Ownership Verified: My American Japanese: 2003 Honda Odyssey

luokyio

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As some of you might have read, Voyager did the expected and blew up its gearbox. Repair costs would rise to too high figures, so I decided not to fix it anymore. I'll try to get rid of it.

So the hunt for a family carrier began, and ended at the first test drive. I've read somewhere that it gives good luck to buy a Honda, when Spectre specifically says not to buy it. So that I did.

I found this 2003 Honda Odyssey on the mighty Internet. Lastsoul was very kind to go for a quick walkaround since he happened to be closeby, and I live 350 km away. He sent me photos that revealed some expected wear considering the age, but no big issues.

I went for a test drive yesterday. Everything seemed to work like they should and I found pretty much nothing to complain. Quite tight price haggling and me already once walking out later we shook hands and again my signature got a new addition.

Basic info:

Year 2003
Engine 3,5l V6 gasoline, producing 243 hp
Transmission with 5 speeds and a terrible reputation. Luckily it is common knowledge that a lightning will not strike twice to a same spot, so I'm safe.
A bit under 160 000 miles on the odo
Electric adjustments on driver seat
Power sliding rear doors
Leather

Full service history

One owner only. A Finnish guy living in Chicago had bought it new in 2003, moved back to Finland in 2004 and brought the car with him. Cars imported this way do not need to match the requirements with what comes to E approved lights etc. Only the rear fog light has been fitted later, but other than that it's all original US spec.

These are pretty rare this side of pond. In Finland total of 50 Odysseys, 10 of which this generation and 4 of the same year. Parts seem to be nowhere to be found on local shops, but RockAuto exists.

One excellent surprise was the annual tax. Any cars newer than 2001 are taxed based on their EU approval Co2 emission rating. For example the Voyager had over 500 ?/year, because, well, the emissions are not too green. However this has only 228 ?/year, because Odyssey was never approved by EU so it has no emission rating. In these cases emissions cannot be used in calculation, which is an excellent thing for a car with high emissions.

I'll go pick the car up next week, so until that images stolen from the sales ad will have to do.










These are taken by Lastsoul, so Copyrights belong to him:






 
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LeVeL

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Nice :) I had that generation Accord and it was great. Those automatics do have problems though...
 

gaasc

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Congratulations with the purchase.
 

villej

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Nice! May it give you trouble free miles. :thumbup:
 

BlaRo

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That thing looks like it's in great shape, which is harder to find these days. Hope you enjoy it!
 

rickhamilton620

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Edit: before you do anything with it, you need to schedule an appointment with your Honda dealer to ensure that the airbag inflators have been replaced. http://hondaairbaginfo.com/

This is critical, esp since the majority of ruptures have been in Honda's. People have been debilitated and killed by this.


Back to our regularly scheduled post.....
Congrats! Those were in such great demand when that gen came out that there were preorders and wait lists that went on for months.

People in the late 90's were enamoured by Honda's here so when they made a redesigned Odyssey that was 'Murican sized and had the market mandatory sliding doors, it was a instant success.

It'll drive better than the Chrysler, might be a touch louder due to Honda's penchant for road noise.

The Magic Seat will likely prove to be far handier than the Chrysler's modular 50/50 bench (or the euro market only 3rd row modular buckets). - pull a strap or three and bam, it's in the floor or in tailgate seating mode. The well is nice for keeping groceries from rolling too much.

You may want to invest in a auxiliary trans cooler at some point and make sure fluid is changed at least on schedule (if not a tad early). IIRC, it's important that only Honda approved fluid is used in this.

The D indicator in the gauge cluster's trans range display is also used as a transmission warning lamp (if it flashes), but you'll also want to check things out if the CEL lights - I had a Honda AT issue detected only by that CEL and not through the D light.

My friend bought a ody of this vintage as a growing family required it - he got proof that a remanufactured tranny was in it and it came with a warranty. Last I spoke to him, it's been fine.

A good resource on these is the odytalk forums.
 
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luokyio

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Thanks a lot Rick!

I need to check that airbag issue with the local Honda service. We'll see if they start to complain something since it is a imported model which was never imported here officially.

On my short test drive I didn't find too much differences to GV yet, but I can say more in Tuesday when I go to pick it up.

I already booked a full fluid and belt service to next Monday to my trusted US carage, since other services don't really seem to have channels to get parts for it.

No warning lights are lit, and I also checked with Torque after test drive that no codes did exist.

