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Honda Pilot Transmission Problems



  • pudgeypudgey Posts: 3
    Is there any legal help out there that can combat Honda and show its failures?
  • Every car maker has recalls. There are more valid ways to rank reliability. This week, Consumer Reports came out with a new study showing the best and worst vehicles by brand. In the top six of the overall reliability rankings: Honda (#4) and Toyota (#6). y-best-and-worst-vehicles-by-brand.html
  • just so you know, the MDX's had the same problem. I get MDX updates because my '01 failed tranny at $74K miles and Acura did NOTHING to help us but offer to charge us $4500 for a fix. We fixed it elsewhere but low and behold, within a few months (and only a few hundred miles), the noises started back up. We went and got a 2011 Pilot b/c we love our Honda dealership/salesperson and spent a wad on a touring. I am shaking in my boots. We also have an '08 Oddesey with ECO and it has 25K miles and no issues thus far. I am so disappointed. There is an article out on these things by the way....and there is the beginnings of class action discussion on the MDX website for whomever is interested. Here is an article one of the forum folks sent over recently....:
    it supposedly applies to Pilots too, they just don't specify the years. I was hoping that the later models would be ok but apparently not. Looks like we too will never, ever buy another Honda/Acura product and we have been loyal for years.
  • montyamontya Posts: 14
    Folks, I am newbie.. have been a sedan guy all along...until now, when our family has grown with 2 kids. I am looking for sitting space for 6 people (4 adults + 2 kids) and cargo..(2 suitcases, 1 stroller, small bags etc.). What would you guys recommend ? I have driven the Odyssey but not the Pilot yet. Price wise I would like to settle with a vehicle in & around $30K OTD.

    Thanks & Cheers ! :)
  • OMG!!!

    I have the exact same problem and my local mechanic figured out that it could be related to the recall of the vehicles up to 2003. Now of course Honda has come back and said that it does not implact my 2004 Pilot and wanted me to take it to the dealer to have it checked out. I have the same motor mount and Torque Converter issue and they say that my tranny needs to be replaced at $4500, waiting for the Honda CS to call me back right now, but having the knowledge that this has impacted others will hopefully help me out in dealing with them.

    Thanks fellas!
  • So American Honda will cover some of my costs for replacing the tranny. The bloated estimate from the dealer is $4350 for a rebuilt tranny replacement. Honda basically wants me to pay half. Should I be excited about this? There's no arguing with the customer service guy, he's got his script down pat saying that I am out of warranty and that since it lasted 1/2 its usable life, I should be happy to pay 1/2 for it. I about wanted to reach through the phone and wring his neck. I absolutely would have bought another SUV if I had known that this thing would have issues starting at 70k. I think I could have easily purchased a domestic SUV for $3k/$4k less and gotten more miles out of it.

    Anyone have thoughts on getting Honda to pay more for it? I wouldn't mind paying for labor, but they need to at least throw in the tranny instead of covering all their costs and just removing their 50% markup on parts and labor...
  • nj62nj62 Posts: 1
    Our carefully treated, self maintained with all maintenance schedule work done 2004 Honda Pilot LX transmission died last month at 91,000.
    Dealer estimate $4,500 for a rebuilt installed!
    Honda regional gave me a real hard time but after several letters and half a dozen calls to national, got a deal for $2,100. My take: They know there is a problem and will give you an at cost replacement if you make enough noise.
  • lg2207lg2207 Posts: 28
    Hi There-
    Just called my dealer here in NJ- my '08 Pilot EX with 29K miles- wont shift from D to D3- from any position; Park or slow moving from D. Is my trans shot? I have an appt for a test ride with a tech on Monday. My shift lever does not have a button. I am out of bumper to bumper and assume this is still powertrain- hopefully they wont give me some cock and bull story or runaround. Thoughts?
  • tim170tim170 Posts: 1
    Took my 2011 pilot in for vibration from torque converter at various speeds with eco on and off seems to be around 1.5 to 2 on the tach. 3 computer techs from cal said car is normal. "Customer is feeling torque converter lock and the cylinder cancellation at roughly the same time, causing it to be more pronounced. No repair scheduled at this time." Great so I now purchased a $30k plus car that shakes. Friend has same car and do not notice the problem. I am going to keep pursuing this issue with the dealer.
  • I have an 04 Pilot that hesitates when stepping on throttle after being in park for an hour. Engine is still warm . The Engine comes on . It tells me 02 sensors were bad and egr valve
    I replaced them and still have problem. I also replaced fuel pump but same thing. Somebody suggested catalytic convertor . I have 160,000 miles on it . I bought it with 36000 on it. It does not hesitates when cold . weird ??? any thoughts. Also my vtm-4 light occasionaly comes on after hitting a bump but eventually goes out. I can`t use 4wd when this light is on. If I shut engine off and restart the light goes off and I can use 4wd again.
  • I'm almost positive you have the clogged EGR port issue. This plagued me for over a year. Just replacing your EGR valve will only mask it. You have to soak the EGR port that runs from the valve up to the intake manifold, plus all the intake ports that will be completely filled with carbon. I even had to run weed eater line through the main port and spin it with my drill to break up the sludge. EGR valves are cheap so doesn't hurt replacing this.

