Odyssey owners... HELP!!!! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-02-2006, 06:40 AM   #1
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My folks have an '03 Odyssey that they bought last summer. They traded in their '01 Odyssey for it. They averaged close to 28mgp highway with the old one. They're barely making 17mpg highway with the new one. The vans are mechanically equipped identically with the exception of leather seating and a few bells and whistles.

The local Honda dealer in Texas where they live is clueless about why it's getting such poor mileage. They've checked all the usual stuff, air cleaner, etc. etc. and it's not throwing codes. The tires are aired up etc. etc. They've even reprogrammed the computer with a tweak or two.

Anyone have ideas?

Roger
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Old 02-02-2006, 01:53 PM   #2
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The many Odyssey owners in the forum should have good ideas, but if I had a similar experience with my Sienna I would check that the transmission was shifting appopriately. These engines (Honda or Toyota) will run nicely at much higher speeds than necessary, so if the transmission fails to shift to the top gear (or fails to lock the torque converter) the driver might notice only that the fuel consumption was high.

I am particularly led to wonder about transmission behaviour because the problem is observed in highway use (where the top gear is important), and because Honda has had some difficulty with Odyssey transmissions (a problem which they have since addressed).

Did the dealership technician who happily plugged in their code reader and performed the usual maintenance tasks actually drive the van?
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Old 02-02-2006, 02:27 PM   #3
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Are the Hondas not equipped with tachs from the factory? It could be tried against another Odessey......possibly something as silly as a loose baffle in the exhaust causing back pressure or a squirrel/rodent nest in the air box and the filter will be fine but the engine starves for air.....also could be a problem in the adaptive memory being out of whack and not adjusting the sensors so the sensors aren`t up to snuff.....a faulty thermostat could run a slightly lower temp and the computer could be calling for a richer mixture because the engine temp isn`t up to operating temp....coolant fans could also be coming on too early and cooling the engine too much and result would be same as the thermostat....or dragging brakes, either main ones or park brakes......But then again it could be almost anything and a hard thing to diagnose...... With my pickup I run at about 1700 rpm at 60 mph, just for comparison....Benny
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Old 02-02-2006, 02:42 PM   #4
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I think Benny has some good ideas to check, although I would hope that any Honda dealership mechanic would have noticed blatant problems such as dragging brakes (they would be hot after any drive, and prematurely worn) or collapsed exhaust components (causing significant power loss). This is why a test drive is appropriate.

I assume that the Odyssey has a tach, but that doesn't mean that the driver looks at it: I still don't understand why the average driver wants a tach with an automatic... but as trailer owners we are not average.
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Old 02-02-2006, 02:49 PM   #5
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hummm, what are the differences between the two years from Honda? Emission standards? Even the exhaust system can affect fuel mileage and performance.

and then there's this:
Quote:
vehicles in California and select Northeastern states may vary slightly due to PZEV (Partial Zero-Emission Vehicle) standards.
Is this newer Odyssey your folks have a California build??
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Old 02-02-2006, 02:50 PM   #6
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I agree with Brian: transmission should be checked first. Ours runs 1800-2000 RPM at highway speeds of between 60 and 70 MPH but increases to just below 3000 when towing in 3rd. (I find the tach quite helpful, actually).
It sounds like another tack is to change dealerships, if possible. This ought not be difficult to track down by someone who is interested enough. 17mpg is scandalous, I'd have sold mine long ago faced with that.
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Old 02-02-2006, 02:53 PM   #7
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I just talked to one of my sons and edited my post for a few more ideas........Benny
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Old 02-02-2006, 03:30 PM   #8
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Roger,
Ours is a 2004 Odyssey and we get around 26 to 28 highway. Pulling our Casita we get about 15 mpg, and that is with the gear selector in drive 3. Looks like either a transmission problem, not shifting up to drive, or the gear selector indicator might not be showing the correct gear. Sure you are not driving in dr 3? Makes a big difference. The tach when in drive and 60 miles per hour should be somewhere close to 2000 rpm.
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Old 02-02-2006, 06:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
I think Benny has some good ideas to check, although I would hope that any Honda dealership mechanic would have noticed blatant problems such as dragging brakes (they would be hot after any drive, and prematurely worn) or collapsed exhaust components (causing significant power loss). This is why a test drive is appropriate.

