Honda Pilot Maintenance and Repair



  • elizasmom1elizasmom1 Member Posts: 19
    I would really like to buy a 2004 Pilot, but I'd like to know the rollover rating first. I know the MDX's rating is the best for an SUV (4 stars), but I wonder if the Pilot's may not be as good because it is taller. I know it is wider too, but maybe the extra width won't make up for the height. Does anyone have any info or thoughts on this? Anyone know when NHTSA will rate it? Anyone know when the 2004's will be out?
  • jimboscjimbosc Member Posts: 8
    I have not seen a rollover rating for the Pilot but since they share the same basic chassis (and weight distribution) the differences are probably alot smaller than you think. The height difference would be more due to tires and springs than anything else. Might effect the rollover rating a little, but I suspect not by much.

  • mfoster58mfoster58 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 EX-L and have been experiencing the same staring problem. It is intermittent. I'll try the recommendations from #107 and let you know the results.
  • pilotjimpilotjim Member Posts: 1
    Our freeway is chewed up with the studs they put in the tires. This causes a lot of road noise. I saw that some of the individuals indicated that they had a quiet car, but consumers reports indicated that road noise was a problem. I was wondering if the people who said that the car was quiet had the undercoating done. When I hear undercoating I always think of the movie Fargo and always say no thanks.
  • avcii2avcii2 Member Posts: 13
    I did not purchase the "undercoating" & usually experience little road noise. It does depend on the road surface, at least in my experience. I live in NY City and have been commuting to New Jersey during the last week and I do experience road noise on Rt 287, a road that has a fair amount of truck traffic and does not seem to be a smooth surface. Otherwise, roads in NY City and other parts of NJ seem to produce little to zero road noise. It also depends on where your own tolerance level stands. Today I drove my 96 Integra on the highway to bring it in for a new clutch (after 90,000 mi, mind you) and never realized how noisy it is in that car compared to my Pilot. The highway was torn up a bit due to the tire chains used over this Winter. I guess if you had a quiter ride prior to you Pilot, it is more noticeable.
  • ccgrccgr Member Posts: 4
    Anyone have any experience getting parts - specifically a left front fender? A bit of a low speed bang up btwn a concrete pillar and my wife while backing up and I'm wondering what I'm in for on cost and availability.
  • sjwsmwsjwsmw Member Posts: 131
    This is my only major complaint about the Pilot. The amount of noise from the road is higher than I wished. The engine noise is minimal. However, it is somewhat subjective to what your expectations are. If this were an MDX, I would say it's unacceptable. But it is on par with my wifes 2003 Explorer where the road noise is less and but the engine noise is substantially louder than the Pilot.
    Definitely compare others with the same road tests you give the Pilot and let that tell you what is acceptable.
  • bbug1bbug1 Member Posts: 76
    Being that our previous car was a van, my daughter was so thrilled with having a window she could roll down (ah, youth!). She put the rear window down about 5 inches and the entire cabin sounded like we had a helicopter overhead. I tried to lower the other windows a bit to balance things out, but it did not improve. BTW, our speed was about 40 MPH.
    Has anyone else experienced this?
  • chitturichitturi Member Posts: 16
    I tried to open rear passenger side door from out side this AM but I couldn't. I made sure that all doors were open with my remote and also using drivers side power switch but I couldn't. I had to open mannually from inside. I remember reading the similar problem either in our forum or but I couldn't find it. Any solution for this problem
  • jackb10jackb10 Member Posts: 6
    -Creaking, Squeaking front doors/windows.
    -Uncomfortable driver's seat.
    -Open rear-window shudder.
    -Center console lid wobble.

    -Creaking, Squeaking front doors/windows.
    This has gotten worse and has just about become intolerable. The creaking is ever-present and in direct proportion to the severity of the road surface. I never would have expected that Honda could have botched something as fundamental and basic as a window/door seal.

    -Uncomfortable driver's seat
    Unless you’re well endowed on the 'bottom side' expect, after ~30 mins, for the seat frame to telegraph itself through the 'undernourished' seat padding. This was the first problem I noticed and the dealer's suggestion was to purchase a seat cushion from the Sharper Image.

    -Open rear-window shudder.
    Feel free to open the rear windows providing that your Pilot is stationary. If the windows are opened, at cruising speed, you'll feel like a helicopter just landed on the roof.

    -Center console lid wobble.
    Without a doubt the ‘minor’ problem of the bunch but included here for completeness. The two small screws used to fasten the hinge to the console frame can not be torqued tightly enough to keep the lid from wobbling over time. I've retightened them 3 times now.

