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Honda Pilot 2003 through 2005

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Comments

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,424
    Well, you DO have to hand it to them because they are taking care of the problem. Not many people will cause an uproar when you fix the problem rather than (as some companies do) tell your customers to go away.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,251
    > they are taking care of the problem.
    Taking care of the problem would mean fixing the defect that causes transmission to fail on a percentage of Honda's vehicles, in some cases 2 or more before 100k, as indicated by posts in Edmunds.
    Patching with a replacement transmission that will also fail early is not the same as putting in a transmission that has an expected life of 150K. The current method guarantees that anyone keeping the car beyond 100K will have a transmission failure that they'll pay for themself.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,424
    How would you propose they fix it? They believe the patch will take care of the problem. We can't prove them wrong until we drive these around and see what happens. The other solution is to let us drive around with no fix while they test new designs in the lab and in the field. Basically, the owners are becoming the testers. Personally, like I said, I find that much more acceptable (especially with the extended warranty thrown in) than telling us to get bent OR not telling us anything at all and just fixing those trannies that fail.

    And how does the current method guarantee failure? I certainly can't prove that the new oil jet is not a fix. It may very well be the answer. I can't say otherwise until my tranny fails.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • mrlithicmrlithic Posts: 2
    I have had my Honda Pilot for a little over a month now and it has spent over a week in the dealer service station with regional reps swooning over a basket full of noise related issues. They are currently replacing all struts in vehicle and have only 4 or 5 problems to address after this one is corrected. I see that some say only a handful of people may be enduring some of these issues with the Pilot and I seriously hope that mine can be resolved amicably with the dealer, but, they are already to duck and cover on issues pertaining to gas sloshing noises in the tank when starting/stopping and several other problems saying it is a design flaw and there is nothing they can do about it. I haven't had any problems with the tranny yet, but, it has started making an unusually loud clicking noise when put into reverse( a sign of troubles to come?). It seems to me that it is too simplistic to say that only a few people are having all the problems. A more plausible line of reason is that the majority are either to annoyed to address their auto issues with their prospective dealers (only know they will get the run around) or simply can't hear or feel the vehicle problems or perhaps even just oblivious to problems their vehicles are having. This is my second 'highly' rated Honda auto and I had similar problems with the first one that I could never get corrected either. I swore that I would never buy another Honda again, shame on me for doing so. The initial drive at the dealer made me so convinced that these issues had been resolved that I thought it was safe to get back into the water. Wrong I was and starting to regret my purchase to the point of starting to research returning it under the lemon law if things don't get resolved. I have opened a case # with Honda corporate and hope they will resolve these issues. I miss my Suzuki XL-7 Grand Vitara 7 passenger dearly as it never gave any problems what-so-ever to us. It was destroyed in a collision of epic proportions and couldn't find a replacement of equal feature due to demand and factory re tooling. I have been in several forums today to see if it was just me or others were having similar problems. What I have found is almost uncanny and I really hope Honda Corporate is reading some of these postings. Hope your vehicle search is successful, but, lets face it, its hard to find a really good quality vehicle!
  • laurheislaurheis Posts: 57
    Just my two cents regarding two of your mentioned options...I drive a 2005 Pilot EX-L, and my husband just got the Freestyle for his company car. He is 6'1" and complains continually about the lack of legroom in the Pilot while he is driving. He HATES the little footrest on the left hand side (which I, at 5''8", absolutely love.) His solitary complaint (after two weeks of driving) with the Freestyle is the design of the center console. It swoops into the place where his right leg should be placed while driving. He is continually bumping it, and can't seem to find a place for that leg to be comfortable - makes me uncomfortable just to look at the angle of his knee while driving. The fit and finish is of a much lower quality than the Pilot, if that matters to you at all - lots and lots of plastic. It is not a car that we would have considered for purchasing, but he had to choose between the new Ford sedan or the Freestyle. We purchased a Chrysler Pacifica in its first production year, and ended up having Chrysler buy it back from us as a lemon. I personally will never purchase a first-year model ever again (too many kinks to work out.) I really like my Pilot - great fun to drive, fantastic visibility, and it is spacious enough for us (we have two small children.)
  • allison5allison5 Posts: 130
    Thanks for the your take on this information. Actually I don't think we are going to buy any Ford vehicle. As I think I stated before we had a 96 Ford Windstar with nothing but problems I have also heard about problems with Expedition, Explorer so I am just not going to go down Ford route. I am getting so many opinions about cars I am getting all mixed up. I really like the Pilot but am worried it's not big enough for 3 kids, sometimes friends etc....
  • spyderredspyderred Posts: 137
    Thanks for all your thoughts...Let me share some of my thoughts with you... I am an engineer by profession which means that, as you may be aware of, one of the worst types of people to deal with when it comes to making a decision regarding a vehicle. To complicate matters even more, I am what you may consider a car nut. So I do a lot of research on cars as it is, without being in the market to buy one. My wife currently is driving a BMW 528i with sports package. It has been a fantastic car for us. Bought it used w/ 24K miles. We have had it for a little over 4 years and it has a little more than 80,000 miles on the odometer. Now we are in need for something a bit larger than a sedan. We would like to get a vehicle that can accomodate at least 7 maybe even 8 passengers ( two are kids ages 6 and 8). Also we are looking at keeping our next vehicle for at least 5-7 years, so long term reliability is a concern. My first choice would be a minivan, as I think that they are much more comfortable and more roomy than a midsize SUV (like the Pilot, MDX). No full size SUV's like the Expedition, Yukon XL, Suburban are being considered since they are too big for my wife to drive comfortably on a daily basis. Also for her to go from a 528i w/ sports package to a Minivan will probably be very unlikely (read, she doesn't like Minivan's). To go to an SUV will be more likely (read, She is OK with driving a SUV). Now since we are considering buying a Pilot, I have read close to 6,000 posts which include the Pilot and the Odyssey message boards.The main reason for reading these two message boards was to learn a bit more about the Tranny issue. In the past, I had a 4 cylinder Honda Accord EX, that we kept for 8 years with a 130,000 miles on the odometer. This car was one of the most reliable cars I had. Regular oil changes every 3500 mi, 2 brake jobs, 4 sets of tires, and very small minor repair items that didn't total more than $300. Bought it new for $16,300, sold it for $7750. This is why I am considering another Honda. After reading all of the 6,000+ posts, I am not sure I want a Pilot or an Odyssey. Then again, the more research I do the more I realize that there is NO perfect car out there that will suit our needs. Something that is Reliable, Big enough to accomodate 7/8, yet small enough to be driven by my wife on daily basis, affordable (less than $40K).

