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Honda Pilot Transmission Problems



  • You must complain all over: Attorney General, NHSTA, all over the place...document. There was a recall only for certain years and certain vin numbers. If Honda recalled everybody, they would be bankrupt. Apparently, even after rebuilt trans on Honda's - problem eventually happens again and again. Honda has a contract they cannot get out of - with their transmission vendor. They are stuck, so we the consumers have to pay and pay...for the continuous rebuilding of our tranny's. NOT FAIR OR RIGHT Honda needs to recall and this is a safety issue. Had I been on the main highway...I would have caused an accident at rush hour...I was so close to the road. My trans comes with only a one year warranty...that says it all. But hey, you can buy a two year or three year warranty. This is not right! I'm dumping the car as soon as I find a replacement. I am waiting right now for the Attorney General who is in communication with Honda to letter was received by them - maybe a good week ago. Waiting....mine was repaired locally, since I wasn't about to tow the car and pay for it - to Honda for their $5,000 dollar repair of rebuilding my tranny. Took locally for about $2,300 for a years warranty. Sent them at Honda the bills and documentation...waiting. Diane
  • 138K: Just replaced my transmission from my local Honda Dealer. They said I was very lucky have a transmission that longer 138K miles. Why would they be surprised? I suspect Honda is aware of a transmission problem in their Pilots but not telling the consumers of the possible problems.

    If I know there was ticking time bomb in my Pilot, I would have traded it in about 30K ago.
  • Is there a problem with Pilot transmissions regardless of the year?
  • jtsibesjtsibes Posts: 19
    It seems as though there is. Someone on a post had said that Honda had a contract with a transmission compnay for a specified period of time and could not break it-not sure when that would be up?
  • gregoryorgregoryor Posts: 1
    Just started having transmission problems. 2003 Pilot EX with only 112K miles, just started slipping. Going 65MPH on the freeway and suddenly it feels like I slammed on the brakes, and engine revs without changing speed, like, I just shifted into neutral. Haven't taken it in yet. Wondering if I should go to a dealer and try to get Honda to cover some of the bill, or my usual guy who's a lot cheaper and does good work, but won't be able to work with Honda for some kind of coverage. 112K miles is WAY too early for transmission probs. Add that to the broken engine mounts and EGR valve, both "known" problems for this model, and the word "lemon" comes to mind.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,936
    edited June 2011
    That doesn't ring true to me JT.

    Honda owns at least one transmission factory and even if they relied solely on suppliers with long term contracts, they wouldn't be locked into design specs. They may have to renegotiate price a bit, but suppliers are always tweaking parts for the manufacturers.

    Just found another Honda transmission plant - this one is in Ohio.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • Just got the Flashing "D" on my 2004 Pilot. From what I can tell by searching here, this is a common problem and Honda doesn't do much about it. Just seeing if I am correct since I don't have time to read every single message on this. But it shouldn't happen as often as it seems by the postings. guess I need to call the dealer in the morning and then start calling transmission places
  • spamman66spamman66 Posts: 6
    Same thing is happening to me. I replaced my trans 1 1/2 years ago, but still get the Flasjing D and the VTM-4 light. Weird thing is that is happened every 2-4 weeks and goes away. My trans mech says he thinks it is a communcation problem and wants to search for the bad connection. I'd be happy if it was just an ERG valve replacement. I can do that!!

