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2004 Honda Pilot transmission is junk!

proudmom0507proudmom0507 Posts: 6
edited September 2014 in Honda
I just recently (in November) purchased a 2004 Honda Pilot. The transmission starting causing shifting problems. The first time it was like I slammed the brakes on but thankfully I was just going up our drive way and not driving fast. I started driving again and it kept messing up. Then the green light started flashing on the D when I was driving and parked. I took it in and they plugged it into the computer and it was a transmission code. There was also a 2-3 shift malfunction. They said my transmission needed replaced. I looked up recalls and my car had a recall for the transmission and it was """fixed""" in May 2006. However, they did not change the transmission, just installed an oil jet kit to keep it lubricated! Apparently that did not help especially if there are chips of metal in the fluid! Everyone I talk to just tells me my car, being at 104,000 miles, is out of warrenty and they have to draw the line somewhere! No crap people! But if you would have fixed the darn thing properly when it had a recall it would not need replaced already! Honda has been horrible through this and refuse to help me. I am a single mother of 3 children and I can not afford a new tansmission at $4,000 especially when it is their screw up and they should have to FIX their recall! I am so angry and will NEVER buy another honda as long as I live and I will tell anyone I know about their horrible transmissions and their bad customer service. They are just trying to cover their butts on this one. It is time they start helping their customers rather than basically saying "its your problem now". From what I see this is an ongoing problem with Honda and I think something needs to be done!


  • I would call Honda America and open up a case file. When they tell you they cannot provide any relief, then I would keep appealing the decision all the way up the line. I have seen other high mileage vehicles in both the Honda Pilot forums and in the Acura MDX forums that have gotten "goodwill consideration" by pressing the matter. Every time they tell you your request have been denied, ask for the next appeal step. I believe you can take this all the way to arbitration. Dont' forget to look at the Acura MDX forums for model years 2002 through 2006 that have this same problem. One final thought. If you don't want the hassle of fighting this issue, I would suggest getting prices from reputable local transmission repair shops. You can probably get a transmission for less than $3,000. Here is the link for the actual Service Bulletin that addresses the transmission/torque converter problem for the Acura MDX (same vehicle as the Honda Pilot):
  • I never heard of the "goodwill consideration". I would not have a problem fighting it but the thing is I have been without a car since the end of June. I work in headstart and have to go back to work the 16th and I will need my car. I have it scheduled for a new transmission in the 6th at a Honda dealer. Would they be able to refund or something if I get a goodwill consideration? I am going to have to put it on my parents credit card cause I just had to get a credit card to fix my car and only have a 1000 credit limit...wont cover it. I'm a single mother of 3 boys and owe 40000 in college loans and it is going to be hard to pay my parents back. I need all the help I can get. I just feel like this is something that should be addressed and Honda should be replacing their transmissions.
  • I'm in the same boat...purchased a 2004 Pilot two months ago from a non-Honda dealer.

    Two weeks later, I got the blinking "D" indicator and paid $170 to get the 4th gear pressure switch (a known defective part prone to failure) replaced.

    Two weeks after that, I got the check engine light and dreaded PO740 "TC clutch failure" code. Exactly the same issue as yours -- torque converter failing, will eventually send little bits of material into the gears/clutches and destroy the transmission.

    The problem(s) are that Honda (a) will not rebuild the transmission at the dealer. They just charge you $2957 for a remanufactured one and keep your transmission case (which is a $1500 part in and of itself).

    If you're an original owner, Honda corporate has the authority to offer 50% off on parts and labor. They tend to do this only if you purchased the vehicle from one of their dealers (I did not) or the vehicle has a history of lots of repairs (mine has a clean history, which is why I bought it).

    If you read the P30 recall carefully, there were TWO remedies -- the oil jet you got (Band-Aid to a design flaw) and replacement of the tranny. Gee, I wonder how many folks got the $4000 repair (heart surgery) and how many got the oil jet (Band-Aid).

