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Honda Pilot Maintenance and Repair



  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Continued from above.

    Some light weight pop ups and very small and low, hard sided, campers weighing less than 1000 pounds may come with surge brakes and a 4 pin connector. All "Normal" campers come with electric brakes and 7 pin connectors.. Surge brakes are not an option because electric brakes work better and are much safer.

    Honda is telling us we can tow a 3500# normal flat fronted trailer, BUT we can't use its brakes, brake lights, running lights, turn signal or charge the camper battery. The camper 7 pin connector will not plug into the 4 pin connector on the Pilot. There may be an aftermarket pig tail that will reduce the 7 pin to a 4 pin that will plug into the Pilot. Then the lights will work. Still, No Brakes at all! :sick:

    The tow package on a Pilot is near $1000. On a Ridgeline it is less than $700 which includes a 7 pin connector a camper can plug into and a pig tail for the under the dash electric brake controller. Of course one difference in cost is that all Ridgelines come with serious PS and Tranny cooler from the factory. Much better than the Pipe with fins that is part of the Pilot "Coolers" in the tow package.

    We have enjoyed this Pilot more than any other vehicle we have owned. However Honda's attitude regarding this matter really sucks.
    Can you imagine a question like, "why would you want to tow a camper"?

    Answer: "Because I want to go camping."

    Honda: The Pilot isn't designed to pull a heavy camper.

    Me: What is the Pilot designed to pull?

    Honda: A 4500# boat or a 3500# trailer.

    Me: What kind of 3500# trailer.

    Honda: Any kind that doesn't exceed 3500#.

    Me: OK, I want to tow a 2000# travel trailer.

    Honda: The Pilot will easily do that!

    Me: As I said earlier, all Travel Trailers over a few hundred pounds come with 7 pin connectors. How do I get a Honda authorized 7 pin connector installed on my Pilot, so I can tow that Trailer?

    Honda: You won't be able to get a 7 pin connector for your Pilot.

    "Their bottom line is "You won't be able to safely tow a camper unless it has surge brakes."

    My bottom line is: Then when I replace this Pilot next year, it won't be with another Pilot that can't safely tow and stop a 2000# Travel trailer. Because 2000# Travel Trailers have electric brakes. It is the industry standard!"
    Rant over again! :)

  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576

    Your post is over on the Pilot Towing forum. Along with a reply.

  • honhon Posts: 34
    Does any one know if there is a fuel filter or not?
  • honhon Posts: 34
    Pilots do not have fuel filters, not needed per Honda service dept.
  • The towing forum doesn't seem to get a lot of looks so posting this here....

    I'm buying a 2008 Pilot and debating the towing pkg. At $900 its pretty steep vs local guy installing just the hitch and wiring. My question is: how necessary is the tranny fluid & auto-steering fluid chiller thingys? I wouldn't be towing very often but when did would be 13' boston whaler or the random uhaul trailer. Again, very infrequently. However, I seem to have read that towing w/o the chiller things might void the mfg warranty?!?!? Am I dreaming that? Thoughts???
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    The tranny cooler helps to maintain tranny temps when towing but also when loaded heavy, mountain driving, heavy traffic and so forth. You can get the parts below dealer prices here:

    Notice there are also installation instructions.

    The hitch itself is heavy and expensive to ship.

    If I were doing it again, I would order the Tranny cooler, PS cooler and pigtail/4 pin connector, which plugs in to an existing connector, for the rear. Let the local hitch house install a good hitch receiver and the Honda parts, IF it would save a couple hundred bucks over just having the dealer do the whole thing.

    With a hitch and wiring by the local hitch shop, any problems with any wiring or any tranny problems could be blamed on the "After Market" stuff. Even if they are installed perfectly.

    I don't care to hear:
    "Whoever installed that non Honda cooler, didn't use the right parts, and now the tranny needs replacing . They also overloaded a circuit when they spliced in the wiring. Blah...Blah...Blah...!" :mad:

    I have the "Honda" Tow Package. Right now I'm having a problem with the "Side Airbag Off" light flickering when towing a lightweight utility trailer.
    I can just imagine the grief I would get, if they start looking for the problem and should discover aftermarket "Splicing". :sick:

  • Kip, thanks. You've basically confirmed what I've been thinking...I'm a pretty conservative guy so I'll probably get Honday to do the install and just consider the little extra cost insurance against the situation you describe. If I know car dealers they'll do anything to get out of warranty work and if they could blame the aftermarket stuff for the problem then they probably would.
  • As warranty was about to run out and their has been a metal on metal sound from Front I could not find I took Dec 05 Pilot to dealer. Oil and Tranny fluid was service and locate the sound was plan. Quick drive in parking lot had tech hearing what I heard. They had to mic up front end and found it to be left front struct. Replaced free of charge and 144.00 for oil and tranny fluid.

