Last post on Dec 03, 2013 at 6:43 PM
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Honda Pilot, Transmission, SUV
#322 of 408 2004 Pilot transmission problems
May 12, 2012 (1:16 pm)
I've been reading all the posts regarding the Honda Pilot transmission problem. I'm speechless. I just came home from the dealership today with the news that I need a new transmission at the cost of 5500. My 2004 Pilot has 95000 miles. For several months I've noticed a shakiness to the steering wheel and the VTM-4 light has been coming on and off. I brought it to a mechanic and they could not find a problem. Recently the check engine line has been on. The dealership said the parking pall is broken inside transmission. I don't even know what that is??? Do I get a new transmission and hope for the best or trade in ??
#323 of 408 Re: 2004 Pilot transmission problems [mmcurley]
May 12, 2012 (4:39 pm)
Hello...sorry to hear of your problem. Have you checked your VIN number on the Honda web page? Some of the 2004 Honda Pilots are under recall. My 2004 Pilot is just outside of the recall but I have the same issue. It started with a shutter at 30 mph and is progressing. I know soon I will have the same diagnosis as you. I have not heard of anyone else posting about the Parking Pall though. Not sure what that is. I thought the problem involved the torque converter. There is a Facebook page you can go to and get your name on a list. We are trying to organize so we can push Honda to fix the problem. The 2005 Pilots have the problem, also. So does the Acura MDX. The Acura people started a Facebook page and got Acura to post a bulletin to fix their cars. I was hoping we Pilot owners could do the same. Some people push their dealer to at least share the cost of the repair. People have reported in that at first the dealer will deny even knowing the Pilots have a tranny problem. You have to let them know you are well aware of the numbers that have problems.
#324 of 408 Re: 2004 Pilot transmission problems [mmcurley]
May 12, 2012 (4:42 pm)
Hi again...I just read this new post. It may prove helpful for you. Other people have written in about using Shutter Fix. My mechanic used it and it helped some. I am going to ask them to do as this post suggests:
I own 2003 Honda Pilot which I bought new and had the shudder issue described in many of the blogs around 30-40 mph. I always have changed the fluid on the scheduled interval and was extremely upset that the vehicle was prone to this problem. So much for Honda's quality reputation for which they command a such a premium sticker price.
Here is how I solved the transmission shudder which had become very regular at 130,000 miles:
1. "Change" the transmission fluid by draining what will drain from the case through the plug on the bottom as if it were a regular interval. This requires about 3.5 quarts of fresh fluid.
2. Drive the car for 20 to 30 miles and change the transmission fluid, again.
3. On the second fill, include Dr. Tranny Instant Shudder Fix subtracting the amount of fluid prescribed by the directions on the bottle from the 3.5 quarts of transmission fluid.
4. REPLACE THE TRANSMISSION FILTER! I was not aware that it even had one, because Honda does not include this as part of a fluid change and I guess Honda expects you to never change the filter. Changing the filter is a normal part of most transmission fluid changes for most manufacturers.
Over 5000 miles after doing this I still have not had a shudder where it had gotten to be a very regular problem before.
It took a lot of searching the blogs to develop this solution and I combined multiple suggestions for a belt-AND-suspenders approach. Feel free to copy this post out to others who are experiencing this common problem. Definitely try this approach for about $100 in parts before plunking out $4 grand for a rebuilt transmission.
#325 of 408 Re: 2004 Pilot WITH the jet fix having problems [spamman66]
May 16, 2012 (7:22 am)
I did not ever get the flashing "D" during a shudder episode. Note that I have in the past gotten the flashing VT4M, but that was associated with the EGR valve (another common and recurring defect). The check engine code will provide a clue as to whether the vehicle is sensing something with the EGR or the transmission. Note that a failing EGR valve has similar symptoms but seems more like the car searching for a gear rather than running across rumble strips (aka shudder).
May 16, 2012 (11:54 am)
I have the Flashing D, sometimes. It will flash for a few days, every trip, then sometimes it disappears for weeks...or months and it's back.
I also have a strong feeling shift at 35-40 mph, again, sometimes it's stronger than others, sometimes it's a smooth shift.
Last week, I have the VTM-4 light go on for a few trips and nothing every since.
I've had the flashing D for over 2 years!!! It was around 15,000 miles after the re-built trans was put in by AAMCO. I drove the 2003 Pilot into AAMCO when the D was flashing. He checked the codes and said there were no codes to read. He thought it was a corroded wire/connector. (I wasn't going to pay to find out where).
I had the new trans installed at 150,000 miles (approx) and it now has 223,000. The Flashing D is annoying!!!!
