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Q: Honda odyssey transmission stopped responding.

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It happened about a week back, the car transmission seemed to slip a few times when I was driving in the morning. Later in the afternoon the slip became more frequent and finally the car stopped moving. I tried stopping and restarting the engine, which seemed to work for the first few time but that too was only for about 50 yards or so, and after that it stopped working completely. Now if I shift the transmission to "drive", it doesn't move, instead it very slowly goes backward. I want to know the problem why this is happening and whether it will be worthwhile to repair it since this is an old car.

My car has 190000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Let me answer your last question first. It is always more economical (you will save money) to repair what you have 1) IF you can find a competent person to do the repair, that is somebody who is willing to follow the instructions and is actually interested in performing a competent repair; and 2) IF they don’t rip you off in terms of the cost. The ONLY reason people always ask this perennial question when faced with a foreboding repair, "is it worth to keep this or that car" is because of the difficulty of fulfilling the two "if" conditions and not so much because of the actually mechanical difficulty or real underlying economic costs of the repair. So, put simply, if a competent person fixes the transmission and doesn’t rip you off, clearly you should keep the car because that strategy will save you a lot of money. Check the fluid level in your transmission. It’s a long shot but low fluid can cause shifting problems. If low, add fluid, but don’t overfill! But, if low, you have a sizable leak, so that would have to be fixed. If the fluid level is OK, what you are describing can be caused by a broken "band", an out of adjustment shift linkage, a faulty manual valve, a faulty valve body, a failed clutch pack, an internal hydraulic leak through a blown o-ring or piston or any combination of those faults. Transmission are rebuildable. Indeed, it is vastly easier to rebuild a "typical" transmission than it is to do most engine management diagnostics. Your transmission will probably have to either be rebuilt (a good idea) or a professionally rebuilt one could be purchased and installed. Either option is no big deal but, in my experience, it is a big deal to find someone who will follow instructions and then of course the cost has to be reasonable. Some local certified Mechanics, dispatched via YourMechanic may offer this service. Please simply inquire identifying your locale. If nobody is available in your area, you can re-inquire and we will try to suggest the questions that you should ask in evaluating local shops so that you can hopefully make a wise choice. Let us know if we can assist you further.

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