    Very nice folks only one compliant the WIFI access at dealership was not working so I had to take shuttle to work.

    Pilot has 36,686 miles at time of service.
  • I am a new member! Is there somebody can help me. I have a one year old honda pilot 2007 . 15000 mileage,. When I was driving around 10,000 mileage something changed to the acceleration it was not smooth just like before it feels like heavy when its accelerate and loose traction. I brought to the dealer but they said there is nothing wrong, but i knew something is wrong bec i am the one driving it.Until now still the same it feels like i have always 7 passengers on my back.

    thanks to all
  • Our 2004 Honda Pilot has locked us out several times. This usually seems to happen right after closing the back hatch. One time, it happened after closing the hatch with the key fob laying in the driver's seat.

    Any suggestion on what's wrong?

  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Right after getting our '03 Pilot, I noticed that sometimes walking near it would activate or deactivate the door locks.

    Turned out that an overly sensitive fob, walking motion with the fob/keys in a front pocket, dropping the Keys/fob onto a seat or other surface in or near the Pilot would/could/did lock and unlock the doors.

    I'm not a big fan of fobs, so it doesn't bother me for it to be retired and in a drawer. :)

  • if i have a honda pilot leased, and need new brakes do i have to go to the dealer to get it done, or can i go to an indepenent mechanic?

    my pilot has 44,000 year 2004 isn't it too soon to get brakes?, I leased this car in 2005.
  • davidd3davidd3 Posts: 582
    Leasing is the same as owning in this respect. You are free to decide whether to have the brake job done by a Honda dealer or by an independent mechanic. There will be no adverse lease consequences if you have this work (or, for that matter, any other maintenance and repairs) done by an independent mechanic.

    I'll let someone else field your mileage inquiry, though new brakes at 44,000 miles strikes me as being about right.
  • cwoodycwoody Posts: 17
    I have an '04 pilot and checked the front brake at 60k miles. They still had quite a bit of pad left. I currently have 65k miles and figure at 70-75k miles I will replace the front pads regardless. The manufactors are installing thicker pads so that when a vehicle has 40-50k miles they can still call it a Certified Honda Used Car, and still has at least 1/2 the brake pad life left. IMO.

  • davidd3davidd3 Posts: 582
    I usually don't make it through a 3 year 45,000 mile lease without a brake job. I did make it with my 2004 Odyssey. This is my first Pilot (2007) though. We'll see. Even the one car I owned instead of leased, a 1997 Odyssey, needed rear brakes at 45,000 miles and front brakes at 52,500 miles. Your estimated 70-75k to first brake job sounds fantastic to me. Maybe your miles are mostly highway?
  • cwoodycwoody Posts: 17
    Sorry it took so long to reply, Ihave been on vacation.....

    The miles on our (my wife's) Pilot is mixed driving. We do take it on vacation trips but most of the miles are taking the kid to school, grocery shopping, that sort of driving. I do pull a trailer (without trailer brakes) at times because it gets better gas miliage that my old truck. My wife drives it most of the time and she is easy on the brakes for the most part. Easier than me anyway.... My wife's sister has an '03 Pilot and they put front pads on at 65,000 miles. Her husband said it still had some pads left but thought at 65,000 miles it was time to replace them anyway and she was using the pilot for work so he felt better about her driving around with new pads. He had a shop d the brakes and did not see the old pads so he didn't know how much was left on the old ones.

    When I looked at the front pads on our Pilot I was surprised how much was left. They really are not too had to check. Don't remember if I took off the front wheels or not....seems like I did....sorry old brain.....I do remember it was at least a 1/4 inch or more otherwise I would have changed them.

  • davidd3davidd3 Posts: 582
    The part of your original message which I really wanted to respond to was your inquiry about possible adverse consequences under your lease.