I assume that the Odyssey has a tach, but that doesn't mean that the driver looks at it: I still don't understand why the average driver wants a tach with an automatic... but as trailer owners we are not average.
I drive an '03 Odyssey I bought new, and yes, even on the cheaper LX model, there is a Tachometer. At cruising speed, mine runs at 1500 rpm while not towing. While towing, I get the best mileage when I notice the rpm's are at or below 2000. It is a California Car, and my best mileage is 24 mpg.
Didn't Honda increase the engine size in '01 or '02?
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:06 PM   #10
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At cruising speed,
Yes Fred, but I am sure they would rather go at least the speed limit..

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Old 02-03-2006, 07:09 AM   #11
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Roger,

I don't have an Odyssey but would add fuel leak to the above suggestions. Check tank and all fuel lines carefully for a small leak. It is sooo frustrating to take a car with an obvious problem to an expert and get nowhere!
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Old 02-03-2006, 12:17 PM   #12
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Another possibility -- I'm just grasping at straws -- could it be your fuel flow sensor isn't giving the correct flow?

You might try determining fuel usage the 'old fashioned' way just to be sure. Fill your tank to the top, record odometer, drive until most of the fuel is used, fill tank again, log fuel added, read odometer again.

Subtract second odometer reading from first, divide by the number of gallons of fuel added and the result is MPG!!! Knowing this may provide a bit of info to help solve the mystery.

The newer cars are pretty good at self-diagnosis, so I'm surprised your dealer service dept. didn't get this solved during the first go-around.

Keep us posted on the outcome. I love these head scratchers.
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Old 02-03-2006, 02:21 PM   #13
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Interestingly enough this could also be a transmission problem.

If the overdrive (i.e. torque converter lock-up) is not engaging, your milage will be negatively affected.

I don't know about your TV, but I can speak for GM TV.

W/O Tow mode. The torque converter is only locked-up in Drive. Shifting to 3rd allows the torque converter to slip and there by lowering gas milage.

W Tow Mode. When in Tow Mode, the torque converter is locked in all gears except 1st. Shifting to third decreases gas milage some, but not as much as when the not in Tow Mode.

There are after market ECM programers that not only increase power and torque at low RPM, they also control the Torque Converter lock-up to provide a pseudo "Tow Mode" for those vehicles that do not have a Tow Mode.

I use a ProFlash Programmer to reprogram the ECM in my 2004 Escalade before each trip to maximize my gas milage. I have found the difference to be about 3 to 4 miles per gallon depending on the speed I drive which with todays prices is quite a good savings. It also increases the distance you can travel between fillups.
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Old 02-03-2006, 02:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Another possibility -- I'm just grasping at straws -- could it be your fuel flow sensor isn't giving the correct flow?

You might try determining fuel usage the 'old fashioned' way just to be sure. Fill your tank to the top, record odometer, drive until most of the fuel is used, fill tank again, log fuel added, read odometer again.

Subtract second odometer reading from first, divide by the number of gallons of fuel added and the result is MPG!!! Knowing this may provide a bit of info to help solve the mystery.

The newer cars are pretty good at self-diagnosis, so I'm surprised your dealer service dept. didn't get this solved during the first go-around.

Keep us posted on the outcome. I love these head scratchers.
Thanks to all who have contributed ideas to this point. The dealership is supposed to be calling Honda (the second call) today to find out what they can. FWIW, Loren, I don't know if the Honda has the fuel monitor sensor. I know that Dad keeps a running mileage and maintenance log in a notebook, so I suspect that the figures he's reporting ARE the real numbers.

Roger
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