2004 Transmission Dead at 229,507 miles - Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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2004 Transmission Dead at 229,507 miles

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I suppose I should count myself lucky getting to 229,507 miles without any transmission problems, but six hours before we were planning to drive from DC to Detroit for the holidays, my 2004 Pilot slipped out of second gear, then out of first, and then out of reverse. After sitting for a while I was able to drive it onto a rollback to get home, but this seems to be the end. No idiot lights, but this sounds like a purely mechanical failure.

A few months ago I experienced free-revving when attempting to downshift aggressively into first to get through city traffic. Decided to baby the transmission after that, and things seemed okay. When the temperature dived below 20 degrees, however, I noticed a new buzzing/whining sound on startup. After a couple of days of cold, there was hesitation shifting from reverse into drive when cold. Then one morning it simply slipped out of second gear while driving, and after getting to the side of the road, it wouldn't move in any gear. At idle there was a slight buzzing sound that seemed to come from the torque converter area.

To be fair, I demanded a lot of this car. Hauled five Peugeots hundreds of miles in total. Crossed 200,000 miles towing a pop up camper over the Rockies on an 8,500-mile road trip. I installed an auxiliary cooler, which probably extended the life by quite a bit, but couldn't put failure off indefinitely.

Now I'm debating whether to rebuild or replace. I'm overdue for a timing belt and water pump, I think my heater core is slowly leaking, the rear seat is splitting at one seam, the cargo tray cover is shattered to bits, and the driver side rear door and quarter panel are marred from a failed mating attempt with a concrete parking garage column. I was already on the hook for a lot of work before the trans let go. I'm loathe to install a used unit, but I don't know that it makes sense to dump $2,500 into a 13-year-old car that will still be ugly and have 229,507 miles.

Anyone swapped the trans in their driveway? Anything I should check first, or is this a classic case of catastrophic failure?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 08:10 PM
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My 2004 just turned 238,000 today. I don't think mine did all the hauling yours did and was at the dealers for the maintenance regularly. Hoping it stays together.

Last edited by POB; 01-03-2017 at 06:23 AM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Hydropneumatic View Post
mating attempt with a concrete parking garage column. I was already on the hook for a lot of work before the trans let go. I'm loathe to install a used unit, but I don't know that it makes sense to dump $2,500 into a 13-year-old car that will still be ugly and have 229,507 miles.
Can't be all that ugly, or the concrete column wouldn't have been interested.

BTW I have learned the hard way that something that can be accomplished lying on one's back under a little 4-banger sports car, is much less easily accomplished under a 2 ton SUV. Everything is bigger and heavier.

Last edited by Wanderer; 01-02-2017 at 08:38 PM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydropneumatic View Post
I suppose I should count myself lucky getting to 229,507 miles without any transmission problems, but ...

To be fair, I demanded a lot of this car.

Now I'm debating whether to rebuild or replace. I'm overdue for a timing belt and water pump, ...
but I don't know that it makes sense to dump $2,500 into a 13-year-old car that will still be ugly and have 229,507 miles.
Have you owned the Pilot since new?
How often was the transmission fluid changed?
Can you afford to acquire a new(er) vehicle?

2003 EX
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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BTW I have learned the hard way that something that can be accomplished lying on one's back under a little 4-banger sports car, is much less easily accomplished under a 2 ton SUV. Everything is bigger and heavier.
Yeah, I'm definitely more anxious considering the size. I did the clutch on a Nissan Axxess once, and even that was a royal pain.

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Have you owned the Pilot since new?
How often was the transmission fluid changed?
Can you afford to acquire a new(er) vehicle?
I am the second owner. Purchased with 126k in 2012. Changed the transmission fluid as recommended. I could probably swing a newer car, but the timing isn't great.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 01:18 AM
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I am the second owner. Purchased with 126k in 2012. Changed the transmission fluid as recommended. I could probably swing a newer car, but the timing isn't great.
Assuming you do fix the transmission and replace the timing belt, are you willing to keep the vehicle for another 5-7 years?
Maybe you should see what's available in your area in a 2007 or 2008 AWD/4WD Pilot and then determine if it's worth putting any more money into the old one.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 01:47 AM
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On the one hand, I've advocated for coughing up for a replacement transmission on these fine vehicles. On the other hand, sometimes it's best said by that fellow Kenny Rogers purportedly once met on a train.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 09:23 PM
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Hi All >
Anyone swapped the trans in their driveway?
Yep, I replaced mine in my garage. Almost 30K miles on the new trans without issue.

Replace a transmission with me (with photos)

Last edited by Pilot_Driver; 01-08-2017 at 09:47 PM.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 09:32 PM
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I did mine TB again at 210k. If the transmission went tomorrow (please lord no), I'd drop a remanufactured in and go for 300k.

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