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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well I guess I had a good run with this car.... got it second hand lasted 6 years. I didn't put a lot of miles on it ... 50K since I got it I think @150K now...

Driving on the highway and suddenly white smoke was blowing behind me.... I think shit, something is burning... but didn't smell anything and my exit is a few min away..... car is running fine and steady... and decide to ride it to my exit.

EDIT ++ there is no boom, bang or anything, just saw white smoke at my rear view and continue to ride to my exit. ++

As soon as I get off the ramp and stop, done. Free revs. Nothing engaging. Turn car off and on, CEL on.

As suspected, leaking tranny fluid where I stopped. Got it tow to my destination and deciding what to do with it now.

As reading all the older threads, seems like #1 cause is overfill causing the tranny oil to spill out. But this shouldn't be my case as I did a drain and fill 5 years ago.... so..

On the other hand thinking what could cause all tranny oil suddenly leak? Blew a seal? Radiator hook up cracked and leaked? Blew a hose?

If I had driven this for few miles after oil leaked, will I damage the tranny?

:cry:
 

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Perhaps not.

Several others had the ATF blow out through the vent. They let it cool, topped up the fluid, then were rolling again with no apparent ill effects.

At this point, try topping up the fluid and see if it goes. You have nothing to lose by trying.

Dave
 

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One drain & fill in five years is not even the factory recommended interval. You killed it.
50k miles on atf is not usually way too long. On a 2003 Ody the recommended interval is 45k (normal service) with Z-1, the OLD crappy Honda ATF that caused many Ody tranny failures.
Still, I believe in doing at least one drain and fill around 30k or less in my '03.

Foxfai, try what davedrivesody suggested. If it works do 3 more drain and fills with the Honda DW-1 or Valvoline Maxlife Dex/Merc ATF (or another high quality and compatible ATF) and put miles on between changes.
Probably 10-50 miles between the first and second and then even 100 miles+ or so between the next two.
Hopefully you can do more research on why that venting can happen and find a good answer. Still, your AT may be toast but putting in new fluid is pretty easy and low cost and well worth a try. The first drain and fill should give you an answer.
Buffalo4
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
50k miles on atf is not usually way too long. On a 2003 Ody the recommended interval is 45k (normal service) with Z-1, the OLD crappy Honda ATF that caused many Ody tranny failures.
Still, I believe in doing at least one drain and fill around 30k or less in my '03.

Foxfai, try what davedrivesody suggested. If it works do 3 more drain and fills with the Honda DW-1 or Valvoline Maxlife Dex/Merc ATF (or another high quality and compatible ATF) and put miles on between changes.
Probably 10-50 miles between the first and second and then even 100 miles+ or so between the next two.
Hopefully you can do more research on why that venting can happen and find a good answer. Still, your AT may be toast but putting in new fluid is pretty easy and low cost and well worth a try. The first drain and fill should give you an answer.
Buffalo4
Perhaps not.

Several others had the ATF blow out through the vent. They let it cool, topped up the fluid, then were rolling again with no apparent ill effects.

At this point, try topping up the fluid and see if it goes. You have nothing to lose by trying.

Dave
Thanks for the insight, I feel much better after answer comes from experts in this forum.

I had went back to the car where it sits in front of my friend's house and might be guessing the fitting into the radiator near the passenger side might be leaking. What are the odds of that area cracked and leak? There is just so much oil near the passenger side I can't pinpoint where it came from. But suspecting that fitting where the transmission line goes into the radiator starts off and blew the rest towards the underside of the engine.

I bought a transmission cooler and 6 qt of DW1 planning to go there to fill it up and see. I'll report back hopefully with some pictures.

By the way, where is the transmission vent near? At least I can see if the fluids are coming from there....

EDIT: After looking at the transmission picture, seems like most of the housing is toward the driver side. If most of my passenger side gets fluid, what would be the suspect area of a leak?
\
152532
 

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Good thinking on the ATF cooler line being the problem. I agree, nothing else on the AT gets over that way.