    Sorry for the long posts...I guess I am just venting...I think that we will probably end up with a Pilot after all. It will be an EXL w/DVD and the extended Honda Care 7yrs/100,000 mi warranty for sure. I guess it would be comforting to hear that Honda has fixed the tranny issue for sure on the 05 Pilot's.

    Spyderred. :confuse:
    PS Can you tell that I am confused...
  • jgriffjgriff Posts: 362
    Worst case buy a Pilot, and if after a couple of years you start to have issues tranny or otherwise dump it. Else consider yourself lucky and drive it to your heart's content. At least you are covered for the first 3/36k.

    And you’re 100% correct no vehicle is perfect, some are better than others. My point will be that Honda & Toyota are NOT as great as many people perceived them to be.

    I dumped my CL after many other people reported having multi transmission problems on the same car, I didn’t want to be one of them. Several years later when I was in the market for an SUV, I was surprise to learn that Honda’s V6 transmission problem still existed, and worse yet on NEW models, not the older ones with a few thousands miles.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,741
    How about some **paragraphs***? Hard to read one continous and long post.

    It has to be remembered that forums such as this attract people with problems like a magnet. The transmission problems affected only a very small percentage of owners. Something like 2% I've heard. Still too many, but the vast majority will have no troubles. Honda jumped right on the problem with the oil jet retrofit to insure a trouble free life.

    And, what is a MAJOR problem for some people is of no concern to others.

    As an example, someone mentioned "gas sloshing" noises under certain conditions. I first heard of this "problem" in one of the Odyssey forums here several years ago. I thought..." what are they talking about?" since I had never heard this.

    Then, one quiet night I was driving an Odyssey down the hill through our parking lot, engine at idle, radio off when I heard it! Lo and behold, I heard the faint sound of gas sloshing around in the three quarters empty tank!!

    Now, as an owner, would that have bothered me or been a "problem"? Not in the slightest. I would have dismissed that is a characteristic of the car.

    Some things tend to get overblown here... :)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,251
    I think 2% is a high number for a transmission that should have been perfect when it came out.
  • jgriffjgriff Posts: 362
    And were not just talking 2% for 1-year, this has been on-going for 4-5 years.

