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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
but i could use a bit of advice. Ok so I just bought an 03 odyssey lx with 80k miles and had no idea of this tranny problem until i came to this site so now im nervous as all get out. The oil jet kit is installed and i called honda and there are no recalls that havent already been taken care of on my van. Just called my local mechanic and asked him how much it would cost to flush my tranny and he said hondas dont need to flushed. and so i told him of the million probs with this model tranny and i wanted it flushed once/yr and he said just a simple empty and refill is all thats needed and that if i had it flushed it would push more junk into the tranny and cause probs. I do not have a tranny cooler and I don't think im interested in putting one in unless they can be had for pretty cheap. How much does the filter cost to install? If i did indeed skip on putting the cooler, how often should i empty/refill? and i do know that i'll be putting in synthetic for sure. thanks a million
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
btw i drove it all around yesterday for over 6 hours and absolutely drives wonderful...no delay whatsoever switching gears. Any other probs i should get checked out besides tranny? what else do yall recommend doing to ensure many more miles?
 

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The horse does seem dead.
It seems to be a heat problem, not sure why folks are afraid of coolers. A cooler would probably cost the same or less than an external filter (cheep) and both are easy to hook up. Now synthetic ATF seems expensive and unnecessary to me, Honda Z1 works fine if it's changed regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The horse does seem dead.
It seems to be a heat problem, not sure why folks are afraid of coolers. A cooler would probably cost the same or less than an external filter (cheep) and both are easy to hook up. Now synthetic ATF seems expensive and unnecessary to me, Honda Z1 works fine if it's changed regularly.

OH, i was under the assumption that it would cost a couple hundred bucks where the magnefine filter is only about $16
 

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Does the Magne filter kit include the mounting hardware for $16 or is that for just the filter?
I was talking about an EXTERNAL filter setup, I have read there is no internal filter in these trannys.
JC Whitney has ATF coolers for as low as $56 (I can't vouch for the quality).

My humble opinion, If you're going to be cheep with the maintenence, better sell it and get something
else. These are expensive to maintain.
 

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I installed my Tru-cool cooler for well under$100. I think the unit was closer to $60. The hardest part is mounting it and a search will find you some good write-ups with pics. The ops mechanic may be a keeper because he gave the correct answer with no flush, drain/fill only. Seeing temps appear to be the issue then synthetic is a good call, I think Honda's Z1 replacement is synth.
 

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Z1 from my local dealer is nearing $9 a quart... I can get Amsoil for $10. Not much price difference. I had a 99 and with a failing trans that I was nursing along. Synthetic did seem to help it a lot during the summer months. I changed the trans fluid about ever 3k miles, if not sooner. It got me another 10k miles out of it before I traded it in.
 

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I have a 2003 Odyssey. I purchased it about 4 years ago with 77,000 miles on it and have driven it like I stole it ever since.

This Spring, with about 187,000 miles the tranny finally slipped out of gear while driving in town. AAMCO rebuilt the tranny and gave it a 3 yr 36k mile warranty for about $2,600 and change.

I did have the dealer drain and fill the tranny every 45,000 miles or so, but never did anything special.

Just my 2/100ths of a dollar.

LDG
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Awesome thanks everyone for the replies. I didn't realize i could get one so cheap...my fault for assuming. I read in another forum a guy spent 200 for one then another 200 for someone to install it, so i immediately took that off the list because i wasn't looking to spend that kind of cash on something that may not even be a prob. Anyone have a link to their speciffic cooler and maybe some instructions?

So how's this plan:
add the cooler then just replace tranny fluid every 2-3 oil changes and just keep the regular oil instead of synthetic?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Does the Magne filter kit include the mounting hardware for $16 or is that for just the filter?
I was talking about an EXTERNAL filter setup, I have read there is no internal filter in these trannys.
JC Whitney has ATF coolers for as low as $56 (I can't vouch for the quality).

My humble opinion, If you're going to be cheep with the maintenence, better sell it and get something
else. These are expensive to maintain.

its an inline filter so 16 is for the whole setup. and its doubtful that i'll sell a car i just purchased 2 days ago because of a possibility of expensive maintainence. I bought honda bc of reliablity and this is my 4th honda and haven't had an inkling of a problem with any of them.
 

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its an inline filter so 16 is for the whole setup. and its doubtful that i'll sell a car i just purchased 2 days ago because of a possibility of expensive maintainence. I bought honda bc of reliablity and this is my 4th honda and haven't had an inkling of a problem with any of them.
Well, you haven't been at this site for very long then! :D

Look at my signature line. Do you think it's "normal" for a Honda to be on it's THIRD automatic transmission at just over 100K miles? When you take an automatic transmission designed for a 4-cylinder engine in a 3000 lb car, and put it behind a 6-cylinder engine in a 4000+ lb van, bad things are going to happen eventually.

Welcome to the forum, and may your transmission never die and your EGR port never clog!
 

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Welcome to the forum, and may your transmission never die and your EGR port never clog!
....and don't forget the famous motor mounts and broken sliding door handles. Start saving for the 7 year/105K timing belt, spark plug maintenence bill, it's a heart stopper!!

I put 115K on a Dodge Caravan with much less problems and maintenence.

Honda's 4 cyl cars, i agree are very reliable.
 

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The dead horse should be beat.

