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Honda Transmission Problems: What You Should Know!

Honda Transmission Problems

Despite Honda being a popular and reputable car company throughout the years, the Honda transmission has caused numerous issues for the manufacturers and car owners. Unfortunately for Honda, these transmission problems have not only occurred from 1994 onwards, but have been prevalent in many different models, citing that this is a widespread problem plaguing many Honda models.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


Some of the most affected models that have succumbed to transmission problems are the 2003 Honda Accord, 2001 Honda Civic, and the 2002 Honda Odyssey, all showing transmission failure at an extremely low mileage average.


What Is The Transmission?


Your transmission is another name for your vehicle’s gearbox. This mechanism turns the engine’s power into energy that your car can use. Without the transmission, your car wouldn’t be able to run.


What Are Signs Of A Faulty Transmission?


There are a few key things to look out for when determining the root of your Honda transmission problems. Noticing these signs can give you an indication that something is wrong with the transmission, and can help you diagnose and cure the problem.


The first sign of a faulty transmission is whining and clunking noise. Although this is fairly obvious, you’d be surprised at how many people ignore this glaringly-obvious sign that something is happening inside of your car. When your car begins to make noise, it’s time to get it checked out. This humming, buzzing, whining, or clunking coming from your transmission shows that you need to get your car to a mechanic as soon as possible. A transmission mechanic can give you a proper diagnosis of the issue.


Second, your transmission might be delayed. The transmission is designed so that you can instantly switch gears without pause. Your car won’t be able to stay in a particular gear. With a delayed response in shifting, it’s time to bring your car in for a transmission check.


Next, you might smell burning – which is never a good smell to be coming from your car. This could be the cause of numerous things, but a common reason is the overheating of transmission fluid. Transmission fluid is the lubricant which keeps the transmission in working order, and is imperative for your vehicle to drive.


Fourth, your Honda transmission problems might be brought to your attention by leaking fluid from your car. This fluid will be emitting from the bottom of your vehicle, and can usually be seen in a puddle after you move your car from your parking spot or drive away.


Fifth, grinding gears in your vehicle can be a clear sign of Honda transmission problems. This issue shows itself in different manners for manual and automatic transmissions. Regarding manual, when you change your gear, you will feel a sense of grinding. This means that the clutch may have been worn out and needs replacing. Regarding automatic transmissions, if your car is shifting roughly, then you should bring your vehicle to a mechanic to diagnose.


The next symptom of Honda transmission problems is your car making a lot of noise while in neutral. Even though a bumping sound doesn’t necessarily mean that your Honda is in trouble, you might need to get your transmission fluid replaced.


The last symptom of Honda transmission problems is when a ‘service engine soon’ light or ‘check engine’ light is shown on your dashboard. With sensors placed all around your car’s engine, they can pick up on various issues that are occuring with the transmision. Be sure to bring your Honda to a mechanic to diagnose the Honda transmission problems shown by the dashboard light.


What Causes The Transmission Problems?


If your engine is able to rev, but the car can’t shift into gear, then the problem could be related to the torque converter.A majority of the Honda transmission problems are directly related to the torque converter failing or burning transmission fluid. The torque converter is in charge of connecting a power source to the load, transfering rotating power to a rotating driven load.


Honda Transmission Problems – 2003 Honda Accord


The Honda Accord is a popular make and model from the Honda brand – but that doesn't mean it isn’t without faults. The most common Honda Accord transmission problems cost an average of $2,700 to repair, and occur at around 100,000 miles. The worst model year of the Accord is the 2003 Honda Accord transmission problems. This model contains widespread transmission failure and stereo backlight issues. Let’s dive deeper about the details of hte Honda transmission problems in this specific year and model.


The transmission problems with the 2003 Honda aAccord are mainly due to the transmission failure. The other categories containing negative reports and complaints deal with not being able to shift properly, transmission slipping out of gear, not being able to shift into 3rd gear, unintended downshifting, and shifting violently at low speeds.


Transmission Failure


This issue costs an average of $2,720 to repair, and occurs at around 97,750 miles. Many car owners have reported the car making a loud clunking sound while in park, the car not being able to move after stopping, and the car starting to slide and drift while driving. The most common solution for this problem is to replace or  rebuild the transmission. Rebuilding a Honda Accord transmission costs around $480-$699 for labor, and $1647-$2448 in total.


Not Shifting Properly


Accord owners have said that their car is mis-shifting while driving, down shifts erratically, and stopping without meaning to. The average repair cost for this problem is $2,610 and occurs at just over 100,000 miles. The most common solution is to replace the transmission. Replacing the transmission costs an average of between $1000-$6000.


Transmission Slipping Out Of Gear


The net problem in the myriad of issues regarding the 2003 Honda transmission problems involves the gears slipping, the car not being able to stop, and the car not being able to go into the drive gear. The transmission gear slipping has certain signs that can foreshadow the issue, like the check engine light on, a high RPM, burning smells, and problems shifting. The average repair cost for these problems costs $2,640, and occurs at 95,000 miles on average. The main solution for this is to either replace or rebuild the transmission.


