Honda Pilot Maintenance and Repair



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    have you driven any other 2011 Pilots to see if the same condition exists?
  • lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    I concur with Steve.

    I have a 2006 with 87K on it. I've done nothing but routine maintenance on it. It still performs as it did when it was new. So, there is my anecdotal evidence.

    If anyone wants the preponderance of the evidence, check Consumer Reports. They show it as being very reliable.
  • odie6lodie6l Member Posts: 1,173
    I have a '06 EX that has upwards of 67k on it. It's still like new and I use the 4WD / low alot when off-road / mudding.

  • jerry1953jerry1953 Member Posts: 3
    I bought an '03 new and it has had this problem all along. For a long time I didn't pay much attention to it and thought it was just wet shoes causing the problem. Are there any blow-ups or diagrams showing where these vent drains are located and how to clear them?
  • jerry1953jerry1953 Member Posts: 3
    I am the original owner of an '03 with 195,000 on the original trans. I have it flushed periodically.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    edited March 2011
    It's pretty simple really once you access the "basin" below the fresh air vents in the cowl. The drains are simply at the bottom of that basin. The trick is getting the vent screens off---I don't know how to do that on your particular car. Some have screws, some pry off.
  • strokeoluck2strokeoluck2 Member Posts: 91
    I own a 2008 Honda Pilot ex-l with 75,000 miles. We've been towing an 18' boat to some local lakes for the last few summers; total boat/trailer weight is about 3,200 #. The longest trip we make is about 10 miles - although there is a chance we'll start hauling our boat up north about 3 hours away once/summer. We do NOT currently have a transmission or power steering cooler.

    We're looking at changing boats and getting a 21' boat; total empty boat/trailer weight is 4,200 # and fully loaded/gassed up it will be about 4,400 #. I know we'll be close to the max towing capacity. My questions:

    1) IF we stayed local, would you install the trans/PS coolers?

    2) If we DO haul it up north three hours away in addition to the local towing, would you install the trans/PS coolers? (We're in MN...not too hilly around here relative to most hilly/mountainous areas of the country)

    3) Any recommendations as to where I can purchase reliable parts? Prices seem to range from $150 to $400.

  • autowriteautowrite Member Posts: 226
    I installed an aftermarket cooler (Honda recommended aftermarket not theirs). I got mine installed at a company who also sells trailers. Most transmission companies will suggest you put one in to save your transmision, whether you tow or not, no matter what kind of terrain you live in. They said all vehicles should have them. Why doesn't all mfgs put them in standard? IT cost me $226 on my Odyssey.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    I agree, I'd put in a cooler; also, don't tow in overdrive if you can avoid it.
  • ak80ak80 Member Posts: 3
    Can you please let me know the resolution (if any)? I am facimng same problem with my Honda (onle 56K miles). I also disagree with the dealer that this is normal?
  • jerry1953jerry1953 Member Posts: 3
    I finally had some time to check it out. The vent screens are an integral molded part of the entire plastic piece that goes from the door to the center of the cowl. They look very involved to get off, especially without breaking. Is there some resource that shows how to do it and/or exactly where the drains are?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    edited March 2011
    Well let's try something else then. Can you see a drain coming out of the firewall, under the windshield? If you do see a rubber tube that drains to the ground, then you might be able to insert a wire up in there and unplug it that way.

    If not I think the plastic inserts in the cowl are just held in by clips and that's it.
  • rlbjr2rlbjr2 Member Posts: 91
    My rear shocks are leaking. Can I replace them with KYB's and keep the front stock? I will be selling the car soon so I don't want to replace all 4 and the KYB rears are cheaper than OEM Honda's. Will using rear KYB and stock front cause any ride issues? If I trade the car in will it hurt resale value? It's a 2003 Pilot EX-L.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    On a Honda Pilot, should be fine. If it were a Porsche or Corvette, I'd say no.
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    Own a new 2011 Pilot 4WD. This is our first SUV with a 3rd Row Seat, a feature which we never use. I am wondering if anyone has successfully removed the 3rd Row Seat as a modification. It does not look to be easy to do, but possible. Would reduce the weight of the vehicle and possibly improve mileage?

