2005-2010 Honda Odyssey: reported problems, gas mileage, engine, maintenance

May 17, 2020
The Honda Odyssey Odyssey has front-wheel drive and is available in seven or eight-passenger configurations. It has a strong V6 engine and handles like a large car.
2007 Honda Odyssey 2007 Honda Odyssey.
The second-row captains chairs can be positioned together (bench style) or separately. In the eight-seat configurations, an additional small removable seat is installed between them. If you need to haul large cargo items, second-row seats can be removed and the third-row seat can be folded into the storage well behind it. Available features include power adjustable pedals, power tailgate, navigation, rearview camera, parking sensors and rear DVD. The Odyssey is one of the best minivans on the market, but there are some problems used car buyers should watch out for.

Reported problems: Various issues with power sliding doors are often reported. The door motor and other parts may need to be replaced. Some cheaper aftermarket parts (rollers/hinges) are available. Watch these Youtube videos describing the problem and various fixes.
Water leaks are also not uncommon; some owners report water getting inside the taillights. Watch these videos on how to replace taillights.
2007 Honda Odyssey interior 2007 Honda Odyssey interior.
Many owners reported replacing one or several engine mounts (up to $1,500 for all mounts).
Problems with a power steering pump or power steering fluid leaks can cause a lack of steering assist and a buzzing, humming or whining noise when turning the wheels. Honda issued a warranty extension on the power steering pump. If out of warranty, power steering pump replacement can run up to $650-$900. It's important to keep an eye on the steering fluid level and keep it topped up. The level can be checked visually in the power steering fluid reservoir under the hood.
Front struts and rear shock absorbers can go bad. Read more about replacing struts and shock absorbers. Other parts of suspension and steering like
2007 Honda Odyssey 2007 Honda Odyssey.
control arms, sway bar links and tie rod ends might need to be replaced at higher mileage.
Some Odyssey owners reported that a bad A/C compressor relay or the A/C compressor itself can cause the A/C not to work. The A/C compressor relay is cheap and is very easy to replace. Replacing the compressor clutch costs $450-$500. The replacement of the A/C compressor itself is more expensive: $850-$1,000.
The A/C condenser can also be damaged by rocks, as it's visible through the lower bumper grille. Replacing the A/C condenser can cost up to $900. Cheaper aftermarket parts are available.
An alternator can fail. The symptom of a failed alternator is the red battery warning light on the instrument panel staying on with the engine running. Read more: Symptoms of a bad alternator, repair options.
In terms of overall reliability, as of May 2020, Consumer Reports rated the 2005-2010 Honda Odyssey as 'average' for reliability; the engine was rated better in 2006-2008 model years, but got poor scores in 2009 and 2010.
Check for recalls at
2007 Honda Odyssey interior 2007 Honda Odyssey.
NHTSA website; you will need to enter the VIN number of your vehicle.

What to look for when buying a used Honda Odyssey: When checking the vehicle on the dealer's lot, watch out for warning lights staying on after the engine is started. Check the operation of both sliding doors. Watch out for a whining noise from the power steering pump or low power steering fluid level in the power steering fluid reservoir under the hood. Make sure to test the air conditioner. A low oil level might indicate that the engine consumes oil. Test all the A/C and heater features, including the rear passenger controls.
2007 Honda Odyssey 2007 Honda Odyssey.
See if the power tailgate opens and closes properly. Read more: 10 tips on how to spot signs of problems when test driving a used car. It's a good idea to check with a Honda dealer to see if all the recalls and service campaigns have been completed. Before buying, have the vehicle inspected by a trusted mechanic. The engine and transmission need particular attention.

Fuel Economy: The 2010 Odyssey is rated at 16/23 mpg (14.7/10.2 L/100 km) city/highway. The VCM-equipped 2005, 2006 EX-L and Touring models get 17/26 mpg (13.8/9.0 L/100km). Among minivans, only Mazda 5 gets better gas mileage, but Mazda 5 is a much smaller vehicle.

Engine: The Odyssey comes with a 244-hp 3.5L SOHC V6, model J35A6. The EX-L and Touring models come with the modified V6 J35A7 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), system that disables three of the six engine cylinders during cruising and deceleration to improve fuel economy. Both these engines have a timing belt that needs to be replaced as part of regular maintenance; read details below.
2007 Honda Odyssey engine 2007 Honda Odyssey engine.
Overall, both are good engines, but lack of regular oil changes or driving low on oil can cause problems. We would pick the model without VCM, as there were issues with oil consumption related to VCM. Read more: How often should you change the oil in your car?

Maintenance tips: Some Honda engines are known to burn oil; it's important to keep the oil level topped up. Read: How to check the engine oil on the dipstick.
Spark plugs might need to be changed more often if they keep fouling up with oil. Read also: What are the signs that spark plugs are worn out? The V6 3.5L engine has a timing belt. When should it be replaced? Honda doesn't offer a mileage-based maintenance schedule. Instead, Honda vehicles are equipped with Maintenance Minder that shows when and what type of the service should be done. The timing belt and water pump should be replaced at the Maintenance Minder type 4 service, which according to some Honda owners, shows up soon after 100k miles mark. However, if you regularly drive in very hot or very cold temperatures, Honda recommends replacing the timing belt at 60,000 miles (100,000 km). The condition of the timing belt can be visually inspected. To do this, mechanics remove the top timing belt cover. Replacing a timing belt and water pump costs $800-$1,200. Read more about a timing belt and a water pump.
Brakes, steering and suspension parts need to be inspected regularly to keep the vehicle safe. Read also: What can cause the steering wheel to shake when braking?
If the steering wheel is not centered when driving straight or if the tires wear unevenly, the wheel alignment needs to be checked.

Engine oil capacity including filter: 4.5 qt. (4.3 liters)