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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I back out of my garage and down my relatively steep driveway onto my sloped street, my transmission is stuck in first gear. I only have about 150 feet to the stop sign at the end of the street, but it won't shift no matter how much gas I give it. I've hit upwards of 4000 RPMs. I'd say it happens about 50% of the time. This morning I tried to use the paddle shifters to shift out of first, but it wouldn't do it. Once I stop at the stop sign, and start moving again it works fine.

I had a loaner EX-L for a week while I was having my door repaired, and that vehicle did not have the issue once.

I'm curious if anyone else has experienced this?
 

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When I back out of my garage and down my relatively steep driveway onto my sloped street, my transmission is stuck in first gear. I only have about 150 feet to the stop sign at the end of the street, but it won't shift no matter how much gas I give it. I've hit upwards of 4000 RPMs. I'd say it happens about 50% of the time. This morning I tried to use the paddle shifters to shift out of first, but it wouldn't do it. Once I stop at the stop sign, and start moving again it works fine.

I had a loaner EX-L for a week while I was having my door repaired, and that vehicle did not have the issue once.

I'm curious if anyone else has experienced this?
 

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2018 EX
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Keystonejoe, with the extreme slope of your driveway, is it possible the fluid is not getting to all the internal parts? I suppose that's why there is an internal pump or pumps. Just a thought. Either way, Honda needs to dance on this one real soon. What about your driveway, Blurry2004. Do you have the same situation? Is there a common denominator here?
 

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19 Odyssey Elite - June 2018 build date - Just under 10,000 miles. My wife mentioned that this happened once. She restarted the car and everything was normal again. It has not reoccurred since. If it helps, we do live at the bottom of a hill. But if a steep hill is a trigger for this condition, I would expect it to occur more frequently for us.
 

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It has happened to me twice since I took the delivery last Sunday. I will take it in if the issue doesn’t go away in the next few weeks. But I expect the dealer will give me standard answers such as everything is normal, can’t re-produce the issue, etc.

Thanks all of you for the replies!
 

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The 'smart' transmissions select and hold gears based on the input from various sensors such as wheel speed sensors, transmission temp sensor, steering wheel angle sensor, TPS sensor, VSA setting, Transmission mode setting, engine speed, vehicle angle, etc etc. This is to optimize driving & safety while eliminating 'hunting' of gears. it is possible and normal for the transmission to hold a low gear under low speed on a steep slope (actual angle/gradient of slope is not known).

Also another thing to note is the shift selector is indeed in 'D' and not in 'S', where you would have to manually have to shift and restarting the vehicle resets it to 'D'.

As recommended here by other members, dealership would be best. However, if they cannot replicate or duplicate the issue under their test conditions, then you maybe out of luck. Expression your event (gradient & speed) may have them look further, but without the ability to replicate the issue may yield you with no action on their part.
 

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I’ve figured out how to prevent the transmission from holding a low gear on steep slope. I used to release the brake quickly after pressing the D/S button. For whatever reason, this probably triggered the transmission to hold a low gear. So I changed my habit , instead of removing my foot from the brake pedal quickly, I hold the brake for a few seconds after shifting to D. And it worked, I have not experienced the issue for 18 days. Many thanks to smufguy, I got the idea after reading your post.
 

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I'd bet dollars to donuts it's a software issue, especially when an engine restart fixes it. If it was mechanical, an engine restart would probably have no effect.
Just joined forum after seeing i'm not the only one w/ this issue. we took it to honda dealership and they reset the software. Still same issue persists. We too have flat driveway, downhill slope out of our subdivision. We are now used to putting car into neutral and then "D" while it is slowly rolling down...and issue is "resolved" for that trip. I'll try to hold the brake for longer period when shifting to "D" from "R".

Thx all for posting...again, glad to see i'm not the only one - the honda service made (and make) it sound like they've never heard of this issue before.
 

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Whenever we visit our son in Tennessee; this happens to us. He has a steep driveway and after I backup into the street, the 10 speed transmission won't shift out of 1st gear. I have to stop the van, put it into neutral, then into D; then it works fine.
 

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try using handbrake before switching to P or D
Park, engage handbrake then switch from D to P
and when leaving - shift to D from P and drive away, see if that makes it harder, I know that on a steep driveaway transmission might stick
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I just wanted to add an update to this post. I still have this happening. It happened today. For the symptoms, it happens more frequently when it is cold outside. In the grand scheme of things, a few days a month, and 200 feet to the stop sign. We hit 25 degrees Fahrenheit this morning. I'm totally convinced it's a software and temperature bug. I have not experienced it anywhere else - EVER - only backing out of my driveway. The paddle shifters DO NOT WORK when this is happening, which makes me think software. As a software engineer, I think the computer is still booting up when this happens, and it can't handle the situation. Once I hit the stop sign and start on flat roads, we are good to go.
 

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I still have this happening. It happened today.
How long do you warm your car up before leaving? Wondering it could be a combination of trans fluid temp and the incline of the driveway/street; it shouldn't be happening at all regardless. Have you brought your Odyssey into the dealership since? Any word from them?

Also, do you have this documented on video? Would be good to have as proof if the dealership can't replicate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
How long do you warm your car up before leaving? Wondering it could be a combination of trans fluid temp and the incline of the driveway/street; it shouldn't be happening at all regardless. Have you brought your Odyssey into the dealership since? Any word from them?

Also, do you have this documented on video? Would be good to have as proof if the dealership can't replicate it.
I haven't followed up with the dealership other than my initial investigations. I don't typically let it warm up or anything, so the cold fluids probably play a role in that. For me, it isn't worth the trouble of trying to track it down.
 

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I've never let a transmission or car sit and warm up. Even at sub-zero (U.S. scale) temperatures, a properly designed power train and engine should work perfectly in such extremes. The only thing I do is to not "push" the power train too early. I go easy until the temp starts to rise on the gauge. Then I know there's adequate fluid movement in the engine and tranny.

I've seen my neighbor let their Ram truck sit for 15 minutes to "warm up" in 45 degree temps!!!! So much for trying to reduce the carbon foot print. The next thing that needs to be outlawed is the remote start. Oops...I've drifted off topic...again...sorry 🙃!
 

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Try capturing a stuck in 1st gear event with a cellphone video. I have found having a recording of a problem really helps the dealer techs understand what is happening. Like the old saying goes a picture/video is worth a 1000 words.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Try capturing a stuck in 1st gear event with a cellphone video. I have found having a recording of a problem really helps the dealer techs understand what is happening. Like the old saying goes a picture/video is worth a 1000 words.
I've accepted the software bug at this point, and I have no interest in fixing it. I think the transmission has adapted and now it happens once every two or three weeks in winter (cold) - way less than the initial times (once a day) it happened when I got the van. In summer now, maybe once every 2 months. On average, I back out of my driveway 2 to 3 times a day, and when it happens, it's literally about 4 or 5 seconds of inconvenience, and then the problem is fixed when I stop at the stop sign. Engine revs down, and just good to go. I just laugh at it and mentally make fun of Honda, and try to figure out something new. Stupid engineers :)
 
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