Honda Pilot Maintenance and Repair



  • silverpilot03silverpilot03 Member Posts: 43
    I searched the post and read about "THE" clicking sound. I want to confirm with someone who had it, and, had it fixed. The noise I hear is a clear click-it sounds just like the dash cruise button being engaged. It happens almost anytime, but normally on slight bumps and can occur many times in a minute. I hope this is not the weld problem since I have s/n 71300 produced on Feb. 16th 2003. Any guidance is appreciated since my dealer has never heard of another compliant on this noise
  • silverpilot03silverpilot03 Member Posts: 43
    Brews - I also replaced the bulbs with a European spec Philips bulb. It rated 159 in a european magazine's test. The Sylvania bulb rated 153, so very close. Surprisingly, some of the better aftemarket bulbs failed right out of the box and when they did work, they only scored 120+-. I did not think the bulb made much difference. For my situation, the adjustment made the biggest improvement. Were the enclosures the dealer offered a new design or just new?
  • silverpilot03silverpilot03 Member Posts: 43
    I noticed marks from the seatbelt on the A pillar. Thinking my wife had done this, I sort of blamed her for letting the belt FLY back like she does in her Civic. Well, when I gently let the belt go the last few inches and saw it make a white mark, I ate crow. The plastic marks EASILY. Just scuff the pillar with the PLASTIC part of the buckle and it will mark. Has anyone else seen this, or had the dealer comment on the problem? After 7 years the Civic's pillar still looks new despite years of sub-sonic hits from the buckle. I also checked a friend's Odyssey. It did not mark either.
  • cheermom1cheermom1 Member Posts: 1
    I know exactly what you are talking about. I have had my Pilot since October 2002 and within the first week of ownership I noticed the marking as well. When I took it in a few days after delivery to have a defective weld on the front strut repaired, I brought up the issue. The dealer told me that they did not carry replacement panels and they didn't have knowledge of this being a problem at that time.Six months and 14,000 miles later, you can imagine how marked up it is -- looks cheap.
    My biggest problems are minor: rear a/c vents break easily when kids hit them with their feet, poor headlight visibility, sloshing gas tank noise. I also have found it difficult to retrieve dropped items between the drivers seat and the center console.
  • silverpilot03silverpilot03 Member Posts: 43
    Did the weld problem start as a clicking sound? It seems like it is in the cabin, but since the strut tower is just outside the cabin, the noise might sound like it is actually inside.
    Was the weld at the top of the strut tower? I will presume that they will remove the strut for the weld. An alignment should have also been required after such a repair.
  • tscivolettetscivolette Member Posts: 1
    My Pilot has 13,000 on it. The SRS light has now come on 3 times. The first time I was told that my aftermarket XM radio could be the cause. The second time I was told that putting anything on the passenger seat could set off the sensor. I questioned the service people about this.I find it absurd that you cannot place a purse or a bag of groceries on the front passenger seat without the SRS light going on and having to be reset by the dealer. Sure enough I was on my way to the gym and picked my gym bag off the floor onto the seat to get something out and the light came on again. Has anyone had this problem? Does anyone find this be be absurd?
  • sjwsmwsjwsmw Member Posts: 131
    Enjoy my Pilot but some quirky things can be annoying. In addition to the usual ones, gas tank sloshing and lack of obvious ammenities, I found the design of the floor on the driver's side annoying now.
    At first, I thought the raised left foot resting pad was a smart idea. But now after 3 months of ownership, the carpet is showing wear. The floor mat doesn't protect that part of the floor. I ended up getting a thin vinyl floormat and putting it under the carpeted mat extending it over the raised pad. It seems to be working fine.
    Oh well, can't have everything I guess.
  • pbourboupbourbou Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem you outlined in your posting #156. I heard this as soon as I brought the car home and thought nothinf of it just like you. I will bring it up to my dealer when I get over there. I also heard this in my cousins Pilot also.
  • brews1brews1 Member Posts: 40
    silverpilot03 - The dealer and I were discussing new enclosures, not redesigned, just different because I thought mine might have been defective. I have read on other forums ( that people installing high powered bulbs are experiencing premature failures. I was assuming that they were H4 bulbs and not 9003 type bulbs. The bulbs I installed are 9003CB and so far so good. If mine burn out prematurely, I will let you know. I believe that the OEM bulbs that came with my Pilot were defective because there was a flat black cutoff which went away with the new bulbs.
  • pilotoveraccorpilotoveraccor Member Posts: 2
    Hey pbourbou,
    I'm still waiting on the factory rep. appointment they said he should be in at the beginning of May; any day now. Will definately try to see the rep with an almost empty tank-just in case he wants to suggest sloshing gas. Unless ther is some heavy object sloshing around in there with the gas. I know us NY'ers are always in a hurry and drive a little more aggressively than most, but this thump or thud is hard to miss even at moderate speeds. Drive at speeds between 10-40mph hit the breaks deliberately-then release-you can miss it. It feels as though something hit the car. I personnaly think there is something in the drive line reloading and causing this sound as you release the brake. Hope they figure it out/or admit what it is.

