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Sanchinguy Reader
11/27/17 8:42 a.m.

Planning for a larger appliance - need to haul more stuff (music gear, bikes, Answer parts, and other things) than I can get in my CR-V. I’ve almost settled on the Odyssey as the preferred choice.  There’s a zillion of them and several generations out there.  I’m interested in what the hive has to say about it.  Things to look for? Avoid?  Smarten me up, please...  

Thanks in advance!

eastside Utah Johnny Montana
eastside Utah Johnny Montana UltraDork
11/27/17 8:48 a.m.

Main issue I know of is weak transmissions.  I think forum member wae had one that was supposedly new enough to be after they had improved it, but he still had issues.


Edit:  Turns out his was an 03, supposedly 04 had a minor improvement, but there were bigger fixes later.

codrus UltraDork
11/27/17 9:01 a.m.

They fixed the transmission in 2005 or 2006 by putting in the one from the Ridgeline. 

Grtechguy MegaDork
11/27/17 9:39 a.m.

If going the Minivan route for carry capacity, the Town&Country/Grand Caravan with Sto-n-Go is pretty amazing.    they will swallow a 4x8 sheet of plywood and close the hatch.   

No wresting seats in and out.  I have a 2005 with 211,000 miles that still runs perfect.  Original engine/Transmission.     I just wish the thing would die so my wife will let me get a pickup.

tuna55 MegaDork
11/27/17 9:49 a.m.

Also a vocal Caravan owner here.


For Odyssey, stay away from 00-06. I have a friend who was on their third transmission and still talking about superior Honda reliability.

wawazat Reader
11/27/17 9:59 a.m.

For the last boxy Odyssey (not the lightning bolt side window version) the transmission was upgraded in '07.  The body style ran un til 2010.  We bought a 2010 new and have had no issues with the car.  It's my wife's DD and kid/family hauler and has about 60k.  Shocks/struts should be replaced and I need to check the rear brakes again.  I had a caliper stick on the slider a few years back and it sounds like it may have happened again.  Otherwise, dead reliable transportation appliance.  I don't care about Stow&Go nor do I need to haul 4x8 sheets in it.  I haven't pulled the seats more than a few times in 7 years of ownership. 

I have however sworn of of all ChryCo cars and trucks for the rest of my days based on poor experiences with their trucks ('03 Ram CTD 4x4) and SUV's ('14 Jeep GC diesel).   

SkinnyG SuperDork
11/27/17 9:59 a.m.

Pops had an '02 gifted to him.  And then I found out about the transmissions. His still shifts fine, was likely serviced well (it was his sister's), but the ring & pinion (if that is the correct term) makes some noise. 

When it finally pops, it will likely be mine.  I'm thinking LS/RWD....

Robbie PowerDork
11/27/17 10:25 a.m.

I love our odyssey. It is an 05 with the cylinder deactivation feature. It has about 215k on it right now and still knocks down 25ish mpg. Our 2005 odyssey has more interior volume than a 2005 suburban - look it up. We have owned it about 3 years from about 155k to 215k. We drive it a lot, and it road trips like a king. Sliding doors should be on more cars.

The trans is original, but I don't think this van has ever towed anything - it has no hitch installed. Does the trans shift from R to D slowly? Yes. Does it shudder sometimes while driving? Yes. More than any other original auto I've driven at 215K? I'm not sure.

As far as stow-n-go, we have car seats in so the middle row stays in 99.8% of the time. I think I've pulled out the center row 5? times in the 3 years we have owned the van so far. Each time it was easy, its harder to get the car seats in and out than to remove the middle row seats. The rear seats fold up and down just as easy in the Honda as any other van.

The odyssey does have 8 seats and 8 seatbelts, which is a huge advantage for me over 7. We don't frequently use all 8 seats, but we do, and when we do it is so much nicer than needing to drive two vehicles (like when we pick up family at the airport that is about an hour away from home). Even with all 8 seats up there is still a significant amount of storage area behind the rear seats.

I can also say (knock on wood) that the odyssey has been really easy for maintenance that is has needed. Brakes are simple as they should be. New starter was done from the top, didn't even need to lift the wheels off the ground. There were literally 8 fasteners removed to replace the driver CV axle, and 5 of those were lug nuts. I did replace the mid-pipe cat, but it wasn't too bad (just chicago rusty).

