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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow members. After my 20yr Lexus died recently, I was looking for a good and affordable replacement.
I like the functionality of minivans, (I am not sure why they aren't "cool" - who drives SUVs off road anyway?) and looked at all the Japanese brands, Kia and US brands.
I kept finding the Odyssey as my first choice - it looks great inside and out. I could get a 2012 Chrysler minivan (With newer features) for the cost of the 2006 Odyssey - but it looks cheap & ugly inside and out (even the 2020 model) and the safety rating wins me out.

I've been learning about the trims and features of the various models, and this is I think is the best choice for me with a budget of $3000 or so. I'm seeing some great looking Odysseys for that price.

1 - 2006~2007 year model. 140~180K miles (as listed locally)
2 - EX (I'm trying to avoid getting the EX-L so I don't get VCM.) Most listings are EX-L. Even if I had a VCMuzzler, I am concerned about the wear-damage already there of 150k+ miles caused by the VCM.
Is this a valid concern?
{ Leather seats / moon-roof are not high on my list.}

3 - Avoiding those with NAV, out-dated compared to my phone. I liked radio controls up on top.

4 - Concerned that a previous owner may not have a code to make the radio work. I'm concerned because what if the battery dies / replacement. Also, I'm planning on getting a headphone jack + USB add-on kit and running it out the pocket area. I see these on Amazon for $25 or so. I've read and seen videos saying its an easy 30min job I can do myself.

When getting a used Odyssey, are there any other problem areas I should double-check on?

I am looking forward to having this to drive myself and family.
 

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Welcome to OdyClub! How did the Lexus die? You sound like me - I have two 2001 Toyota Camrys. Recently was looking for a third car and was looking for either a Sienna or Odyssey. Stability control, side curtain airbags, and 8 passenger seating were must haves for me, and since these were all optional on the Sienna depending on year/trim, it was difficult to find a Sienna with this configuration at a good price.

1. Stick with 2007-2010 models. 2005 and 2006 had an older transmission that is prone to failure. When I was shopping, I didn't even consider 2005 and 2006 at all, even if the price seemed right. Personally don't want to deal with transmission issues.

2. Like you, I didn't want the VCM engine. To be honest, I'd prefer not to have the moonroof so that it doesn't cause any leaking problems in the future. Leather is nice, but definitely not a must-have to me. So, like you, I was shopping for an EX model. However, I was open to an EX-L if the price was right (meaning, if I could get the EX-L at the same price as an EX). Note that there were two versions of the VCM engine during this generation - VCM1 for 05-07 which had 3 and 6 cylinder modes, and VCM2 for 08-10 which had 3, 4, and 6 cylinder modes. VCM1 is known to cause engine mounts to wear out quickly (and also some oil burning, although if not severe, can be solved with the Muzzler). VCM2 is more likely to have oil burning issues than VCM1. However, if there's no indication that there is any severe oil burning, I wouldn't be afraid of an EX-L.

3. I don't like the built in navigation either. I prefer a Garmin unit. However, I wanted a backup camera. I figured I'd have to install one myself since no EX model of this generation came with the backup camera. It was standard on 08-10 EX-L (if no navigation, the screen was on the rearview mirror). For 05-07, the backup camera only came with navigation.

4. Don't worry about the radio code. I think you can pull them online from the Honda Owners website (you can definitely get them by calling a dealer). Pretty much all owners should have it anyway.

There are a few noted problem areas with the Odyssey... alternators crap out somewhere between 80-130K, axles, sliding door rollers, AC compressors. Make sure the timing belt, water pump, AND tensioner are replaced (or you replace it soon).

I ended up buying a 2007 EX-L with Navigation, 82K miles, for $3500 last month. I was hesitant to buy an EX-L, but because mine was a 2007 (VCM 1), and I didn't notice any signs of oil burning or engine mount problems, I thought it was OK. Plus, it had the backup camera that I wanted. Definitely shop around for a good deal - buying used means you're going to have to spend some money to get it up to date, so you want to keep a cushion there in case repairs end up more expensive than you expected. BUT, I would still avoid a 2005/2006 model... I don't want to risk a breakdown during a road trip.

To give you an indication of what to expect... mine had a bad timing belt tensioner when I bought it (making noise). I drove it home carefully and my mechanic replaced it immediately - luckily, no engine damage. The car was shaking at certain speeds which turned out to be an axle problem. Replaced the driver's side axle and the problem went away. The previous owner had just replaced the alternator a few months ago (probably at around 78-80K miles).

