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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My sister and I both own 03 Pilot's. We both purchased them used within a month of each other...kinda weird, I know!

She is having issues with her middle seats not being able to go all the way down. The side latches work great, but won't allow the seat to go flush with the back of the vehicle. She said the top latches have never worked. Does anyone know how to get the seats to release or how to repair these latches? She's needed to haul some large items recently, and couldn't do it because of the seats.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

Thanks! :)
 

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2016 CRV Touring AWD, 2005 Pilot RIP.
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The middle row never sits totally flat with the rest of the trunk-its worse if the seat isn't all the way to the back.
Does the seat move forwards and backwards when you lift the lever at the front under the seat.

Firstly I would check and see if anything got into the mechanism to stop it from working properly. Thats usually the case with rocks stones candy getting in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for replying. Unfortunately there isn't a lever under the seat on the 03 models. There is one on the side and one on the top. The seats move back and forth just fine, they just won't lay flat...or as flat as they are able. I think she's going to take it in today.

Thanks for your help!;)
 

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You mentioned that the top latches do not work -- I think that is the problem. The lever on the side moves the seatback forward slightly and slides the entire seat forward to allow access to the third row. The latch at the top folds the seatback flat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I agree that the problem is with the latches. I just wondered if there was a way of getting the seat to release some other way. Apparently her latches never worked. :confused: Thanks for your reply :)
 

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For those with later model Pilots, the '03 middle row seats do not have any front to back adjustability for seated passengers. The only time a second row seat will move forward is when the side lever is pulled. That tilts the seat back forward and allows the seat to move forward for entry to the third row. The top lever on the seat back should give you a few different seat-back angles and also releases the seat-back to drop forward (nearly flat) like any other model year, I'd guess. If the front seats are moved far back in the track, the headrests in the middle row may need to be removed.

Are you saying that your sister's seat-back lever doesn't do anything? No slight back angle adjustment and no release to the collapsed position?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, the levers all work great in my Pilot. Never had a problem. My sister's top levers don't do anything. The seats don't recline, nor does the lever allow the seats to go down. I think she needs to have the dealership check it out. I didn't know if other people had experienced this problem or not. Hmmmm.
 

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Sounds like something's wrong. They should at least release the backrest.
You don't say if this problem afflicts both sides or not.
 

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The plastic inside the latches has broken allowing the top of the control wire ( which has a metal head ) to slip through the hole every time you pull on the latch. There is a second hole that can be used to reseat the wire properly but fixing it entails taking off the entire back of the seat and also pulling back ( disconnecting ) the cloth/leather covering of the seat around the latch area. If you are feeling adventurous you could try it yourself but it is a tedious job. You have to disconnect the latch wire where it connects at the bottom of the seat, reseat the top of the wire in the second hole in the latch mechanism, pull the wire tight, and then reconnect the wire at the bottom of the seat.I had to fix my passenger side middle seat top latch once, and it was a pain. Once I got in there and looked at the latch mechanism I was rather disgusted with Honda for putting such a cheap, destined to fail, latch mechanism in a vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Awesome! Thanks so much for the link and the diagram. I'm going to forward that to my sister. I really appreciate your help! :)
 

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Thanks for the great information

The middle row passenger seat recline/fold handle stopped working on my 2003 Pilot. I took off the seat back, but couldn't see the cable for this.My Honda repair specialist was going to order the cable for $40+, but decided I need a new handle and cable for almost $90. The install for either was $90. When he was looking at it, I was able to see the clip and cable. When I got home, I managed to get it loose and take apart the handle so I could move the cable from the A side to the B side. My Honda specialist did not know there were two sides the where the cable could attach. I'm still going to pay him the $90 to re-install the cable and replace my drivers inside door handle, which peeled long ago, but this information should save my $90.
 

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A suggestion...

If you took off the seat back and figured out the fix why pay the worthless Honda tech anything?

I have the same problem with my middle seat and its on my Things To Do list.

I did replace the peeling plastic/chrome latches and it was really easy, good how to guides on this site.

Do it yourself.

Cheers,
Dave
 

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I was able to get my cable without taking out the T-30 bolt, but will need the T-30 to put the cable back in where it goes. I will try to borrow one and see if I can get it back together without paying my mechanic. The clips that stretch the seat material to the seat back also look a little tricky to get right.

This is not a worthless Honda tech, who you can't even talk to in the dealers I have visited, but an independent Honda repair specialist.
 

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The recline lever on the back of the second row seats for the '03 Pilot is a joke. It appears to be designed to fail. Thin plastic fins are supposed to retain the metal heads of the release cables. I'm shocked that Honda hasn't had more complaints about this issue.

The cheapest part (the plastic lever itself) isn't listed for sale seperately. My Honda Dealer just quoted me $460 to replace the whole lever assembly.

I will be creating a "work around" by securing the two cable heads to a nylon webbing "pull tab"
 

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I was able to take enough of the seat apart to get the handle with the cable moved to the B side re-installed. Putting everything back together was not that bad. It works great and saved me $180.

My mechanic had never seen there is a B side where the cable is designed to go. He also was concerned that moving to the B side would change the pull angle or adjustment, but I think it will be OK.
 
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