to have it rebuilt. I elected to go to an independent transmission shop that was kind enough to give me a 2yr/24K warranty. The repair shop said the torque convertor had failed and there were broken pieces in case. Basically the V6 Odyssey Engine is too powerful for the undersized tranny Honda designed for this heavy van. Also its important to note I NEVER towed with this van. The timing of the repair was awful as 2.5 weeks prior on 1.6.12 I had extensive preventive maintenance done at Don Davis Honda, Buffalo Ny (timing belt, water pump, tensionor, power steering belt and the power sliding door caster replaced $998. in all)! I would espect more from Honda as I buy their vehicles for the reliability and good reputation!

Looks like I would have been better keeping my 2000 Ply Grand Voyager V6 3.3L.

I think Honda makes good 4 cly manual cars such as the Civics and I have had 55K trouble free miles on my 2008 Civic EX sedan.

- , Hamburg, NY, USA

problem #39

Sep 152011

Odyssey LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


Just had it towed! Transmission Failed on Highway!

- , Monument, CO, USA

problem #38

Nov 232011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

There was transmission recall on 2003 Honda Odyssey . But they are not standing by it. They do not want to do anything about it.

- , Sidney, OH, USA

problem #37

Jul 072011

Odyssey LX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,217 miles


- , Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #36

Jul 222011

Odyssey LX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles


Second failure. First failure at 89,000 miles. Local (Muskegon, MI) Honda dealer said "too bad" and wanted $3100 to fix it. Had it towed 40 miles south to a better dealer in Holland, Michigan who fought with Honda and got them to pay for it.

50,000 miles later, and long after the 36,000 mile warranty, it failed again going 70mph on the highway. Very scary. Coasted off an exit and stopped to become enveloped in a cloud of vaporized transmission fluid. Called both dealers. Honda says "no, its out of warranty."

This might fly in the case it was the first failure at the high mileage; but it wasn't. With the hundreds/thousands of people having multiple failures with this transmission (and with the same year, 2003, Accord), this is obviously a major defect in the design of the vehicle and should be taken care of by the manufacturer, or the vehicle bought back at high market value. The burden of their major flaw should not rest on the customer....

- , Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #35

May 282011

Odyssey EX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

My Honda van has been a very reliable vehicle for my family, until now. About three weeks before the transmission failed, I had taken it in for a regular oil change service at the dealership from where I bought it. The check engine light was on and I asked them to look at that also. I was told that I would have to make an appointment with the service department to have that checked but not to worry about it until the next smog check. On Memorial Day weekend my family had a trip to Six Flags planned but we never made it there. On the freeway the van started making a loud whine and the van started losing power, We were lucky to get off the freeway without getting hit. I had the van towed about 75 miles back to the dealer and it has sat there ever since. They have given me a quote of about $5,500.00 to replace the trany with a rebuilt one and a 36 month / 36,000 mile warranty. That's not going to be possible and the also want to charge me $110.00 to tell me that the trany was shot I'm really pissed off about the whole thing. One of the service guys has called the regional service people and they are not willing to offer any assistance with this.

- , Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #34

Feb 022009

Odyssey EX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,623 miles

In Feb of 2009, I started experiencing problems with the Transmission. It first appeared as a short delay when changing gears from Reverse to Drive. Within a few weeks, the transmission began slipping. I contacted Honda with no resolve. How can a transmission with only 104Km (or approx 60,000 Miles) fail? (That was only 4000 km over my extended warranty) I have been a devoted Honda for many years when I purchased my first Honda in 1984. Honda representatives were extremely rude and did not want to help out in any way, shape or form. For those of you are thinking of purchasing a Honda Odyssey, and found this site as a result of research, be aware, there are major problems with the tranny and don't expect any help from Honda.

