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Honda Pilot Accessories and Modifications

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  • aerostar45aerostar45 Posts: 19
    I am planing to buy a Honda Pilot EX-L. However, I think the accessories that dealer charges are way too higher than their actual value. I do know some of the accessories are better purchased from dealer, even it is over-charged. For example: Towing package and day/night mirror. For everything else, if it is available, aftermarket one will be better. Well, this is only my 2cents. Any thought about this topic? Any knowledge for where to find those accessories? Many thanks!
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,009
    My guess is that it's still a bit early for the suppliers to get geared up with much aftermarket stuff.

    Steve
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  • merlin71merlin71 Posts: 6
    Aerostar45 - For discounted accessories you might want to look at www.collegehillshonda.com. They apparently carry official Honda accessories at reduced prices.

    One thing I like about the site is that they have the installation instructions available as pdf files so that you can decide whether or not installation is something you want to tackle on your own. For things like mudflaps and cargo cover etc... do it youself installation should be very easy. Unforunately the wind deflector requires a special tool.

    I have not yet ordered anything from this business but plan to in the near future. I was close to attempting to install the security system on my LX model but decided that it was too complicated for my level of experience. The price was attractive though: $265.00 from collegehills or $418.00 according to the official Pilot website.

    Goodluck.
  • soflasofla Posts: 12
    Just picked up my EP EX-L from the dealer. Had several DIO's installed including fog lights, day/night mirror (w/compass), a cargo cover, and... ta da... the underseat six-disc CD changer! All very nice.

    My first choice was the in-dash CD changer, but while it will fit in the space where the plastic pocket is and it will connect to the head unit, apparently there is no plastic bezel available to fill-in the space around the edges of the changer. It seems the in-dash unit is intended only for use with the smaller head unit in the LX.

    Consequently, my dealer had to remove the in-dash changer and was reluctant to try the under-seat changer. It seems that there was a lot of confusion regarding whether or not the under-dash changer would work in an EX. The parts department was telling the service manager that it would not fit, but after I showed him the installation instructions (thanks, collegehillshonda.com) he agreed to try it.

    The end result is that everything fits and works fine. So if your dealer is telling you that the under-seat changer will not work, insist that they look up the installation instructions before you give up.

    Now... who's got the best price on additional CD changer magazines?
  • aerostar45aerostar45 Posts: 19
    Thanks you merlin71 for your info. I think I read your and somebody else's posts on the main chart board about the accessory. It is because those message are overwhelmed by other post that make me feel it is necessary to start a new topic. If you don't mind, could you re post those message here?

    You are right, the mud flaps and cargo cover are very easy to DIY. It is funny that there is a labor fee for installing the cargo cover by the dealer.

    For the security system, do you think a Lo-jack will be better than the factory solution? Is it worth to install both of them to the vehicle?

    Thanks and Good luck for everyone.
  • merlin71merlin71 Posts: 6
    Please think twice before adding the air deflector! I had an air deflector installed by a Honda dealer yesterday. Immediately upon driving away, I noticed a pronounced low pitched whistling noise that started at 30 mph and thereafter increased in intensity. I was expecting some increase in wind noise but the sound was much louder than what could reasonably be considered normal for an accessory such as this. It was so loud that it actually turned peoples heads as I approached! Less than 24 hours after the installation, I have had it removed and the cost has been refunded by the dealer. If anyone else has experienced a similar problem I would like to hear about it.

    Regarding the utility of the Honda alarm vs. a Lojack - I am not familiar enough with either system to have an opinion. The cost of the Honda system is fairly high - $418.00 plus installation fees which will probaly bring the total to at least $525.00. I am tempted to have an alarm installed by the local car stereo shop for $300.00 total cost. However, I am leaning toward the Honda option since any of the local stereo shops have probably never worked on a Pilot before. I don't want my vehicle to be their first experience.

    What does the Lojack cost and how does it work? My understanding is that it emits a locating signal to find the vehicle after it has been stolen. Does the system do anything to prevent theft in the first place???
  • aerostar45aerostar45 Posts: 19
    Merlin71, here is a link to the lo-jack website.


    http://www.lojack.com/foryou/lojack.htm


    Basically the lo-jack is a system which will help you bring the car back when your car is stolen, not before it is stolen. So, it is totally different from the alarm system.


    I read and saw on TV that a lot of alarm system can be easily beaten by a pro car thief. Since Honda is the #1 or #2 target on the thief's radar, I really concern about the credibility of the regular alarm system.