Things I expect I might have to replace in the next 50K miles: starter, AC compressor, passenger axle (driver was replaced and I suspect this one's not far behind), engine mounts.

By the way, a few things the 08-10 refreshed model has that my 07 doesn't, that I would have liked to have: MP3 compatibility, active head restraints, and daytime running lights - if these are important to you. It's strange why the 07 EX-L doesn't come with daytime running lights - my two 2001 Camrys have them!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
On my Lexus, Engine broke, I forgot specifically, but a cylinder is busted - requires rebuilding the whole engine. The mechanic who looked at it (and others) said it wasn't worth fixing. Other than a mechanic's special since the body and everything else is very good. I was just about to do the timing chain, ignition coils and spark plugs on the Lexus ($800~1500) since it has 225,000 miles.

I hated the way the Nissan (2006ish models) looked, I mean - they are very cheap and futuristic looking... but it looks like plastic and not something I would seeing or using while driving. The all-glass top is kinda neat, but I see that as safety a hazard. I drove a late 2018 Nissan and hated how it looked, felt and the buttons, etc. (I told friend - I wouldn't trade it for my Lexus)

(my responses - glad I numbered them haha)
1 - Gotcha. I looked at 2004, but reports seem to indicate transmission issues with that generation, even thou the 04 is the most reliable. (But I don't like Gear shifter on the column) I will remove the 2006 off my list. (thanks) I kinda prefer the look of front and wheels of the 05~07 look over 08~10. That's just me.

2 - I agree on the moon-roof issues, also possible failures. But also - it's a safety issue again. While it's a small number - about 200 people die each year because of shattered moon-roofs and debris entering the car. On top of that, there are a bit over 200 people who also die yearly because they are EJECTED out of the moon roof. So I take that into consideration, its very small odds.
How would I spot the oil burning issue? Should I ask if they have a muzzler installed? Overall, the EX is my primary goal. (When looking at listing - it's frustrating that some people don't know their own trims. LX's and even touring listed as EX or EX-Ls. I've been comparing the Odyssey models so much and looking at photos - I can tell the trim by the dashboard. Like LX vs EX is a big noticeable difference.

3 - NAV : I think I'll do fine without a backup camera. I've not had one before, and I've driven bigger cars than the minivans. Also, this generation still has large rear windows. Unlike today's cars with tiny rear windows. Looks like I could add a backup camera for $100 or so... I'll worry about it later if I need it, also it'll add clutter when I could have a nice Odyssey dash. (Personally, I still don't get the 4-5 buttons for gear shifting. Worse - some Dodge cars uses a knob, which is next to the radio vol knob! OMG)

$3500 seems like a great deal at 82K miles. I see prices of $4000~6000 for 2007 models with about 200,000 miles. (Usually EX-L). Overall, for the price - I should get a good Odyssey for about $3000 thats reliable. I won't have spare cash for major repairs. I now the 2008~10 models have a LINE-IN/AUX jack. That is also why I DON'T want navigation with a 2007, so that I can add the line-in + USB cheaply and easily. The AUX button is already on the radio.

I will be test-driving anything I will consider buying. Last month, an 06 touring with 120K miles went for $2500. It was gone quickly. I see damaged ODY go for $3500~5000... even with ripped Leather seats and arm-rests. Also compared to the usual cars, I think most Odyssey drivers are transporting kids and the owners are likely to treat them nicer, not racing or punishing them.

One's I'm looking at getting this week: (Note: Different parts of the USA = different avg pricing)
08 - EX with DVD. $3100 w 198K miles. Inside good, ding on trunk. lightly foggy headlamps. Interior good. (footstep cover for rear bumper gone)
07 - EX-L (Seller lists it as LX huh?) $2900 w 215K miles. Minor scrap on both bumpers, otherwise looks new inside and out.
06 - EX (Seller lists it as LX huh?) $3300 w 145K miles. Looks petty much new inside and out. (driver seat a bit of wear) * This is 2006 - so likely no buy.
Another 06 I was considering = 115K miles. But whats bugging me is that the bumper color doesn't seem to match the body color at certain angles in photographs - hmmm - look new otherwise)

07 EX (Listed as 08, but I can tell its NOT) $3000. w/140k = Slight ding to grill and hood. slight foggy lamps, - otherwise perfect.
07 EX $3500 w 98K miles. Looks very good inside and out.
07 EX $3100 w 140K miles. Damage front bumper, otherwise looks good. (60K less miles than the 2008. Easier to replace bumper than the lift-up trunk)
07 EX-L $3000 w 163K miles. Looks great inside and out... but I don't like the color (white w/ tan interior - sigh)
06 Touring $3500 w 130K miles. Looks new inside and out. But it's an 06/Nav, etc.
BOLD = My top choice, after learning about 06 issues.

