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Honda Pilot Maintenance and Repair



  • Very interesting! 21 mA still seems high, but I guess that is what it is for some reason or another.
  • jse107jse107 Posts: 7
    If you have any suggestions, let me know!

    Catastropic engine failure in a 4 year-old Honda Pilot with 47,000miles???!!!!

    Yes, that's correct. Driving the car normally one minute, and completely overheated and shut-down the next. Had to be towed to the dealership where they've had it for 3 days and STILL cannot figure out exactly what's wrong. It's bad. Very, very bad.

    And to add icing to this wonderful confection, the '05 has a 3/36,000 mile warrarty, whereas the '06 has a 4/48,000 (meaning it would be covered no questions).

    The car has had no issues before this. No leaking fluid, no weird noises or grinding--nothing. They've sent it out to be "magnifluxed" to see if there are any other cracks in the engine. Mind you, the engine is torn apart.

    If it's ONLY the head gasket (which it's not), the cost will be $1550. For a 4 year-old Honda. They've said that they've never seen this happen before. I like to be different, but not THAT different!

    I've already contacted Honda Motors America, who said they can't do anything until a diagnosis of the problem is made. I have a case number, but that's it. I'm paying for a crappy rental for at least a week!

    DH has been diligent about all maintence--he does the oil changes with genuine honda parts, replaced differential fluid, checks tire pressure, checks that all fluids are topped off...

    Any suggestions?

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    Well this is tricky business. If they find no defect they might accuse you of letting the car overheat, and this is, to be fair, an argumentative weapon that can be used on you as an excuse not to help you. Also if your service records are sketchy, this isn't going to help either.

    It's hard to say which way its going to go. I hope you get lucky. I'm thinking worst case scenario is that they'll offer a split settlement with you, and, short of legal action, that may be the best you can do--unless you want to haul the engine over to someone else to have it examined. The idea of a split settlement is that you got some use over the years and so aren't entitled to everything brand new.

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  • jse107jse107 Posts: 7
    Well, the latest as of last evening is that the head has been sent out to be magnifluxed. My husband e-mailed them with all the details of what happened when he was driving. When I talked to the service advisor yesterday, he said he didn't want to speculate on exactly what might have happened and how to repair it. Again, from the minimum of the head gasket to the possiblity of having to replace the engine.

    My husband does the regular maintenece on this car with Honda parts--oil changes and so forth. He has it all in an Excel spreadsheet where he also tracks the gas mileage of the car for each fill-up. It's detailed, but I don't know if they're going to accept that.

    I'm very frustrated, especially because the reason we bought a Honda was for their excellent reliability. Makes me wonder about that now...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    Well you know, statistically there will be, absolutely, a small percentage of ANY car made by human beings (or their robot slaves) that will screw up--be it a $15000 Scion or a $300,000 Maybach. It is impossible to avoid the occasional disaster. Also we can't regard the entire car a "lemon" because of one part failing, any more than we can write off an entire house because the furnace breaks.

    Hopefully, Honda will find something unusual and step up to the plate for you. But if they offer you a fair settlement where you pay something out of pocket, I'd go for it and get this behind you. If you dig your heels in, they might up their offer, but they might dig their heels in---and once they've offered a compromise, they start to look good in the eyes of an arbitrator or mediator--if you catch my drift. Of course, it would be nice if this out-of-pocket on your part were minimal, maybe just labor to R&R a new engine. You do have to consider the 40K use you got out of the car and that legally you are totally out of warranty. So play your best cards.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • jse107jse107 Posts: 7
    Service manager requested all the maintenence records. Thankfully, although I tease him about it, my husband has everything on a spreadsheet from when we first bought the car--so he sent that off. He also said he could send reciepts from when we got the brake pads done and when another dealership fixed the bumper (it was in an accident that involved a tire rolling off another car!). All oil and parts have been purchased at the dealership servicing the car now, so we have records of that also.

    I don't begrudge this dealership--I know they are working to find out what's wrong, and in fact, admit they are just as puzzled as we are. It's just a general frustration with the situation. That, and I have to drive a crappy rental!
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    The receipts you have for buying the oil do not prove that your husband actually replaced it. You cannot go in court because you have no proof of maintenance. So legally Honda can just walk away. I would suggest you smile nicely,and take any deal they are kind enough to offer.

    You should never replace the oil by yourself during the warranty. Always have it replaced by any 10 minutes shop (or dealership), and keep the receipts. If your husband wants to play changing the oil, he should do it after the warranty expires.

    Your spreadsheets, or receipts for buying pads or oil really mean nothing.

