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2005 Honda Pilot Shudders



  • I have the same problem with my 05 pilot. Were did you go for assistance? Did you receive any satisfaction?
  • While my issue is not completely resolved, it's been reduced by at least 90%. The dealer where I purchased the car was not much help in diagnosing the issue, and just wanted me to throw money at it.

    I took it to another dealer, one that I usually work with, and they suggested drain and fill service on the transmission. We discovered the fluid was black as coffee (Apparently the previous owner didn't have the fluid changed in about 100K) and there was some particular material on the drain plug magnet. At the time, they did not recommend a full flush, as that could cause more issues.

    Since the drain and fill, my issues have pretty much gone away, with only an occasional burp. Since the noise stops when I place the transmission in D3, I am pretty confident that it is the torque converter that is responsible. Being that the frequency between events has dropped dramatically, I am hopeful that I can get a few more years out of it before needing a new tranny. The pilot has 128K on it right now. I'll probably drain and fill the transmission this summer myself, just to make sure that any particulate matter that is still in there can hopefully be removed.

    Hope this helps.

  • Dear kpsmith999, Thank you so much for the time you have dedicated to helping Honda Pilot owners with the shuddering between 35-50 mph. I'm not looking forward to the battle with Honda to get the new torque converter cost covered, but I will certainly follow all of your directions. Thanks Again!!!
  • Here is an update on my wife's 2005 Honda Pilot from posts back in '08. Same problem as everyone else, shuddering when light pressure is put on the accelerator between 35-45 mph. Earlier posts are on page #1.

    We had the transmission changed, rebuilt unit, by the dealership with all work covered under the extended warranty. From memory the new tranny came with something like a 90 day warranty, with rebuilt being the only option. I was told a new transmission just wasn't available. Fortunatley, because we were having the work done under the extended warranty we got a three year warranty on the new (rebuilt) tranny.

    So fast forward to 2011 and the problem is creeping back. Everything is out of warranty, so we are SOL. We have 145,000 miles on the vehicle and planned on keeping for at least 250,000 (My 4Runner has 320,000). That's just how we are as a family and why we came back to Honda after runnig away from our 2000 Volvo wagon. So it looks like we are going to wind up spending $2500 - $3000 for a new (rebuilt) trans as everything else about the vehicle is pretty good. Funny thing, my 4Runner is a 1994 model and back just a few years ago I got a safety recall notice in the mail. Imagine that, on a 14 or 15 year old vehicle they were willing to accept responsibilty and fix a potential problem free of charge to me.