So I'm wondering if those sellers who are not listing the vans right... are they scammers or don't know their own trims?
PS: The armrests on the seats, can they normally point downwards? Seems like that would be broken.
 

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I have an '07 Touring and thought I'd share some observations that may help:

- Mine has VCM1 and I disabled it a year ago with the VCMTUNER II when it was at 130K miles. It was purely for insurance though as I have had no issues with oil consumption or the engine mounts.

- Mine has the rear entertainment system and NAV. With that there is an Audio and composite Video AUX input in the compartment by the third row seat on the drivers side which is selected by pressing the DVD/AUX button. I picked up a Bluetooth kit for about $10 which mounts on the air vent and extended / adapted the wiring to connect it from the front to the L / R audio jacks back there (3.5mm female jack in front to 2 RCA male plugs in back). I was able to route the cabling so it is very easy to remove while at the same time is out of the way. If I want to use it to stream audio from my phone, I select the AUX input and can also place or receive calls. If I'm listening to other sources (CD, DVD, radio) I have a visor mounted Bluetooth speaker phone to make or receive calls.

I guess what I'm saying is that with an '07 I wouldn't be as worried about the VCM to rule out an EX-L or Touring. Also, if it has RES then you can very easily and inexpensively add Bluetooth connectivity.

As far as NAV I never updated the maps and tend to use my cell phone for directions, however, it is nice having a large screen with the map on it when on a road trip and I like having the backup camera. I wouldn't pay a premium for it though.

As far as the front armrests they are adjustable. If it is down and you want to raise is a little bit you lift it up slightly until it is where you want it. If it is too high, you lift it all the way up, and then can push it to the lowest point, and then move it up to where you want it.

Good luck with your search.
 

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Not all of the front armrests are adjustable. This might be a cloth vs. leather option.

My 2005 EX (cloth) did not have adjustable armrests, and I found them uncomfortable. My 2010 EX-L (leather) has them.

If you can get a 2011+ Caravan at the price of the Odysseys you are looking at, I'd go with the Caravan.

The prices you are seeing on vans is much cheaper than what I was seeing when I was shopping last year.


Also be aware of peeling paint, especially on dark blue or white vans.
 

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The Caravan gets good marks for safety except for the small-overlap test (which was tested on a 2014 model). The 3rd-gen Odyssey was never tested in the small-overlap. The first Odyssey to be tested for small-overlap was a 2014, and it did great, but that doesn't mean a 3rd-gen would also do well.

Another way to put it: cars weren't tested for small-overlap until 2014. The Caravan's bad marks in this test can be retroactively applied to the 2010 models, because they are the same generation as the 2014. The Odyssey's good marks cannot be applied to the 3rd-gen 2005-2010 models, because the Odyssey that was tested was a fourth-gen.
 

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I purchased a used '07 EX-l 2.5 years ago with 208K on the clock for $3200. It was in fine shape (body) but a couple of issues the seller couldn't / didn't want to address (brakes, phantom battery draw). Fixed those and put on new tires and I have 20K+ more on it now. I added a muzzler primarily because I tow with it and didn't want any issues there, but there were no apparent VCM issues with the van before that. The van drives very well, I'm guess it will get to 300K or maybe more. The only issue that I have is the small spot above the wheel wells that rusts on these years. One of the headlights was badly fogged and I replaced it at the same time I added a tranny cooler for towing. All told, other than the tires, I put about $100 into the van. Closer to $300 if you include the tranny cooler, hitch and wiring for towing. But it does tow our popup very well.

The van was essentially a one owner van with a lot of highway miles and very good service records, so I had no issue purchasing it. I would say that maintenance is more important the the exact mileage. Look for good service records at shop or DIY.
 

