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Hello all,

I know this is probably the millionth and one question about these transmissions but I do have a few if anyone can assist. I have searched the forums and YouTube videos but just looking for a straight answer.

170k miles and it's minty! I really do not want to junk it due to it being so clean and when the car is cold the transmission is absolutely perfect! However, once it gets to operating temperature, the transmission slips, to the point that it won't move at all, regardless of D4, 3, 2 and so on.

I shut it off and sometimes it'll take a split second to catch the gear and it engages as normal. Some other times, I shut it off and it's still does not engage. TCS comes on, some other times it does not. I removed all the sensors, cleaned them and had the screens cleaned out. I just haven't done an actual transmission fluid change, I left this for last because the fluid looks cherry like so I wanted to rule out the most inexpensive options first. I have pulled the codes and there are none, the TCS light has no come on so I haven't been able to look deeper into that.

My questions are the following.

  • I found a local transmission for $100 that the seller says it is good, no hard shifts, slippage, should I consider swapping it out?
  • I heard the torque converter goes bad? I have watched a ton of videos of people explaining how to tell when one is bad and I keep getting different answers
  • Should I consider just changing the torque converter? Anyway of telling the transmission is toast without tearing off the case?
I don't mind doing the work, I just don't want to be wasting my time as I can't afford too much of that.

Thanks in advance.
 

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If no transmission fluid was drained and filled in last 30k miles, drain and fill three times driving few miles between each change. Using Valvoline maxlife full synthetic from walmart it cost me only about $55 total and it is easier than changing engine oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your response. I bought the car from auction so I’m not entirely sure of it’s history. Currently have a few gallons of Valvoline so I will be giving that a shot and installing an inline filter. Also, I removed the solenoids and checked for clicking, they all did. My ohm reader was dead so I couldn’t check that.
 

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Buying a used transmission would be a huge gamble due to the cost to R&R, and also the high chance of getting a dud. I wouldn't do it, even if it were offered for $0. Except for those that were crashed, most vans of this era meet their end due to transmission failure.

The TC is not a high failure item in these vans. I wouldn't R&R the transmission just to replace the TC.

However, if you decide to rebuild the transmission, always replace the TC too.

There's no rock-solid method for deciding if the transmission is toast. Basically, if it still slips with fresh fluid, and cleaned and checked external parts (solenoids, switches, etc.), all that's left is internal transmission damage.

It has no pan to remove for a visual inspection or adjustment. The only way to get inside is to open the case. Once you are that far into it, it only makes sense to rebuild rather than to continue diagnosis.

All rebuilds are not the same either. Some shops replace just the known problem parts and then ship it out. Others inspect and replace bearings and other obscure wear items. There are even upgraded replacement parts available from Sonnax that improve on the original factory design to prolong the life of the rebuild.

Dave

Dave
 

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Thanks again for the responses. So I drained the fluid, it was dark. It certainly helped.

It lasted much longer than before. But it did continue to slip. What I don’t understand is, I can shut it off, wait a few seconds, start it and then it’ll shift fine for a bit. I ran the CEL, I got p0730, incorrect gear ratio? Anyone care to chime in?
I’m trying to drive it at least 10 miles to conduct the next transmission fluid change.
 

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Change it multiple times as noted and see how it does then. You really only need to get it to shift through all of the gears before another change, there is no mileage requirement. Cheapest thing to do initially.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Understood. So I just changed the fluid again, it was dark. Cycled all the gears while at a standstill twice before I headed off. Drove much better this time around and got it to throw 5th gear. Noticed the TCS came on. Ran codes and got p0780 shift error and p0740 torque converter clutch circuit/open

I’m aiming towards a solenoid not being within the ohm range. Before I purchase one because I feel a junkyard is time consuming and risky, anything else I should try doing?

Thinking of buying an ohm reader and going from there before this last fluid change. The bizarre thing is I can shut it off, and then it’s back to normal.
 

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It lasted much longer than before. But it did continue to slip. What I don’t understand is, I can shut it off, wait a few seconds, start it and then it’ll shift fine for a bit. I ran the CEL, I got p0730, incorrect gear ratio? Anyone care to chime in?
The P0730 incorrect gear ratio is thrown because of the slipping. The computer has detected that the output shaft speed is not what it should be i.e. input torque is being lost inside the transmission due to clutch slippage.

Getting a brief recovery after engine shutdown is somewhat common with a failing transmission. The internal filter screen gets clogged and so hydraulic pressure is lost. Shutting off the engine allows enough debris to fall free of the filter screen that ATF flow is restored, at least for a short time until the filter screen clogs again. Rinse and repeat.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
10-4. I’m going to drive it for a few more miles, rinse and repeat. I’ll report back.

Thanks!
 

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Sometimes the old gritty oil helps the clutch plates to grab better, once you put in new oil, it makes them slipperier.
Your kind of where I was just before I had my transmission rebuilt for the first time.
If your planning to keep this van for a while, rebuild the transmission and get you guy to use sonex aftermarket parts Check out their web page as they have some unique parts to extend the life of these transmissions.
 