Edit: Honda.fi tells no open recalls, but that link you gave says a bit different:

RECALL RESULT

VIN: 5FNRL189X3B152106
Year: 2003
Make: Honda
Model: Odyssey
Last Updated: Oct 22, 2016
Number of Open Recalls: 5
PASSENGER AIRBAG INFLATOR
NHTSA RECALL NUMBER: 16V-344
MFR CAMPAIGN ID: KA1
CAMPAIGN DESCRIPTION: Passenger Airbag Inflator
RECALL DATE: 05/23/2016
RECALL STATUS: Recall INCOMPLETE
SUMMARY: AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR CO., INC. (HONDA) IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2002-2004 HONDA ODYSSEY AND 2006-2011 HONDA RIDGELINE VEHICLES. ACCORDING TO THE EQUIPMENT DEFECT NOTIFICATIONS (16E-042, 16E-043, AND 16E-044) FILED BY TAKATA, THE PROPELLANT WAFERS IN SOME OF THE SUBJECT INFLATORS MAY DEGRADE OVER TIME, WHICH COULD LEAD TO OVER-AGGRESSIVE COMBUSTION IN THE EVENT THE AIRBAG IS ACTIVATED. OVERLY AGGRESSIVE COMBUSTION CREATES EXCESSIVE INTERNAL PRESSURE WHEN THE INFLATOR IS ACTIVATED, WHICH MAY CAUSE THE INFLATOR BODY TO RUPTURE. HONDA SUGGESTS THAT YOU AVOID HAVING A PASSENGER SIT IN THE FRONT PASSENGER'S SEAT UNTIL THE RECALL REPAIR HAS BEEN PERFORMED.
SAFETY RISK: IN THE EVENT OF AN INFLATOR RUPTURE, METAL FRAGMENTS COULD PASS THROUGH THE AIRBAG CUSHION MATERIAL POSSIBLY CAUSING INJURY TO VEHICLE OCCUPANT.
REMEDY: HONDA WILL NOTIFY OWNERS OF THESE VEHICLES IN AN INITIAL LETTER WITH A SECOND LETTER BEING MAILED WHEN REMEDY PARTS BECOME AVAILABLE IN LATESUMMER/FALL OF 2016. WHEN AVAILABLE, DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE PASSENGER FRONTAL AIRBAG INFLATOR WITH A NEW INFLATOR, FREE OF CHARGE.
ODYSSEY DRIVER AIRBAG
NHTSA RECALL NUMBER: 15V-320
MFR CAMPAIGN ID: JR3
CAMPAIGN DESCRIPTION: ODYSSEY DRIVER AIRBAG
RECALL DATE: 05/27/2015
RECALL STATUS: Recall INCOMPLETE
SUMMARY: THIS RECALL CONSOLIDATES ALL OF HONDA'S PREVIOUS RECALLS CONCERNING THE DRIVER'S FRONT AIRBAG INFLATOR. EVEN IF YOUR VEHICLE WAS PREVIOUSLY REPAIRED, YOUR VEHICLE IS STILL COVERED BY THIS RECALL AND WILL NEED TO BE REPAIRED AGAIN.
SAFETY RISK: SPECIFICALLY, IN SOME VEHICLES, THE DRIVER'S FRONT AIRBAG INFLATOR COULD PRODUCE EXCESSIVE INTERNAL PRESSURE UPON DEPLOYMENT. IF AN AFFECTED AIRBAG DEPLOYS, THE INCREASED INTERNAL PRESSURE MAY CAUSE THE INFLATOR TO RUPTURE (BREAK APART) AND DEPLOY ABNORMALLY. IN THE EVENT OF AN INFLATOR RUPTURE, METAL FRAGMENTS COULD PASS THROUGH THE AIRBAG CUSHION MATERIAL POSSIBLY CAUSING SERIOUS INJURY OR FATALITY TO YOU OR OTHERS IN THE VEHICLE. PAST RUPTURES LIKE THIS HAVE KILLED AND INJURED VEHICLE DRIVERS.
REMEDY: HONDA WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE DRIVER FRONTAL AIRBAG INFLATOR WITH AN INFLATOR OF DIFFERENT DESIGN, FREE OF CHARGE. WHILE PARTS ARE AVAILABLE TO CONDUCT AIRBAG INFLATOR REPLACEMENTS AT THE TIME OF THIS NOTICE, THE SCOPE OF THE CURRENT AIRBAG INFLATOR RECALLS CREATES THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE PARTS NECESSARY TO COMPLETE THE RECALL REPAIR MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE AT THE TIME YOU CALL TO SCHEDULE YOUR REPAIR. IF THIS OCCURS, PLEASE DISCUSS YOUR SPECIFIC NEEDS AND CONCERNS WITH YOUR DEALER, INCLUDING THE PROVISION OF, OR REIMBURSEMENT FOR, TEMPORARY ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION AS NECESSARY. OWNERS MAY CONTACT HONDA'S AUTOMOBILE CUSTOMER SERVICE AT 1-888-234-2138. HONDA'S CAMPAIGN NUMBER FOR THIS RECALL IS JR3.
ODYSSEY SRS UNIT MALFUNCTION
NHTSA RECALL NUMBER: 15V-045
MFR CAMPAIGN ID: JN6
CAMPAIGN DESCRIPTION: ODYSSEY SRS UNIT MALFUNCTION
RECALL DATE: 01/27/2015
RECALL STATUS: Recall INCOMPLETE
SUMMARY: AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR CO., INC. (HONDA) IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2003-2004 HONDA ODYSSEY VEHICLES. AS REPORTED TO NHTSA BY HONDA ON SEPTEMBER 18, 2013, THERE MAY BE VARIATION IN THE ASIC CHIP WITHIN THE SRS ELECTRONIC CONTROL UNIT (ECU) CAUSING SOME TO HAVE LOW NOISE TOUGHNESS AGAINST ELECTRICAL NOISE SURGES. IF THE VEHICLE PRODUCES HIGH LEVELS OF ELECTRICAL NOISE, THE ASIC IN THE SRS ECU CAN BECOME DAMAGED AND MAY RESULT IN AN AIRBAG DEPLOYMENT SIGNAL BEING ISSUED WITHOUT A CRASH. BEGINNING IN 2013, CONSISTENT WITH INDUSTRY PRACTICE, HONDA INSTITUTED A REMEDY OF INSTALLING A WIRING SUB-HARNESS WITH ELECTRONIC NOISE FILTERING. WHILE THE NOISE FILTERS HAD A SIGNIFICANT EFFECT ON REDUCING THE RATE OF INADVERTENT DEPLOYMENT, HONDA HAS OBSERVED A SMALL NUMBER OF POST-REMEDY INADVERTENT DEPLOYMENTS. AS A RESULT OF THIS OBSERVATION, HONDA HAS DETERMINED THAT IT IS APPROPRIATE TO ISSUE A REVISED REMEDY OF REPLACING THE SRS ECU WITH A REVISED ECU RATHER THAN INSTALLING THE WIRING SUB-HARNESS.