    try this: unplug the EGR connector. The VTM-4 and Check Engine lights will probably come on but the car will run fine. I also had misfire codes for all cylinders.

    you can search at
  • my check engine light is on and the vtm-4 light comes on after a few minutes, car has 200k miles no major problem in fact no problemm i worry a little about the vtm-4 lightm had the check engine light checked at Auto zone and they showed something with the catalitic converter. any idea about this lvtm-liight? don't want car to break down on the road.
  • We have a 2011 pilot 4wd with the same issues. We have had it to the dealer a couple of times and they basically tell us the pilots operate that way. We live in central Ontario and it is very cold here and our transmission has a definite delay between 2 and 3rd gears especially when it is cold. They tell us that Honda changed the transmission fluid to a new generation type but obviously it didn't work. We also have the issue with the eco mode when it is kicking in and out and the dealer says use an upper quality gas in the engine but that doesn't help either. We like the roominess and the style of this vehicle but we do NOT like the way it runs. We are sorry we bought this pilot and will not buy another honda.
  • blackdragon1blackdragon1 Posts: 7
    edited February 2011
    Here is an update from my last post on 11/15/10. After thinking about and considering my options for a while, I decided to go ahead and take my Pilot in to get the tranny replaced, however I didn't trust the dealership closest to my place and took it to a second dealer. They said that they didn't care if the other dealer had recommended a tranny replacement, they had to check for themselves. I had to pay them another $110 to evaluate the vehicle again, and this time they said that the tranny fluid was overdue for a change and that the fluid level was also a little lower than expected so they recommended a double drain and fill with Honda fluid. I really just wanted to pay them the 2k+ and just get the tranny done, but I could not convince the new dealership to just go ahead and do it, and I didn't want to go back to the other dealer because I didn't trust them (these were the same guys who wanted me to replace the belts and brake pads and rotors on my vehicle because they weren't genuine Honda parts and wanted me to pay then an arm and a leg for them). I decided to go ahead and have the tranny fluid replaced and differential serviced, which ran me about $500.

    I tried to replicate the vibration issue when I picked my vehicle up from the dealer and even though I tried several times, was unable to do so. On the way home from the dealer however I was able to replicate the issue after I tried really hard to basically get into 4th, then lay off the gas, bring the rpm really low and then slowly give it some gas while going up a slight incline - too much incline or too much gas and the vehicle would downshift and there were no issues, so I had to have the conditions just right. Even though this was way better than before when I could reproduce the vibration at will, I was still unhappy about being able to reproduce the vibrations and complained to the dealer. They wanted me to come back in again, but I decided to wait and see what happens.

    Since then it has been about 3 months and I have put on 3+k of mixed driving on the vehicle. Although I think I have felt some minor tremors, I have really been unable to reproduce the major shudder and noise that I used to have before and I really feel that whatever was wrong with the vehicle before is no longer an issue now. I think that I can only attribute the issues I was having to the Pilot tranny being extremely sensitive to the type of fluid in the tranny, level of adherence to the maintenance schedule for the fluid, and possibly the level of tranny fluid in the system, it seems like once these conditions were fixed, the problems that I was having have basically gone away.

