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The Honda Odyssey has been among the most respected and well-received family haulers since its debut in 1994. It is considered one of the best in its slowly dying minivan segment. It has an intelligent design, spacious interior, and sufficient cargo space, providing excellent value.

However, not all model years are the same. Some model years have a high-reliability rating and don’t require frequent repairs and maintenance, but some are plagued with issues. Here is CarComplaints’ data on five Honda Odyssey model years.

1. 1999 Honda Odyssey

According to CarComplaints, the most prominent maintenance issue with the 1999 Honda Odyssey is transmission failure, which occurs at an average mileage of 125,750 miles. The average repair cost is $3,510 and mainly involves replacing the transmission. Unfortunately, many users reported that the transmission failed again, no matter how often they fixed it.

The second-most prominent issue with the 1999 Honda Odyssey is that it doesn’t shift smoothly. It occurs at an average mileage of 125,200 miles and costs $1,500 to fix. The third most common issue involves the failure of the transmission solenoid valve. It occurs at an average mileage of 141,950 miles, and the typical repair cost is $900.

2. 2001 Honda Odyssey

The three most prominent maintenance issues with the 2001 Honda Odyssey involve the transmission. They include transmission failure, transmission slipping, and TCS and engine lights coming on. Just like the 1999 Odyssey minivan, CarCompaints reports that the transmission of the 2001 Odyssey keeps failing every few months. The transmissions fail at an average of 126,750 miles and cost $3,580 to fix, which involves replacing the entire transmission.

The transmission slipping problem led to the car losing speed or acceleration and occurred at an average mileage of 121,800 miles. The typical repair cost is $3,200 and requires a replacement of the transmission or torque converter.

Many owners also experienced TCS and engine lights coming on. When they went to the dealer, this required the replacement of the solenoid or transmission. It set them back around $3,220. Meanwhile, the lights came on at an average mileage of 102,650 miles.

3. 2002 Honda Odyssey

The 2002 Honda Odyssey has the most reported maintenance issue—transmission failure. Many users have reported on CarComplaints that they experience a loss of acceleration and transmission slips at random times. In the best scenarios, the drivers got to their destination at a lower speed, but in some, the car broke down completely in the middle of the highway, risking the lives of the car occupants.

The fix for the transmission failure is to replace it with aftermarket parts, which, on average, costs $3,470. Very few owners reported that the automaker replaced it at no cost. The problem occurs at an average mileage of 98,450 miles.

The other two most common problems in the 2002 Odyssey also involved transmission, according to CarComplaints. They include transmission slipping, which occurred at an average mileage of 109,200 miles and cost $3,380 to fix, and transmission disengaging, which occurred at an average mileage of 98,750 miles and cost $4,120 to repair. The most common repairs for both issues involved replacing the transmission.

4. 2003 Honda Odyssey

A gold/beige 2003 Honda Odyssey minivan model parked at the edge of a forest lake
2003 Honda Odyssey | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Similar to the 2002 model year, the 2003 Honda Odyssey has severe transmission issues. Many users report on CarComplaints that the transmission shuts off randomly, including while driving or waiting at an intersection, making driving very unsafe.

Even with proper care and maintenance, transmission issues are impossible to avoid. They occur at an average mileage of 106,400 miles and cost an average of $3,340 to replace or rebuild the transmission. The recalls don’t lessen the transmission failures.

The second-most prominent issue with the 2003 model year is peculiar. Many owners reported paint chipping/peeling all over the body from the hood to the roof and inside the top hatch. It starts at about 91,250 miles and costs about $2,820 to repaint. The third-most prominent issue was a slipping transmission, which occurred at an average mileage of 105,300 miles. It costs an average of $3,160 to replace the transmission.

5. 2005 Honda Odyssey

The 2005 Honda Odyssey has the highest number of issues on CarComplaints. The top problem is the A/C condenser being damaged by road debris. The A/C condenser is punctured and damaged when hit by debris, such as a small rock, making the car unusable in places where it’s hot and humid all year round.

Replacing only the condenser costs an average of $880, but replacing the entire cooling system costs more. This problem occurs at an average mileage of 40,500 miles, with some occurring in as few as 5,000 miles.

The second-most common problem of the 2005 Honda Odyssey involves transmission failure, and the third-most common problem involves the spark plug blowing out. The transmission failure occurred at an average of 86,950 miles and cost $2,900 to fix on average. Many owners reported the spark plug blowing out and melting a few valves, which required a complete engine rebuild to fix. It occurred at an average mileage of 140,900 miles and cost an average of $3,310 to fix.

Other bad Odyssey model years

The Honda Odyssey has been a popular choice for families since its inception. However, the model years discussed have significant issues, particularly with the transmission.

While subsequent model years solved most issues and received fewer complaints, the Odyssey still had some bad years. For example, the 2006 model year had transmission and power steering issues, the 2007 model year had paint peeling and transmission issues, and the 2014 model year had vehicle jerking, loud clunking noises, engine misfiring, and engine stalling issues. So, be careful when shopping for a Honda Odyssey, especially a used one.