Honda Pilot Steering Questions

lknopplknopp Member Posts: 1
We just bought a Pilot last Friday and I had to bring it in on Monday because I was feeling vibrations in the steering wheel when I hit 70 on the highway. They ended up giving me 4 new tires. Everything seemed fine for a day and then the vibrations started again, They told me it was typical in an SUV until the tires have driven about 200 miles. Has anyone else experienced this?


  • justaveragejoejustaveragejoe Member Posts: 268
    I have never heard of this explanation. Maybe they think the tires will seat on the beads better after a few miles. Typically, vibrations are caused by tires that are out of round or tires that are out of balance. There has been much discussion about vibrations in Pilots. Search or review some of the existing threads and have the tires re-balanced while they check for out-of-round. If all that checks okay, then you can discuss some of the other possibilities that your research will have revealed.

  • parvizparviz Member Posts: 484
    my 2006 Pilot did not exhibit anything like that and since they changed your tires and it did not help I don't think what they told you makes any sense. My Pilot was pulling to the side and they rotated the two front tires to fix it. Is your Pilot the v6 2WD with the vcm? I am just wondering since some of the Accord owners (with vcm) have complained of vibration at certain speeds and have contributed the vibration to the vcm. (I should note that I also own a 08 Accord with vcm but have not experienced any vibration problem myself).
  • jmpage2jmpage2 Member Posts: 268
    If a wheel is out of round it could cause that, as could a stuck brake, bad alignment, etc.

    Have the service advisor drive with you in the car and get him to agree it's a problem then have him work with the techs on a solution to the problem.

    I had a bad wheel bearing in my '04 Audi and it took two visits to the service department before they fixed the problem. Initially they wanted to blame it on my winter tires.
  • pep0760pep0760 Member Posts: 5

    I just purchased a 2008 Pilot and picked it up 1 week ago, I had had it back to the shop twice already and it's going in again tomorrow for a slight vibration that starts at about 65 mph. It gets a little worse at 75 but not much different after that. The first time at the dealer they adjusted the Tire Pressure, it did nothing, next they rebalanced my front tires, that did nothing. Who knows what they will do next. I traded in an 04 Toyota Sienna minivan with 72K miles that ran smoother than this does.
  • pep0760pep0760 Member Posts: 5
    Reading other comments listed under 2006 pilot wheel vibrations, this problem has existed for some time. It appears it may be related to a Driveshaft, internal bearing issue and not a tire, balancing problem. I will continue to push for a fix and post my findings.
  • pep0760pep0760 Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for the advice, the dealer has been great to work with, they replaced and re-balanced all 4 tires and rims and did a 4-wheel alignment. The tech was great. Although inconvenient, he picked me up twice while working on it to drive and see if I still felt the problem. After all that I still feel a slight, very small vibration at 70, but its so small I'm not sure if it's worth brnging it back. I just feel it's brand new with 500 miles on it, it should be right. What are your thoughts? Am I being to picky at this point?
  • klacsanklacsan Member Posts: 2
    Experiencing same steering vibration and also undescribable sound at 2 or 3 second intervals. This is a 3 wk old 08 Pilot. I have been to the dealer 3 times with no solutions at this time. Has anyone had this problem solved and how?
  • pep0760pep0760 Member Posts: 5
    I am having the same problem, so far they have replaced all 4 tires & rims, rebalanced all 4, and realigned all 4 wheels, they agreed that ruled out the tires. Wednesday I go in for the mechanical piece. I will check back and keep you posted on what they find.

    They mentioned a Drive shaft, I'm thinking if it is it's out of balance, or a tourque converter (Transmission) Either way they have had the big shots drive it and agree there is a vibration. If they fix it great. Otherwise I love the vehicle. I can be a pain in the [non-permissible content removed] for a 30K price tag.

