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Honda Pilot Transmission Problems

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  • I only hope you're wrong. I am new to the board and had my first problem this past weekend. My Pilot is an '04 and has about 72K miles on it. Yesterday afternoon, the D light was flashing no matter what gear I was in. I took it into the dealer this morning and they said it's a switch on the 3rd. gear......I don't know what that means, but I'm going to find out. I was also told mine was not part of the recall and I'm a little anxious now. I'm expecting this car to get at least 250 -300k miles and last at least 10 years. I have followed the maintenance schedule, only had it serviced by Honda and will be extremely dissapointed if this is the begining of a problem. My Ford Explorer didn't have any transmission issues until 135k miles. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?
  • aatlantaatlant Posts: 4
    My Pilot is an '03 and it has been well serived by me at the Honda dealer. They also initially told me it was the 3rd switch ... changed it out about a month ago (about $300) but it continued to drive poorly ... now they say it needs an entire new transmission. I have a complaint in with the Honda 800 number ... please post what you find out and I will do the same. I had a second opionion at Aamco ... I know people don't always think they do a good job but I think the mechanic there was very honest with me. He said the swich went out because of the problem with the gear ... it was a secondary event. He said 9 out of 10 Pilots he sees have this exact problem.
  • baltovetbaltovet Posts: 9
    I think when it comes to Aamco, you need to do some research.......which I did NOT do prior to having them fix my Pilot. After my fifth time there for repairs, I actually took time to check out their reputation, and ........it was far from stellar based upon customer complaints. I just ASSumed that because they are a national chain and have been in the transmission business for many years, that I would be in good hands. Now I know better. If I need any more transmission work done on my Pilot, and don't use my dealer, I will make sure the first place I go to is the Better Business Bureau. It seems that the shops that belong to the BBB do so for a reason, and they generally provide their services on a level that you can trust. Before you just THINK the mechanic was honest with you, realize that he knows a lot more than you probably do about the transmission, and if he's honest he'll give you his honest opinion. If he's not, he'll give you his best sales pitch, and you will probably not know the difference. I learned the hard way. Take my advice and check out the particular Aamco shop before you commit to anything.
  • aatlantaatlant Posts: 4
    Honda is now saying it is my torque converter that is bad ... still means a new tranmisstion ... it just seems like the story keeps changing. Anyway, now they are saying that they'll take off 25% of materials cost so the transmission will be around $3,000. I did read an article that said to call the main 800 number for Honda and ask for a "goodwill repair". Anyone done this and know what the cost is for a "goodwill" transmission?
  • baltovetbaltovet Posts: 9
    It seems there has been a recent flurry of activity on this thread. I can only assume that there are a lot of '03 Pilots just coming of age, so to speak, and likely there will be many more to follow. I do a lot of driving, and therefore reached that questionable mileage for '03 Pilot transmission failure some time ago. Just think about the hoards of Pilot owners that don't post or don't think that 120-150K is highly questionable for a transmission these days. If Honda is not going to recognize and deal appropriately with the problem, then it may be time to contact the NHTSA and see if they can force Honda do a mandatory recall.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    NHTSA Recall Campaign Number: 04V176000

    Component: POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION

    Details: ON SOME MINI VANS, SPORT UTILITY AND PASSENGER VEHICLES, CERTAIN OPERATING CONDITIONS CAN RESULT IN HEAT BUILD-UP BETWEEN THE COUNTERSHAFT AND SECONDARY SHAFT SECOND GEARS IN THE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION, EVENTUALLY LEADING TO GEAR TOOTH CHIPPING OR GEAR BREAKAGE.

    Consequence: GEAR FAILURE COULD RESULT IN TRANSMISSION LOCKUP, WHICH COULD RESULT IN A CRASH.

    Corrective Action: ON VEHICLES WITH 15,000 MILES OR LESS, THE DEALER WILL UPDATE THE TRANSMISSION WITH A SIMPLE REVISION TO THE OIL COOLER RETURN LINE TO INCREASE LUBRICATION TO THE SECOND GEAR. ON VEHICLES WITH MORE THAN 15,000 MILES, THE DEALER WILL INSPECT THE TRANSMISSION TO IDENTIFY GEARS THAT HAVE ALREADY EXPERIENCED DISCOLORATION DUE TO OVERHEATING. IF DISCOLORATION EXISTS, THE TRANSMISSION WILL BE REPLACED IF DISCOLORATION IS NOT PRESENT, THE DEALER WILL PERFORM THE REVISION TO THE OIL COOLER RETURN LINE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON APRIL 21, 2004, FOR PILOT, ODYSSEY, AND MDX OWNERS. OWNERS OF THE ACCORD VEHICLES WILL START RECEIVING LETTERS ON JUNE 28, 2004, AND ON JUNE 29, 2004, FOR OWNERS OF THE TL AND CL VEHICLES. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT HONDA AT 1-800-999-1009 OR ACURA AT 1-800-382-2238.