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The Nissan Quest is not a bad car if you can get a 2007-2009 model. The 2011+ model has the unreliable CVT, and 2004-2006 had that terrible dashboard where the speedometer was in the middle. I considered the Quest when shopping, but they are too rare and there is no online community like OdyClub or enough YouTube videos to do DIY work, so I wasn't interested.

1. I would avoid 04 and older models, not just because of the transmission, but also because side curtain airbags and stability control wasn't available until 2005.

2. Very few people know about the Muzzler. I'd bet that most sellers don't even know what VCM even is. My mechanic who is pretty familiar with these cars and has a lot of customers with them had never heard of a Muzzler. So, I doubt that you'll find a seller who had a Muzzler on their van. The best way to spot VCM issues is to pull the spark plugs to see if any are fouled. I didn't do this since I have changed spark plugs a grand total of once in my life (on a Camry with ignition wires) so I'm sure sellers wouldn't appreciate me pulling plugs on their car. You could always ask the seller if the spark plugs were replaced; if they mention that the car was misfiring so they were replaced, it could indicate a VCM issue. When looking at my car, I assumed it was OK because the seller said that he never added any oil, the oil was full, and the oil life monitor was at 30% - not the best way to gauge oil burning but I really took a chance with this one.

It's true that many people have no idea what trim their car is - could really use this to your advantage if sellers think their EX or EX-L vans are LX models and price them according to the LX scale on KBB.

3. You should have no problem finding a decent, reliable Odyssey for $3K. But, I will warn you, in my experience, most sellers of used cars are selling them needing some sort of maintenance. Not necessarily meaning something is wrong, it could be tires, brakes, timing belt, shocks, etc... but that's money that you should be willing to spend to keep your car reliable once you buy it. When I bought my 15 year old Camry 4 years ago, I put $1K into it right away for new tires, brakes, engine mount, window regulator, exhaust leak repair, sway bar links and bushings, etc. When buying my Odyssey last month, I put $1K into it for a new timing belt/water pump/tensioner, front sway bar link, and front axle. Just make sure that you anticipate any used van you're going to buy will need some stuff, unless it truly is in great condition.

Also - while Odyssey drivers may not abuse their cars and treat it like a sports car, they are also some of the busiest people trying to juggle kids, work, and other aspects of their life and may not be maintaining their car regularly. So it really depends.

I will admit - I have a bias towards low mileage cars. My pick out of your list would be: 07 EX $3100 w 140K miles. Damage front bumper, otherwise looks good. (60K less miles than the 2008. Easier to replace bumper than the lift-up trunk)

If you are looking at Craigslist cars... be careful. I would advise just checking out cars for awhile to familiarize yourself with the difference between a legitimate ad and a flipper or scammer. Look for license plates (that are attached correctly, not with one screw, not dealer plates), inspection stickers. etc. I've bought two used cars from Craigslist - it's the best place to find a good deal but you need to be careful.

Armrests on my 07 EX-L go all the way down and then you pull them up to the angle you want.

Good luck!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have an '07 Touring and thought I'd share some observations that may help:

I guess what I'm saying is that with an '07 I wouldn't be as worried about the VCM to rule out an EX-L or Touring. Also, if it has RES then you can very easily and inexpensively add Bluetooth connectivity.
So an 07 EX-L with RES would still include the rear A/V inputs? (BTW: I'm amused as to how much I've learned the lingo of a vehicle I haven't bought yet!) With the RES, does that mean the AUX button is the audio from the back (3.5 plug or bluetooth)? I've not used bluetooth for music from a phone, I've heard its mixed results.

Nods on NAV screen. I've seen it on some newer cars and the interface seems UGH - compared to GoogleMaps. IMHO, it seems a smarter way is for them to do Android for NAV.

As far as the front armrests they are adjustable. If it is down and you want to raise is a little bit you lift it up slightly until it is where you want it. If it is too high, you lift it all the way up, and then can push it to the lowest point, and then move it up to where you want it.
I was just checking, to make sure the armrest we not broken. I'm used to my old car, they either fold up, or level with the car (mostly)
Yeah, thanks - I hope I get a good one. I'm tossed out 2005-06 models as well as Kias and Chryslers (which both have poor crash ratings)

I think the 2008 EX-L VCM-2, which means more problems than a VCM model. (sigh) as I got some 2008s on my list now. (Looking at an EX w/166K miles for $3250 that looks good inside/out) another 08-EX has RES (cool) but I realized they replaced the rear hatch with a 2005~2007 version... so the lights look weird. To me, "what happened" and not worth $3100 w/ 198K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not all of the front armrests are adjustable. This might be a cloth vs. leather option.

