Honda Pilot Maintenance and Repair



  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207
    If you want a perfect fit. Honda parts dept. can also sell you the mirror only, without the housing.
  • strokeoluck2strokeoluck2 Member Posts: 91
    Just following up in case anyone is wondering if they can install the trailer hitch on their own. I ordered everything I needed from and just installed it all tonight. It was a piece of cake. I will admit it was helpful to have my 8 year old son nearby to help with a few little things.
  • kipkkipk Member Posts: 1,576
    Did you do the wiring also?
  • strokeoluck2strokeoluck2 Member Posts: 91
    I did. Their website had a short and sweet video showing how/where to find the Honda wiring harness. I did exactly as they showed and, voila!, there it was. I just plugged the two things together and closed everything back up. I'm telling you, if my 8 year old son was strong enough he could have done the whole thing himself in <60 minutes.
  • cwoodycwoody Member Posts: 17
    Look up Majestic Honda on the net. They have an online parts catalog where you can purchase one. I have been VERY HAPPY with their online service. It may be cheaper to go to your local honda dealer and order one after the S& H is added for such a small part. I bought a whole mirror assembly in the correct color for my '04 pilot and it was a LOT cheaper than my local dealer wanted. Took only 3-4 days before it showed up at my door. I have also bought brake pads (front & rear) from them....Honda Parts!! and even with the $15 S&H it was $20 cheaper than my local dealer.

  • cwoodycwoody Member Posts: 17
    Hey all,

    We have a '04 Pilot (82k miles) with AM/FM Cass CD & with the entertainment system (DVD) with rear headphone jacks. We are having problems with the rear Headphone jacks being very noisey to where you can not use them. Also the other day on a couple hour trip the left side speakers would not work. Then yesterday there was a hissing noise in the background of what ever was playing. It does not always do it but seems to be getting worse as time goes on.

    Has anyone else had problems like this?
  • kipkkipk Member Posts: 1,576
    Good show! Interesting site.

    I was hoping for parts and pieces to install hitch and wiring on our 03 CR-V.
    Can't seem to find wiring instructions for that year model.

  • rgferkorgferko Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 pilot with 75000 mi and just had the VTM-4 light comes on and check engine light. Also when sitting idle, the engine revs up and down in a pulsating fashion. When I first start the car the VTM-4 light does not stay on and I am able to engage the 4 wheel, but after I let it run for a few minutes the VTM-4 indicator light comes on and then I am unable to engage the system. Any ideas???
  • kipkkipk Member Posts: 1,576
    Recon it would be the same for the 2003 CR-V as for the 1999 in the video?
  • cecillcecill Member Posts: 4
    Had the same problem a couple month's ago with my 2004. It was a broken wire to the knock sensor. An 8 dollar part ant 400 dollars to R&R the intake manifold to get to it. Good luck.
  • smpathy01sesmpathy01se Member Posts: 9
    Did you ever find out what was causing this? I had the right side bulb go out about a year ago and replaced it, but this low beam out/high beams working issue is puzzling.
  • mitch65mitch65 Member Posts: 26
    One of my keys doesn't remotely open the door anymore after 4 years of ownership. I've changed the battery, but no change. I'm not sure I want to have to pay for a new one. Any ideas what it would cost?
    Anyway, is there a way to arm and disarm the vehicle's standard alarm without the remote? I don't think I've ever seen a switch under the dash for the alarm. Still have my other key, but want to make sure I know of any alternatives to the remote keyless entry and the alarm function.
  • jensadjensad Member Posts: 388
    We had the same problem with our 06 Pilot. We took it to the Honda dealer who "reset" the keys so they both would work. They did not charge for this 10 minutes of work due to we were covered on warranty.

    The dealer needed BOTH keys to align the locks.

    I believe all of the owners of Pilots in that law suit had 5000 miles added to their warranty coverage. At least that was what the service rep told me. Hope this helps.