    Call any other manufacturer on their 1-800 line, and ask if your engine blew and you have no maintenance proof ... will they give you a new engine ?!?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Oh, I don't know. I think a judge could probably look at the receipts and spreadsheet and listen to the owners and get a good idea if the maintenance claim was ginned up or not.

    It might depend on what the judge had for breakfast too though. :P

    Going to court is a big roll of the dice, so if you can negotiate something out, that's probably a lot less nerve-racking.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    >"Going to court is a big roll of the dice, so if you can negotiate something out, that's probably a lot less nerve-racking"

    I agree.

    Buying the oil and filters and so forth, and having receipts for such are a good thing, but corporate lawyers (honda) can say there is no proof of whether or not the items were installed correctly or at all, If they wanted to play hard ball!

    Also, going to court without an attorney would almost certainly spell disaster for your case. With an attorney, their fees can quickly dwarf any settlement you might get, even if you won your case.

    I used to change my own oil and such, but came to the realization that the savings are not really worth the effort. Our Honda dealer does it for around $30. And that includes some inspections, topping off other fluids and so forth. And they throw in a free car wash. This dealer has also been good about checking for and installing "Technical Service Bulletins" while I am there. These are items that are not necessarily tied into any kind of mandated recall and might never be done if I'm doing my own service or having it done by "Jiffy Lube".

    To do it myself, using the Honda filter and "Pennzoil" synthetic blend oil (they use) would cost in the neighborhood of $15 or so. Add in other related expenses, such as the time to do the change, the mess, properly disposing of the used oil and so forth. Of course there is the problem of "What if " there is an expensive failure. Will anybody believe that I did everything on time and properly?

    "Stuff" can happen! Parts are made by vendors and occasionally something is out of specs. I want to know that I did everything I could to keep up my end of proper service. I don't know what goes on in the Honda service bays. Did the tech do it properly? I've still got the paper work, "Proving" I made every effort to do it their way. I do know that the few drive train warranty problems I had, involved the dealer looking at my service record on his computer, first thing! My understanding is that any Honda dealer, anywhere, can view my car, any problems I've had, and the service record by simply entering my vin number.

    I just don't believe in being penny wise and dollar foolish! :cry:

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    i agree, I'd take any kind of reasonable settlement offer even if it involved some out of pocket.

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  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    can say there is no proof of whether or not the items were installed correctly or at all,

    you do the stuffs yourself means not Honda certified, so not do a thing right or forgot something can spell disaster. The spreadsheet and receipts don't mean everything was done 100% correctly.

    The Honda mechanics can't compare with your husband. They are Honda trained, insured and ASE certified while your husband is not.

    If the Honda mechanic forgot to fill new oil to the engine after the old oil drained, engine is overheated, they will replace whatever needed, while your husband forogt same then don't scream. We are human, can make mistake any time.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    All true bigdadi.......but let's wish her luck. Hopefully the engine tear down will put enough doubt in Honda's mind to make some offer.

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  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    I am a little surprised at the sheep mentality of a number of people on this board. Yes the Pilot is out of warranty and the driver is at the mercy of Honda in general. To make the leap that customer maintenance is going to be a significant deciding factor in what Honda chooses to do for this customer is a leap that auto manufacturers must love to hear. Use our maintenance or if you ever have any problem it is your fault. Congress has made it clear over the years that maintenance done by either owners or independent shops should not be seen as inferior.

    If Honda finds that the problem was caused by a lack of oil, or oil used beyond its useful life, then they may blame maintenance and would be correct in doing so. If there is no clear evidence of an oil problem then they should say that it is a problem with their product. They should be willing to pay 1/2 up to the full cost of the repair if they truly are a customer service oriented corporation. If they don't blame the oil and don't pay a significant portion toward the repair, I hope the owner returns here and gives us that information. That should affect many people's judgement in making any future purchases from Honda. It would mine. I went through this issue with a GM product one time and have never returned as a customer. The future held bankruptcy for GM. Honda and Toyota are not immune from following a very similar path in the future if they don't take care of their customers.

    Keep us informed as this story continues to unfold and good luck!
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I am a little surprised at the sheep mentality of a number of people on this board.

    Denigration is not a particularly compelling or persuasive argument. Being respectful of other's views will earn more points in a debate.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    We are not sheep ! Actually Bigdadi was pleading for Honda service, and I was pleading for any service (Honda, or 10 minutes oil change, or whatever - just get a receipt saying that it was done). So we didn't have the same opinion, as sheep have.

