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Honda Pilot Maintenance and Repair



  • I am, unfortunately, an owner of a Honda Pilot 2004 with only 60,000 miles, and having MAJOR TRANSMISSION problems. Because my wife and I had purchased Honda vehicles in the past without any problems, we chose not to purchase the extended warranty. Wrong choice!. I wish I had purchased it. Furthermore, my wife's Honda Odyssey also had major transmission problems. We had purchased a total of 4 honda vehichels in the past. We will NEVER purchase another Honda vehicle again. Not because of the transmission problem, but how Honda (dealers and the HONDA COMPANY) had handled it. My advice # 1 don't buy Honda, #2 if you want to buy Honda, buy the extended warranty.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    With all the electronics and other gizmos of todays autos I believe an extended warranty is a must, no matter who built it!!!

  • My wife has a 2006 Pilot and only with the first start of the engine that day there is a one second "pupp" noise when you start up. My daughter says it sounds like someone
    rapping your window once with their knuckle.
    ONLY happens with first start up -- It goes away for the rest of the day. ANY THOUGHTS?
  • davidd3davidd3 Posts: 582
    Sorry to hear about your transmission problems.

    I have had many Hondas over the years, including 2 Odysseys (1997 and 2004)and a Pilot (2007). Owned some. Leased some. No serious/costly problems with any of them.

    I, for one, still believe that you are buying above-average reliability when you buy a Honda, and that it therefore makes sense to pay as you go (paying for out of warranty repairs as and when necessary) rather than paying a lot of money up front for an extended warranty (which you may not make full use of). My take from Consumer Reports and other consumer publications is that extended warranties are generally priced accordingly so that they are bad deals for consumers and money makers for manufacturers. I'm not saying that there wouldn't be some Honda owners (such as yourself in at least 2 instances) who would get their money's worth out of an extended warranty purchase, but I think that it would be a loser of an investment for most. Also, suppose the vehicle is stolen or totaled in the first three years. Would you get your money back for the extended warranty purchase which you cannot possibly make use of? Another reason why it may make more sense to forgo an extended warranty purchase and just pay as you go.
  • normhnormh Posts: 31
    Both of the vehicles that you mentioned had recalls on the transmission. Did you receive letters on that recall? I did, and I have a 2003 Pilot that had a part added to the transmission to improve cooling. My Brother-in-law has an Odyssey ('03 I believe) and he just got a new transmission (less than 6 mos. ago) at no cost. :confuse: Did your dealer mention any recall to you?
  • I have a silly question, does the 07 Honda Pilot have any special type of break-in oil already in the car when u buy it new. I have heard that some cars have a break in oil that doesnt need to be changed til 3750 or 7500? is that true? and if so, does the Pilot have this? if not, i was thinking of doing an extra oil change at 1000miles just to get any gunk out, and then again at 3000k,

    your thoughts

  • davidd3davidd3 Posts: 582
    "Oil life" is now a function of your on-board computer. When you get down to 15% oil life, you will start to see information about your oil life every time you start the car. It replaces your odometer info. You can get rid of it (i.e., change it back to the odometer info) with a tap on the reset needle. Nothing special about the first oil change any more. Used to be we'd do the first oil change at just 1,000 miles. My 2007 Pilot now has 6,200 miles. Oil life is now showing 10%. I'll do my first oil change next month somewhere between 6,500 and 7,000 miles.
  • Maybe the fuel (or other) system pressurizing? I'll listen on my Pilot the next time....
  • rekhrekh Posts: 47
    These days I don't get that noise, the only thing which has changed is the weather, it's not that much ( around or below zero)cold!!!
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    My wife has a 2006 Pilot and only with the first start of the engine that day there is a one second "pupp" noise when you start up. My daughter says it sounds like someone
    rapping your window once with their knuckle.

    Our 03 Pilot has bee doing that since 03.

    At first I thought it was the AC clutch engaging, but came to realize it also does it with the AC "OFF"!