    Aside from the problems indicated above, the car has performed admirably. I’ve begrudgingly become accustomed to the driver’s seat but the worsening creaking and groaning emanating from the front door windows is so annoying--it has become intolerable. I’m going to take it to the dealer but I suspect it represents a fundamental design failure in the door seal system and the dealer will be unable to correct it. We’ll see and I’ll provide a follow up.
  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280

    The door seal noises you are hearing is, unfortunately, common. Some of the successful fixes that owners have reported are silicone tape (looks like pin stripping) on the surface where the seal touches, silicone lube on the door seal (temp fix), adjusting hinge and latch to make door close tighter (don't let them do this unless your door really is misaligned), and finally (best fix) is a new and redesigned door seal. For more info, do a search on for "door scrunch" and there are many messages about this problem. Specifically, one user posted their invoice for the fix. To quote:

    "The invoice says...

    Cause Subseal
    Front Door Weatherstrip Sub-Seal (Left) Replace
    61-1 Front Door Weatherstrip Sub-Seal (Right) Replace
    61-2 Front Door Weatherstrip Sub-Seal (Left) Replace
    61-3 Front Door Weatherstrip Sub-Seal (Right) Replace

    Part Number
    SPO 72310-S9V-A01 Weatherst
    SPO 72350-S9V-A01 Weatherst
    SPO 72810-S9V-A01 Weatherst
    SPO 72850-S9V-A01 Weatherst

    Factory Fail Code
    Fail Code : 032
    61-1 Fail Code : 032
    61-2 Fail Code : 032
    61-3 Fail Code : 032"

    Mine has the dreaded "scrunch" too, but it isn't bad enough yet to get fixed. I'll take it in one of these months....

    Good Luck!
  • jackb10jackb10 Member Posts: 6

    Thanks for the info. Do you know if this problem is covered under warranty and/or will the dealer feign ignorance on this kind of problem? Any additional advice as to how to proceed with a remedy would be appreciated. I'm going to check out that site you suggested. Thanks again. jackb10
  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280
    jackb10- Yes, it's a warranty issue. Sounds like people have had mixed results with their dealers. Some of the dealers lube the seal after initial complaint and adjust the hinge & latch on the return visit. The dealers are not unified on this because Honda has not published a TSB yet. My only advice is to try and get the door seals replaced on the first visit instead of the third.

  • jackb10jackb10 Member Posts: 6
    Pete, Thanks for the advice. ;) jackb10
  • jackb10jackb10 Member Posts: 6
    Update on Post #s 117-121:

    Just got the Pilot back from Honda. They coated the door seals with a silicone lubricant and so far the squeak, scrunch, and creak is gone. Whew. I've read in that this is a common fix but temporary. We'll see. Thanks to all who helped.
  • dunny6dunny6 Member Posts: 6
    I've experience the same starting problem that is clearly rampant in the Pilot.

    This solution has never failed for me, car starts every time.

    - Turn key to on position (I think it's marked II)
    - Green light with the key on it should come on for a few seconds then go off.
    - Continue to start car after green light has gone off

    No starting problem since this process has been used.
  • wort01wort01 Member Posts: 5
    Pilot owners help! I've got a dealer two hours on 65-70 mph highway from where I live who is giving me a good deal on a new Pilot. My question is this, if I go up and buy the car, what should I do about the two hour at 70 mph drive to get the vehicle back home. I've read advice about engine break in (first 500 miles at various speeds) but haven't been able to find a direct answer to the "will driving the car back destroy my brand new engine" question. Should I pass up the deal or should I get it and just plan to take a few extra hours getting it home? What is Honda's suggested break in method?

    Thanks in advance from a paranoid future Pilot owner.

  • jlr3rdjlr3rd Member Posts: 5
    Before I purchased my Pilot in Febuary, I read of complaints (in this newsgroup)of audible noise from gasoline in the tank and inadequate headlight performance. Both issues were a concern to me, but I liked the SUV so much, I went ahead and bought one at $1800 US under MSRP in Penna.

    Well, I have not experienced either of these problems: no noise from sloshing gasoline and the headlights are excellent. I do not know if Honda changed anything after hearing earlier complaints. My vehicle was manufactured in November 2002.

    I love this SUV more every time I drive it.

    John from Monroeville

    PS: it is not perfect...Honda should do something about the QUIRKY gearshift lever. Bad form for such an otherwise great design.
  • jlr3rdjlr3rd Member Posts: 5
    Ken, go get the SUV. You are worrying about irrelevant details. Drive the vehicle sensibly and change speed occasionally, and you will be fine. BTW, all the owners manual says about breakin, is to avoid hard braking and hard acceleration!

