2017 ZF 9 speed and FM problems - Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-26-2016, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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2017 ZF 9 speed and FM problems

Hi all- I'm very interested in buying a 2017 Touring, but am concerned after reading about all the problems with the ZF 9 speed transmission in the 2016 model. Has that problem been corrected for the 2017? How about the FM radio problem? Was that fixed for 2017? Tried to read through the 110 pages of posts on the topics, but looking for the view from 30,000 feet.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-26-2016, 04:01 PM
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I am wondering the same. I have a 2017 Touring on order, but I can always cancel it if I have cause. I REALLY want to stick with the Pilot line, but all of the concerns with the 2016 make me nervous. I see a lot of the 6 speed 2017s are available. I wonder if the 9 speeds have even been built yet? Anyone seen a 2017 9 speed yet?

Thanks, everyone!
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-26-2016, 07:22 PM
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The 2017 Pilot's just starting hitting the dealers lots. It'll probably be a little while before we know about these problems (if they exist).

My '17 Elite should have been built last week, but won't be delivered for another couple weeks. I'll update when I get it.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-26-2016, 07:33 PM
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Congrats on the new Elite, Koojo!
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-27-2016, 06:06 AM
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I'll guess there is no change in the trans or software.....or those "FEW" that are getting their 9 speed replaced would be getting an "updated" trans + software.

As for the radio :shrug:
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-27-2016, 08:53 AM
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I'm picking up my 17 AWD Touring this Tuesday, assuming there are no issues with the vehicle when I arrive at the dealer. If all goes well, I'll be driving it back home to the tune of 350 miles or so. I'll be happy to check back in and post my results.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-27-2016, 11:33 PM
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Congrats, Trentmharris! I wish that mine was coming on Tuesday. I'm just glad to know that they have started building the AWD Touring model. Can't wait to get mine! Please do report on all aspects of your first 350 miles. Enjoy!!!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 12:43 PM
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Given Honda is using the same AT w/improvements(?) for the 2017 Pilot leads me to believe the 2016 version is not as problematic as some might believe.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 09:59 PM
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I hope you are correct, optivity. I think you raise a good point. Thanks for adding to the conversation with some optimism!
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 01:40 PM
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I hope you are correct, optivity. I think you raise a good point. Thanks for adding to the conversation with some optimism!
I have 13K+ miles on my 2016 Elite Pilot SUV and haven't experienced any problems with it's 9-speed AT other than the initial downshift/surge forward phenomenon reported by many owners in this Forum. Honda issued a software update that corrected this problem during late 2015 or early 2016 (can't remember for sure) and I haven't had any issues with the AT since then.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 02:04 PM
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I have 13K+ miles on my 2016 Elite Pilot SUV and haven't experienced any problems with it's 9-speed AT other than the initial downshift/surge forward phenomenon reported by many owners in this Forum. Honda issued a software update that corrected this problem during late 2015 or early 2016 (can't remember for sure) and I haven't had any issues with the AT since then.
My Elite has 17,200 miles as of this week and the transmission has been fine since the software update (which was completed February 2016). Two remaining issues I hope to resolve in the coming year are the FM reception and random snap/popping noise caused by the A/C compressor frying the relay. My local dealer has involved Honda R&D on the snapping noise. I am on the third A/C Compressor Relay since taking delivery in November 2015.

Random Electrical Snapping/Cracking Sound - Elite
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 05:10 PM
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I picked up our 2017 Touring AWD yesterday and drove it home last night. I logged almost 380 miles on the trip home and I felt the transmission was great. Honestly, I would not have known it had 9 gears if I didn't have any prior knowledge of the vehicle. It's too early to tell if my feelings might change or if I will experience a transmission failure, but yesterday's journey was delightful. I also had no FM radio issues at all. Although not asked, I will say that Honda's implementation of adaptive cruise control was impressive. Oh, Android Auto = Way Cool in Pilot. The stock head unit is real nice and easy to operative and all, but Android Auto is better for someone like my wife who doesn't adopt well to different technology. She really likes using Google Now for finding her locations and she is very directionally challenged.

If had to to provide nit-picks, I'd say that that lane departure systems take a bit of time to get use to, however, it can be turned off. And, the stock Continental 20" tires are only mediocre. Road noise was too loud for my taste and wet traction leaves allot to be desired. I will not mind at all replacing them when it's time with a set of Pirelli Scorpions, Bridgestones, Hankook's, whatever, as long as their are not the OEM Continentals.

