Honda Pilot noise from center console when braking

trickstarjimmytrickstarjimmy Member Posts: 1
edited October 2021 in Honda
Hi! We have a 2005 Honda Pilot, and when braking, there is a variable high frequency pitched noise emitted from the center console/a/c vent areas. It only occurs when the a/c is turned on. The noise is intensified when turning on the rear manual a/c control. When turning off the air conditioner, the sound does not occur. This seems like it might be related to the resistor failure or the rear a/c transistor block failure described elsewhere. Are there any more specific TSB files that address this? Thankfully, we're still under warranty, but, magically, it seems that we can't replicate the noise when going to the dealership. I'm just looking for information to pass along to the service personnel. Thanks for any help! Jimmy


  • pareopareo Member Posts: 1
    We have a 2004 pilot. For sometime now there is a resistance in the brakes, especially when descending a slight incline. Any one experienced this before? Unfortunately, our mechanics cannot experience this on inspection. can be very frightening. It does not matter what weather condition there is.
  • dustinkdustink Member Posts: 1
    I recently had this same problem. When I used the brake there was a very loud noise (squeaking) coming from the center console area. There was also a noticeable sloshing of water sound coming from the center console area. It would go away as soon as I turned off the A/C. I took it into a Firestone Auto and they did a complete check on my A/C system and said it was fine. They thought it was something up in my dash but said I would pay a lot of money in labor for someone to take it apart and dig around in there to find the problem. Luckily for me, someone had posted a similar experience on another website and said they fixed the problem. Long story short...there is a rear A/C fan motor in the center console and the condensation drain pipe on the was clogged. Underneath the vehicle, between the front row seats, above the transaxle rod, there is a black 2 inch rubber nipple. I had to stick a screwdriver up there and unclog it. I had about a quart of water coming pouring out of there. After that I took the plastic off the driver side of the center console and cleaned the filter for the AC fan motor. I'm not sure how it was getting any air because it was extremely filthy. After cleaning the filter and unclogging the condensation drain pipe I haven't heard the squeaking or the sloshing sound. Hopefully this helps. I was glad it was an easy DIY project and was free!
  • cthorpcthorp Member Posts: 1
    We had the same problem. It turned out to be the tensioner on the serpentine belt. I believe when you turn off the air it just blocks the sound. It wasn't related to the AC at all. Yet when I was braking and it made the sound I could turn off the air and it would stop immediately. So for the longest time I thought it was the AC. No if I can just figure out the water sound from the center console.
  • mpthompsonmpthompson Member Posts: 1
    Wonderful advice. I was getting the exact same symptoms in my 2004 Honda Pilot -- a loud squealing noise when braking and the faint sound of water sloshing in the center console. I thought it had something to do with the main cabin fan and was looking into taking apart the whole center console to get at it. Instead, I came across the suggestion above by trickstarjimmy and it took me all of 3 minutes to fix the problem. Just as he described the 2 inch rubber nipple over the drain to the rear A/C fan was clogged and was easily unclogged with a small screw driver. About a quart of accumulated water drained from the fan. I would have never guessed the nature of the problem if I hadn't tripped across the suggestion above. The noise is now gone and I couldn't be happier.
  • clark_lclark_l Member Posts: 1
    I have been having the same noise -- a squealing kind of sound coming from the center of my 2005 Pilot when braking. When it first started getting bad, I took it to Firestone to have the brakes checked/serviced and they found some issues with my rear brakes and fixed them. I had also asked them to check out a water sound that almost sounded like a small trickle of water into a pot that I could hear when the A/C was running. They dismissed that sound as normal A/C noise.

    I've been back to them twice over the last 4-5 months to redo the brake work because the sound has not gone away. Today, they told me they needed to replace the rear A/C motor or resistor and it would be about $500.

    I came home, got on Google, and found your post! It took me a few minutes to find it because I don't spend much time up under my car, but I cleaned out the rubber nipple (it had a bunch of 'glop' up in it) and a lot of water came pouring out.