    John of Monroeville, PA
  • jlr3rdjlr3rd Member Posts: 5
    I have experienced this resonance in numerous vehicles...RX-300, RAV4, my PILOT, FORD EXPLORER, ETC. It is not a design problem, it's simple physics. Blow across the top of any bottle and you have just heard a Helmholtz Resonator.

    The sound level can usually can be ameliorated by opening more than one window (or the sunroof, if you have one).

    John from Monroeville, PA
  • jlr3rdjlr3rd Member Posts: 5
    Maj1, you have a unique engine if the fuel injectors begin to work before the engine turns over! If fact, it they do, you have a real problem.

    I think what you are hearing is the electric fuel pump, which will run prior to engine turnover. BUT, the fuel delivery system in most modern automobiles is designed to retain pressure in the lines after shutdown. Waiting for the fuel pump to run prior to turning the engine over, SHOULD NOT be necessary.

    John from Monroeville PA
  • tocatoca Member Posts: 147
    I agree - the headlights are more than adequate. I can also hear the gas tank sloshing only with a hard stop and the radio off.

    I don't have a problem with shifting into D since I started pulling the shifter towards than going down. The only thing I still do from time to time is pull on the windshield washer stalk.
  • angieebangieeb Member Posts: 8
    How long should I wait before waxing the Pilot? I have a black one and I need to get it ready for the Texas heat. Detail shop said to wait 6 months to let the paint "set." Anybody else heard this?
  • sjwsmwsjwsmw Member Posts: 131
    I hadn't heard the paint setting recommendation, but was interested in what type of wax was best t use. This is my first new car in 14 years and I am sure there have been advances to the paint and wax areas.
  • avcii2avcii2 Member Posts: 13
    I've followed the advice found here with regards to starting my Pilot (turn the key, wait for the green "key" light to go off and proceed to turn the key to start)and have had no problems since. Thank You. Also, have you noticed that once they green "key" light goes out, your gauges start to register?
  • endollanendollan Member Posts: 12
    It was unfortunate that my new pilot now has a shattered window. A rock hit it at a weak spot and now the back, third row seat passenger side window is broken. I was wondering if anyone knows a cheap place to buy a new window and replace it. The window is the (third/last window). I've looked everywhere and the only place i can think of is paying the price at the dealer or autobody shop and have them ordered a window for me. Is there any other option that I can save a few dollars on?
  • dklaneckydklanecky Member Posts: 559
    under automotive glass repair. Don't know where you live but there's dozens of shops around me and I'm sure you can find a few. Call them and ask before you go to the dealer.

    New windshield for my car was $700 from dealer, $250 from an independcent shop. I got the Nissan one because the Manufacturer paid for the repair under warranty but if it was my money..........
  • capoanycapoany Member Posts: 32
    Got the Pilot EX_L w/ RES. Kids tool around in back watching LIlo and Stitch, all is well in the world..but NONE of the burned CD's i made for them work in the DVD/CD player for RES....( they do work in the main CD player)Anyone else have this problem? Sounds minor, but the RES is a godsend for us, and I'm not interested in having N'Sync blaring through the cabin!!!
  • tommunchtommunch Member Posts: 1
    My dealer told me I'd be getting a survey in the mail asking about my satisfaction with the car-buying experience. I've had these before with other new cars. Honda called instead of sending a written survey. I wasn't home, so my wife took the call. She answered honestly. We had a decent experience - probably about average. Our young salesman knew less about the Pilot than I did after reading the brochure & a review in Car & Driver. Also the salesmen was fired or quit about the time we called after a few weeks & a few test drives. When we sat down to purchase, the dealer wouldn't negotiate the MSRP price other than taking off the "administrative fees" & giving us a few accessories. My dealer had asked me to answer "completely satisfied" (5 on a scale of 1 to 5) on all questions. Guess what? She didn't answer "completely satisfied" on all questions, so I got a call from the dealer asking what they did wrong a few minutes ago. Seems the dealer loses some clout with Honda (dealer trade leverage & respect) because our survey wasn't "perfect". Guess she should have declined to participate in the survey when Honda called. Anyone else had a similar experience?
  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280

    I applaud your wife for being honest! The dealer can say what they want, but the only way those surveys can help Honda corp. is if they're accurate. I wish more people would honestly answer those surveys, maybe then some of the bottom-feeder dealerships would be out, making room for the respectable dealers.
  • sjwsmwsjwsmw Member Posts: 131
    I was asked by the salesman to answer all the questions with '5' when the survey happened. This dealer was something special in terms of dealers recognized by Honda, an honor it seems. I think it is things like that that also affect them by these surveys. He even said, was there anything that we discussed during the transaction to NOT warrant a '5'. I was treated fine by this dealer, so I gave the dealer the 5's.

