Last post on Apr 26, 2013 at 6:02 AM
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Honda Pilot, SUV
#56 of 68 2004 Honda Pilot WITH the fix - shuddering at 35-40 too
Mar 28, 2012 (7:02 pm)
Thank you to everyone who has posted about this before. I bought my 2004 Honda Pilot in 2008 with 26,000 miles on it. We didn't have any problems with it at all until late last year. We have have performed all of the regular maintenance on the car as well. Late last year I took it to the Honda dealership with the exact issues you all are complaining about. They claimed to have no idea what I was talking about. Finally, they had one of their mechanics drive with me. He heard the shuddering and thought that it might be the rear differential fluid. They replaced it and it seemed to be ok.
Lately the shuddering has gotten worse and is happening in the 35-40 MPH range, as well as any other range where the gears are shifting. Last week, the engine light came on, it started misfiring at idle and shaking terribly bad as I drove. The engine light began flashing and I took it straight to our regular mechanic (I am steering clear of the Honda dealership - too pricey for a bunch of liars). He replaced the spark plugs which were admittedly in terrible condition (we live in the foothills and have a long, steep, wet, dirt driveway) and said to bring it back if it still wasn't working right. After revisiting this website I think I will have him drain and refill the ATM fluid and use the additive everyone here has been talking about and see how it does.
Right now I'm terrified to go anywhere. I drive to Seattle on a regular basis and am petrified to break down on I-5 during rush hour. Good thing my AAA membership is in full swing.
I also have a friend who has a 2003 Pilot and she mentioned the exact same shuddering between 35-40. Let's start the Facebook page and see if we can get Honda to admit this issue and pay to correct it. If no one else wants to start it, I will but it sounds like some of you have had extensive communication with Honda. I haven't started with them yet but I'm about to.
Thanks again to everyone who has posted. It's awful we are all dealing with this. I wonder what it will take for Honda to realize this is their problem - someone getting killed?
#57 of 68 Has anyone had issues w/ 2009 & newer?
Mar 29, 2012 (5:30 am)
I decided I didn't want to risk my 2008 Pilot having future issues like my '03 Pilot did, so I traded it in. After test driving Chevy, Toyota, and Ford SUV's, I found nothing that I liked as much as the pilot.
I ended up trading the old pilot in for a 2011 pilot EX-L, which was certified used with 6000 miles. So the power train is covered for 100,000 miles/7 years. That was at no cost, and I normally do not opt for extended warranties, but this time I did, albeit at a discounted price. So basically now the truck is under bumper to bumper warranty for the next seven years or 100,000 miles.
The new truck is ugly, but growing on me.....it sure does drive nice.
#59 of 68 Re: 2004 Honda Pilot WITH the fix - shuddering at 35-40 too [swdypdy]
Apr 06, 2012 (10:33 am)
what ended up being the actual problem with the pilot. I have the same problem but it only happens at cruise speeds and goes away what letting off of accelerator, doesn't come back until it fells like it. (torque converter) ?
#60 of 68 Re: 2004 Honda Pilot WITH the fix - shuddering at 35-40 too [dragontatt57]
Apr 07, 2012 (9:12 am)
I'm still working on it. Last week I took it to the Honda dealership to have the transmission fluid drained and refilled. I AGAIN talked to the service manager about the recall and the poor transmissions in the early Pilots. Like usual, they pretend they don't have any ideas what I'm talking about. I told them it was running rough and so they sent a technician out on a test drive. Of course, everything felt completely fine to them; no obvious issues.
I added a tube of Dr. Tranny's Shudder Fix to see if that would help at all. It does seem to make the transitioning feel a little smoother but hasn't solved the rough riding problem. At this point I am going to keep driving it until it stops. I'm only at 102500 miles but I'm going to schedule the 105K tune up for next week. Maybe our (trustworthy) mechanic will be able to see if there's anything obvious that could be affecting the way it's running. I just don't know what else to do at this point. It's pretty hard to bring the car to the mechanic and tell him "it just isn't driving right" so I made sure our AAA membership is all up to date with towing and will see how it goes.
