Honda Pilot Maintenance and Repair



  • kmilo14kmilo14 Member Posts: 3
    In our case the cables on the car that jumped our Pilot were reversed accidentally at first. I've talked to several Honda service technicians, as well as an audio specialist at Car Toys and Best Buy Geek Squad, and a couple of them suggested that our stereo could have been damaged from that alone. I took the car to a Honda dealership in hopes that we blew a fuse, but they checked all fuses and they were fine. The fact that the stereo has power indicates that it would be a fuse between the stereo and speakers but I've been told there isn't one, which again says that the headunit has a problem. I've been hesitant to spend money to have it investigated because I've been told we likely need a new stereo anyway, so I'd rather put they money toward that if that's what we ultimately need to do. I'd love to find out that there is a cheap fix, but I haven't learned of one yet. (Honda said that they would charge $150 to remove the unit and send to Alpine to fix, which would cost $300) I'd love it if someone would read this and tell us the simple solution if there is one!
  • dad23dad23 Member Posts: 808
    Just a quick update for those that care :D I dropped the Pilot off earlier this week for the day and the dealer determined it was a bad lock mechanism and actuator(sp?). They replaced the lock but had to order the other part, which they installed today. It now beeps when we press the lock button a second time.
  • mickpwl3mickpwl3 Member Posts: 6
    Yea that's what happened with us as well. The first time it was jumped the cables were reversed. Not good.
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    The postings on this topic make me suspect that the Honda audio system has no protection from static or reverse polarity. This can easily be achieved with a 5 cent diode in most circuits, and in your case, it sounds like static discharge did it, unless you accidentally swapped the hot and ground cables when you installed the battery...

    Where there any sparks? If not, it sounds like a design issue and I sure hope that the audio CPU is not ruined. You should ask the dealer to check the Service Manual to see if there is a protective diode in the power circuit for the Audio controller PCU.

    Once upon a time I reversed polarity on my Isuzu Axiom while doing a battery jump... sparks flew and fuses blew, but there was no permanent damage. From the sound of one posting, this might not be the case with the Pilot. Hope that helps.

    Hope that helps.
  • mickpwl3mickpwl3 Member Posts: 6
    I didn't see any sparks from when we jumped it. Just smoke from the meltinig wires. I'm hoping that a new stereo will fix the problem. Who know what a new audio CPU will cost.
  • cj75cj75 Member Posts: 2
    Not sure if someone can help me...we have a 2007 Honda Pilot with 104500kms on it...we just found out that the rear main seal has a leak. What are the chances of getting Honda to do a Goodwill repair?
    We have taken the car to the same dealership for all our services plus we just bought a Ridgeline from them a few months ago...
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited November 2011
    You sound like a good candidate. Years aren't too bad but might depend on the miles too. Since you said kms though, I'm assuming you're up in Canada and my (very limited) impression is that dealers and manufacturers aren't as willing to help the customer as much as ones in the States.

    The Secret Warranty - Understanding After Warranty Assistance
  • odie6lodie6l Member Posts: 1,173
    Just wanted to see if anyone has had to have their shocks done yet. I currently drive a 2006 Honda Pilot EX-OR named "The Beast". I'm just shy of 79k on him so shocks would be a little soon for him.

  • odie6lodie6l Member Posts: 1,173
    Well, I got lucky... turns out the shocks were sort of fine. They just needed a pressure adjustment. Gotta love the off-road shocks.. :D

  • bjaderbjader Member Posts: 10
    Try to replace knock sensor.
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    There is some limited information on this web page about knock sensor replacement on an 2003 Pilot that should help. The knock sensors are available for sale on the Internet from several companies, and it sounds fairly easy to replace. YOU WILL NEED TO REPLACE IT, TOO, as it is an important part and it generates its own voltage, so you cannot bypass it, or do without it.