    But what I wish they had a section for was all the rude, slimey dealers that I had to deal with before I got to one that I liked. Yes, I voted with my purchase, but I wish they had a 'most unpleasant' dealer experience section.
  • kukarekakukareka Member Posts: 20
    I had similar situation when I bought my Civic at Honda Route 22 in New Jersey. A couple of weeks later I received a survey. I could not believe my eyes when I saw all questions checked as "excellent". All I had left was to put my name under it.
    Cheap lying bustards!
    I just threw it to the garbage. I, probably, should 've notified American Honda about this issue...
  • sabine3sabine3 Member Posts: 3
    I purchased my Pilot in January. I noticed a strange noise and then leakage. The power steering was low, so I added more. Well I finally took it to the dealer and the power steering rack is leaking. They are ordering a new rack. Also some sticky residue kept appearing by the driver side door, very hard to remove and than it appears again. I can't figure out why and neither could they so they are replacing the door handle. They said a Honda engineer may come out to look at the rack problem, seems mine isn't the first one it has happened to. Has anyone experience any problems? I was surprised I love my Pilot and after 4 months I didn't expect problems. At least they are fixing it fast.
  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280

    Don't know your problem is same as mine, but do you have the Honda towing package? I had a pretty fast leak from my power steering right from the start. It was caused by the botched installation of the power steering cooler in the trailer hitch package.

    Drove it home the first night from the dealer and the PS pump was making bad noises by the time we got to our driveway. I looked under the hood and only 1/4 of the PS fluid was left in reservoir. It then took the dealer 3 days to get it back to me since they were having a hard time located a new PS pump. No problems with the PS since then.
  • njeverestnjeverest Member Posts: 12
    Our pilot is just over 1100 miles for 2 months, and yesterday the mal-function indicator lamp was on for 6 seconds, and this morning, it's on and off constantly. The manual did say if you just added gas, the cap was not closed properly, the light might be on. However, we had gas two weeks ago, and the light comes on and off since yesterday. The closest two dealers won't have time until next week. Anybody has similar experience?
  • silverpilot03silverpilot03 Member Posts: 43
    I read postings regarding the poor headlights on the Pilot. I didn't think they could be accurate; but, after buying a Pilot last week and driving at night, they are correct. The headlights are very bright, but have a very sharp cutoff that does not extend very far in front of the vehicle. I found I was outdriving the lights at night and was concerned about hitting an object I might not see until too late. SO--I adjusted the headlight up a degree or two. This does not affect the sight of oncoming traffic and makes a huge difference in the illumination distance. An bolt on the back of the headlight allows this adjustment. DO NOT ADJUST IT TOO HIGH. Good luck.
  • angieebangieeb Member Posts: 8
    If you have ever dropped anything in the small width space between the driver's seat and the console, you have lost it forever! I dropped my credit card there. There is no way to get it out! My hands, my kids hands, a yardstick, etc are all too big to get in the space. You can't go under the seat either. If you know how to get items out of those spaces, let me know! That is my only complaint! I love the vehicle!
    Thanks, Angie
  • my3kidsmy3kids Member Posts: 56
    Try your vaccuum cleaner. If the nozzle is large enough to suck the card in put a knee-hi pantyhose over it. Just holding the nozzle at the opening might create enough suction to pull the card out, especially if you can put someone on the other side to kind of block the opening and creae a little more suction. If you have a crevice tool, you might be able to stick that in the space.

