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So to make a long story short I acquired an 04 Pilot EX (179K) with leather & sun roof. The vehicle requires work, that I will admit. The driver seat needs to be replaced, the electronics on that is in a bad state - impossible to adjust. The rear right wheel was replaced by a spare - easy fix. However, the engine seems to be in good condition, since it starts right up and stays running. The engine oil isn't bad, looks like was changed regularly. The transmission shifts okay, tranny fluid in good condition and engine mounts are in tact.

The real question here is, do you guys believe that this will be a good idea to get into this vehicle? I am willing to put at least another 1K - 2K into it to get it back on the road. Oil change, tranny fluid change & timing belt service included. Any and all advice from the Piloteers would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Definitely worth it, and a steal without rust. Honestly I paid 4K for something in similar condition with 10k more miles. The tires were bald and suspension blown but after a little a little TLC it’s become our primary car, switched it over to 5w30 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum high mileage & 3/4 quart marvel mystery oil, and holy smokes with I drained the oil it had sludge but I can only control the future. Drained the tranny and replaced it with Valvoline maxlife ATF. (Which actually improved shifting) also the suspension is BLOWN which I’m sure yours is as well, so I bought some rear camber arms and eyeball adjusted the alignment and improved the MPG from 330 to 360 so in other words there is hope, and it can still be a very sturdy reliable car if you put in a few hundred dollars to 1k.


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So to make a long story short I acquired an 04 Pilot EX (179K) with leather & sun roof. The vehicle requires work, that I will admit. The driver seat needs to be replaced, the electronics on that is in a bad state - impossible to adjust. The rear right wheel was replaced by a spare - easy fix. However, the engine seems to be in good condition, since it starts right up and stays running. The engine oil isn't bad, looks like was changed regularly. The transmission shifts okay, tranny fluid in good condition and engine mounts are in tact.

The real question here is, do you guys believe that this will be a good idea to get into this vehicle? I am willing to put at least another 1K - 2K into it to get it back on the road. Oil change, tranny fluid change & timing belt service included. Any and all advice from the Piloteers would be appreciated. Thanks.
179 k miles is not that high for a Pilot. Biggest issues you are likely to face are possible transmission failure, unit body rust, and extensive suspension work needed. Depends on how your Pilot stacks up in these areas.
 

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179 k miles is not that high for a Pilot. Biggest issues you are likely to face are possible transmission failure, unit body rust, and extensive suspension work needed. Depends on how your Pilot stacks up in these areas.
This^^ although on the 04 05 you can still change the tranny fluid filter, which on my 06 I cannot but I’m pretty sure it was changed at some point as it was a reddish brown color and not a straight black color or even worse sludge.


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Discussion Starter #5
179 k miles is not that high for a Pilot. Biggest issues you are likely to face are possible transmission failure, unit body rust, and extensive suspension work needed. Depends on how your Pilot stacks up in these areas.
I wouldn't mind dealing with suspension and there's no rust. My real concern is tranny failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Definitely worth it, and a steal without rust. Honestly I paid 4K for something in similar condition with 10k more miles. The tires were bald and suspension blown but after a little a little TLC it’s become our primary car, switched it over to 5w30 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum high mileage & 3/4 quart marvel mystery oil, and holy smokes with I drained the oil it had sludge but I can only control the future. Drained the tranny and replaced it with Valvoline maxlife ATF. (Which actually improved shifting) also the suspension is BLOWN which I’m sure yours is as well, so I bought some rear camber arms and eyeball adjusted the alignment and improved the MPG from 330 to 360 so in other words there is hope, and it can still be a very sturdy reliable car if you put in a few hundred dollars to 1k.


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Thank you for the response man. My real concern which I should have mentioned is dealing with a transmission failure.
 

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Well does it shift hard currently? You have the ability to change the filter & so fluid changes every 5k miles or so. I know some people want to change it then drive 500 miles then drain and fill again but I figure if it hasn’t been changed before or in quite sometime then waiting between oil changes is quite alright.


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I wouldn't mind dealing with suspension and there's no rust. My real concern is tranny failure.
If the transmission is shifting smoothly right now, that's a good sign. By all means do a drain and refill service on the transmission, should take about 3 1/2 quarts of fluid. If you are a DIY, the typical suspension work is not that bad. Lots of good info here on the forum. If your Pilot is rust free, it sounds well worth it to fix it up. Welcome to the forum!

An afterthought; do you know if the timing belt was replaced at 100k miles? If you are not sure, I would suggest that you go ahead and do that service a little early. It is possible that the previous owner deferred maintenance and then sold the vehicle. 179k on the original belt is possible, but risky.
 