Good also on the plan for an AT cooler. I have those on both of my Odysseys and I think they help a lot - TruCool 4544 is what I have on my '99 and '11. When I installed those, the kits come with a few feet of new line (hose), but I went and bought several more feet from my local auto parts store and replaced ALL of the AT hose down there, including the stuff going to the AT cooler at the bottom of the radiator. You might also want to take some extra hose clamps.

For your specific problem, if your thinking is correct on the location, I will guess it is more likely to be a failed hose clamp or failed line that blew off, vs. a failed radiator / built-in AT cooler.

There's a chance you might need more than 6 quarts. I don't know how much will blow out if the hose just comes off, but it may be more than the typical 3-4 quarts you get on a drain and fill. Full capacity is about 9 quarts, I think.

And the vent hose is part #4 in your diagram there. It's the rubber open-ended hose that comes up and curves so the opening is pointing downward (so nothing spills in there).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good thinking on the ATF cooler line being the problem. I agree, nothing else on the AT gets over that way.

Good also on the plan for an AT cooler. I have those on both of my Odysseys and I think they help a lot - TruCool 4544 is what I have on my '99 and '11. When I installed those, the kits come with a few feet of new line (hose), but I went and bought several more feet from my local auto parts store and replaced ALL of the AT hose down there, including the stuff going to the AT cooler at the bottom of the radiator. You might also want to take some extra hose clamps.

For your specific problem, if your thinking is correct on the location, I will guess it is more likely to be a failed hose clamp or failed line that blew off, vs. a failed radiator / built-in AT cooler.

There's a chance you might need more than 6 quarts. I don't know how much will blow out if the hose just comes off, but it may be more than the typical 3-4 quarts you get on a drain and fill. Full capacity is about 9 quarts, I think.

And the vent hose is part #4 in your diagram there. It's the rubber open-ended hose that comes up and curves so the opening is pointing downward (so nothing spills in there).
Hmm... good call on the capacity...... I will have to see when I bring 6Q back down to the car and see.... at worst I'll have to drive back to the dealer to get another 6..... if it doesn't leak when I fill it...
 

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The white smoke you saw before the transmission failed was likely engine coolant. How is the coolant level now?

After you top up the ATF, warm up the engine fully before driving the van. Check the lower right radiator area for both coolant and ATF leaks.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The white smoke you saw before the transmission failed was likely engine coolant. How is the coolant level now?

After you top up the ATF, warm up the engine fully before driving the van. Check the lower right radiator area for both coolant and ATF leaks.

Dave
Ah, words of wisdom.... good call. Going to check that when I get back to the car in a day or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So after a long morning, I got finally got the van moving again.... in a way.

Upon ripping everything apart under body, found everything to be rusted thanks to the NE weather here. This is what I saw near the passenger area of the suspected leakage. It's the transmission oil routed through the bottom of the radiator, and this is the fitting that goes into it. After a good 2 hours, I was able to add a transmission cooler and re-route the transmission fluid to it. Poured 5 QT (my dumb ass over filled it) and ran it through the gears. Moving the car back and forth a good 10 ft or so. I decide to call it a day as I have other duties. Car still sits as it is. Not sure if I wanted to drive it down the highway yet...

Tomorrow morning I will be going back to drain 1/2 QT out and check the level again. Didn't think the bottlom hole to the top is less than 1/2 QT. Also in a way I did not lose all 8-9 QT of tranny oil as suspected.

Coolant level might be low too so I am going to fill it up before I take the car around the block.

152581
 

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Discussion Starter #13
50k miles on atf is not usually way too long. On a 2003 Ody the recommended interval is 45k (normal service) with Z-1, the OLD crappy Honda ATF that caused many Ody tranny failures.
Still, I believe in doing at least one drain and fill around 30k or less in my '03.

