For Those With Transmission Issues on 2012-2015 Odysseys
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Thread: For Those With Transmission Issues on 2012-2015 Odysseys

  1. #1
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    For Those With Transmission Issues on 2012-2015 Odysseys

     
    from the Torque Converter Lock-Up Clutch
    AFFECTED VEHICLES Year Model Trim VIN Range
    2012 Odyssey Touring, Touring Elite 5FNRL5H…CB053446 thru 5FNRL5H…CB148157
    2013 Odyssey Touring, Touring Elite ALL
    2014–15 Odyssey ALL ALL
     
    BACKGROUND
    A judder from the torque converter lock-up clutch may be felt while driving between 20 and 60mph. The problem is typically diagnosed as a bad torque converter. American Honda investigated the judder and found that the torque converter was not causing the judder; rather, it was caused by deteriorated transmission fluid. The transmission fluid deteriorates quicker than expected when it is exposed to intermittent high heat loads under specific driving conditions. American Honda is working on a software update that will maintain the transmission fluid temperature within the desirable range under all driving conditions and eliminate the potential for this judder. American Honda will revise this service bulletin when the software update is available.
    Until the software is released, the judder can be fixed by flushing the transmission fluid as indicated in the FLUSH PROCEDURE. Make sure the customer is aware that this is a temporary fix and he or she will have to return once the software is available to make sure the transmission judder is resolved.
     
    NOTE: American Honda defines flushing the transmission as draining and filling the transmission with a drive cycle three times to help make sure the deteriorated fluid is removed. There are other aftermarket flush systems available, but American Honda does not recommend using them.
    TEMPORARY CORRECTIVE ACTION
    Take an automatic transmission snapshot and review the data. For more information about capturing and interpreting the data, refer to the job aid Torque Converter Clutch Shudder and Vibration and the Tech2Tech® video "Interpreting Torque Converter Judder Snapshot Data."
    Once it is confirmed that the judder is coming from the torque converter, flush the transmission three times as indicated in the FLUSH PROCEDURE. This is a temporary fix that does not affect the durability or life span of the torque converter until the software is developed.
    NOTE: There is no need to call Tech Line before undertaking this ATF flush repair

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  3. #2
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    I would be interested is knowing what kind of software update can keep the fluid cooler without adding an external cooler to the transaxle.

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    Interesting... for the purposes of this TSB, Honda is emphasizing its definition of a transmission flush as a 3x drain-and-fill. This is causing me to re-evaluate my position that a 2x drain-and-fill once a year should be sufficient, given the larger-than-expected volume of ATF I was able to extract each time I removed the drain plug.

    Obviously I know that more is better and that a triple drain-and-fill is considered SOP for a "complete" fluid exchange (and has been for years). I haven't experienced the slightest hint of transmission trouble with our Ody, and I am highly motivated to keep it that way. Maybe a trans cooler is in my future too, especially if Honda has identified ATF temperature as a critical contributing factor to these problems.
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  6. #4
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    My '12 is in the range. I did add an OEM hitch and trans cooler when new. I've done 1x drain and fill fluid every second or third oil change (5,000 mile intervals). Now at 162,000 miles I guess I've been lucky with flawless service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CroMath View Post
    Interesting... for the purposes of this TSB, Honda is emphasizing its definition of a transmission flush as a 3x drain-and-fill. This is causing me to re-evaluate my position that a 2x drain-and-fill once a year should be sufficient, given the larger-than-expected volume of ATF I was able to extract each time I removed the drain plug.

    Obviously I know that more is better and that a triple drain-and-fill is considered SOP for a "complete" fluid exchange (and has been for years). I haven't experienced the slightest hint of transmission trouble with our Ody, and I am highly motivated to keep it that way. Maybe a trans cooler is in my future too, especially if Honda has identified ATF temperature as a critical contributing factor to these problems.
    I am glad I switched to Amsoil fluid as this TSB doesn't give me much confidence in their fluid when driven hot. "The transmission fluid deteriorates quicker than expected when it is exposed to intermittent high heat loads under specific driving conditions" is all I needed to read about the stock fluid. I wonder how many had to pay out of pocket for new torque converters or trans "flushes" prior to the TSB surfacing. Hope anyone who had previous work done will get reimbursed by Honda.

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    what fluid do you guys recommend?
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    This is interesting and widens the TSB for 2011 and 2012 which had the software update prepared.

    I'm wondering if this is the real issue for the VCM/ECO and the VCMuzzler masks the issue.

    My 2011 TE has been solid as a rock for the past week after the software update.

    I'm still planning to put the Muzzler back on with the blue resistor to see if anything changes but for the past week I've not had any issue.

    My highest recommendation is to watch for the software update. Mine had gotten worse each summer and was generally fine in the winter.

