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Hi there!
I recently purchased a 2003 pilot. It was a one owner vehicle from California with 138,000 miles. From what I can tell, all previous maintenance was up to date, it was driven by a doctor and serviced at the Honda dealership. There is no rust underneath.
I am just wondering, what are the important things to have done? I went ahead and did a full transmission fluid change (the drain and fill x3 with H
135442
onda fluid) as everyone said. It honestly didn’t even look bad, as it had been done regularly before.
But I want to be on a maintenance schedule and feel confident about everything that I do with it. And really just make sure it’s as good as it can be. The dealership I bought it at (a highly rated, local, used car dealership) has offered to do all repairs at a low cost, it they come up.
I have my Haynes manual and have enjoyed going through things myself but just wanted the experts to weigh in. Also I would say the only issues are that, in the cold, it sometimes requires a second try with the key (that was at 0 degrees Fahrenheit).
Here are some pictures
135440
135441
 

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Hi there!
I recently purchased a 2003 pilot. It was a one owner vehicle from California with 138,000 miles. From what I can tell, all previous maintenance was up to date, it was driven by a doctor and serviced at the Honda dealership. There is no rust underneath.
I am just wondering, what are the important things to have done? I went ahead and did a full transmission fluid change (the drain and fill x3 with H View attachment 135442 onda fluid) as everyone said. It honestly didn’t even look bad, as it had been done regularly before.
But I want to be on a maintenance schedule and feel confident about everything that I do with it. And really just make sure it’s as good as it can be. The dealership I bought it at (a highly rated, local, used car dealership) has offered to do all repairs at a low cost, it they come up.
I have my Haynes manual and have enjoyed going through things myself but just wanted the experts to weigh in. Also I would say the only issues are that, in the cold, it sometimes requires a second try with the key (that was at 0 degrees Fahrenheit).
Here are some pictures View attachment 135440 View attachment 135441
That's about as nice of an 03 you could ever find. Really nice! Since it looks so nice, I'd hate to speculate. If it was maintained at the dealership, ask for service records and go from there.
 

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Given how clean it is, I suggest doing the front suspension wear parts (struts, linkages, tie-rod ends, LCA's, sway bar bushings) and rear shocks unless they were replaced at 100k. KYB shocks and struts are the general consensus go-to. I like ProForged LCA's, a search will get you lots of opinions. Honda parts for the rest.

Do that and it will drive like new, too.

Also, get rid of the temporary spare. Its probably too old to be safe, anyway. Buy a cheap wheel (junkyard to match what you have, or new steel) and put a full-size spare in there.
 

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Wow, the bottom of it looks pristine...just off-the-chart great. You can tell it spent it's entire life in California...no road salt, low humidity,etc.

I assume it had the recall work done on the tranny. My niece had an '03 which she bought new and she wasn't exactly the best when it came to maintenance and the poor vehicle still gave her well over 200K of reliable miles. It was finally put out to pasture when the factory original timing belt snapped....can't really fault the vehicle for her foolishness.
 

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I recently purchased a 2003 pilot. It was a one owner vehicle from California with 138,000 miles. From what I can tell, all previous maintenance was up to date, it was driven by a doctor and serviced at the Honda dealership.
I am just wondering, what are the important things to have done?
But I want to be on a maintenance schedule and feel confident about everything that I do with it.
1) If you don't have one, download a copy of the owner's manual:
Owners Manual for | 2003 Honda Pilot | Honda Owners

2) Check your VIN to make certain all of the recalls have been done, especially for the airbags:
Recall Information for Safety & Defects | Honda Owners Site

3) Try to find out when the timing belt was last replaced.
It's due for replacement every 7 years or 105K miles, whichever comes first.
If it fails, major engine damage can occur.
 

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2006 EX-L 4WD Nav
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What an incredible find. I would replace the headlights just so it looks 100% perfect since it's pretty much almost there. Any pics of the interior?

Definitely request service records to see if it's been done, but if not, the timing belt would be the big one. Should have been done around 100k, but for your Pilot that might have been many years ago.
 

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While on the topic of regular maintenance items to check the radiator should be due for replacement if it hasn’t been done. All tips in the quest for 200-300k
 

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Given how clean it is, I suggest doing the front suspension wear parts (struts, linkages, tie-rod ends, LCA's, sway bar bushings) and rear shocks unless they were replaced at 100k. KYB shocks and struts are the general consensus go-to. I like ProForged LCA's, a search will get you lots of opinions. Honda parts for the rest.

Do that and it will drive like new, too.

Also, get rid of the temporary spare. Its probably too old to be safe, anyway. Buy a cheap wheel (junkyard to match what you have, or new steel) and put a full-size spare in there.
I have Proforged outer tie rod ends on my '98 CRV which I installed over six years/51K miles ago and they're still in great shape....recommend them highly. I'm about to install their lower ball joints on both sides of the CRV in a few days after how well their tie rod ends have performed.