NHTSA Complaints


The NHTSA is the US government agency that is in charge of vehicle safety. When the NHTSA has numerous complaints about a vehicle, specifically in one category, then this vehicle is unsafe to drive – and should definitely be avoided.


The 2003 Honda Accord has been reported to have widespread transmission failure. The transmission begins slipping, and eventually needs to be replaced just after 90,00 miles. Transmission failure has continued to be a huge problem for the Accord and other Honda models in this time frame. Although Honda extended the transmission warranty to 109,000 miles for the 2000-20001 Accord due to a class action lawsuit, other Accord owners are not as lucky – this includes the worst rated 2003 Honda Accord.


Regarding the Honda transmission problems that the NHTSA complained about, these transmission issues have caused at least 15 crashes, two fires, nine injuries, and occur at just below 85,000 miles.


Recalls of The 2003 Honda Accord


In addition to the NHTSA complaints, there were numerous recalls for the 2003 Honda Accord – 24 to be exact. One of these dealt with the electrical system and the ignition negatively affecting the transmission, exacerbating the HOnda transmission problems.


Honda recalled certain Honda Accords, specifically the 2003 version. The interlock lever in the ignition may deform, which causes the interlock function with an automatic transmission to not work correctly. If you remove the ignition key when the selector has not been shifted to park, then the vehicle can roll away. This only occurs with the automatic transmission version of hte HOnda Accord, showing one of the many issues with the Honda transmission problems.


2001 Honda Civic Transmission Problems


Just like the 2003 Honda Accord, teh 2001 Honda Civic has numerous transmission problems which cannot be overlooked. The NHTSA had 317 complaints on just the transmission category of this vehicle, showing the lack of safety in this make and model.


Transmission Failure


The main problems within the transmission category is the transmission failing and slipping. The transmission failure typically costs an average of $2,330 to fix and occurs at 104,000 miles. The most common solution is to replace the transmission or replace the whole transmission. For a Honda Civic, it costs approximately $514-$765 for labor costs, and a total of $1203-$1922 to rebuild the transmission.


Transmission Slipping


The slipping transmission costs around $2,290 to fix and happens at just over 110,000 miles. The most common solutions for these Honda transmission problems are to replace the transmission or replace the torque converter.


NHTSA & Recalls


The NHTSA has reported numerous issues with the powertrain in the automatic transmission of the HOnda Civic. Although HOnda conducted a huge recall in 2004 and settled a class action lawsuit for defective transmissions, no recall has included the 2001 Civic. It is important to realize that the 2001 Civic is the most-recalled car – ever. With a car being recalled so much, you can see just how detrimental the Honda transmission problems are to the driver and the passenger safety.


2002 Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems


The Honda Odyssey is in a timespan of Odyssey vehicles having numerous transmission problems from the 1999-2004 era. The main transmission issues feature transmission failure, which typically costs $3,400 to repair and occurs at an average of 97,000 miles. The main solution for this issue is to replace the transmission.


The price of a new Honda Odyssey transmission depends on the type of transmission used. A used transmission ranges from $800-$1500, while a rebuilt transmission costs around $1300-$2400 for a remanufactured version. The labor to remove and replace the transmission generally ranges from $500-$1200 and takes around 4-10 hours of billed time.




The NHTSA has issued a whopping 461 complaints about the 2002 Honda Odyssey transmission problems. The transmission failure occurring at dangerous times has caused at least 1 crash, three fires, one injury and has a severity rating of 10.


Is Honda Doing Anything To Fix The Transmission Problems?


Honda has offered a few owners out-of-warranty compensation to cover the cost of the transmission repairs. Instead of going to your local dealership, you should contact the customer service line to ask for a “goodwill repair.” However, most of the models included in this article are not covered under the warranty – despite having deadly transmission issues.


If your car is under warranty, then Honda may offer to pay a portion of the repair bill, coming in at around 50%. Some 2003 vehicle owners have reported having almost 75% covered by warranty.


Honda Dealerships Might Have Very High Repair Bills For Honda Transmission Problems


Despite some problems being covered under warranty, Honda might charge you an exorbitant amount to have the issue fixed. An independent repair shop will generally do the repair for half of the price, but it just depends on if you want to obtain the warranty benefits or not. Be sure to get a warranty on parts, since rebuilt transmissions can commonly fail.


What If I Don’t Feel Safe Driving My Honda Due to the Honda Transmission Problems?


If you have one of the aforementioned vehicles, or you have another Honda with numerous transmission problems, then you are better off not driving your car anymore. The risk of driving with a faulty transmission is not worth the damage that could be done to your vehicle – and to yourself.


To keep yourself and the passengers safe, you might decide to turn in your car to a junk dealer to make some extra cash. Remove all non-metal components from your vehicle and bring your car to a reputable location. Head to CashCarsBuyer to obtain a fair quote, have great customer service, and earn some money to put towards a new and safe vehicle!

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