    And if we truly are sheep, why don't you post somewhere where humans post, not sheep ...
  • jensadjensad Posts: 388
    Oh my, at last conflict on the Board. Sounds like a baaaaaaad situation. Hi Tidester. I always appreciate your input. I hope we all get treated respecfully by the Honda dealers.

    We shopped around in our area, the Bay Area, to locate a dealer that did the service work correctly and courteously treated my wife. I think they are all about the same as to charges , not sure, but my wife likes the services performed on our 06 Pilot, so it works for us.

    I.e. we found one, hope of you do to.

    Good luck to all and stay safe

  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    The point was that anyone but the capable auto owner should be trusted. That is what the automakers and other service shops have been preaching for years. Don't trust your own ability to do a simple job, you must be dependent on us. Too many people have bought that line. I have seen the Jiffy Lube, Wal-Mart, and many service shop personnel. Do they claim to be trained? Of course. Would I trust most of them with my vehicle? No.

    This board is full of independent and knowledgeble people thus the reason I was so surprised. I didn't expect that so many had bought the line being sold to them. Nothing wrong with getting your car serviced by someone else, but it shouldn't be due to fear of the automaker's wrath when you know you are capable.
  • jensadjensad Posts: 388
    I agree 100 % bamacar. I think our here in Ca, er, Disneyland, (jmo) it is easier for my wife to take it to the dealer, and have the work done there. We also have a pretty good "lemon law" here that helps us to get results.

    One more reason with my wife is the worksheet from Honda, in her files, makes her more secure if she complaints re: work / warrant/ ect. Indeed our extended warranty on our old Toyota, was put to the test years ago, when the tranny went out, still under the magic warrany, she had the service book all filled out and we got it fixed at their cost, i.e. $ 2000 or there abouts.

    Good luck to all and stay safe.

  • donixdonix Posts: 16
    Preventive maintenance at your service..LOL!!!

    Check oil level / coolant level / brake fluid level / every week...

    Check the floor everyday.... :) Prevention is better than cure.

    This for now folks!!!!
  • poodog13poodog13 Posts: 320
    I recently took my 2009 Honda Pilot to the dealership for 10k service. I was told in advance that this would include an oil change and thorough visual inspection. I asked if that also included tire rotation and they said that it would. Since I figured it was unlikely that a dealership could ratchet up the price of an oil change, tire rotation, and inspection by any signficant amount, I figured it would be ok, especially since anything found in the inspection woudl be covered by warranty.

    When I got the bill, it was broken down as follows:

    10K Maintenance $78.00
    Oil Change $23.50
    15,000 SE $24.50
    Total w/ Tax $134.82

    I am FURIOUS over this bill. What could they have done that would merit a $78 fee that DOES NOT INCLUDE THE OIL CHANGE? And what in the world is "15,000 SE"? If anyone knows, please tell me.

    I've written a letter of complaint to the service manager and copied the salesperson who recently sold us the car. Unless they respond quickly and in a significant way, they've lost my service business (and that of my parents, who bought a car from the same guy 3 months before I did).
  • zorcereszorceres Posts: 23
    Hi everyone! We have a 2009 Honda Pilot with 12.5K miles on it. It just gave a B16 code (current oil "life" is 15%, this will be the second time is replaced, the first one was around 7.5K when it signaled for it too). I know this is the B schedule (instead of the A) which I read is for not so normal conditions (pulling a trailer, driving in extreme cold/heat, maybe driving over big mountains, etc.). We don't do any of this. My commute is actually about 15 miles round trip on weekdays but this being the family car it gets more used on the weekend. Still, the only think we've hitched to it is a bike racks with 2 road (very light) bikes and our winter/summer has not being unusual. We hardly do stop & go traffic since we are not in a busy city.

    We call our very trustworthy regular shop and they told us not to worry. That we can follow the A schedule like we've done with all our cars, meaning it needs the oil changed and tire rotation and go back at around 15k for the "regular" 15 k stuff.

    We also call the Honda dealer closer to us (not from where we got the car, that is over an 1hr away) who claims that we need to do BOTH the A and B schedule alternating between them!!!??? Meaning we need to do an oil change, tire rotation, and a VTM differential fluid replacement and then go back to whatever the A says at 15K.

    We've own a lot of cars in our lifetime and have never heard of anyone doing both maintenance schedules at the same time. I am sure that if we ask, our trustworthy shop will replace the VTM fluid on the 15K check if is not part of it and will definitely do it if it is part of it without us asking (we've always follow the 15, 30, 45, etc for things other than oil changes basically on all our cars and they've lasted).

