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From a quick search, this topic has been addressed in several threads dating back several years, but I didn't see any relating to the 2011 Odyssey.

I bought an EX-L two days ago, and am loving driving it. My biggest surprise, however, has been the lack of "freewheel coasting" I am used to. That is, the Odyssey very noticeably employs engine braking when coasting at below 40 mph or so.

In my Volvo, I've adopted a driving style where I often coast for extended periods as I approach stop signs, red lights, curves, etc., in order to minimize braking and conserve inertia (I'm not a hyper-miler by any stretch, and I don't slooooowly coast to a stop if other cars are behind me :) My daily commute covers a lot of hilly terrain, and my notions of when to let off the gas in order to reach an efficient stop at a particular light or stop sign are solidly internalized.

Driving the Odyssey, however, I have found myself repeatedly letting off the gas, anticipating I'll smoothly coast to a certain point, but then moderate engine braking is immediately apparent, and I have to step on the gas again to come back up to the appropriate speed. I notice this phenomenon most often between 40 and 20 mph (coasting seems smoother above and below that range).

As I said, I've found several threads on this topic dating back to the mid-2000's, so I believe this is normal for Honda automatic transmissions. However, to my un-mechanical mind, it seems that this default level of engine braking would significantly affect gas mileage. Accelerating at low speeds (when the engine braking phenomenon occurs) seems to correspond to the worst gas mileage in the entire speed range.

Is there a big benefit to this automatic engine braking that I'm missing? I understand it could help brake pads last longer, and could make hill descents safer, but is there a better reason than this?
 

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I think it might be a gearing issue....I just drove our new '11 ody down Big Cottonwood canyon yesterday (a drive I've literally made hundreds of times in my Tacoma) and I couldn't seem to find a gear that would hold the ody at a comfortable speed going down canyon. There is D3, which just turns off the over-drive or L which is low...not very helpful
 

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From a quick search, this topic has been addressed in several threads dating back several years, but I didn't see any relating to the 2011 Odyssey.

I bought an EX-L two days ago, and am loving driving it. My biggest surprise, however, has been the lack of "freewheel coasting" I am used to. That is, the Odyssey very noticeably employs engine braking when coasting at below 40 mph or so.

In my Volvo, I've adopted a driving style where I often coast for extended periods as I approach stop signs, red lights, curves, etc., in order to minimize braking and conserve inertia (I'm not a hyper-miler by any stretch, and I don't slooooowly coast to a stop if other cars are behind me :) My daily commute covers a lot of hilly terrain, and my notions of when to let off the gas in order to reach an efficient stop at a particular light or stop sign are solidly internalized.

Driving the Odyssey, however, I have found myself repeatedly letting off the gas, anticipating I'll smoothly coast to a certain point, but then moderate engine braking is immediately apparent, and I have to step on the gas again to come back up to the appropriate speed. I notice this phenomenon most often between 40 and 20 mph (coasting seems smoother above and below that range).

As I said, I've found several threads on this topic dating back to the mid-2000's, so I believe this is normal for Honda automatic transmissions. However, to my un-mechanical mind, it seems that this default level of engine braking would significantly affect gas mileage. Accelerating at low speeds (when the engine braking phenomenon occurs) seems to correspond to the worst gas mileage in the entire speed range.

Is there a big benefit to this automatic engine braking that I'm missing? I understand it could help brake pads last longer, and could make hill descents safer, but is there a better reason than this?
This is probably the grade logic, which can be annoying esp. if you aren't used to it. Infiniti transmissions and other model/makes employ similar things. At least on the infiniti transmissions you can kind of turn it off (make it less annoying) by not selecting driver sport mode.

While the engine braking may make the brake pads last longer, it will kill your transmission (clutches, etc) faster... I'd rather have the wear on my brakes than on my transmission. Brakes are cheaper to replace.
 

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I have seen something about this pertaining to CR-Vs, that somehow Honda had changed how they made automatics, such that now there was more engine braking.

My 99 ody has basically no engine braking. On my 06 CR-V it is very noticeable.

If I had to make up a story, I would tell you it's so that they can use the fuel cut-off for a longer period of deceleration, improving your gas mileage. Alas, I do not know if that is true.
 

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If anything it probably helps the longevity of the transmission, since it down shifts with no load in preparation for a potential sudden application of gas.
 

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Volvo is something else though, I remember driving my mom's 1998 S70 T5, and that thing had some seriously well greased wheel bearings. Lift off the throttle and it felt like you could coast for hours.
I don't find the odyssey to be too bad, but that's probably because I'm used to a manual transmission car.
 

