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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Transmission problem adventure

2005 Honda Odyssey Touring with about 155K on the clock.

Here's my story:

-I did a drain and refill of my transmission about 1 month ago (not a full 3-4x flush, like should have been done, I know). All was fine. During this time, only local, 20 mile or less trips were made.

-We left for a 800 mile trip a few days ago to Canada.

-About 300 miles from my destination on the interstate in upstate NY, my RPMS went up to about 6500-7000 and we slowed down, able to reach an exit ramp. The van would not go. I checked out the damage and found transmission fluid all around the transmission itself, hoses, and the underside of the van. The transmission and fluid were smoking.
After letting the van cool down for about 20 minutes, I was able to drive again, taking the van to a truck stop 1/4 mile away.

-We found a place that did transmissions, among other things and they explained to me that the fluid was way too high. The remaining fluid was very dark and smelly. They did a 2x flush and put a full synthetic fluid in. They mentioned parts of "clutch material" were found in the fluid they drained. They also mentioned in the notes of my invoice that the life of the transmission was probably shortened due to the overheating of the transmission. They tested out the van and it drove fine. 420 bucks total damage.

-We made it 270 more miles and the RPMS again went out of control. We slowed down again and found a small amount of smoke coming from the transmission. We were able to let the van cool down again and continued to our destination, never surpassing 30 mph, as a precaution.

I am now about 75 miles from the nearest place that has reputable transmission mechanics and/or a Honda dealership (Kingston, Ontario).

Should I:

1) Drive the van cautiously to get the transmission rebuilt/replaced to the nearest city? This will probably run $3-$4.5K? Is there anything else they could find wrong with the transmission that could be remedied that would not cost that much?
2) Try to make it back to the states where I can acquire a new van and dump my busted van? Does it make sense to dump so much money in a van with so many miles?

I am currently in the thick of cottage country and will not be able to check my PMs / responses until tomorrow at the earliest. I appreciate any input any of you may have regarding my situation!

Thanks,
Chad
 

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Wow. Complete bummer, Chad. Really messes up a vacation, aye?

From your description, it is pretty clear that you cannot limp this van back to the states. Not at 30 mph. Especially if wife and kids are along.

I would limp the van to the nearest Honda dealer and have it assessed for damage. The reason for the dealer is that any repairs should be covered in the states. I just hope the truck stop mechanics did not do more damage. If they found bits of clutch material then you are most certainly in for a rebuild (at a minimum). In any case, it is almost always cheaper to get a vehicle repaired than replaced. So see what the dealer says and go from there. It may cost a few grand but thats life. Better to play it safe.
 

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Bummer for the OP.

But, actually, I doubt the Canadian Honda dealer work is covered in the US. Both US and Canada have different warranties and ALL the gray market vans (2nd gen US folks imported from Canada and in 3rd and 4th gen Canadians are importing from US due to cheaper price) are NOT covered by warranty. So, if you buy a Canadian van, warranty is only covered in Canada and if you buy a US van the warranty is only valid in the US. :)

I am not sure what I'd do if I were in OP's shoes though. But reading this, I will have to be prepared for something like this in the future. :(
 

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But, actually, I doubt the Canadian Honda dealer work is covered in the US.
Good point.

You must contact American Honda Automobile Customer Relations (1-800-999-1009) to determine if the warranty provided by Honda Canada Inc. can be applied to your situation.
 

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You are almost certainly looking at a transmission rebuild. The dealer will be the most expensive solution. Call around Kingston transmission shops for other quotes. Try to assess their experience with the Odyssey transmission. Get it fixed then return home, hopefully without further incident.

I live not far from Kingston and would do some research for you, but I am presently on the east coast and so unable to help. Sorry about the trouble on your vacation to Canada.

- Dave
 

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Sorry to hear this is just about the worst case senario for a vacation.

It may be too late by now, but it sounds like trans as said already, your not going to make it back to the states, i would call a dealer to ask about the warrenty I've seen honda of amarica cover repairs here, before but you definatly need to have your i's dotted and t's crossed before you sign the work order.
The other option is look for a franchise (Mr. transmission I think) is across the continent?
If not at least a dealer repair would be done with Honda parts by honda techs, once repaired it should last many years again.

P.s I belive Honda Canada won't warrenty imported cars/vans because they buget $xx for the amount of cars sold in canada and a % of moving in or out of the country. The sudden import of thousands of cars would really throw off the buget. (don't be afraid to drive to Canada for warennty coverage if you have it, it will should still apply Ive seen insurance adjusters come into the dealer on behalf of American honda to verify an engine replacement.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys. I have been driving it around town here near the cabin - hitting 60 mph without problems. There is a bit of an odor when I have parked the car after driving - however, that could be burnt off fluid from the initial incident. The response from the folks who fixed it initially in Geneva, NY:

Oh man. If it made it that far I think the transmission could be ok but the filter or cooler could be plugged.


So, I am going to probably head into Mr Transmission tomorrow morning in Kingston (if I can make it that far) and have them access the damage. The car is NOT under warranty - it has 155,000 miles on it and is a 2005.

If it could be a clogged filter or cooler, that would be nice, but I am expecting the worst. I'll check back in tomorrow for any other responses you may have.

Thanks again guys..
Chad
 
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