    I guess my question is, should we follow the A, B, both? I am confused and a bit annoyed to be honest. I will really be annoyed if after picking the B the car signals an A# at 15K... (I really dont' like cars bossing me around, there's lots of people that do that already.. LOL)

    Any suggestions? :confuse:

    Disclaimer: We've used our current shop for a dozen years or so and they've always been honest, upfront and fair. I tend to believe them and we trust them. Dealers, well, not so much....
  • donixdonix Posts: 16
    For me I don`t wait for any code to appear, 30% of the oil life will be great to change or every 2,500 miles to maintain the 100% performance all the time.

    NOTE: Two or three weeks after your change oil, check the oil level, add ifneeded.
    It happens in my 09 pilot about 1/2 quart was consumed in just 2 weeks or
    200 miles and 1/2 quart in 2,000 miles. it is important that the oil is always on
    the max. level.
    I used to fill up my tank with a premium gas or 92% octain ratings but I noticed a clattering sound in the engine so I switch to 87 sounds good but 89 will be the best for this engine.
  • The A & B are codes for service items, as are the 1 and 6, they are not really schedules. Check your owners manual under Maitenence Minders and you will see what is recommended to be done. Follow that schedule through your warantee period. The VTM-4 fluid should be changed at the first time at 10,000 then at every 15,000. That is also in the owners manual. It is a long document but alot of good info in there. After the code B is reset, your next indicator will be a code A.

    and Changing the oil every 2,500 miles is a waste of money and oil.
  • donixdonix Posts: 16
    To justaveragejoe, can you please calculate how much money will I waste in a year if I change oil every 2,500 miles? in my calculation, $50-60 a year more than changing oil in every 3,000 miles.

    I do this system based on my driving experience every time when I reached below 30% oil life, I need to push harder to accelerate and engine become a little bit noisier than normal. It does`nt matter to me if I waste a few bucks than to suffer a little bit of performance I`m just the kind of driver that wants almost perfect or even perfect!
  • poodog13poodog13 Posts: 320
    Seems unlikely that thesee "perceived" reductions in performance levels are realistic or attributable to oil condition. Many oil manufacturers indicate that their oil lives go well beyond 3,000, and my Honda Pilot is providing the maintenance reminders closer to 5,000 per interval.

    If $50-$60 per year is no big deal to you, perhaps consider listening to the science backing today's oil life estimates and instead donate that money to charity.
  • donixdonix Posts: 16
    5,000 miles interval for oil change? Oh! thats great I wish mine too :shades:

    I`m not saying that $50-60 a year is not a big deal to me, But the point is, I`m just tryin` to do the best for my vehicle, Because I don`t want to buy another car in just a few years. you know what I mean? I want my car to be a vintage car someday if time will allow.

    Here: early changing of oil is better than late and late is better than never :sick:

    I got this Idea from my former auto instructor way back year 2005 here`s what he says ( ` You can change your oil early if you want and it`s better for the engine too. but just if you have an extra bucks!) I think it`s not a waste of money for doing this. in fact you gain from it.

    Extra: I wash the engine (inside) every time I make an oil change. Just putting 2 quarts of oil and run the engine for 1-2 mins . and drain againto make sure there`s no sludge left inside the engine. if you don`t agree with it`s fine but I learned this from my senior chief mechanic. I`m not a mechanic but I can do such task like mechanic do. I`m just in preventive maintenance area. ( prevention is better than cure) the mechanics probably don`t like me :P
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    If you own a 2006 – 2010 Honda Pilot and live in the Los Angeles area, please contact by August 12 if you’re interested in being contacted for more information on your vehicle ownership experience.


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  • What is a senior chief mechanic? Running your engine on two quarts of oil every oil change does more damage to your engine than any benefit. The most damage on an engine is when you initially start the car, before the oil has reached the moving parts and created a barrier between them. The worst time is when you change the oil, since there is no oil in the filter and other critical oil paths. Those few seconds create 1000s of miles of wear.

    Most oil related failures are due to the lack of oil, not the type or age of the oil. If you are changing the oil at 2,500 miles, there will be no sludge. Too many TV commercials about "performance-robbing" sludge.
  • poodog13poodog13 Posts: 320
    New oil also has chemicals in it that can damage the catalytic converter. Normal oil change cylcles don't introduce these chemicals often enough to cause an issue, but excessively frequent changes will.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Interesting - that was news to me. Who's going to break the news to all the quick lube joints?

    The Great Car Maintenance Upsell (Yahoo)
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