    See: ock-sensor-on-a-2003-honda-pilot/
  • bjaderbjader Member Posts: 10
    Code P0325 indicates that your knock sensor is defective. You can't erase the code unless you use ODB2 car reader but it will come back again. To figure out the exact location of the knock sensor you can request the print from your Auto parts store. You can do it by yourself by removing first the plastic cover of the engine then figure out the next steps. I hope this will help.
  • mickpwl3mickpwl3 Member Posts: 6
    Hello - I just bought a new stereo for my Honda to try and fix the problem with the speakers not working after jumping the car. I'm curious to find out if you replaced your stereo? Did it fix the problem? I bought the stereo because it was a good deal, but I would hate to replace it and not have it work still. Where are you at in the problem? Thanks in advance
  • mickpwl3mickpwl3 Member Posts: 6
    Hello - I'm curious to find out if you ever found out the solution to the speakers not working after changing the battery. Did you have to get a new stereo? Where are you at on the issue. I just bought a new stereo but would hate to replace it and still have the issue of the speakers not working. Please help, and thank you in advance.
  • kmilo14kmilo14 Member Posts: 3
    I'm in the same position as you. I got a great deal on a new stereo but haven't installed it yet. Still holding out hope that I'll find a fix but at this point, that probably isn't going to happen. I hate to lose the 6-disc changer but am somewhat excited about having an iPod connection and bluetooth, so the new stereo isn't a terrible solution either way. From my discussions with guys at Best Buy and Car Toys, I feel pretty confident that a new stereo will fix the problem. They said once they pull out the stereo they can test the back it to see if it's even getting a signal. If it is, then the deck is bad. If not, there might be another problem. I also understand that the subwoofer will no longer work with an after-market deck because it runs on an amp in the factory deck, and the steering wheel controls won't work unless you get a separate kit. The kit plus install was spendy enough that I won't do it because I never use those controls anyway. Out of curiousity, which stereo did you buy? I chose the JVC KW-XR810.
  • melricanmelrican Member Posts: 1
    My 2007 Honda Pilot has the following warning lights on: VSA, ABS and Brakes. I took it to the dealer and it read the codes 53 and 121. They said the ABS module needed replacement. I replaced the ABS module myself with a used one from a salvage yard, and the lights are still on, plus a new code 121 came on.

    Anyone out there had any issues like this one?

    Please help me..

    Melrican in Puerto Rico
  • mickpwl3mickpwl3 Member Posts: 6
    Thanks for responding. That makes me feel better about replacing the stereo. The Honda is what my wife drives with the kids and she doesn't even like Bass anyway so if the Sub doesn't work that's OK. has the adapter for the steering wheel controls for like $70 bucks. I plan on installing everything myself. I bought the Sony Xplod CDXGT55UIW. It's simple for my wife. Has the Hookup for the ipod/iphone. No Bluetooth though. It was only $50 bucks with pretty good ratings. We'll see what happens I guess. I'll keep you posted. It probably won't be till Jan before I aptempt to install it because it's a Xmas present.
  • jerryoster1jerryoster1 Member Posts: 6
    I had to replace the stereo on my 2006 Pilot; (it kept suddenly dying) and replaced it with a Sony MEX-BT5700U with Bluetooth. I also used the XM and steering column adapters; all works well and I love it. Now I can hook up my iPhone easily and use all hands off features.
  • danfortunedanfortune Member Posts: 3
    I purchased a 2007 Honda Pilot EX 4x4 with 55K miles on it, clean Carfax, one owner, I have driven about 10 Pilots from various years, and never encountered this issue. That is why I bought the car wholesale sight unseen. When I got the car, it is super clean, but I was surprised at how stiff/bumpy the ride is!

    I have seen other posts about hard bumpy rides, and the suggestions of adding an Acura vibration pilot subframe brace, changing the old BF Goodrich's to something that is more suitable for off road, ie, Michelin LTX M/S, or swapping the Shock Absorbers, and hopefully improving the ride. Any users with suggestions about solving the hard ride issue, any problem solvers welcome. Thanks
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    I can't see how it could be just the tires... I have a 2011 Honda Pilot AWD with 26K miles on it and drive it a lot on steep gravel roads in the Smoky Mtns. My vehicle came with Goodyear Integra HLs on it... but regardless, I have not experienced this, and this sounds more like a shock absorber issue to me.

    Previous to the Pilot purchase, I suffered with ride issues for years with an Isuzu Axiom SUV, and the entire problem boiled down to the OEM shock absorbers and the Intelligent control system attached to them. I ended up ripping all that crap out and putting in some Monroe Sensatracs and was happy, after years of having a crappy ride, no matter what kind of tire was installed on the SUV. Other Axiom owners used Biltsteins or other high end shock absorbers for the same reason, and there are many postings about this on the Edmunds Axiom forum...

    The bottom line is it's all about the shock absorbers IMHO, unless there is some mechanical problem with your vehicle.
  • odie6lodie6l Member Posts: 1,173
    I was toying with the idea of upgrading my pilots ("The Beast") low beams to HID's after one of the standard bulbs finally blew I ended up going with a higher power (6000k) Silverstar Ultra's over the Standard Halogens (3100k). I didn't want to go the HID route after a friend warned me I wouldn't be able to submerge with them in due to the power module. The new lights are out of this world better. Anyone looking for alot better vision at night check them out.