    I should not have gone on to speculate about how long before your first brake job based on my own personal experience with other vehicles. Fact is my Pilot only has about 14,000 miles and is far from its first brake job. You'd be better served by responses from owners of higher mileage Pilots (such as your in-laws) who have already had their first brake jobs.
  • Dealer recently replaced broken fog light on 2007 Pilot EX-L. $288.36 parts and labor. Seems very expensive and would not want to pay that out again. Pilot less than one month old when something hit light and broke through lens. Is this a weakness of these fog lights? I would think they should stand up to any stones or whatever.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Sure seems expensive.

    How did they break down the charges? How much for parts and how much for labor?

  • Honda dealer cost to replace fog light unit on our new 2007 Pilot EX-L was $239.36 Parts and $49.00 Labor, total $288.36

    Aren't these fog lights built to take a hit from stones? I have never had a stone punch a hole through the lens of any driving light or fog light..
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    $239 for one light assembly seems really excessive.

    This Honda place says the retail for the entire kit, which would be 2 fog lights, switches, relays, wiring harness and whatever else was necessary is $395. They normally sell the kit for $282 and they have it on sale right now for $197 and still making money.

    Point is, that even at full $395 retail for the Kit, one light assembly should be considerably less than half of that. Nice guys! I would have a sit down talk with the General manager and the service manager over that one.

    The lights should hold up to small stones and such. But if it was launched from the tire(s) of a vehicle in front of you and you were going at highway speeds toward it.....!

    Also it could have been something steel like a bolt or nut!

  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    This is another place that sells Honda Parts. They do list a single assembly at $238.88 retail, but they sell it for $167.22 and still make money. cgry1=Pilot&catcgry2=2007&catcgry3=5DR+EX+2WD&catcgry4=KA5AT&catcgry5=FOGLIGHT

    Live and learn I recon!

  • Clicked on link and found exactly what you described. I was glad to find our dealer did not overcharge for fog light assembly. Agree with you that they made a very nice profit. Now know where to go for check on price.

    If we ever had this happen again, I would be tempted to see if Hella or Piaa made a fog light that would fit in same space as factory unit.

    Thank you for your time and the good info.

  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    I wonder what their reaction would be if we took them a Genuine Honda part and wanted it installed.

    Probably be best to "Set" the deal first.

    Mr. Dealer, what is the labor charge for installing a fog light!

    OK, that sounds fair.

    I can get the part from another Honda dealer for this much, will you match the price?

    They would probably refuse to match the price and tell us they only install parts they sell. :P

    However, there are some good mechanics and body shops around that could do it. ;)

  • hoshos Posts: 31
    I have a 07 pilot EXL with 16K. A few weeks ago I started smelling fuel after idling a few minutes in the morning with the blower fan on, to warm up the car. Once I start driving the smell goes away, I suspect because there is air circulating in the cabin. However, once I stop with the engine idling, then the smell comes back. It has been to the dealership a couple of times but they tell me that they could not reproduce it. Even though I give them specific info on how to reproduce it I think they are not paying attention to it !!! Has anyone experienced the same small???? I would greatly appreciate any input ... :confuse:
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    I leave my Pilot fan on all the time with the "AC OFF". Driver window is always down a bit. Occationally when I crank the engine I will get an odor inside the car.

    It smells somewhat like a cross between anti-freeze and exhaust fumes. Goes away in a few seconds. It is possible that there is a slight breeze blowing the rich "Start up" exhaust toward the front of the car (fuel smell) and the heater fresh air intake is picking it up and bringing it inside the car. This has been going on since the car was new in Febuary of 03.

    Runs good and gets great mileage for a Pilot. Don't want them messing with it! :)

  • Just wondering - have any of you experienced any problems with the oil life indicator on your Honda Pilots being "inaccurate?" I have a 2006 Honda Pilot, and it has less than 14000 miles on it. Just took it in for an inspection and an oil change and less than a week later, I noted that the oil life shows only 15%. A light also came on in the shape of a wrench and on the oil life indicator panel, the code A1 came up. I'm a bit concerned that something happened during the oil change - either they didn't complete it properly or something is loose? In any case, any advice welcome. Thanks!
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    Who ever did your oil change needs to reset the service indicator. If you did it at an independent place, you can search the edmunds forum to see how you can reset the service minder yourself. I did give the instructions in some thread, don't remember which one.
  • davidd3davidd3 Posts: 582
    Sounds like they just forgot to do a reset of your maintenance minder after performing the service. You could either bring it back to them or do it yourself by following the instructions in your owner's manual, whichever would be less of a hassle for you.
  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    I've done it, it's easy, you do it while sitting in the drivers seat pushing the button on the dash. Just look it up in your owners manual.

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