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Honda Pilot Steering Questions



  • I too am experiencing this same problem and am looking for a solution. I am looking to sign up folks with this same problem. If we can achieve enough sign ups perhaps we can get Honda to address this serious issue.

    Read about my exact problem here then decide for yourself if you would like to join the cause.

  • We recently bought a Certified 08 Pilot Ex w/ 28k mi- the car was very clean and test drove (under 70-80 mph unfortunately) well. It was only on the drive home from the dealer that I noticed the steering wheel shake at 70-80 mph- I knew almost immediately it had to be the tires, since they're no-name generic specials dealers put on the car to say it has 'new tires' on it. The shake also comes and goes depending on the smoothness of the freeway, so I know the tires are coming into play there.

    I have to take the Pilot back to the dealer to get Lojack installed and have this issue looked at- judging from prior posts this fix looks to be a long-term repeat process. Has Honda come up w/ an official reason for the steering wheel shake, or is it just a quirk of a new Honda model all Pilot owners are helping to develop and refine? I plan to upgrade to 20's w/ performance speed rated SUV tires, so maybe that will help.
  • dougd2dougd2 Posts: 2
    I have a 2009 Honda Pilot and when starting from a dead stop, especially backing up from my drive way or pulling out of a parking space, there is a noticeable vibration in the steering and/or front tires. Specifically as I turn the steering wheel, the vibration occurs. We've had it into Honda and they replaced the power steering pump but the problem has returned.

    The vibration does not occur at any other time, not even when turning a corner. It usually just happens from a dead stop.

    Anyone else experience this?
  • I have the same issue, at least your dealer did something... Mine thinks I'm nuts, will only do it for me but not them. Seems to happen much more frequently as I get closer to warranty expiring. Mine seems to be most noticeable when starting off and the wheel turned slightly, almost alight shudder but only for about 1/2 of a second.
  • Yep, sounds like the exact same problem. I'll post if I ever get an answer from my dealer.
  • Thank God..I thought I was the only one. I have a 2011 Honda Pilot doing the exact same thing. When I first took it to the Dealer they couldn't find anything. When I finally went in and made them drive with me I got a "didn't do that before" Now the dealership has two other pilots doing the same thing. They said that they have contacted Honda Engineering to see if they have a fix for the issue...but my warranty is running out too. The dealer told me that as long as they are aware of the issue the warranty is honored. I have paper work to back that up. So far I've been waiting over a month for a reply from the dealer. Now I'm calling Honda direct!
  • In regards to the issue of dougd2 and angelo a and myself of course - the issue was the power steering rack. I pushed and pushed the dealer on this issue as of course they could not notice the issue (ya right), until finally it got worse and worse, they changed the power steering pump and then reluctantly changed the rack after draining the power steering fluid and straining it to find metal filings from the rack itself. This was how Honda had them troubleshoot the issue. The result has been a much improved movement in the steering wheel and no more shuddering and vibrations in the steering column. Good luck guys!
  • I purchased a 2007 Honda Pilot EX 4x4 with 55K miles on it, clean Carfax, one owner, I have driven about 10 Pilots from various years, and never encountered this issue. That is why I bought the car wholesale sight unseen. When I got the car, it is super clean, but I was surprised at how stiff/bumpy the ride is!

    I have seen other posts about hard bumpy rides, and the suggestions of adding an Acura vibration pilot subframe brace, changing the old BF Goodrich's to something that is more suitable for off road, ie, Michelin LTX M/S, or swapping the Shock Absorbers, and hopefully improving the ride. Any users with suggestions about solving the hard ride issue, any problem solvers welcome. Thanks
  • I seem to be having the same problem as the three of you (mcintyred, dougd2 and angelo a) on a 2011 Honda Pilot. I've now had my car looked at by two dealers. In both cases the honda tech heard and felt the vibration on the test drive with me and commented that it didn't sound right and would look into it for me. However, both had to contact Honda corporate for further technical advice as they couldn't find the cause through there normal diagnosis process. After discussion with Honda corporate they both advised that this was a "characteristic" of the car and there is nothing more that could be done for a fix. After discussing this directly with Honda corporate I'm at a standstill on what I can do. I even mentioned the comments from mcintyred but they advised they they don't take into consideration anything found on the internet. So my questions are:

    1) For mcintyred -- it's been a month now since your fix, has the issue returned in any way? Is there a chance you can give me details of the honda dealership that finally resolved your problem (company and contact name).

    2) For dougd2 and angelo o -- have you had any luck with getting you issue fixed?

