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Honda Odyssey Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Honda Odyssey based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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57
Known Problems

The 1995-1998 Honda Odyssey engine oil pressure sensor is known to leak from normal operation.

More information about the oil pressure sensor here.

To correct the leak, the sensor must be inspected, properly sealed and installed, or replaced with new.

Smelling burning engine oil is common on the 1995-1998 Honda Odyssey 4-cylinder engine, and is associated with oil leaking from the valve cover. It is most common to smell the oil burning at a stop light, or just after you shut off your engine.

Engine oil leaks from the valve cover, drains down, and settles on the exhaust manifold, which burns the oil upon contact due to high exhaust gas temperatures. This creates an odor that comes through the vents, and can be smelled around the front of the vehicle. 

The valve cover gasket should be replaced in a timely fashion to prevent engine misfires resulting from oil contamination of the ignition coil, which is fairly common.

Valve cover gasket replacement will correct both the leak and the smell of burned oil at the same time. If the ignition coil or spark plug wire was soaked in oil, it will need to be cleaned or replaced to stop or prevent misfires.

The 1999-2016 Honda Odyssey may have problems with the EVAP canister vent solenoid. It stops responding to commands to open and close, and the following occurs:

  • Illumination of the check engine light
  • OBD trouble code P1457 is stored
  • Engine takes longer than usual to start
  • Fuel mileage decreases noticeably
  • The valve is located on the charcoal canister, and is meant to open and close upon command. It fails due to corrosion breaking one of two internal seals, which allows air to escape the system, signaling the OBD trouble code P1457.

    Correcting the problem can be done by replacing the vent valve, or, in some cases, cleaning and resealing the vent valve has been successful. You can get an estimate for this repair here.

    A worn, missing, or loose gas cap can cause the same issues.

    The camshaft seal, located at the end of the cylinder head, has a reputation for failure on the 1995-1998 Honda Odyssey van.

    This seal wraps around the camshaft to prevent engine oil from leaking where the camshaft exits the cylinder head.

    Replacing the leaky seal requires timing belt removal, so timing belt and water pump may be recommended if your vehicle is near the service interval.

    The exhaust recirculation valve (EGR) on the 1999-2016 Honda Odyssey V6 may fail, causing:

  • Illumination of thecheck engine light
  • OBD trouble codes P0401 and P1491
  • Rough idle
  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Engine vibrations
  • Hesitation or stalling
  • Long cranking before engine starts
  • Failure of state or federal smog tests
  • The EGR valve has open and closed positions, and opens or closes on command from the computer.

    Exhaust gases constantly pass through the valve when it is open, leaving carbon deposits on the valve. These carbon deposits may lead the the valve sticking in the open or closed position.

    To correct this issue, sometimes it is sufficient to clean the valve, but replacement is recommended in all cases.

    For further information on your vehicle's issue, try out our diagnostics tool here.

    The 1995-1998 Honda Odyssey has a known issue with ignition distributor shaft bearing failure, which causes:

  • Failure to start 
  • Engine randomly misfires 
  • Check Engine Light Illumination
  • OBD Trouble code(s) P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304, P1336, P1337 
  • Engine vibrations  
  • Hesitation or stalling 
  • Oil leak from distributor cap 
  • The ignition system uses the distributor to send high voltage electricity to the spark plugs at the right time. It accomplishes this timing mechanically by a shaft, which connects the crankshaft and ignition distributor, so they spin at the same rate. That shaft, part of the distributor, rests in a bearing inside the distributor.This bearing, the distributor shaft bearing, is known for failing, and allowing the shaft to move slightly.

    As the bearing fails, it allows the shaft to move away from the shaft seal, and oil pours into the distributor cap, causing misfires.

    The play in the shaft can also cause contact with the crankshaft position sensor, causing a no start problem.

    Total bearing failure will be most evident from the grinding noise that changes with engine speed, and oil in the ignition distributor cap.

    If the bearing is making noise, driving or running the vehicle can result in catastrophic engine failure.

    To correct this issue, the ignition distributor and shaft must be replaced. Any damage to the crankshaft position sensor will necessitate replacement as well.

     

    On some models the power seat can become inoperative when a cable becomes detached. Replacing the cable will fix this issue.

    The engine may develop and oil leak due to a porous engine block casting. The repair procedure is dependent on where the leak is located. Honda has released a service bulletin covering model years 1999-2003. Honda may offer assistance with repairs, determined on a case by case basis.

     

    The AC evaporator drain can clog and cause a water leak inside the vehicle, usually on the passenger floor. Cleaning the drain will fix this problem.

    Rear vent windows not operating properly is a common problem with Honda Odesseys. The solution is to replace the window motors.

    On certain models the rear brakes can groan when coming to a stop. Replacing the rear brake drums may be necessary to correct this issue.

    Some models the front brakes make a groan when coming to a stop due to improperly formulated brake pads. Replacing the front brake pads with an updated pad and turning the rotors will stop the noise.

    On some models faulty front wheel bearings can cause a growling type noise from the front of the vehicle. Replacing both front wheel bearings is recommended for this repair.

    A seal in the 4 cylinder engine around the balance shaft tends to fall out, causing a large oil leak. There is a retaining device available to prevent the seal from falling out, which can be put in place during routine timing belt maintenance.