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    I bought our Odyssey used at 23,000 miles and I've had weird vibration issues from the front of the car during all sorts of driving. I blamed it on the fact I had 2 bald tires. So when I got them replaced with new tires at 29,000 miles and the vibration still remained, I took the Odyssey to the dealer and they told me when they gave it back to me that they had to install a software update on my transmission computer. They didn't tell me anything more than that and the sales receipt doesn't say anything more than that either, but I'm wondering now if that update wasn't for the reason of this TSB.
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  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by John U View Post
    My '12 is in the range. I did add an OEM hitch and trans cooler when new. I've done 1x drain and fill fluid every second or third oil change (5,000 mile intervals). Now at 162,000 miles I guess I've been lucky with flawless service.
    You've been driving a lot of freeway miles with TCC in lockup. We had one forum member hit 400,000 miles in his 2003 EX in less than five years. Freeway driving without continuous heavy towing is pretty light work for any vehicle, even an Odyssey, and even though the Honda OEM trans cooler is about as tiny as they get, it is still better than nothing.

    Interestingly, the only time I read about degraded Honda ATF-Z1 was during the engineering testing of the Acura 3.2 5-speed, but all of that was pinned on the identified low ATF flow state into the third clutch pack. This current Honda bulletin identifies that Honda ATF DW-1 is deteriorating far quicker than expected in the Gen 4 Odysseys under operator usage without an identified problem in the transmission. Is the ATF DW-1 not up to par? I just bought a case of it for our 2012 Honda Civic...I'm hoping that I did not make a mistake.

    Then again, that Civic 1.8L I-4 is a very light duty application. I'm just amazed at this latest information about Honda ATF DW-1; was not expecting it. I think when I do the 4x drain/refill on the Civic, an entire 10-ounce bottle of Lubegard Red will go into the mix.

    Will continue to use AmSOil ATF in our current pair of Odysseys.

    If we get a newer Odyssey, we're going with EOT 4 Life's nod to using the AmSOil Signature Series Synthetic Fuel Efficient ATF, or go with Red Line D6 ATF. Also, when the Civic is due for the next ATF drain/refill, I'll most likely use AmSOil or Red Line.

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  13. #11
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    Oh, wow! This explains what I've been experiencing in my 2014 TE for the last few thousand miles. My car has 24,500 miles on it now and it definitely feeling like the TC is locking and unlocking especially when I'm going uphill on a hot day with a full load of passengers and luggage. It's much less to nil with only myself in the car under the same roads.

    As my car does it mostly going uphill, I though it was the car hunting gears as the speed drops while it climbs without me adding more accelerator input. It almost feels like there is a power "surge" and loss from the drivetrain and the power is coming and going away. Once my car reaches level ground or goes downhill, it's no longer felt. And it's smooth again.

    So it seems like the ATF is allowing the clutch packs to slip due to heat, which I imagine increases as you climb a hill with a car fully loaded. Guess I better make an appointment with my dealer to have the fluid changed. I bought the Ody hoping to get over 150,000 miles of reliable use. This is not very reassuring.
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    I will just continue to D&F every 15K. I think this keeps the ATF fresh and less temperature breakdown.

    Might switch to Valvoline MaxLife ATF (full synth) oil once I run thru all DW-1.
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    UPDATE:

    Hey folks,

    As per my reply above, I called and setup an appointment with my dealer who got me in yesterday for TSB 16-060 to be performed due to the known judder issue I had with a full load, going uphill especially in hotter weather. I showed up with the TSB printout in hand and told my SA about my complaints. ( I had to de-VCMuzzle my car before I left home just in case.)

    On the way there, I had noted that my car was noticeably juddering while cruising at about 65MPH on the highway while going up a mild incline with me onboard. The outside temps was about 95 degrees F and I can clearly see that my engine RPMs where jumping up and down within a range of about 200 RPMs...bouncing between 1500 and 1700 while my foot was completely steady, just like a manual transmission car's clutch slipping.

    The service took about 2 hours. My SA told me that the tech didn't really feel the judder in his test drive but that he went and performed the service anyway using the 3 Drain and Fill method with 11 quarts of DW-1 ATF. I was surprised but happy they didn't give me trouble.

    So here's what I've noticed. The judder is GONE! Yes. Gone! I tried to reproduce it driving uphill on freeways while holding the accelerator steady. The engine RPMs now no longer jump. They hold steady. The car no longer slows down by up to 5 MPH while going uphill and the tranny quickly and successfully downshifts to hold the speed, whereas it used to just stay in the same gear and the tranny would slip. Also, I no longer have strange and random rear axle vibrations that I used to think were due to unbalanced tires/wheels. I had all 4 wheels Roadforce Balanced recently and still had vibrations but are now gone. Could the slipping TC result in driveline vibrations? I don't know. Shifts in general appear to be smooth as before at normal local street driving speeds.

