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Honda Pilot Real World MPG



  • I wish it were just the stop and go that killed the mpg. Even highway driving stinks. I found that the ONLY way to get decent mileage is to use the cruise control. If you have to use the brake for anything then you'll have to touch the accelerator and just touching it kills the mpg's.
    I hate this car and will advise all who I know to beware of buying it before they take into account the terrible mpg's.
    Good luck with yours.
    aka Can't Wait Until My Lease Is Up!
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,173
    "The Beast" (2006 EX-OR) finally rolled 80k over Christmas weekend. I've been keeping a running log with each fill-up since I got him in July '06. I've been pretty much steady on mileage with him. Average Highway is 22MPG, and average City driving is 16MPG. The absolute worse mileage I have ever gotten with him was 9MPG and the best was 27MPG. In a mixed driving I have averaged 19-20MPG. I am looking come spring to putting him out to pasture and looking at something a little on the higher MPG range, but wanted to post an update on here.

  • okaniokani Posts: 20
    What about steady driving? When I'm on Belt Pkwy from Brooklyn to Long Island - speed is never steady in any line, my speed varies from 40 to 70 mph during my 27 miles commute, but when I'm trying hard - I'm trying to average 55 mph, it is very hard because all of a sudden you notice that there is no one around you and cars from the back catch up with you in 3-5 mins, the is psychological effect of being with crowd - you drive in a same way everyone is driving just to stay with the crowd. Just try steady speed, ignore others and you'll see improvement but become one of those annoying drivers that don't drive fast and take THE ENTIRE LINE :) Now, I understand them - they're thrifty drivers who saves on gas unlike others. As for the City MPG - big cities are not those cities where that MPG was based on. NYC - is definitely a City described on your car's mpg indicator, neither any other big city, it is rather towns in suburbia. Keep that in mind as well. My mpg went 28% after I started driving steadily ignoring other drivers + driving under 60mph. Other techniques involve over-inflating your tires, once again summer timer - mpg is better than in a winter time (you can google for it to learn why), winds, hills, etc. Just remember one thing - the best car is the paid off car. Replacing car that will give you better mpg doesn't make sense to me as of know because annually i'm losing $600 versus newer car with better mpg (20-25% improvements) but I have to lose $12K to trade-in my car and buy a new one. That 12K brakes into 20 years with $600 a year loses. Doesn't cut as of now.
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,173
    edited December 2011
    When I say 9mpg... there was no way any City was involved. I got my 9mpg on a drive in and around Rausch Creek and this is the only time I'm around the sub 13mpg range whenever we go up there. I grew up with driving around Philadelphia but now I'm out near Hershey / Harrisburg. Most of my drives involve moderate highways and alot of back windy twisty hilly roads.

  • ekcekc Posts: 32
    Just purchased a brand new Pilot 4WD 2012.
    The first and the most recent hwy trip yielded 19-22 mpg, mainly flat roads at 65-75 mph .... Should I expect the mileage would improve with time? Is there such a thing as breaking in nowadays?
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    edited December 2011
    Our 03 Pilot got good mpg from the first day. Only bad experience with it was after a battery disconnect. Mileage dropped about 4 mpg across the board.
    Figured the first bad tank was a fluke of how it was gassed up. The 2nd bad tank drew some concern, and the 3rd one prompted some research.

    Discovered that part of the New Car Get ready proceedure is for the service Dept to do an ILP. And according the the TSB the ILP should be done anytime the battery is disconnected, or goes dead. OR certain fuses are pulled. I did the ILP and mileage returned to normal.

    NOTE: If the ILP wasn't done properly before new car delivery or after a battery problem, the car may not get it's best fuel mileage. Newer cars may not require this.

    The 09 Ridgeline seriously conformed to the 15 city 20 Hyway EPA rating. This was in spite of my "Crafty" fuel mileage attempts. :cry: One of them was using a very light foot when moving away from a stop. The Pilot woiuld "Upshift" at 1800 rpm. But the Ridgeline didn't like that at all, and preferred to upshift at 2500 rpm.

    I finally decided "it was what it was" and just drive the thing. Learned to live with the fact that it's mileage was not going to equal that of the Pilot.

