Honda Pilot Maintenance and Repair



  • silverpilot03silverpilot03 Member Posts: 43
    I received a call from Honda today. I had logged a complaint regarding the headlights (see old posts for detail). They were conducting their own investigation regarding the headlights. We might see some TSB and/or change in 2004. Hopefully HONDA will extend any upgrade to 2003 owners with concerns. Although at 100,000+- produced model TYD, this might be a little pricey.
  • roooddyroooddy Member Posts: 4
    When I depress the throttle I feel a small resistance the first 1/4 inch. The dealer fixed the problem by cleaning the carbon from the throttle body. (9500 miles) He said this is a common problem with Honda 6 cyl and it may happen again. Is this news to all?
  • lb17lb17 Member Posts: 4
    The 'side air bag off' light keeps flashing on my Pilot EX-L though no one/nothing is sitting in/obstructing the front passenger seat.

    I took it to the dealer I bought it from and after
    2 trips and more than 10 hours during which he reset the computer, and then took off the wire connecting the battery temporarily, the light is still on.

    I checked with Honda - no recalls, has anyone else had this defect light up?

    Other than this, I like the Pilot.
  • markludmarklud Member Posts: 41
    I just hate the old fashioned remote they give with pilot (it's too bulky).Anyone know if you can get the kind that Accord uses (incorporated into the key itself)?
  • gogetgoget Member Posts: 2
    Bought a Pilot in November 2002. Have already had the Master Cylinder replaced. I travel quite a bit,listen to "books on Cd" Cd player gets so hot the cd's get damaged. Dealer not cooperative on this matter. Car is again in the shop. Last week remote would not unlock the doors. Had to manually unlock the door, when I got in car the motor would not start. Called Dealer from cell phone, no help, called AAA and had it towed in to dealership. Car still there, they have ordered in a new computer part, put that in today, car still not working. They are in contact with tecks, still no answer. Said no to a loaner car, said it is not Honda's policy. I have rented a car, they now say they will help me draft a letter to Honda to get a reimbursement. have been a Honda owner for over 15 years. Has anyone else had these type problems.
  • mrquispmrquisp Member Posts: 13
    What is weird with mine is that my screen is completely blank... nothing. I have heard about the messages saying contact dealer or something to do with the DVD in the system. But mine is completely different. I know if you don't do anything right after starting, it goes blank... but then you just touch one of the menu buttons on the right and you get the opening screen. But with mine, absolutely nothing happens... even if you touch one of those buttons. I have to literally shut down the engine and start it again to have the navigation working. Was wondering if anyone else experienced this problem.
  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280
    I haven't had the problems you mentioned, although a few of my own. But I've always been offered a loaner car (sales demo Pilot) or a rental Accord when the dealer has had to keep my Pilot over night. Maybe you can take it to another dealer and get treated better?
  • gogetgoget Member Posts: 2
    Called dealership again this morning, they put the new computer in, now the doors will not lock, they think the door lock motor is burned out. They say the car is running. Now they think the car could have been hit by lightning! Sounds like a cop out to me, to where they can put it back on my insurance. Went by this pm after work, all the service department was in a meeting, was told I could wait. Left as it was a very hot day and I wanted to get home. This is beginning to sound like a case for an attorney.
  • porknbeansporknbeans Member Posts: 465
    From what you have said, you may be right. I know that there are lemon laws in many states that you might be able to take advantage of. It is too bad that you have had such a bad experience with the Pilot. It seems that although some have had minor problems, they have generally been quite happy. Is there a possibility of the dealer switching you to a new Pilot and upgrading you to make the situation whole? Or has the entire experience soured you to the Pilot and Honda. Good luck and let us know what you choose and what happens.

