Honda Odyssey 2003: I'm replacing a transmission, and a local mechanic will help me to swap it in my garage. I've been told at a local shop, that in order to install remanufactured transmission properly, a computer reprogramming is necessary.

Is that correct statement? What does a process of "reprogramming" involve, what equipment is necessary and why is it needed in the first place? What are the implications if not done?

3 Answers 3


Your Honda model has a history of failing transmission units. At the least, a once all-over check of the electronics would be advisable and be a bit of insurance against any faults.

A Honda OEM/bi-directional compatible scanner would be required to program the transmission. The programming loads an operational 'map' for the system into the transmission control module. Differant maps are used for differant transmissions. When enhancements are found to be needed, bugs, an enhanced map can be uploaded onto the system.

  • so, in other words: this programming is not specific to replacement transmission, it's just like windows update - same one for every 2003 odyssey, correct?
    – galets
    Dec 20, 2013 at 0:03
  • No. A motor manufacturers transmissions are used across a range of engines and vehicles. Each transmission application would have its own programme. If any particular software application for a transmission over time shows some sort of problem, then it can be modified/updated to eliminate the problem. Dec 20, 2013 at 9:57

To answer your question ... you should NOT need to reprogram your computer (PCM/ECU) when you replace your transmission as long as it's a stock replacement (or stock rebuild). There is no reason I could find which said this, so I am thinking the person who is talking to you about doing this is trying to get you to spend more money ... on some service he's willing to provide and you don't need.


Some transmissions, notably Chryslers, have the computer control everything including the harshness of the shifts. You don't need to re-program, just clear the learned values and it will re-learn the shift pattern. My GMC truck takes a few miles and then it seems to learn it. I understand Mopars might take longer.

Your best bet is to talk to whomever re-built the transmission and ask them for the recommendations. At the end of the day you want his warranty.

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