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8 Common Failures Of The Honda Pilot: Problems, Reliability And More

Whether you are in the market for a new or pre-owned Honda Pilot, you can expect them to offer you excellent performance from the car. But even a vehicle as popular as this one has had its share of problems over the years. Let’s take a look at some of the common Honda Pilot failures .

The Honda Pilot is a car that has had very good references and satisfied customers, but will this car be so wonderful? Find out here!

How good are the Honda Pilots?

RepairPal gave the Honda Pilot a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5.0, ranking it 13th out of 26 midsize SUVs. It received a higher rating on Cars.com, earning a score of 4.6 out of 5.0 based on consumer reviews. The Pilot has low ownership costs, averaging $542 in annual repairs versus the usual $573.

It also has great resale value, depreciating only 48% after five years, while most cars depreciate at least 51.6%. Third-generation Pilots are also some of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market, consuming 21-23 mpg.

Common Honda Pilot Faults

Despite its reliability, the Honda Pilot can be affected by problems that can affect its ride comfort and drivability. Here is our list of common Honda Pilot failures

1- Electrical problems

Some 2020 Honda Pilot units have issues that cause the vehicle’s navigation, infotainment system, and instrument panel to turn off and stop working. Most owners report that the problem usually starts after hearing clicking or popping noises from the dash.

While some drivers have been told these issues are caused by loose wiring, reconnecting and replacing the dash wiring harness has not resolved the issue on many affected units.

2- Fault in the fuel system

Clogged fuel injectors are one of the common 2016 Honda Pilot failures. This causes the car’s engine to misfire, run rough, and hesitate when shifting or downshifting.

In most cases, drivers may need to replace clogged injectors to prevent serious engine damage . A new fuel injector can cost anywhere from $50 to $80, not counting labor costs.

3- Excessive oil consumption

Excessive oil consumption due to faulty Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) is one of the common failures of the 2009 Honda Pilot. Many drivers report needing to top up their engine oil frequently because their vehicle burns too much oil.

In most cases, oil enters the engine’s combustion chamber, causing the spark plugs to foul and the catalyst to fail.

A class action lawsuit was filed against Honda in 2012 over this issue. The plaintiffs alleged that the automaker sold nearly 1.6 million vehicles that burned excessive oil and required frequent spark plug replacements.

They also claimed that the company refused to acknowledge the problem , merely advising owners to check oil levels frequently.

Honda reached a settlement in 2013 that extended the limited powertrain warranty to eight years after the original sale or lease of the affected vehicles.

4- Transmission problems

Transmission fluid leaks caused by a faulty transmission cooler are a common problem with the 2005 Honda Pilot. Once fluid floods the cooling system, it can cause radiator failure.

This design flaw can also cause engine coolant to leak into the transmission, which can cause difficulty shifting. Most owners have had to flush the transmission and replace the radiator to fix the problem.

Meanwhile, some 2003 Pilots have widely reported cases of transmission failure due to heat buildup between the countershaft and countershaft gears. This prompted Honda to recall certain 2003 Pilots, Odysseys, and MDXs in 2004 to replace the affected vehicles’ transmission or oil cooler return line.

5- Brake failures

Many 2003-2017 Pilot owners have reported cases of warped brake rotors, which cause excessive vibration when braking. This problem usually occurs at high speeds due to excessive heat generated by friction. Defective brake pad shims can also cause some 2003 and 2004 models to clunk under braking.

Fortunately, brake problems can be fixed by replacing faulty parts . New brake rotors can cost $100-$200, not including labor costs, while replacement brake pads typically cost $30-$80 for parts alone.

6- Problems with the EGR and IAC valve

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve failure is a common problem among 2003-2017 Drivers. Carbon deposits often get stuck in the valve, resulting in increased cranking time, excessive engine vibration, and rough idling.

Air Control (IAC) valve failure is also a widely reported problem on many 2003-2016 Honda Pilots. A clogged IAC valve causes a rough idle , engine stalling, and erratic idle speed. An IAC valve can cost anywhere from $50 to $80 plus labor costs.

7- Breakage of the differential fluid

Differential fluid rupture is a common problem found on the 2003-2012 and 2015 Honda Pilot. Common symptoms of this problem are loud noises and shaking coming from the rear axle.

In most cases, mechanics recommend flushing the transfer case and changing the differential fluid. Ignoring this problem can cause your differential to overheat and lead to premature wear on the gears and bearings.

8- Defective low beams

An overheated headlight wiring harness can cause the low beams to not work on some 2003-2008 and 2010-2013 Pilots. Owners report seeing blown plugs and connectors, as well as smoke coming from the steering column due to a faulty light switch connector. While Honda announced its plans to call out affected cars, it did not release any TSBs for the Pilot.

To complete

Even the most reliable makes and models can develop problems over time, so it’s important to be on the lookout for signs of a faulty part. If you know the common failures of the Honda Pilot, you will know what repairs it may need and you will prolong its useful life.

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