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Honda Pilot Maintenance and Repair



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    eswanborg at mac dot com
  • mrquispmrquisp Posts: 13
    I was wondering if anyone else has been experiencing this problem with their Navigation system. This has happened on a few occasions, but not constant. Whenever I start the car, there is a blank screen for the navigation system. Nothing happens or appears... even if you press one of the buttons on the right side. However, if I were to shut the engine off and restart it, it works fine. Anyone experience the same?
  • mrquispmrquisp Posts: 13
    Endollan - if you work or live close to downtown Los Angeles, there are a LOT of window dealers offering fantastic prices on window repairs. They are all located close to County USC. Email me for info. They can even do the repairs while you wait.
  • sjwsmwsjwsmw Posts: 131
    I have been noticing that my doors will sometimes lock after I close the doors and put in the key, but not all the time. Are they supposed to lock automatically or not? Our Explorer does lock the doors after you close the doors and start the engine consistently.
    Any thoughts on this?
  • I spent 7 hours at the Honda dealer today. They bent the Pass. shock outer mount back and that did get rid of 70% of the noise. They had to re-fix the strut noise. This time a weld was shiny and thus had been rubbing. The best news is that Honda has bulletin for the dribbling washer sprayers. It is a check valve that goes in the supply line. Funny thing though, they found the part in the ORIGINAL parts list like it was supposed to be part of the car when it was built. They even thought it was strange that this was not ON the car already. Hope this helps. Dave
  • The Pilot does not have auto door locks.
  • At 15,000 miles, the maintenance light came on in my Pilot. Do I have to take it to the dealer to get the work done that will turn it off. Or can my local mechanic do it?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,946
    Actually, the Pilot DOES have auto door locks. But there is something strange about them. They didn't work on our Pilot until after the sunroof was installed! We have no idea why. All I can think is that the installer must have accidentally activated something somehow. But now if you take the keys out of the ignition and get out of the car, it will lock itself within about 30 seconds. Doesn't do it if the key is in the ignition, though. So, sjwsmw, are you sure the doors aren't locking just before you put the key in the ignition? If they are locking after you put it in the ignition, then that is strange. But, if that is the case, I wouldn't be completely surprised. It just might be another feature that has accidentally someway somehow been activated on your Pilot.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,946
    you can reset the service light on your Pilot. I'm not sure how off the top of my head, but I do believe its in the owner's manual.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • markludmarklud Posts: 41
    When my wife uses a spare key (not the valet key), the door automatically locks itself after 30seconds when she leaves the vehicle.This does not happen with my key. Anyone else have this? If you use the remote opener,it IS supposed to lock itself,if you don't get to the vehicle in 30seconds, but this is with the key, not remote.
  • sjwsmwsjwsmw Posts: 131
    Wow, what quirky behavior. Thanks for the responses. I will try the spare key, and also the remote locking by itself, wasn't aware of that one either.
    The random auto locking for me is happening after the key is in the ignition, the motor is running usually if I recall.
  • 01r101r1 Posts: 280
    Is your arm resting on the driver's lock up by the window? That will lock all the doors if it's pressed.
  • dorene1dorene1 Posts: 75
    to mrquisp - I had a similar blank out, tho the screen first showed a message that the CD function was out. It lasted for one day, then repaired itself. Dealer had no clue, so I called customer service. They took down our vehicle # and info., also have an 800 # you can get for the company that makes the nav. Hope yours auto - heals too.
  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Posts: 464
    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 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!
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