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I am in search of a used Honda Odyssey 1999-2004 and was curious what I should lookout for in terms of transmission, etc. I have read horror stories about people being on their 3rd and 4th transmission with less than 100k. Unfortunately what we can afford usually have 100k miles on them, so I am worried about getting it and Transmission going out. Any help/suggestions you can give would be great. Thanks.
 

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There are thousands of posts here about transmission failures. They all end up with $3,000 - $5,000 transmission replacements or rebuilds.

Your best bet is to avoid the 99-2004 Odysseys.
 

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IMHO get a Dodge Caravan instead. For the same money, you can get one with 75K miles or less, plus an extended warranty. (and yes, I've owned both Ody and Caravan)
 

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IMHO get a Dodge Caravan instead. For the same money, you can get one with 75K miles or less, plus an extended warranty. (and yes, I've owned both Ody and Caravan)
Sadly this is what I had my niece do because an 05 Ody and above is out of her price range. She got an 05ish SXT for similar money to an older Ody. I'd love to say Honda and would if it wasn't for the weak transmission because the rest of the car is tough to beat. I really do love our Ody and would replace the tranny if it went out. If you're set on an Ody then put away enough money to replace the tranny if it goes out.
 

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If you're buying from a dealer, go with an extended warranty. Find out how much extra this costs. Read the fine print; you'll probably have to document all the required maintenance or the warranty company won't pay for your next transmission rebuild.
 

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Sadly this is what I had my niece do because an 05 Ody and above is out of her price range. She got an 05ish SXT for similar money to an older Ody. I'd love to say Honda and would if it wasn't for the weak transmission because the rest of the car is tough to beat. I really do love our Ody and would replace the tranny if it went out. If you're set on an Ody then put away enough money to replace the tranny if it goes out.
Why do you say "sadly"?
My Ody has had ALOT more problems than my Caravan! (bought new and sold the Caravan at 120K) Neither had tranny issues. The Ody had A/C compressor go out, 3 bad motor mounts, struts, and still gets the rattle in the front calipers even though the calipers were replaced. Alot of trim pieces are coming off too, plus the tail gate struts went bad. Plus the 105K maintainence is VERY expensive.
The Caravan had NONE of that, A/C still blew cold, tranny, engine fine. The only issues were the head gasket leaked oil and cooling fan went bad - both replaced under warranty.
 

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At 105K miles, you are looking at a timing belt service of $700-1,000.
Plus add another $500-600 for sparkplugs and valve adjustment at 105K.

I forgot to add to my shopping list of Ody problems: The EGR port clogged up (taking out the EGR
valve with it). The rear sliding door handle broke, not an easy job to replace. And the hood latch broke.

I think Hondo paysoff Consumer Reports for their good rating.
 

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Why do you say "sadly"?
My Ody has had ALOT more problems than my Caravan! (bought new and sold the Caravan at 120K) Neither had tranny issues. The Ody had A/C compressor go out, 3 bad motor mounts, struts, and still gets the rattle in the front calipers even though the calipers were replaced. Alot of trim pieces are coming off too, plus the tail gate struts went bad. Plus the 105K maintainence is VERY expensive.
The Caravan had NONE of that, A/C still blew cold, tranny, engine fine. The only issues were the head gasket leaked oil and cooling fan went bad - both replaced under warranty.
I say that because I really like my 13 year old Ody. I've had 3 Voyagers and they've all turned to junk a bit over 100k. It's sad that the tranny is crappy on the Ody. I've owned this van way longer than any of the 3 Chrysler ones and would replace the tranny if it dies. I doubt Chrysler would have replaced my Voyager's tranny at 85k but Honda did, no extended warranty bought for either. Luckily my Voyager's tranny lasted long enough to sell it although it was leaking pretty good, a co-worker went through 2 or 3 trannies in a few years in theirs. Then there's resale value...ugh.
 

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I say that because I really like my 13 year old Ody. I've had 3 Voyagers and they've all turned to junk a bit over 100k. It's sad that the tranny is crappy on the Ody. I've owned this van way longer than any of the 3 Chrysler ones and would replace the tranny if it dies. I doubt Chrysler would have replaced my Voyager's tranny at 85k but Honda did, no extended warranty bought for either. Luckily my Voyager's tranny lasted long enough to sell it although it was leaking pretty good, a co-worker went through 2 or 3 trannies in a few years in theirs. Then there's resale value...ugh.
Maybe I just happened to get a lemon Ody, but then I look on here and all my problems
were the known common problems. They just happend to all come between 100K and 132K.
Well,, hopefully they're all fixed and it's smooth sailing to 200K!!
(or deceased tranny, whichever comes first)
 

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Maybe I just happened to get a lemon Ody, but then I look on here and all my problems
were the known common problems. They just happend to all come between 100K and 132K.
Well,, hopefully they're all fixed and it's smooth sailing to 200K!!
(or deceased tranny, whichever comes first)
LOL, maybe you got one of the good Chrysler's? These large FWD vans all have their issues. As a DIY-er I can deal with the Ody's better than what I've had in the past. Swapping a timing belt isn't too big a deal. Crap, I think my 240k - 20 year old Civic is due for one. In general, cars are really a nuisance.
 

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I just picked up an 03 odyssey at 151K for my spare transportation car.. although I'm paranoid about the tranny, I'm a gear head myself and I'm willing to take the leap (although not willing to specifically buy one with a blown tranny). I've driven many many caravans through work and I can say they all drive well, but break everything fast and at around 100K EXCEPT my original caravan which made it well into the 250K and the engine blew. This is all with regular maintenance. The Odyssey's interior and fit and finish seemed so much nicer that I just wanted to get it, and not a caravan. Since I just bought mine I can tell you the low of the low is $2K for a blown tranny, or a 1999 with high high mileage. The best scenario is around $5-6K for an 03-04 with lower 100K miles. Seeing as the book value is still around 6-8K depending on what you get, it buffers for a new tranny replacement. We'll see what is going to go on mine, I only know about the rear window motors not working, but I don't care since I doubt I'll use them. Everything else is functioning great so far.
 
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