    But continued to not tailgate, not do "Jack Rabbit" starts, coast to stops, and not "accelerate" when going up hill. Somewhere around 10K miles the Ridgeline began to get about the same mileage as the Pilot did.

    It now returns 17-19 local driving and 25-27 pg on the open road at 60+/- mph. But at 70-75 mph the mileage drops to around 20-21mpg.

    As far as Break-IN is concerned, I truly believe in NOT driving at a steady RPM for the first 1000 miles. Using back roads instead of Xways helps with this. And not revving the engine over 3K for the first 300 miles and not over 4K rpm for the remainder of the first 1000 miles. And no hard acceleration during that first 1000 miles. Then drive as traffic dictates.

    Other folks believe in running them hard from the begining.

    Now real world is this, with fuel at $3.50 per gallon.
    A 500 mile trip at 20 MPG will cost about $87.50. At 25 mpg the cost would be $70. The difference in time would be about 1.2-1.4 hours.

    This would be a big deal to some folks and not to others.

  • ekcekc Posts: 32
    Thanks for your tips Kip.

    What is an ILP?

  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,173
    "Idle Learn Procedure."

  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    edited December 2011
    Odie6 is correct.

    The ILP is The Idle Learn Procedure.

    Page eleven of this forum and starting about post 200 will tell you all about it. As you read through the various post, you will find tips on how to do it correctly with minimum effort on your part.

    You will also find plenty of post on how to hurry it up, which in my opinion would not work, as the "KEY" word is IDLE You will also find many nay sayers.

    When my mileage dropped that 4+/- mpg across the board, I was pretty disgusted with the car. The dealer didn't have a clue and said I was doing something wrong or had gotten bad gas at 4 different fill ups at 4 different stations. :sick:

    Pretty sure it was someone on this forum that suggested doing the ILP. I was skeptical but desperate enough to try it. It worked for me!

    Keep in mind that if it was done correctly by the "New Car Technician", doing it again won't accomplish anything, but can't hurt either. Keep in mind also that there are good technicians and poor ones. And the ILP is something that can't really be checked, like if the air in the tires was done correctly.

    Apparently it was important. At least at that time. Because there was a TSB on it. (Technical Service Bulletin)

    Strangly enough many Honda Dealers thought it did nothing more than make the car idle properly. So if the car was idling OK, the ILP either was done correctly or not necessary. Not true, in my opinion!

    I don't know if it is still necessary on the newer Hondas. But I did it on our '09 Ridgeline and the mileage is good enough that once again the NAY SAYERS are singing "No Way" :)

    FWIW: I lurk on several forums concerning fuel milesge. And it "Seems" that there are more Honda owners complaining about their mileage than the Toyota Owners. Yet when the car is correct and the driver is conciencious, Honda's get great mileage in their categories.

    Also the best tuned vehicles in the world will not perform at their best, if the driver and/or driving conditions are poor.

  • bobncbobnc Posts: 12
    I have a 2009 Honda Touring 4x4 and just returned from a trip to Florida from Asheville NC. 1,103 miles. 24.6 MPG driving on the interstate all the way at 65-75 MPH. My best was 26.5 on the same trip last summer. Great car to drive.
  • gbygby Posts: 5
    Well, I drove yesterday 107 miles with 3 people ,average speed 65 mph
    with a steady foot and the eco light on . Tires showed 36 psi while
    driving and no AC compressor on and averaged 13.2 mpg . Last week I
    drove my friends 2011 highlander and averaged 25.5 mpg on the New
    Jersey Turnpike. My truck Idles great seems to run outstanding but I
    just can't get any decent MPG . My previous truck was a 2008 acura mdx
    and on the same run with 4 people would get close to 26mpg. I looked
    under the truck and there are no gas leaks .The dealer wants to run mpg
    tests . I will bring it to them soon and when they figure it out I'll
    post it if there is a fix. Otherwise, its curtains for me and this
    truck after 6,000 miles . I guess I'm the only one that might lose .
    Honda motor company don't seem to care since I spoke to them and there
    position is gas mileage will vary. This is a very protective answer not
    to be liable for anything. This will be my last honda product ,period.
    Next time I'll do my homework better.

