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2005 Honda Pilot Shudders



  • I have a 2004 Pilot outside of the recall (2003 - 2004 Pilots) which replaced the transmissions. I see that 2005 Pilots are still experiencing the same problem. Acura owners put together a Facebook page and Honda issued a Service Bulletin so the cars could get fixed. It included in warranty and also OUT OF WARRANTY repairs. I think Facebook seems like it would produce a good result. Honda needs to fix these transmissions, torque converters and whatever else they installed that causes this dangerous and expensive problem! The recall that repaired over 1 millions Pilots was not large enough.
  • I have a 2004 Honda Pilot that is outside of the recall. I see that the problems are still occuring beyond the 2003 and 2004 Honda Pilots that have been recalled as many 2005 Pilot owner's are writing in about the same shudder. The Acura had the same problem and they started a facebook page. Acura issued a Service Bulletin to fix the transmissions and the torque converters in and out of warranty. I think we should try Facebook. I don't want to call the Honda office for weeks on end only to get no results.
  • Did you see that the Acura MDX group got their cars repaired after they set up a Facebook page? I think we should try that. I am a 2004 Pilot owner. My VIN is just outside the recalled vehicles. Clearly, the problem exists passed 2004 as many 2005 owners have posted.
  • kawi9893kawi9893 Posts: 5
    ok lets do it set it up & lets go!!!
  • kawi9893kawi9893 Posts: 5
    lets do it everyone lets pull together to have this done!
  • I contacted the Acura Facebook page to find out if we should join their group or start our own. I also asked specifics about what they did to get the service bulletin issued and whether that bulletin truly helped everyone - inside and outside of warranty. Acura posted 83 complaints on NHTSA for the years 2003 and 2004. The Pilot has 104 for the year 2003, 43 for the year 2004 and 37 for the year 2005. So, our numbers are just as good as theirs. I asked if they also sent other letters, made phone calls, etc. Hopefully, they will answer real quick and we can get the ball rolling!!
  • Sounds like Facebook would be a great idea if Honda want do anything about it maybe we can bring awareness and make sure other people dont get burned. I will NEVER purchase another Honda!
  • My husband and I bought our '05 pilot new, it had 399 miles on it when purchased now 107,000 miles later it has an obvious shudder when it reaches 35-40 mph :( . We just started noticing the shudder so I decided to go online to see what could possibly cause this before I shell out tons of cash on a bunch of "well this should fix it" and it doesn't.

    I found this site and others that contained complaints about the shaking issue I was concerned about, now i'm terrified :sick: because some individuals have had complete transmission failure and I now know that the little shudder that I feel could be the only warning and I still don't know how long I have until it fails and I can get a rebuilt transmission but that is doomed to fail also.

    I am also reading that Honda is in denial about the situation :mad: , I don't understand how they can ignore it because to them it's a "COST" issue, when people are PLACED IN DANGER because of the failure, that's a "Safety" issue as well. I am afraid to let my newly licensed 16 and 17 yr old drive the car because drivers education didn't teach them how to handle transmission failure and I don't want them hurting themselves or anyone else.

    This is a safety issue that requires a new transmission replacement, not a patch or code or a rebuild that's going to breakdown after a few ten thousand miles. Clearly this is a problem and some investigating on behalf of the consumer needs to be done to keep us safe.

    In the meantime I am going to go to my local dealership and see what they know about the situation and possibly call USA Honda just to get my voice on their logs then I am going to take my pilot to our local transmission specialist and have them inspect my tranny and do the ATF drain and fill (no flush) and see if that helps, I will also see if they've heard of the pilot/mdx problem.

