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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

After owning a 2007 Odyssey touring bought brand new which now has 250,000 miles and still going strong, we bought a 2012 Pilot EX-L with 109,000 miles. The carfax indicates all maintenance was done by a Honda dealer and it looks like it was well-taken care of. It does not appear that the 105,000 mile service was done. It does have a little vibration in the front end at higher speeds. Maybe VCM, maybe just a tire out of balance.

I do most of my own fluid changes, etc and I am wondering about the service intervals and what to watch out for, etc if you guys don't mind. The owner's manual doesn't really give mileages. I'll generally watch the Maintenance minder but just would like to know what to expect, or what you guys would suggest on a higher mileage vehicle. Obviously the Odyssey didn't have a transfer case or rear diff and I don't know if this Pilot transmission is basically the same as the Odyssey or not.

I will be ordering a VCM tuner right away.
On the Odyssey, I started doing a transmission drain and fill at about 150,000 miles every other oil change just to be safe. Would you say start doing the same on the pilot?
Does the transmission on the pilot have a serviceable filter?
How often to change the transfer case fluid?
How often to change the differential fluid?
Do you recommend Honda fluids for transfer, diff, and transmission or has another brand like AMSOil, Mobil 1, or Royal Purple been determined to be better at this mileage?

Anything else?

Thanks very much in advance.
 

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Hope you enjoy your new pilot. For me Mobil oil with maintenance minder. Transmission I believe doesn’t have a filter and is just drain and fill. I use Honda fluids. For full replacement of the fluid some recommend 3x drain and fill I typically do 1x every 25k miles. The book recommends every 30k.
I would check the belt and tensioner. That usually gets replaced at about ~100k. While you’re at it have them do the thermostat it will save you a trip in the future.
Check the spark plugs they are also due at about ~100k. I did the iridium ones and they’re supposed to last another 100k
 

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Hope you enjoy your new pilot. For me Mobil oil with maintenance minder. Transmission I believe doesn’t have a filter and is just drain and fill. I use Honda fluids. For full replacement of the fluid some recommend 3x drain and fill I typically do 1x every 25k miles. The book recommends every 30k.
I would check the belt and tensioner. That usually gets replaced at about ~100k. While you’re at it have them do the thermostat it will save you a trip in the future.
Check the spark plugs they are also due at about ~100k. I did the iridium ones and they’re supposed to last another 100k
I just got my 2012 EX-L with around 90k on the clock (now up past 112k) in July 2019. In January, I had the timing belt, tensioner, waterpump, and serpentine belt (they were going to reuse the old serpentine, but I insisted that they replace it) replaced, and a valve adjustment and new spark plugs as well. I've used Mobil 1 0-W20 since I got the vehicle, and I recently did a drop and fill of the auto trans fluid, using Honda DW-1. Either this week or next week I'm going to do a brake job on it. I've been getting the vibration at high speed too. Not sure if that's the VCM or one or more of the tires/wheels need to be balanced.
 

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@rudedog4 Sounds like you've done most all of it. For brakes i replaced my rotors and pads with powerstop slotted and Z23 pads. They've worked well and I'm on my second set of front pads. The first set lasted ~50K miles. Consider doing a break fluid replacement I did it at 60K miles and will probably do it soon ~120K miles. There are some interesting discussions in the forum about SS break lines and other after market brake kits.

Jacking up the pilot is a bit tricky be cause it sits high and the jack has a bit of travel before the wheels are up. I purchased this bottle jack/jack (powerbuilt 3 ton) stand combo and it by far one of the best purchases I've made. I still add some wood at the base so that it is not fully extended when jacking the pilot.

 

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@rudedog4 Sounds like you've done most all of it. For brakes i replaced my rotors and pads with powerstop slotted and Z23 pads. They've worked well and I'm on my second set of front pads. The first set lasted ~50K miles. Consider doing a break fluid replacement I did it at 60K miles and will probably do it soon ~120K miles. There are some interesting discussions in the forum about SS break lines and other after market brake kits.

Jacking up the pilot is a bit tricky be cause it sits high and the jack has a bit of travel before the wheels are up. I purchased this bottle jack/jack (powerbuilt 3 ton) stand combo and it by far one of the best purchases I've made. I still add some wood at the base so that it is not fully extended when jacking the pilot.

I have two floor jacks. One's an old Craftsman jack that weighs a million pounds, that has no problem jacking up the Pilot, but it's proof positive of why jack stands are necessary. I changed the brakes on my niece's Fusion this past weekend, put one end on jack stands, the other just on the jacks. With that jack, overnight it sank. I jacked it back up and put a ramp under the rotor. The other jack is a lightweight aluminum jack I got from Harbor Freight. Either way, I have a block of wood I put on top of the jack if necessary. When I do the brakes, I'm going to bleed the whole system. I have a kit I got from Harbor Freight that hooks up to my compressor hose, and it sucks the fluid out. There's a bottle with an adapter to fit various size brake fluid reservoirs under the hood, so with that filled with brake fluid, it makes bleeding the brakes a one person job.
 

