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Honda Pilot Transmission Problems

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  • blackqtblackqt Posts: 1
    My check engine light came on yesterday. I am just so stressed out about this car. I have had problems with it since I bought it 3 years ago. I'm just tired and mad now.

    I will be going to my dealership today and hope that something happens that will allow me to get the car fixed, at least. Of course, I just don't have faith that I will be a repeat Honda owner. I used to only buy Toyotas but this new Honda had such rave reviews that I decided to try it. Now, I just don't see doing it again- unless the dealer works with me.

    I don't know why those people at American Honda even exist. They were absolutely NO HELP. Even though they knew this vehicle had transmission problems and they knew I had the repair patch done on the car - back in 2004 - before I owned it, it took me visiting sites to be aware of the depth of this problem. Maybe now that Toyota is facing such challenges, I can get a good deal.

    Hopefully, my dealer will step up and we will see....
  • I PURCHASED MY PILOT WITH 21OOO MILES AND HAVE ALL FLUIDS CHANGED AS THE MANUAL SAID, WITH HONDA PRODUCTS. MY ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON AND I HAD IT CHECKED RIGHTWAY AND HONDA DEALER SAID MY TORK CONVERTOR IS BAD. THE PILOT HAS 84000 MILES ON IT, SO HONDA WILL NOT FIX. THEY WANTED $3896.00 FOR A NEW TRANSMISSION TO FIX IT AND SAID THEY HAD NEVER SEEN THIS BEFORE, YEA RIGHT. I CALLED SEVERAL OF MY FRIENDS WHO ARE MECHANICS AND THEY TOLD ME TO GO TO A TRANSMISSION CLINIC IN MY AREA THAT THEY SAID WERE HONEST. SO I'M HAVING A NEW TORX CONVERTOR AND SWITCH INSTALLED FOR $785.00. THIS WILL BE MY ONLY HONDA THAT I WILL OWN, I'VE OWNED MANY CARS IN MY LIFE AND NEVER HAD PROBLEMS WITH A TRANSMISSION, THIS WAS MY FIRST OFF SHORE CAR AND WILL BE MY LAST.
  • casadedcasaded Posts: 1
    Replaced my transmission a few weeks ago because transmission would not engage Drive after stopping at stop signs. Did not fix problem, carried it back and service dept couldn't duplicate problem so I decided it was just a fluke, the new trans needed to be broken in, whatever. It has gotten progressively worse so I've carried it back and they still can't duplicate the problem. Please let me know what you find out.
  • Good that you can get just the torque converter replaced. I had heard from several other people that the dealers are requiring that the torque converter and transmission be replaced as a pair.

    Your Pilot was probably built in Canada or Alabama. Do you live in Hawaii?
  • aln2aln2 Posts: 1
    I bought a 2003 H P 2 years ago . It had had the recall oil jet installed but what a heck of a place to try to add fluid without contamination and frustration so I bought a $5 plastic oil pump that screws onto a 1 liter ATF container , changed the tubing to a smaller size and added the ATF through the dipstick tube . It was easy . Take care people .
  • At around 60K (a few years ago), my 04 Pilot was making rattling noises when idling. The dealer told us there was loose metal in the transmission and told me to let it go until it caused problems.

    Naively, I listened. Now, at 119K, the transmission is failing. I stopped going to that dealer for maintenance (for convenience reasons . . . they are about 15 miles further away and have worse hours). I'm hoping they will live up their word. I am hearing around $4.5K to fix with a rebuilt transmission. $2.4K for a used one (which, after reading this thread, I will go nowhere near).

    What I find really strange about this is that I checked my VIN on the Honda web site to see if they had addressed the transmission recall in my car. It says they had. So, either I got a really lousy fix pre-60K or they didn't fix it post-60K.
  • buddymbuddym Posts: 2
    I have come to believe that Honda is a 4 cylinder company at heart, and can't or won't build a transmission that can handle a V6's torque. Most Honda mechanics repeat the same line- "The 4 cylinder and transmission are bulletproof, don't touch the 6". A Honda mechanic friend of my dad's told him the current generation Ody transmission has an entirely different problem. Our Odyssey had a transmission fail just outside the warranty period (I had complained in warranty but was told it;s behavior was normal and since no light came on it was OK) and got a $2000 charge for a replacement. This "goodwill" was after multiple letters to corporate from myself and my attorney father. The tranny is acting squirelly again after 4 months.My sister's transmission was replaced ($800 goodwill) at 50K and again at 80K. My dad's previously asymptomatic Accord V6 tranny died on the way to the dealers when he was trading it.

