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Honda Pilot Transmission Problems



  • Our Honda has never missed a service in it's life, however the last 2 visits to the local Honda service center has left me suspicious, 36,000 miles on the car and on the previous visit they told us our battery was bad. We had it tested by another source and it was good but they had failed to tighten the negative terminal and the honda suddenly died on us. Sabotage was suspected by the Honda service tech. We risk it and and just took it in for it's needed oil change. we had them check the alignment as well, they charged us 79.99 for an alignment they said did not need to be done. Why no phone call telling us that?? They performed the service and billed for it. Have not driven it over 7 miles and suddenly I have a blinking D light and a check engine light. The D stopped blinking after turning the car off and back on however the engine light is still on. I checked the fluid levels and they remembered to add oil back in. I can't help but suspect they again messed with it to cause this new issue. We have never had any problems with this rig. I hesitate to take it in to them for diagnosis. :( any ideas?
  • I have a 2005 Pilot I purchased new. It has 87,000 miles. I was a few miles outside of Saranac Lake, NY on a rural 2 lane road traveling around 55 mph when the engine revved and the transmission felt like it was "slipping" for a few seconds. After a few seconds it stopped and appeared to drive normal again. A few minutes later when I stopped at the first light I came to in Saranac Lake, the engine shutdown. I popped the hood and my wife noticed a liquid that looked like chocolate milk leaking from underneath the car. I knew that couldn't be good. The Pilot would not start. Nothing. We did get to meet a very nice policewoman and some great people at the tow truck company before I had it towed on a flatbed 125 miles or so to a Honda dealer near my home.

    The dealer charged $96 for 1 hour just to diagnose the problem after I already told them what happened. They said I needed a new radiator. They installed that for $375 and 4 hours labor. Of course, that didn't fix the no starting problem. They wanted to charge me more to take out the spark plugs and see if they could turn over the engine. They told me if it needed an engine and a transmission it wouldn't be worth it to fix.

    I called Honda National Customer Relations in California and after they spoke with the dealer, said there was nothing they could do. The vehicle was out of warranty. I talked to them about the 2003 and 2004 Pilots being recalled for the same problem that I was having, but that didn't make any difference. ( I found out about the 2003 and 2004 problems in this forum. Thank you.)

    I was stunned to find out that a problem with the radiator could allow antifreeze to mix with the transmission fluid and ruin the engine and transmission.

    My 2005 Honda Pilot was probably worth about $10K when I started it that morning and it is now a worthless piece of junk.
  • I just noticed that your post is from almost a year ago but I will give you my two cents worth anyway. When my (former) 2005 Honda Pilot was about a year old my "brake assist booster" or some such thing failed and I completely shot through an intersection. After composing myself, I took the vehicle directly to my dealership and they couldn't find a problem and if it happened again I should bring it back. Well-I just about lost all bodily control on the tech and asked to speak to the service manager to whom I told in no uncertain terms that there would not be a next time because I was lucky to be alive this time and my car would be staying there until they came up with something. I was given a loaner car rather quickly and the next day received a rather contrite call from aforementioned service manager letting me know that, indeed they had found a defect in my brakes. I had several more incidents with my Pilot to which I was always made to feel like a complete moron by the service department. My Pilot eventually had the full blown catastrophic engine/transmission failure a few years ago to which the repair quote was over $6000. I left the vehicle at the dealership that day and have since filed a complaint with Honda corporation and also with the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration. I sincerely hope you solve your problem and if you continue to have issues please do us all a favor and file a complaint.
  • check for a rubber hose bent to 90 degrees above trans near the brake booster that was the problem with my tranny. The hose will be bent so far that little or no oil can get through to feed the trans bearings in that area. if you look with a flash light the problem can be viewed easily. Hose is about .8 inch in diameter. nr
  • Hello all, I just purchased a new 2013 pilot. After one month uses, I found the transmission fluid is leaking. I brought it to dealer, and dealer said it requires 8 hours to repair it.

    I feel it is not just that simple. Reseal a transmission may only cost 1-2 hours. Since they spent 8 hours on it, I think they were probably replacing some internal components.

    I asked them for a repair report, they said they will mail it to me. I am not sure if there is some secret that they don't want me to know.

    Would you help me to diagnose that? Thanks.
  • obrien040362obrien040362 Posts: 134
    edited December 2013
    If you had you transmission fixed could you provide a cost breakdown of the major parts. My estimate is $1500 plus parts and I wanted to see what the major parts would cost.

    e.g. torque converter, rebuild kit, solenoid valves, filters, fluids, etc
  • Get the garage to give you a breakdown of major parts cost, after they have a look at it. check the price on the internet. I had to purchase a transmission from a wrecker because my case was broken.Do not proceed until you have a cost breakdown. Shops are not the most trustworthy group. Nick
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Posts: 140
    edited December 2013
    I'm still having a problem, reported previously, where if I accidentally shift from Park to D2 in my 4WD Pilot, the vehicle barely wants to move. Took it to the dealership a while ago, right after it first started and they said something about "grade logic", which sounds like baloney to me. I was also told this was normal behavior specific to 4WD Pilots, but again, I don't remember it behaving this way before 40K miles. Instead, I recall that before the problem started, if I did this, if I shifted into D2 instead of D, it would drop into low gear and then upshift automatically into D2. But I can't prove it.... So, what I am suspecting is a problem with D2 on my 4WD.