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We recently got a 2013 Pilot with about 78k on it, so just yesterday I brought it in to my buddy Pete at Hurley's Automotive in Central Point (OR) for an overall professional check out and fluids change. He changed out the trans, differential, transfer case and brake fluid, all of which were likely way overdue. He made sure to point out that the recommended change period for the rear differential is every 15k miles (which almost nobody ever does), and that this is important!
Also, Pete put in a new set of spark plugs, and since I installed the S-VCM device right after we got the car (and it ran 78k without it) I asked him to take note of whether the #1&2 plugs showed a variance in wear from the others, just out of curiosity. He found that the plugs switched by the VCM system did indeed exhibit greater wear. "Not exactly gunk, but kind of a strange yellow film."
 

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Hello all,

After owning a 2007 Odyssey touring bought brand new which now has 250,000 miles and still going strong, we bought a 2012 Pilot EX-L with 109,000 miles. The carfax indicates all maintenance was done by a Honda dealer and it looks like it was well-taken care of. It does not appear that the 105,000 mile service was done. It does have a little vibration in the front end at higher speeds. Maybe VCM, maybe just a tire out of balance.

I do most of my own fluid changes, etc and I am wondering about the service intervals and what to watch out for, etc if you guys don't mind. The owner's manual doesn't really give mileages. I'll generally watch the Maintenance minder but just would like to know what to expect, or what you guys would suggest on a higher mileage vehicle. Obviously the Odyssey didn't have a transfer case or rear diff and I don't know if this Pilot transmission is basically the same as the Odyssey or not.

I will be ordering a VCM tuner right away.
On the Odyssey, I started doing a transmission drain and fill at about 150,000 miles every other oil change just to be safe. Would you say start doing the same on the pilot?
Does the transmission on the pilot have a serviceable filter?
How often to change the transfer case fluid?
How often to change the differential fluid?
Do you recommend Honda fluids for transfer, diff, and transmission or has another brand like AMSOil, Mobil 1, or Royal Purple been determined to be better at this mileage?

Anything else?

Thanks very much in advance.

First -- Welcome to Piloteers!

In no particular order:
-- It looks like you are due for timing belt/water pump/tensioner bits, valves adjusted, spark plugs based on both mileage and age. Check your records and see if any of that has been done. If not, it's due.

-- Speed-related vibration in the front end can easily be a tire/wheel/balance issue, so start there before digging deeper. Then compliance bushings and front wheel bearings, front shock absorbers. No possible VCM-related causes.

-- Maintenance Minder is good guidance on service work. I'm old-school and don't put a lot of miles on our Pilot, so I try and do oil and trans fluid changes at around 50% remaining life displayed on the MM, works out to every 9-12 months. Considering Honda's checkered reputation with transmission life, it's cheap insurance IMO. Mobil-1 oil, Honda or Valvoline MaxLife for ATF. Honda fluid for VTM4. New Honda coolant every three years or so. Your comment about starting the more aggressive ATF schedule later in car life... Do it from the first day.

-- Good idea getting one of the VCM-defeat devices installed as soon as possible. Inspect the plugs you take out for oil and carbon ash, indicating possible VCM-related oil blow-by issues.


Enjoy your Pilot!
 

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Full Synthetic Valvoline MaxLife ATF for the 5-speed transmission. The sooner the better.
ADDED: Your ATF filter is internal.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks very much for all of the input guys.

Based on responses here and looking at the carfax, here's what I plan to do right away:

Change transfer case fluid now and every 30,000 miles. Question on this. The manual calls for 80W-90. The dealer I called says they use 75W-85. Is there any reason I cant just use some Mobil 1 75W-90?
Install VCM Tuner II-ordered today
4X Transmission Drain and refill with Valvoline Maxlife ATF. Then drain and refill 1X every other oil change.
Change out rear diff fluid now and every 15,000 miles.
Replace Cabin Air filter
Replace engine air filter with a K&N
Change spark plugs
Replace serpentine belt
Replace PCV Valve
Suck out Brake Fluid and replace.
Suck out Power Steering Fluid and replace.

I just coughed up $1,500+ to have the timing belt and valve adjustment done on our Odyssey. On that vehicle did it the first time at about 138k and 2nd time at 245k and it was fine.
Also for the Odyssey just put on new pads and rotors all 4 wheels, 4 new tires, 4 new wheels, new upper & lower control arms on the rear, new plugs, one new coil pack, and new shocks and struts.
So after all that plus buying the Pilot I think I'll wait a bit on timing belt and valves for the Pilot and give my wallet a chance to stop smoking.
 

