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  • 2002 Honda Odyssey Trans Failure

    Posted by Jeff First on March 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Need help trying to make a decision for a unhappy customer.

    I had a refered customer bring me a estimate from the dealer for regular maint (119K) on their 2002 Honda Odyssey. Front struts, timing belt, power steering fluid changed, serp belt, and trans fluid changed used 3.5 quarts of valvoline vv324 (ATF-Z1). All work was done and had a abs light on, we checked and found a bad sensor on front left no visible damage but I replaced at no charge next day because it was not available same day. I offered to get a rental car so they would not be without transportation and she told me that they could do without until next day. We got part in and replaced no problems and picked her up that same morning. Customer returned 2 1/2 weeks later with questions about the timing belt being off a tooth(read it on internet) because she first noticed a hesitation or jumping feeling about 3 days after we worked on it. This problem would happen in reverse also and was getting progressively worse. Our Tech test drove and noted that it seems to be a trans issue and it felt like it wanted to downshift at highway speeds. we verified timing marks all correct. I got customer approval(after she said it seemed suspicious that a timing belt was replace and now she has a trans problem)and took to a trans shop and set customer up with rental car at my expense. It took 2 days for them to look at because of a snow storm but they verified the same findings that my tech observed and said the trans will have to come out 2500-3000+ depending on what is found. Needless to say they are not happy and have thrown a few verbal bombs insinuating poor workmanship using the abs sensor as a indicator of neglect and care of the van. They said the fluid had been replaced once before i think around 60k and never had any problems until we touched the van.

    1)Does anyone see any fault on our part based on info given?

    2)Would you offer to pay anything regardless of fault?

    3)How should I communicate in a professional manner that sometimes *hit happens and the last person to touch is not always the problem.

    Thanks in advance,

    Jeff First-Owner


    russellauto replied 11 years, 2 months ago 4 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Tom

    March 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm


    Try to get them on board with an “autopsy” as to why it failed.

    Probably have to be an indie shop as most Honda dealers only R&R.

    It’s good that they research the net…because of what they will find

    about older Odyssey transmissions. It is unusual and the exception to

    have an 02 Odyssey where the trans has not yet been done at least

    once, if not several times.

    What you want to pay, if anything, is between you and them…every

    situation is a bit different.

    FWIW…the Honda recommended procedure for trans fluid service is bit

    unique. Very few shops or even Honda dealers will do it. Do it the

    Honda way in the future which will help your credibility when

    situations like this arise.


  • larrybloodworth

    March 4, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Have the customer go to OdysseyTransmission.com and read the stories. They will find the 2002 is the worst. They can add their name to the list.

    J. Larry Bloodworth ASE CMAT Transmission Specialist

    Certified Transmissions

    Draper, Utah


  • russellauto

    March 7, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    I don’t see any fault on your part what so ever. If a customer were to come to my shop with the same estimate, we would have did exactly what you did…perform the work. You went above and beyond the call of duty by replacing the ABS sensor at no charge, and putting them in a rental vehicle. We’ve had two 2004 Honda Odyssey’s with transmission problems. I rebuild trannys, but on that job I quoted them with a transmission right from Honda, putting the job at about $4000+. It’s simply a coincidence that the tranny went after you touched it.

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