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If anything it probably helps the longevity of the transmission, since it down shifts with no load in preparation for a potential sudden application of gas.
No, when you downshift on an automatic, or in the case of the logic grade, it's putting more wear on it, the clutch packs, etc.. I'd rather have that wear on my brake pads which are far cheaper to replace, that is a fact. There are times when a lower gear/downshifting are more beneficial than braking, but keep in mind it is putting more wear on the tranny.
 

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I am a fan of the grade logic, but it takes a long time to adjust too.

On the other hand, assuming that the 2011 still has adaptive transmission, and in my 2006, that applies to holding revs, the CPU figuring out how you like to drive the vehicle. If you think it figured it out wrong, you can reset the adaptation and start over. When I got the TC fixed on my 2006, they reset it and my SO drove it home and for 50 miles, and next thing I know, the transmission was behaving awfully strange. Reset it and off to my habits, and it returned to the way I like it.
 

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No, when you downshift on an automatic, or in the case of the logic grade, it's putting more wear on it, the clutch packs, etc.. I'd rather have that wear on my brake pads which are far cheaper to replace, that is a fact. There are times when a lower gear/downshifting are more beneficial than braking, but keep in mind it is putting more wear on the tranny.
Didn't think of that. Good point. Well I guess its just something we need to get used to.
 

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I am a fan of the grade logic, but it takes a long time to adjust too.

On the other hand, assuming that the 2011 still has adaptive transmission, and in my 2006, that applies to holding revs, the CPU figuring out how you like to drive the vehicle. If you think it figured it out wrong, you can reset the adaptation and start over. When I got the TC fixed on my 2006, they reset it and my SO drove it home and for 50 miles, and next thing I know, the transmission was behaving awfully strange. Reset it and off to my habits, and it returned to the way I like it.
I wished it could be partially turned off like on my Infiniti, std and Driver sport modes. There are some times when it's beneficial and other times it's annoying.
 

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From a quick search, this topic has been addressed in several threads dating back several years, but I didn't see any relating to the 2011 Odyssey.
Apart from the electronic grade logic thingie, member RinconVTR posted this below. Anyway, I agree, whatever it is, the feeling is more pronounced compared to other cars I've owned or rented...

Honda has been taking advantage of mild (tall gear) engine braking for a long time now, in doing so fuel is cut off 100% when you're off the gas, saving some MPG. (I think everyone does it now)

More detail: When RPM's are over 1500 (or so) and you're off the gas, no fuel is used. You're then coasting with the engine still connected...so to speak...the only thing keeping the engine turning is momentum until you hit the min rev's of around 1500 and gas is needed to keep the engine running. You’ll notice the transition if you watch the tach closely, it blips up and down a little, but you don’t feel it.
 

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i have noted the same thing on my 06 i have 100k on all brake pads and they still look like 40% left
have you watched the tach as you brake on an interstate off ramp? mine flairs like it is downshifting to slow the van and more brake pedal pressure seems to cause it more.
as for the canyon just set the cruise and it will keep you within about 10 MPH of set speed by closing the throttle and downshifting

anybody-else seen this?
 

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i have noted the same thing on my 06 i have 100k on all brake pads and they still look like 40% left
have you watched the tach as you brake on an interstate off ramp? mine flairs like it is downshifting to slow the van and more brake pedal pressure seems to cause it more.
as for the canyon just set the cruise and it will keep you within about 10 MPH of set speed by closing the throttle and downshifting

anybody-else seen this?


I have seen this on my '11. Just the other day, I let up on the pedal to coast, I looked down and the tach did spike up. I thought it t be odd, didn't give much thought to it at all. But, now reading this thread today explains a lot!
 

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I think it might be a gearing issue....I just drove our new '11 ody down Big Cottonwood canyon yesterday (a drive I've literally made hundreds of times in my Tacoma) and I couldn't seem to find a gear that would hold the ody at a comfortable speed going down canyon. There is D3, which just turns off the over-drive or L which is low...not very helpful
In my 2011 EX-L, I recently took a long road trip up into the Sierra mountains. I noticed going downhill, the grade logic was very aggressive only when I engaged cruise control.

For example going down hill I set the cruise control to 50 mph. The van down shifted twice to try and maintain the constant speed of 50 mph. I noticed without cruise control engaged the transmission didn't want to downshift at all, and I had to manually select D3.

Going up hill the transmission would easily hold the correct gear without a lot of gear hunting.
 
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