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I have an '08 that just rolled over 180,000 miles. I love it and it's probably my favorite car I've ever owned. The transmission is barely hanging on by a thread. I have pretty much come to terms with that. I will not hesitate to put a new or rebuilt one in, and in 20,000 miles (a year and a half or so) I will have no problem having the timing belt and all related maintenance done. As for your car, putting a few thousand dollars in it, is much cheaper than a car payment and the car could keep going for another 5-10 years. I know a lot of people don't like to drive older cars (and that's fine), but I don't really care. Congrats on your purchase and I wish you many happy years of reliability!

As a side note, my parent's 2006 Odyssey went 159,000 miles on the original timing belt. Not recommended but it just slipped through the cracks.
 

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You mentioned that you’re willing to put $1-2k into the Pilot. If you have the timing belt and water pump job performed that will eat ~$1k of your repair budget. There are bound to be other items which need to be addressed given its age.

If you don’t already have a feel for what items need to be replaced in the near future just take the Pilot in for an oil change. I’m assuming the place you take it to will also perform an inspection. Then you will have a good idea of the near term items which need to be replaced.

If the timing belt was changed around the 100k mile mark I would be inclined to roll the dice and not change it out unless you’re planning to get more than a couple years service out of the Pilot.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well does it shift hard currently? You have the ability to change the filter & so fluid changes every 5k miles or so. I know some people want to change it then drive 500 miles then drain and fill again but I figure if it hasn’t been changed before or in quite sometime then waiting between oil changes is quite alright.


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Will double check that and see how it feels.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If the transmission is shifting smoothly right now, that's a good sign. By all means do a drain and refill service on the transmission, should take about 3 1/2 quarts of fluid. If you are a DIY, the typical suspension work is not that bad. Lots of good info here on the forum. If your Pilot is rust free, it sounds well worth it to fix it up. Welcome to the forum!

An afterthought; do you know if the timing belt was replaced at 100k miles? If you are not sure, I would suggest that you go ahead and do that service a little early. It is possible that the previous owner deferred maintenance and then sold the vehicle. 179k on the original belt is possible, but risky.
I'm unsure if the timing belt was replaced but I'm willing to have money available for that service right away.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I have an '08 that just rolled over 180,000 miles. I love it and it's probably my favorite car I've ever owned. The transmission is barely hanging on by a thread. I have pretty much come to terms with that. I will not hesitate to put a new or rebuilt one in, and in 20,000 miles (a year and a half or so) I will have no problem having the timing belt and all related maintenance done. As for your car, putting a few thousand dollars in it, is much cheaper than a car payment and the car could keep going for another 5-10 years. I know a lot of people don't like to drive older cars (and that's fine), but I don't really care. Congrats on your purchase and I wish you many happy years of reliability!

As a side note, my parent's 2006 Odyssey went 159,000 miles on the original timing belt. Not recommended but it just slipped through the cracks.
Thank you man, I appreciate the response. Honestly I gave up on this and thought about going used but if I have to put about 2K into this thing to get it running, that's less than a car payment or even another good used vehicle. Still considering other options and looking at finances so let's see how it goes.
 

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My '04 pilot is one that I bought for $1700 with 198K miles and new tires. It almost has 200K on it now. I thought this one was worth it. Granted I knew the complete history of this car and the engine and transmission have been bullet proof so far, and there is no rust worries here. I did the timing belt and water pump, and all front and rear suspension components and tie rods. I think all of that was around $800 not including my time in labor. I did find a suprise that the rear ceramic of the catalytic converter was cracked loose and was making the rattling and sometimes "tink" sound i heard occasionally. Still ran fine with no codes, but i changed it with an aftermarket and that was another $200 in parts. I pulled out the exhaust pipe during that job and sanded and painted it black to get rid of the rusty look. I have one inner boot on the front CV axle that is loosing some grease, so i hope to yank and repack it once the heat goes away here in the south.

I would not have bought this '04 pilot if I hadn't known the maintenance history as well as I did. Since you said the engine and transmission seem good, and there's no rust in critical areas, i think you got one worth keeping.
 

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Also I think a lot of the suspension stuff can be overlooked if you want to put something off. The car will ride louder and a little more rough but you’ll live. So prioritize the stuff that could ruin your engine such as timing belt, etc.

As far as if stuff fails like alternator, starter and things like that, those will fail on any car and any mileage so I wouldn’t include that in what you’re willing to spend.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Also I think a lot of the suspension stuff can be overlooked if you want to put something off. The car will ride louder and a little more rough but you’ll live. So prioritize the stuff that could ruin your engine such as timing belt, etc.

As far as if stuff fails like alternator, starter and things like that, those will fail on any car and any mileage so I wouldn’t include that in what you’re willing to spend.
Thank you, appreciate your feedback
 
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