I have not replaced the transmission yet. This is primarily due to the fact that we do not drive this vehicle much given the severe problems. As of 2011, I have only put an additional 30,000 KM and I change the Transmission oil twice a year. (this is not a misprint, I have to change it twice a year given the slippage issue)

After owning three Honda Accords, I was very confident in my choice of buying an Odyssey. Truly a mistake. Shame on you Honda! This is a known problem that has been talked about for a long time. When people buy your product, they should believe that major issues like this would be looked after. As a quality producer of Consumer Products, Honda should strive for zero defects. Instead, I got zero satisfaction. I’m truly embarrassed for Honda.

- , Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

problem #33

May 092011

Odyssey ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,400 miles

In my eyes, Honda is losing it's reputation for reliability. This is a known transmission failure issue - between 2nd/3rd gear. They should own up to it and re-design it or make good on it.

- , Toledo, OH, USA

problem #32

Apr 042011

Odyssey EX 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles


Tthis happened without any sign,I just got light "TCS",I stop and try to clear but I can't. Then I try to drive and car stops,engine was running but car wasn't driving.Don't buy this junk, my friend's has this same problems!This cost $5000 and I don't now what to do with this problem(this happened after dealer changed my timing belt,water pump ,coolant,other belts and few more things)

- , Southington, CT, USA

problem #31

Apr 042011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

have kept up with all recommended maintenance - honda stopped dead in middle of 3 lane highway with my children in car - could have been severely injured

- , Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #30

Jul 102008

Odyssey EX-L 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

We are senior citizens, and this van should have never,ever,ever had such a horrible issue at this young in its life at only 110k! We always always service our vehicles by the book, and WE ARE SENIOR CITIZENS. Only myself and husband drive this van. Upon Google search of this type of issue, and referring to Consumer Reports buying guide, it seems it is NOT a few and far between issue for this Honda to have a transmission failure this young into its life...... AND WITH ONLY US OLD FOLKS DRIVING IT!!

- , East Berlin, PA, USA

problem #29

Mar 262011

Odyssey LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,150 miles

This transmission was recalled for transmission problem in 2004. I complied with the recall. Since I had only 10K miles on the car, Honda installed an oil jet kit instead of replacing the transmission (as they did for anyone having 15,000 or more miles). I followed the recommended maintenance schedule. However, at 65,000 miles, the 4th gear failed upon acceleration. When I decelerated, the 2nd gear failed; then the 1st gear failed upon acceleration. I was lucky to get the thing to the dealer before it crapped out entirely. Now the dealer wants $5120 to replace transmission and computer, which they claim is needed because the old computer can't "recognize" the new transmission. I've asked Honda cust svc to grant me a "goodwill repair" and am waiting on a response from them. Have also filed complaint on the NHTSA.gov website, as I believe this problem affects so many people that NHTSA should investigate it and force Honda to recall these transmissions.

- , Chicago, IL, US

problem #28

Feb 022011

Odyssey ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,457 miles

We only bought the van a couple of years ago. We were not aware of the transmission problem. We have had hondas in the past, our whole extended family owns hondas. So when we were looking for a reliable used car the obvious choice was a Odyssey. We had no problems with the van. Then about 2 weeks before the total transmission failure the speedometer and all of the dash lights kid of went crazy. I turned the van off and back on and it was fine. Two weeks later with no warning the transmission completely failed. We brought it to a honda certified mechanic and he told me that it failed because we didn't change the transmission fluid and we burned it up. Which was not true. He said it would cost around $3500 to fix. We couldn't afford that. We were very upset because we bought this car only 3 years ago for $13000. Started talking to a friend who is a mechanic. he said he would do it for less $2000.00. Long story short, he started looking for a used transmission and then found out the problem. There are no used transmissions out there because they have all burned up. He said something failed and fried our transmission. It was not our fault. I was so relieved because we had a lot of work done to the car at 105,000 to have hundreds of dollars in maintenance done to the vehicle, including the transmission flush. He found a mechanic in Buford Ga that has filled him in on the horrific wide spread problem for Odyssey transmissions. He says they are still having problems all the way to 2010 models. All he does is fix theses transmissions. Most people fix them and they break again in 6 months to a year. He says the problem is the repairmen aren't machining certain parts that are causing the problem. If the do not do this step the transmission has the same problem and burns up again. So hears hoping! I get my van back next week at a grand total of $2500. That including 2 engine mounts and a new solenoid. Although my mechanic friend says the next Odyssey he does will be more money. He called mine a learning experience. I was just curious is there a class action suite for this problem? Even though we seem to have gotten a good price on our repair, for us this is a lot of money and would like to get reimbursed.

