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Honda Pilot Transmission Problems



  • bob11bob11 Posts: 18
    hi i have a honda pilot 2003 with transmission problems which i have been told needs to be replaced.
    If i trade this car in, do i have to disclose to the dealers about the state of the transmission. If they dont ask then i am planning not to say anything about it.
    i dont have much experience in this area, do the dealers typically ask questions about the car that is being traded in?
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    Get a new one because sooner or later you ask yourself the question why I am still driving an old car with new car payment per month which is the repair expense of this and that coming up one by one.
  • I bought my 2003 Pilot with 123k miles on the clock and the transmission was already shot. I tried to buy a new one from a dealer but they could only provide me with a reconditioned one. I did get that, and its been working very well over the past 20,000 miles, 1 year, including moderate offroading. Its out of the 3 months, 10k miles warranty.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    I think the 03-04 tranny was recalled by Honda. Check with dealership or owner link on VIN# whether it was doned.
  • I have a 2003 Pilot and have done all scheduled maintenance at the dealer where I bought the car. Last week, at 137,000 miles, the transmission started to slip. I took it to the dealer where they stated I needed a new transmission. I have a call in to Honda's regional office for NH and MA asking for some help. Has anyone had previous experience requesting help from the regional office? It seems to me a Honda transmission should be expected to last a lot longer than 137,000 miles.
  • I have a Pilot with 131,000 miles on it that just started to slip going into 3rd gear. My local Honda dealer told me the clutch plates were breaking down, and the only thing to do was to replace the transmission at a cost of $4500. Ouch. I'm told there was a recall on these, but I have never received such a notice and have owned this since it was new. Any help would be appreciated.
  • vancerdvancerd Posts: 1
    How did this turn out for you? I have a 2003 Pilot and the trans is starting to slip. I plan on calling Bob Lindsay tomorrow to see what they will do for me.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    Is the infamous Odyseey tranny problem migrated to Pilots? Don't forget to change the tranny oil every 2 to 3 yrs...
  • transprobtransprob Posts: 11
    My 2003 Honda Pilot( with 152,000 miles now) was checked for a recall in 2004, I was told it was fixed. I recently took it in to have it checked because a light was on and nothing was said about the transmission. Then a few days later I was on the highway going 65 mph and it jerked back and downshifted to 2nd gear. If someone was close behind me, it would have resulted in a crash. The NHTSA-office of defects investigation states that Honda power train automatic transmissions gear failure could result in lock up and result in crash. This is dangerous. I know someone with a 2003 pilot that it did cause a crash and the vehicle rolled. If you have a problem please report it to The National transportation and Safety Board -Automobile You can file complaint online. This is a major problem and Honda should back their product and replace these defective transmissions. They should last 250,000+ miles and not pose a safety risk. A class action lawsuit needs to be filed due to the # of problems. I have contacted American Honda @1-800-999-1009 Address:1919 Torrance Blvd, Torrance, CA 90501, but they were unwilling to accept any responsibility for this defect. If enough people are willing to report this problem to National Transportation and Safety board and the Better Business Bureau, we may be able to get Honda to cover this repair or replacement. Most of us bought Honda to get at least 250,000 miles out of vehicle.
  • hi just out of curiosity have you had the transmission fluid changed regular??
  • transprobtransprob Posts: 11
    My 2003 Honda Pilot was bought new and serviced by a certified Honda dealer, so unless they did not service to Honda specifications, it is unlikely that service is the issue, since I am the only owner. Any other suggestions?
  • transprobtransprob Posts: 11
    How do you get Honda to discount the transmission? They would not help me at all, not even a reduced cost of transmission?
  • transprobtransprob Posts: 11
    Was Honda any help with your transmission? I could not get any help, with all these problems is there any class action suit? There was one in 2006 and I think it covered the transmission replacement then.
  • I agree with the class action lawsuit. My 03 Pilot with only 60K miles started to show early signs of trouble. ATF has started to leak (well slow drip, for now) after we noticed that when shifted for the first time after being parked overnight (in the garage), it stalls/chokes the engine unless the brakes are let go all the way, which I think is unsafe. This problem started at around 58K. Also, a couple of times while going slightly above 65 mph, I noticed a sudden rpm surge - might have been a tranny slippage? I'm reluctant to have the tranny checked at this time after reading from the forum that dealers are asking over $4K if a replacement is warranted. This is not good and not something to be expected from Honda products. From here on, I'll start logging tranny troubles for my Pilot as basis for my future complaint to both NHTSA and BBB.
  • transprobtransprob Posts: 11
    I had the exact same problem with the same service history. Honda would not help at all and are unwilling to admit there is a problem with the 2002-2006 transmissions. They are not willing to stand behind their reputation. My mom got over 300,00 miles on her Accord, so I expected to get the same on the Pilot. I highly recommend you file a report with the NHTSA ( This transmission failure is a safety issue. You can look up a report on the same web site stating the gear failure can result in lockup and result in crash. This has happened to numerous Honda Pilot owners. Also you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau if Honda is unwilling to replace the faulty transmission. I am looking into a class action law suit. One was filed in Dec 2006 for the same transmission problem. Hondas # to file complaints is 1-800-999-1009, although they were not helpful to me. Their address to file a complaint with NHTSA and BBB is American Honda Motor Co 1919Torrance Blvd. Torrance, Ca 90501.
    Best wishes
  • transprobtransprob Posts: 11
    I expected the Honda dealership to change the fluids when recommended by Honda. They word told by me to check the fluids and they told me they did, so unless they did not do what they said they were changed or checked, next car I may ask to watch then while they service my car, because it seems that is the only way to be sure.
  • hi all, my pilot has about 74,000 and i am trying to decide what to do with it i have changed the transmission fluid twice now and each time there was metal on the drain plug magnet. Question is exactly what is causing the transmissions to fail? can someone tell me exactly what is happenning? thanks!!
  • aatlantaatlant Posts: 4
    My 2003 Honda Pilot needs a new transmission too. When my "D" light started flashing about 5,000 miles ago the service manager at my dealer said he had no idea what it was .. okay to ignore it. Can only wonder if I had done something sooner perhaps it was not need to be totally replaced.

