#1 check trans fluid. Pull dipstick and wipe on white paper towel. If fluid is black or otherwise not red, avoid the car because it needs a new torque converter. That is expensive. Otherwise, it is a comfortable, easy to drive car. Transmission was replaced, cost about double that for an American car. Power steering pump then failed and was replaced. Fluid leakage then increased and power steering rack had to be replaced. I am not very pleased with this car. It is expensive to maintain, much worse than expected
I am the original owner of a 2002 Honda Odyssey van. On 11/07/2014, van failed to accelerate and the malfunction indicator was on. I had van towed to the local Honda dealership. Service dept at the dealership said the ECL code was P0730. They said transmission needs to be replaced. The approximate failure mileage on van was 62000. I had to pay around $3500 for having the dealer rebuilt the transmission. I had the Service Advisor take photos of the damaged transmission. Service Advisor told me that the 3rd gear has heat discoloration & is burned up. In addition he said, clutches were burnt up. Root cause was heat buildup in transmission. Honda refused any help with the repair cost!
The first transmission went out at 36,600 miles. Honda installed a new Honda remanufacturered transmission with another 36,000 mile warranty. Approximately 3000 miles later the transmission went out again. Now my lease is almost up and the 3rd transmission is starting to slip again. The dealer said that Honda is aware that they have problems with the transmissions for this year so I was shocked it was in the top 10 used car list. Prior to this van I had a Toyota Sienna van and I liked that van way more than this one. It had a much better ride by alot and I never had any mechanical problems. The Honda has a very tight feel and every bump jars you. I was very dissatisfied.
You may want to consider buying a new tranny the same day you buy this van. Alternator/battery as well. I have 228000 on this van. It has been good overall but is now on the 3rd transmission and 2nd alternator. Gas gauge and temp gauges are all messed up. They bounce around and are never correct. Certainly, I have 228000 miles and you can't expect perfection but it seems that when things go wrong, they are always expensive things...4K per tranny and over 500 for alternator. I do love the comfort and cargo space. Hoping that I get another 100K on the van and than I will sell.
I have 157,000 miles and the car is still very reliable. Only a couple of very minor repairs over its lifetime. Transmission still going strong (except for a pressure switch < $150 that needed to be replaced). Burns no oil. Great acceleration. Better gas mileage than most. Sliding doors are a poor design and stick often.