SAFETY RISK: IF AN AIRBAG DEPLOYS INADVERTENTLY WHILE DRIVING IT MAY DISTRACT THE DRIVER, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
REMEDY: THE OWNERS OF ALL AFFECTED VEHICLES WILL BE CONTACTED BY MAIL AND INFORMED OF THE EXISTENCE OF THIS CONDITION, AND THAT REPAIR PARTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME AND THEY WILL BE ASKED TO TAKE THEIR VEHICLE TO A HONDA AUTOMOBILE DEALER. THE DEALER WILL REMOVE THE NOISE FILTER FROM VEHICLES THAT HAVE HAD THAT REPAIR APPLIED, AND ALL VEHICLES WILL HAVE THE SRS ECU REPLACED, FREE OF CHARGE. OWNERS THAT PAID TO HAVE THESE REPAIRS COMPLETED AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT, ACCORDING TO THE RECALL REIMBURSEMENT PLAN ON FILE WITH NHTSA. OWNERS MAY CONTACT HONDA AUTOMOBILE CUSTOMER SERVICE AT 888-234-2138. HONDA'S CAMPAIGN NUMBER FOR THIS RECALL IS JN6/JP5.
SHIFT INTERLOCK
NHTSA RECALL NUMBER: 12V-573
MFR CAMPAIGN ID: S73
CAMPAIGN DESCRIPTION: SHIFT INTERLOCK
RECALL DATE: 12/10/2012
RECALL STATUS: Recall INCOMPLETE
SUMMARY: HONDA IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2003 AND 2004 PILOT AND ODYSSEY AND 2003 THROUGH 2006 ACURA MDX PASSENGER VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM NOVEMBER 26, 2001, THROUGH AUGUST 30, 2006. THE INTERLOCK LEVER OF THE IGNITION SWITCH MAY DEFORM, WHICH CAN ALLOW THE INTERLOCK FUNCTION OF OF A VEHICLE WITH AN AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION TO BE DEFEATED.
SAFETY RISK: REMOVAL OF THE IGNITION KEY WHEN THE GEAR SELECTOR OF A VEHICLE WITH AN AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION HAS NOT BEEN SHIFTED TO THE PARK POSITION CAN ALLOW THE VEHICLE TO ROLL AWAY, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
REMEDY: HONDA WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND INSTRUCT THEM TO TAKE THEIR VEHICLE TO A HONDA OR ACURA DEALER. THE DEALER WILL INSTALL AN UPDATED SHIFT INTERLOCK LEVER AND, IF NECESSARY, REPLACE ANY NECESSARY PART OF THE IGNITION SWITCH, FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON FEBRUARY 22, 2013. OWNERS MAY CONTACT HONDA AT 1-800-999-1009.
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION RECALL
NHTSA RECALL NUMBER: 04V-176
MFR CAMPAIGN ID: P30
CAMPAIGN DESCRIPTION: AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION RECALL
RECALL DATE: 04/13/2004
RECALL STATUS: Recall INCOMPLETE
SUMMARY: ON SOME MINI VANS, SPORT UTILITY AND PASSENGER VEHICLES, CERTAIN OPERATING CONDITIONS CAN RESULT IN HEAT BUILD-UP BETWEEN THE COUNTERSHAFT AND SECONDARY SHAFT SECOND GEARS IN THE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION, EVENTUALLY LEADING TO GEAR TOOTH CHIPPING OR GEAR BREAKAGE.
SAFETY RISK: GEAR FAILURE COULD RESULT IN TRANSMISSION LOCKUP, WHICH COULD RESULT IN A CRASH.
REMEDY: ON VEHICLES WITH 15,000 MILES OR LESS, THE DEALER WILL UPDATE THE TRANSMISSION WITH A SIMPLE REVISION TO THE OIL COOLER RETURN LINE TO INCREASE LUBRICATION TO THE SECOND GEAR. ON VEHICLES WITH MORE THAN 15,000 MILES, THE DEALER WILL INSPECT THE TRANSMISSION TO IDENTIFY GEARS THATHAVE ALREADY EXPERIENCED DISCOLORATION DUE TO OVERHEATING. IF DISCORATION EXISTS, THE TRANSMISSION WILL BE REPLACED IF DISCOLORATION IS NOT PRESENT, THE DEALER WILL PERFORM THE REVISION TO THE OIL COOLER RETURN LINE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON APRIL 21, 2004, FOR PILOT, ODYSSEY, AND MDX OWNERS. OWNERS OF THE ACCORD VEHICLES WILL START RECEIVING LETTERS ON JUNE 28, 2004, AND ON JUNE 29, 2004, FOR OWNERS OF THE TL AND CL VEHICLES. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT HONDA AT 1-800-999-1009 OR ACURA AT 1-800-382-2238.
 