My 2005 EX (cloth) did not have adjustable armrests, and I found them uncomfortable. My 2010 EX-L (leather) has them.

If you can get a 2011+ Caravan at the price of the Odysseys you are looking at, I'd go with the Caravan.

The prices you are seeing on vans is much cheaper than what I was seeing when I was shopping last year.
Also be aware of peeling paint, especially on dark blue or white vans.
The 2007 EX I am looking at (photos) - I see them in UP positions or I can see the rotation disk. So maybe with 2005, Honda brain farted on that detail?
When I read the reviews from owners of 2011 Chrysler (Same van from 2008~2016), it has a lot of neat things (Mood lighting the ceiling is pretty - adjustable colors) that tend to break or become lose, transmissions (even the 2020 Voyager/Pacifica) and worse of all the IIHS crash rating of the 08~16 is rather poor. (perhaps on par or lower than the 2002 ODY)

Safety of me and my kiddos over a 4yr newer car with lighting. (And still somewhat ugly inside and out) haha

Thanks for the heads up on paint. I prefer lighter colors. Primary is silver or grey models. But on my saved lists is a blue one (not dark dark) EX-L with 215K miles (maybe a bad idea -but looks almost new inside out). An 07 white EX-L that looks well cared for (very new looking / not a dealer) for $3K with 165K miles.

My preferred colors are SIlver, ocean mist blue and Grey (in that order) as I want the grey interior. Then Midnight blue > Cherry > White > Green (Midnight blue looks almost black. But as stated, issues.. and means hotter during Texas summers) Good deal on Gold ones, but don't like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The Nissan Quest is not a bad car if you can get a 2007-2009 model.~ and 2004-2006 had that terrible dashboard where the speedometer was in the middle.
Not a fan of Nissan DNA. That center console was really off-putting. The seller wanted $2200, looked NEW inside and out... and I could see myself hating. Once you get a car you HATE, you learn to not do that again, no matter the price. (LOL) Pictures inserted to show people who may NOT know what it looks like. I'm a big Star Wars fan and it has that look from EP1 Queen's ship. Center gauges would drive me nuts.

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The ceiling of the fan is neat looking, my kids would love it. The lights, vents, dual screens and of course windows. Cool factor = 10.
But they don't close, sun shade's ain't going to cut it. And if there is a crash / roll-over = that roof is going to be weak with glass everywhere.

2. Very few people know about the Muzzler. I'd bet that most sellers don't even know what VCM even is.~~ It's true that many people have no idea what trim their car is - could really use this to your advantage if sellers think their EX or EX-L vans are LX models and price them according to the LX scale on KBB.
I accidentally ran across this site when I started looking at the Odyssey and the VCM was listed as a FEATURE to save gas - so I said: "Cool, that'll save some gas1". So I said "how does VCM work" and ended up here... and learned about the problems. Yeah, seller or flippers may not know jack. So there's an 07-Touring 140K miles (I don't want run-flat tires $$$) with aftermarket sports car rims... Only $2400. That makes me more nervous.

I won't have $1K for repairs afterwards. :( It's going to have to be reliable. A friend of a friend is supposed to help me check it out mechanically - but he knows sports cars, not vans. So the trouble areas I learn about the Odyssey, I will update him to check out. Nods on how people take care of their cars / maintenance records. An ex got the Lexas RX from the original owner, it looked NEW inside and out. In 8months time, she dinged the car everywhere. Then I took the car, and never hit a thing with it. Did light repairs. Lasted 5+ years. (I'm pretty sure the oil leaking into the spark plugs (1 bad, 2nd a bit bad) pretty much killed the engine.

I will admit - I have a bias towards low mileage cars. My pick out of your list would be: 07 EX $3100 w 140K miles. Damage front bumper, otherwise looks good. (60K less miles than the 2008. Easier to replace bumper than the lift-up trunk)
That's high on my list. Looks like a couple of broken clips got popped when it hit trailer hitch. (My ex did that to the Lexus - grrr). I hope I get my refund in time to get what I want (any day)

What urks me the most is "2008" is listed in the title, and its clearly a 2007 model, (Dealer sale) - so they don't know what they're selling? Are Odyssey bumpers with original paint match perfectly with the rest of the van? With one van, looked like a door and bumper are "off" color. Since my post a day or so ago, I realized that lift-up trunk to be an 05~07 installed on that 2008. (uh no)

I'm not interested in Craigslist. Too many scammers and flippers. Found it more stressful than anything else.
Thanks for the arm-rest info.

