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Old 12-30-2010, 09:58 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rocky View Post
Can't recall if this was preventative maintenance on your part or you were having a driveablility issue.

Be interested in hearing back from you in a few days after you've put some miles on your Pilot.
It was kind of both. I was having a driveability issue (shuddering), and the "D" on the instrument panel gear indicator started blinking a few weeks afterwards. I performed an ATF drain and fill soon after the D light started blinking; it was due anyway. The error code remained, and the dealership reported that the code indicated a problem with the 4th gear pressure switch.

I was planning on doing the 3rd and 4th gear pressure switch replacement even before the flashing D to see if it would fix the shuddering problem. I also read that over many cycles the pressure switches can "wear out" and fail to function in their normal range. So that was my reasoning for calling it a preventative maintenance item.

I changed out the pressure switches on Thanksgiving weekend and have put on at least 500 miles or so on the Pilot since then. I didn't have time to post the procedure until now. I experienced shuddering probably on 3 occasions over the first 3 weeks afterward, but they were much more subdued. Also, there were certain conditions under which it would occur. Since the last time it happened, I haven't had any driveability issues. The next thing I plan on doing is another ATF drain and fill.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:02 PM   #17 (permalink)
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So here it is.

The job of changing the pressure switches could not be easier.
Took me all of 45 Min including taking out (and breaking in the process) more of the plastic clips than needed.

Today was the first really good run to see if the problem is gone.

And the results (Drum roll please) . . . . . . . . .

Unless I am trying VERY hard the stuttering is gone! (Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!)
If I get on a VERY level road right around 38 to 40 MPH, I can get a little stumble and see the tach change up and down in about 1/2 to 1 second increments.
This is the same conditions that would have easily brought on the rumble/stutter and the tach would have been vibrating.

So the operating range that caused the problem to show up is much narrower. Before I probably could make it happen at almost any speed between 35 and 45 MPH if the road was at the right grade.

My guess is the new pressure switches have more hysteresis between turning on and off preventing toggling of the clutch.

So with almost 180K miles, I am guessing there are other pats worn contributing to the fact that I can still seem to make the clutch slip or hunt a little bit. It might be that driving for about a year since I first noticed the issue (and pretended to ignore it) might have worn the clutch more than it would have been had I known to change the pressure switch right away.

I think that anyone with an older pilot (or maybe even the current model) should probably replace the 4th gear (and maybe 3rd gear) pressure switches as preventative maintenance at something around 7 years or 100K miles.

I will keep everyone in the know as I put more miles on the car.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:34 AM   #18 (permalink)
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nice preventive maintenance on the tranny.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_Jay View Post
So here it is.

The job of changing the pressure switches could not be easier.
Took me all of 45 Min including taking out (and breaking in the process) more of the plastic clips than needed.

Today was the first really good run to see if the problem is gone.

And the results (Drum roll please) . . . . . . . . .

Unless I am trying VERY hard the stuttering is gone! (Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!)
If I get on a VERY level road right around 38 to 40 MPH, I can get a little stumble and see the tach change up and down in about 1/2 to 1 second increments.
This is the same conditions that would have easily brought on the rumble/stutter and the tach would have been vibrating.

So the operating range that caused the problem to show up is much narrower. Before I probably could make it happen at almost any speed between 35 and 45 MPH if the road was at the right grade.

My guess is the new pressure switches have more hysteresis between turning on and off preventing toggling of the clutch.

So with almost 180K miles, I am guessing there are other pats worn contributing to the fact that I can still seem to make the clutch slip or hunt a little bit. It might be that driving for about a year since I first noticed the issue (and pretended to ignore it) might have worn the clutch more than it would have been had I known to change the pressure switch right away.

I think that anyone with an older pilot (or maybe even the current model) should probably replace the 4th gear (and maybe 3rd gear) pressure switches as preventative maintenance at something around 7 years or 100K miles.

I will keep everyone in the know as I put more miles on the car.
I'm glad to hear it worked out for you. It seems like your results are similar to mine, in which any shuddering you get is much less than before the switch replacement.

I'm also glad to hear the results you reported, because:
1) You were able to perform the driving tests before and after the switch replacement under the same conditions. You were able to drive in a manner that consistently duplicated the shuddering before changing the switches; when you drove in the same manner after changing them, it indicated that the switches were definitely part of the problem. For me, it was difficult to repeat the shuddering before the change, which made it more difficult to determine if I had made way towards fixing the problem.
2) You eliminated other variables. It seems like you're pretty sure that you don't have any issues with the roads, tires, wheels, suspension, or motor mounts. I might have a minor issue or two with one of the above, and it made it harder for me to monitor my vibration and provide a more definitive answer.