  • carabelcarabel Member Posts: 43
    Is this a 4wd or 2wd ? My dealer says the problem persists in 4wd. If it is also present in 2wd then it is not a drive shaft issue. Please keep us posted as there are quite a number of new and old pilots with this issue.
  • klacsanklacsan Member Posts: 2
    My pilot is a 08- 4 wheel drive EXL. Dealer agrees that there is a problem and is waiting on Honda for a answer, that was last wednesday. Like the one poster I love the car and for 30m I am a pain in the [non-permissible content removed]. Please keep us posted
  • minnesnowta1minnesnowta1 Member Posts: 27
    Ok, I have tried two different sets of new tires on my 03 Pilot FWD and still have yet to correct the problem. The original set of GY Integrity's lasted 60k with some tread left. Never felt a problem with these tires. Not the best tires but car ran smooth even at 70 + mph. So, here's my problem. Now , with the new tires, I get a high speed shake at 70 mph. Tried both Firestone Destination LEs and Bridgestone Dueler HL Alenza. Have had both road forced balanced and still know help. What is going ON????
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    In a previous message, Bob mentioned a possible connection between the vibration problem and the drive shaft (pep0760, "Honda Pilot Steering Wheel Vibrations" #9, 21 Mar 2008 6:30 pm). Has anyone followed up on this?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • piccachupiccachu Member Posts: 5
    only happend while back up the car uphill into my garage.
    very loud.
    didn't check with service center yet.
    I am glad that I just lease this car instead of buying.
    Love everything else.
  • pep0760pep0760 Member Posts: 5
    I had my car in the Shop again (5th time) last Wednesday, The service manager put the vehicle back in for a second alignment. This helped a little more. The problem is almost gone, almost. It is such a small vibration now. The service manager and the Honda Representative that was in the shop that day, both drove the vehicle after the second alignment and said they felt nothing. It's funny they don't but I can. I had the dealer put a plate on another brand new Pilot on the lot and I test drove it to see if there was a vibration in a different vehicle, that one was worse than mine and I told the mechanic, I would bring that one back too if that were mine. I will drive mine a little longer, if I am unhappy in the next week, I am calling the Honda Corp office, if they don't help I am calling an attorney I had been in touch with through 1-800-LemonLaw. They are very receptive to help me and told me it won't cost a cent to file the claim, the manufacturer has to pay the legal costs. She said on a new vehicle, the earlier you file a claim and the lower miles is usually the best outcome, if you need to take that route.

  • minnesnowta1minnesnowta1 Member Posts: 27
    Here is what I found out. My new Bridgestone duelers had not been road forced balanced. I took it back and had the tire shop perform this on all tires. This made a huge difference. However, I have to say that I still feel a high speed intermittent pulse and some vibration. I feel this could be do to the new tires being SUV/LT tires vs the GY Integrity car tires that had been on the vehicle. The new tires also make my Pilot ride rougher. Maybe that is why Honda engineers put these GY car tires on in the first place. Less strain on the suspension and drive train. I may have to go back to the GY Integrity to maintain that smooth ride.

    Anyone else notice this after switching to SUV tires????
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207
    This is good machine to detect tire vibration while other machines cannot. Check it out and find a tire shop has this machine equipped... I don't think it will cost an arm or leg. . . good luck

    GSP 9700 Vibration Control System
    Hunter Machine - Forced Variation Balancer
  • minnesnowta1minnesnowta1 Member Posts: 27
    Thanks for the reply and information. Are you saying that SUV tires may cause this vibration, pulsation and need to be specialty balanced on this machine? Just asking cause if the Honda Pilot is this sensitive to tire change I may just stick with the mediocre GY Integrity's. I know they are lighter in weight and have a softer sidewall.

    It would be interesting to find out from other owners if they have noticed this also after going to a SUV Tire.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207
    If this Hunter 9700 machine can't fix it then it is not the tire or wheel problem, the other 2 problem regarding vibration are alignment & mechanical problem.
    For me I would start with this easy one first before dig deep into something else. Dealers may not have this Hunter 9700 machine, why not give them a call to confirm.
  • minnesnowta1minnesnowta1 Member Posts: 27
    I understand what you saying. It is probably not a tire issue. I did have them road forced balanced at the Tire Shop I bought them from. This did help. I really don't want to put any more money into balancing since I already put out a nice chunk of change for these Bridgestone Dueler HL alenza's.

    My point is that SUV tires may not be appropriate for the suspension set up on the Honda Pilot. Honda engineers chose the GY Integrity tires for a reason. My thinking is that the GY's are lighter in weight, have less rolling resistance for mileage and have a softer side wall for that car like ride. It might be that the SUV tire market by design do not work that well with the Honda suspension set up.
  • pastpiloteerpastpiloteer Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 2005 EX-L in November 2004. It vibrated at 60+ for 6 months (the entire time I wonded it). I tried: road force balance, new tires, new wheels. Dealer was nice. They actually paid for the replacment tires (Michelin Cross Terrains) and replaced the wheels gratis. INothing helped.