    Good luck to all and stay safe.

  • mitch65mitch65 Member Posts: 26
    There was a "lawsuit" regarding the keys? Any idea what it was called or how I could find out more? Somehow though, I'm sure I will not qualify.
  • normhnormh Member Posts: 30
    Try using this info to re-program your remote.


  • kipkkipk Member Posts: 1,576
    Our 03 Pilot has the key and remote separate from each other.

    The remote is bulky on the key chain, so I have not used it since the first week or so..

    When I get out of the car, I lock the door with the master lock/unlock toward the front of the door (on the panel above the window switches), or the push down button at the back of the door near the seat belt, or the key. Any of them turn on the alarm and start the little red light (at the push down lock) blinking.

    When the red light on the door is blinking, the alarm is on.

  • strokeoluck2strokeoluck2 Member Posts: 91
    We have a 2008 Pilot Ex-L. For some reason I can't seem to move the transmission from D, to D3, D2 or D1. I had the car running, foot on the brake and even tried setting the parking brake. No luck. I read through the manual but couldn't seem to find any trick to shifting into these lower gears. Thoughts?

    Also, does anyone know if there's a way to set up the interior courtesy (?) lights so they turn off if inadvertently left on, after a certain period of time of pulling the key out of the ignition? Example: I pull into the garage and turn the light on up by the rearview mirror; I turn off the car and go in the house, but accidentally leave the light on; an hour later I come back out in the garage and the darn light is still on. For the life of me I can't figure out a light setting that will shut these off automatically. Isn't this going to drain the battery at some point?

  • hoshos Member Posts: 31
    Hi Strokeofluck2,

    I have an exact car but 07. I had the same issue when I had just bought it. What I had done was to have them put undeerloating which is a thick layer of some kind of a tar. During winter when I tried to use the D2/3/1 I had to play around with the gear, wiggle it around until it started working. I am thinking that it may have been because of the undercoating restricting some mechanical part. I suggest you try the same. I am sure it will work.

    As for interrior light, if you leave the doors open, the interior lights will shut off after a while, however, if you leave the dome or courtesy lights on, it will not turn off. Really stupid ! My kids have left the dome light on ove night many times, but I have never had battery die on me because of it. I suppose of the battery is old or weak, it would effect it.

    Another thing to be aware of is that when you set your fan to automatic, it always turn on your airconditioning (AC On). If does not turn on the air condition per se, but it engages the compressor. Make sure you push the AC Off button or it will put a big dent in the gas mileage. You will get the same when you click on defrust button, but having AC on in this case will help with defugging.

    I absolutely love my car. And I absolutely hate the horrible gas mileage. I have not managed better than 15.5 mix city/hwy driving!

    Did you get Nav or DVD option with your car?
  • jmac8jmac8 Member Posts: 12
    Not sure what to do about the lights but we have a 2006 and the same transmission
    problem recently happend to us. It absolutely would not go into the lower gears.
    This was during a recent snow storm. Later that week after it warmed up it slid
    into the lower gears with no problem. I dont think it has anything to do with undercoating.

    Any mechanics out there with ideas?

  • joeyjoejoejoeyjoejoe Member Posts: 68
    This is a very interesting, and obviously important subject for you. I've thought of the same thing before. I was also wondering if turning it off would have an affects on my fuel economy. I know it does show a glowing exclamation point when it is off though. Maybe pull the fuse for that specific light, although it probably controls the whole panel.

    I agree that people need to learn to actually maneuver an automobile, not just "drive" it. I am in constant amazement at how some people drive on ice. I live in MidWest and we get hit pretty hard some times. I can understand southern states that occasionally get hit with snow storms, but people in the North that have lived with this for their entire life? Give me a break.