I'd love to fix it, but it runs with "no major" issues. I'm not paying Honda or someone to guess on the issues. annoying!!!!!
#327 of 408 Re: trans issues? [spamman66]
May 17, 2012 (5:43 am)
I have never had any warning lights flash but I do have the intermittent shutter at around 30 mph and am also now experiencing as you desribed "strong feeling shifts" at various other speeds. I have 145k.
#328 of 408 Re: trans issues? [spamman66]
May 18, 2012 (12:47 pm)
Generally i don't go on to blog such as these, but after experiencing the fun i often receive at our Japanese auto shop in Texas I've decided to hopefully help spread some light on the so called "facts" people receive through forums such as these. My knowledge is based on working as a service adviser and manager over the past two years at my father's automotive repair shop and whom he himself has worked on Honda's for the past 30 years of his life. Plus i grew up in a shop practically.
When it comes to Odyssey's they are great vehicle's mechanically speaking, but unfortunately transmissions where sold to the cheapest bidder when they were made. If you own this vehicle and haven't kept up your 30k service (especially the trans. fluid change) for the last 60-90k miles. Then i can almost assure you that the transmission is internally not working correctly.
You will know the signs by the "D" light flashing (this is the computer saying there is a trans. problem, may be mechanical or trans. computer...usually the former), hesitation when first accelerating from a stop light, or if check the trans. fluid and its not pink but dark or black... then the trans. is gone, its just a matter of when it will not allow you to accelerate at all.
From this point many people wind up going the silly route and spending about $1500 grand on the trans. without asking if the tech is ASE certified master tech or if there is at least a one year warranty for the parts that were replaced. THIS HAPPENS ALL DAY LONG. If you are expecting the vehicle to work for years after paying that much, you are fooling yourself. The average trans. overhaul alone is about $25-3500 grand easy, if you are not paying this than either its aftermarket parts, or the shop owner is not paying for a true technician (meaning shade tree mechanic or worse)
Many people try to use trans. fluid's to "hope" the problem away. If you are using some type of brand fluid that supposedly makes the trans. better its a lie! This as well as a trans. fluid flush is a big fat waste of money that you deserve to keep for yourself. I apologize if the industry has lied to you and said that Honda's are suppose to have trans. fluid flushes but that's silly at best. The Honda corporation has already sent out letters to their dealerships years ago about this type of selling and that its a waste of the customers money. If someone says that you need a trans. fluid flush then you get in the car and leave, because they don't know Honda's or their transmission. At our store we have never and will never sell one of those things.
If you are fed up with the Odyssey's i definitely understand, we often inform people who are potentially buying these vehicles to instead by the Toyota Sienna. Toyota's are more reliable, trans. are built well and almost all their vehicle's after about 2001 have timing chain's instead of belt's. Which means not only that its a life time part but its also life time warranty if it breaks. Lastly, the big difference with Toyota's is that they are non interference engines; so if the belt break's we aren't talking about a $1500-2500 grand repair because of valve's bent and such.
Hope that informs most people well enough, I'm just tired of seeing everyone get ripped off.
#329 of 408 Re: trans issues? [lionsroar]
May 18, 2012 (12:50 pm)
i apologize, i thought i had seen someone posting about odyssey on this particular post, my bad. Though the principle's remain the same.
#330 of 408 Re: trans issues? [lionsroar]
May 18, 2012 (1:15 pm)
Great post from a trusted source; however, the central issue is that Honda has taken the route of stating 100K miles out of a transmission is perfectly acceptable. I, as many that have had the misfortune of stumbling upon this forum, am utterly appalled that buying into the Honda umbrella of reliability was so negligently passed off to avoid losing $.
All of the early generation Odyssey V6 variants (Pilot, Accord, MDX...) we're subject to this inferior transmission. The fact that they issued the jet kit recall to cover their rears was equally insulting. There's a 99% chance that if you experience just one of the symptoms described in this thread, it's not a question of "if" but, "when" your tranny will fail.
We have topped 300 posts in this forum and I can tell you the Odyssey trail is even worse. This doesn't account for the poor souls that were fleeced by service depts and led to believe it was something they had done wrong.
So, at what point does it become a brand integrity issue that Honda will assume liability for? I will say it again: KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS! I feel retribution will come about someday.
#331 of 408 Re: trans issues? [gatdammit]
May 18, 2012 (1:55 pm)
agreed. Its very sad that this has happened with Honda, mind you this has technically happened to about every brand from Ford to Nissan in one way, shape or form. But considering just how much we like Honda around here (at least at our shop) and know they they are great when it comes to engine's in general, i agree that its very frustrating to see so many with the Trans. problem; hopefully soon they will end their bean counting ways and finish what they started in creating the family vehicle.