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • dorene1dorene1 Member Posts: 75
    perhaps you can call the company that makes the nav for Honda, as they have a trouble shooting line. Honda customer service has this number. I hope you also tell Honda customer service about your problem, as the more people that call in will create the basis for recall if necessary. Good luck!
  • icerangericeranger Member Posts: 1
    I have a black Pilot and in the hot Texas sun, the decorative "third eye" plastic trim at the top of the liftgate must have warped. So when I opened the liftgate they collided and scraped the plastic and metal roof where they meet. The gate won't open very far now when it's hot outside. PLUS everything is all scraped up. I'm taking it to the dealer tomorrow.
  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280
    I have that same problem too. The plastic spoiler not only rubs on the roof when the hatch is open, but is sometimes gets caught in the gap while closing. It only happens to mine when the temp is 90F or hotter outside.

    I took it in, they confirmed the problem and ordered a new plastic spoiler. The problem is that this item is back ordered with the manufacturer and they can't even give me a ballpark estimate of when it will be in. In the mean time, every day it scratches a little more of the roof.

    Please let me know if you get yours replaced in a timely manner, I'm curious.

  • atl_residentatl_resident Member Posts: 4
    Brand new EXL. Took it to the dealer a week later to get the mirror upgraded. When they returned the pilot I noticed that the SRS light stayed on.

    Why would anyone mess with the SRS system to change the mirror ? It baffles me, when an external item like the mirror is changed the SRS light on the pilot comes on.

    Anyone have similar experiences? Now the dealer wants me to drop off the pilot for a day to fix something that was not broken in the first place !!
  • silverpilot03silverpilot03 Member Posts: 43
    I put in my own rearview mirror/compass. Unlike the leather steering wheel, which I also installed, there was NO reason to be near any SRS items/wiring. Unless they accidentally pulled out a wire in the 9 pin connector that the mirror wire is inserted into, I cannot come up with a reason as to why the light is now on.
  • sjwsmwsjwsmw Member Posts: 131
    While I was researching my Pilot purchase, I saw a single post of someone complaining of a clock that lost time. Now that I have a Pilot, I have noticed the same thing. At my 7,500 mi service, I synched it up with the official time and now at 10,000 mi, I am 3 minutes behind.

    Anyone else seeing this?
  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280
    Yes, mine too. It seems like I bump it up a minute every month. If memory serves me correctly, all my past Hondas were that way too.
  • mrquispmrquisp Member Posts: 13
    Was wondering if anyone else experiences this... upon starting, and having the radio on a AM station, I get this low hum/whirr for a few seconds... with the pitch getting higher until it goes away. Only happens when they car has been sitting there for a while, such as at the end of the day at work, and only on AM. I do have the navigation system. What could be causing this?
  • mrquispmrquisp Member Posts: 13
    Does anyone else experience this: On the ceiling panel, there are two areas to put in the seatbelts (storing the seatbelt for the middle seat in the back row, and storing the seatbelt for the third row/behind driver). They go in and stay there for about a week, but end up being unattached and just hang there thereafter. This was a tough one to describe, but wondering if anyone else experiences this.
  • sjwsmwsjwsmw Member Posts: 131
    Peter-dissappointed to hear all you Hondas had this issue. So I guess that you have not asked your dealer to replace the clock?
  • mrquispmrquisp Member Posts: 13
    Unfortunately, replacing the clock means replacing the entire radio. Honda Pilots have their only clocks on the radio display. I too have the same problem with clock issues... always a minute or two behind every month.
  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280
    No, haven't ask about the clock, it doesn't bug me. I'm currently trying to get a replacement rear spoiler since mine gets pinched in between the hatch and roof. Also waiting for a new driver's seat track since my seat moves side to side. There's a TSB about that, but mine didn't fit the fix I guess.

    I'm also waiting for new seatbelt holders to come in, since mine come out of the ceiling holders. The rear one will hit the hatch glass pretty hard when it flys out, at first I thought someone threw a rock at my window.

    I tried to get them to fix the sagging seats, but they said it was normal. I've noticed that during this hot weather the seats don't look bad at all. I'll hit them up about the seats again later this fall when the temperature starts dropping.

    Speaking of temperature dropping, I also get a rubbing/scrapping noise from the steering wheel (behind the airbag) only when it's cold. Of course the dealer couldn't duplicate, so I'll wait on that one too. It did it during the winter months when temps were 10-20F, now it'll do it around 50F. It's almost like it's a lubrication problem with the steering bearings. I only get it while it's cold and turning the wheel a full revolution.