    Thanks for your insightful comments. I for one really appreciate it. :D
  • hondapilot08hondapilot08 Member Posts: 14

    It's chilly and windy morning and the door locks won't open with the remote key. After trying this for about 10-15 minutes, I tried the manual lock and that worked. Is this normal to happen in winter? Never happened with any of my previous cars in weather worse than this. Has anyone seen anything like this before? Is something wrong with my pilot? It's a 2008, EX-L with Navi, looks like Honda quality is going down, since I also have another creaking noise problem coming from the steering wheel.
  • kipkkipk Member Posts: 1,576
    Haven't had any problems with the door locks but steering wheel will "creek" on a cold day until it gets fairly warm inside the car.

    Has anyone had a problem with the "Side airbag Off" light coming on, even though there is absolutely nothing in the seat? Every few days, mine will come on for no apparent reason. It may stay on for a few seconds or a few minutes. Doesn't seem to matter if the car is cold or warm or how long it has been on the road. It may come on and off several times during a trip or it may not come on at all.

    A Honda service writer said it was nothing to worry about and they would not be able to find the problem until it stayed on all the time.

    Any Ideas??
  • strokeoluck2strokeoluck2 Member Posts: 91
    We have an '08 Pilot and have not had any issues w/locks freezing. It was between -20 and -25 overnight here in Minnesota last night. And it's been below zero for most of the last week or so. During this last week my wife had the Pilot washed w/a standard dryer blower - no frozen locks. Granted, we park it in our garage (not heated, but it's probably 20 degrees in there when it's -20 outside) but it's outside plenty - running the kids around, grocery store, sometimes sitting at my work parking lot for 10 hours, etc.

    I'd still love to hear from anyone who has figured out how to get the transmission into the lower gears. I appreciate the comments from one person, but the idea that I need to "wiggle" it around after we spent $30k+ on the thing wouldn't sit well w/me. :-) If there's a magic solution, cool. If not, then it looks like I'll just have to take it into the shop.

    Overall though, I love the Pilot. If it didn't look silly to have two of them in our garage I'd probably buy one for myself.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207
    After I read your post re can't move the gear shift stick from D to D3, 2 or 1; I tried it today and mine (08 VP AWD) is same as yours, can't shift to D3 from D (leave alone 2 or 1) either from stop with brake pressed or during driving. The temperature here is cold 7 degree F, and I will mention to dealer when I have my next oil change, now 20% oil life left.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207

    Below is the manual page 207 for 08 Pilot re whether have the lever pull toward you before doing up/down or just shift up/down.

  • strokeoluck2strokeoluck2 Member Posts: 91
    Hmmmm, well this is interesting. I don't have my manual in front of me but I recall it stating to have car stopped (which I would assume would mean the brake should be on...right?; otherwise the car is "rolling") and then change gears.

    So are you saying I should be trying to shift into D3 *without* the brakes applied?

    I'm already pulling the shift lever towards me, so I have that part figured out. :-)
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207
    The only one need to apply brake is shifting out from Park to Reverse.
    The rest can be done while the car is moving. I tried from D to D3 and it is just push down the lever, without pulling the lever toward your. If bringing the D3 back to D, it requires to pull the lever toward you first then lift up to D. A little confusing of when to pull the lever or not to.
  • jmac8jmac8 Member Posts: 12
    Okay now I am really frustrated. Our 06 Pilot will not go into the lower gears when the car is in motion or out of motion for that fact. What is going on????

    We were on a snow hill in MA and I tried to put the car in D3 to slow the engine and
    car down without breaking, it would not go into lower gears at all. Even when I stopped
    and then tried to put it into the lower gears, it would not go past D.

    Anyone, Anyone, Bueller?????
  • joemama33joemama33 Member Posts: 26
    My Pilot; 2008 EX-L 4WD

    The lever will move with the proper massaging, although I'd like to think the folks that designed this thing were fired.
    As far as the lever itself goes, it was such an annoyance to owners, Honda dumped it for '09.