    After 6 months, I got rid of the POS and got a Dodge Durango XLT with the small V-8. I've had it for 3 years, 56K miles and not ONE problem of any kind.In fact, I've still got the original tires, and it's as smooth as silk at highway speeds.

    My advice-start looking for a replacement vehicle and don't bother waiting 6 months. The vibration probably isn't going away.
  • stretchmoestretchmoe Member Posts: 1
    I too am experiencing this same problem and am looking for a solution. I am looking to sign up folks with this same problem. If we can achieve enough sign ups perhaps we can get Honda to address this serious issue.

    Read about my exact problem here then decide for yourself if you would like to join the cause.

  • 72blackbird72blackbird Member Posts: 4
    We recently bought a Certified 08 Pilot Ex w/ 28k mi- the car was very clean and test drove (under 70-80 mph unfortunately) well. It was only on the drive home from the dealer that I noticed the steering wheel shake at 70-80 mph- I knew almost immediately it had to be the tires, since they're no-name generic specials dealers put on the car to say it has 'new tires' on it. The shake also comes and goes depending on the smoothness of the freeway, so I know the tires are coming into play there.

    I have to take the Pilot back to the dealer to get Lojack installed and have this issue looked at- judging from prior posts this fix looks to be a long-term repeat process. Has Honda come up w/ an official reason for the steering wheel shake, or is it just a quirk of a new Honda model all Pilot owners are helping to develop and refine? I plan to upgrade to 20's w/ performance speed rated SUV tires, so maybe that will help.
  • dougd2dougd2 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2009 Honda Pilot and when starting from a dead stop, especially backing up from my drive way or pulling out of a parking space, there is a noticeable vibration in the steering and/or front tires. Specifically as I turn the steering wheel, the vibration occurs. We've had it into Honda and they replaced the power steering pump but the problem has returned.

    The vibration does not occur at any other time, not even when turning a corner. It usually just happens from a dead stop.

    Anyone else experience this?
  • mcintyredmcintyred Member Posts: 3
    I have the same issue, at least your dealer did something... Mine thinks I'm nuts, will only do it for me but not them. Seems to happen much more frequently as I get closer to warranty expiring. Mine seems to be most noticeable when starting off and the wheel turned slightly, almost alight shudder but only for about 1/2 of a second.
  • dougd2dougd2 Member Posts: 2
    Yep, sounds like the exact same problem. I'll post if I ever get an answer from my dealer.
  • angelo_aangelo_a Member Posts: 1
    Thank God..I thought I was the only one. I have a 2011 Honda Pilot doing the exact same thing. When I first took it to the Dealer they couldn't find anything. When I finally went in and made them drive with me I got a "didn't do that before" Now the dealership has two other pilots doing the same thing. They said that they have contacted Honda Engineering to see if they have a fix for the issue...but my warranty is running out too. The dealer told me that as long as they are aware of the issue the warranty is honored. I have paper work to back that up. So far I've been waiting over a month for a reply from the dealer. Now I'm calling Honda direct!
  • mcintyredmcintyred Member Posts: 3
    In regards to the issue of dougd2 and angelo a and myself of course - the issue was the power steering rack. I pushed and pushed the dealer on this issue as of course they could not notice the issue (ya right), until finally it got worse and worse, they changed the power steering pump and then reluctantly changed the rack after draining the power steering fluid and straining it to find metal filings from the rack itself. This was how Honda had them troubleshoot the issue. The result has been a much improved movement in the steering wheel and no more shuddering and vibrations in the steering column. Good luck guys!
  • danfortunedanfortune Member Posts: 3
    I purchased a 2007 Honda Pilot EX 4x4 with 55K miles on it, clean Carfax, one owner, I have driven about 10 Pilots from various years, and never encountered this issue. That is why I bought the car wholesale sight unseen. When I got the car, it is super clean, but I was surprised at how stiff/bumpy the ride is!