    Is that the fix for this? I've tried to search for a fix, but no clear answers on this site.
  • I just had the same problem and I was driving about 50 on the highway and was almost hit by another car. I had to drive through 3 lanes and stop on the side of the highway. I cannot believe Honda is not doing anything about this. Toyota manned up the last couple years for recalls and Honda should do the same. I understand our vehicles have more than 100k on them but from what I have read, this whole issue has been caused by other faulty parts which has caused our transmissions to fail. I am definitely in to be part of a class action law suit. I'm not trying to make money off this but I would like Honda to pay for the full repair rather than just part. I too purchased Honda because I wanted a car that would last at least 200 to 250k. Let me know if you have heard anything about Honda providing a fix or if you would like to start a class action lawsuit.
  • I too have recently had the same problem and was wondering if you had pursued a class action law suit. I am frustrated and don't have an extra 4k to shell out.
  • after reading about this same problem i guess i'm in for some expense on my 2004 honda pilot. yesterday my d started flashing. had mechanic check it out. put new transmission fluid in. the light has not flashed again and i have not noticed any other problem. is there anything proactive that i can do to save my transmission before it totally goes out on me?
  • spamman66spamman66 Posts: 6
    It seems that I can stop and turn off my Pilot (2003 with a rebuilt trans at 172K, and now at 210K) and restart it and the Flashing D stops. Sometime it stops for days/weeks, sometimes for a few miles. I wonder if it is just an electrical failure for a short instance and it trips the diagnostics. It runs fine with and without the Flashing D. It's been happening for me for 6 months. It's annoying, but the car seems to run fine. AAMCO and my local repairman cannot find error codes and they think it is a corroded connection somewhere. I'm paying them to find it, though either.
  • It sounds as if you are tricking the engine...I have heard of this before...not sure what the remedy would the internet. Diane
  • I'm the latest victim of a failed '03 Honda Pilot Transmission failure. I've known for years now this day was probably coming and this past Thursday I effectively lost 3rd and 4th gear as the trans simply slammed in/out, revved, etc. which forced me to limp to a transmission shop in 2nd gear.

    Though I've NEVER serviced this transmission (other than having the factory recall to install the oil cooler kit several years ago), I believe in modern vehicles that failing at even 156K miles is unacceptable.

    Anyway, as expected, $3800 - $4300 (estimate provided this morning) for the repair. I just spent $1250 a month ago repair the AC (Compressor failure). Aside from these two very expensive failures, this Pilot has been a rock.

    I'm concerned about the trans failing again in the future, as the warranty I get with this rebuilt is 1-year or 12K miles.
  • jtsibesjtsibes Posts: 19
    I went with a Jasper remanufactured tranny for roughky 1k more...and a 3yr warranty! away from Honda altogether and I can say that since then I have driven 2k miles- included was 1 long trip I have had no problems at all. It's been perfect. Still need to file my paperwork with Honda & Atty General to see if I can get reimbursed at all. They should recall the darn Pilots for that reason since so many people have had that probelm.
  • I've had similar vibration/noise issues around 40 mph with very light pressure on accelerator with slight rise in the road. I'm wondering if we should be looking at a motor mount or transmission mount. Here's the theory:
    While in top gear, transmission pressure probably builds as load on engine increases until it downshifts. I've noted accelerating forces a downshift, or I can manually shift to D3. Either action gets rid of the problem. So, perhaps it's tied to light engine load with high vacuum transitioning gradually to lower vacuum and creating a vibration that is amplified by a cracked or broken motor mount (essentially a temporary harmonic??). I've heard Honda's motor mounts are pretty weak. I think there are three for the engine and two for the transmission on a 2003/04 model.

    I'm new to this site and haven't tried to find engine mount complaints.
  • Well, the cracked engine mounts combined with the double replacement of my transmission fluid (I was overdue at the time) has at least fixed my problem temporarily. I have now put 8k-10k additional miles in all types of driving and though I still think I feel a little shudder, it is nowhere close to the loud vibration that I was getting earlier. I had 2/3 engine mounts cracked at one time. If I wasn't looking for the vibration I certainly would not notice it, that's how different it is now.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed with all the other tranny complaints here, but you have to believe that we with issues are a very low % of all the Pilots Honda cranks out. It has had 0 other issues in 7 years...
  • jtsibesjtsibes Posts: 19
    I haven't heard anything about the mounts...the vibration/shudder @40mph I was told is a defective torque converter. I ran mine for quite a while with that problem by changing out the tranny fluid a few times. As I noted before, replaced the whole thing at 106k with Jasper remanufactured and I've had no problems since. I did file a complaint with NHTSA-everyone else with issues should too & maybe Honda will step up!
  • fish8mefish8me Posts: 1
    I just read your post. Very similar to our Pilot w/ 84k. miles... I have been thinking about changing the tranny oil since it's never been done, but I think there's a bigger problem bruin. What is the cost of that defective torque converter replacement?
  • jtsibesjtsibes Posts: 19
    I guess in order to get to the torque converter, you need to take out the transmission? My whole tranny went but it stemmed from the torque converter I believe. It was 4k.
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