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I have a 2001 Odyssey EX with 150k miles. I bought it in 2006 with 86k and it has been wonderful during that time.

The setting: Went on 350 mile trip last week going from Maryland to Ohio - all highways with some hills. As usual on this trip, I set my cruise control at 62mph. USUALLY, on this trip, there are about 10 places where the lockup torque converter releases and the RPMs jump from 1800 to 2500 as we climb a hill. After cresting the hill, the lockup torque converter engages and the RPMs drop back to 1800.

What changed: On last week's trip we had a 40 mph headwind the whole trip as frigid air blew in from Canada. The lockup torque converter was releasing a LOT more often as we fought the headwind.

The problem: About 250 miles into the trip I was going up a hill and noticed that the RPMs were slowly increasing from 1800 to 2200 as I went up the hill, then slowly decreased after we crested the hill. This continued for the rest of the trip. Otherwise, things were fine. No unusual noise, no vibrations and shifting on local roads was normal.

The theory: It seems like the lock up torque converter was slipping.

Does anyone have any experience with this symptom? What does this mean? Is the transmission likely to croak soon or is there some modest repair that is needed?

The van is probably not going to make the return trip for another week so I have a bit of time to figure this out.

Thanks from the newbie
 

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First thing is to check your Automatic Tranny Fluid to see ir it is getting low. Also look at its color and smell it. The color should be pretty light and it should not smell burnt.
If it hasn't been changed in a while (in the last 40k or so). have it done now and use the Honda recommended fluid.

Hopefully some of the experts in this forum will give you a more knowledgeable reply.
Buffalo4
 

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Hard to be sure. If the transmission were toast, I would expect the RPM's to climb way past 2200 under load. Another reason to discount total failure is no dash lights on.

If it were me, I would do the PM mentioned by Buffalo4 and carry on. This could be nothing more than a change in normal shifting pattern caused by the wind.

Also, check your tire pressure. 36 PSI is recommended. I run mine at 38. Low pressure from the cold would increase rolling resistance and so make the transmission work harder.
 

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Aren't these came with the original 4-speed transmission? There is a final gear and then there is overdrive. When it downshifts due to heavy load from overdrive, it does NOT only disengages overdrive but it also drops a gear

----->>3 -> 4 -> OD

but under load downshift

----->>>> OD -> 3

When load eases

----->>>> 3 -> 4 -> OD

At least this is what I have observed on 99.

- Vikas
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks to all for your advice. We were in Ohio for a few weeks for a family emergency. I checked the transmission fluid and it looked pink, although a little closer to the "min" line that it was a month ago. While in Ohio the van was its normal, fine self on short trips around town but we went ahead and had the transmission flushed and filled with yummy Honda brand fluid for the long trip back.

We had the fluid change done at an independent shop (Leo Lucks in Rocky River, Ohio) that does a lot of Honda work and was told that the transmission looked just fine. The fluid was pricey but the situation seemed to call for the Honda brand product.

We made the return trip and everything was back to normal with snappy automatic shifts and no funny noises or lights. Yippee!

I'm calling this one fixed with a big thanks to the OdyClub community.
 

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Happy to hear it is working out for you.
Thanks for posting back with your results and what you did.
Buffalo4
 
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