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If your not experiencing any transmission issues and your fluid is red and clean. Switching to Full Synthetic Valvoline MaxLife ATF can be done over a period of time. I bought my 2012 Honda Crosstour V6 5-speed with 86k miles, I just recently did my 3rd drain and fill. It's about to turn 100k miles. That will save you some pain. If you suspect any transmission shudder at all, you could always change over more quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Transfer Case Fluid. Question on this. The manual calls for 80W-90. The dealer I called says they use 75W-85. Is there any reason I cant just use some Mobil 1 75W-90?
 

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Transfer Case Fluid. Question on this. The manual calls for 80W-90. The dealer I called says they use 75W-85. Is there any reason I cant just use some Mobil 1 75W-90?
Me personally, I'd use it with no fears.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Apologies, I have a couple more clarifications on doing the Transmission Drain and Fill. The Honda Service News article from January, 2008 says:

1. Set the parking brake, and raise the vehicle on a lift.
2. Drain the trans, and refill it with Honda Genuine ATF-Z1. (I know, actually DWS-1 or Valvoline MaxLife) Refer to the applicable S/M or to ISIS for
details.
3. Start the engine, shift into Drive, and release the parking brake.
4. Push down on the accelerator pedal to raise the vehicle speed to 2,500 rpm.
• If the trans shifts past 2nd gear, go to step 5.
• If the trans won’t shift past 2nd gear, keep the engine speed at 2,500 rpm and shift from Drive to
Neutral and back to Drive. Then go to step 5.
5. Make sure that the trans shifts through all the forward gears and goes into torque converter lockup.
6. Let off the accelerator pedal, and press the brake pedal to drop the vehicle speed to zero. Shift into
Reverse and then into Neutral.
7. Shift into Drive, and repeat steps 4 thru 6 four more times.
8. Set the parking brake, and repeat steps 2 thru 6 two more times.
9. Drain the trans, and reinstall the drain plug with a new sealing washer.
10. Refill the A/T.

Two questions:

1. I don't have a lift. Are steps 3-8 safe to do on jack stands or not?
2. Step 8. Of course, I would shut the engine off before proceeding back to Step 2, but do I put the shifter back into P, or does it stay in N or D while doing the drain and refill?

Thanks again in advance.
 

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Based on responses here and looking at the carfax, here's what I plan to do right away:
Replace engine air filter with a K&N
Honda advises against using an oiled-media type engine air filter.
 

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I would just do one drain and fill, and then drive the car normally for a couple of days. Repeat in a week or so. If you want to compress the time frame, go ahead and use 4 heavy duty jackstands, and do all 3x in one session. Take care!
 

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I'd do 1 drain and fill on level ground, engine off in park. To drain an extra .3 or so out, you can jack up the driver side rear. You will get out 3.8 to 4 quarts this way, depending on how long you let it drip. As STMech stated, just drive it a few days and repeat. It's a 9 quart system, so your removing the old fluid by dilution and draining it out.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sounds good and safer. If it slipped off of a jack stand at 2500 RPM, it would end up in the laundry room. My daughter already tried parking the Odyssey in there when she first started driving so don't need a repeat.
 

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Spare yourself the cost and trouble of the K&N, along with the poorer filtering that it offers. A good paper filter will do just fine.

In spite of the hype and user testimonials about how much the performance and fuel economy spiked when they swapped in a K&N air filter, I call BS. They must be taking out a mud cake. The air filter is only an intake restriction when the throttle is close to full-open. The rest of the time, the throttle gets the honor of limiting airflow into the engine. K&N stakes their reputation on an oil-impregnated poly mesh media, where dirt in the air coming in manages to stick to the oil. Once the oil gets coated with dust and dirt, the rest of the incoming dirt passes right through. "Savings" happen when you decide to clean the filter yourself, getting the coated oil out of the clogged media with soap and water, solvent, and your shop vac or compressed air. Then you get to very evenly re-oil the media, adding enough to grab dirt but not so much that there's oil droplet carryover onto the airflow sensor.

Recommendation: You can buy two or three good conventional filters for the price of a K&N, not including the cleaning and re-oiling efforts. I spent about $15 on a name-brand premium filter this morning. At WalMart, on my way to the ice cream aisle. Short of having one drop from the back of a brown truck in my driveway, too easy. Plus, ice cream from the brown truck is usually melted by the time it hits the driveway. Easy choice, at least for me. I like ice cream.
 

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Sounds good and safer. If it slipped off of a jack stand at 2500 RPM, it would end up in the laundry room. My daughter already tried parking the Odyssey in there when she first started driving so don't need a repeat.
sounds like you need a bollard in front of your laundry room
 
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