Foxfai, try what davedrivesody suggested. If it works do 3 more drain and fills with the Honda DW-1 or Valvoline Maxlife Dex/Merc ATF (or another high quality and compatible ATF) and put miles on between changes.
Probably 10-50 miles between the first and second and then even 100 miles+ or so between the next two.
Hopefully you can do more research on why that venting can happen and find a good answer. Still, your AT may be toast but putting in new fluid is pretty easy and low cost and well worth a try. The first drain and fill should give you an answer.
Buffalo4
Buffalo, as this is just rusted and piss out the tranny fluid. Would you suggest to have this oil drain one time or should I just leave it as it is if the car runs? I ran the car probably at 5th gear for about 4-5 min after the leak and not sure how much damage I did to the tranny.
 

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I live is the salty NE also. As a precaution I replaced the radiator and all steel lines and rubber hoses for the trans a year ago. Also added an aftermarket trans cooler and an oil cooler thermostat from Derale.
Don't forget to spray fluid film on all your rusty parts under the van and inside body panels.
 

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Yes replace the radiator, no point in risking seizing your engine over a $60 part on eBay. You got lucky and yes a coolant leak is what white smoke usually is but that also usually means a head gasket leak which is hard to fix yourself, very time consuming at least. Do a ... I think it's called a compression test or something to check for a bad head gasket. Somebody here knows what it's called
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I live is the salty NE also. As a precaution I replaced the radiator and all steel lines and rubber hoses for the trans a year ago. Also added an aftermarket trans cooler and an oil cooler thermostat from Derale.
Don't forget to spray fluid film on all your rusty parts under the van and inside body panels.
I hear ya. This isn't my first time facing a radiator issue. My old integra had the top of the radiator crack on Thanksgiving day.... no parts to get to fix it and no where to go.

Thankfully now I just installed a external transmission cooler and re-routed the fluid to it. The bottom of the radiator is shot. Really thinking of getting the whole thing replace just for the piece of mind.

Drove the car back from where it died 20 miles via highway and local. Didn't hear anything funny while driving back. Not sure if I should do another drain and fill since it ran a few min without full oil. Total added about 4.25QT to make it filled to the top.
 

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If the transmission was damaged, you would know about it by now. You have probably dodged the proverbial bullet. :)

However, I would do at least another drain and fill. The fluid has been heat-stressed by the incident and needs to be refreshed.

Dave
 

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If you haven't done at least a 3 drain and fill cycle since you bought it, do another 3 with 10 -100 miles between each. Very easy to do, as you know (esp if you fill it through the dipstick tube with the proper funnel) and you will help ensure that the tranny lasts longer.
For multiple drain and fills and % of new fluid:
3 1/2qt/drain and fill: 42,66,81,89 ----14 qts total

Buffalo4
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If you haven't done at least a 3 drain and fill cycle since you bought it, do another 3 with 10 -100 miles between each. Very easy to do, as you know (esp if you fill it through the dipstick tube with the proper funnel) and you will help ensure that the tranny lasts longer.
For multiple drain and fills and % of new fluid:
3 1/2qt/drain and fill: 42,66,81,89 ----14 qts total

Buffalo4
I did 2 drain and fill, a little bit afraid to do the third as some say losing too much 'stuff' in there might cause the tranny to slip. Then of course 4-5 years later this happens. I imaging it leaked about 3.5 QT and I put back in a little bit more than 4QT with the cooler installed. Going to do another D+F when I have the chance before winter settles....
 

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Don't guess your fluid level. Warm up the transmission and check both sides of the dipstick a few times. One side will be accurate. Never just guess your atf level. I overfill my fluid by 1/2 or maybe even a quart. A quart over might be too much. People say overfilling is really bad. I'd rather overfill than underfill. I have not heard of ruining a trans due to overfilling, but for sure you will F up your trans by being severely too low, dont guess
 
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