    Good luck to everyone, doesn't look like there have been enough complaints to warrant Honda coming forward and fixing the problem.
  • g_rog_ro Posts: 1
    Yes, I too own a 2005 Pilot, which I bought Brand Spanking New with 7 miles on it. Come to find out, I'm having the same problem that everyone else is having. The worst part, is that Honda is well aware of this, but is not helping out Dedicated Honda owners like myself. 3 different Mechanics told me that Honda cut costs by not putting in a large enough transmission to accommodate the weight and size of the vehicle, therefore resulting in a bad torque convertor (the shuttering sound- I saw it with my own eyes when it was on the lift & put into gear). To top it all off, I complained about this shuttering between 30 - 40mph for months prior to the extended warranty expiring. Every place I went thought I was crazy& hearing things (including my family). So I left it alone but it got worse &the dealer told me they couldn't help me fix it, in other words I was SOL & had to come up with $5 G's for them to fix the transmission because the extended warranty expired 3wks. prior. So 6yrs, a Tsunami & an earthquake later, Japan double the parts price since they are in dire straits & they are hard to come by, not to mention the backlog in shipping. Don't get me wrong I love my Pilot, but seriously disappointed in Honda. So for all of you out there who experienced this issue, keeping posting, complaining, GOOGLE it, and telling all who own Honda Pilots and Maybe, if there are enough dissatisfied Customers, Honda will help all of us that either have the problem or had to foot the expense to fix it.
    There is a temporary band aide, Don't laugh it sounds silly, "Mr. Shutter Fix", is an additive to the transmission fluid. Its a small plastic red tube about 4in long and 2in. around, but you have to have the fluid changed b4 adding it and make sure the place you take it to, has only Honda Made oil. Apparently, Honda makes their parts to run only on THEIR oil. It has additives in it that only Honda makes, w/o this you may get worse problems later. This is coming from 3 different Mechanics and a Junk yard owner. It seems that Honda has created a Monopoly - which I though was illegal. It did work by reducing the noise and frequency, but not completely. Like I said, its a band aide to buy time to get money together to fix it permanently.
    I have only bought Honda's and this is the first time I ever had a serious problem so early on (just under 100k). I opted to fix it because everything else is fine and I don't feel like having a car payment. So pass this along to anyone you meet or know with this issue & maybe Honda will consider helping all of us. After all they do want to keep their customers happy and coming back, especially since they had suffered such tragic natural disasters. They don't want to start developing a bad reputation after having such a good track record for so long. After all, everyone knows that bad news travels faster than good new.
    I still haven't decided if my next car is going to be a Honda. It seems like they are slipping on their reputation. Look around the internet you'll see that this is happening more often than not. :confuse: :mad:
  • I have a 2005 Honda Pilot with the shudder problem at 30-40 mph. Called Honda America and they acted like nobody has ever called about this problem. I have done a little trial and error myself. When I start out in D3 there is no shudder at all everything is very smooth then when I am going down the road and get past 40 I shift up to regular D. I know this want fix the problem but it seems like its probably the torque converter for sure. Any feedback on how long this will give me before I have to break down and take it to get the torque converter repaired?
  • Our first transmission starting acting up in the 90K range. It wasn't dead at this point, just noticably shuddering at an annoying point. We had a rebuilt unit installed (all that was available so the dealership said) and now at 150K the shuddering is just starting to return. No idea how much it will cost in today dollars. Back in '08 the dealership said $3K or $3.5K. I have heard rumors that the price is higher now due to shortage of trannsmissions. Not sure though.
  • Add me too! :( I've spent $900 on "fixes" for this problem. they claimed they've never heard of this, and never could duplicate it on their own. I finally drove it with a Tech and he could hear the "grinding" at 35-40 mph, and the shuddering. What do we do? I think I will file a complain with the BBB.
  • I bought my 2005 honda with 35,000 miles on it, back in 2007. From the time I purchased it , I have had this "shuttering " also....I am now at 105,000K and it's MUCH question to you would be..How did Honda fix the problem? From what I've read, most owners are replacing the the transmission while many others say its the torque converter...some have even said that they replaced the transmission at 100,000 miles only to have the problem return at 150,000..I have enjoyed my Honda, but I'm now wondering if it's time to trade for a Toyota before the problem gets worse? thanks!
  • I purchased my 04 Pilot three years ago with 75k miles, now it has 110k. My shuddering is infrequent put definitely present. I change the ATF myself and it seems to make the shuddering go away for a year. Changing the ATF is almost as easy as changing the oil. I use only the Honda ATF fluid. Note that you only get 3.2 quarts out of the total 8 quarts. So you need to change it more than once if you want to get "mostly" new fluid in. There are plenty of youtube videos to show you how. My pilot has the tranny oil "fix", so I don't even have to take the tranny filler bolt off. You just need a socket wrench with about two feet of extenders on it to remove the bolt holding the feeder tube in the cap screw, and a very long funnel.

    I was hoping to keep my Pilot over 250k miles, but now I worry about the coming $4000 expense. Even so, you lose that much driving a new one off the lot I guess.
  • tobrentobren Posts: 6
    We are on tranny #2 (2005 model) and the shuddering was starting up again. I asked my local mechanic to price a Jasper rebuilt for me and he suggested trying some Instant Shudder Fixx By Dr. Tranny

    Now bear in mind I'm licensed mechanical engineer and not one for amazing fix pookie mix fromulas, but I figured I didn't have anything to lose. So far so good. For the current term the shuddering has subsided. I'll try to remember to check in at this forum and give upadates.
  • Thanks for the recommendation. I just ordered 4 tubes. You are the second or third person I've seen that recommended it. My 2005 Odyssey has the same shudder symptom. I just changed the ATF in both vehicles over the holidays (3/8 quarts). I will add a tube of Shudder Fix for good measure. I will also update this post periodically.