- , Jasper, GA, USA

problem #27

Feb 102011

Odyssey ES 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

Honda knows that they have transmission problems with vehicles that have V6 engines. They have offered to repair transmission issues on 1998 - 2001 vehicles with the V6 engines. Honda's reputation for quality is in question on this problem.

- , Hixson, TN, USA

problem #26

Jan 132010

Odyssey LX 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

2003 Honda Odyssey transmission failure, 104,000 miles. I was aware of the problem. Added a transmission oil cooler at 30,000 miles, changed fluid at 30k, 60k and 90k. Normal usage, family, kids, etc. Towed a 1500 lb trailer for approx 1500 miles. Very dissapointed. Honda wanted $4800 to fix with a 36K mile guarantee. After pleading my case they agreed to knock price down to $4000. I had it done at a reputable local shop for $3000, same guarantee. Otherwise car has been pretty good, no major problems. EXCEPT when new Honda forgot to tighten down all of the bolts securing the front end in place. Had it repaired at a private shop, after much complaining Honda refunded my costs.

- , Woodcliff Lake, NJ, USA

problem #25

Feb 102011

Odyssey LX 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,639 miles

My Odyssey started experiencing transmission problems well before I took it in for repair. First sign was diminishing gas mileage starting well over a year ago. Then we started noticing poor shifting back in August 2010 at around 62,000 miles. Most of the problems were observed when shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear.

- , Reston, VA, USA

problem #24

Jun 222008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

Honda Odyssey 2003 was purchased used on 10/31/06.

Jan 22, 2008 Van began to slip gears. Had it towed to Aamco for transmission repair. Charged $3062.06 to rebuild transmission.

April 10, 2009 Van again began to slip gears. Took back to Aamco and needed another rebuilt transmission and 3 mos out of warranty. Charged us $1587.55.

June 22, 2010 Car is packed with the entire family going to our vacation destination in SC in the middle of a down pour, the transmission again begins to slip. Called the local Aamco and they picked up the van. Same story, needed another rebuilt transmission in the amount of $2406.59.

After a week of phone calls to Honda USA and Aamco to no avail, we had to borrow money from relatives in order to get our family back home.

There is a reason that these transmissions are not lasting and Honda should be responsible for stepping in and taking responsibility for the issue.

- , Louisville, KY, USA

problem #23

Dec 162010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

just last week driven on highway and all of a sudden the drivers light starts to blink, so im confused never saw this happen before!!!! so i call my mech to find out whats up.. he asked me if the check engin light was on, i say no its just blinking, he ask me if i fell or felt the transmission sliping i say no, then he says thats strange never heard of that before and tells me that it mybe the car doing a self check. tells me to turn car off and restarted it to see if the blinking continues, of course no it stops so im alittle releaved. so i go on with my day. speak with him later tells me if it happens again run the codes to see whats going on.

well couple of days later same thing happens again do the same thing except call the mech, stops blinking.. Today speak with him and he tells me he looked up the issue and come to find out it can be 1 of 2 things the tranmission internal or a censor, but he's preparing me for the worst!!!!!!! anad now that im reading all of this its like i already know what the results are!!!!!! the only reason i bought the honda was because of is rep and now i wish i had stay with my trucks!!!!!

the most outrages thing about this whole situtation is 2years agao when i 1st bought the dam car around the same time the transmission went right after finishing xmas shopping a week before xmas!!!!!!!!! so i have plans on going back to nissan and feeling confortable with what im drivin!!!!!!

- , Boston, MA, USA

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