Winter in Michigan: it's cold, it's messy, and, for our four-wheeled companions, it can be downright brutal. While heaves, cracks, and potholes -- which in the Great Lakes State could often more appropriately be called sink holes -- can damage wheels and tires instantly, they can also have a cumulative, degenerative effect on the overall integrity of a vehicle, no matter how tightly screwed together it was when it started life.
Keeping that in mind, our Odyssey hasn't had an easy life at 120 East Liberty. While we never go easy on a Four Seasons vehicle, it's rare that one is as heavily used and in demand as this Honda minivan has been during its time with us. It's not surprising then that the past ten months -- bursting with family vacations, road trips, and relocations, combined with the crumbling pavement of southeastern Michigan -- have begun to take their toll. In recent weeks, the logbook has started to collect comments from editors who have noticed a variety of squeaks, creaks, and rattles while driving the Odyssey. Some of the sounds were squelched by readjusting the second row seats or opening and closing the sliding doors, but others were more persistent. So, although only a handful of individuals had heard them, we decided to take the Odyssey to the dealer to determine whether the noises were a sign of a deeper, possibly mechanical issue.
After going over every inch of the Odyssey to find the source of the noises -- from the suspension, to the subframe mounts, to the door latches -- the technician found only a slightly loose roof rack. Our road test coordinator, Chris Nelson, thought that there was more to it, so he hit the road with the tech riding shotgun to see if there was something that had been overlooked. During a spirited drive, they heard nary a squeak or rattle, so the Odyssey was returned to the fleet with fresh oil and a snug roof rack.
It's important to note that the Honda Odyssey is more akin to a transformer than a traditional car. With seats that flip, fold flat, or can be removed completely and storage consoles that perform similar magic tricks, the potential for operator-error-induced squeaking, creaking, and rattling is astronomical. Bearing that in mind, we take responsibility for the noises at this point, and the Odyssey enters its final two months with an unblemished record.
Check back next month for the latest on our Four Season's Honda Odyssey.