    Electrical Engineer from Va Tech, Go Hokies!
  • hapeacreshapeacres Posts: 4
    edited January 2012
    Another Victim. I bought a 2004 Pilot with 100K from a used car lot because of past positive experiences with ATV's and an 08 CRV which I bought for my wife. I did not notice any "rumble strip" noise on the test drive but noticed it on the way home after paying 9,000 for the car! I drove it two more times over the weekend and heard the noise at about 40 to 45 mph every time. Needless to say I was pissed. I brought the car back to the used car lot and they would not give me my money back. They said their mechanic needs to look at it before anything happens to determine what the cause is. I already know that it is the torque converter from the Honda Pilot forum and politely explained it and gave them a file full of information. I have not heard back from them but they did say they would try to fix it. I already know that I need to somehow trade it in for another car but I feel bad for the next person who receives it. I am sure there are hundreds of people just like me who are getting ripped off on this torque converter problem that Honda knows about but is sticking it to them anyways even though Acura had a recall on MDX and replaced torque converter. Shame on Honda. I am a loyal Honda customer who has spent a ton of money to Honda and has a daughter in college with one on the way. No family should have to get ripped like this.
  • I bought my pilot used with 35,000 miles on it. I noticed the shuttering right away...but it was very faint. Over the years it had gotten worse . Now with 110,000 miles it's very noticeable, but still infrequent . I changed the trans. fluid at 90,000. miles and it helped the shuddering tremendously! I have written in every forum, every website that I can find complaining of this issue. My question to everyone else with this problem is.....Has anyone actually had to have their pilot towed or has this torque or trans. problem (if left going on too long) lead to more damage to the engine ? Thanks
  • so where did you go to get your fluid change? and know I havn't had to have it towed.
  • so far every one on here has the same problem so what is that tellin you? obviously there's a manufature defect and they know that its going to cost them cause all pilots have them so again what are we going to do?????????????????
  • Good question, what are we going to do? I traded in my shuddering pilot for a new CRV for my wife, but I still have my 2008 Pilot. It doesn't shudder, having only 70K on the odometer, and I've been religeous about changing the trans fluid...but I am still uneasy about the possibility of it going bad. I love the vehicle, and it's perfect right now, but can I count on it? That's the big, heart breaking question in my mind at the moment. Obviously Honda Corp. is no help.
  • My 05 Pilot with 135,000 miles has had this same condition since about 100k and the dealer I bought from was unable to offer any assistance even though this was my third new car purchase from them. Changing the trans fluid helps so I am gonna run it till it blows up and NOT by another Honda. Thats the best way to show Honda how you feel is tell everyone you know about your experience and never buy one of their products again. This really is bad because I WAS a very loyal Honda customer.
  • My 2005 Pilot has always had this "shuttering" problem. My husband was told by a friend not long ago that his friend (whom is a mechanic at Trickett Honda) said there's definately a problem and Honda knows it. Because it's not a "safety" issue Honda's not going to touch it. My question you keep the Pilot and replace the transmission when time comes, or do I trade it in now with 100K while I can get something out of it.....Toyotas looking pretty good!! At least they have needed recalls and stand behind their product!! :confuse:
  • I have a 2004 Pilot that is just outside the recalled VIN numbers. My transmission is producing the same problems as the other posters - rumble strip vibration at 30 mph. I have read 100s of posts and I think like you - we need to get organized and hold Honda accountable. The Acura owners made a Facebook page and that in turn got Honda to generate a Service Bulletin that fixed the problem - inside and outside of warranty. Honda does not seem to care how many phone calls or posts there are but might listen if we try the Facebook route.
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