    I have seen other posts about hard bumpy rides, and the suggestions of adding an Acura vibration pilot subframe brace, changing the old BF Goodrich's to something that is more suitable for off road, ie, Michelin LTX M/S, or swapping the Shock Absorbers, and hopefully improving the ride. Any users with suggestions about solving the hard ride issue, any problem solvers welcome. Thanks
  • carguy_65carguy_65 Member Posts: 3
    I seem to be having the same problem as the three of you (mcintyred, dougd2 and angelo a) on a 2011 Honda Pilot. I've now had my car looked at by two dealers. In both cases the honda tech heard and felt the vibration on the test drive with me and commented that it didn't sound right and would look into it for me. However, both had to contact Honda corporate for further technical advice as they couldn't find the cause through there normal diagnosis process. After discussion with Honda corporate they both advised that this was a "characteristic" of the car and there is nothing more that could be done for a fix. After discussing this directly with Honda corporate I'm at a standstill on what I can do. I even mentioned the comments from mcintyred but they advised they they don't take into consideration anything found on the internet. So my questions are:

    1) For mcintyred -- it's been a month now since your fix, has the issue returned in any way? Is there a chance you can give me details of the honda dealership that finally resolved your problem (company and contact name).

    2) For dougd2 and angelo o -- have you had any luck with getting you issue fixed?

    Thanks for any help you can give.
  • mcintyredmcintyred Member Posts: 3
    Hey Carguy 65,

    My issue is indeed 100% solved. I got the same response that perhaps the noise was a characteristic of the model but when I asked the questions as to why it only happened when the wheel was turned to the right and when I suggested we drive a 2012 off the lot the service tech said they would look a little deeper. Honda Canada had them troubleshoot the rack as I mentioned above searching for traces of metal in the power steering fluid.
    I don't mind giving you the dealers name and contact info but would prefer to do it by private e-mail, just click on my profile and send me a message.
    I suggest you get your dealer to strain the power steering fluid searching for filings from a worn rack. Please contact me or at least keep us posted.
  • carguy_65carguy_65 Member Posts: 3
    This is great news! I wasn't able to send you a private message as it appears that you have your email hidden in your profile settings. I've opened up my email in my profile and I'd greatly appreciate if you could send me a private message with the details.

    I'll definitely keep you and the forum posted on any progress I'm able to make.

    I look forward to hearing from you.
  • mrsrussmrsruss Member Posts: 1

    I am so glad I came across your post. My husband had me search common problems with steering vibrations in our 2011 Honda Pilot. So far we have had our power steering pump replaced and then we were told our rotors needed to be machined and new brake pads put on. As expected the vibrating still occurs. We have only owned our Pilot for 6 months. I will post a response as soon as I have the steering rack fixed.
  • pwroftedpwrofted Member Posts: 1
    I'm getting the same steering wheel shake on my 2009 pilot 2wd when I apply the brakes at the speed of 60mph or over. I was told by my mechanic friend that I may have a warped rotor in front as my steering wheel shakes, and if it's the rotors in the back i would notice the shake in my seat or behind my seat. So i replaced the front rotors and pads with new ones, but im still getting the steering wheel shake. My next plan is to have the wheel alignment and tire balancing. Tires are brand new Bridgestone dueler's.
  • cd8cd8 Member Posts: 1
    Hi mcintyred,