  • obrien040362obrien040362 Member Posts: 134
    Had same problem on my 05 Pilot with 86,000. Repair was $6500
  • jeng3jeng3 Member Posts: 2
    I have 2001 Pilot and ever since we bought it we have had issues with the car not starting...sometimes. I have taken it in numerous times, but they can't recreate the issue. I have noticed that the green key light comes on when it won't start so I think it doesn't recognize the keys. One time I tried all three keys and none of them worked. If you wait a few minutes (one time 20 minutes) it eventually started. Any ideas on how to tell the dealership what is wrong? or how to recreate it?
  • jeng3jeng3 Member Posts: 2
    Sorry that should have said 2011 Honda Pilot
  • matt151matt151 Member Posts: 1
    make sure the back window is shut all the way. I had the same problem, and when I checked out the hinge the previous guys were talking about, and re-shut the window, the beep came back.
  • verybeegverybeeg Member Posts: 19
    I own a 2009 Honda Pilot EXL. The car has 40,000 miles. I purchased the extended warranty that'll cover me for another 3 years. I am debating whether to trade it in or keep the car. Can anyone tell me what I should expect to replace, out-of-pocket, in the next 3 years?

    So far, I already replaced all 4 tires (at $800, ouch). The front rotors and brake pads have to be replaced, but I haven't done that yet, and was quoted $450-$550. I probably need to replace the rear ones soon too. Besides these, what else do I expect that are not covered under warranty?

    By my calculation, the difference between keeping this 2009 vs. purchasing a new 2012 Pilot is $7,000. This means, if I don't spend another dime on repairing the 2009, I'm $7,000 better off with my old car. But if the total repair cost in the next 3 years exceeds $7000, then I'm better of buying a new car (of course, factoring in my time at the shop.)
  • cayceccaycec Member Posts: 4
    You never come out better buying new. At 40K miles, you are just now overcoming all the fee's the dealer charged you to purchase this one new. So you spend a $800 on brakes? That 1.3 car payments on a new pilot. You most likely will not have to spend another dime Till 100k Miles if you bought good tires. At that point you might look at the timing belt. Then your good for another 100K. I have an 05 Pilot with 167 K. I spend almost 0 a year on repairs. And I have a Element with 196K. Same there.
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    Hi verybeeg: I own an Honda Pilot 2011 4WD along with the 100,000 mile warranty. I have about 35K on mine so far, including some towing and steep mountainous gravel road travel, as well as lots of interstate travel.

    As to your question, you did not say if you wanted to trade in on another Honda Pilot, or a different vehicle, which makes a big difference in the answer. I say that because Honda is offering 0.9% financing on the 2012 Honda Pilot for up to 60 months right now, which is a FANTASTIC deal if you can find a dealer that is offering a decent price on the new 2012 Pilots, as well as a good trade in, or if YOU are a great haggler. Anyway, as you no doubt realize, 0.9% is like getting a loan from the Federal Reserve! Also, they are offering 0.9%>1.9% on Ridgelines, which if I had to do over, I might have bought instead of my Pilot, since I treat mine like a pickup anyway.

    While there are a lot of things about the Pilot that I really dislike, it does have a lot going for it: good mileage for its size (I get 18-21 mpg), roominess, safety, resale, appearance, sturdiness, and towing capacity, to name a few. If those matter to you, then you may want to stick with what you have and save the $7K

    Back to your question: what repair costs to expect? If you have the same extended warranty that I do, then you should only be paying for wear and tear items, not warranty problems. I have had mine to the dealer for failure of the left front transaxle seal, which would have cost me $700, but cost me nothing! Also, a minor trim problem with the body that they took care of.

    To save bucks, I learned how to do my own fluid changes. So, I do my own oil changes, differential fluid changes, transmission fluid changes and so on. For the last two you have to buy pricey Honda fluids only. But, it was not that hard to do, and there were video tutorials online. So, I have changed my tranny fluid and the differential fluid recently. Both had magnetic drain plugs and both had some tiny metal particles attached to them and both fluids needed to be changed. So, if you are not willing or able to do this yourself, you should pay someone to do it for you, probably the dealer, since the tranny and rear end differential REQUIRE Honda fluids. Put another way, don't go to Iffy Lube to get it done, or you will void your warranty by using non-Honda fluids.

    If you had a mechanic buddy, with an air compressor and air ratchets, and the know how, you could change the front rotors and brake pads yourself, but it is a difficult repair if you have not done it before. I would also point out that you can get this done at any competent mechanic, not just the dealership, so a Firestone or reputable tire place could do this for you instead, perhaps at a lower price. You should shop this one around.