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WAIT! Don't replace the trans until you try this:

Check to see if your trans has a replaceable fluid filter. It's a spin on type that looks like a large gasoline filter just behind the shifter mechanism on the top of the trans. Wix makes a replacement normally available at Oreilly Auto. Replace it and add a bottle of the Lucas ATF fluid conditioner...NOT the TRANS FIX... make sure you drain fluid first to make room for the amount you're adding.. The conditioner will slightly increase the fluid viscosity to help seal the internal rubber piston rings that may have slight cracks and / or are hard and have distorted to the point they don't seal well. Over time the additive softens the internal seal rings. If one bottle doesn't fix it, add another and If two bottles don't do it, you can try replacing the four single solenoids. Or at least pull them (easier said than done! See YOU TUBE) to check the mini screens to make sure they are clean and not restricted.

Also, do what you can to clean the tops of the solenoid bores BEFORE you pull the solenoids so crud doesn't fall in. On mine there were four single solenoids and two dual solenoids with screens, None of my screens were clogged at all, possibly because of the filter. Checking them is not super easy. I had to make a special tool to clean the corrosion off the top taper of the 4 solenoid bores once the solenoids were out, so the Orings wouldn't be damaged by the corrosion at the top of the bores while installing and so the crud wouldn't be pushed into the bore.. The replacement single solenoids are not super expensive unless you buy from Honda. I replaced all 4 of mine for about $60

IF the solenoid replacement and two tries with the trans conditioner don't fix it. Try the Lucas TRANS FIX. This will significantly increase the viscosity, like STP or Motor Honey, to help the leaking internal piston rings. The trans is slipping not usually because the clutches are bad but because the piston rings are leaky and not allowing to hold pressure in the piston pack. Eventually the clutches do wear out because of the slipping.

Quite a bit of stuff to do but may save you $3000 rebuild.

Good Luck.
 

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This may be my last shot. Thanks for your input. I already have my winter beater and my CTR so I can take my time with the Odyssey. I have checked all the solenoids that I saw. 3 to be exact. All had clear screens. I’ll check this filter out and go from there.
 

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Hello all,

I know this is probably the millionth and one question about these transmissions but I do have a few if anyone can assist. I have searched the forums and YouTube videos but just looking for a straight answer.

170k miles and it's minty! I really do not want to junk it due to it being so clean and when the car is cold the transmission is absolutely perfect! However, once it gets to operating temperature, the transmission slips, to the point that it won't move at all, regardless of D4, 3, 2 and so on.

I shut it off and sometimes it'll take a split second to catch the gear and it engages as normal. Some other times, I shut it off and it's still does not engage. TCS comes on, some other times it does not. I removed all the sensors, cleaned them and had the screens cleaned out. I just haven't done an actual transmission fluid change, I left this for last because the fluid looks cherry like so I wanted to rule out the most inexpensive options first. I have pulled the codes and there are none, the TCS light has no come on so I haven't been able to look deeper into that.

My questions are the following.

  • I found a local transmission for $100 that the seller says it is good, no hard shifts, slippage, should I consider swapping it out?
  • I heard the torque converter goes bad? I have watched a ton of videos of people explaining how to tell when one is bad and I keep getting different answers
  • Should I consider just changing the torque converter? Anyway of telling the transmission is toast without tearing off the case?
I don't mind doing the work, I just don't want to be wasting my time as I can't afford too much of that.

Thanks in advance.
I want to answer these transmission questions for any owner of a 2004 odyssey. Here's my experience:

1) I have a 2004 Odyssey EX which was under 7-year 100K warranty.
2) In may, 2012, the automatic transmission failed at 103K miles.
3) After calling multiple mechanics, I learned that you don't repair Honda transmissions, you replace them.
I own 3 other cars, all automatics. I would never, ever have an automatic transmission repaired.
4) I contacted Honda of America in LA about my issues. I stated that I had not yet had the 100K mile service done. I was willing to have the local Honda dealer perform the 100K mile service &
transmission replacement. What could they do for me?
Honda of america responded that they would credit the dealer for 50% of the replacement cost.
I spent about $4,400 for both services at the dealer.
When I drove the car out of the dealer, it felt like a new car. I've had no issues since.
That was 8 years ago. Today It has 153K miles.
If you expect to keep the car for 5 years or more, replace the transmission with a new one.
I expect my Odyssey to run for another 5 years.
 

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This may be my last shot. Thanks for your input. I already have my winter beater and my CTR so I can take my time with the Odyssey. I have checked all the solenoids that I saw. 3 to be exact. All had clear screens. I’ll check this filter out and go from there.
So, "1slowCTR" how did it go? Did you replace the trans filter? Did you try the Lucas Trans fluid conditioner?
I'd like to report that mine is still working OK. Not perfectly but OK, Now 13000 miles since I changed ATF filter, installed 4 single solenoids and added Lucas Trans fluid conditioner. I still get an occasional shudder when it shifts into third but once it's finished shifting it's good. As you know there is also one more gear to go (4th) then it goes into converter lockup which both work well. Really the only gear that's isn't perfect is third. I added 1/2 bottle (10 oz) more of the Lucas fluid conditioner and it didn't change anything more.
Not perfect but much better than $4000 or more for a tranny! Mine has 284000 miles.
 
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