    Has anyone tried any other ideas to improve mileage? Ours is not great. About 16 MPG combined city/hwy. Would be interested in any comments.
  • iukieiukie Member Posts: 1
    I did not get the fix on this question. I did read where someone had a problem with their air conditioning not working and found out it was a reisitor located behind the glove box. However, my AC is working it's just the rear AC that does not work. I have checked all fuses but have found nothing obvious or out of place. Could it still be the resistor even though the front AC is working???
  • caugncaugn Member Posts: 29
    There is a resistor that controls the blower for the rear a/c located behind the panel at the bottom of the console on the drivers side by the floor. Pull the panel off and you'll find it there.
  • bamacarbamacar Member Posts: 749
    When my rear air did not work years ago, the following fix worked. The front air worked fine, but the rear air would not blow. It was fixed under warranty.
  • shuff1shuff1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 05 Pilot also with a mice problem! Not sure of damage under the hood, but mouse droppings inside all the time. I keep sticky traps in my car and will catch mice about once a week. The Honda dealer explained there is nothing they can do. We live in a rural area.

    My husband owns all Chevy trucks, parks them in the hay barn, and never has a mice problem in his cabin!

    Any ideas on how to stop this problem?
  • robr2robr2 Member Posts: 8,805
    Get a cat.

    Seriously, the mice like to nest in tight areas. Perhaps your husband's truck isn't conducive to nesting.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited July 2011
    I recommended "pure" mint oil a year or so ago to someone, based on some net info, and the report back was that it didn't work.

    Just learned the other day that some newer cars are using wiring made with soy based insulation, and the critters like to chew on this stuff.

    My sister had rodent problems on her Subaru a year or so ago, and the repair bill was a couple of thousand dollars. Fortunately her insurance company covered it.

    Short of tarping it, I don't know what works, but keep researching. Big pain having them in there. I think some people leave the hood open at night, but that's a hassle.
  • wallstreet1234wallstreet1234 Member Posts: 41
    I have a 2011 Pilot EX-L and the trip computer/odometer screen seem to not be working properly. They come on and off randomly. I will probably need to take it to the dealer when I have a chance but wanted to know if anyone knows what fuse number I need to check, perhaps it is not in correctly (the fuse).

    Any ideas?

  • pilot125pilot125 Member Posts: 2
    My brand new 2011 Honda Pilot I purchased 8 days ago now has a huge crack in the bottom of the windshield all along the base by the windshield wiper and turning up on the driver and passenger side. No rocks hit the windshield but when I brought it back to the dealer, he said it was caused by a pebble hitting it. NO WAY! This windshield is defective. Honda glass is defective, there should be a recall.
  • ch53ch53 Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2011
    It looks pretty straight forward - 2 bolts but wanted to see if there was something special that had to be done to get shock on? (part #3) Thanks in advance.

    link title
  • bob11bob11 Member Posts: 18
    My 2003 Honda pilot has 250,000 miles on it. This 250 k miles service was quoted by dealer as 575 $. I am hesitant in spending this much money for service on a car that is getting up there in terms of mileage. I am curious if any one can give me some ideas about whether it is worthwhile doing this service? The car is probably near the end of its life. Is it OK to just keep doing oil changes every 5000 miles and see how long it can go. Wonder how long these pilots can last?
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    On a Pilot that old, I would look at the list of what is normally covered by the 250K service and cherry pick what you think you really need. A lot of these bundled mileage-based services are very overpriced in my opinion and definitely not worth the cost. Also if you have kept the vehicle well serviced and do not use it in rough conditions, you may not need some of the services listed.

    I recommend that you use synthetic oil and tranny fluid and change both regularly. Of course, you can get that done at either the dealer or at a Jiffy Lube or other mechanic's shop. (Some of the dealers are actually cheaper on the oil change than Jiffy Lube is if you get synthetic oils, ironically.) A lot of owners forget to change the fluid on the tranny, which should be done every 50-60K miles. The minimal cost of this service really pays for itself.

