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I recently bought a 2003 pilot for 250$ for a winter beater. The guy who had it said it overheated and thought maybe it was a head gasket. And that it also need valves adjusted. I pulled plugs all looked good besides one wet with gas which I’m assuming because of valve adjustment which I just finished. Put it back together and changed thermostat. Got it up to 200 degrees and neither fans come on. If I u plug the sensor on the bottom of the radiator and jump with a piece of wire both fans come on. So I would assume that the sending unit on the radiator is bad but I’m not familiar with Honda and was hoping some knowledgeable people on here could confirm it. Thanks
 

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Banned from wife’s 2005 Pilot LX
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Welcome to the forum.

That sensor must be unique to 2003/04 Pilots since I’m sure there isn’t one on the 2005 radiator.

I think your logic that the sensor has failed is sound since as you mentioned shorting across its leads causes the cooling fan to turn on.

I get most of the parts for my Pilot from:
 

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Agree that the sensor sounds like the issue. I replaced the radiator in my '04 a few months ago, and the new Denso unit did not come with this sensor. Wish I would've known beforehand as I had to get it back in service and re-used the old one. All good since. If I were you I would just go ahead and replace the radiator & sensor. Less than $150 in parts, 3-4 hour job.
 
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