    So this has got me thinking. My 2014 TE is a hair below 25k miles. It's been serviced by the same dealer for oil changes and inspections. It's my wife's daily driver and she is a conservative driver with our 3 young kids onboard. So how in the world does a lightly driven, low mileage transmission ATF breakdown so easily? Honda was right. It's the fluid. Else, the ATF wouldn't have fixed the issue. So how will Honda fix this with just a software update? Can shift logic really affect the life of the ATF? If that fails, what then? New ATF formulation? Change the ATF Drain and Fill schedule? This is really crazy as my 2004 Acura TL with the 5AT didn't need a Drain and Fill till 80k miles and that car was driven hard.

    So those of you who have been proactive about ATF drain and fill with every other oil change have been right all along. And I might consider one of the boutique ATFs now such as Amsoil. I worry that Honda's DW-1 ATF might be a lower friction blend to help with MPGs but might have poor longevity as my case has proven.
    Last edited by dsc888; 08-12-2016 at 12:41 AM.
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  16. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EOT 4 Life View Post
    I would be interested is knowing what kind of software update can keep the fluid cooler without adding an external cooler to the transaxle.
    Perhaps something related to torque converter lock-up (eg. if it sometimes unlocks for a few seconds instead of downshifting). Or if the problem is with a specific gear, not keeping the transmission in that gear under load for a long time. Although how you would do that without the driver being pissed, I'm not sure. Could also be not keeping the transmission under high load at low engine RPM (low RPMs are probably not good for fluid flow and thus cooling), although this might hurt MPG a little.

    Just as likely is that it's wishful thinking at this point. They're hoping to come up with a software fix as it's obviously the least expensive kind of fix to apply. You'll notice that they did not explain which "specific driving conditions" are involved.

  17. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsc888 View Post
    UPDATE:

    Hey folks,

    As per my reply above, I called and setup an appointment with my dealer who got me in yesterday for TSB 16-060 to be performed due to the known judder issue I had with a full load, going uphill especially in hotter weather. I showed up with the TSB printout in hand and told my SA about my complaints. ( I had to de-VCMuzzle my car before I left home just in case.)

    On the way there, I had noted that my car was noticeably juddering while cruising at about 65MPH on the highway while going up a mild incline with me onboard. The outside temps was about 95 degrees F and I can clearly see that my engine RPMs where jumping up and down within a range of about 200 RPMs...bouncing between 1500 and 1700 while my foot was completely steady, just like a manual transmission car's clutch slipping.

    The service took about 2 hours. My SA told me that the tech didn't really feel the judder in his test drive but that he went and performed the service anyway using the 3 Drain and Fill method with 11 quarts of DW-1 ATF. I was surprised but happy they didn't give me trouble.

    So here's what I've noticed. The judder is GONE! Yes. Gone! I tried to reproduce it driving uphill on freeways while holding the accelerator steady. The engine RPMs now no longer jump. They hold steady. The car no longer slows down by up to 5 MPH while going uphill and the tranny quickly and successfully downshifts to hold the speed, whereas it used to just stay in the same gear and the tranny would slip. Also, I no longer have strange and random rear axle vibrations that I used to think were due to unbalanced tires/wheels. I had all 4 wheels Roadforce Balanced recently and still had vibrations but are now gone. Could the slipping TC result in driveline vibrations? I don't know. Shifts in general appear to be smooth as before at normal local street driving speeds.

    So this has got me thinking. My 2014 TE is a hair below 25k miles. It's been serviced by the same dealer for oil changes and inspections. It's my wife's daily driver and she is a conservative driver with our 3 young kids onboard. So how in the world does a lightly driven, low mileage transmission ATF breakdown so easily? Honda was right. It's the fluid. Else, the ATF wouldn't have fixed the issue. So how will Honda fix this with just a software update? Can shift logic really affect the life of the ATF? If that fails, what then? New ATF formulation? Change the ATF Drain and Fill schedule? This is really crazy as my 2004 Acura TL with the 5AT didn't need a Drain and Fill till 80k miles and that car was driven hard.

    So those of you who have been proactive about ATF drain and fill with every other oil change have been right all along. And I might consider one of the boutique ATFs now such as Amsoil. I worry that Honda's DW-1 ATF might be a lower friction blend to help with MPGs but might have poor longevity as my case has proven.
    Just keep the drain and fill going on a regular interval, you will reduce the possibility of transmission related issue. With drain plug so close to the front of the car, at least it is very easy to do the D&F at home, if you are inclined to.
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