    Good luck!
  • brews1brews1 Member Posts: 40
    My wife has been complaining about driving the Pilot at night so I took it out last night and you are right. Can only see about 100 feet in front and then pitch black. Figured I could fix it by adjusting the lights. I looked under the hood and saw a bolt under a plastic cap at the top on the back of the headlight. Tried to get the cap off but it wouldn't budge. Is there a trick to getting it off?
  • silverpilot03silverpilot03 Member Posts: 43
    The adjustment with the plastic cap is actually the L-R adjustment screw. The U-D is toward the outside of the fender. On my pilot, this did NOT have the cap. You can use a Phillips screwdriver to turn the adjustment. I prefer to use a socket. Move the headlight in small increments, then check the aim and make sure you are not blinding the oncoming driver. Also, aim too high and your high beam will illuimate the sky not the road. Good Luck.
  • brews1brews1 Member Posts: 40
    I called the dealer and they told me to have my wife bring it over and they will adjust them for her. They adjusted them and told her not to let me play with them if they aren't right just stop by and they will readjust. But, thanks for the info because if they aren't right I will take a shot at it myself
  • shovelhdshovelhd Member Posts: 6
    My burned DVD-R's (finalized as DVD-Video) also do not play in my RES at this point. Still working on it.
  • brews1brews1 Member Posts: 40
    Dealer made the headlights worse, no joke, it only lit about 75 feet in front and then a sharp cutoff and pitch black. I live in a rural area without street lights so I took it out last night and adjusted them myself on a flat section of my street. Had to turn quite a bit before it made any difference. But, there may be a bigger problem, I parked my Tundra next to the Pilot and it was like night and day (no pun intended) as far as illumination of the road. The Pilot lights were dim and produced a "shadow like" effect on the road. The Tundra lights were bright and clear. I didn't think it was that bad until the side by side test really clarified the difference for me. Now I see why my wife was complaining and think this is a real safety issue.
  • ejwintejwint Member Posts: 9
    A squeaky/ringing noise from the mid console, intermittent, somewhat temperature and RPM dependent. Plastic on plastic vs. electronic component in or around radio/navigation system/climate control assembly. Two trips to the dealer and silicone spray did not help. Did anyone else experience this, and if so, what is the solution? Thanks.
  • drnyerdrnyer Member Posts: 5
    The A/T Temp light went on yesterday when I was on a long trip. Stopped for a while for it to cool down, but it never went off. Decided to go home with it but finally the D gear started blinking. Have to go to the dealer tomorrow to check it up. Anyone know if this is a serious problem?
  • pilotoveraccorpilotoveraccor Member Posts: 2
    Well I heard this sound the same day I picked up the car but I thought that it was something from the road that had hit the bottom of the car. It took me a few weeks of driving before I learned how to reproduce voluntarily rather than accidently. It is a thump that comes right after u take your foot of of the brake, lets say you are slowing for a light or something. You step on the break to slow down then release-thump that is felt and heard. I have felt this at speeds up to 30-40mph, but most time it happens as I'm coming to a stop. Took it to the dealer for a road test with tech. He heard and felt it, he then made endless inspections/re torquing of the suspension, breaks. drive shaft but to no avail. We then got the keys to the owner of the dealerships' Pilot to see if the problem would show up in his, and sure enough by then I was so good at finding this thump that the owners Pilot with 15000miles made this thump almost without trying. But they still aren't willing to say that it's a problem. They r willing for me to show this to the factory rep that is expected early next month. Anyone else ever heard/felt this sound, and it is not gas sloshing in tank unless there is something heavy sloshing around in there with the gas. Try it for yourself-drive at 5-20mph step on the break-not neccesarily too hard-then release-you'll feel it even more noticeable on a slight decent.
  • drnyerdrnyer Member Posts: 5
    It took the dealer two days to replace the temp sensor and the trany control unit. The sensor was short-circuited and it also damaged the control unit. The service man was nice and said it is unsual for this kind of problem at just 3000 mi. I would say so too. Yes, they forgot to give me a free car wash and my car is much dirtier than It was when I drove in. D*amn
  • daledrummercatdaledrummercat Member Posts: 1
    My pilot uses 2 oz of ps fluid every 3 weeks and the dealer can not find the leak. My limited knowledge tells me it may be occurring during hard turning or some other condition that can not be simulated in the garage. I like the vehicle otherwise except for some speculation that a recall may be in order to fix the timing belt assembly. I would hope that Honda comes forward to promptly notify owners of any safety issue. I will just keep putting ps fluid in and keep looking for the leak. Maybe I should just let a couple more ps pumps burn up then trade it back as a "lemon law" car.
  • lemonadekinglemonadeking Member Posts: 4
    The broken power steering pump pulley can be attributed to your dealer over tightening the power steering belt when the did the water pump recall. This is out in a service bulletin somewhere.
  • brews1brews1 Member Posts: 40
    For anyone experiencing the sharp cut off, I think I fixed it last night. Just an FYI, Brewster Honda (New York) has been great to deal with during this and have done everything to help. They gave me new OEM bulbs to try and we were discussing giving me new headlight enclosures to test it out. But I told them to hold off for a while until I have more time to evaluate the fix. I installed Sylvania "cool blue" bulbs, they aren't the obnoxious fake blue light, just bright white, and the sharp cut off appears to be gone. I actually had to adjust the headlights down after installing the new bulbs. Took my wife out after installing them and she said they look much better and she will let me know next time she drives alone at night.

    I think some of the OEM bulbs are defective and that could explain why not everyone sees the cutoff.
    If she isn't happy, I will repost. In any event, I think I can keep her out of my Tundra for now.
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