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Honda Pilot Transmission Problems



  • hmvhmv Posts: 1
    My 2009 pilot is doing exact same thing. Keep taking it in but won't act up when they test drive it. Please let me know what u find out. Taking mine back in today
  • My trans worked perfectly, until it just blow up. Yours is a problem I would demand perfection. New trans if that is actually the problem. Check tires and mud on rims or a bent rim. NR
  • My wife 04 pilot just got the flashing D yesterday at 107k, I drove it last night the D was flashing and I can't not manually shift to the lower gears, the car is driving fine with no shifting problems on the road and freeway, and now the D is not flashing but I still can not shift to the lower gears, I was thinking maybe the sensor is not working that would be cheap to fix, but after reading in this forums I'm not so sure, I guess I need to take it to the Honda dealer to get the bad news. Don :cry:
  • Check for a hose on the very right side towards the rear of the SUV that has a 90degree bend in it and will not allow oil to be distributed from one area of the trans to another. The failure to shift properly is not a good sign, not sure about sensor. All dealers I have spoken to will NOT dismantle in shop, they just replace it with a rebuilt trans. Look at the oil color, smell it if it is a brown red, get oil change with Honda oil immediately. If it smells burned that is a bad sign same solution. Replacement is expensive, consider a trade. NR
  • Went through all the postings here and this seems to be different than problems others are experiencing. Pilot is about to turn 130,000 miles. No previous problems with transmission. Never had the dreaded blinking D light.

    Problem is on cold mornings, when you start the car and put the shift lever into the D position, the D light does not come on. You can jiggle the shift lever and get the light to come on. If you drive the Pilot with the D light off, the transmission does not shift properly. If you jiggle the shift lever to get the light to come on, the car shifts normally. This problem does not happen when selecting any other gear, including reverse; all other gear selections work fine. After you drive the car a few miles with the D light on, the problem goes away, meaning if you stop the car and restart it, you no longer have to jiggle the shift lever to get the D light to come on.

    Does anyone have experience with this problem?
  • Change oil immediately. The trans oil feed hose under the master brake is important. My trans made a tremendous bang and the case blew apart. Buy a used trans and trade it. Nick
  • We have a 2004 Honda Pilot. The vehicle began to shudder and shake as we drove around town. It felt like the transmission was going to fall out. We took it into the mechanic who at first couldn't replicate the symptom. Upon persistence he kept at it and felt what we had been talking about. He said the only way to properly inspect was to pull the transmission. We gave the go ahead. He quickly found the problem: refer to NHTSA reference #04V389000. The problem was caused by a factory defect. I checked the VIN with the recall and found that our Pilot was not within the specified VIN numbers. I made a call directly to Honda and explained that my mechanic found basically the same problems as specified in the recall. Honda replied that my VIN was not within the listed VIN #'s so they would not cover the damage (replace the transmission $3000+). I filed a complaint with NHTSA. To this day, I have not received any response. The Pilot is our family car so we paid for the repair. We have totally lost faith in Honda and will without a doubt be looking elsewhere.
  • to adioshonda: I am sorry to hear you had this problem. We have a 2004 pilot with 130,000 miles on it. I was wondering about your situation. How many miles on your pilot? Did the D light start flashing? Did you change the transmission fluid every 30,000 miles? Again, sorry about your situation. Same may be in my future. Often transmission failure is caused by radiator failure. I bought a new radiator and am going to have it installed soon to try to prevent the transmission from failing. Thanks!
  • Check the transmission feed pipe on the top part of trans near the brake boaster look for the rubber section bent at 90 degrees and closed to any oil transferred through the hose/pipe. This was straight from the factory no one noticed it and it took out my transmission no compensation. Please check these or have a mechanic read his and check it for you . Nr
  • Nickr1948,

    Thanks for the tip. I'll check it out and keep an eye on it in the future. If it was straight from the factory, do you know how it got bent at 90 degrees?
  • I have been experiencing a "jerk" or "shudder" in my 2011 Pilot as well. At first I thought it was water in my fuel lines or I had potentially purchased some bad gas, but I spoke with a friend who has a 2009 and she has had the same problem. I don't have a flashing D or anything like that. It doesn't do it all the time so catching it to show a mechanic can be maddening. When will Honda realize this is a recall problem?
  • jtsibesjtsibes Posts: 19
    You shouldn't even have to "catch it" form your mechanic to know. If he's a HONDA mechanic he already knows...they are WAY too many of us with transmissions problems for them not to know. BTW...I never had the flashing "D". Good luck
  • The pipe was bent like that at the factory, no oil was going to the drivers side trans. Disappointed Honda did not catch that error before or since. NR
  • I agree about them catching the problem. Why wasnt a Bulletin sent out? I had no warning about my trans, just a huge bang. No problems to that point. My last Honda, quality control is an issue. NR
  • Not sure my issue belongs with these other posts but maybe it's related. On 2/12/13, the transmission on my 2006 Honda Pilot (90,000 miles) would not engage. Stepping out of the vehicle there was a pool of clean transmission fluid under the front wheels. The Honda dealership said the lines were corroded, looked bent, and needed to be replaced along with the radiator that had just been replaced one month earlier. (I believe the radiator had a pin size leak, which never caused a problem, for years except it always smelled of antifreeze. But the dealership would never acknowledge it.)
    In many years of driving several Honda models over 150,000 miles each, I have never replaced a radiator let alone the transmission fluid lines. Could this be the beginning of the Pilot transmission problems listed here ? And could replacing the radiator recently be a reason for the lines to rupture ?
  • Please look on the top of the trans, check if dealer replaced the circulation lines in the top. If he has, Honda is onto the problem. If he has not, please have a mechanic or you can do this, look at the lines and see if they have any 90 degree angles with a collapsed rubber hose under the brake boost. Hope that works. Nick
  • is there any way to get a picture ou the hose or pipe your talking about my email is thanks
  • marcy_2006marcy_2006 Posts: 1
    edited March 2013
    Hello everyone,