    will keep you posted.
  • So, how do I check to see if my car is in any recalls? I tweeted to honda customer service a few months ago about other issues with my car (PW motors/regulators failing, rear seat latches and headliner coming loose, as well as the rotors) and I got an instant reply and was escalated very quickly - for nothing!! The man I spoke to insisted that all the issues were due to the age and normal wear on the car. It is a 2005, however, I bought it in April of 2006 with 68 miles on it and within the first year had to get the passenger side window fixed. So far, three of the four windows have been repaired and the fourth desperately needs to be. Rotors need to be replaced and other issues that are NOT normal need to be addressed. So, is there a FB page, can I write someone and lodge a complaint? :mad:
  • I am the one who suggested we start a FB page because I saw the Acura owner's were fairly successful with theirs. I wrote the person who created the Acura page to see if they wanted us to join theirs and to ask general questions about their process. He/she never wrote back and it has been a week. So, I think I will just make a page up and give it a try.
  • Go to the Honda web page. You search for recalls according to your VIN number. I believe the recall was only for certain VINs that fell in the years 2003 and 2004. Mine is a 2004 but I am out of the warranty. As you can tell by reading these posts, the transmission problem occurs even in the 2005 models. I have not created a FB page yet. I wrote to the Acura people who had a FB page to see how they ended up. However, they haven't written me back. It has been a week. So, I guess we need to start our own page. I will work on it and post it on here when done.
  • swdypdyswdypdy Posts: 4
    Thank you to everyone who has posted about this before. I bought my 2004 Honda Pilot in 2008 with 26,000 miles on it. We didn't have any problems with it at all until late last year. We have have performed all of the regular maintenance on the car as well. Late last year I took it to the Honda dealership with the exact issues you all are complaining about. They claimed to have no idea what I was talking about. Finally, they had one of their mechanics drive with me. He heard the shuddering and thought that it might be the rear differential fluid. They replaced it and it seemed to be ok.

    Lately the shuddering has gotten worse and is happening in the 35-40 MPH range, as well as any other range where the gears are shifting. Last week, the engine light came on, it started misfiring at idle and shaking terribly bad as I drove. The engine light began flashing and I took it straight to our regular mechanic (I am steering clear of the Honda dealership - too pricey for a bunch of liars). He replaced the spark plugs which were admittedly in terrible condition (we live in the foothills and have a long, steep, wet, dirt driveway) and said to bring it back if it still wasn't working right. After revisiting this website I think I will have him drain and refill the ATM fluid and use the additive everyone here has been talking about and see how it does.

    Right now I'm terrified to go anywhere. I drive to Seattle on a regular basis and am petrified to break down on I-5 during rush hour. Good thing my AAA membership is in full swing.

    I also have a friend who has a 2003 Pilot and she mentioned the exact same shuddering between 35-40. Let's start the Facebook page and see if we can get Honda to admit this issue and pay to correct it. If no one else wants to start it, I will but it sounds like some of you have had extensive communication with Honda. I haven't started with them yet but I'm about to.

    Thanks again to everyone who has posted. It's awful we are all dealing with this. I wonder what it will take for Honda to realize this is their problem - someone getting killed?
  • I decided I didn't want to risk my 2008 Pilot having future issues like my '03 Pilot did, so I traded it in. After test driving Chevy, Toyota, and Ford SUV's, I found nothing that I liked as much as the pilot.

    I ended up trading the old pilot in for a 2011 pilot EX-L, which was certified used with 6000 miles. So the power train is covered for 100,000 miles/7 years. That was at no cost, and I normally do not opt for extended warranties, but this time I did, albeit at a discounted price. So basically now the truck is under bumper to bumper warranty for the next seven years or 100,000 miles.

    The new truck is ugly, but growing on sure does drive nice.
  • I started a group on Facebook. Here is the link:

    JOIN the group ASAP and we'll get the ball rolling on this matter!
  • what ended up being the actual problem with the pilot. I have the same problem but it only happens at cruise speeds and goes away what letting off of accelerator, doesn't come back until it fells like it. (torque converter) ?
  • swdypdyswdypdy Posts: 4
    I'm still working on it. Last week I took it to the Honda dealership to have the transmission fluid drained and refilled. I AGAIN talked to the service manager about the recall and the poor transmissions in the early Pilots. Like usual, they pretend they don't have any ideas what I'm talking about. I told them it was running rough and so they sent a technician out on a test drive. Of course, everything felt completely fine to them; no obvious issues.