    As for the life of the vehicle, you have done well to get to 250K. It says a lot for your care of the vehicle and the quality of the year model, too. My 2011 Pilot has had a lot of issues already, and I don't see that the quality is the same anymore. Bottom line: you can keep this car going as long as you want to keep paying to fix it and the body isn't falling apart and the safety systems still work. At some point, you will reach the point where you need to junk it, and just like putting down the family dog when it gets too sick to go on, you'll know when it's time.
  • robr2robr2 Member Posts: 8,805
    $535 is about 1.25-1.5 payments. While the vehicle last another 6-8 weeks?

    If it does, you're ahead of the game.
  • bob11bob11 Member Posts: 18
    thanks for the response. I have always had my pilot serviced at the dealer. I will ask them if they use synthetic oil or not. I am sure they change all the fluids including transmission fluids. One time I took my car to jiffy lube for service and they damaged the threads on the one of the tanks ? oil tank? so that whole tank needed to be replaced for $ 330 or so. FWIW this car had transmission replaced at 180 k miles all done by Honda dealership. Honda subsidized that, so I paid $ 2000 for it. Other than that it had AC problem at 35 K miles, and even though it was out of warranty honda replaced it, i had to pay 300 $ for cost of labor. Rest has been mostly routine maintenance. Tires, brake pads, battery etc.

    As you know honda manual recommmends major service every 30 k miles, I have always had that in the past. I just wanted to see if someone had any experiences with that in a pilot with this many miles. I think I would like to keep this car for a few more years, so I am gonna end up getting the service done, even though it is expensive.

    Another question btw, how often should the brake fluid be changed in the honda pilot.
  • ralphiehondaralphiehonda Member Posts: 1
    sddeb wrote:
    >when it comes to keys, the Honda Pilot doesn't impress me....

    >What did this story have to do with the "impressions" of the key itself? Better >question: who would expect to be impressed by a key?

    Yo poodog, sddeb is dead on, the Pilot ignition/keys/door locks suck! Same exact thing is happening to me right now... they don't make 'em like they used to doggy
  • msrecmsrec Member Posts: 1
    I bought my 2011 honda pilot on a friday night and had to return to dealership on Monday morning. When the sales person asked how it drove I said "Great!" but my miles are so high it says I have almost 3000. It had 57 when I drove it off the lot. He asked if I went to Vegas and I told him "no" only to Los Angeles. I have complained that the miles are just racking up and I am not driving all over the place. Anyone experiencing this problem? Is there anyway to check for accuracy of odometer?
  • justaveragejoejustaveragejoe Member Posts: 268
    It is recommended to replace the brake fluid every three years.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    If you have a smart phone, there is an APP to check your vehicle's actual speed according to the GPS. Otherwise you'll have to use the highway mile markers to see if you are really off.
  • wallstreet1234wallstreet1234 Member Posts: 41
    edited July 2011
    Our new 2011 Pilot was hit in the back by someone and the Honda chrome plate that sits below the rear wiper is cracked. I would like to be able to replace this myself but I am not sure how to remove the old one.

    Can someone help me with the steps involved to replace this?

    Thanks very much

  • savionsdadsavionsdad Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I suspect my starter is dead on my 05 Honda Pilot. I did self diagnostics by testing voltage on both wires. The large wire at the starter gives me 12 volts and the small wire when trying to start the car gives me less than 12 volts. Is that a true sign that my starter is bad?
  • cmartin411cmartin411 Member Posts: 42
    I have a 2011 Pilot 2WD Touring with 11,000 miles. The hinges for the rear window are not flush with the rest of the trim in the back. If you look to the right of the right hinge and left of the left hinge, the trim that is attached to the truck is coming up. I checked the new ones at the dealership and they all had the same problem.
    My fear is what could happen if this comes off after 36,000 miles and no warranty. Anyone have this separate? I believe this shouldn't separate, but when the new ones have the same symptom, it is tough to convince the dealer this is a problem. Thanks.
  • wallstreet1234wallstreet1234 Member Posts: 41
    Any pictures of this? I would be interested to see it.
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    INFRIGGIN'-CREDIBLE! Geez, man, you are right as rain. I would have NEVER noticed this - but sure enough my new 2011 Honda Pilot (non-Touring model) has the EXACT SAME problem. Looks like really shoddy workmanship, and the hinge is crooked as hell. Like you said, it appears that it is loose or something. If you put pressure on it, it becomes flush, but I am not sure why it is crooked.