Also, I'd probably recommend a little more conservative maintenance interval of 5 years/75K miles or so, but this is based on my own personal experience. Of course, everyone's situation is difference so YMMV. We probably can't estimate a good interval anyway until a lot more people who experience the same issue try the fix and report the same result afterward.

By the way, I quickly checked out the transmission diagram for the '06 Pilot, and one of the pressure switches is in an entirely different location. To access it, one would probably have to get behind or move the air filter box.
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I decided to do this preventative maintenance on my 07 as well, but the locations of the two switches are different on the 06-08. The 3rd gear pressure switch is easy to get to, remove the lower splash shield and fender liner as described in this post. There is nothing covering the switch. Just unplug, and remove with a 22mm wrench and/or crowfoot wrench/wratchet combination. There is not a lot of room to move the wrench in there, was easy to take off, but re-installing with a fresh washer gave me problems. I had to use the crowfoot wrench and long extension with wobble to tighten with my torque wrench. I don't have a 22mm deep well socket, that would have probably worked better(Harbor Freight trip is in my future).

The 4th gear pressure switch is a totally different ballgame. It is below the air cleaner behind the battery a bit. You can see it from up top before removing anything. I followed the service manual procedure, but could not figure out how to get the harness cover off. Even if I did, I don't think you could get a wrench in there to get it out, would probably have to be a socket. Has anyone done the 4th gear switch on the 06-08? Also, which switch is more prone to cause problems, the 3rd or 4th gear switch?
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DIY: Replacing Transmission Pressure Switches-3rdgearswitch.jpg   DIY: Replacing Transmission Pressure Switches-4thgearswitch.jpg  
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:24 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RonnieJ View Post
I decided to do this preventative maintenance on my 07 as well, but the locations of the two switches are different on the 06-08. The 3rd gear pressure switch is easy to get to, remove the lower splash shield and fender liner as described in this post. There is nothing covering the switch. Just unplug, and remove with a 22mm wrench and/or crowfoot wrench/wratchet combination. There is not a lot of room to move the wrench in there, was easy to take off, but re-installing with a fresh washer gave me problems. I had to use the crowfoot wrench and long extension with wobble to tighten with my torque wrench. I don't have a 22mm deep well socket, that would have probably worked better(Harbor Freight trip is in my future).

The 4th gear pressure switch is a totally different ballgame. It is below the air cleaner behind the battery a bit. You can see it from up top before removing anything. I followed the service manual procedure, but could not figure out how to get the harness cover off. Even if I did, I don't think you could get a wrench in there to get it out, would probably have to be a socket. Has anyone done the 4th gear switch on the 06-08? Also, which switch is more prone to cause problems, the 3rd or 4th gear switch?
Here's an excellent DIY I found on an MDX forum (much better than the one I posted). It should help you solve some of your issues, since the transmission looks like a similar design to yours.
'03-'06 MDX - 3rd & 4th Gear Transmission Switches / Sensors DIY - AcuraZine Community
It looks like it uses the same type of clip-on connector. If you try changing out the 4th gear switch, let us know how it turns out.

Based on my experience, I'd say that the 4th gear switch is more prone to cause problems. However, it probably depends more on the type of driving conditions your vehicle sees.
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:45 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, the MDX 4th gear switch does not look like the same setup as on the Pilot. It is in the same area, but not mounted the same way, and that area looks different than on the Pilot. There is more stuff surrounding the switch on the Pilot. The 3rd gear switch location looks the same as the Pilot, and the socket would do the trick much better than the wrenches. I went through my toolbox and could not find a deep well 22m, but did have a 7/8 deep well that the pressure switch fits into nicely. There is a little play, but this is such a low torque item that I'm not worried about it stripping. I'll probably try the socket route later this weekend if I have time. I should be able to get it with just removing the air intake, unplug the harness, and use the socket. I wish I had looked harder for the socket yesterday when I had everything apart.
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:23 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Finally got the time to do the 4th gear switch today. Remove the intake manifold cover and intake air duct. You'll see the switch. Reach under the harness cover and disconnect the switch connector (tight to get to, be patient). I used a 7/8 deep well socket, since I did not have a 22mm. It worked fine. In order to get the socket and ratchet on the switch, I had to remove two 8mm nuts holding what looks like a transmission cable in place. You can then swing it out of the way to get the socket and ratchet onto the switch. Very easy from there. I spent most of my time trying to get the socket/wratchet in there without moving that cable. This would be a 20 minute job had a tried that first. Now that I've done both, I think it is relatively easy on both. I'd say the 3rd gear switch is easier. Necessary tools are a 22mm or 7/8 deep well socket, and a torque wrench. I busted some bumper clips on the 3rd gear switch, dealer wanted $2.50 each, went to Carquest and they had them for .25 each. Bought a box of them, for future use.