  • nillak1nillak1 Member Posts: 1
    Just joining in and letting you all know that you are not alone with your troubles. Botched install on the towing package caused major knocking. got that fixed. had trouble steering, ended up being the water pump and belt. it took honda 4 days to get the part, but they rented me a minivan over the long holiday weekend. recently have been hearing the thump as posted in 156 and since the steering still seems tight, will go back to Honda to see if they can make it all okay. Our Pilot only has 7500 miles on it. I am keeping my fingers crossed that these will be the only kinks. I never saw an actual recall on the Honda Owners Link, what about everybody else?
  • sapia1sapia1 Member Posts: 4
    That thumping after brake release noise reminds me of a 96 Pathfinder I turned in under the Lemon Law. Reported the problem to the BBB when the dealer and Nissan said "there is nothing wrong, do whatever you want". The arbitrator said
    "The noise is definitely there. This owner could never resell or trade in this vehicle as no one will accept it with that noise. Refund his money." They found the correction 2 years later.
    Follow it closely and if no help is awarded by Honda, run, dont walk to the Better Business Bureau. Just have to have the dealer try 3 times to correct the problem to file a claim. I have a Pilot but have not used it as it was delivered while I was away. It is in a different state and will not be there till the end of this month. I will then post the quirks I find. Will also act promptly if no corrections are made.
  • gachargachar Member Posts: 8
    I bought my Pilot in september of 2002. In november, it dumped all its oil. Turned out to be a chewed up timing belt. They had to replace the water pump and a few bent valves. A couple of months ago I noticed a ticking noise from the engine and I took it to the dealer yesterday. Turns out that coolant has been leaking into cylinder # 5. My question is if it has caused any permanant damage. If so how would I know (unless the dealer is honest with me). Do I need to take it to an independent mechanic after it is fixed to see if there was any permanant damage which could cause problems later?
    Thanks in advance.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,279
    there is no way an independent can look at it and tell you.

    Head gaskets go all the time on cars and don't cause any permanent damage. I can't really think why a leaking head gasket would be related to "ticking," though. But I've never had a gasket go bad on one of these here new-fangled vehicles. ;)

    Now, that being said, I do know if valves were bent when the timing belt went, there is a good possibility that the tops of the pistons also got chewed up a bit. I would have expected to have those replaced as well. Sure, if it was a case where it was your money, then you could live with dinged pistons to save the big bucks it would cost to replace them. BUT, since this is all warrantied and was caused by a manufacturing defect, then I would want all that replaced.

    just thought of something on that ticking. Did they say coolant was getting into the oil? I could see that causing a ticking problem because you'd probably be hearing the valves rattling due to poor lubrication.

    Oh, and the next time your engine is ticking, do NOT wait 2 months to take it in!

    Personally, I'd be talking to the dealer about getting a new engine. The timing belt problem is well documented and caused many failures. There is no reason why you shouldn't be completely satisfied and comfortable with your new vehicle. If they don't want to fight for you, then call Honda yourself or take it to another dealer. Hell, the dealer gets paid for their time by the factory, so I don't see why they wouldn't want to appease you.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 54-car history and counting!

  • schulhofschulhof Member Posts: 71
    The head gasket keeps the coolant away from the oil. If you have coolant leaking into CYL #5 it is contaminating your oil which makes it less able to do its job - lubricate. It is a bad deal. Long term it can do serious damage to internal parts. Hope you caught it early and did not drive much on it.

    Sorry for the bad news.

