The Honda Odyssey is a popular compact minivan sometimes called an MPV. Despite Honda’s reputation for making reliable vehicles, Honda Odyssey suspension problems appear to be rather common. Owners report problems with the rear suspension, alignment issues, suspension noise, and various other problems.
If you own one of these vans, then Honda Odyssey suspension upgrades might be in your future. Escaping the issues with the OEM suspension is best done through a series of upgrades, especially if you want to tow or haul regularly.
Towing With the Honda Odyssey
The Odyssey is capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped. This is generally enough to tow a couple of jet skis and a trailer as well as a small fishing boat or a small utility trailer. New Odyssey minivans are usually equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. With performance upgrades and tuning, it’s possible to increase these numbers slightly. Just remember to always improve your suspension before adding power.
The Odyssey also comes with various tech features to assist in towing, including a multi-angle rearview camera. Intelligent Traction Management helps you stay in control of your trailer and vehicle in bad weather. For further assistance, you can get the Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Monitor to keep an eye on your trailer.
Along with towing, you can pack a lot of cargo into the Odyssey. With all of the rear seats folded down, you can get 145 cubic feet of cargo space.
Honda Odyssey Suspension Problems
As mentioned earlier, owners of the Honda Odyssey report various suspension problems with this compact minivan. A defect with the van’s rear suspension may create alignment problems, including a permanently out-of-alignment issue. The OEM suspension parts appear to be the problem here. Other Odyssey owners report suspension noise such as clunking sounds when driving over rough roads. Honda also conducted a recall back in the 2000s for defective struts. Defective and broken coil springs are another issue commonly reported by Honda Odyssey owners. The most common problems with the Honda Odyssey’s suspension are as follows:
- General suspension issues
- Front suspension coil springs
- Front suspension general issues
- Front suspension wheel bearing problems
- Suspension noise
- Rear suspension shock absorbers
When your suspension is not up to par, it means that traveling in your Odyssey can be quite uncomfortable. It will also affect your ability to tow anything with your minivan. The Odyssey can normally tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped, but you can potentially do more with an upgraded suspension.
How To Upgrade the Odyssey Suspension
A good rule of thumb is that your suspension should always be “faster” than your engine. Any performance or horsepower upgrades to your vehicle should come after you’ve upgraded your suspension to deal with the extra power. Your factory suspension is considered “soft” and not capable of withstanding much abuse.
There are many different methods of upgrading a suspension. Coilovers are a popular upgrade that sets up height and damping for your Odyssey. This modification gives your vehicle a lower center of gravity and a stiffer chassis to improve handling and control. There are several things to consider when looking at coilovers, including the following:
- Spring rates
- Spring and valving adjustability
- Top mount
- Monotube design
Most aftermarket coilover setups use stiffer springs vs. the OEM suspension as this gives you better handling. Lowering the vehicle through ride height adjustment helps to reduce body roll. Ultimately, the goal is to create a smoother ride and provide sharper handling that gives the driver more feel for the road.
Air suspensions are another method for upgrading the Odyssey suspension. There’s much debate on whether an air suspension is better than coilovers, but the former gives you more options for adjusting ride height.
You might also consider updating your sway bars. Most factory vehicles are tuned with a bias towards understeering. This makes them easier to drive. However, if you adjust ride height, you will need to change your sway bars.
Finally, don’t forget about upgrading your brakes if you want to outfit your Odyssey for more capable towing. A big brake kit ensures that your van is able to stop properly.
Timbren Honda Odyssey Suspension Enhancement System.
The SES by Timbren for the Honda Odyssey fits the rear suspension of the 5th generation van with a 2WD layout. This package provides a quality fit with hollow rubber springs that allow for a progressive spring rate. This means that when you add more weight to depress the rubber springs, the more they stiffen and provide resistance. Whether you’re towing with your Odyssey or have a heavy load in the rear of your van, the Timbren system adjusts automatically to keep your van level. This kit is rated for 3,500 pounds maximum. The upgrade will not increase your GVWR, and you should not exceed this when loading up your van.
Timbren SES upgrades for the Honda Odyssey will eliminate the need for many other expensive suspension upgrades like air suspensions. Timbren SES has far fewer moving parts and thus a much lower risk of failing compared to other types of suspension upgrades.
Your One-Stop-Shop for Suspension Upgrades
Rely on Timbren Suspension Enhancement systems to provide high-quality suspension upgrades for your Honda Odyssey. A Timbren suspension enhancement system provides added stability and better ride quality for your Honda minivan. All Timbren SES upgrades come with a lifetime warranty, are easy to install, and require zero maintenance.