    Its funny, Honda is a billion dollar company and I'm an average joe
    middle income family and honda will not even step up to the plate. My
    answer is I hope nobody ever has any real problems with there honda
    product ,because when the BS hits the fan honda is nowhere to be found
    to get involved, I guess MILEAGE WILL VARY, LOL...........
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    edited January 2012
    A few things to look for.

    1. If your Pilot has "climate Control" the AC compressor runs all the time unless you deliberately turn "OFF" the AC. With my 09 Ridgeline, pressing the "AC" button will change the window display to "AC On" or "AC OFF", Also with Some of the configurations, the Compressor may be running, even though the window displays "AC OFF". For instance if you have the venting set up to the windshield. If ya don't know what to listen for, you will need to raise the hood and check visually.

    2. If an ILP is supposed to be done on your model, and it wasn't done properly, the idle may be fine, but fuel mileage suffer. After my episode, posted above, the idle was not affected, but the fuel mileage dropped about 4 mpg across the board. Interesting thing is that after all was said and done, the service writers and even service managers at various dealerships said the ILP only affected "Idle". According to other posters.

    3. Be sure to do the calculations at the pump with miles driven verses fuel used, Your gauge might be defective, if you are using that to determine your fuel mileage.

    4. Be sure the "OD OFF" lite is not lit on the dash display. Your rpm should be somewhere right around 2000 at 65 mph. If it is higher than that, something might be causing the tranny to not shift into 5th gear and the Torque Converter to not lock up.

    5. Your heat gauge shuold have the needle just under the logo in the center of the gauge, when the engine is at operating temp.

    It would "SEEM" that if there is a fuel delivery problem resulting in 13mpg instead of the mid 20 at 65 mph, a check engine lite should come on. Maybe not! :confuse:

    I do agree that HONDA products or drivers "seem" to have more problems with fuel mileage, than Toyota. This observation is from lurking on the various forums.

    One last thing! Hold the dealers feet to the fire on this. Insist that a service writer go for a ride with you and see the poor mileage, first hand. Don't know about your state, but in Ga., the 3rd trip to the dealer, with the same unresolved problem, clicks on the Lemon Law.

  • gbygby Posts: 5
    I will try all of these methods. I am pretty sure I have checked all accept looked at my R.P.M.s at 65 mph . I am going to do this today. On the other hand, I have an appointment pending at my dealership as soon as can provide them with three consecutive gas fill ups and the mileage at each fill up. I don't know wether I am just going through some sort of dealer motions to make me happy or if this is the real way of focusing on the issue. i would think a full computer diagnostic would be a little more accurate. I hope they can find the issue when I go there . Otherwise its a wonderful truck. I have a lot of money into the truck. I loaded it up with every dealer honda option, Like real honda wood trim, bumper trim , scuff plates and the list goes on for quite a bit of money. The reason i did this is because I planned to keep this truck for a long time and wanted it to look just right. I would hate to lose so much money now on a trade in. I know the dealer won't give me anything for all of the extras it was my personal decision. Also, if I sell it I couldn't have the heart to sell it to someone and not tell them why I was selling it. Well, I'm putting the cart before the horse, maybe there is a resolve and I can enjoy this truck going forward. I'll keep you updated.
    Thanks for the help
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Did you do the ILP?

  • gbygby Posts: 5
    Haven't had a chance. I have to drive a bit to get a an area that I can do 65 mph The speed limit locally is 50 and I don't want to risk a ticket. I will definitely keep you updated..

    Thanks again
  • waywardwayward Posts: 3
    edited January 2012
    The problem with Honda Pilot poor gas milage is a very real problem. I have a 2004 Pilot. We have had problems with it from the very beginning. I just want to get help with fixing the bad gas milage problem at this time. About 2 years ago, my wife was driving and the vehicle started reving out of control, lucky for her she was close to our dealer where they know us on a first name basis by now. She drove it in and they changed a fuel delivery part. Ever since then, the gas milage has been no more than 14 mpg, no matter what. Before, it was 20 - 25 mpg. My theory is that Honda and the dealers know exactly what it is and they will not admit and fix it because of liability and public relation reasons. I formerly, for 15 years, worked for a tier one supplier to Honda, and based on my experience as an insider, they will keep any problem a secret, for the afore mention reasons. The dealer will not fix a problem unless it shows up as a problem on their diagnostics computer. They have tried to blame this issue on tire brands as they have only 2 or 3 tires they will approve for installation. We bought Pirellis, then ended up going to Bridgestones, which they approve of, just to prove it wasn't the tires. Yes, I believe we are being mistreated by the Dealers. If anyone has a fix, please share it. Apparently Honda is not looking out for repeat business.
  • I also have a 2004 Honda Pilot, but I've had almost no problems with it - other than the sudden drop in mileage. It's a very basic model; I bought it used in 2007 and enjoyed up to 27 mpg on the highway, and usually 23 to 25 around town.