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
11/27/17 10:40 a.m.

sellers and dealers seem mighty proud of the odyessy.   I bought a sienna. 

wae Dork
11/27/17 10:47 a.m.

Yeah I had an 03.  The team that built the gearboxes for those second gen Odys has apparently gone on to lead the formula one engine development effort.  Total garbage and there's no actual fix.  When it wasn't grenading gearboxes, it drove great, was comfortable, and had plenty of power.  The power sliding doors are a pain when they malfunction and that malfunction is likely to cause chips in the paint.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
11/27/17 12:00 p.m.

In reply to Fueled by Caffeine :

Had 2000 and 2005 Odyssey. Currently have a 2004 Sienna, likely will replace it with another Sienna, mainly due to the transmission issues. 

codrus UltraDork
11/27/17 12:24 p.m.
Robbie said:

As far as stow-n-go, we have car seats in so the middle row stays in 99.8% of the time. I think I've pulled out the center row 5? times in the 3 years we have owned the van so far. Each time it was easy, its harder to get the car seats in and out than to remove the middle row seats. The rear seats fold up and down just as easy in the Honda as any other van.


Yeah, I can see how stow-n-go would be useful if you're buying a minivan as a small cargo van, but if you're buying it as a kid hauler then there's not really much point.  We owned ours 9 years, 100K miles, and took the seats out for cargo maybe twice.  They did come out more frequently than that for cleaning, though.  Also, the stow-n-go feature comes at a cost in seat comfort.

Another thing to consider is how it drives.  I'm not going to use the word "sporty" here (it *is* a minivan, after all), but you know how a Civic drives differently from a Corolla, and an Accord drives differently than a Camry?  There's corporate philosophy about driving dynamics, Honda's is different than Toyota's, and it shows up even in the minivans.

jharry3 Reader
11/27/17 12:33 p.m.

There was a period around the 2010 model year, +/- a few years, where the engine used excessive oil.  Like 1.5 quarts between 3500 mile oil changes. 

Its all on the internet.

My wife had a 2010 and I was forever adding oil between changes.   Honda claimed this was normal but there were multiple lawsuits over this because people following Honda's instructions were melting their engines and Honda bought some of those people new engines.       

  I was never clear on why they used the oil.  Some said it was because the feature of switching off 3 cylinders to save gasoline resulted in those pistons cooling, shrinking and allowing blow-by.  Others said that the improper  diameter piston  was selected during engine assembly and if you ended up with the next size smaller than your cylinder gauged out to with the automatic piston size selecting robot you got the blow-by of oil problem.     

We  had a 2005 Odyssey with over 250,000 miles on it and it never used a drop of oil between oil changes, but, alas, it had one of the rotten transmissions and we traded for the 2010 when we were getting ready to have to buy a 3rd transmission for the 2005.   Little did we know that Honda fixed the transmission but developed the engine oil use problem.    The original transmission went out at 125,000 miles and the second was going bad around 260,000 miles.  This after consistently following the Honda transmission oil change intervals since we bought.    edit: oh, and Honda denied that the 2005's had transmission problems though they fixed a lot of 2003 and 2004's with transmission problems because they were forced to by a class action lawsuit.    They actually wanted me to buy a new computer to control the new transmission they put into my 2005 because that new transmission could not be controlled by the original computer.  I complained so much to Honda directly that they ended up giving me the $700 computer so I "only" had to pay $3500 for the transmission plus labor.

So no more Honda's.     We lost the 2010 Odyssey in the Houston flood, good riddance, I used the insurance money to get my wife a Ford Edge.

lnlogauge Reader
11/27/17 12:33 p.m.

I bought an 01 with 60k miles on it for 3 grand. Didn't have any issues with it. Transmission made too many noises, for me to be comfortable keeping. Not sure if they all whine, but that one sure did. Offloaded it before grenade. 

The buying process is a nightmare. EVERY craigslist post on "by owner only" is a dealer reselling. Half of those are salvage titles. It was the most infuriating search I've ever attempted. Ask who's name the title is in, and their by owner selling story crumbles.

The pricing for odysseys, like most hondas, is a little silly. The lower mileage ones fetch a pretty penny. The nature of the beast though. Buy high, and you're able to sell high. The opposite is true for the caravans. As long as you aren't buying newer, they are easy to find for cheap.

Jaynen SuperDork
11/27/17 12:59 p.m.