Ah, a
1 - 2008 EX, 167K m $3250. Silver (nice) Headlights perfect. Seats great. (back of 3rd row seats some damage and in that area. someone hauled a lot of stuff back there,)
2 - 2007 EX, 99K m. $3500. Color I like. Can't tell if the glove box is ajar or something is broken with it. Is the hood just open or damaged? (picture below)
(Not easy for people to change the milage?) Seats look very good. They took a picture under the hood. Clean. But the front cover over the radiator has been removed (2 plastic screws are missing in the middle).
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3 - 2007 EX-L, 122K m $3500. Not a mark and leather looks great. Grey body
4 - 2007 EX , 140K m $3100 (dinged bumper. not dealer) Silver
5 - 2007 EX-L, 141K m $3000. (I like the $) Bumper color looks odd. RES. Front seats = unknown tears. grey
6 - 2007 EX-L, 165K m $3000. (I like the $) Front seats = unknown tears, back seats look great. white
7 - 2007 EX-L, 215K m $2900. Looks great inside / out. (215K miles = not likely) Light grey
8 - 2007 EX-L, 122k m. $2800. (Meh gold, Leather seems to tear up easily - some big rips)

(This list is to help me keep track. I've culled 6 others as "no") The top 6, are in order of my interest.
 

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The van in the pic looks to me to have repaired damage -- the front and rear door colors don't match exactly and the hood doesn't line up. We're talking about a $3000 van with low miles, though. If the title is clean, I think I could live with it.

The timing belt change interval is 105k miles. A 99k van is probably going to need a timing belt. A 150k van very well could be overdue for a timing belt, but the seller may lie about it having been done.

In my experience, you WILL be spending some money keeping this van running. You are looking at vehicles that are nearly 15 years old with a lot of miles on them, and you are searching for value. If you find a van in perfect condition with complete service records, then you may dodge some repair bills, but it probably won't be $3k. And regardless of previous service, stuff breaks. These vans are not problem free for anyone.
 

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OP. If you like DIY repairs, and coming to this site for help. Of course buy the Odyssey.

Otherwise, buy a "good used" Sienna. More reliable.

Good luck.
 

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So an 07 EX-L with RES would still include the rear A/V inputs? (BTW: I'm amused as to how much I've learned the lingo of a vehicle I haven't bought yet!) With the RES, does that mean the AUX button is the audio from the back (3.5 plug or bluetooth)? I've not used bluetooth for music from a phone, I've heard its mixed results.
I have an '07 Touring so I can't be sure if the EX-L is the same, but I believe it is given the '08 EX-L with RES was very similar, however having an audio input in front where I have a second 12 VDC power outlet. On mine when you press the DVD/AUX button on my radio you switch between the DVD player and the A/V input in the 3rd row. The connection back there are separate Left / Right RCA jacks like you would commonly find on home A/V equipment.

I used a Bluetooth audio adapter in front as an audio source connected over 16' of audio cables to the audio input in back. I used what I had laying around, so it could be a bit shorter and more simple, but the cabling had a 3.5 mm female jack in front that the Bluetooth kit plugs into, and Left / Right male RCA plugs to connect to the input in back. The Bluetooth kit is powered from a USB power port and it came with a 12 VDC adapter and provides 2 USB power outputs one to power the Bluetooth and the other to power a phone, etc.

Here is a link to a thread on this topic. Best Bluetooth Setup with aux port

Post #4 in the thread shows what it looks like in back. Starting at Post #10 until the end of the thread covers the kit I bought and how I connected it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
OP. If you like DIY repairs, and coming to this site for help. Of course buy the Odyssey. Otherwise, buy a "good used" Sienna. More reliable.
Well, looks like I can reach all 6 spark plugs on the Honda. :) I've looked at Sienna, the interior is very "Lexus RX"-like (In Japan, the Lexus RX is just a Toyota), overall - I find myself liking the feature set, look inside and out of the Honda better.

I can do some DIY myself. (Alt, starter, brakes) as long as I can reach them. Engine / Trans = no.
 