    By the way it ticks because it is no longer sealing so you hear the ticking.
  • rokinkrokink Member Posts: 25
    It looks like you should work on honda to change the engine. This can have serious long term consequences.
  • sapia1sapia1 Member Posts: 4
    For the unfortunate souls who have lost items on the black hole between the front seat and the console. Just remembered that a 24" tool used by mechanics to pick up items that fall on the floor to avoid bending down can be used. It is thin enough and has a small retractable claw at the end. It might just fit and grab anything that falls there. It only costs a dollar at many dollar stores or Walmart. I've been using it for years and has pretty strong grabbing power.
  • ch1133ch1133 Member Posts: 43
    If the car is on warranty get dealer to replace the engine with a new one...Or pay for engine few years later out of your own pocket BIG $$$
  • felicegreenefelicegreene Member Posts: 1
    HELP! I leased a Honda Pilot and the finance manager put the lease amount in for a lower price than we talked about. What are my legal rights? Do I have to legally redo the contract? I've had the vehicle for over 3 months. American Honda Finance says NO. An contract is a contract but the dealerships's lawyer disagrees and is not a very nice person.
  • eswanborgeswanborg Member Posts: 22
    If they signed it, too bad for them. I take it the lease is through American Honda? If so, ultimately it's their money - the dealer's probably just pissed because they are losing part of their profit because of the mistake. I'm sure that if the error were in the other direction they would fight to leave it as is. Good luck.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,279
    AHF is who you have the agreement with, not the dealership. The dealership cannot take you to court since they are not the one leasing you the car. They were simply the middleman. If they screwed up the numbers, that's their loss.

    This subject has recently come up over in the "ask dealer a question" (or something like that). You should post this over there, too. Zeus handles these cases all the time. He'd be able to tell you right away. But I'm pretty damned sure you are fine and they are just blowing smoke and trying to scare you into signing a new contract.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 54-car history and counting!

  • porknbeansporknbeans Member Posts: 465
    Zueslewis is a HUGE help for people here in Edmunds and his advice on this issue would go a long way for you. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • kkmsjkkmsj Member Posts: 1
    The thumping sound occurs when you apply the brakes for the first time after changing direction, going from reverse to forward and visa-a-versa. We took it to the two dealers here in CA and they informed us that it happens when the brake shoes wear down on some Pilots and Odysseys. We have 12K miles on ours. They went on to say its normal and has to do with the ABS design and there is nothing wrong with the brakes. This is our first Honda and we love it with the exception of a thumping sound from the brakes.
  • sjwsmwsjwsmw Member Posts: 131
    Took mine in for the 7500mi service and they said it was due to the pads when cold and Honda was aware of the issue. They are working on it was what they said.
  • larrybblarrybb Member Posts: 1
    I agree with the wind noise "Buffeting" when the rear windows are open - but try opening the windows if you are driving above 45 MPH. Not only do you hear the wind noise and feel the buffeting, but the pressure change upon opening the windows is bad enough to pop your ear drums. It is actually painful - and it does not neutralize. The pressure variation continues until the window is closed. Honda denies any such problem - but when i ask if they have test driven the vehicle they wont answer. I plan to bring the car to my dealer and take the service manager for a test drive.
  • tocatoca Member Posts: 147
    Most cars will make some noise with the rear windows down - but I agree the Pilot sounds like a helicopter.
    Try cracking open the front window. Eleviates the pressure somewhat.
  • cre8tivejaybircre8tivejaybir Member Posts: 1
    Wind Buffeting:
    That's the same problem with the CR-V. Honda knows ---- Honda don't care
  • buckeyedonbuckeyedon Member Posts: 46
    Probably the age-old problem of opening one rear window on most vehicles...air pressure differenciations is the cause. Typical sound: a fluttering whomp-whomp-whomp at fairly high speed (150 to 200 times/minute or more). To cure, open another appeture (crack front window),and whomping more than likely will stop. In Olden Days, when cars had those front "wing" windows, just cracking the wing window would do the job. Short of opening 2nd appeture, ain't no way whomping will unwhomp.
  • markludmarklud Member Posts: 41
    I purchased ventshades side window air deflectors from a local auto parts shop, $40. It cured the problem when you first open the rear window. The thumping still occurs when you open it further without opening a front window, but the intial shock is minimized.
  • desertkatdesertkat Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Pilot. There was a rupture in the left side ( driver's side) of the fuel tank, 2 + - inches from the bottom. The Honda dealer feels that I ran over something to cause the fissure. This is simply not the case.
    (1)Has anyone else had this problem ?
    (2)Is the fuel tank in the Pilot the same one used in the Odyssey ? ( this was recalled )
    (3)Is the manufacturer of the Odyssey tank the same manufacturer of the Pilot fuel tank?
    (4)How could one check the part numbers of Odyssey fuel tank against the Pilot tank. Would those part numbers be the same or similar if is a shared tank?

