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Old 12-27-2010, 11:39 AM   #1
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Rebuilding a transmission - worth it?

Hi, new here and looking for some help.

Six months ago we bought a 2001 Honda Odyssey EX with 130,000 miles on it. It was in excellent condition inside and out. Original transmission had been replaced under recall by Honda at 30k miles, but not a single problem since then.

It started shifting harder (usually on the first drive of the day) and would bang from 1st to 2nd gear and from 1st to reverse. Last week the transmission failed with the three annunciator lights (TCS, check engine, and D4).

We brought it to a transmission shop, and the owner gave me the "it's impossible to say how much unless we tear it apart" line. He said it would be $2500-$3000 tops if everything needs to be replaced (transmission, plus electronics, switches, seals, etc.). He said he always replaces the electronics in the transmission because they are the weak link in the Honda.

Everything else looks great from the catalytic converter to the engine mounts and exhaust (that checks with several other mechanics who've done general maintenance on it since we've had it).

So, a few questions:

1. Transmission aside, are there any major (above $250) Odyssey repairs to expect beyond the 140k mile range?
2. How long can a completely rebuilt transmission last?
3. Is this price within reason for an Odyssey?
4. Would you guys get the transmission replaced/rebuilt, or get a newer vehicle?

We'd like to have this car or its replacement last 100,000 miles, but we aren't sure if we should get a newer car for that, or if this van can do it on a rebuild transmission.

Thanks for any help you guys can give!
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:12 PM   #2
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Re: Rebuilding a transmission - worth it?

1. A/C compressor may fail requiring new A/C compressor, alternator is possible, starter, other than that just normal maintenance.
2. A rebuild could last forever or fail very quickly, can't say for sure
3. You can't replace the van for what a trans cost, it's a lot cheaper than 5yrs of payments.
4. If you are going to do any thing with the trans get one from Honda, it has a 3yr/36k warranty. I wouldn't touch a used one or rebuilt. There is too many issues with those and it's just not the Ody it's every Honda with a V6. I have an '05 Accord and the trans is acting up, we have an '03 TL at the shop that needs a trans. Honda really screwed up on this one.
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:48 PM   #3
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Re: Rebuilding a transmission - worth it?

Here is an e-mail I sent my friends and family.

I bought a 2002 Odyssey, put 130 K on it when the transmission went out. What happened was that the transmission wouldn't shift from 2nd to 3rd gear, the engine would rev with no engagement. I had to slow down, then accelerate when usually the shift took place. It happened more and more frequently to the point where I knew the transmission had to be replaced. Reading about Honda's transmission on the internet, I discovered that the Odyssey transmissionns have been plagued with this problem, usually occuring between 100 and 140 K. Honda provides some help in paying for a new transmission on a case by case basis. All they would do for me was pay for 25% of a new transmission making my cost $4000. Honda would do nothing to help pay for a rebuilt transmission which goes for $2200 to $2800. The Bluebook value on the van is about $3500. I told the rep if Honda would go half on a rebuilt transmission, I would keep my Odyssey and remain a Honda customer. No dice.

The Honda dealership in Winston-Salem has replaced between 30 to 40 Odyssey transmissions with the same problem as mine, according to the serviceman I have used.

So, I told Honda to kiss my kester. I drove 2 miles to a Toyota dealership (after doing some internet research on Siennas) and 4 hours later, I drove off the lot with a new 2011 Sienna van. Now I am a Toyota customer and will remain so for life if they treat me with the respect any customer deserves.

I think the Odyssey transmission lasted about half as long as it should have. Honda has known for years that the Odyssey transmissions have serious problems. Yes, I did have the transmission fluid replaced. If Honda had applied the $1,000 to a rebuilt transmission that they would apply to a new transmission, I would still be driving my Odyssey. By choosing not to, they lost my patronage forever and my daughter, who is just going in the car buying market, is looking at Camrys instead of Accords.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:40 PM   #4
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Re: Rebuilding a transmission - worth it?

Yes, these Honda transmissions are delicate and must be treated with care. There's some valve body upgrades that supposedly flow more fluid, and the oil jet recall is supposed to help with the 3rd gear (lack of) lubrication. Among that, the good shops out there simply don't do a rebuild without also adding an auxiliary transmission cooler. Frequent fluid changes and an inline magnefine transmission filter is the final thing you can do to extend the life.

Me - I have a spare transmission in my garage waiting to be installed. When I swap it in, I'll rebuild the old one. Kinda pathetic really to have transmissions "on rotation" like that.
2003 Honda Odyssey EXL (3.5L)
2002 Volvo V70 X/C
1990 Chevy Silverado K2500 (5.7L TBI)
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