    Even with all these current issues (there were others initially) I'm still happy with the Pilot. For the size and power, I consistently get 20-21mpg around town and 23-25mpg on the highway. So, no serious complaints.

  • my3kidsmy3kids Member Posts: 56
    I have heard of that. I read that several people have had the holding assembly replaced. Talk to your service manager.
  • twebb4twebb4 Member Posts: 3
    With less than 5000 miles on the Pilot, the CD/Tape/Radio failed twice. The second failed before leaving the dealership. The AC controller failed about the same time. The console lid will not engage the latch. Any change falls out of the holder when it is closed anyway. The vents on the back of the console simply fall out of the guides. The standard response at the dealer is "I've never seen this before." The dealership is accommodating but this is really aggravating. From what I have read this vehicle has many problems.
  • lawyerdadlawyerdad Member Posts: 1
    my wife called me at work to tell me that the air conditioning on our one month old honda is not working. this is a problem b/c we live in phoenix and it is late july. dealer said we could bring it in and rent a car through enterprise on site. if it is a "parts problem" honda will take care of the car. i was not aware that after a month there could be any other kind of problem. unless my wife has been fiddling around with the various air conditioning components with her new set of tools. any ideas what other problems may cause a one month old honda to lose air conditioning that would cause honda to NOT cover the rental?
    any one else having air conditioning issues? so much for the reliability of honda. their reputation, in my eyes, is only as good as my experience with them. we'll see how they "take care" of the situation, and i will keep you all posted.
  • buffpilot2buffpilot2 Member Posts: 1
    The rear spoiler on my Pilot warped at 6000 miles. I don’t believe it is caused by extreme heat since I live in Western New York area where the temperature in the summer rarely exceeds 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The dealer ordered the replacement part immediately after I reported the problem. However, the defective part was in back order for almost six weeks until I called American Honda to complain. The defective spoiler also scraped the paint and dented the roof. The part arrived after six weeks and the vehicle needed to be sent to a body shop in order to fix the damage on the roof and color match the new spoiler. One good thing about this incident was that the repair was covered under warranty and the dealer paid for two days of car rental until my pilot was fixed to my satisfaction.
  • crocro Member Posts: 9
    I purchased '06 Honda Pilot AWD EX-L with NAVI, everything is great, but one thing...rear a/c controls dont work. I read here that the MODE has to be set to FACE. Is that true because it doesnt state anything like that in the manual.
    Anyone had that checked yet at the dealership?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,253
    I think what they really are saying is "as long as its not your wife's total lack of common sense by not knowing how to turn on the A/C." They have to cover themselves against idiots (and there are plenty of them out there). So they can't just say "the rental will be covered," because then they'd be paying for a rental car for every one of those morons out there who didn't read the owner's manual or who didn't have the slightest clue how to set the climate controls. Otherwise, I'm sure it will be covered.

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

  • my3kidsmy3kids Member Posts: 56
    My console lid won't latch either. I have reported that to the service manager to have corrected at my next oil change. Not sure my temperature gauge is accurate either.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,253
    Mine is definitely not accurate and I really don't expect it to be. I just don't see how an outside temp guage on a car really can be accurate. It either has to be away from the car and be affected by the wind (not to mention the buildup of crud that I'm sure would interfere with its accuracy) or it will be tucked in the car and affected by the car's heat. Yeah, yeah, I'm sure someone will tell me that they have such and such a car and it works fine. But neither my Volvo or the Honda are ever accurate and it just doesn't bother me. I never look at them.

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

  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280
    I've found my Pilot's temp gauge to be pretty consistent and accurate in the right circumstances. Here's some more info on how the Pilot's temp gauge works (maybe too much info):

    Honda Service News
    September 2002

    Outside Temperature Indicator Logic: ’03 Pilot EX

    If you’re getting complaints from owners of ’03 Pilot EXs that the outside temperature indicator doesn’t read accurately, you may just need to explain how the logic works.The temperature sensor for the indicator is mounted behind the front bumper. Because of this, the temperature reading can be affected by heat reflection from the road, engine heat, and even exhaust from surrounding traffic. To prevent bogus readings, the display uses a specific logic.