    One odd thing is that it seems premature to be replacing rotors. Are they warped? If so, why didn't the Honda warranty cover that if it is premature? Your Honda rotors should not warp, and if they have - your dealer should be forwarding your request for assistance to the regional Honda office if your warranty doesn't cover this! IMHO the warranty should, because the rotors should NOT warp. If they are just worn and not warped, rotors can be turned and reinstalled, (as you may know) and you can get another 40K miles out of them. So, this task warrants a 2nd opinion IMO.

    Last, but not least, i would say that just because you are replacing the front rotors, it doesnt mean you have to replace the rear ones. In fact the rear brakes get a lot less wear than the front. Quick stopping causes the problems with the front disc brakes, as the weight of the vehicle is transmitted to the front.

    So, unless some mechanic has told you otherwise, (and I would question whether the dealership is setting you up if this IS the case), then you should not need rear disc rotors replaced. Pads at the most, and I am even dubious about that.

    IMHO, it's too early to do the trade-in, because of the loss of value you mentioned. But, if you do, it's a great time to do it! Also, if you keep it, do the tranny fluid and diff. fluid changes, which are the two big ticket repair items, and are inexpensive maintenance tasks. Use synthetic oil in the engine at all changes and change it when prompted or on time, and you should not have that many problems. Or only minor ones that the warranty should cover anyway.

    Hope that helps.
  • jamie1983jamie1983 Member Posts: 20
    edited July 2012
    I have a 2010 honda pilot, I recently noticed some rattling/something loose in the left front. I saw there was a recall on the 2011 due to some issue with the front suspension, has anyone had this problem with a 2010? I am going to take it to get looked at on Thursday. I hope it's just something loose and can be tightened and nothing major.
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    The suspension recall affects both 2010 and 2011 Pilots, so that is certainly a possibility for you. You can go to the website and plug in your VIN and find out today. Your VIN can be found on the dash or on your insurance card.

    However, my 2011 Pilot was not affected by this recall, but when I noticed an odd popping noise coming from the left front suspension and took it in to be checked out, it turned out to be premature failure of the front axle seal, an issue fully covered under the warranty (Otherwise a $700 repair). So, that's a possibility, too. Either way, you'll need to put it on a rack to figure it out, so a trip to the dealer is probably in order, because it could be a safety issue.

    Post back with the outcome.
  • jamie1983jamie1983 Member Posts: 20
    The VIN did not come back as a match, but will be taking it in ASAP. I have hondacare so hopefully whatever it is will be covered as I just hit 36k miles.
  • jamie1983jamie1983 Member Posts: 20
    So I took it in, they put it on the rack, couldn't find anything. I took them for a ride and he could hear/feel the problem. They replaced the lower control arm bushing thinking that fixed the problem....About halfway home I realized it was still do the same thing. I am going to take it back again this week. Any ideas? I may mention the front axle seal.
  • fagigifagigi Member Posts: 6
    Just noticed the brakelight does not working on my 2010 pilot, the problem should not be the lamp because I can see it working when I lock my car. It's my first car Anyone please provide me some information about the repairing.

    1. My pilot is less then 3 yrs and I also got hondacare extend warranty, is this repairing covered by the warranty?
    2. If not covered, should I bring my car to honda dealer or other auto shop for better price?
    3. The estimate of the cost?

  • no_more_bsno_more_bs Member Posts: 5
    The light you see may not be the brake light. The bulbs have more than one element inside. One for running lights and one for brakes. The brake light element is probably bad. Change bulbs and see if it goes away!!!
  • fagigifagigi Member Posts: 6
    I (2010 pilot 20k )went to my local dealer (metro honda) for changing oil, after the inspection, they told me I should change differential oil aswell, and better do it every 10k, is that true?
    I did not do it tdy because they charged $150, is that a resonable price?

    Thank you so much
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    do what your owner's manual says, not what the dealer says, and you'll be okay.
  • jamie1983jamie1983 Member Posts: 20
    I will be taking it in for the 3rd time on monday, this time I am meeting with the service manager. When would you notice the popping? Mine almost feels like something is loose, if I am going up a hill the left front wheel is light...driving up hill turning to the left so not much weight is on it...if I hit a manhole cover or bump it really rattles. Any ideas? I just don't want to go through the same thing as last 2 times where nothing is fixed.
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    I noticed it when I was backing out of parking spaces and turning to the left. It was easy to replicate and after a test drive the Honda techs said I needed a new left front axle (this is a short axle that goes from the transfer case to the wheel, not the old fashioned full length axle). Also they put a new boot on. The problem has not come back since. It first took place at about 12K miles and I am at $40K so far, knock on wood.