    My feeling is there are manufacturer's defects in the construction of the tank similar or same as Odyssey.
    All comments are welcome.
  • ermannermann Member Posts: 1
    I have a Pilot EX with less than 600 miles.
    Has anybody experienced a whistling noise from the air vents? This only occurs when you switch the a/c from outside air to interior air. I have tried 2 dealerships over the course of a week and a half and neither can solve the problem. They also placed 100 miles on the odometer trying to diagnose the problem.
  • silverpilot03silverpilot03 Member Posts: 43
    I have noticed a thud noise when I go over almost anything on just the pass side of the car at the rear near the wheel. It only happens on the pass side. I have diagnosed the problem to the driveshaft. It seems that the shaft should be adjusted to 23.7 to 23.9 inches. Then the boots are put on at half compression. If you have a service manual, which I highly recommend, you can see this allows the spider to ride inside the middle of the inboard cup. What I would like to ask someone is: When you try to move the rear driveshafts AKA halfshafts laterally, do they move? My driver side does not, but the passenger side does, to the point that it actually slides and hits the inside part of the outboard joint and makes that thud. The dealer has been no help as he says that is normal. Unfortunatley, I am a mechanical engineer with significant automotive experience, and I say he is full of it. All I need is someone to cofirm the lack of movement on their passenger side. I am also waiting for a new Pilot to arrive at the dealership, so I can check it for movement.

    Thanks in advance for the help.
  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280
    Mine makes what I think is the same noise you have described, only from the driver's side. I have looked for anything loose (no, it's not the jack) and have discovered the driver's side drive shaft, when moved laterally, seems to be making my noise. I only hear it at speeds ~30mph or less, usually on pavement seams, speed bumps, and driveway lips.

    When I move the drive shaft vertically, there is a little play, but no noise. When I shake it laterally, in and out of the diff, it makes the noise that I think I'm hearing while driving. The passenger side drive shaft has no play and makes no noise.

    I shot a little video clip to try and capture the sound from my sloppy drive shaft. Follow this link and turn up your audio all the way, unfortunately you'll have to register to view (it's free): &mode=invite
  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280
    (part 2)

    There is a chance that your noise is coming from a defect in the upper shock mount. This has happened to several Pilots, always on the rear passenger side.

    Since we can't post links to competing web forums, I'll quote a good message that sums up this noise from a Honda-Pilot board that has a few hundred posts regarding this noise in the rear passenger suspension area (it's a .org if you're looking):

    from BPilot,
    "My humble opinion
    I am now 99.2% sure that my rear suspension noise is (was) due to a defect in the design of the upper shock absorber brackets. I will post a picture, later tonight, illustrating a modification made to my Pilot. This modification resulted in at least an 80% reduction in the sound intensity and occurance rate. It also reduced it from a two cycle sound to one. At this point, it is no longer a concern. The modification is temporary and was done for testing. I will continue to drive it in this state until the permanent fix is in place. The modification involved bending the outside and upper shock mount bracket up and out of the way. In this state, the shock bolt goes directly into the shock and clamps the shock to the inner bracket. For me, this confirms the bracket as the source of the problem. These brackets are stamped steel and are spot welded to the vehicle frame. This is a cost effective way to produce and install the brackets, but leaves room for problems. The unibody frame rail has a recess that makes room for the inner bracket. During assembly, the inner and outer brackets are spot welded to the frame all in one step. The fit is extremely tight where the inner bracket fits into the frame recess. I believe the steel is flexing and that along with possibe metal to metal contact in the upper and out of sight regions of the bracket, noise is produced. The outter bracket is actually welded to the inner one and there are numerous possibilities for flexing and contact. The Steelman listening devise clearly indicated that the shock bolt and mounts were the epicenters of the noise production. There are other confirmations. Removing the shock eliminates the noise. Three different shocks were tried with no impact on the sound. The bracket modification provided the results I was seeking. I am working with a quality technician at my dealer to achieve a long term repair consistent with the intended design of the bracket area. He has been in contact with Honda and they acknowedged the noise, but had not solved it. They appeared to be interested in working with me to reach a long term solution. I hope this is not premature optimism. In in any event, I am now a happy owner of a Pilot that is very close to meeting my expectations. I actually enjoy driving it now. After reviewing the hours, cuts, and pain incurred in reaching this point, I wonder if I should not have taken ablatt's course, only months ago. He'll fill you in. More later BPILOT"
  • silverpilot03silverpilot03 Member Posts: 43
    Thanks for the information. My Honda service rep is a nice guy, but I cannot count on him to research any TSB's. I did have the front strut noise fixed once, but it is back. I will remove the rear shock and see if the noise goes away. It it does, the message above is right on the mark. The only issue then will be when/if Honda ever has a permanent fix. Otherwise, I will weld up a receiver to replace the sheetmetal bracket.
    Thanks again