    Here’s how it works.


    The outside air is warmer than when the ignition switch was turned off [ACC (1) or LOCK (0)]

    • If the ignition was turned off for less than 2 hours, the displayed temperature when you turn the ignition switch to ON (II) stays at the ignition-off temperature until the
    vehicle has gone faster than 18 mph for 30 seconds, then the display immediately updates to the measured outside air temperature.

    • If the ignition switch was turned off for 2 hours or more, the displayed temperature when you turn the ignition switch to ON (II) rises 1 degree every minute until the measured outside air temperature is reached. The outside air is cooler than when the ignition switch was turned off [ACC (1) or LOCK (0)]

    • If the ignition switch was turned off for less than 2 hours, the displayed temperature when you turn the ignition to ON (II) is the ignition-off temperature. The displayed temperature then drops 1 degree every 2 seconds until the reading matches the
    outside air temperature.

    • If the ignition switch was turned off for 2 hours or more, the displayed temperature is the measured outside air temperature.
  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280
    Outside Air Temperature Sensor Calibration

    The outside air temperature indicator's displayed temperature can be recalibrated plus or minus 3 degree F by:

    1) turn the ignition switch ON (II), and make sure the outside temperature is displayed;
    2) press the select/reset switch buttom for 10 seconds. While you continue to hold the buttom, the display will scroll through temperature settings from +3 to -3 degree;
    3) when the desired correction value appears on the display, release the buttom, and the recalibrated outside air temperature will be displayed.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,253
    it is good info. But, what about, let's say, 2 hours into your drive? How often does the system update its readings?

    Also, how do the explanations for when it gets its reading have anything to do with the false indications from road heat, engine heat, and surrounding exhaust heat? Am I missing something? Based on that introductory paragraph, I thought it was going to give some sort of complex mathematical equation to factor in environmental influences. lol.

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

  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280
    2 hours into the drive, not sure exactly, at least once a minute if not once every few seconds. I'm only going on my own observations, not anything more....

    Yes, it'll still give readings that look false because of road heat and such, but these aren't really false. The air really is that hot near the road. The only way you can get close to a reading that looks right on a hot sunny day is to have some air movement (either the vehicle and/or environmental wind). But then again, what is the right temperature?

    At least they allowed for consumer level calibrations, not too bad.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,253
    Exactly my point. Its reading the temperature inside your front bumper. So I put no stock in it as far as the "outside temperature" goes.

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

  • my3kidsmy3kids Member Posts: 56
    Mine said it was 73' all day long....driving or parked. Early morning or peak of the day's heat. I don't think them explaining how it works is going to fit that problem!
  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280

    If you were driving over 18 mph for at least 30 seconds, it should have started adjusting. Sounds like yours may be defective.

    Mine, on occasion, seems to stick - until I read their "logic" which I fell right into. Yesterday, for example, mine read 89 for over an hour and I knew it was much hotter (~100F). But my problem was I was stuck in stop/go traffic and never achieved that 18mph for at least 30 seconds. Every time traffic would speed up, it would come to a stop again. After about an hour of this I finally got up to 50 mph and it started adjusting itself at about 1 degree per minute. It took about 10 minutes for the temp gauge to catch up.

    Other than this stop/go traffic scenario after being parked for a short amount of time, I've been very happy with the temp gauge. For the most part, it always seems right on the money. I wouldn't have a vehicle without it during the winter months.

    Good luck with yours,
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,253
    why wouldn't you have a vehicle without it in the winter?

    If I want to know what its like outside the car, I open a window. If, for some strange reason, I need to know the EXACT temperature, I turn on the radio. But I've never been so inclined.

    Granted, I have a little light in the Volvo that tells me if the conditions near road level may cause icing, but its just a minor convenience. I got along for a long time without such a thing and I could still get along just fine if I didn't have it now.

