Honda Odyssey

Just a quick internet search on Honda Odyssey will bring up a slew of articles on all of the problems that this particular vehicle has had, particularly if you narrow your search to transmission issues. Honda has had to recall this model several times over the last 20 years so any potential buyers should be aware of the issues that drivers most commonly experience with the Odyssey.

The Honda Odyssey has a reputation for transmission defects and failures, particularly in the early 2000s. Some common problems reported range from general automotive issues like vibrations when braking, whining sounds and other difficulties with the power steering to more serious transmission problems such as trouble shifting gears, clunking noises, and other issues that are a result of faulty torque converters. Additionally, Honda has issued recalls for brakes, airbags, and their transmission systems.

A closer look at Honda Odyssey transmission problems:

Vibrations during shifts: vibrating and shaking through the vehicle whenever there is a gear shift is usually a sign of oncoming transmission failure.

Transmission lock: transmission locking is one of the most dangerous problems that occur in Honda Odyssey transmissions. This is generally caused by insufficient lubrication, resulting in a gear tooth breaking off and getting lodged in other transmission components.

Downshift failure: this issue is one of many reported with the Honda Odyssey as well as 4L60E transmissions and could occur due to a variety of reasons.

Gear slipping: this is another common issue among 4L60E transmissions which occurs when the transmission fails to get enough power or randomly downshifts.

Lubrication failure: when the second gear doesn’t get enough lubrication, you can experience a variety of problems with the transmission system.

Gear shaving: this problem occurs when the second gear doesn’t get enough lubrication, causing metal shavings to spread throughout the transmission. This leads to overheating and other issues.

Grinding in reverse: the Honda Odyssey can experience an issue when in reverse such as not engaging and a loud grinding noise if it does engage.

Overheating: transmission overheating in the Honda Odyssey has been a consistent complaint among drivers and happens when transmission components fail to get enough transmission fluid and lubrication, leading to a multitude of problems.

How do I know if I’m having transmission problems with my Honda Odyssey?

In some cases, transmission problems are glaringly obvious, even for someone who is not very knowledgeable about cars. Other times, transmission problems can be subtle and creep up on you before finally escalating into an all-out transmission failure. So how do you know if you’re having transmission problems? Keep an eye out for the following signs, as these could indicate a transmission issue:

  • Strange smells – if you notice a burning smell or even a strange sweet smell, this could be indicative of something wrong with your transmission fluid.
  • Transmission fluid leaks – your transmission fluid is vital to the health of your transmission. Not only does it act as a lubricant for all of the moving gears and components, but it also serves as a coolant, preventing your transmission overheating. If you notice a puddle of reddish fluid beneath your car, you may have a transmission fluid leak.
  • Slow response/delay in shifting – this is a problem that is usually caused by a transmission issue, but a thorough diagnosis is necessary to determine the exact cause.
  • Clunking, humming, or whining noises – as a rule, you shouldn’t be hearing any strange noises coming from your vehicle, as this is a sign of trouble. The best way to determine the reason for the noise is to have your vehicle diagnosed by a transmission specialist.
  • Grinding, shaking, or vibrating – transmissions are meant to run smoothly without any jerking, grinding, or hard vibrating. If you notice any of these trouble signs, bring your vehicle to Eagle Transmission right away to avoid further damage.
  • Check engine light – while a check engine light doesn’t necessarily mean you have a transmission problem, it is important that you don’t ignore the light. Eagle Transmission offers free initial diagnostics tests so you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your car is in good hands in the event that your check engine light does come on.


When considering purchasing a Honda Odyssey, it’s important that you do your research and have a reputable transmission specialist with Eagle Transmission conduct a thorough diagnostics test to ensure that your potential new vehicle is in peak working condition.

If you already own a Honda Odyssey, be aware of the common issues that other drivers have reported with this make and model and keep an eye out for trouble signs in your own car. It’s never a good idea to continue to drive your vehicle if there are signs of a transmission issue. Transmission problems can be sudden, but they can also be avoided with regular maintenance and if you pay close attention to the health of your car as a whole.

Call or visit Eagle Transmission shop of Rowlett for more information or to schedule an appointment for a free initial diagnostics test. We are The Ones to Trust for all of your transmission and general automotive repair needs.

4015, 4010 Lakeview Pkwy,
Rowlett 75088
Phone: (972) 646-1717

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