Proforged's LCA's would be my first choice when it comes time to replacing my LCA's again on the Pilot. I bought some unknown aftermarket brand from an ebay seller against my better judgement around three years ago....the compliance bushing was crap...the metal collar separated from the rubber within a couple of days and I installed them correctly...didn't tighten the bolts fully until it was under the vehicle's load. The real kicker is the lower ball joints in the factory original LCA's were still in great shape...still very tight with zero play. For that reason I never threw them away. I bought some Honda compliance bushings on Amazon and pressed them in with a special tool that purchased on ebay. I just made sure to align the bushings in the same orientation as the old ones before pressing them in. The tool pressed them in effortlessly...well worth the $40 I paid for it. The original arms will be getting reinstalled in a few days. I should add that the original LCA's had 180K on them when I swapped them out so IMO it's not a hard rule that you need to replace the entire LCA just because the compliance bushing is cracked and worn out. I've found Honda ball joints last a very long time as I'm just now replacing the original lower ball joints on my CRV and they have 284K miles on them. They're not worn badly but they're showing a little bit of play so it's time to replace them after 22 years.

My original outer tie ends on the Pilot are still tight as well. When it comes time to replace them I'll probably go with Proforged or Honda.
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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To quote The Tubes, "She's a beauty, a one in a million..."

Great advice above. I'd add to make sure the air cabin filter has been changed. Lots of places, even some dealerships, forget that.

Congrats! Where in the snow are you? Start getting rust treatment pronto. It won't stop it, it it'll slow it down. Do it now before the rusts starts to set in, not over the rust after it appears.
 

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Welcome to the forum. That’s a great find on your part. My 2005 has seen the snow twice (if driving on a road with snow on the side counts) and it doesn’t look as clean as yours underneath.
The valve adjustment is also one of the 105k mile service items as well as the spark plugs. Others have already mentioned the timing belt.
 

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I didn’t read this all. But does the 2003 have the SMOD (strawberry milkshake of death) radiator with a single nut on the transmission line connections on the radiator? My wife’s 2007 Pilot did (and I replaced preventatively) as did my 2006 ridgeline that actually failed on me (luckily not resulting in SMOD).
 

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Hi there!
I recently purchased a 2003 pilot. It was a one owner vehicle from California with 138,000 miles. From what I can tell, all previous maintenance was up to date, it was driven by a doctor and serviced at the Honda dealership. There is no rust underneath.
I am just wondering, what are the important things to have done? I went ahead and did a full transmission fluid change (the drain and fill x3 with H View attachment 135442 onda fluid) as everyone said. It honestly didn’t even look bad, as it had been done regularly before.
But I want to be on a maintenance schedule and feel confident about everything that I do with it. And really just make sure it’s as good as it can be. The dealership I bought it at (a highly rated, local, used car dealership) has offered to do all repairs at a low cost, it they come up.
I have my Haynes manual and have enjoyed going through things myself but just wanted the experts to weigh in. Also I would say the only issues are that, in the cold, it sometimes requires a second try with the key (that was at 0 degrees Fahrenheit).
Here are some pictures View attachment 135440 View attachment 135441
Hi there!
I recently purchased a 2003 pilot. It was a one owner vehicle from California with 138,000 miles. From what I can tell, all previous maintenance was up to date, it was driven by a doctor and serviced at the Honda dealership. There is no rust underneath.
I am just wondering, what are the important things to have done? I went ahead and did a full transmission fluid change (the drain and fill x3 with H View attachment 135442 onda fluid) as everyone said. It honestly didn’t even look bad, as it had been done regularly before.
But I want to be on a maintenance schedule and feel confident about everything that I do with it. And really just make sure it’s as good as it can be. The dealership I bought it at (a highly rated, local, used car dealership) has offered to do all repairs at a low cost, it they come up.
I have my Haynes manual and have enjoyed going through things myself but just wanted the experts to weigh in. Also I would say the only issues are that, in the cold, it sometimes requires a second try with the key (that was at 0 degrees Fahrenheit).
Here are some pictures View attachment 135440 View attachment 135441
That’s great congratulation. Can you send some pictures how a small bunch of wires are connected to the main fuse box passenger side under the hood. Thanks mouse eaten mine. Be careful if you park by bushy area. Chinese or Japanese pulled a fast one on us made the tape with soy product.
 