    Units Potentially Affected: 1099796

    Recall Initiated By: MFR
    Date added to NHTSA datbase: 04/20/2004

    File Your complain online -NHTSA
    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/
  • dallasduxdallasdux Posts: 1
    Hey gang, new to this site and was looking for information on the 2003 Honda Pilot. Mine just went out yesterday afternoon. Took it to the dealer for investigation today, but am 95% sure it needs a new transmission.

    Worst of all, my extended warranty just went out a month ago at 99K. I have 101K on it now.

    Has anyone had any luck with the "Goodwill Repair" or ANYTHING for that matter to get some kind of assistance from Honda?

    My check engine light never came on which is really weird as the jerking or high RPMs before moving to the next gear are both really severe.

    I am Sooooooo disappointed in my Honda now and I loved it just last week. I'm trying to figure out how much this is going to set me back and if I do use someone outside of the dealer to fix it, who I should be talking to.

    Looks like I'll be driving less one "arm & a leg" by the end of the day.
  • aatlantaatlant Posts: 4
    I just went through the same thing ... just 2 weeks ago or so. My story is in this thread somewhere. Anyway, 2003 Pilot ... had flashing D light which the service manager at Honda dealer told me he did not know what it was ... basically 5k miles later the transmission went. I did all of my servicing / repairs at same dealership ... they started with a quote of $3,780 ... and in the end they did a goodwill repair for 2,190 (totally rebuilt transmission). That last price was giving me 50% off on parts. I don't know if they would have gone lower ... it just got to the point where I wanted to get it fixed and over with.

    I too am very disappointed that my transmission went at 75k miles. My 5 year extended warranty ended one year earlier (had not max'd out on miles ... just years).

    Good luck with the Goodwill repair. My dealership said they were willing to work with me since I had been a loyal customer ... but I think they realize there is something wrong with their transmissions ...
  • walbondwalbond Posts: 4
    I have a 2003 Honda Pilot, 115K. Recently, the "D" light on the tranny selector has started blinking intermittently. Trans works fine - so far, but, from what I'm reading here, I'm wordering if the blinking light is the sign of impending doom. I wouldn't expect Honda to put out junk, but I just had to replace my daughter's Civic transmission at 80K. Any input?
  • walbondwalbond Posts: 4
    Every 15K by me, with Honda fluid.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    Honda is infamous on tranny problems, specially the 99-01 Odyssey - class action settlement.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/

    Suggest everyone with the tranny problem file a complaint to NHTSA
  • keithmusikkeithmusik Posts: 5
    when you changd the tranny fluid were you getting a lot of metal on the magnet??
  • walbondwalbond Posts: 4
    Very little metal on magnet, but always some. I have always considered a little bit normal.
  • I own a 2005 Pilot LX with approx 41K miles on it. I just recently discovered that I cannot shift into D3, 2 or 1. The shift lever just stops at Drive. Although I have owned the car for nearly a year, I had never discovered this problem so can't say if it's new or not. Any suggestions?
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    Pilot shifting down/up beyond D is a bit tricky. Once you know for sure of whether pull the lever toward you before shifting then it is pc of cake... below is the diagram for 2008 Pilot and I believe yours is same ...

    image
  • boomer55boomer55 Posts: 4
    Check engine light came on and mechanic read the code for transmission problem. Took it to two Honda dealerships and both told me there were no recalls, even though I had the print out in my hand. Started noticing problems approx. 86k miles ( warrenty exp at 85k) but problem was very intermitten and never acted up when my mechanic had it.Now at 100k and definate problem. My mechanic diagnosed 2nd and 3rd gear damage. Est cost to repair $2700. Honda corp told me "fix it" was preformed at 15k miles with previous owner, but car fax shows nothing but scheduled maintanance on that date. Has anyone had any luck persuing Honda responsibility for repair? Any suggestions appreciated. I love this car and would like to keep it but only if Honda is willing to work with me. :lemon:
  • walbondwalbond Posts: 4
    Honda is just another car company. In my humble opinion, they're liars and cheats just like the rest of them. You can tell when they're lying because their mouth moves. I'd be getting a rebuilt trans with a warranty and get an independent mechanic to install it. Honda will do nothing but lie some more, in my opinion.
  • kijam99kijam99 Posts: 4
    I had the same problem with my 2003 Honda Pilot. The D light was flashing & it was only driven around 70,000 low mileage and never seen too much rough roads. Did you report this to NHTSA? What was the answer from Honda recently? I am still trying to resolve these matters well, without causing much troubles with Honda, but if not I will go with you filing something else.