    I'd really like to clean the motor filter as you mentioned, but I don't know how to remove the plastic off the console. Could you provide any instructions as to how to do that so I could avoid breaking something? Also, once the plastic is off, is it fairly obvious where the filter is?

    Thank you -- I haven't had a chance to drive my Pilot much yet, but here's hoping you saved me about $600!

    Thank you!

    - ClarkL
  • aliceincarlandaliceincarland Member Posts: 1
    One of the most helpful tips I've ever found on the internet!!! Thank you!! The water drained exactly as described:) Would also like to know how to get to the referenced filter...I can't find a single place to remove a screw on the center console to get to it!! I also get the brake resistance that someone else mentioned, and have had the brakes fully serviced. It is a bit odd. Have also noticed that slight acceleration from a 25-30mph speed causes a significant shudder from the rear of the vehicle. Honda can't seem to find anything wrong (of course, they didn't have a clue on the console noise, either;)) Anyone else?
  • christie9christie9 Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2011
    THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR POST OF 8/20/08! With your post, I (a woman who has never been underneath the hood of any car in my whole life) was able to fix the same problem within 5 minutes and saved hundreds of dollars if I were to bring my 2004 Pilot to the dealer. Just like you wrote, I jacked up the car, slipped underneath it and found the 2" black nipple and unplugged it within minutes. I also opened up the plastic on the driver's side of the center console and cleaned the air filter (it was completely covered with grayish dirt) and since then the rear a/c is much cooler. I want to thank you again for your great help!
  • babykari29babykari29 Member Posts: 1
    Omg, I see lots of people having the same problems, I called honda and they wanted at least $200 to hook it up and see what's going on... that's not even labor and parts if need, I'm going to clean filter and read blogs to fixs all my poblems. I'm a girl don't like going to shops and people who will lie to me and charge hella money for something I can learn to do...I just had it look at and he didn't no husband takes forever to fix will get on this....thanks for, kari
  • zaldeeeezaldeeee Member Posts: 1
    Unbelievable. I did exactly what was suggested and it was like magic. No noise. I appreciate the advice.">
  • hoghuntermomhoghuntermom Member Posts: 1
    I cannot thank you enough for posting this! This noise has been driving me crazy for months. One little screwdriver and a ton of water and it is GONE!!!

  • dg512dg512 Member Posts: 1
    Had the same problem with my 2002 Acura MDX. Releasing the water under the carriage using your solution fixed the squeaking and water sloshing problems. Thanks!
  • bharvey2bharvey2 Member Posts: 1

    Had the same problem with my 2008 Pilot. Thanks to the post above by dustink in 2008 I was able to unclog the drain and stop the sloshing and squeaking.