  • endollanendollan Member Posts: 12
    I've shattered my pilot driver side quarter window and would like to know if anybody can point me to a place or site to get a cheap replacement. I live in the LA area. I've called all the dealerships around me and they are charging me $300 fot it. and i'm not going through insurance(personal reason).
  • msalvadomsalvado Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know if CD-R or CD-RWs are suppose to work with the DVD player that comes with the RES package?

  • eswanborgeswanborg Member Posts: 22
    Endollan - if you want to email me off the board I have a place I'd recommend in Glendale - I'm not sure we're supposed to put that kind of info here or not. You can email me at:

    eswanborg at mac dot com
  • mrquispmrquisp Member Posts: 13
    I was wondering if anyone else has been experiencing this problem with their Navigation system. This has happened on a few occasions, but not constant. Whenever I start the car, there is a blank screen for the navigation system. Nothing happens or appears... even if you press one of the buttons on the right side. However, if I were to shut the engine off and restart it, it works fine. Anyone experience the same?
  • mrquispmrquisp Member Posts: 13
    Endollan - if you work or live close to downtown Los Angeles, there are a LOT of window dealers offering fantastic prices on window repairs. They are all located close to County USC. Email me for info. They can even do the repairs while you wait.
  • sjwsmwsjwsmw Member Posts: 131
    I have been noticing that my doors will sometimes lock after I close the doors and put in the key, but not all the time. Are they supposed to lock automatically or not? Our Explorer does lock the doors after you close the doors and start the engine consistently.
    Any thoughts on this?
  • silverpilot03silverpilot03 Member Posts: 43
    I spent 7 hours at the Honda dealer today. They bent the Pass. shock outer mount back and that did get rid of 70% of the noise. They had to re-fix the strut noise. This time a weld was shiny and thus had been rubbing. The best news is that Honda has bulletin for the dribbling washer sprayers. It is a check valve that goes in the supply line. Funny thing though, they found the part in the ORIGINAL parts list like it was supposed to be part of the car when it was built. They even thought it was strange that this was not ON the car already. Hope this helps. Dave
  • silverpilot03silverpilot03 Member Posts: 43
    The Pilot does not have auto door locks.
  • thebigalabamathebigalabama Member Posts: 7
    At 15,000 miles, the maintenance light came on in my Pilot. Do I have to take it to the dealer to get the work done that will turn it off. Or can my local mechanic do it?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,279
    Actually, the Pilot DOES have auto door locks. But there is something strange about them. They didn't work on our Pilot until after the sunroof was installed! We have no idea why. All I can think is that the installer must have accidentally activated something somehow. But now if you take the keys out of the ignition and get out of the car, it will lock itself within about 30 seconds. Doesn't do it if the key is in the ignition, though. So, sjwsmw, are you sure the doors aren't locking just before you put the key in the ignition? If they are locking after you put it in the ignition, then that is strange. But, if that is the case, I wouldn't be completely surprised. It just might be another feature that has accidentally someway somehow been activated on your Pilot.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 54-car history and counting!

  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,279
    you can reset the service light on your Pilot. I'm not sure how off the top of my head, but I do believe its in the owner's manual.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 54-car history and counting!

  • markludmarklud Member Posts: 41
    When my wife uses a spare key (not the valet key), the door automatically locks itself after 30seconds when she leaves the vehicle.This does not happen with my key. Anyone else have this? If you use the remote opener,it IS supposed to lock itself,if you don't get to the vehicle in 30seconds, but this is with the key, not remote.
  • sjwsmwsjwsmw Member Posts: 131
    Wow, what quirky behavior. Thanks for the responses. I will try the spare key, and also the remote locking by itself, wasn't aware of that one either.
    The random auto locking for me is happening after the key is in the ignition, the motor is running usually if I recall.
  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280
    Is your arm resting on the driver's lock up by the window? That will lock all the doors if it's pressed.
  • dorene1dorene1 Member Posts: 75
    to mrquisp - I had a similar blank out, tho the screen first showed a message that the CD function was out. It lasted for one day, then repaired itself. Dealer had no clue, so I called customer service. They took down our vehicle # and info., also have an 800 # you can get for the company that makes the nav. Hope yours auto - heals too.
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