    I use this vehicle for weekend winter commutes over an 11,000 ft. pass in winter. I was able to downshift the first time I tried it going down that pass on the snow slicked road.

    Here is the sad part: There is zero appreciable compression braking provided, no matter how low I shifted. And I shifted ALL the way down.
    Engine RPMs went up, and I continued to accelerate. Brakes were the ONLY way to slow the Pilot down.

    My 6800 lb. F250 with a V10 and auto tranny, definitely slows when I use the engine for braking on this drive.

    The Honda? Not at all.

    Don't get me started on the retarded "skid control" computer, either. It's solution to skid control? Stop the vehicle. :confuse:
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207

    It is weird that the lower gears can't provide the car slowing down as D3 will locked to 1st to max 3rd gear, 2 will locked to 1st to max 2nd gear and 1 to the 1st or so. RPM should go up as the engine was in lower gears. This helps and supplement to the braking but won't stop the car if use alone, though.
  • mitch65mitch65 Member Posts: 26
    Are you "laughing" or wishing me "luck"? Do you know if this would work on the newer combined key/remote? That manual was for a stand alone remote. I would hate to ruin my one good remote left.
  • normhnormh Member Posts: 30

    I was wishing you luck. I have no personal experience with the combined key/remote. I have only reprogrammed Honda's, Toyota, and Nissan's with the separated components. I would think that radio waves are radio waves but cannot testify to any successes with your exact remote key. Is there nothing in the owners manual for the '05 keyless system?

    The worst case would be to have to go to the daeler and have them do it.

  • strokeoluck2strokeoluck2 Member Posts: 91
    I called local Honda dealer and they said I was doing everything right. Looks like I'll have to schedule an appt to bring it in. Stay tuned.
  • tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    Does anyone have an issue with their battery dying? I have an 06 and if I don't drive it for a week the battery dies. I replace the battery and the same problem. I've never had a car kill the battery so fast!

  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207
    Honda should give its OEM battery 3 yrs warranty ... check the manual.
    You can get a loaner battery from dealer, after started, drive the car there get the new battery under warranty.
  • hondapilot08hondapilot08 Member Posts: 14
    Someone rear-ended :mad: and broke the rear bumper skid on my '08 Pilot EX-L-Navi. I'm wondering if replacing it can be a DIY project. Is there any instructions out there on how it can be done? Thanks for the help...
  • 05pilotottawa05pilotottawa Member Posts: 1
    I may have a problem like this. I'll give one thing... it is COLD here now (low -26C even -30's ... in farenheit that is LOW) But I don't see every car on the block dying out.
    Today, for the second time in the last week, the battery is DEAD. No 'green eye', no eye at all on the bat.
    We've tried turning off everything when leaving incl the cabin lights that come on when the door is opened (flip the switch to off so they don't even come on).

    Did you get any resolution or answers about this one?
  • prithisprithis Member Posts: 13
    I was following the messages about shifting to lower gears with some interest as my previous car was a Land Rover Discovery and it was very easy to shift down to the lower gears on that car. I now have a 08 Pilot VP 4WD, and I live in a Chicago suburb where we have snow and ice on the interior streets.

    Today I did an experiment with my 4WD Pilot. While the car was in motion, around 25mph I could shift to D3 by simply applying downward pressure on the lever. It was just a little easier if I pulled the lever slightly towards me first. While the car was in motion I could shift easily to 2 and 1 just by pulling the lever slightly and applying downward pressure. It becomes difficult (if not impossible) to shift to 2 or 1 if you pull the lever all the way back - then the lever refuses to shift down. However if you pull the lever slightly, it is very easy to shift down.

    I went through the manual and agree that the shifting procedure is accurately described there. What is not mentioned is that you should NOT pull the lever all the way back - then it becomes impossible to shift down.

    Try this folks and post if it worked for you.