    So the warm fuzzies, are NOT so warm & fuzzy.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,251
    All car companies are going to have flaws. I believe the 2% number is truly description, considering Isell's honesty. I just believe major components should have a great quality control track record in all cars. If not, I get nervous.

    If supplier parts being to have a failure rate beyond minimal, that's a supplier problems, but Honda designs and builds their engines and transmissions.

    When a car sells based on their low failure rate, the trans problems have to be a concern. But Honda has a better track record on replacement and extending warranty than other companies would do.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,424
    but i say even 2% is hardly an epidemic. PLUS, those folks get new trannies. Its not like they are out $30K or whatever. So what is the issue? That your car is in the shop for a few days? Seriously, go visit some other manufacturer boards to get an idea of some real horror stories. Or, at the very least, where manufacturers deny claims or deny problems exist at all (Mitsubishi or Nissan anyone?). I'm too busy worrying that I'll be one of the high number of people experiencing alignment problems on my '04 350z and not getting any help from the dealership than to worry that i'll be one of 2% of owners that will have a tranny failure in my Pilot and need to have it towed for free and fixed for fee with zero hassles.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,251
    >Seriously, go visit some other manufacturer boards
    But as said here often, the negative stories tend to be blown out of proportion by postings on the site.

    >tranny failure in my Pilot and need to have it towed for free and fixed for fee with zero hassles.
    The other part of that is if it didn't fail you would have the use of your car for those days and you would not have a replacement transmissions that is likely to fail after about the same number of miles.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,741
    The remanufactured transmissions are updated to address the parts that caused the problems in the first place.

    I agree...2% is too many especially for Honda. It is funny, however. With other makes it would have been accepted as pretty normal.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,251
    >...however. With other makes it would have been accepted as pretty normal.

    Two out of 100 isn't accepted as normal in other makes. And it isn't accepted for Honda. Glad to know the reman trans is sans the problems in the original design.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,803
    I wonder about that; when I skim over the articles at Warranty Week, it seems that the norm for most manufacturers is 1.5 to 2% warranty claims in general (not just trannies), with one or two pushing 4%. Apparently it's hard to get good numbers on the foreign makes though.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,741
    " Should have been perfect"

    I agree. Every new car should be perfect and remain that way for a long time.

    I think we all know, in the real world, this isn't possible. Otherwise cars would need no warranties.

    And, how do we know that transmission wasn't "perfect" when the car was delivered? How do we know what kind of abuse and hard usage that Pilot could have had leading to a transmission failure. How big of a loaded trailer or how large of a boat may have been pulled.

    As a 16 year old, I ruined the "perfect" transmission on my parent's two year old low mileage Buick one night. Luckilly, they never found out what happened.

    I also blew up the muffler one night after a buddy taught me the joys of turning off the ignition for awhile....wait....turn it back on...KA-BOOM

    Lots of fun until about the tenth time and that muffler had had enough.
  • sportymonksportymonk Posts: 258
    "... We would like to get a vehicle that can accomodate at least 7 maybe even 8 passengers ( two are kids ages 6 and 8). Also we are looking at keeping our next vehicle for at least 5-7 years, so long term reliability is a concern."
    Similar here. One college kid, one HS junior, two beagles and my wife. (Hhmm, maybe I ought to rethink that order,... Two beagles, ...) Seriously, I need the room but I don't want a minivan. Also concerned about the Ody issues. I preferred the Pilot over the Ody when I drove it.

    Hear your concern about the transmission issues but as others have pointed out, there aren't many posting here singing about perfect cars with never an issue; those people are out there driving them and enjoying life.

    "In the past, I had a 4 cylinder Honda Accord EX, that we kept for 8 years with a 130,000 miles on the odometer. This car was one of the most reliable cars I had. Regular oil changes every 3500 mi, 2 brake jobs, 4 sets of tires, and very small minor repair items that didn't total more than $300. Bought it new for $16,300, sold it for $7750. This is why I am considering another Honda."

    My 01 Impala with 80,000 miles is worth $4300 trade-in or $5100 at CarMax!! Sold my 91 Astro van with 147,000 miles for $200.

    There is no perfect vehicle. - Amen! But the Pilot is close to it. Wish it had better mileage and was about 4 - 6 inches longer in the back and had another 3 inches legroom in the third row seat.