    I added a tube of Dr. Tranny's Shudder Fix to see if that would help at all. It does seem to make the transitioning feel a little smoother but hasn't solved the rough riding problem. At this point I am going to keep driving it until it stops. I'm only at 102500 miles but I'm going to schedule the 105K tune up for next week. Maybe our (trustworthy) mechanic will be able to see if there's anything obvious that could be affecting the way it's running. I just don't know what else to do at this point. It's pretty hard to bring the car to the mechanic and tell him "it just isn't driving right" so I made sure our AAA membership is all up to date with towing and will see how it goes.

    I will continue to update here as the situation progresses.
  • swdypdyswdypdy Posts: 4
    If you are having troubles with your 2003-2005 Honda Pilot please consider joining this Facebook group.!/groups/384099154955943/
  • I had this very problem with my 2003 Honda pilot. When I took it to the dealer, and they test drove it and it acted up, they claimed my pilot was the first pilot they had ever seen with this issue. Of course they offered no assistance other than to try to change the transmission at full price. When I took my 2008 pilot in, and expressed my concerns, the dealer again made the claim that there are no issues with the tranny's in any year of pilot, and there was nothing to be concerned about. I responded, "fine, then I want top dollar for my 2008 pilot on trade."....which they did, and now I have a 2011 pilot, which I like much more than my previous two. I did get the extended warranty just in case though.
  • freudie1freudie1 Posts: 1
    edited May 2012

    The "shudder" is the torque converter going bad in your Pilots. It's not: Spark plugs, differential fluid, tires, wind, etc.

    Also for those that do not know the basics of transmissions, a torque converter requires complete removal of the transmission to access/remove/replace. Also know that it is quite likely that material from the "bad" torque converter has already polluted the same transmission fluid inside the actual transmission. Moral of story: You are looking at a full transmission AND torque converter replacement (parts, R&R, time).

    I had a 2003 Pilot. I bought it used with 25,000 on the clock in 2004. I got rid of the disaster of a truck after the following fun fest:

    Front door lock actuators no longer function (power locks that is).

    Front engine mount (hydraulic) decided to lose fluid.

    Leaking coolant "crossover" pipe gaskets.

    Ignition/key assembly refusing to turn over at times. This is a "known" issue that has a $800 price tag in parts/labor if you let the dealer handle it (mind amazingly went away over time)

    The infamous "shudder" which ultimately lead to 2nd gear being completely gone (NOTE: The "fix" that Honda rigged up to squirt more oil on that area does absoultely nothing in regards to fixing this).

    Rear differential temp sensor malfunction.

    Starter destroyed due to leaking coolant from aforementioned crossover pipe gasket issue.

    "Luckily" I do all my own work on cars and everything short of the transmission (I refused to replace it due to the truck having 160,000 on the clock in the end) was not extremely expensive, however it was extremely time consuming.

    If you want the final kick in the southern area, have fun spending over $1000.00 every 105,000 for timing belt, water pump, seals maintenance (or $400 ish if you do it yourself) because Honda hasn't figured out how to make a TIMING CHAIN based engine.

    Honda reliability? Think again.
  • manusrfmanusrf Posts: 6
    I bought my used 2004 Honda Pilot with 59000 miles on it about 3 months ago. I thought it worked great when I bought it. A few weeks after I purchased the car it started to idle roughly and even died a couple of times. In addition it would shudder and not responds to gas at lower speeds. It would also down shift in jolting way intermittently.
    Anyway I have brought it to the dealer and 2 other mechanics and they have replaced the idle control valve twice, MAP sensor, air flow meter, cleaned the egr valve, valve adjustment, new spark plugs, transmission fluid change, new battery, new coolant and thermostat. The car has this problem intermittently.
    Finally a local honda mechanic figured it out today. He says that the torque converter is bad and that it would be 1700 to fix it. I'm wondering if this will actually fix the problem. Is it better to get the whole tranny replaced or is the torque converter by itself fine.
    This car does have a recall on the transmission and a oil heat shield was put in at 2200 miles. Does anyone one know if the torque converter is related to the recall problem.
    Thank You!
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