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thomas

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Well if it is anything like my BMW's takata airbag issue, that is due to the regional differences. No E39 airbags were recalled here since the issue on those is only one in hot and humid climates (and even there only to a very small chance). Even in half the US it wouldn't be neccessary, but it is hard to justifiy a half-country-recall. Might be entirely different on the Honda issue though.
 

Der Stig

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My parents had an '04, it was a good car, very quick too for an old minivan. May or may not have chripped the tires on a number of occasions. :p

Can't comment on reliability as my parents sold it when we moved to the UAE.
 
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luokyio

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Got the car home. Worked brilliantly, but the weather was not quite as brilliant considering Honda had summers on. It went from a slightly alarming

IMG_20161025_151738

to downright scary

IMG_20161025_171640

However slowly but steadily I got home. Surprisingly easily to be honest. I feel like I have had worse grip on some old studded tires that I have actually used through winter. Dry weight of over two tons must help somewhat.

About 5 cm of snow when I got home

IMG_20161025_184126

Few notes I made:

- pretty quick for an MPV, of course not neck snapping but effortless to overtake
- noisier than GV, at 140 km/h stereos must be too loud if you want to hear speaking programs
- really tall gearing, at 140 under 2500 rpm
- sound system is miserable compared to Chrysler's boombox
- better to drive than GV
- H4 headlights are terrible
- fogs up windows if climate is on AUTO-setting. Pollen filter must be changed probably.
- total lack of onboard computer is quite amazing, not even outside temperature...
 
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public

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When you got home, was the dog the only one who recognized you?
 

villej

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[. . .] the weather was not quite as brilliant considering Honda had summers on. It went from a slightly alarming

IMG_20161025_151738

to downright scary

IMG_20161025_171640


[. . .]


- noisier than GV, at 140 km/h stereos must be too loud if you want to hear speaking programs
- really tall gearing, at 140 under 2500 rpm
Considering the speed, it really must have been slightly alarming and downright scary. :driving:

I still like your choice of car. Its always nice to own a vehicle that isn't so common that every other person has it too. Until it needs parts, of course. :p
 
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luokyio

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When you got home, was the dog the only one who recognized you?
Luckily leather is easy to clean.

Considering the speed, it really must have been slightly alarming and downright scary. :driving:

I still like your choice of car. Its always nice to own a vehicle that isn't so common that every other person has it too. Until it needs parts, of course. :p
There is a chance that the speed and weather did not happen on the same time :lol: On the last 80 km stretch I never went over 60... And was not the only one apparently, I saw a V40 slide to a light pole at walking speed.

And yes, the rarity is the biggest reason I bought this instead of something else. I did not like to see all the other Voyagers out there. I want my boring choises to be unique too. :mrgreen:
 

public

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The seats look great!
 

mjk

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My parents have an Odyssey of similar vintage. It has served us well for 13 years and will likely continue to do.so for many years. Strangely, we've had no problems with the tranny.

Sent from my SM-G386T using Tapatalk
 
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