I thought others may gain some incite into the problems they are having with theirs. I bought my 2000 model in september 2010 here in Dallas, Texas. It was so clean and drove so nice I couldn't pass it up. For $5,500 and 130K miles it appeared to have a lot of life left.
After a few months I noticed a horrible noise when it was put in reverse. In the summer of 2011 making a 50 mile trip with a full load of people the transmission refused to shift properly, we made it home and I called my long time mechanic shop. It went in and $1,850 later I got the van back. Two months later the wife and I along with our two daughters took a trip to Canada. A 3,000 mile round trip, all went well, although I noticed that the transmission made a noise when going into reverse now and then. A grinding gears type of sound. Not good. I took it back to the shop. They looked at me in disbelief until the mechanic put it in reverse himself and amazingly it made the sound right on cue. No argument, they went through the transmission again. Nothing was wrong, they said. “It's a normal sound for old Honda Vans” I was told. I continued driving it. Now and then it still makes the horrible noise when I put in reverse.
During the summer of 2012 the air conditioner suddenly stopped working. I drove it in for the mechanic to take a look. He pulled it up on a rack and instantly reported that it needed a new a/c condensor. $1,150 later I drive the van home, but noticed that the air doesn't seem to blow very cold. A couple of weekends later we have a full van load of people and the A/C stops working. Hot air only at any speed. The next day I start it up and everything works fine, but I take it in anyway to be checked. “The freon is perfect, drive it by when its not working” he tells me. I drove one afternoon for 3 hours and it never quit working.
A couple of months later in September it finally quits working on a day thats convenient to drop it by the mechanic. Even if I set the controls to blow outside air, it is warm. Opening the windows was better than the A/C. The mechanic gets in and fiddles with the buttons and when he realizes that it really isn't working he tells me he will take it into a friend's shop that specializes in the Honda electronics. A week later he tells me that the engine control computer is bad. “They replaced it temporarily with a good one and that's all it needs,” I was told. Work has been slow so I told him that I would have to wait. I parked it for a few weeks waiting for some money to come in. I tried to use it one cold morning and it wouldn't start. A new problem, it wouldn't start if it was cold. Well at least cold for Texas. 30 degrees. It would start if it was over 50.
I started looking on the different forums for clues as to what was wrong. I started with the cheap stuff. New main relay. No Change. New Thermistor for the a/c problem. No Change. Several suggested getting the engine control computer from a wrecking yard, and then I came across a site that rebuilds them. For $299 you send in your old computer and they reprogram it. I sent it in and in a week got the rebuilt unit. I made certain that it was a different unit than the one I sent in. I plugged it in and started it up. The January day I tried it the high was around 60. Everything worked perfectly for about twenty minutes, just like before. I was really getting frustrated.
I started back on the forums and came across the Map Sensor as a possibility. I looked up the cleaning procedure. Very straight forward and easy. I went through the procedure one afternoon, but it was a day in the 50's. It started up after a few tries. It would have started anyway though. I poured through the forums looking for other ideas. Everything kept pointing back to the Map Sensor. I opened the hood and took another look at the multiple sensors and gadgets plugged in to the area around the Map Sensor location and noticed a loose vacuum hose. An inch away from it the pipe that it should have been connected to. As simple as that. Everything works.
One of mechanics must have knocked it loose somehow when it was having the A/C replaced. What an Odyssey!