    Doesn't do it every morning. Just when it decides to do it.

    Figure if I left it at the dealer for a week, the technician might hear it. Or might not!

    As the computer is not registering anything, it would be near impossible to find, unless they have a TSB from Honda.

    I have described it as a cross between a thump and a knock!

    I think your daughters description is better. Sounds like one knuckle rap on the wind shield, but from under the hood! :confuse:

  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Maybe once or twice a year our 03 Pilot doesn't start on the first try.

    The starter spins the engine and the engine acts like it is starting but will make that "Knuckle on the glass" noise and not ever start running. It will do that a second or even third time. Then on the 3rd or 4th try it will start, but it is rough for a few seconds and I can smell gas. Again it seems to only do it when it has been sitting for a while. May not do that again for months. I'm reasonably sure the throttle was not touched during the starting procedure. The computer does not record any failure.

    This has nothing to do with the actual starting, but every once in a , before the engine is completely warmed up, it seems to be extremely sensitive to throttle input. It is jerky. Let off on the throttle and the car nose dives instead of being smooth. Give it throttle and it JERKS the front end up. Reminds me of manual transmissions of days gone by. When it gets to operating temperature everything works as it should. Again nothing is recorded on the computer.

    Our 03 CR-V occasionally has dead spots in the throttle when warming up. On an uphill grade, at a constant speed, a little pressure on the throttle seems to be ignored by the engine. Throttle may have to be pressed enough to downshift before any acceleration is achieved. Then everything works as it should. Nothing is recorded. This hasn't happened in several months now.

    I'm thinking that with all the stuff the computer and sensors have to keep up with, I can live with the occasional glitch. :shades:

  • rekhrekh Posts: 47
    This is another post regarding "Engine noise/ Starter?",
    Post # 1321 under Discussion title " Honda Pilot 2006",(by calg):
    This noise happens first thing in the morning with our 2006 Pilot only when it is very cold outside... usually below zero. It also happened when we had our 2003 Pilot. I have no idea what it is, but it has never caused us any problems. We had 60,000 miles on our 03 when we traded it and now have nearly 30,000 on our 06. I remember asking a friend who has an 04 and she said hers did it as well. Hope this helps.
  • montztermontzter Posts: 72
    Sorry I have not tried it yet - my wife has a strange infatuation with "her" Pilot and I have trouble getting it away from her because she then gets my Civic! (Claims my Civic sits too low, rides too stiff, and the steering wheel is too small and the steering is so sensitive that it turns just by thinking about it, blah blah....)

    But I did happen to remember that you can hear a noise when you press the brake. It comes from the area of the steering column and it is the mechanism that releases the gear shift when the brake is depressed. The only time I ever seem to hear it is in the mornings when I start up in the garage ( place my foot on the brake when starting), unless I specifically listen for it another time.

    Try placing it in park with the key on but the motor off and slowly press the brake pedal on and off and listen for it.

    ....just a thought
  • Pilot owners and potential Pilot owners should be aware that there is a surprise waiting for you when you need to change your Cabin Air Filter. Its not covered in the owners manual and it is very difficult to do without going to the dealer. Before buying a Pilot and after you have gotten your best price, you should strike a deal to get the dealer to agree to change it the first time and to do the modifications required. Also suggest call Honda USA customer service and open a case.
  • How do you know when to change this filter? I didn't know there was one. I assumed that anything relating to maintenance is done by the dealer.
  • amenonamenon Posts: 12
    Picked up a brand new 07 Pilot and noticed that whenever I accelerate from low speeds there is a jarring sound from the front right side. It only happens when accelerating from very low speeds (0-40) if I punch the accelerator. Any insights?
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Noise could be the VTEC kicking in, a bad shock or strut or CV joint.