    I have the Pilot combo in my Saturn Vue. At 50K it is rumbling intermittently in driveline at 30mph, it has a grinding hum in right front axle. Of course we are completely on our own here, with Saturn gone. We bought it figuring we were safe with a Honda drivetrain...

    After 20 years with Honda, I'll walk before I drive another one. I will try American again- even a Chrysler before I buy Honda. Corporate is incredibly rude and unsympathetic. Even my father who stuck with Honda because of the great treatment from his local dealer, says never again.
  • dfwhondadfwhonda Posts: 45
    The problem in my '08 Pilot does not seem to be similar to what others have mentioned in this forum, but I wonder if it is a precursor to bad things to come.

    A few months ago during a cold weekend we could not get the car to shift below D into D3, D2, etc., and since that time the transmission will not shift past D. I have been meaning to take the car into the service department before the odometer reads 36k miles, but have not yet gotten around to it.

    Has anyone else experienced a similar problem? Any thoughts appreciated.
  • nlv1nlv1 Posts: 28
    We also have a 2008 Pilot and I've noticed that it is easier to shift from D to D3/D2 by pushing down on the lever (with the back of my hand facing up) then pulling it to D3/D2 (as opposed to the usual way of pulling up on the lever with the palm up and shifting to P or R from D for example). Hope this helps, as I don't know if you've been able to shift to D3/D2 before that cold weekend you mentioned or if that was the first time you tried.
  • kpsmith999kpsmith999 Posts: 46
    The Honda Pilot and Acura MDX are basically the same vehicle. This problem seems to affect both models. Starting around 30,000 miles, I began to notice a vibration/grinding noise while accelerating through 35 to 40 mph. The noise would last for 10 to 15 seconds and then stop. I took my MDX into my Acura dealer at 35,000 miles while it was under warranty and they said they could not reproduce the problem. The problem continued to worsen however I was now out of warranty. I did some research on the internet and found 14 reports of the exact same problem on the NHTSA (www.hntsa.gov). Out of 30 total complaints, 14 were this specific transmission problem. I also found a 2004 MDX service bulletin (#6003; NHTSA # 10022468) that states "Torque converter shudder or vibration between 35 and 40 mph". I presented this info to the Acura dealer and they acknowledged the problem and agreed to pay for 75% of the torque converter replacement (the care is 6 years old and has 45,000 miles). Why hasn't someone started a class action law suit regarding this problem given the significant amount of data pointing to a general problem?
  • 04txpilot04txpilot Posts: 1
    Got a Check engine light on my 04 Pilot with 101K. Bought it a year ago with 89K from a dealer used. Took into an alternative shop and they gave the bad news, needs a New Transmission and 2 motor mounts. Let me know it was under a recall and had the jet pack installed back in 04. Advised me to take it to the dealer and see if they would consider a goodwill repair job. I took it in and they confirmed it needed a new tranny. Quoted me 5,800 to replace and fix mounts. I asked about the recall and complained that I expected more out of a Honda car. I told her my expectations of Honda quality is seriously in question. I asked about the original jet pack installation and asked if they kept documentation of the transmission condition when the pack was installed (pictures, paper documentation, etc...). She said they did not but they did replace some transmissions due to the recall. I told her we have no idea what kind of damage was caused to the transmission before the recall and that i had proof of honda provided maintenance from the prior owner and that I felt Honda was partly responsible for this transmission going out early. Likened the recall to putting a band aid on a transmission that was poorly designed and letting them go out prematurely and putting the repair costs on their customers. I asked her to seek a goodwill repair from Honda and she said she would be happy to submit my claim. Got a call back the next day and Honda offered to pay 40% of the cost, would do the total repair for 3,500. Hope this helps anyone else that is seeking a goodwill repair!
  • kpsmith999kpsmith999 Posts: 46
    Just picked up my 2005 MDX from dealer after replacing the torque converter. It appears that the vibration/grinding between 35-40 mph has now been eliminated. For background, I reported this problem in March 2009, a couple of months prior to the expiration of my warranty. The service tech stated that he/she could not reproduce the noise I was hearing. Over a year later, the noise was now continuous. I took the vehicle in and this time the service tech could hear the noise. I was told that the vehicle was out of warranty (45,000 miles, but over 60 months) and that it would cost $2,000 to $3,000 to fix the problem. I opened up a case file with Honda America. After several calls, I was offered a repair for $500. I continued to complain and mentioned that I had uncovered over 100 complaints for the exact same issue. The Honda rep. still would not budge on the $500 cost to me. Finally, I mentioned that I might pursue a "class action suit". He said he would speak to the district supervisor. Miraculously, he came back and said that Honda America could cover 100% of the repair. I would suggest that anyone battling this issue out with Honda America mention "class action suit". There attitude seems to change quite significantly! Good luck!
  • kpsmith999kpsmith999 Posts: 46
    At last check, there were 15 complaints filed with the NHTSA (National Highway & Transportation Safety Administration) regarding the torque converter issue (vibration/shudder/grinding between 20-50 mph while accelerating). I would encourage everyone who is following this link to take a few minutes and file a complaint. The web site is as follows:

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/index.cfm

    Also, the NHTSA has issued a "service bulletin" for this exact same problem for all Acura's for model years 2003-2004. To view the service bulletin, go to the following web site:

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/tsbs/tsbsearch.cfm

    Enter NHTSA item# 10022468 in the "quick search" box. Once you get the record, click "get summary" and you will see the exact explanation as follows:

    "Torque converter shudder or vibration between 35-40 mph"

    This is exactly the same problem that is so prevalent with the 2005 and on Acura MDX and Honda Pilots. Do not understand why a service bulletin has not been issued for more recent model years???????
  • gatdammitgatdammit Posts: 17
    A couple months ago I wrote Consumer Reports asking them to research a couple threads and sites, including this one and ODI's. I'm a subscriber and trust CR's reviews, however, they still list the pilot and all other related V6's as "recommended" vehicles.
  • kpsmith999kpsmith999 Posts: 46
    edited July 2010
    To "gatdammit".....Is Consumer Reports applying the "recommended" designation to specific years or all years of Honda Pilots/Acura MDXs? I'm not sure if the more current model years (2008-2010) are impacted by this problem?? But certainly the CR repair charts for model years 2003 through 2007 should indicate a "poor" status for transmission reliability.

    For those who are interested, you can obtain the actual Acura/Honda Service Bulletin that addresses the Torque Convert issue and the repair instructions given to the Acura/Honda dealers if you Google:

    Acura Service Bulletin 06-003 pdf

    There is also a statement in the document that addresses "out of warranty vehicles" the the procedure for obtaining a "goodwill consideration" repair. It would appear that Honda/Acura was expecting a significant number of vehicles (both in warranty and out of warranty).

    I have a 2005 Acrua MDX that was one year "out of warranty" and through persistence and documentation from web sites such as this one and also the 15 complaints filed with the NHSTA, I was able to get Honda/Acura to move from not covering my $2,000 repair to covering 100% of my repair.
  • gatdammitgatdammit Posts: 17
    I just checked CR's site. It's still a recommended vehicle and all transmission categories are listed as "above average". Actually, the entire span from '03-09 is rated well above average...one of the reasons I was confident buying it in the first place.

    CR seemed eager to investigate with reply e-mails almost immediately but I haven't seen any updates in their magazine or site.

    It also seems that MDX owners have had more luck than Pilot owners in the area of goodwill repairs, as it should be.
  • kpsmith999kpsmith999 Posts: 46
    I'll submit a negative report to CR to see what kind of response I get. There is no way that CR should be reporting a "above average" reliability rating for either the Honda Pilot or the Acura MDX. Regarding the "goodwill" repairs, I believe that this is a large enough problem that both Honda and Acura should have issued a repair recall for both in warranty and out of warranty vehicles. Both the NHTSA complaints and the various forums that follow this issue are all heavily weighted in the "transmission" problem category. Thanks.
  • donixdonix Posts: 16
    I have a 2007 honda pilot and stall at 29,000 miles transmission problem!!!! under warranty...and returned it after the lease end.. Also have a 2009 pilot with 27,000 miles its almost to 29,000 miles!!!! :confuse:
  • kel6kel6 Posts: 1
    what # did you call? Do you know if you had to have warrantee.
  • Just picked up my 2003 pilot from the dealer. It went in with complaint of grinding at 35 mph - I told the dealer it was the trannie. They called me and said it was 2 bad motor mounts and that the transmission sounded good. I paid almost $700 and the problem is still there - there is a trend here - what has helped others? Do you think I should trade it in and let them deal with it?
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