Last post on Apr 26, 2013 at 5:02 AM
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Honda Pilot, SUV
#22 of 68 Add me to the list
Jan 17, 2011 (5:49 pm)
I have a 2003 Honda Pilot that I bought from a dealer in December, 2010. After two weeks of ownership, it was apparent that I had a problem. As described by others, the car would shudder and vibrate between 35 - 40 mph, for a duration of 5 to 10 seconds. The events are intermittant, but present none the less. I took the car to the back to the dealer, and after explaining the issue, they stared at me like I was from Mars. According to them, they have never heard of the issue, which is something that I find hard to believe.
I had the transmission fluid changed, and it came out black as coffee with friction materials present. Since the change, the frequency of the shudder has decreased, however it did not disappear completely. I don't know what to expect, if the transmission is going to fail soon, or if I can get some use out of it before it dies. The car has 127K on it, which in the past meant that it was just getting broken-in. I am begining to wonder if that's a true statement anymore.
I've filed a complaint with NHTSA and printed the Accura SB to take to my dealer. Other than what I have done, does anyone have any advice on further preventive maintenance or steps I could take?
#23 of 68 Re: Vibration/Griding @ 35 to 40 mph [pmarria]
Feb 25, 2011 (6:40 am)
I have the same problem with my 05 pilot. Were did you go for assistance? Did you receive any satisfaction?
Feb 25, 2011 (9:02 am)
While my issue is not completely resolved, it's been reduced by at least 90%. The dealer where I purchased the car was not much help in diagnosing the issue, and just wanted me to throw money at it.
I took it to another dealer, one that I usually work with, and they suggested drain and fill service on the transmission. We discovered the fluid was black as coffee (Apparently the previous owner didn't have the fluid changed in about 100K) and there was some particular material on the drain plug magnet. At the time, they did not recommend a full flush, as that could cause more issues.
Since the drain and fill, my issues have pretty much gone away, with only an occasional burp. Since the noise stops when I place the transmission in D3, I am pretty confident that it is the torque converter that is responsible. Being that the frequency between events has dropped dramatically, I am hopeful that I can get a few more years out of it before needing a new tranny. The pilot has 128K on it right now. I'll probably drain and fill the transmission this summer myself, just to make sure that any particulate matter that is still in there can hopefully be removed.
Hope this helps.
#26 of 68 Re: Acura MDX / Honda Pilot Service Bulletin PDF [kpsmith999]
Sep 03, 2011 (5:08 am)
Dear kpsmith999, Thank you so much for the time you have dedicated to helping Honda Pilot owners with the shuddering between 35-50 mph. I'm not looking forward to the battle with Honda to get the new torque converter cost covered, but I will certainly follow all of your directions. Thanks Again!!!
#27 of 68 Re: Acura MDX / Honda Pilot Service Bulletin PDF [knicely]
Sep 06, 2011 (4:46 am)
Here is an update on my wife's 2005 Honda Pilot from posts back in '08. Same problem as everyone else, shuddering when light pressure is put on the accelerator between 35-45 mph. Earlier posts are on page #1.
We had the transmission changed, rebuilt unit, by the dealership with all work covered under the extended warranty. From memory the new tranny came with something like a 90 day warranty, with rebuilt being the only option. I was told a new transmission just wasn't available. Fortunatley, because we were having the work done under the extended warranty we got a three year warranty on the new (rebuilt) tranny.
So fast forward to 2011 and the problem is creeping back. Everything is out of warranty, so we are SOL. We have 145,000 miles on the vehicle and planned on keeping for at least 250,000 (My 4Runner has 320,000). That's just how we are as a family and why we came back to Honda after runnig away from our 2000 Volvo wagon. So it looks like we are going to wind up spending $2500 - $3000 for a new (rebuilt) trans as everything else about the vehicle is pretty good. Funny thing, my 4Runner is a 1994 model and back just a few years ago I got a safety recall notice in the mail. Imagine that, on a 14 or 15 year old vehicle they were willing to accept responsibilty and fix a potential problem free of charge to me.