It's still real early so I may post updates later. For now, the wife is happy with her new ride so I'm happy.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 01:50 PM
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Tranny problems solved ?

I'm still confused by the actual original problem and whether all the complaints have been addressed. Sounds like for the 2016's, the transmission could fail as did the Motor Trend Test Vehicle. There was a software update that presumably addressed the failure but there are also complaints of gear hunting at low speeds or where driver input is anything but the most straightforward accelerate/decelerate scenarios. The example I heard was taking your foot off the gas when approaching a signal, the signal turns green, then you re-accelerate and the tranny goes a bit crazy. Have those shifting issues been addressed ?

We're considering a new one to replace our 07 Odyssey. We'd been waiting for the new gen Odyssey but now live in Bend, OR where we just got a winter driving wake-up. The Odyssey actually did quite well with snow tires but the roads were awful for a few weeks and particularly so during the melt. With slightly older kids a Pilot seemed a good option. I'm annoyed they've sprinkled the safety features throughout the price-levels. The base Highlander has most all the new safety features and XLE (not too crazy expensive) has them all. With the Pilot I've got to get the Elite to get them all and I get a ton of stuff I don't care about. I've always ended up with EX-L Honda's but I'm not going to skip useful safety features. I also HATE the radio/whatever-you-call-it on our 15 CRV. On-screen controls just suck for frequently used items.

Anyway, those things notwithstanding I'll still give the Pilot a shot. We've always had at least one Honda, I just want to know what I'm getting into with the Tranny. Sounds like it's at least partially fixed ?
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 03:48 PM
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I'm still confused by the actual original problem and whether all the complaints have been addressed. Sounds like for the 2016's, the transmission could fail as did the Motor Trend Test Vehicle. There was a software update that presumably addressed the failure but there are also complaints of gear hunting at low speeds or where driver input is anything but the most straightforward accelerate/decelerate scenarios. The example I heard was taking your foot off the gas when approaching a signal, the signal turns green, then you re-accelerate and the tranny goes a bit crazy. Have those shifting issues been addressed ?

We're considering a new one to replace our 07 Odyssey. We'd been waiting for the new gen Odyssey but now live in Bend, OR where we just got a winter driving wake-up. The Odyssey actually did quite well with snow tires but the roads were awful for a few weeks and particularly so during the melt. With slightly older kids a Pilot seemed a good option. I'm annoyed they've sprinkled the safety features throughout the price-levels. The base Highlander has most all the new safety features and XLE (not too crazy expensive) has them all. With the Pilot I've got to get the Elite to get them all and I get a ton of stuff I don't care about. I've always ended up with EX-L Honda's but I'm not going to skip useful safety features. I also HATE the radio/whatever-you-call-it on our 15 CRV. On-screen controls just suck for frequently used items.

Anyway, those things notwithstanding I'll still give the Pilot a shot. We've always had at least one Honda, I just want to know what I'm getting into with the Tranny. Sounds like it's at least partially fixed ?
I think you have the problem/solution flipped: The software update for the 9 speed tranny seems to have fixed the gear hunting and reports are that it is much smoother now. There have been reported 9 speed tranny replacements that don't seem to have one source or a solution yet, but most occured with more than 12k miles. A few had radiator fluid transfer into the transmission box and cause replacement. I think these were very few in comparison to the entire # sold. I think a few 6 speeds may have had separate issues, but few of them compared to 9 speed. You will not see any 2017 9 speeds with problems for a while due to the issue occurring post 12k miles.

As far as the safety stuff - Toyota is doing it right and Honda is really screwing its customers. Safety features (that will be required to be standard very soon) should not be treated as luxury items. We ended up going with the EXL with Honda Sensing, that covers everything, foolishly except blind spot monitors. Crazy, since older gen pilots had BSM on lower trims.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 08:34 PM
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Thanks, that's helpful to know. We're drive under 8kmi/yr but I suppose worst case we'd likely see issues before the warranty expired. Looks like that transmission is in quite a few cars, not just Honda's.

I also question the 20" wheel on the Touring. It's at least going to do some off-road driving. I don't need bling rims. I know this has more space then the Highlander but I prefer Toyota's trim level pricing. Guess nothing is perfect. When it comes down to it there's always some feature I want in the top model but just can't justify the $8k extra.
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