We have a 2010, it just went over 100,000k miles and its been a solid and trouble free vehicle. I put a tranny cooler on it but it still gets a little hotter than I would like towing a 3300-3500ish lb camper with a WD hitch

wheelsmithy Dork
11/27/17 6:22 p.m.

Mom has a 2010. It had the oil burning problem. We were told the cylinder deactivation allowed the rings to rotate, and the gaps aligned, causing excessive oil consumption. This foolishness was repaired with a used car guarantee Mom bought with the car. I feel it should have been a recall.

  Also, many have active motor mounts (apply electricity, and it stiffens up like an active suspension? dunno). They are pricey to replace, and I have heard of failures. Not sure of the frequency,

   And they are pricey. All this PO'd me a bit with recent Honda reliability. YRMV.

DrBoost MegaDork
11/27/17 7:10 p.m.

We had two Chrysler minivans in a row. Now we've had an Odyssey for a few years. We just can't wait to get out of this thing and back into a Chrysler minivan. So, so, so much better thought out. The Honda may have lots of cubic feet, but they aren't logically laud out. 

Gawd don't get me started on the ignorance that went onto designing it and laying it out. 

If you're hauling stuff, you really owe it to yourself to get the Chrysler. 

Brian UltraDork
11/27/17 8:02 p.m.

The odyssey is overpriced and under engineered.  The transmission in typical honda V6 fashion is junk.  They are also more expensive to maintain than the equivalant caravan/T&C.  You don't  have the sportiness, but they aren't anywhere near as bad as GM's last FWD minivan was.

If your primary task is hauling stuff , an 05 up Grand Caravan with stow and go is a great choice.  They are durable, and cheap.  easy to fix too.

MrChaos Dork
11/27/17 8:19 p.m.

The first gen is just a big accord and it is really easy to put an H22A + manual in it.

ProDarwin PowerDork
11/27/17 8:22 p.m.

We have an '07 w/ 140k.


DVD/rear screen is great for the kid. 

Rear seats are pretty decent if you want to really stretch out while someone else drives.

Drivetrain is smooth.

Interior is decent.


Active engine mounts have gone bad and I need to replace them.  They are expensive from Honda.  Not so expensive aftermarket, but the time required to replace them is intimidating.

Its soft/squishy.  Not sure if this is because mini-van or bad shocks.  I replaced the rears a few weeks ago, front struts are sitting in the garage ready to go on, I just need to make some time.  I have a CL alert for tires/wheels from a newer one and I've weighed buying H&R sports more than once.

Brake feel on the 3rd gen is terrible.


We don't haul a lot of big stuff and always have a car seat in the middle seat.  I've taken the middle seats out once only just to try it.  Next time I need a 4x8, I'll borrow my buddies truck.  With the middle seats in, the rear folds down and still has plenty of storage space.


Would I buy one again?  Maybe.  I really wanted a Mazda 5, but the price of this was right (family connection).

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
11/27/17 10:32 p.m.

I'm sure not seeing anything here that makes me want to go back to another Odyssey. I swore off Chrysler products long ago, so that's out.  

Wife isn't going to give up her requirement for sliding doors, and this is her DD, so it's got to be a van. There's a 5 with mt on the local CL right now, but she's not in love with the third pedal idea. Probably too small for her anyway. 

Looking at Siennas again. 

wae Dork
11/27/17 10:37 p.m.

You might spend a little time checking out the Kia Sedona.  I've been in the Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, and Kia minivans and the Sedona is my hands-down favorite.

Erich UltraDork
11/28/17 5:14 a.m.

I loved the newer gen Sedona driving experience but the gas mileage was not great - about 20 in mostly highway. 

A friend's 2012 Oddy ate a transmission at about 50k miles so while it may be less common, they still have some trans issues in those years. 

The Chryco GC/TC twins are probably what we will go with when my wife finally tires of the Volvo wagon on family trips. Used values are horrible for the Mopar twins so they are an enticing low miles buy. - I've seen loaded examples less than two years old trade hands under $15k.

spitfirebill UltimaDork
11/28/17 7:17 a.m.

After having to change a tire on my daughter's 2014 Nissan Quest van,  I would not touch one of those.     Maybe it was just the perfect storm, but too bad. 

boaty mcfailface
boaty mcfailface UberDork
11/28/17 10:07 a.m.

avoid the Ody's with PAX run flat tires...


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