    Will definitely go Pilot, just waiting for finances to improve.
  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    If you think about the problems with the Pilot and list them:
    1- sloshing fuel
    2- hard to start in cold "sometimes"
    3- clunking sound in front end
    4- transmission problems
    OK, Pilots been out now for a few years with only a few changes. Off the bat the "few" changes should mean something like if it aint broke don't break it!
    The sloshing fuel is that problem someone like me who is ultra-picky about their cars hears. The cold start thing is inherent to many foriegn cars. My sisters Lexus does it now and again. Big deal spin the key again and off you go. The tranny problem is able to be fixed, so people are posting.
    My long winded point is I think people "expect" Honda to be perfect because that is the image that Honda has created and everyone knows someone with an Accord with 1million miles and never changed the oil blah blah blah..
    Now, my GM with the leaky oil pan (no fix) and the thump in the tranny every time you come to a quick stop (no fix) and the rattles in the dash board (no fix) are par for the course. I had 160K on the clock and thought I had the best van GM rolled off the line- because I expected problems. If you understand that an Accord is produced in numbers that are probably half the Pilots production numbers, you have to understand that Honda, yes even Honda, may have a bad egg.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Let me start with the fact that my last three new cars have been Honda/Acuras: 2002 S2000, 2004 TL 6-speed and 2005 MDX. So I don't need to be "sold" on the virtues of Honda, notwithstanding your Edmund's name.

    The thing that bothers me about the ongoing transmission debate is the apparant lack of consistent or accurate information coming DIRECTLY FROM HONDA N.A. I, for one, would be very interested to see a complete disclosure by Honda, admitting the problem, and accurate but complete description of the cause and solution, the models affected, etc. Just come completely clean, so that potential customers know awhat the full story is from the horse's mouth. As of right now, we have to rely on bits and pieces from a lot of sources. I would think the type of disclosure I am looking for would actually help you sell Hondas (at least to intelligent buyers who respect honesty and integrity).

    For instance, you stated previously that the remanufactured transmissions have been corrected for the failure problem. Yet I have a friend on his second replacement in less than 35,000 miles (2002 TL). There are numerous postings here in Edmunds of others who have been through more than one replacement transmission. My former S2000 service manager stated off the record that he would not buy an automatic equiped V-6 Honda or Acura product, with the exception of the 2005 MDX (which supposedly has a completely new transmission, but try finding that in the product brochure).

    I suspect the problem is indeed far more talked about in this forum than in your average Starbucks. But for intelligent people doing their research, it does not look good for Honda to have a lot of unanswered or partially answered questions about major transmission failures running around.

    Final point: I still own a 1995 Nissan Maxima w/ 153,000 miles. It's on it's orignial clutch and has only had a few relatively minor repairs (water pump, muffler, etc.), all coming after 120,000 miles. I don't buy Honda/Acura products with the idea that if something as major as the transmission fails, I should be happy with a replacement and a 7 year warranty. I buy Honda products because I expect them NOT to have major problems for 150,000+ miles. Nissan handily achieved this with my 1995 Maxima, so I don't think it's unreasonable for me to expect the same from Honda/Acura 10+ years later.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,803
    complete disclosure

    Honda is one of the few auto companies that doesn't share TSB info with Alldata, so I suspect it's not in their corporate philosophy to share transmission failure rates or other details with us mere mortals. :shades:

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • spyderredspyderred Posts: 137
    Very nicely worded. This is why I am having such a problem. After all the reading I have done in the last two weeks regarding Honda/Acura transmission woes, I still can't figure out for sure if the problem has been rectified completely. I know that they have implemented the additional lubrication line to the 2nd gear. However I/WE really won't know if this is the correct solution until several thousand miles are put on those vehicles to see if this fix really worked.

    I guess as a manufacturer, you probably don't want to publicize the tranny problem as most customers will not do as much research as some of us do before making a decision. So the people that hear about will just avoid Honda without knowing all the facts. At least now, when I make my decision to buy a Pilot, I will know what I am getting my self into. My only concern is that the tranny issue may not be completely resolved as of yet. Maybe the trannies will need to be replaced every 30-35K miles, which would mean that I will get rid of my Pilot before the Honda Care warranty expires. The next thing is, who would want to buy a Pilot with 80-90K miles as it is approaching the end of warranty, with a potential tranny failure. Just look at the older Odyssey board, and the few people that bought older Odysseys.

    Spyderred,
  • jm2257jm2257 Posts: 8
    recently had an avic-n1 navi put in. absolutely love it. however i have had poor fm reception ever since. tried a couple of antennas - one in dash and one on the windshield - without much improvement.

    anyone know a way around this ?

