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Discussion Starter #1
I'm kicking around the idea of unloading our 03' LX with 115K. At the 110K service, my mechanic warned me (non-dealer, good friend) that the tranny was likely to go out. It's been making the whining, whirly sound since 80K (2nd to 3rd gear, 35-45 mph).

Assuming that I'm looking at a $3500 tranny replacement, do I sell now before it dies (taking with it the resale value of $5000) and buy an 07 or 08 LX/EX? The math for me would be a purchase price of $20K, put the $5K down, and monthly payments of $350 for 60 months.

OR do the $3500 repair and have a payback of 10 months on a van that would easily last another 2-3 years. As far as I know, I don't have any pending, major repair issues besides a tranny.

Oh yeah, headed out on a 2500 mile trip at the end of July. Just purchased the Allstate Auto Club coverage just in case!

Ideas? I do hate the idea of a car payment. Ideally I'd be able to save a lot more $$$ for a downpayment over the next 12-18 months, but I'm not sure the tranny will stick around that long. Do I pull the plug now and upgrade or stick with the ol' gal?
 

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It is hard to say when yours might go dead. Mine has had the whine since roughly 77,000. I thought my 2003 Honda Odyssey's transmission would die around the mileage you state and I am now at 167,000 miles. I have no clue when mine may go out. When I first became worried I did multiple drains/fills and am running a mixture of Amsoil Synthetic Universal ATF and the Honda Z-1 ATF which some may not recommend but my Odyssey seems to love it! Perhaps serious overkill but I change my ATF every other oil change.

There are suggestions by others in this forum with tips that may prolong the life of the tranny but nothing is for sure. An AT cooler, changing your ATF filter and also installing a Magnefine filter are some of the suggestions on this forum.

Some report few problems with their 2003 AT which is when some VERY SMALL improvements were seen in longevity. Although I have read some horror stories about some 2003s as well.

I plan on running mine into the ground because the last thing I want is a car payment especially with Michigan's economy as of present.
 

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I agree with rpedersen in that it's hard to judge when the transmission will actually go out, even with excessive whine. My 2000 Ody has been whining ridiculously loud since about 160,000 I think. I am now at 195,000 and the noise hasn't changed at all, and the performance of the transmission is the same as well.

In all honesty, I really do neglect my transmission fluid (lazy, don't have time, heh). However, just weeks after getting the Ody I did install an aftermarket trans cooler that, even now, I think is too small to really do much. But, judging by my miles, I guess it's done me at least some good.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I would never replace the tranny unless it failed. I can't justify a new/used vehicle when the 03' works just fine.

On that note, I stopped by the dealer I've used in the past. He said $3500 out the door along with a 3 yr/36K warranty. A private shop said they would remove the existing one, rebuild it with upgraded parts and get the shifting points recalibrated for about $2800-3200, with a 2 yr/24K warranty. I'm inclined to go with the dealer if and when the crap hits the fan.
 

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Russ said:
I would never replace the tranny unless it failed. I can't justify a new/used vehicle when the 03' works just fine.

On that note, I stopped by the dealer I've used in the past. He said $3500 out the door along with a 3 yr/36K warranty. A private shop said they would remove the existing one, rebuild it with upgraded parts and get the shifting points recalibrated for about $2800-3200, with a 2 yr/24K warranty. I'm inclined to go with the dealer if and when the crap hits the fan.
Go with the dealer, how can he recalibrate the shifting points? Thats just a bunch of BS!! If you guys only knew what some of these tranny shops do to thousands of people. I may make a post of this with photographs.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Jay, after thinking about the dealer's quote, it got me thinking about the cost. He said it would be $3500 with a tech's 8-hours of labor. If their labor rate is $100-125/hr, that's $800-1000. My Honda friend tells me the dealer rebuild unit is about $1900-2000. I'd be inclined to pay full retail for labor rates, but I'd like Honda to provide the tranny at their costs. It gripes me that I'd have to pay retail on a tranny that should have lived much longer than it has.
 

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Russ said:
Jay, after thinking about the dealer's quote, it got me thinking about the cost. He said it would be $3500 with a tech's 8-hours of labor. If their labor rate is $100-125/hr, that's $800-1000. My Honda friend tells me the dealer rebuild unit is about $1900-2000. I'd be inclined to pay full retail for labor rates, but I'd like Honda to provide the tranny at their costs. It gripes me that I'd have to pay retail on a tranny that should have lived much longer than it has.
Im currently rebuilding my own, I just installed the 3,4 th gear clutches. Taking a quick break. I believe the damaged ones are going to be the 1st and 2nd gear clutch drum set. If you guys were near by Id show you how to do it. Is not that bad. The hardest part of the rebuild is the clean up. It takes longer to clean the unit then rebuilding it. Took me 30 mins to clean the drum pull out all the old stuff. Clean and reinstall new clutches.
 

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Jay, can you post some pictures? I'd like to see what it looks in there and especially the bad parts. I don't think anyone has done this yet. Are you replacing the torque converter too?
 
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