    It is not just us... This was not random, I saw a lot of 2003 -2004 having the same problems and these were just the once reported. Any filed action lawsuit?
  • boomer55boomer55 Posts: 4
    I spoke with Honda Corp. and they told me I had to have it checked out by the local Honda dealer. I took it in yesterday and they called within a couple hours to tell me the transmission definately needs to be replaced. Honda Corp. called me today to provide all receipts for maintanance work that has been done while I have owned it. Luckily I saved all my receipts. Honda corp will "review my records" and get back to me. I feel that they should replace it at N/C since this is a known problem and not caused by neglect on my part. I am religious about the maintanance since I drive for a living and I know how important it is to maintain my vehicle. I will post the outcome when I find out.
  • kijam99kijam99 Posts: 4
    Thank you very much for your reply.
  • boomer55boomer55 Posts: 4
    Honda initally told me that a new transmission would run approx. $5500 plus. After reveiwing my impecable mantainance records they were "happy" to inform me that they could reduce the charges to $3200! My husband found a completely refurbished tranny on the internet not far from us for $2100 including shipping, also with 3 year warranty. My mechanic had quoted $2500 to $2700 including labor. Does Honda think I just fell off the turnip truck? My attorney also had a Honda transmission replaced for free. I am meeting with him Monday.
    Have to call Honda back tomorrow so will let you know what happens.
  • kijam99kijam99 Posts: 4
    I took my Honda Pilot 2003 (61,000 miles) to he mechanic yesterday. I was very stress thinking about this possible expense. They told me later on that they just need to replace the transmission fluid. Run it and it was perfectly fine they said. It was a savior but I was still very disappointed with Honda, this car hasn't seen rough roads, driven well yet with low mileage. I am still not sure if I'll take it for a long drive. Battery was totally dead after 1 month I bought it when it was new. Now the remote/door alarm is malfunctioning and I need to get a new SRS switch. Minor things but unusual I will probably trade this one to a Toyota next time. I think you still have a good case to fight your situation. Transmission does not give out just like that and you have more Honda Pilot owners that experienced the same thing. I always had my car service with them. Also, the moment you had another mechanic other than Honda complete the job, it will be something against you.
    kijam99@yahoo.com
  • sjnorman4sjnorman4 Posts: 1
    I have had Hondas since 1978. NEVER any major problems. Only minor repairs like brakes. My wife's 2003 Pilot transmission now needs to be replaced, after only 90,000 miles. Car jerks into 2nd gear, after barely making it out of 1st. I just can't believe a transmission could go out this quickly. Checked with two Honda dealers. Not much help there. Took it to AAMCO who estimate between $2400 and $2800. Looking at all these threads on this forum, it appears this is a common problem with the 2003 Pilot. What gets me is it appears Honda QUICKLY issued a recall on this transmission, did a check to cover their A$$ back in 2004, probably knowing there would be issues down the line. That way they can say they "did something" about it. DISAPPOINTED!
  • boomer55boomer55 Posts: 4
    I did have to have a new transmission. Honda lowered the price from $5500. to $3500. out of the goodness of their little hearts. I have filed a complaint with the NHTSB. After we got the "goodwill" offer from Honda Corp, ( negotiated thru the dealer and HC,) the local dealer told us DO NOT try to negotiate a better deal directly or they will take ALL offers back. The dealer also told me that since my maintainance was done elsewhere it counted against me.
    I love my Pilot but will my next car be a Honda? Probably not. Honda needs to own up to this problem!
  • sluhsluh Posts: 1
    2003 Pilot. Bought it used four months ago. Assume tranny was the reason previous owner got rid of this car.
    Tranny fluid replaced with Honda original, looking on the service records - previous owner serviced it at Honda dealer. Tranny shifting hard and slips sometimes. Gets worse after long highway ride.
    Filed complain with NHTSA cause hardly missed another car when slipped when merging highway.
  • baltovetbaltovet Posts: 9
    I took my car to Honda today just for an oil change. I was mentioning about the whine that comes from my transmission (which I was told elsewhere was probably from something being scored inside, but to ignore it) and then got to discussing the transmission problem with the '03 Pilots. The service manager was clueless, as though I just made that up. I then went into detail about how I had to have mine replaced at 138k miles and all the problems I've had since. He told me they have had almost no problems with the Pilots, since they came out after Honda's known transmission problems. I told him to check on the internet to see just how large of a problem it is. Either they are in denial, or Honda is not passing out those technnical service bulletins. I was quited about $6000 by my dealer and ended up going to Aamco. Let's not go there!!! Suffice it to say I would have been better off with my 6K remanufactured Honda transmission (probably).
  • bdp1bdp1 Posts: 6
    Yesterday with no warning, lights,or codes, my wife's Pilot trans began to slip to the point the car was unable to move. Car towed to dealer (end of the day on a Friday). When I arrived on the scene, the car seemed o.k., but a short drive confirmed slipping/hard shifting. Fine. Left car until it can be checked Monday. As I mentioned, no codes, no flashing D, and fluid looked normal. Walking away, looked over my shoulder and noticed a puddle of grease next to the right front wheel. Now I am wondering if there is a failure mode of a CV joint that would yield those symptoms or if I have just hit the double failure jackpot. Won't know until Monday, but I thought I would put this out there for any thoughts or experiences. Thanks.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    wondering if there is a failure mode of a CV joint that would yield those symptoms or if I have just hit the double failure jackpot

    That's curious. Did you notice any other signs of damage on the underside of your wife's Pilot?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • bdp1bdp1 Posts: 6
    I didn't have a chance to investigate further. She claims no previous issues with the car (only with me). I will interview her a bit more regarding classic cv joint noises.
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