    :confuse:
  • allison5allison5 Posts: 130
    Sorry to write another post again and again (still have not made a decision but REALLY close). I am the one that has 3 kids under age of 10 (only 1 in booster) and sometimes dog goes with us and am almost ready to get a pilot. Curious on whether people have used either tule or basket on top and which one was easier/better whatever. I am used to a GMC Yukon (not the long suburban) and have more room in that but wow is this car a piece of junk!!! I do not like American cars for many reasons but I gave it another try and I am sorry that I did. A year old GM and it's got so many rattles, idlling whatever issues and now the vent above the drivers head on ceiling is leaking again. It has already been in the shop 4 times for this and they can't fix it, everytime it rains, or the car gets washed it leaks droplets of water. I grant you it's not tons but shouldn't at all. Anyway anyone who has used these cargo things I would appreciate any feedback, I am worried abut having enough room in this car. We can't afford the car payments on Yukon now for various reasons nor the gas.
  • I need to purchase a full sized spare, as I will be towing a boat that fully loaded weighs about 3600 lbs.....I know I have several options; i.e. honda wheel/tire from dealer, or a knock off at local place (BJ's, Town Faire
    Tire, etc)....I have Goodyear Integrity tires on my '05 Pilot (I can hear the 'oohs and ahhs'!!).......any suggestions?....I may go to Michelin Cross Terrains in the future.....unsure of what to do.......
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,424
    But as said here often, the negative stories tend to be blown out of proportion by postings on the site.

    Right. And I've probably said it more than anyone. BUT, I think if you compare message board to message board, its fair to point out when one manufacturer has more and worse complaints than another on a per population basis.

    I think as others have recently stated probably more concisely than I have, when you get used to dealing with problems on cars, dealing with so few on the Honda and having them dealt with in an open and professional manner is a nice change of pace.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Isn't 3,600 lbs more than the towing capacity of the Pilot?

    We are looking at getting a boat for our second home and I am now looking into equiping our MDX with a tow package. But my Acura dealership also sells Mercedes and the sales manager reminded me that when I bought the MDX several months ago, he specifically recommended against using it for repetitive towing at or near the weight limit. Although the MDX meets our other needs perfectly, the XC90 V8, LR3 and ML350 were recommended over the MDX for serious towing.

    You might want to do a google search on Honda Parts on the internet. I found one site "H & A" I believe, that sells Honda and Acura accessories, including full size spares, at reasonable price discounts to list.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "..when you get used to dealing with problems on cars, dealing with so few on the Honda and having them dealt with in an open and professional manner is a nice change of pace".

    When one of the the roof latchs on my Honda S2000 broke 6 weeks after I bought the car, I was called by Honda executives to apologize and confirm the fix was to my satisfaction. When the replacement latch broke 3-4 weeks later, the mechanic drove to my house 20 miles away and replaced it there. Subsequently, 4 oil changes in 2.5 years. Grade: A

    When I took my 2004 TL 6-speed in to the dealership for it's first 'B" service, they asked if the Brembo brakes squeeked. I replied no, and they then mentioned there had been a TSB indicating an "occasional" complaint. The service manager said to remind him when I bring the car in for it's next major service and he will replace the brake pads for free. Grade: A.

    When shopping for SUV's in January and hearing that my friend's 2002 TL was back in its second transmission replacement, neither the Honda or Acura dealership could give me anything in writing that represented a full disclosure. The problem had been well known for over 2 years. I had to take the Acura dealers word that the 2005 (and possibly mid 2004+) MDX transmissions are a completely new and unaffected transmission design. The Pilot's apparantly are the old unit, "fixed". Grades: dealership B, Honda N.A.: D.

    The fact that Honda got great grades for quality in the past, doesn't excuse this particular failure of disclosure. My friend had been assured by factory reps that he was getting a brand new transmission that had the flaw eliminated with a redesign. He has a masters degree in mechanincal engineering, so he knows the difference between a new, flawless tansmission and a remanufactured one with a "fix" to the flawed design. If you think the matter has been handled in an "open and professional" manner, we have very different definitions of those terms.

    Two previous "A"'s and a poor grade on an issue that hopefully won't affect me isn't too bad on balance. But it's not a trend in the right direction.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,741
    The deal about a "disclosure". A small percentage of cars had problems. so what? If your car is one of the ones affected, the warranty is in effect to take care of this.

    I've never heard of roof latches breaking on S-2000's but you had two break. do you think Honda should disclose the fact that a potential buyer just "might" have a problem with this.

    I just don't understand, that's all...
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