    Just my 2cent. Not try to offend anybody.

  • mredden1mredden1 Posts: 32
    Since this is one of the options that I plan to install on my Pilot, I would appreciate others experience with this accessory. Is it similar to merlin71's?
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    Is there some sort of wind noise problem in the first place? Is the reason you are putting these on cosmetic or functional? It seems early in the game to adjust the stock setup.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I had Lo-Jack installed in my '99 CR-V. Typically, it is installed with an aftermarket system at little or no charge. The Lo-Jack paid for itself in two years with savings on insurance. This will, of course, depend on where you live.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    If you can wait, there's a chance a FormFit air deflector will be out that may work better than the OEM air deflector.

    A number of MDX owners gave up on the OEM air deflector because of installation and fit issues, as well as the fact that it's rather bulbous. The FormFit seems to be a bit simpler and holds the vehicle's contours better.
  • aerostar45aerostar45 Posts: 19
    Sofla, if you are not using the Cassette Player, then here might be a solution for you.

    I check and download the installation instructions of the In-Dash CD changer from www.collegehillshonda.com. It seems to me if you are willing to sacrifice your cassette player on your EX model, it is possible for you to uninstall the cassette player and put in an In-dash CD changer.

    The procedure is kind of complicated though. At least you can print these procedure out and hand it to your dealer. See if they can try it for you.

    Good luck!
  • niel39niel39 Posts: 20
    I took a Pilot for a test drive yesterday and really liked it. One thing, however, were several options that the dealer "installed". One of them was the lo-jack for $600 which has been mentioned here already. Doesn't the Pilot have the computer-chip in the key which should be a very good deterant to theft. Why does one then need the lo-jack. I have never heard of a dealer just installing lo-jack unless it was ordered, however, I didn't know that Honda's had such a high theft rate either.

    The other and seemingly way more obnoxious add-on was an entry just labeled Simmonize. This "option" listed at $999. Yep, almost a thousand dollars for what? Anyone know what the hell this is all about. Thousand bucks for a wax job. I would feel like I'd be the one getting the wax job. This seems like a big rip-off to me. This was listed on a separate sticker that was slapped on next to the dealer sticker. If Honda puts on some kind of clear-coat finish where does the dealer get off breaking that out and then adding it back on.
    This dealer was Herb Chambers in the Boston, MA area.
  • niel39niel39 Posts: 20
    I have a 17' kayak and I wondered if I would have problems when lifting the tailgate with the kayak on top. That is will the tailgate bump into the kayak (probably) but at what point will that happen. Will I be able to open it enough before it hits the kayak so that I can get into the rear of the vehicle.

    Anyone with any experience on this?

    thanks,
    Jeff
  • soflasofla Posts: 12
    Thanks for your thoughts, aerostar, but in reality, the cassette player in the EX is part of a combined tuner/CD/cassette head unit -- all in a single piece. I don't expect that it could be separated.

    I ended up getting the under-seat six disc CD changer. It fits perfectly under the drivers seat in the EX and there is no conflict whatsoever with the motorized seat.
  • guy44guy44 Posts: 67
    Did you get your under-seat CD changer at the dealer or after market? My understanding is that the Honda version is an Alpine system. Either way, how much did it cost with installation?
  • guy44guy44 Posts: 67
    I had the Air Deflector installed on my Black EXL and noticed some wind noise the other day on the highway that I couldn't recall hearing during my test drive (before it was installed). I didn't find the noise to be too loud as described earlier but will listen more closely once I get back from vacation (yes the Pilot is at home in the garage and we're driving the Odyssey this week).
  • soflasofla Posts: 12
    The under-seat CD changer is the Honda six-disc model. I'm not sure who makes it.

    The installed price was $543, and the dealer earned every nickle of the labor charge... they first installed the Honda in-dash model, only to find out that there was no plastic bezel available for the lower dash position. They removed the in-dash unit and installed the under-seat model under the driver's seat (as specified in the instructions).

    I'd caution everyone to be careful with an after-market changer. The space under the seat is REALLY tight due to the power-seat mechanism and the way it moves. The Honda unit is held slightly above the floor with a special bracket. Anything much bigger would probably crush the under-floor heater duct when the powered seat is in its lowest position.
  • aerostar45aerostar45 Posts: 19
    Sofla, I didn't aware that the audio unit on the EX model is one piece. I went back to the dealer lots and found out that I was wrong. Sorry, my bad.

