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I have a chance to purchase a 2003 Odyssey EX, with 91K miles, from CarMax for about $10,100. car appears to be in great shape but the transmission woes I see on this forum may be a reason for concern. Stay with the 2003 or add abour 5 or 6 thousand and go for a 2005? Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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Disregard the SPAM! :rollingeyes:

We just bought our 2003 EX-L with 121k miles on it last week. But we only paid $7k for it.

The transmission slips a little shifting from 2nd to 3rd, which is the known issue with these Odys.

I was fine paying $7k for our Ody as it's pretty much fully loaded with DVD and Leather. I'm prepared to pay to have the tranny rebuilt within the next couple months.

But I'm not sure that I would want to pay upwards of $10k for a 2003, even given the "lower" mileage. These Odys seem to start having these tranny issues right around 100k miles. So unless you are prepared to pay $10k for the van and then fork out another couple grand to get it replaced or rebuilt then I would pass on it. Carmax is usually overly proud of their vehicles anyway.

But then again, the tranny could last you another 50k miles... it's really a crap-shoot with these Odys.

Just my .02

-jeff
 

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We bought our odyssey last September for $7600 (EX-L w 91k miles) from a dealer. It doesn't have DVD system in it. But that shouldn't change price that much. I'd negotiate futher more.

If the deal works out, here are some tips to check transmission. Start the van, while holding the break shift it to D. The transmission should kick in with in a second. Now shift it to 'R', it should do the same. Any delay in the gear engagement indicates a problem later. Pull the trasmission stick after a 10-15 minutes test drive, and check the fluid. It should be plum color and shouldn't have any burnt smell. if you see any issues, stay away from that van.

I'm sure you can find some more info on how to check transmission in these forums.

Good luck!
 

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I agree with other posters that 10K is a bit steep, especially if you don't know if the tranny's history.

I bought our 2001 two years ago with just over 100K on the clock for $6700 (private party) with les than a 1000 miles on the third transmission. And then a few months later, a white 2001 came up for sale at I think $7500, with similar miles and with a rebuilt tranny as well as the 105K service completed (I was really tempted, white Odys are rare in my area and are much more visible to other drivers, unlike the gray one we have now which blends in with the sky and shadows and dozens of other gray ones at the mall parking lot).

It's your $, but I would shop around for a private-party one, it's worth more if it has a fresh tranny in it, otherwise, bugdet $3-4K for a tranny replacement on whatever you get and then hope you won't have to.
 

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Like mentioned, the 105k service is right around the corner which includes the costly timing belt. If it's a dealer, maybe you can get it done before buying so you don't have to flip the bill? Also, they giving any kind of warranty?
 

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The price Carmax is asking is actually about $600 under book for that model & mileage. Depending on how much you plan on driving it, you may have a year (or more) to use the van before the 105k maintenance hits. This is totally a YMMV type situation.....
 

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to add to the data stream, just purchased an '03, 122k miles, ex-l with dvd, recent tires, tranny already replaced @60k, for $7k. Jumped right in with timing belt / water pump and a tranny service, and we're running fine for under $8k.... good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Found an 04 with 86,000 miles for $9700. May not be quite as polished as the 03 from CarMax but it looks very clean.
 

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If you have someone that can check cars for you, shop around a bit more and wait for a good deal. check out craigslist too. like this one (dunno if your are near it but... here is something i just found on CL: 2003 Honda Odyssey EX-L w/DVD)

OTOH, if you can get one for 8K with nothing to fix. thats a steal. 10k tho from a dealer... hmmm.

When we got our 04 2 yrs back, we paid around 7 for it and found it in craigslist. its an EX with 160K mi but we love it. it doesnt look perfect but runs perfect. looks can be improved anyway.

Good Luck!

CK
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Went with the 04 for $9100 and 86,000 miles. Ready to spend a little money down the road if needed.
 

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If you have someone that can check cars for you, shop around a bit more and wait for a good deal. check out craigslist too. like this one (dunno if your are near it but... here is something i just found on CL: 2003 Honda Odyssey EX-L w/DVD)

OTOH, if you can get one for 8K with nothing to fix. thats a steal. 10k tho from a dealer... hmmm.

When we got our 04 2 yrs back, we paid around 7 for it and found it in craigslist. its an EX with 160K mi but we love it. it doesnt look perfect but runs perfect. looks can be improved anyway.

Good Luck!

CK
DUDE!

According to that ad it has a sunroof. This must be the HONDA CEO's odyssey special edition with a turbo charged engine and Allison transmission too :p:D!!

Congrats on your purchase and hope to see you actively contributing on the forum!
 

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I agree with those who says that 03 for 10K is a bit expensive. Granted Carmax can give you a warranty it is still a bit expensive. I just bought a 02 EX last November for $5895 with a newly rebuilt transmission that has 1yr/12,000 miles warranty and new Bridgetone tires from a local dealership. The van is running perfect after 4K of added millage. I just recently installed several recommended mods such as external transmission coolant and external filter to at least help the life of the transmission.
 

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I bought my 03 from CarMax back in Dec. of 2009. It had 118k & I paid around $10,500. CarMax generally sells close to Kelly Blue Book although always on the high end of the car's value. They do not deal on the price at all.
I wound up buying from CarMax because I looked at probably a dozen others prior & every one of them had issues (crappy body work, sketchy history). I'm really really picky when it comes to cars. Although mine was kind of dirty inside, it showed no signs of body work & had the transmission flushed at 75k with a decal stating the service in the engine bay.
I've since put 30k miles on it with no problems. I had the transmission flushed & fresh fluid put in last Dec (~140k miles). I've also cleaned the leather seats & carpet inside the best I could.
 

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Sorry for the bump, I just wanted to say that you should buy the van. I have an 03 ody with 78k miles still running strong! I think the problem that causes the premature wear is that people dont seem to use the Parking Brake pedal. As we all may know, that takes the pressure of the car in standstill off of the transmission and into the brakes.
 

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The problem is the transmission. Not the owner, not failing to use parking brake.

HTML:
 think the problem that causes the premature wear is that people dont seem to use the Parking Brake pedal. ...that takes the pressure of the car in standstill off of the transmission and into the brakes.
False. You are thinking that not shifting to park when stopped causes Honda transmissions to fail. If that were true, the park pawl and where the park pawl sits in Park would be broken. Not the problem. The most common problem is wear of the third gear clutch. Which has nothing to do with shifting to Park. I always use parking brake enough so it does not rest on the transmission. Did not prevent mine from failing. Neither did changing with only Z1 ATF very often. Face facts. Bad transmission makes this a risky used car buy. Dont buy used unless you get big discount. Big enough to fix transmission.
 
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