    Here's where you can help: If someone would just go start up their 2011 4WD Pilot, and in their driveway, shift from Park to D2 and let me know if it autoshifts to D1 (low) first, with lots of traction as would be expected, OR...if you feel like you have very little traction and are locked in D2 mode and almost need to "double-clutch it" (if you know what that means) to get traction/acceleration.

    It's a quick and easy thing to test and would be a great help to me.
  • I am not an expert on Honda transmissions. That said, I suggest when you put the pilot into D2 you may be starting out in 2nd gear therefore slow to move, made for slippery conditions (Canadian design). I think anytime there is a transmission shifting problem, an oil change is in order. this removes grit and dirt from the trans. Hope that helps.
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Posts: 140
    edited December 2013
    Hi Nicr1948. Thanks for your comment, but I guess my description was not clear. My question is whether when I do shift to D2, if it should, as most trannys do, downshift to D1 automatically, instead of starting off really slow and sluggish in D2, where you feel like you have to double clutch to get it up to full speed at that gear.

    I think it used to down shift and no longer does. The dealership says it is not supposed to, but at first postulated there was a "grade logic" problem.

    Anyway, the very first thing I did, at 39K miles when I first noticed this, was to change the tranny fluid to full synthetic. No change there.

    I am asking if any owners of American 4WD 2011 Pilots could check theirs to see if the dealer is right or if it auto-downshifts into low on startup from D2.
  • walk_the_walk: This transmission in my 2011 Pilot (4x4), like a few others I have owned (1996 Civic, 2005 Accord -- I think, 2002 Escape) will stay in 2nd gear when in "D2." It's to allow you to start on slippery surfaces with a little less torque to help control wheelspin. The transmission should not shift between 1st and 2nd in this setting and should stay in 2nd gear. I am no mechanic, but I think in some of the transmissions this engages a certain "band" to activate only 2nd gear. It sounds like it's functioning normally to me -- I have found this setting to be helpful on slippery surfaces to modulate the power you're delivering to the wheels, especially on hills, from a stop.

  • doglady3doglady3 Posts: 1

    I bought a 2003 Honda Pilot 2 years ago Last week going down the road it acted like you put in neutral let off gas then will go call and found out that it was recalled on trabsmission and the person had it had it fixed since it is doing again will they fix for free**

  • I have this 2003 Honda Pilot it's just 108.000 mi.on it but the transmission start showing abnormalities.start slipping and D drive start blinking,check engine start showing and when you drive it revving up to 5.000rpm at 3rd and 4th gear and when it change gear I feels it like a  sudden disengage sound .I went to a mechanic they clean the solenoid.which I paid 150$. But when I'm driving home the problem still.there.I ask my friend who is a mechanic.stated that was a common problem and issue for Honda Pilot 2003 and probably all Honda's out there.I am 100% that this another case of customer misleading advertisements by  AMERICAN HONDA.Is that why you offering.the extended. powertrain insurance included in the loan because the unreliable workmanship of this vehicle.What kind of business you operates .To cheat customers.This tranny will be more than your credibility.I'm not gonna recommend to buy Honda to my friends and relatives.Transmission $3,400.this gonna cost for your HONDA PILOT after 108,000 miles guaranteed the same problem you gonna experience..!!!!!!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,484
    edited October 2014
    What code was extracted from the TCM? The blinking light should mean a code is stored in there. Maybe we can help you track down the problem.

    108,000 miles is a bit premature for a transmission failure but not necessarily sign of a defect--the transmission did give 11 years of service so spread out over that time period the repair bill should be easier to bear for you, if that's any consolation.

    There was a transmission recall on the 2003 Pilot back in August 2002, but that was for gear breakage and severe lockup--total transmission destruction due to heat buildup.

    If you want, you can call Honda at 1-800-999-1009 and see if there's anything to be done for you about this.

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  • I just bought a 2011 Honda Pilot EXL+Nav with 88K miles with the same discribed shift delays and jerking upshifting and downshifting.

    Does anyone else have the factory TOW Package?

    Mine does and I was told that the extra cooler for the transmission is actually attached to the transmission instead of being a closed system like everyone else who buys an after market Tow Package. So if you have any issues with the radiator- coolant will actually get in the transmission causing the jerks and eventually causing the transmission to fail.

    This seems not to happen on Pilot's without the Tow Package...Anyone any thoughts?
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