    Thank for posting, I'm taking mine in to the dealership this weekend for the same problem.
  • bamonsonbamonson Member Posts: 4
    This is the exact problem I am having as well. I've seen others speak of it being a problem with the power steering rack. Is that so?
  • tripl3threattripl3threat Member Posts: 8
    I just started driving my wife's Pilot, coming from 3 years in a Mazda CX-9 GT. I'm surprised/disbelieving how tight the steering is on the Pilot. Almost feels like the power steering isn't doing its job. My wife says that's the way the car has always been, and she likes it that way (so leave it alone!). Just curious then - is this the typical steering feel for a 2010 Pilot - or is there something else going on? Power steering fluid is filled to the mark, and the belt looks fine. Pump?
  • wiliagbywiliagby Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2010 Pilot purchased new and have less than 23000 miles. The steering wheel has been shaking for a while. It has been more pronounce as time gone on. So I went to the dealer toda y and was explained it was the rotor being warped. It was explained the manufacturer went to a softer material to eliminate squeaking brake sounds with a harder material. So I told the servicer that this will be a chronic problem since all the rotors will warp even if I replace them or have the current rotors turned. He said warranty expires at 12,000 miles for brake problems and it was my choice. Wow! I ask them to still check it and when the service invoice was printed the writing was perform a complimentary vehicle inspection including inspecting the tire pressure and setting it to factory specification. Nothing written about the steering wheel shimmie. So I pointed it out and the servicer said it was inside the free inspection. They know its a problem and there is a deliberate effort to hide it. I am not satisfy with the answer or service.
  • fatheroffatherof Member Posts: 1
    My son just purchased a 2011 Honda Pilot. He noticed the same problems shortly after the purchase. We both went for a drive and I noticed the same as he. Went down to the Dealership where he made the purchase and made an appointment. I just finished speaking with him and now they are going to replace the power steering pump and use that as a starting point. After driving this unit I feel that this is in or related to the steering rack. He is now getting the pump replaced and they will use this as a starting point. The dealership seem to be working with him and trying to find a resolve to his complaint.....
  • carguy_65carguy_65 Member Posts: 3
    Sorry, it's been almost a year since I commented on this forum regarding my problem. It's been a tough road, but I'm pleased to say it's finally fixed. Initially I was advised by two dealerships that this vibration (occurring only when very slowly reversing and turning at the same time) was a characteristic of the Honda Pilot. Strange as I can't imagine Honda ever being proud of a Pilot with this type of characteristic. Amazingly each dealership started out saying "wow, that's unusual", but after a day in the shop and consultation with Honda corporate they advised of their "characteristic" diagnostic. I had all but given up, but I recently moved to a new city and thought I'd give the local dealership a try (I was getting close to my 36K miles). The technician heard the problem, but this time they dug deeper and agreed that there was something wrong with the power steering rack. They replaced it and my Pilot is like new! It's so good to finally have it fixed. Please keep in mind that my vibration (and also mcintyred's) only occurred at no to very low speed. There are comments regarding vibrations at high speeds on this thread but that was not my problem. I'd really like to thank mcintyred for his help .... I think it was persistence (as he recommended and a printout from this forum that finally convinced the dealer that something was wrong. Good luck to everyone else trying to get this fixed. Hopefully Honda will will stand behind their product better in the future -- I had to go through much frustration to get my problem fixed. I've only purchased Honda's in the past 12 years and although I think they are a great car manufacturer this experience (until just recently) certainly put a damper on my customer satisfaction score.
  • nnotsoonnotsoo Member Posts: 5
    edited March 2013
    Did the pump replacement work? I've also read it could be the control arm bushings??
  • alcolavistaalcolavista Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2013
    HONDA TOURING @ 28000km
    I did a long drive from vancouver to san francisco loaded with my family of five. way down hill from the border of seatle and calif at around ( 108km ) of speed ... men its a terrible experience for the exted of vibration.i paid $61000 canadian for this car and this is what ive got in less than 2 years..
    the whole trip end up really slow for 22 hours of drive BC to SF because of this vibration.
    Contrary to popular belief, Honda does not make their own Power Steering Rack. A third party actually manufactures and sells these factory Power Steering Racks directly to Honda. Honda then installs these Power Steering Racks in your Pilot at the factory assembly line.2010 to 2013 have the same sterring rack assy..
    My apointment is next week and i will update u guys for the outcome..iam 100 percent sure its the sterring rack i did rotate the tires inspect the rotor the pads everything in good shape.
    If iam going to replace the steering rack every 2 years better i look for onother brand.
    What more if we use this for off road..try everyone down the hill for at atleast 100km of speed.
    do it while its not too late..
  • emmy9emmy9 Member Posts: 1
    My 05 Pilot with 80,000 miles just started this steering wheel thing. The steering wheel shakes/vibrates back and forth (Left to Right). Not as noticeable at higher speeds on the highway. I had the tires rotated and balanced yesterday and it really didn't help. In December I had it in for a tune up at the dealership. They replaced the tie rods. Is that part of the steering rack problem that people are referring to?

    The tires treads are at about 5/32 and both the dealer and the tire shop said they are okay for a few more miles.

    Should I take it to the dealer and ask them to look at the power steering, drive train, what?
  • nnotsoonnotsoo Member Posts: 5
    well, we resurfaced the rotors and had the control arm bushings replaced per power-train warranty. All is good. Cheap Honda rotors though, cheap steel.
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