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Hi there!
I recently purchased a 2003 pilot. It was a one owner vehicle from California with 138,000 miles. From what I can tell, all previous maintenance was up to date, it was driven by a doctor and serviced at the Honda dealership. There is no rust underneath.
I am just wondering, what are the important things to have done? I went ahead and did a full transmission fluid change (the drain and fill x3 with H View attachment 135442 onda fluid) as everyone said. It honestly didn’t even look bad, as it had been done regularly before.
But I want to be on a maintenance schedule and feel confident about everything that I do with it. And really just make sure it’s as good as it can be. The dealership I bought it at (a highly rated, local, used car dealership) has offered to do all repairs at a low cost, it they come up.
I have my Haynes manual and have enjoyed going through things myself but just wanted the experts to weigh in. Also I would say the only issues are that, in the cold, it sometimes requires a second try with the key (that was at 0 degrees Fahrenheit).
Here are some pictures View attachment 135440 View attachment 135441

A very sweet looking Pilot. Low mileage. Was the timing belt/water pump done on time?

I'd make certain the differential and VTM4 unit are/were serviced.

Spark plugs should have been replaced around 100K, Were they?

I'd drain/flush the Power Steering circuit. Same for the Brake system and Coolling System. All should have been done, but were they?

You likely will be happier with the vehicles handling if you replace the front struts. Typically by 150K they are shot.
 

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Given how clean it is, I suggest doing the front suspension wear parts (struts, linkages, tie-rod ends, LCA's, sway bar bushings) and rear shocks unless they were replaced at 100k. KYB shocks and struts are the general consensus go-to. I like ProForged LCA's, a search will get you lots of opinions. Honda parts for the rest.
I recently bought an 04 Pilot with 170k miles, with all original suspension parts. Is it really necessary to replace all of the front end parts you listed above if it's handling fine and I see no signs of wear? Same thing with the rear shocks, they seem to still be good.
 

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Hi there!
I recently purchased a 2003 pilot. It was a one owner vehicle from California with 138,000 miles. From what I can tell, all previous maintenance was up to date, it was driven by a doctor and serviced at the Honda dealership. There is no rust underneath.
I am just wondering, what are the important things to have done? I went ahead and did a full transmission fluid change (the drain and fill x3 with H View attachment 135442 onda fluid) as everyone said. It honestly didn’t even look bad, as it had been done regularly before.
But I want to be on a maintenance schedule and feel confident about everything that I do with it. And really just make sure it’s as good as it can be. The dealership I bought it at (a highly rated, local, used car dealership) has offered to do all repairs at a low cost, it they come up.
I have my Haynes manual and have enjoyed going through things myself but just wanted the experts to weigh in. Also I would say the only issues are that, in the cold, it sometimes requires a second try with the key (that was at 0 degrees Fahrenheit).
Here are some pictures View attachment 135440 View attachment 135441
Cleaner then our 2005. Undercarriage looks especially rust free.
 

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I recently bought an 04 Pilot with 170k miles, with all original suspension parts. Is it really necessary to replace all of the front end parts you listed above if it's handling fine and I see no signs of wear? Same thing with the rear shocks, they seem to still be good.
The struts and shocks all the way around need to replaced. If any noise from the rear the swaybar bushings need to be replaced.. Simple job and make sure to use Honda bushings. I've got KYB struts but would use generic shock in the back. My front struts were leaking but my rears were not but I was getting cupping on the tires. Aside from shocks my frontend is intact and tight. Be sure the trans and transaxle have fresh fluid. If there's any pulsation in the front brakes,have the rotors resurfaced. My dealer does on car machining to eliminate the runout.
 

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If any noise from the rear the swaybar bushings need to be replaced..
Yes, same for front end clunking sounds at low speed over speed bumps, lowered curb entrances, potholes, etc.

I've got KYB struts but would use generic shock in the back.
No, use KYB.

If there's any pulsation in the front brakes,have the rotors resurfaced. My dealer does on car machining to eliminate the runout.
No, do yourself a favor and just get new rotors. Hardly worth the savings. Take it from a cheap bastard like me.
 

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Yes, same for front end clunking sounds at low speed over speed bumps, lowered curb entrances, potholes, etc.



No, use KYB.



No, do yourself a favor and just get new rotors. Hardly worth the savings. Take it from a cheap bastard like me.
I got four machining's out of the stock rotors. 200K. I've got Bosch Quietcasts now. I put some O'Reilly ceramic pads on and they ate up my rotors.The dealer machined the Bosch's and installed some stock pads. I've got 15K on the setup now. Smooth as glass. Between my senior discount and coupons it's really affordable and they do it right the first time. I have a good dealer but still farm out or do routine maintenance myself. Concerning the KYB's up front they deliver a stiffer ride over stocks. I've got Monroes out back. They and the KYB's have been on for 60K now. Locally here there's a 2007 EXL AWD loaded and garaged white Pilot 103K and dealer maintained. He wants too much money and I'm hoping he keeps going down. He knows what he has. It's immaculate. I'll keep the 2005 for a junk car. Everything new even with rock bottom financing is way too expensive.
 
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