I did not notice any shifting difference on a test drive afterwards. We'll see over time if it behaves any different.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:18 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Thanks for the follow up. I was curious to know what happened.

If you weren't experiencing any shifting issues to begin with, I wouldn't expect the shifting behavior to really change much at all. After all, you did this as a maintenance item; kind of like an oil change or worn brake pad replacement (not upgrade)- you change the stuff out before they cause any problems, so any difference in performance or feel is for the most part imperceptible.

At least you can feel somewhat comfortable about helping to extend the life of your transmission. Even though you encountered a few hurdles, the little time and money invested now is much better than the $$$ and headache later. Although the Pilot transmissions don't seem to be too problematic, I still wouldn't call it one of Honda's strong points. Especially with the transmission problems and failures experienced by Accord, Odyssey, and TL owners.

I'm just wondering, how many miles do you have on your Pilot?
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:15 AM   #25 (permalink)
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this is a cheap maintenance fix for honda transmission which is a plus. some auto tranny, you have to remove the tranny oil pan just to get to those solenoid switches or go to your mom and pop or national chain tranny overhaul shops just to fix it out of warranty. if this proves effective, should be a sticky!
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:20 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I replaced the 3rd and 4th gear pressure switches today. NJGuy's guys writeup made this a breeze. Thanks for that. I swapped the switches, checked brakes including lubing front caliper pins while I was in there, and changed the oil all in under two hours. If someone takes this to a shop to be done, I'd question the labour if they charge you over an hour, as it's very straight forward.

As far as the results go, I didn't notice any difference in shift quality. The main reason I did this is because I have noticed recently that my rpms will vary by 100rpm or so while traveling steady at approximately 40mph, and many have reported this along with vibration in the "sporadic vibration" thread. I don't have the vibration and never have, but the rpm fluctuation is still there.

Once issue while changing the switches that I found a bit confusing was which switch is which. There is nowhere that the part is labeled as third or fourth gear pressure switch, and the parts list from parts suppliers don't list as such either. The DIY thread that NJGuy posted previously from acurazine list the pressure switches as follows:

3rd Gear Pressure Switch (28600-P7Z-003)
4th Gear Pressure Switch (28600-P7W-003)

Keep in mind these part nos are for an '03 Pilot. Newer years vary. Once you pull the switches you'll see that the insulator color on the switches is different for the 3rd and 4th, and if you follow the part nos as listed above, the insulator colors match.
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:27 PM   #27 (permalink)
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My 05 has always shuddered when going up a slight hill leading away from my home. Always while accelerating at low speed up that slight incline. WIll this fix help that issue? I have 110,000 miles and have always had the dealer change my tranny fluid as scheduled.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:07 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I notice a slight shuddering also.. somewhere about the 30-40mph range, low gear.. seems to shift too early. I give it more gas to speed up, it'll change gear and the problem goes away. Happens about once a month or less..

I've got an 05 EXL with 64k (miles) on it.

great write up!
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:11 AM   #29 (permalink)
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My 05 has always shuddered when going up a slight hill leading away from my home. Always while accelerating at low speed up that slight incline. WIll this fix help that issue? I have 110,000 miles and have always had the dealer change my tranny fluid as scheduled.
Well, if it has shuddered since new, I'm not sure whether or not changing the switches would help. How severe is the shuddering you experience? Mine was sporadic, but sometimes it felt like I was accelerating with steady throttle while repeatedly stabbing the brakes with the other foot. Replacing the pressure switches significantly reduced any shudder I may have felt afterward.

I've changed tranny fluid every 30k. At 30k, I did the 3x drain and fill, and a single drain and fill at 60k. My shuddering started right before 90k miles (I performed another drain and fill at 90k). I don't know if there is any relation between tranny fluid change intervals and pressure switch wear. You said your Pilot has 110k. Depending on how much longer you want to keep your Pilot for, it might be worth the time and money for you to change out the switches, just as preventative maintenance.

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I notice a slight shuddering also.. somewhere about the 30-40mph range, low gear.. seems to shift too early. I give it more gas to speed up, it'll change gear and the problem goes away. Happens about once a month or less..

I've got an 05 EXL with 64k (miles) on it.
Your Pilot might be starting to show some early symptoms.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:07 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Just finished replacing my 3rd and 4th gear switches as well as a transmission oil change. In all it took me about 1 hour to do everything. Very easy to do. Even better is I feel my Pilot is driving like new. It has crisp shifts and no blinking D.
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