    For sure, I will be contacting my dealer to see what can be done about this DEFECT. Personally, this just adds to a LONG list of idefects and quality issues I have uncovered with this vehicle. Quality on this model is poor overall in my opinion, and I can say that with impunity, as my front axles were already replaced at 11K miles, due to a thunking noise/vibration issue. The OEM tires suck and cause the vehicle to pull... I could not be MORE unhappy!

    You expect [email protected] quality from GM or Dodge, not Honda - not when you pay $33k for a new vehicle.

    THANKS for the heads up. I took a snapshot of the hatch hinge and will try to get that posted later. Meanwhile, everyone SHOULD CHECK their hatch hinge and go to the dealer to complain en masse.
  • cmartin411cmartin411 Member Posts: 42
    Here is a picture of my back hinge with the window closed.

  • robsdadrobsdad Member Posts: 20
    A few days ago my Pilot's battery went dead. I unplugged it and took it to the local Advance Auto Parts and they charged it for free. Put it back into the car, reset the radio and now NONE of the speakers work. Everything else works fine. The sub woofer is working fine, the head unit comes on, the radio gets signal as I can her the stations through the sub woofer, but no sound in the speakers.

    I checked all the fuses and they seem fine. I had a local audio shop do a diagnostic and they said the speakers are good. Could it be a fuse in the sub woofer? I think it's a simple solution I'm just overlooking. Please help! I need some sound! :(
  • jak9jak9 Member Posts: 1
    Here is my Honda Experience. Everyone should know that some Honda engines are experiencing this and should not wait to change or tork their plugs until the recommended service at 105,000 miles because your Honda engine may fail you and you are stuck with the bill. The Spark plugs keep backing out and striping the threads in the head out. I have a 2005 pilot and it first occurred at about 70,000 miles. I bought an extended warranty when I purchased the vehicle to 125,000 miles. The warranty company did not want to pick it up. They even sent someone in to investigate the problem and said it was not logical therefore they would not pay for it. I made a call to my personnel friend I bought the vehicle through and he got it covered. They ended up putting a Helicoil in. When this happened I put in new plugs and a timing belt that was recommended at 105,000 miles. Now at 132,000 miles I am having the same issue on other cylinders. The dealership charged me about 600 to diagnose it. They put in new plugs and another ignition coil. Then they proceeded to tell me that I may need a new head on the paper work but verbally they told me that I need a new head and it would be about 2900 to do the work. We took the vehicle home and the same problem started the next day. I called Honda warranty and I asked them to tell me what was going on. They said this never happens and someone must have stripped my plugs out they offered me 200 in credit at a Honda dealership. I then called the Mechanic and asked him what the deal was? He said this is a common problem and he torks or changes his plugs on his every Honda every 30,000 miles. I said I would have done that but the manual says not to touch the plugs until 105,000. What I have determined is that Honda has defective heads in some of their vehicles and refuses to step up and acknowledge it. They should have a recall. I have followed the recommended service book on this vehicle and done service at a Honda dealership and they still won't do anything. I am not sure what I am going to do but I have to get it fixed. I may have to replace my engine. Other people have had this problem and had to replace the engine. This story even gets better because this is not common only to the Pilot because my sister bought an accord and it happened to her to at about 25,000 miles. Honda should offer a recall and fix the problem on the vehicles that it is occurring in. I will let you know how things work out when I take the vehicle in again.... If your vehicle is staling or the check engine light and or the VTM-4 light is on you may have a spark plug backing out.
  • dad23dad23 Member Posts: 808