Good luck to everyone, doesn't look like there have been enough complaints to warrant Honda coming forward and fixing the problem.
#28 of 68 Re: Add me to the list [sfergson727]
Sep 17, 2011 (7:33 am)
Yes, I too own a 2005 Pilot, which I bought Brand Spanking New with 7 miles on it. Come to find out, I'm having the same problem that everyone else is having. The worst part, is that Honda is well aware of this, but is not helping out Dedicated Honda owners like myself. 3 different Mechanics told me that Honda cut costs by not putting in a large enough transmission to accommodate the weight and size of the vehicle, therefore resulting in a bad torque convertor (the shuttering sound- I saw it with my own eyes when it was on the lift & put into gear). To top it all off, I complained about this shuttering between 30 - 40mph for months prior to the extended warranty expiring. Every place I went thought I was crazy& hearing things (including my family). So I left it alone but it got worse &the dealer told me they couldn't help me fix it, in other words I was SOL & had to come up with $5 G's for them to fix the transmission because the extended warranty expired 3wks. prior. So 6yrs, a Tsunami & an earthquake later, Japan double the parts price since they are in dire straits & they are hard to come by, not to mention the backlog in shipping. Don't get me wrong I love my Pilot, but seriously disappointed in Honda. So for all of you out there who experienced this issue, keeping posting, complaining, GOOGLE it, and telling all who own Honda Pilots and Maybe, if there are enough dissatisfied Customers, Honda will help all of us that either have the problem or had to foot the expense to fix it.
There is a temporary band aide, Don't laugh it sounds silly, "Mr. Shutter Fix", is an additive to the transmission fluid. Its a small plastic red tube about 4in long and 2in. around, but you have to have the fluid changed b4 adding it and make sure the place you take it to, has only Honda Made oil. Apparently, Honda makes their parts to run only on THEIR oil. It has additives in it that only Honda makes, w/o this you may get worse problems later. This is coming from 3 different Mechanics and a Junk yard owner. It seems that Honda has created a Monopoly - which I though was illegal. It did work by reducing the noise and frequency, but not completely. Like I said, its a band aide to buy time to get money together to fix it permanently.
I have only bought Honda's and this is the first time I ever had a serious problem so early on (just under 100k). I opted to fix it because everything else is fine and I don't feel like having a car payment. So pass this along to anyone you meet or know with this issue & maybe Honda will consider helping all of us. After all they do want to keep their customers happy and coming back, especially since they had suffered such tragic natural disasters. They don't want to start developing a bad reputation after having such a good track record for so long. After all, everyone knows that bad news travels faster than good new.
I still haven't decided if my next car is going to be a Honda. It seems like they are slipping on their reputation. Look around the internet you'll see that this is happening more often than not.
#29 of 68 Re: Add me to the list [g_ro]
Sep 20, 2011 (5:49 am)
I have a 2005 Honda Pilot with the shudder problem at 30-40 mph. Called Honda America and they acted like nobody has ever called about this problem. I have done a little trial and error myself. When I start out in D3 there is no shudder at all everything is very smooth then when I am going down the road and get past 40 I shift up to regular D. I know this want fix the problem but it seems like its probably the torque converter for sure. Any feedback on how long this will give me before I have to break down and take it to get the torque converter repaired?
#30 of 68 Re: Add me to the list [rnrbodyworks]
Sep 20, 2011 (6:53 am)
Our first transmission starting acting up in the 90K range. It wasn't dead at this point, just noticably shuddering at an annoying point. We had a rebuilt unit installed (all that was available so the dealership said) and now at 150K the shuddering is just starting to return. No idea how much it will cost in today dollars. Back in '08 the dealership said $3K or $3.5K. I have heard rumors that the price is higher now due to shortage of trannsmissions. Not sure though.
#31 of 68 Re: Add me to the list [sfergson727]
Sep 22, 2011 (11:33 am)
Add me too! I've spent $900 on "fixes" for this problem. they claimed they've never heard of this, and never could duplicate it on their own. I finally drove it with a Tech and he could hear the "grinding" at 35-40 mph, and the shuddering. What do we do? I think I will file a complain with the BBB.