    I religiously kept up with the recommended maintenance, which can be expensive (e.g. right now it's due for a timing belt/fuel pump for $1000). Yet last year this dropoff and neither they nor any other mechanic could find anything wrong with it. I bought new tires - very expensive Michelins - then read on some forums that this may have caused the drop in mileage. I highly doubt it. After reading online forums with a number of suggestions, my son replaced one of the oxygen sensors and that helped a bit - we're now up to consistently around 19 mpg. I haven't gotten around to replacing the other oxygen sensor. I sure miss the better mileage, and still believe if I can find the problem, I'll get it again.

    Other than that, I love this vehicle. Very reliable.
  • Thanks for replying. I plan on replacing the oxygen sensors first. I fould out that they require a special socket. I will look for the part that fuel delivery Honda replaced, as I have it in my garage. I will share the part number on the forum and will look for an aftermarket version. I am determined to fix this problem. On the timing belt, my dealer has been nagging me for the last 80,000 miles to replace it on my 99 CRV. I currently have 190,000 miles on it now with no issues. I guess it is an easy $900+ for them, and it is well known that dealers make a large percentage of their profits on repair work.
  • When we ordered the oxygen sensor from Advance Auto Parts, they loaned us the correct sockets for free. (or it might have been a small deposit that we got back when we returned the tools) My teenaged sons did it for me, using the repair manual, with no problems.
  • I have been watching this forum for a long time, but haven't participated in a while. I also am disappointed in the fuel efficiency of my Pilot. I set the cruise control at 65 mph on I-5 and head down the perfectly flat Sacramento Valley and barely get over 20 mpg.

    Has everyone seen this lawsuit against the Civic? Maybe a theme for the Honda Company. 1,0,6604197.story
  • bobncbobnc Posts: 12
    I have a 2009 Honda Pilot Touring 4x4 with 36,000 miles and drive from NC to Fla about five times per year. I drive with the CC set on 65-70 MPH and my adverage MPG on the interstate, I-40,I-26 and I-95 is 25.5.

    Over all mileage ,in town driving and interstate is 22.5 MPG.

    I use Shell gas only.
  • I am averaging roughly 18-20 miles per gallon but the Eco light comes on a lot but it doesn't seem to make much difference as I think it should since it would only be running at 4 or even 3 cylinders. This is a brand new 2012 honda pilot, tire pressure is at 32. I was able to get it to around 25 early on but that was strictly highway driving. Are there additional tricks to get better gas mileage? It seems like if I drive faster like around 70, that my gas mileage improves, but even if I were to follow the gauge at 60, I still seem to get around less than 20. Anyone else having this problem or what mileage are you getting.
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,173
    Wish I was getting 18-20. I average 13-16 on highway and 10-14 in the city. This could be due to all the off-road stuff I have added underneath and the beefier tires, but damn gas prices have been hurting.

    ("The Beast" - '06 Honda Pilot EX-OR)
  • I get about 21-22 combine but I guess that depends on how you drive, not sure which model you have. I have Touring with 18inch wheel, manufacturer suggested tire pressure at 35psi.
  • whattodo2whattodo2 Posts: 18
    I have a 2006 EX (at 105,000), and previously a 2005 EX (until 70,000). Both steadily got 19/22 - up to 24 on long trips. Right around 90,000, my 2006 suddenly dropped to 16.5/20. I took it to the dealer, replaced tires twice (!!)... nothing. The dealer said since it is still within the "range" it is not a problem. Not a problem, my foot!! Now my mechanic suggests changing the fuel filter.

    To those who replaced the oxygen sensors - is this a long-term solution?