Mine just died at 126K. I wish I had been following this site more regularly, I would have dumped the van at 100K. Funny thing is that I switched from the lower priced Chrysler to Honda thinking that Honda had a reputation for reliability (if maintained properly). I bought my Odyssey brand new and only used synthetic engine oil, wash and waxed the paint job, 1/3 tranny drain and fill once a year, thinking it would last a long time. My mistake. Honda puts salt on the wound by offering little support. Dealer wants $5200 to change the tranny which wipes out most resale and all trade-in equity. So much for the Honda holding its value. I should have stayed with Chrysler, at least their '94 tranny failed while it was still under warranty, and they replaced it for free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Mine just died at 126K. I wish I had been following this site more regularly, I would have dumped the van at 100K. Funny thing is that I switched from the lower priced Chrysler to Honda thinking that Honda had a reputation for reliability (if maintained properly). I bought my Odyssey brand new and only used synthetic engine oil, wash and waxed the paint job, 1/3 tranny drain and fill once a year, thinking it would last a long time. My mistake. Honda puts salt on the wound by offering little support. Dealer wants $5200 to change the tranny which wipes out most resale and all trade-in equity. So much for the Honda holding its value. I should have stayed with Chrysler, at least their '94 tranny failed while it was still under warranty, and they replaced it for free.
what year was your van? It seems that most of the tranny failures are 01 and older...MOST. Has there been an improvement at all in 03? Just wondering. I took my van to mechanic and he said my tranny fluid looked great and he's very aware of the tranny probs and would do nothing more than drain/fill once/30k miles. I told him i would install a cooler just to be safe and he said it was unneccessary but considering im scared to death, i'll do it anyway. This actually sux bc I should be excited buying a new vehicle, not nervous right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
BTW new prob just noticed, but think it could be easily fixed. We just had belt changed bc it was squeeking and now vehicle revs up and down while in park. Not sure if the belt is too tight or loose or if it has anything to do with it all but if anyone can shine some light...
 

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We sold our '02 LX with 75k miles in April and replaced it with an '11 EX-L w/ Nav. We were very fortunate in that we owned the '02 for nine years and had ZERO transmission issues. My indy mechanic replaced the ATF every 30k miles (I think it was drain and fill and not an actual flush) and everything was fine. I didn't have a tranny cooler but they did do the oil jet kit when that recall was announced.

I would be cautious and keep an eye on it but I wouldn't drive myself crazy worrying about it. Just find a good indy mechanic, do the preventive maintenance and hopefully it will be ok.

Good luck!
 

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Lots of crap where it shouldn't be.

what year was your van? It seems that most of the tranny failures are 01 and older...MOST. Has there been an improvement at all in 03? Just wondering. I took my van to mechanic and he said my tranny fluid looked great and he's very aware of the tranny probs and would do nothing more than drain/fill once/30k miles. I told him i would install a cooler just to be safe and he said it was unneccessary but considering im scared to death, i'll do it anyway. This actually sux bc I should be excited buying a new vehicle, not nervous right?
Mine is '03. I may give honda a second chance because of this web site. Today I pulled the solenoids ( as described in other posts) and saw that the screen that feeds the front one (I believe it's C) was clogged solid. The other A/B solenoid tubes were clean). I'm pretty sure there was enough gunk in the screen to cause a major restriction. It's odd that that much crap can make it to the working parts. It seems like a filtration failure. I cleaned out the screen, drained fluid and am waiting for a new (mysterious-doesn't exist) tranny filter that I found out about in this forum. That really irks me , because had I known, I would have been changing it regularly. I'm hoping that the filter was full and went into bypass mode allowing the crap into the solenoid. I'll reset the error and see what happens. If all looks, sounds, and feels good, I'll definitely add one of the external filters after reading all the posts and seeing that clogged screen.
 

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but i could use a bit of advice. Ok so I just bought an 03 odyssey lx with 80k miles and had no idea of this tranny problem until i came to this site so now im nervous as all get out...
Just keep in mind that you may read a lot about the failures, but you're not seeing all of the owners with non-problem transmissions. There are plenty '99-'04 Ody owners who have had good luck with their transmissions, but rarely do people join forums to report that their car is working as it should.

I purchased our '02 EX (still w/ original trans) last year with 100k on the clock, and we now have 115k. Our trans does not slip, nor show any indication of performing any differently than 10 months ago. I knew full well about the common transmission problems before buying the van. It's a solid van, clean lines, wonderful ergonomics, easy to drive, and I love the power from the 3.5L. If the trans is the only weak point on the whole vehicle, then so be it. If needed, either Gator or Jasper can provide a better replacement trans than OEM and for much, much less money.

I will always be convinced that it is cheaper to own and maintain a 100k mile 9-year-old Odyssey over a 100k mile 9-year-old Dodge Caravan, or whatever other American-made piece.
 

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I will always be convinced that it is cheaper to own and maintain a 100k mile 9-year-old Odyssey over a 100k mile 9-year-old Dodge Caravan, or whatever other American-made piece.
Exactly my feeling. People mentioned the Chrysler van, I had 3 of them. They all turned to crap at 100k and I got a microscopic amount of money back when selling them. I've had the Ody the longest of any of them by far. I will keep it until we no longer need a van even if it means needing the tranny rebuilt. Want to talk about scary, I had a CV axle break in half on my Grand Voyager. The only things I miss from that van is the heated mirrors and inside lights that would go off by themselves if left on.
 
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