    If anyone gets a classaction suit going count me in!

    In the mean time, I have a complaint in with Honda (800 number) because I feel the dealer was negligent in diagnosing the problem. What are the key words to use that might get them to start taking all of these transmission failures seriously?
  • tutemactutemac Posts: 1
    I also have a 2003 Honda Pilot - bought new. It has always given me problems with harsh shifting between first and second – but, have been told this is normal. Two weeks ago while driving the transmission starting slipping – the “D” light is blinking and the engine light is on. The codes were pulled and it showed #P0470. I’ve always serviced my vehicle in hopes that I would get at least 200,000+ miles. We did a transmission flush and it was reported that the oil smelled like it was burned. All codes were reset and it was fine for another 25 miles, when it slipped again and set off the blinking lights. I have been told that my only option is to replace the transmission - that these models have a history of problems. I have 157,000 miles on the Pilot – all highway. Since I am the original owner and have serviced my vehicle from day one, I’m unsure as to whether I should invest $3000 and have the transmission replaced with a rebuilt one or should I just trade it in for another vehicle and take my losses? Any suggestions would be appreciated. In the meantime, I will contact Honda next week and file a complaint as well.
  • baltovetbaltovet Posts: 9
    My 2003 Pilot transmission went up at 138,000 miles. The dealer at the time quoted me clost to 6K to replace it. I went to an Aamco dealer instead, which was just short of 5K. However, that was a big mistake because within 15,000 miles I was back there with a bad torque converter.......went up with no warning stranding me late at night. Since then, I've had another torque converter go, and then Aamco had to replace most of the internal parts again. They finally fixed it, but it cost me anonther $1100.00. If they can replace your transmission at the dealer for 3K, that's a decent deal. I now have 209,000 miles on my Pilot. I'm aiming for 350,000 so I can save up for that Maserati Gran Turismo in a few years when the kids are done college.

    If someone does get the ball rolling as far as a class action suit, I'm ready to jump on the bandwagon. I think Honda has a much larger problem with these transmissions than they want to admit to.
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