    I'm not sure where to post this, but we bought a 2012 Pilot EX a few weeks ago and I notice it doesn't give me that reassuring beep when you press the lock button the second time on the key fob. I've called the dealers and they have no clue, want it for the day to check it out, but thought I'd ask before I took it in. Any ideas? I don't see anything in the manual about changing it. Thanks in advance!
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    I have occasionally thought that my 2011 Pilot was exhibiting the same symptom, but when I checked it this AM, it worked fine and alerted on the 2nd button press. So, in your case, it sounds like the dealer did not correctly check the programming (there is some pre-buyer turnover programming that is done to the vehicle to enable/disable features before you are given the vehicle at the dealership), or else there is a problem with either the FOB or the internal receiver. Could be as simple as a bad FOB battery.
  • robr2robr2 Member Posts: 8,805
    I'll be the jerk - what does the manual say?
  • dad23dad23 Member Posts: 808
    LOL, it says it should beep when presssed twice. I stopped by the dealership briefly and one of the advisors spent 30 minutes or so in the vehicle reading the manual before throwing his hands in the air asking me to leave it for the day...
  • robr2robr2 Member Posts: 8,805
    edited November 2011
    Sorry - I didn't catch the part in your OP about actually reading the manual. Way to many people post here without even consulting the little book that would answer most of their queries.
  • kmilo14kmilo14 Member Posts: 3
    Did you find a resolution for this problem? I am in the same predicament with my 2006 Honda Pilot EXL. We jumped our dead battery last week and ever since then my speakers won't work. The stereo has power and the sub is working, but nothing from the speakers. I took it to Honda today and three different technicians checked the obvious fuses with no luck. They suggested doing a more in-depth diagnostic or taking it to Car Toys. If you had any success researching the problem, I'd appreciate any help!
  • dad23dad23 Member Posts: 808
    I stopped by another dealership today at lunch, they couldn't seem to figure anything out either - thought maybe it's only an option on the touring model, even though the owner's manual isn't trim specific. So I went into the showroom and asked for the keys to one identical to mine, same trim level, color, etc. Unlocked it, pushed the lock button once, doors locked, pushed it twice, horn beeped. I let the service guy who looked at my Pilot know what I had found out, asked that I drop it off for the day some other time :sick:
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    There's really about 4 possibilities:

    1. bad FOB battery
    2. defective FOB
    3. incorrect security/door lock PCU programming
    4. defective door lock PCU

    Definitely a dealer problem... just like the one about the trim on the rear hatch door hinges lifting up prematurely.

    IMHO, new Pilots have about the same quality as a Dodge.
  • mickpwl3mickpwl3 Member Posts: 6
    I am having the same problem with my 07' Pilot. I jumped/changed the battery and now the speakers don't work, but you can hear sound out of the Sub woofer. It's weird that all 3 of us are having the same problem all within the last 3 weeks or so. Please if you find how to fix it, let me know. I'll do the same.
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    I ended up taking my 2011 Pilot back to the dealer to get this fixed for free. They said they had not heard of this problem before, but I showed them a Pilot on their lot with the very same problem (and the one right next to it did not have the problem). They fixed this issue and another problem with the rubber door trim (interior side) of the two rear doors was falling apart at 20,000 miles.

    The fix really isn't that much better, though. Not sure what kind of double-sided tape they are using but it is not strong enough. I recommended that they use Eternabond double-sided tape, which is used on RVs all the time and has a really strong adhesive strength to overcome the spring tension that caused this lift-up problem, but they used whatever they had, as they had not heard of Eternabond.

    Both issues underscore some of the many quality issues with my 2011 Honda Pilot. While I like a lot of its features, I am very disappointed in the OVERALL LACK OF QUALITY IN THE 2011 HONDA PILOT. That's my two cents.
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