    Please share! Thanks!
  • bryan200kbryan200k Posts: 64
    We have had our 2012 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD for about 3 months now. I like the Trip Display screen that shows my gas mileage stats coupled with the ECO light to 'teach' me to drive with a kinder foot to get my best gas mileage. I have been 'learning' how best to drive my Pilot to get the most mileage out of it.

    Just driving around town on short trips of 2 to 5 miles, I am averaging 17.5 MPG, which by the way is better than the best I ever got out of my old GMC SUV (of the same size) in highway driving.

    For a long trip last month that included half hwy a lot of mountainous driving, I averaged 23.5.

    For my commute to work that includes mostly level highway, and about 25 percent town driving, I have got as high as 25.6.

    The more I drive the Pilot the better my mileage seems to get. I try to drive sensible, and pay attention to the ECO light and the Trip Display on the screen, to determine the best speed and manner to drive to get the most out of it.
  • waywardwayward Posts: 3
    Thanks for replying. I was all set to change the oxygen sensors until my wife called the dealer service manager to try to pursue with him a solution. He is saying there could be a problem of fuel delivery from the tank. I think not. Obviously it is getting too much fuel. I will call him soon myself. Should we start mentioning dealer names on this blog? They have to be reading this. I am getting tired of the dealer stalling whill I am spending too much on gas.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Dealer names are okay. No names of individuals or their phone numbers though please.

    You can also visit Dealer Ratings and Reviews and fill out a review.
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,173
    Your drop could also be due to the increase in ethenol added to the regular fule now. In our area we have been increased from 10% to 15% enthenol added to 87 grade. 89 grade still receives 10%. I have been told this by 3 different service center (2 honda, one independent) that they have been seeing alot of this since the increase. If you have a station near you that sells "Ethenol Free" or "No Ethenol Added" fuel try filling up there 2-3 times and see if your mileage increases. I did this and my mileage came back up to 19.75 mpg and 20.2 mpg on consecutive tanks. I did not do any different driving on these tanks, but because there is only one station that sells this, I'm not driving there everytime I need to fill up (they are usually more expensive than normal stations).

    Hope this helps.

  • I have an 2011 4WD Pilot and travel to Tennessee from Florida a lot and get OK mileage in general. Typical is 19.5 MPG running mid-grade Shell or equivalent. If I tow a small 5x9 enclosed trailer with my tools, I get about 14 mpg. I still have the original tires on it, which are quite knobby.

    As someone mentioned, up there you can get NO ETHANOL gas at some stations for the same price and it does make a difference, but it's hard to find. 10% Ethanol is typical and you can expect less mileage using it, by a factor of 10-15%.

    Based on prior experiences with other SUVs and our PRIUS, I am certain that any of the following changes would help improve mileage:

    1. Switch to Michelin Latitude Tour tires (or similar) for better energy efficiency, when it's time to get new tires, if you are not doing a lot of off road or gravel road traveling. Any Michelin dealer can order them or you can get them on and pay a local dealer to install them.

    See: atitude-tour/tire-details

    2. Use Mid-grade high quality gasoline. The cost difference is pretty small, but the mileage increase can be 2-5 mpg, so it can pay off percentage-wise. Think about it... if you are getting 20 MPG, and it goes up to 23 MPG that is a 15% increase, for a few pennies more.

    3. Change your tranny fluid to synthetic transmission fluid. (And keep it that way). Do the same for the differential, if you can afford to do both.

    4. USE THE CRUISE, as much as possible. Driving habits make a big difference.

    5. REDUCE the WEIGHT:

    a) If you have AAA and you commute and can take the risk, remove the spare tire and carry a can of that green stuff that fixes most flats. The spare tire is very heavy. This is not for everyone, just the truly brave.

    b)Remove other excess "stuff" you cart around with you that you don't really need, such as bricks, concrete blocks, old refrigerators, and so on.

    c) If you can figure out how to do so, remove the 3rd row seat and devise something to take its place (I am still working on this one myself).

    6. Make sure your air filter is clean.

    7. Use 35 PSI tire pressure.

    8. Tell Mitt that the dog and the rooftop carrier have to go! (No, just kidding.) But seriously, the roof rack cross supports do cut down your mileage because of air resistance (and interfere with satellite radio reception, too). If you don't use 'em - loose 'em.

    Hope these suggestions help.

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