  • felixjrfelixjr Member Posts: 1

    thanks a lot i had the same problem on my pilot 06, now its gone. cheers

  • johneschneiderjohneschneider Member Posts: 1
    the solution doesn't make sense to me because the noise was screeching, like metal on metal. also it sounded like it was coming from the right front of the car. however just as the suggestion suggested, it worked and i got about 1/2 a gallon of water. the difficult thing was finding the drain. make sure you have plenty of clearance to climb all the way under, and make sure you have a container to catch it. otherwise you'll be laying in it. and its really gross. :smile:
  • grantman1grantman1 Member Posts: 1
    I had the exact same problem on 2004 pilot. Whistling sound when AC was on and braking. I went out at night and stuck a screw driver in the small 1 1/2 inch black rubber nipple between the seats and a bucket of water came out. The whistling is gone!!! Thank you. I had mechanic check the brakes and nothing. Took me about 2 minutes.
  • kbtx786kbtx786 Member Posts: 1
    I've had the same problem for about a year and have been avoiding taking it into be checked - knew they would charge a bunch for what might be a simple fix... Found this and am ready to try it! I just looked under the bottom side of my car and didn't see right away the black rubber thing that I need to unplug. If I understand correctly, it is basically right underneath where the middle console is, right? On the underside of the car? I saw something but it was more to the passenger side... Didn't want to mess with the wrong thing, lol. I would ask for a picture but that makes me feel extra dumb. Lol! Thanks 
  • rcantrellrcantrell Member Posts: 2
    Those pics look huge posting from my phone but hopefully they help someone else. Mine is a 2007 Acura MDX but should be the same for Pilots.
  • wetzel22wetzel22 Member Posts: 1
    Hi all. I have a 2008 Honda Pilot and had the same problem with a screeching noise from the center console when braking. I took it to a service shop and they said the noise is a normal A/C noise. It's not. I did not buy the vehicle with this noise. I replaced the A/C Heater blower motor (under the glove box), however that was not the problem. The easy fix for this problem was finding the black nipple (condensate drain line) underneath the car which drains the condensation from the AC system. I used a metal hangar and inserted it in the line and dirt and sludge and a whole bunch of water drained from the line. This fixed the problem, no noise when breaking. Thank you RCantrell for the pictures and all others who posted this solution.
  • Steve_BurrellSteve_Burrell Member Posts: 1
    I know the original solution was posted close to 10 years ago on this forum, but I just wanted to thank the original poster for their solution to my Pilot's screeching problem. I opened the nipple, water and gunk poured out, and now the noise is gone. Thank you!
  • pushrodpetepushrodpete Member Posts: 1
    Like the other posters this solved my squeaky rear ac motor issue. I knew it was the rear ac motor because I could stop the noise by setting manual rear ac control and turning off the rear fan knob. I never heard a sloshing noise, only a squeaking noise like the fan rubbing on something when cornering or braking in my 2002 MDX. 150k miles and this drain fix had never been done, squeaking started probably a year ago and I was procrastinating tearing the console apart to fix the motor. Much, much thanks for this info. The only thing I can guess is that there is so much water sitting in the plugged drain piping that the weight of it pushes something against the blower when braking or cornering causing it to rub and squeak.
  • wirez71wirez71 Member Posts: 1
    Thank you TrickstarJimmy for your post back in '07. I have recently purchased a '11 Pilot. Last week noticed a squeaky noise from console while braking. I found this forum and thread. Easy fix. All better.
  • UaioUaio Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Pilot. Just as pictured. Problem solved. Took one minute. Thanks a lot.
  • Hondapilot05Hondapilot05 Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone have a photo of this for 2005 pilot.  I just went underneath and did not see it
  • 2004 MDX, 229k miles, had squeeking symptoms as described by other posts, thought i was in for rip apart console replace motor. Doing the draining as described did it. Thanks for the photos Rcantrell as that helped me find it. to those that can't find it you have to get pretty far under the car to see it. First 3 tries with screwdriver just yielded dirt and gunk but on the 4th try with screwdriver started to get water and then the flood began! At least a quart if not 2 came out in a steady stream! Afterwards problem gone, wife very happy, rear AC cooling better because it has somewhere to send the humidity it removes from the air, all good! Thanks to all !
  • JwsinkyJwsinky Member Posts: 1
    Exact same thing on our 07 Pilot. Glad I found before going any further than changing out the front brakes! Excellent post! Thanks so much!
  • LyndhurstLyndhurst Member Posts: 1
    edited June 2021
    The squealing in my 2005 Pilot when braking was driving me crazy. My mechanic insisted that it was the brakes... "Get new brake pads and machine the rotors, or get new rotors," he said. That didn't make sense to me since the noise seemed to be coming from the console between the front seats and couldn't be heard outside the vehicle. So, I searched the Internet and found this page. Based on what was posted here, I pushed a Philips screwdriver into the rubber plug/drain and lots of water flowed out. Best of all... no more noise. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this fix!
  • rickdonrickdon Member Posts: 123
    There's an AC drain in the center console. Check if it is clogged.
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