    Wondering why you would be punching the accelerator on "a brand new 07 Pilot"! :confuse:

  • Search the threads here or in the Odyssey forum for assistance if you want to replace it yourself. I just did Odyssey (15,000 miles) and the Pilot looks to be similar. It is not a good design feature for the shop owner who has replace it, but I am sure it helped the assembly worker at the plant. Take the glove box out. I used a utility knife to cut the dash part away until I inadvertently twisted it and broke the blade, my last one. Used a blade from a hack-saw and that worked great. Side-cutters should work good too. I only removed the screw on the right side of the bar and that gave me plenty of room to put in the new filter ($20 at Kragen Auto Supply). Another little tip. I taped a piece of garden hose to the vacuum to get inside the air box and suck out all the crud that was in there. Then I used it to suck out all the gunk that was in the drain hose (from inside the engine compartment). It seem to be draining better and I don't have as much moisture coming through the defroster
  • Its meant to be changed every 30,000 miles according to the manual. Its a $20 filter that costs at least $65 or more to change at the dealer. I struggled to do it myself, then decided to take it to dealer. More tomorrow. On gm cars, its easier to change then air filter. You may want to check and see what your dealer charged.
  • rekhrekh Posts: 47
    Today I had the noise again, the only thing that has changed was the weather temperature, it was below zero!!!
  • amenonamenon Posts: 12
    Thanks!. I misspoke when I mentioned "punching". What I meant to say was accelerating from any cruising speed. Anyway, the problem was a bent heat shield under the exhaust. The vibration caused the noise. It was a simple fix.
  • HELP!! Our DVD player stopped working after momentarly disconnecting the car's battery. Does anyone know if anything needs to be reset to get it working again? :confuse:
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    When you turn the radio on you might be getting a message that says C O D E ! In or with your owners manual you will find a card with "Your" radio code and how to apply it. It is part of the anti theft stuff. If someone steals the radio, it won't work for them.

    You will also need to do an ILP and probably reset the drivers window "AUTO" feature.

    See post #202 of the "Pilot Real World MPG" forum.

  • caugncaugn Posts: 30
    After having the radio on for a few minutes, there is an annoying squeal noise coming through the speakers. Usually it is tolerable. But, if we're using the head phones with the DVD system, you can't hear anything but the squeal. What could this be and how do I fix it?
  • caugncaugn Posts: 30
    I have absolutely no air flow from my rear AC unit. Doesn't matter if it's heat or cooling, or if the system is on manual or automatic. What would cause the rear unit to stop working like this?
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    Early Pilots had a transistor in the rear air conditioner that needed to be replaced when the rear stopped working. That may be your problem.
  • davidd3davidd3 Posts: 582
    Nearing the end of my first winter in my 2007 EXL. I can't say that the heated seats don't work, but they don't seem to do very much. I leave them on the high setting. Especially as compared to my other car with heated seats, in the Pilot coverage is narrower and not powerful enough. Lived with it this winter. Combination of the feature working a little bit and my being too busy to bring it in to the dealer. I'd like to ask people with heated seats in their Pilots whether or not they are satisfied. I hope to get a sense of whether that's just the way it is or whether my car has a problem that should be taken care of before next winter. Thanks.
  • jmac8jmac8 Posts: 12
    We have a 2006 exl and the heated seats work great. Actually I start them on high then have to turn them to low or off because they actually are so warm my back starts to perspire. Sounds like you need to have them checked out with the dealer.
  • pratzertpratzert Posts: 19
    I have an '06 Pliot EXL. The heated seats are minimally effective. I have it set on high and feel very, very little warmth. And when I do feel it, it is only a very narrow strip of warmth.

    So it sounds like mine and yours are the same.

    It's better than nothing, but not much better.

    I can't begin to express how disappointed I ma in my Pilot.

    I've had it for 6 months and it's been in the shop 10 times and STILL has the vibration defect and now it's started with the infamous leak on the floorboards.

    I am SOOOOO sorry I did not buy the Highlander, but I'm stuck now.

  • My wife has '06 Pilot EXL w/ heated seat option. I put sheepskin covers on her seat and you can still feel the heat coming through the cover.
    I recommend you take it in to dealer for evaluation.
    Good luck.
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