I will continue to update here as the situation progresses.
#62 of 68 Same old song and dance....
Apr 07, 2012 (11:37 am)
I had this very problem with my 2003 Honda pilot. When I took it to the dealer, and they test drove it and it acted up, they claimed my pilot was the first pilot they had ever seen with this issue. Of course they offered no assistance other than to try to change the transmission at full price. When I took my 2008 pilot in, and expressed my concerns, the dealer again made the claim that there are no issues with the tranny's in any year of pilot, and there was nothing to be concerned about. I responded, "fine, then I want top dollar for my 2008 pilot on trade."....which they did, and now I have a 2011 pilot, which I like much more than my previous two. I did get the extended warranty just in case though.
#63 of 68 It is the torque converter
May 29, 2012 (1:32 pm)
The "shudder" is the torque converter going bad in your Pilots. It's not: Spark plugs, differential fluid, tires, wind, etc.
Also for those that do not know the basics of transmissions, a torque converter requires complete removal of the transmission to access/remove/replace. Also know that it is quite likely that material from the "bad" torque converter has already polluted the same transmission fluid inside the actual transmission. Moral of story: You are looking at a full transmission AND torque converter replacement (parts, R&R, time).
I had a 2003 Pilot. I bought it used with 25,000 on the clock in 2004. I got rid of the disaster of a truck after the following fun fest:
Front door lock actuators no longer function (power locks that is).
Front engine mount (hydraulic) decided to lose fluid.
Leaking coolant "crossover" pipe gaskets.
Ignition/key assembly refusing to turn over at times. This is a "known" issue that has a $800 price tag in parts/labor if you let the dealer handle it (mind amazingly went away over time)
The infamous "shudder" which ultimately lead to 2nd gear being completely gone (NOTE: The "fix" that Honda rigged up to squirt more oil on that area does absoultely nothing in regards to fixing this).
Rear differential temp sensor malfunction.
Starter destroyed due to leaking coolant from aforementioned crossover pipe gasket issue.
"Luckily" I do all my own work on cars and everything short of the transmission (I refused to replace it due to the truck having 160,000 on the clock in the end) was not extremely expensive, however it was extremely time consuming.
If you want the final kick in the southern area, have fun spending over $1000.00 every 105,000 for timing belt, water pump, seals maintenance (or $400 ish if you do it yourself) because Honda hasn't figured out how to make a TIMING CHAIN based engine.
Honda reliability? Think again.
#64 of 68 2004 Honda pilot with similar problems
Jun 15, 2012 (9:00 pm)
I bought my used 2004 Honda Pilot with 59000 miles on it about 3 months ago. I thought it worked great when I bought it. A few weeks after I purchased the car it started to idle roughly and even died a couple of times. In addition it would shudder and not responds to gas at lower speeds. It would also down shift in jolting way intermittently.
Anyway I have brought it to the dealer and 2 other mechanics and they have replaced the idle control valve twice, MAP sensor, air flow meter, cleaned the egr valve, valve adjustment, new spark plugs, transmission fluid change, new battery, new coolant and thermostat. The car has this problem intermittently.
Finally a local honda mechanic figured it out today. He says that the torque converter is bad and that it would be 1700 to fix it. I'm wondering if this will actually fix the problem. Is it better to get the whole tranny replaced or is the torque converter by itself fine.
This car does have a recall on the transmission and a oil heat shield was put in at 2200 miles. Does anyone one know if the torque converter is related to the recall problem.
#65 of 68 Re: It is the torque converter [freudie1]
Jun 18, 2012 (4:55 am)
Thanks for your great post on the converter. I thought the Acura statement covered the converter as well as the transmission. So, the converter goes first and then the tranny, right? Does it do any good to drive in 3 around town when you so much of the lower gear driving occurs? Someone else posted that as a solution.
Why do you think that Consumer Reports does not bash Honda for this transmission problem - or least they did not when I bought mine a few years ago. You would think this would be something they were all over.