    You said your dealer tried the lower dash position. Where exactly did your dealer tried? Just under the retractable tray? I notice there is an accessory glove tray which is just under the climate control unit. I am wondering if it is possible to pub the in-dash there by removing that tray. Thanks!
  • soflasofla Posts: 12
    There are only three possible dash mounting positions on the Pilot... A) the upper top position (where the stock radio/CD is located in the LX), B) the lower top position (where the storage drawer is located in the LX), and C) the bottom position (immediately below the climate control, where the open storage space is located in the LX).

    In the EX model, both A and B are used by the larger radio/CD/cassette unit but C is still available if the open storage slot is removed. This is where the dealer attempted to install the six-disc in-dash CD changer. It DID fit there and it was possible to connect it to the main unit, BUT there was no plastic bezel available to fill out the small space that was left all around the changer. Apparently, Honda does not make such a piece.

    Luckily for me, the dealer uninstalled the in-dash changer at no charge and installed the under-seat changer instead.
  • pchiupchiu Posts: 72
    I would like to switch the backup light bulb to a brighter 50 watts halogen bulb. I ask the deal, they say not recommended, I guess to protect themselves. But lot of SUV owners with tinted glass do the switch with no problem of melting socket.
    So my question is, any Pilot owner has switch the backup light bulb ? The reason is, it is too dark viewing through the tinted rear glass when you do backup.
    I'll be getting my Pilot tomorrow, 22 June.
  • bill01923bill01923 Posts: 57
    I find the backup lights plenty bright.
    I did put a set of 50watt halogen Backup lights on my Mountaineer. They're made by Design-Tech International.
    I bought them at Auto Palace (a large chain locally). I've had them for four years with no problems.
  • pchiupchiu Posts: 72
    But what was the reason you switch your Mountaineer's light bulbs. Is it too dark through the tinted rear glass.
    Are you planning to switch to your Pilot as test out the result ?
    If you do, please let me know whether it helps or not. Thanks PChiu
  • colteycoltey Posts: 5
    I, too, used College Hills Honda for much of my information leading up to our purchase of a Pilot. But I found another site, www.handa-accessories.com, which also had great prices on Honda accessories. I purchased the hitch and wiring harness both for just over $200. It arrived and has since been installed, no problems! I'd highly recommend this site for great prices on aftermarket goodies!
  • aerostar45aerostar45 Posts: 19
    Sofla, Thanks for your input about your CD-Changer info.

    So, the problem is no plastic bezel. Do you think it is possible to use a wood piece instead? Will that affect the front panel appearance? Thanks!

    Sorry for digging on this. Just cannot give up the in-dash love that easy.
  • bill01923bill01923 Posts: 57
    I found the Mountaineer's tinting made for dangerous night time backing up.
    I don't yet feel I need them for the Pilot.
    Over time I may change my mind though.
    They really made a difference with the Mountaineer.
  • pchiupchiu Posts: 72
    Thanks for sharing all you experience.
    I will wait a little longer to see how the backup of Pilot.
    Me too, my concern (for my wife) is the backup at night time through the tinted glass.We have the backup sensor, that helps a lot. Thanks PChiu
  • bill01923bill01923 Posts: 57
    Your more than welcome. I do have a question for you though. Where are the controls or indicators mounted for the reverse sensing system?
    Do you find it more useful or annoying?
    Thanks in Advance, Bill
  • pchiupchiu Posts: 72
    I'm so happy that I can help.
    The option of backup sensor is a must for my wife to make the decision to buy the Pilot among other SUVs.
    As my wife is 5'1", even myself, I cannot see things below the rear tailgate glass.
    It is very useful and not annoying. As it works only when you put in reverse.
    There is just audio warning only, (no backup camera in Canada right now), the beeper is located at the cargo area passenger side. There is also a on/off switch on the D pillar inside the car (the last one close to the tailgate).Incase you tow, hang bicycle or snow stuck there.
    It will just beeps, the closer you get to the object the more frequent it beeps till a single long beep tone then you knock down the object.
    The dealer says the beep tone is different from the corner sensor than the center sensor.
    Have not test that out the different tones yet, as it was activated just a few times.
  • pchiupchiu Posts: 72
    It will make a quick beep when you put in reverse, it may be annoying to some.
    But I can live with it, as kind of cofirm it isworking, and will not accendiatlly put in reverse.
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