  • bbarrymdbbarrymd Member Posts: 6
    I'm hoping someone else may have had this issue and there is a fix for it..... On 2 occasions, when pressing the hands-free link button on the steering wheel to give a voice command, the system instead emitted a loud piercing static noise through the speakers. It was louder than you can imagine where I had to literally pull over and shut the car off and my ears were ringing for about 2 hrs. Anyone else have this happen?
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    I have no idea what the cause would be but those are classic symptoms of a feedback problem or reversed wiring.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    I thought it was my battery so I just replaced it on my own and the same thing still happened. I think Honda had some issues with the Pilot's battery but I found out too late, but this thing must have quite some current drain even while the car is parked!

    I guess I'll just disconnect the battery every time I don't plan to drive it for a while.
  • fmikeskafmikeska Member Posts: 3
    We have the same issue w/our 06 Pilot. The vehicle is always garaged yet the battery has died three times this winter and twice this week. Outside temps are below zero this week. This has never been an issue w/our other vehicles. Too early for a battery to fail.
  • kipkkipk Member Posts: 1,576
    Discovered that if the driver door is not closed completely, the inside overhead lights will go out after a few minutes. HOWEVER the courtesy light, low on the driver door, will remain on and is really hard to tell from outside the car, as it is kind of covered by the driver seat.

    I noticed it at night when I was about to open the front passenger door.

  • tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    I suppose this is possible but I would think I would have noticed it by the 5th time. ;)

    I'm planning on buying a trickle charger to keep the thing charged when we don't use it on a daily basis.

  • cheryl26cheryl26 Member Posts: 5
    I am wondering whether owners of 04-06 pilots either (a) regretted not getting an extended warranty due to expensive problems arising after 36,000 miles or (b) are glad they bought an extended warranty, or (c) haven't needed one at all b/c their pilots have been trouble free.
    We have an 06 pilot exl (no dvd or nav systems, but it is 4wd) which is coming up to 36,000, the deadline to buy a honda care warranty. The warranty is fairly expensive, (about $1300 even through the dealers listed on this forum) so we are wondering if we really need it. What have other pilot owners experienced in terms of repairs passed 36,000 miles. Our pilot is running great now, but who knows what will happen at 36,001 miles.
    Thanks for your thoughts,
  • iwantnewiwantnew Member Posts: 10
    I went to test drive 09 Pilot in Philly area. Two weeks back when the arcitic cold was sweeping east and mid-west, I went to test drive.
    Sales rep brough key and asked me to start it did not start. I tried starting 10 new Pilots left in the lot to rot in cold, none of them started until one of them was boosted.
    I think the battery is not good on Pilot and needs boost all the time when it gets cold.

    very weird
  • bob11bob11 Member Posts: 18
    I need your help.
    i have honda pilot 2003 model, which has a transmission problem, and the dealership told me it needs to be replaced. Pilot has 166000 miles.

    With this many miles is it advisable to get the transmission replaced? or just replace the whole car. Meaning, how many other problems can i expect on this. I just had the brakes etc replaced for a 1000 $ a month ago. a 400+$ timing belt replacement is coming up in a month or two.

    Should the transmission be replaced at a honda dealership or other places like aamco.
    Without getting the transmission fixed is it possible to get the annual car inspection passed?

    what kind of warranty is typically offered on these replacement transmissions.
  • tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    I actually bought an extended warranty on my '06 and while I haven't used it since the Honda trannys with this engine haven't been all that good in the Odyssey, I figured it might be worth it. Also since there's more mechanical things to go wrong in an AWD vehicle, I figured it's a reasonable gamble. But I only have 40k miles right now so I can't tell you for certain.

    Flip a coin? ;)

  • tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    I changed my battery with one that was a little stronger (more CCAs) but it didn't really make a difference, so I don't think it's necessarily the battery but rather the car must drain the battery quite a bit even while just sitting there. I should try and check it one of these days.

    But any car that's been sitting a while without being driven will drain it's battery, it just shouldn't do it in only a week!
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