    Recently, my 2009 Honda Pilot (that has less than 71,000 miles) transmission light went on with the "D". I'm getting it check this coming Thursday at Firestone but just wanted to see what the issues can range from. I've noticed it takes the pilot a little more power just to increase the mph when getting on the expressway than usual. Not sure if that can be due to the transmission fluid, or the transmission itself. Thanks for all the help :cry:
  • nickr1948nickr1948 Posts: 20
    The hose is on the drivers side top of the trans, it has an obvious kink. The shape of the hose is caused from a design flaw, should have had a 90 degree elbow. the kink prevents/lessens oil from lubricating the trans areas as per design. If your vehicle is still under warranty GO TO A HONDA dealer for any service.
  • My Honda fans unfortunately this is a huge problem. I just bought a 2013 Pilot Touring big money. Annoying constant shutter and vibrations, I was hoping this was part of the break-in process, negative. This is a Honda defect! The fact is the variable cylinder management "ECO" is a portion of the problem. The fuel mapping and changing between 3 and 4 cylinders. Honda has made valid attempts to correct this with an electronically controlled engine mounts to absorb vibrations. Major design changes in the rear differential, chassis stiffness all play an additional part in this problem. I've confirmed with the dealership and they agree. Dealer logged with Honda and they recommend calling Honda directly to force a recall to fix. So my Honda fans please reach out to Honda to report the issue at 800-999-1009. Hopefully they will react soon before I give up and leave for another auto maker. Regards - JohnnyFive0
  • I see the hose you are referring to. It doesn't look closed off on mine, but I can imagine as the rubber ages, the hose could collapse , resulting in reduced fluid flow. When the weather warms up, I'll replace the hose as a precaution. Thank you for mentioning this. I did have my radiator replaced as a precaution.
  • nickr1948nickr1948 Posts: 20
    Please have all aspects of drive chain checked including: bent rims, tires, out of balance rims, wheel bearings, and drive axels. Any of these can cause a huge noise and make driving the Pilot painful. Dirty rims full of mud or ice are also in the group of possible problems. After you have these prelims checked, go to trans and engine.
  • drkay1drkay1 Posts: 1
    edited July 2013
    Ugh, I replaced the radiator a little over a year ago. It was broken and fluids mixed with transmission fluids. Now I am having transmission problems. I have had cheaper cars that have lasted longer than this pilot. I'm wondering if anyone called Honda and got any good answers. It seems to me that this faulty radiator should have been a recall. drkay
  • ron261ron261 Posts: 1
    Transmission failed on 2004 Honda Pilot at 70,000 miles. Like a dummy I took it to Honda dealer in El Cajon, Ca. and had to pay $6,600 to retrieve my car. Since the design of 2003 and 2004 Pilot transmissions was defective, I appealed to America Honda Corp. but they blew me off indicating I was a fool for buying the car. Their attitude is "buyer beware" as Honda takes no responsibility for their defective transmissions. I've learned my lesson and will never again purchase a Honda vehicle.
  • Sorry to hear about your transmission failure. Had the transmission been serviced according to the maintenance schedule? Very few manufacturers are going to pay to replace a transmission in a 9-10 year old car, especially if you are not the original owner.
  • jw0407jw0407 Posts: 1
    I'm on my 4th Honda and have had my first major problem. At 107k miles, my torque converter went at a cost of $1750. Hate to bad mouth Honda as I've been a loyal owner, but after seeing all the posts, I'm rethinking my next purchase. Maintenance was done on time so it appears to be a design problem. Anyone run into this problem? If so, was there subsequent transmission failures? I'd like to keep the car but don't want to spend this kind of money again.
  • My trans blew up because it was not getting any oil from oil supply to the extreme left side and rear of trans on top side. Read previous posts.
  • kadeykadey Posts: 1
    We recently purchased a 2011 EXL with AT. There's a D3 indicator next to the D in the instrument cluster that occasionally lights up. There's no D3 on the shifter, nor is there anything in the owner's manual about this indicator. What is it?


  • Did you end up getting yours fixed? If so, have you had anymore problems? I just received the same diagnosis with the same cost. I'm trying to decide if I should keep it or not.
  • I purchased a used trans from a wrecker, and my grandson installed it still cost $2000. if you buy used make sure to drain oil from trans and converter before installation (not possible after), and get extra warranty. My old trans was not repairable, bottom of case was fragmented.
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