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

  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280
    I drive in and out of icy conditions a lot in the winter and it's nice to know what the temp is. These are usually mountainous and/or rural areas that aren't reported on the radio. From my experience, the Pilot's temp gauge does a nearly perfect job in these situations.

    I'm also the type of person that looks at ~30 temp readings from independent internet users to determine my local temperature rather than listen to some radio station that quotes their own downtown temperature or the official airport temperature. These can be 5-10 degrees off from where I'm at.

    A small pet peeve with the Pilot is that I can't display the temperature and the trip meter at the same time. Oh well....

  • movvammovvam Member Posts: 3
    Got a New Pilot EXL last week.

    Noticed that the power locks, does not lock
    the door when i insert the key and turn on the
    ignition. Is it same for all are should i get it
    checked with the dealer.

  • my3kidsmy3kids Member Posts: 56
    A fault, I think, but none the less, they don't automatically lock when driving. My van did, my other car does, but not the Pilot. They should......maybe in 2004.
  • tocatoca Member Posts: 147
    I wouldn't consider it a fault not to have this feature. I have them in my other car - but wish it didn't and glad it's not part of the Pilot. If you start my other car just before your passengers reach for the door, they pull on the handle, but the door is already locked. The reverse is true when reaching your destination. There is a slight delay when the ignition shuts off and the doors unlock. Passengers not familiar with your vehicle fumble around looking for a way to unlock the door unware that seconds later it automatically unlocks. Yes a minor issue, but none the less folks have the ability to lock all their doors with a push of a button if they choose.
  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280
    It would be cool if you had the option to turn on auto lock/unlock.
  • my3kidsmy3kids Member Posts: 56
    I still think in a vehicle designed for families, it is a fault. I like it when cars automatically lock at a predetermined MPH. None have ever unlocked when I stopped the car...I do it with the power lock button. Yes, I can, and do, lock them once everyone is in the car...but I really liked the car taking care of it for me automatically. I am having a hard time remembering to do that after so many years of cars doing it for me.
  • tocatoca Member Posts: 147
    Great suggestion 01r1! Honda could manufacture the Pilot without this feature activated. Then those who deem this as a necessary feature could have them activated by the dealer for a fee and listed as an option on their invoice. Only unknowned with my idea is whether or not this could be easily done by the dealer by installing a part or via a dealer computer hookup.
  • my_pilot_03my_pilot_03 Member Posts: 7
    I agree with user "my3kids".

    I actually made a trip to the dealer to get it
    checked. They said none of the Hondas lock
    doors automatically. To get it changed we have
    to replace the entire power locks unit to a out
    of market one. (Not from honda)
  • sjwsmwsjwsmw Member Posts: 131
    Our Explorer has the auto-locking feature and my wife loves it. One has to get used to it. When I drive it, I tend to find it annoying when I get out of the car and open the back doors and they are always locked.
    Great idea to have it a configuration of the car. But doubt that will ever happen.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,712
    on my GM can be configured (by owner) to unlock when put into park, and there are other variations. One may be only unlock the driver's door. I'd have to check the manual. I like having the doors always lock without thinking about it when I put car in drive.. Feels safer when around urban areas.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • shamottshamott Member Posts: 1
    I am seriously considering buying a Pilot EX–L, but after reading the postings re. wrinkling of leather seats, I am wondering if it would not be better to go with cloth seats instead. Those of you who have leather seats: do you think they are worth it?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,253
    For us, we definitely wanted leather because the Subaru we traded in was cloth and getting the dog hair out was just about impossible.

    If there is even a decision to be made in your mind, than why not save the money and go without?

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

  • 01r101r1 Member Posts: 280

    Sit in them both any choose the one more comfortable. If the comfort level is the same, go with cloth - you'll save money and have better looking seats.

    I just got my Pilot back from the dealer and the sagging front leather seats was one of my complaints. They wouldn't touch them. They said that the leather stretching was a normal wear characteristic. They didn't seem to understand my explanation of the foam under the leather being the problem.

    I'll take it to another Honda dealer this fall/winter and try again. I've noticed the seats sag less in the hot (~100F) weather and will admit they didn't look that bad on the day my dealer looked at them.
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