    Thanks for any help you can give.
  • Hey Carguy 65,

    My issue is indeed 100% solved. I got the same response that perhaps the noise was a characteristic of the model but when I asked the questions as to why it only happened when the wheel was turned to the right and when I suggested we drive a 2012 off the lot the service tech said they would look a little deeper. Honda Canada had them troubleshoot the rack as I mentioned above searching for traces of metal in the power steering fluid.
    I don't mind giving you the dealers name and contact info but would prefer to do it by private e-mail, just click on my profile and send me a message.
    I suggest you get your dealer to strain the power steering fluid searching for filings from a worn rack. Please contact me or at least keep us posted.
  • This is great news! I wasn't able to send you a private message as it appears that you have your email hidden in your profile settings. I've opened up my email in my profile and I'd greatly appreciate if you could send me a private message with the details.

    I'll definitely keep you and the forum posted on any progress I'm able to make.

    I look forward to hearing from you.
  • mrsrussmrsruss Posts: 1

    I am so glad I came across your post. My husband had me search common problems with steering vibrations in our 2011 Honda Pilot. So far we have had our power steering pump replaced and then we were told our rotors needed to be machined and new brake pads put on. As expected the vibrating still occurs. We have only owned our Pilot for 6 months. I will post a response as soon as I have the steering rack fixed.
  • pwroftedpwrofted Posts: 1
    I'm getting the same steering wheel shake on my 2009 pilot 2wd when I apply the brakes at the speed of 60mph or over. I was told by my mechanic friend that I may have a warped rotor in front as my steering wheel shakes, and if it's the rotors in the back i would notice the shake in my seat or behind my seat. So i replaced the front rotors and pads with new ones, but im still getting the steering wheel shake. My next plan is to have the wheel alignment and tire balancing. Tires are brand new Bridgestone dueler's.
  • cd8cd8 Posts: 1
    Hi mcintyred,

    Thank for posting, I'm taking mine in to the dealership this weekend for the same problem.
  • This is the exact problem I am having as well. I've seen others speak of it being a problem with the power steering rack. Is that so?
  • I just started driving my wife's Pilot, coming from 3 years in a Mazda CX-9 GT. I'm surprised/disbelieving how tight the steering is on the Pilot. Almost feels like the power steering isn't doing its job. My wife says that's the way the car has always been, and she likes it that way (so leave it alone!). Just curious then - is this the typical steering feel for a 2010 Pilot - or is there something else going on? Power steering fluid is filled to the mark, and the belt looks fine. Pump?
  • I have a 2010 Pilot purchased new and have less than 23000 miles. The steering wheel has been shaking for a while. It has been more pronounce as time gone on. So I went to the dealer toda y and was explained it was the rotor being warped. It was explained the manufacturer went to a softer material to eliminate squeaking brake sounds with a harder material. So I told the servicer that this will be a chronic problem since all the rotors will warp even if I replace them or have the current rotors turned. He said warranty expires at 12,000 miles for brake problems and it was my choice. Wow! I ask them to still check it and when the service invoice was printed the writing was perform a complimentary vehicle inspection including inspecting the tire pressure and setting it to factory specification. Nothing written about the steering wheel shimmie. So I pointed it out and the servicer said it was inside the free inspection. They know its a problem and there is a deliberate effort to hide it. I am not satisfy with the answer or service.
  • My son just purchased a 2011 Honda Pilot. He noticed the same problems shortly after the purchase. We both went for a drive and I noticed the same as he. Went down to the Dealership where he made the purchase and made an appointment. I just finished speaking with him and now they are going to replace the power steering pump and use that as a starting point. After driving this unit I feel that this is in or related to the steering rack. He is now getting the pump replaced and they will use this as a starting point. The dealership seem to be working with him and trying to find a resolve to his complaint.....
  • Sorry, it's been almost a year since I commented on this forum regarding my problem. It's been a tough road, but I'm pleased to say it's finally fixed. Initially I was advised by two dealerships that this vibration (occurring only when very slowly reversing and turning at the same time) was a characteristic of the Honda Pilot. Strange as I can't imagine Honda ever being proud of a Pilot with this type of characteristic. Amazingly each dealership started out saying "wow, that's unusual", but after a day in the shop and consultation with Honda corporate they advised of their "characteristic" diagnostic. I had all but given up, but I recently moved to a new city and thought I'd give the local dealership a try (I was getting close to my 36K miles). The technician heard the problem, but this time they dug deeper and agreed that there was something wrong with the power steering rack. They replaced it and my Pilot is like new! It's so good to finally have it fixed. Please keep in mind that my vibration (and also mcintyred's) only occurred at no to very low speed. There are comments regarding vibrations at high speeds on this thread but that was not my problem. I'd really like to thank mcintyred for his help .... I think it was persistence (as he recommended and a printout from this forum that finally convinced the dealer that something was wrong. Good luck to everyone else trying to get this fixed. Hopefully Honda will will stand behind their product better in the future -- I had to go through much frustration to get my problem fixed. I've only purchased Honda's in the past 12 years and although I think they are a great car manufacturer this experience (until just recently) certainly put a damper on my customer satisfaction score.
  • nnotsoonnotsoo Posts: 5
    edited March 2013
    Did the pump replacement work? I've also read it could be the control arm bushings??
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