    BTW, I asked my service manager about the oil jet -- the techs hate them because the pressure is so high that it makes reconnecting them and filling a rebuilt tranny much more difficult. He seemed to have a low opinion of the effectiveness of that part.

    I have gone back and forth with Honda corporate (was also told I would get no relief, among other outrageous things) and grovelling with my dealer and DPSM (District Parts and Service Manager). Of course, no last name or contact info is given to the almighty Eric of District J. It's all me having to call and re-explain my issue.

    In the end-all be-all, I'll probably be out $3200 plus about $300 in rental car bills plus the initial $170 sensor repair which turned out to be unneccessary. Not a good way to introduce one to the world of owning Hondas! :sick:
  • I had the Jet installed in my 2003 Pilot, drove it for 5 more years and never had a problem. That Pilot may have been the best vehicle I have ever owned as far as reliability. It had 2 recalls, a window regulatior, and oil changes and maint according to the manual. Ran great in the snow, could carry a lot of great, got decent gas mileage, and always got us from point A to point B.
  • pudgeypudgey Posts: 3

    My 2003 pilot had the same problem and it was exactly to your story! My transmision failed at100,000 miles and there was a recall that honda claimed they fixed???????????? Honda wanted to charge me 5,000 to fix the trany I cant afford this money! Do you know of anything we can do to hold honda accountable? I am willing to try anything? I am proud to say i will never buy a honda again!

  • Lots of other posts/discussions along the same lines:!keywords=#MSG219 2.html ubles-inconsistent-response-from-maker.html

    Most people are in disbelief (like myself) that this could be a defect with the Pilot (and MDX and Odyssey) transmissions. I was just recommending the Pilot to a friend over the past weekend and claimed that it was our best purchase ever (vehicle or otherwise). Our only recourse might be to take whatever Honda will do (cover 50% in my case), and submit a complaint as suggested in this post:

    kpsmith999, "Honda Pilot Transmission Problems" #177, 22 Jul 2010 5:55 pm#MSG176

    Please take the time to do so, it took me about 10 min and you need your VIN information.
  • So American Honda will cover some of my costs for replacing the tranny. The bloated estimate from the dealer is $4350 for a rebuilt tranny replacement. Honda basically wants me to pay half. Should I be excited about this? There's no arguing with the customer service guy, he's got his script down pat saying that I am out of warranty and that since it lasted 1/2 its usable life, I should be happy to pay 1/2 for it. I about wanted to reach through the phone and wring his neck. I absoolutely would have bought another SUV if I had known that this thing would have issues starting at 70k. I think I could have easily purchased a domestic SUV for $3k/$4k less and gotten more miles out of it.

    Anyone have thoughts on getting Honda to pay more for it? I wouldn't mind paying for labor, but they need to at least throw in the tranny instead of covering all their costs and just removing their 50% markup on parts and labor...
  • jtsibesjtsibes Posts: 19
    I just picked up my 2005 Pilot from the garage after paying a $4,727.85 bill for a new transmission. I too, had problems around 70k miles or so with the shuddering around 40 mph- couldn't recreate the issue for the garage so I kept on driving it...shifting ended up rough and check engine light came on so in it went again. Googled it- and low an behold- there's an entire large group of people with the same problem (MDX & Pilots). Honda knows that they have a defective torque converter causign transmissions to fail. My mechanic tried to prolong then enevitable-new transmission but when it failed failed on the the highway last week there was no saving it (thank you AAA-my mom was right). I opted for a Jasper Tranny since I did not want to take any chances with a rebuilt Honda one. It was slightly more but guaranteed (3 yrs- 100k miles). Note that I am the second owner and have maintained all service. First owner was a lease and also maintained.

    I'm preparing to write to Honda- anyone that's had success can you let me know what did the trick? I'd love the entire bill picked up but I think I may be too optimistic.
This discussion has been closed.