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I have an '07 Touring so I can't be sure if the EX-L is the same, but I believe it is given the '08 EX-L with RES was very similar, however having an audio input in front where I have a second 12 VDC power outlet. On mine when you press the DVD/AUX button on my radio you switch between the DVD player and the A/V input in the 3rd row. ~~
The 08 EX-L and (maybe the EX too, I don't remember) have an input 3.5mm plug in the front - so I've read. With the 2007 and older, there is a $25 "kit" that I can plug into the back of the radio that'll give me the plug & the USB port so I can also plug in a flash-drive with my music... giving me the ability to select folders and songs with the radio << >> controls. I like that idea (and no phone battery usage). So that's my general plan... Bluetooth option is something I'll look into.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The van in the pic looks to me to have repaired damage -- the front and rear door colors don't match exactly and the hood doesn't line up. We're talking about a $3000 van with low miles, though. If the title is clean, I think I could live with it.
The timing belt change interval is 105k miles. A 99k van is probably going to need a timing belt. A 150k van very well could be overdue for a timing belt, but the seller may lie about it having been done. ~ And regardless of previous service, stuff breaks. These vans are not problem free for anyone.
The hood could be not closed all the way - the seller did take a pic of the engine. I kinda see what you mean by the door. Maybe not shut perfectly? LOL - with one seller, the silver van looks new, then the other side - both doors were replaced with dark-blue ones and the fender is dented, etc. Uh very much no.

I will carfax anything I'm seriously looking to buying. I won't get anything SALVAGED.
About how long past 105K miles can I go before I really need to change that belt? (I changed mine) - I have taken into consideration that the 120~180Kvans -well, geez, any-of them - have NOT had their timing belts changed. I think only one listing I said it was changed.

Yeah, any USED car is likely to need some repairs. My Lexus was going through about $500~800 a year for the final 2~3 years. My ex brought a Nissan Murano for $4K, and she took it to Firestone (uh oh) - and in the end, they kinda broke it and ended up with $3000 in repair bills and a replacement engine. (SMH) - another friend paid $5K for the same kind of car, and she's replaced the battery and tires in the past 2 years.

I will drive avg of 300~400miles a month, maybe 500. My work, stores and kids school are 1~2 miles away. So I hope I can put off on the timing belt until next year. (4~5K miles) But a couple of friends from work have offered to do it on the cheap, about $500 + parts ($100?)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Speaking off colors that don't match perfectly... check out the one below. Low miles (117K)
(BTW: I used to have a sports car that got hit while it was parked, got a new hood and finder, didn't quite match the rest of the car but zero mechanical damage. Saw the idiot backup and drive away) So to me, the pics below. the front door and rear panel match. So besides being a 2006, I took it off my list. (My guess is why the low price, it looks very good inside).

154358
154359
 

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I figured I'd share my experiences. I've seen people saying to avoid 2005 and 2006, and while that may be true on a general scale (I'm not sure), it hasn't been the case for me (at least not yet).

I have a 2006 EX (hey it looks almost exactly like the one you just posted! same color too!), owned since brand new, and it has a little over 90K miles on it. Over a span of 14 years, it's held up well. Normal service at mileage intervals has been followed. Around 50K the transmission fluid was drained and filled 3 times, and it was recently done again at 90K. Besides that, the timing belt was also done at 90K, along with the usual 105K service, since it had been about 13 years.

To get an idea about how it's used, it's usually a secondary car, used only when the other car is already being used or is unavailable for whatever reason. It's also used for longer road trips (1-2 per year), anywhere from 200-1500 miles one way.

Mechanically, it's in basically perfect condition, no real issues there. Cosmetically it's in pretty good shape on the exterior as well (the interior, mainly the carpets/mats, has seen better days, but it's not terrible), it's had damage repaired before but nothing that really stands out.

The only real issue that has popped up over the years is the driver's side door has started to give out. I believe it's a bad roller, almost certainly from normal wear and tear (in our case that door is used more often than the other one).

Anyway, I guess I should be useful and answer your question for advice. In my opinion, the most common issues on Odysseys, any year/generation is the sliding door(s) giving out over time, but it's really only a nuisance. You might just have to try 2-3 times (on rare occasions more than that) to open and close the door. Besides that, I think all the 3rd gen years are fair game.
 

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The center rollers are pretty easy to repair or replace. Pretty much standard maintenance after this many years! :)
 
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