Vehicle Reliability

Honda Odyssey Reliability and Problems

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The Odyssey’s impressive fuel economy and low ownership costs are some of the reasons why it remains a top contender in the minivan segment for more than two decades. However, despite being a dependable daily driver, it has its fair share of problems across its different model years. Let’s take a closer look at the Honda Odyssey’s reliability and the various issues that have affected it to give you a better idea of the repairs it may need in the future.

How Reliable are Honda Odysseys?

2021 Honda Odyssey
The Odyssey’s impressive fuel economy and low ownership costs are some of the reasons why it has remained a top contender in the minivan segment for more than two decades. Image source: Honda.

The Odyssey has received average scores in all major reliability ratings. RepairPal gave it a 3.5 out of 5, ranking it third out of eight minivans. Its average yearly repair cost is $547, which is lower compared to the average $647. The Odyssey’s depreciation value after five years is also lower than most vehicles, only amounting up to 50% compared to the average 60%.

The Honda Odyssey is also a frequent Kelley Blue Book awardee for the Minivan Best Buy Award because of its impressive resale value. It’s no wonder it’s one of the best-selling minivans in the country.

Top Honda Odyssey Problems

As with any other make and model, the Honda Odyssey has its fair share of problems across its model years. Below are some of the most common ones.

Braking System Issues

Many owners of the 2020 Odyssey redesign have complained about a faulty brake pedal. Many reported that the brakes only worked after they were pumped, which made driving dangerous. This issue is typically caused by air in the master cylinder or brake fluid leaks.

Excessive vibration in the steering wheel and a pulsating brake pedal due to warped brake rotors or discs were also common across 1995-2016 Odysseys. This typically occurs when the brake rotor wears unevenly when braking at high speeds. Replacing the faulty parts using a brake disc and pad kit can cost you anywhere between $100 and $350 plus labor costs.

2005 Honda Odyssey
Excessive vibration in the steering wheel and a pulsating brake pedal due to warped brake rotors or discs are common across 1995-2016 Odysseys.

Owners of 1999-2002, 2007, and 2010 Odysseys have also reported groaning noises from the rear brakes. The issue is usually caused by a damaged or worn-out brake drum, which can cost a little over $50 to replace.

Transmission Problems

In 2019, a lawsuit was filed against Honda because of the 2018-2019 Odysseys with faulty 9-speed automatic transmissions. Many owners have reported that their vehicles have delayed and rough shifting, rough acceleration and deceleration, and sudden power loss.

2018 Honda Odyssey
Many owners have reported that their 2018-2019 Odysseys have delayed and rough shifting, rough acceleration and deceleration, and sudden power loss. Image source: Honda.

Transmission problems were most prominent in the 1999-2003 Odyssey redesigns. Many drivers have complained that their transmission kept slipping despite numerous repairs. This led to a class action lawsuit against Honda in 2006, which the automaker settled without claiming a defect. Honda compensated 1999-2001 Odyssey owners by providing an extended warranty on their vehicles.

Interior Problems

Uncomfortable seats were a common 2016 Honda Odyssey problem. Many drivers have complained about having hard seats and non-adjustable headrests, which caused neck pain during long drives.

2016 Honda Odyssey Interior
Uncomfortable seats are a common 2016 Honda Odyssey problem. Image source: Honda.

Owners of older Odyssey model years reported similar issues. Detached cables caused power seat failure in some 1995, 2003, and 2005-2010 Odysseys, which prevented drivers from adjusting the driver’s side seat. Meanwhile, some 1999-2002, 2006-2008, and 2011-2015 Odyssey owners had trouble adjusting the third-row seat due to a loose latch cable.

Defective Windows and Sliding Doors

Defective window regulators were a common issue among 2004-2010 and 2015 Odysseys. Many owners have reported their windows being unable to fully open or close, which left the interior exposed to harsh weather conditions and road debris. Fortunately, replacing the faulty part usually solves the problem. A replacement window regulator can cost anywhere between $50 and $150, depending on its configuration plus labor costs.

Many drivers of the 2007 Honda Odyssey have reported problems with opening and closing their electric sliding door due to a loose cable and motor. Meanwhile, some 1998-2000, 2010, and 2012-2014 Odyssey owners found it difficult to manually operate their doors due to a sticking door seal. This forced them to yank their doors open, which increased the risk of damaging the door handle.

Ignition Switch Failure

2004 Honda Odyssey ignition problems usually involve a defective ignition cylinder lock that prevented drivers from turning the key despite having several repairs done. This is typically caused by an ignition lock cylinder, which can cost anywhere between $200 and $250 plus labor costs to replace.

ignition lock cylinder for honda odyssey
Owners of the 2004 Honda Odyssey have encountered ignition problems usually involving a defective ignition cylinder lock that prevents drivers from turning the key despite having several repairs done.

Engine Issues

Engine issues were common in 1999-2016 Odysseys. Owners have reported cases of a rough running engine, poor fuel economy, engine vibrations, stalling, and a long crank time caused by a clogged exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve.

Common complaints also include oil leaks from the engine block due to a porous engine block casting. Clunking noises and excessive vehicle vibrations caused by a broken front engine mount were also reported by 1999-2006 Odyssey owners. These usually resulted in rough idling and hard shifting.

Owners of some 1995-1998, 2005, and 2008 Odysseys have also reported that their engine frequently overheats due to head gasket failure.

Catalytic Converter Failure

Catalytic converter failure was a common issue in 1995, 1999-2001, 2005-2007, 2009, and 2012 Odysseys. Overheating and contamination were typically caused by misfiring spark plugs or burned exhaust valves, which cause unburned fuel to enter the exhaust.

catalytic converter for honda odyssey
Catalytic converter failure is a common issue in 1995, 1999-2001, 2005-2007, 2009, and 2012 Odysseys.

Water Leaks

Water leaks were common in some 1995-1998, 2001, 2005-2007, and 2009-2010 Odysseys. Many owners have reported hearing whooshing noises from one side of the air conditioning (A/C) system, which was usually caused by a clogged A/C evaporator drain.

Worn-Out Suspension and Wheel Bearings

Worn-out stabilizer links (or sway bar links) have been a common complaint from 1999-2006 and 2012 Odyssey owners. The links created knocking and clunking noises when driving over bumps and potholes. There were also reports of growling and groaning noises, and excessive vibration when accelerating in some 2000, 2002, 2004-2008, 2011, and 2014 Odysseys due to worn-out wheel bearings.

sway bar link for honda odyssey
Worn-out stabilizer links (or sway bar links) are a common complaint by 1999-2006 and 2012 Odyssey owners.

Erratic Engine Idle Speed and Stalling

Erratic engine idle speed and stalling were frequently reported in 1999-2006 Odysseys. They were usually caused by a faulty idle air control system, which also led to poor fuel mileage.

Even a minivan as reliable as the Honda Odyssey can develop problems over time. Fortunately, you can make the most of your Odyssey’s service life and keep repair costs to a minimum by familiarizing yourself with the common issues that affect your model.

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