    I love my Pilot again. It is an awesome vehicle for what I need it for. I could never see myself driving a minivan and this is and was the only vehicle that could offer the convenience of a minivan with the style of an SUV and one of the best fuel efficiencies for its class of vehicles. I don't think I will be going back to that first dealership again...
  • shane30shane30 Posts: 2
    Wondering how your situation turned out. We are having the same issue. We purchased 2011 Pilot EX-L on Sat and on Sunday noticed it was leaking transmission fluid on our driveway. Took it into the dealer first thing Monday and it wont be done until Thursday afternoon. They are going to replace the Torque Converter,seal, and o ring. Did your problem resolve? Have you had any more problems?
  • shane30shane30 Posts: 2
    We are having the same issue. We purchased 2011 Pilot EX-L They are going to replace the Torque Converter. Did your problem resolve? Have you had any more problems?
  • hugh7hugh7 Posts: 7
    i completely solved my problems on my 2011 honda pilot EX-L! for $6000+ i traded that piece of junk off with only 386 miles on it! i knew with the cylinders kicking in and out that it would take its toll on the transmission, also the engine will suffer in a few thousand miles! NO MORE HONDA'S FOR ME! JUNK! we should all take out a class action lawsuit on HONDA!!
  • I've just had to replace the transmission on my 2003 pilot for a cost of $4,000. I've read all of the above post and now I'm the nightmare going to be over?? Has anyone else replaced the transmission and had any problems occur after that action is taken with the Pilot?? I sure hope not...I'm wondering if I should go trade it in
    after just replacing the transmission.
  • My friends 03 pilot transmission just went out at 160,000 miles and was wondering what he can do since there was a recall . The dealer qouted him $3000 to repair it . I have a 04 pilot with 167,000 . I am holding my breath . I`m wondering if I should trade it in . I would rather take a new vehicle depreciation hit rather than a transmission repair cost and a new car depreciation and tax hit.
  • I went ahead and had a new one put in. I know that there is a honda number to call for all owners of Honda's and I would have your friend call them or type his vin # into the honda owners website to see if the recall covers his pilot, I would even do your Vin because some of the 04's were recalled as well.
  • tvsptvsp Posts: 1
    At 130K miles, I found out I need a new tranny. Don't know if any of these are related to the problem, but at 74K, check engine lite/code p0128/engine powertrain control module replaced - - at 120K, flashing D/code p1740/4th gear pressure switch replaced. i remember at some point after 60K during a service appt mentioning to the tech that the trans seemed to be shifting late from 2nd to 3rd, or 3rd to 4th - he dismissed that as no problem. Then about 130K it would intermittently not shift to 3rd as if putting the clutch in & the engine winding out to 5000. Also a 1 - 2 second hesitation developed engaging into reverse. I have had the car religiously serviced by Honda, and they suggested & performed a fluid change last visit, resulting in news that I need a new transmission as a result of 'normal wear.' NO, I'LL NEVER OWN ANOTHER HONDA!!!!!!!!!!
    BTW, my quote from Honda was $5400.
    Now, to the NHTSA ( site to file my complaint.
  • alexg_fllalexg_fll Posts: 3
    Very annoyed that just had to get a new transmission for my 4WD 2005 Pilot. It started with a blinking D4 light -- first visit to Honda Service: $500 to flush the A/T system and replace the third clutch pressure switch.

    Two days later, D4 light blinking again. Send husband with car -- get a "goodwill gesture repair" for a torque converter exchange and some sort of new computer that we're told is worth thousands. No car for a week.

    Two days later, blinking D4 light again. Back to Honda -- Honda Service consults with grand poobahs in California -- Honda Service tells us we need a new transmission at ~ $4,000!! After lots of heated discussion, price reduced to $1000. No car for another week.

    What's interesting is that I take my car in for an oil change and Honda Service pesters me for days for feedback on their service. Have not heard from Customer Satisfaction people on my last four visits -- guess they know not to call.

    Posted this in case there's a trend with the 2005 transmissions.
  • I believe it was the 1998 - 2005 years that had the transmission problems. Let me know if you get any recourse from Honda...I just sent letter to Attorney General. Do the same...send copies to AG and Hopefully, there will be another class action lawsuite - if enough people complain to all the many internet columns. is another good one. Keep posting, the squeeky wheel gets the attention. Diane
  • goggs9goggs9 Posts: 1
    I saw the problem you relayed several times - every 70,000 miles or so on my 2003 Pilot. It's plenty strange that the VTM-4 errors show up (electronic computer error, not drivetrain error), but the real problem is where the exhaust gas is recirculated into the intake manifold. The first time I opened this up, I was getting misfire (cyclinder 5) plus the VTM-4 errors. When I took the cover plate off the intake manifold, the whole thing was full and clogged with what looked like dirt (it is burned exhaust debris). Once you clean all the gunk out of the intake area, things run perfectly again.
  • gatdammitgatdammit Posts: 17
    Just cleaning the carbon out of the intake manifold didn't fix my problem. I had to clean out the EGR port that runs from the manifold to the EGR valve. Soak the port for a couple hours with Sea Foam Deep Creep, run weed eater line attached to a power drill and bore the crud out, then blow it out.
  • edoug3906edoug3906 Posts: 1
    Pilot 2003 with 132,000 miles--Transmission had no problems until now. Gears ruff shift at about 40 mph and a hard down shift thru 40 mph. Its at the Transmission repair shop and a torque converter appears to be in the future. Est. $1800-$2200 big.
  • jtsibesjtsibes Posts: 19
    Did you have any luck with this? I have a 2005 and just had the tranny replaced. I'd be in on the class action.

  • hugh7hugh7 Posts: 7
    no, traded my 2011 pilot off with only 600 miles! lost $6000.THE VCM OR ACM IS WHAT IS KILLING THE TRANNYS!
  • egd1egd1 Posts: 1
    have you been able to resolve your problem? We have an '04 Pilot, 134K miles now but the exact same flashing D/code p1740/4th gear pressure scenario happened at 113K miles, now we are faced with the same trans failure as everybody else, due to Torque converter failure. I am determined to avoid a $5000 repair on this (we bought it straight from this dealer).

    I would also be interested if going to the NHTSA helped. Thanks
  • jtsibesjtsibes Posts: 19
    I'm still gathering my info to go to Honda. There is SO much out there that I can't believe that they haven't recalled. It is a safety issue when you lose your transmission! I'm driving the Pilot now with the new tranny and so far so good. Again not a Honda tranny!! My Pilot has 106K on it.
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