    My impression was that this was a common and well known problem with the 2011 Pilots, possibly already documented on a TSB. If they give you some nonsense to the contrary, it's time to ask to speak to the Regional Customer Service Manager, just to be sure, because it's a $700 repair.

    Now, of course, I do not know if yours is the same situation, but if there is a defect, it should be covered. In fact, they may be avoiding a recall by fixing it for customers who complain. Think of how many might not!
  • jason120jason120 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 Pilot with 55,000 miles, last week I noticed that the cigarette lighter was hanging out of the opening. It should be easy to fix but not sure how or which panel to take off to repair, need a suggestion please.
  • rich357rich357 Member Posts: 9
    I have a 2009 Pilot Touring with about 61500 miles on it. It was my impression that all the major belts had to be replaced at around 60,000 miles, but my Honda service rep told me I could go all the way to 90,000 before replacing them.

    Does anyone have experience in not replacing belts until much later than usual?

  • tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    I'm pretty sure timing belts are around 90k miles or 7 years, whichever is first. The cars should be non-interference so even if it breaks it won't damage the valves.

    That being said I was surprised they had timing belts, I think most manufacturers have chains.

  • odie6lodie6l Member Posts: 1,173
    I've gotten 62,500 on the Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armors I had installed a while back as replacements of the OEM's. They only had a 50k treadlife, so I made out with that. I'm sticking with the Silent Armors since they worked out so nicely and have been a godsend with the off-roading I do.

  • jmac8jmac8 Member Posts: 12
    My 06 pilot with 97k miles has had to have ANOTHER catalytic converter(CC) replaced. The other 3 were under warranty/federal warranty. I get good gas and maintain my pilot well. Not happy with my 4th honda vehicle(multiple issues over the last six years). I will NOT be buying another. I never had to replace a CC on any other vehicle including a Lexus we drove for 10 yrs and 217k miles (without ANY major repairs!)
  • danfortunedanfortune Member Posts: 3
    Hi: Up front, I am not a mechanic, I have rudimentary knowledge of the internal combustion engine.

    I have had two Pilots 4wd, 1993, the first I drove for 180,000 + miles, and my current Pilot has 95,000, also a 4wd.

    Aside from normal maintenance, more cabin filters, than usual and a blown rear speaker, I have had no mechanical issues whatsoever.

    I live on a Ranch in California, and both have been driven hard, hi rpm, low rpm, dust dirt, rain, mud, long idle times, pulling trailers (for hay and motorcycles) long distances.

    Never have I had an issue with a Catalytic Converter, and I don't understand how you possibly have gone through 4 CC's unless there is something fundamentally wrong with your Pilot mechanically.

    You could not be much rougher on the machine that I am.

    Please advise an old cowhand. Thanks
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    Don't be mad at Honda, you really bought an ISUZU, you just did not know it. I had a 2002 Isuzu Axiom, and it had loads of quality problems. Then ISUZU left the American auto market in 2009, leaving us without any service or dealers.

    Welcome to the world of ISUZU!! At least since yours wears a Honda name tag, you can get it serviced at the Honda dealer! p-documentid=434872
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 216,451
    The Pilot isn't an Isuzu...

    The Honda Passport was the re-badged Isuzu..

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  • odie6lodie6l Member Posts: 1,173
    Dan.... seeing the post about the blown rear speaker (sub?), did you have it changed out? Also if you did, did they replace with the OEM or did you upgrade? I was looking at newer speakers all around for "The Beast" and am just wondering what you ended up going with.

  • jamie1983jamie1983 Member Posts: 20
    I took it in for the 3rd time, took the service manager out with me. Even with the extended warranty he tried to say they couldn't tell what it was and could not just try to fix things. Needless to say I was not happy that he and I could both hear there was a problem and after explaining my frustrating agreed to give me a loaner car. Turned out to be a bad left front strut. It was a very frustrating experience and was not happy with they way they were with the warranty. They told me even though I had a $0 deductible on my warranty I still should have been charged a fee to diagnose the problem and ride with me.
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    What city is your dealership in? I have never had that kind of experience with my dealership in Gainesville, FL. They've been outstanding. I would report them to Honda America, so they get their butts chewed out for this kind of shenanigans.
  • techman41973techman41973 Member Posts: 83
    A friend has a 2004 Honda Pilot. Often he will insert and turn the key in the ignition and it won't start.
    If he presses the unlock botton on his keychain FOB, it then allows the car to start. Sometimes he has to do this several times.
    This issue happens with all 3 of his mechanical keys. It seems as if there is a solenoid in the steering column that is having trouble disengaging.
    Wondering if any other Pilot owners have/had the same issue or if someone has an idea on what needs to be done.
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