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Discussion Starter #1
We replaced the radiator on our Pilot at 105K to reduce the chance of transmission issues caused by coolant getting into the transmission fluid. In planning 205K maintenance with timing belt and such, would it make sense to replace the radiator again? I'm thinking so since the replacement was a Honda radiator and I've not heard of any design flaw in the original radiator being fixed.

Current 205K maintenance list:
  • Timing belt
  • Water pump (replace)
  • Engine mount (fix as one was found to be worn out)
  • Transmission flush (honda fluids only)
  • Differential flush
  • Serpentine belt
  • Spark plugs (replace)
  • Power steering flush
Is replacing the radiator again overkill? Other items to consider for the maintenance list?
 

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Sounds like a solid plan in the quest for 200k and beyond. Small price to pay for ensuring confidence in a known fail point.
 

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For me it would come down to if you are going to DIY or not, the condition of the vehicle, and how long you realistically plan to keep it. Honda dealers charge a premium (up to $400) for the Denso radiator, plus installation. Where RockAuto sells the Denso for $110.

If I were going to DIY, yep, absolutely. Paying a Honda dealership for their markup and labor? Nope.... not on a 200k, 15 year old vehicle.
 

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I replaced mine preemptively at 110k shortly before a full car of family over Christmas and anY vacation ie the one time something is going to break, all stores would be closed. 145k later no plans to replace it again.
My 05 was a very late in the model year build. My sense is that it was the early in model year cars that had radiator trouble.
 

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Isn’t the new radiator different and no longer allows such a failure to occur? If so it would be a waste of money. Basically unless the failure of a part will cause other things to fail (and cost thousands of dollars), I don’t believe in proactive replacement.
If the “new” radiators are still prone to mixing coolant and transmission fluid then I would proactively replace It. Otherwise just wait until it starts leaking.
 

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Isn’t the new radiator different and no longer allows such a failure to occur? If so it would be a waste of money. Basically unless the failure of a part will cause other things to fail (and cost thousands of dollars), I don’t believe in proactive replacement.
If the “new” radiators are still prone to mixing coolant and transmission fluid then I would proactively replace It. Otherwise just wait until it starts leaking.
Great point! How do we know what was done with a new or different radiator to correct the problems? I got LUCKY (didn’t know the issues) -ours failed less than a week after a 2k+ mile road trip at the ATF/radiator connection. Not sure if new radiator is any better than stock.
 

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What's the back story on this Honda radiator corrosion issue? Is the forum recommendation to use Denso or Spectra brand or generics? The metal PS line in my PIlot corroded then leaked but luckily the oem replacement was $28 :) so no need for off brands.
 

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I think it's a great plan. My 2012 Crosstour with 230k is due a timing belt change at 270k. If it makes it that far (No issues) I will change the radiator to see how far she will go. It's been changed once because we hit a Hog, LOL.
 

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I replaced the radiator in my 2005, due to a small external leak, with an OEM Denso radiator. The part number and/or revision was different compared to the original leading me to believe the issue with the internal failure has been resolved. I do not recall hearing of any pink milkshake failures on this forum after a 2005 radiator has been replaced. If my Pilot reaches 200k miles (currently at 116k miles) I will not replace the radiator again unless there is a visible issue.
 

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I noticed that the fitting materials changed from my original radiator. The original radiator had different metals - aluminum and brass? at least brass colored. My new one has similar metals. Wondering if dissimilar metals was the issue?
 

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Honda dealers charge a premium (up to $400) for the Denso radiator, plus installation. Where RockAuto sells the Denso for $110.

If I were going to DIY, yep, absolutely. Paying a Honda dealership for their markup and labor? Nope.... not on a 200k, 15 year old vehicle.
One way to split the difference is to get the Denso from Rockauto and have it installed by a trusted mechanic, if you're not into DIYing it. It's what I did.

That said, IIRC the problematic fitting has been changed and I also haven't heard of the new iteration having the same problem. I'd just leave it unless it starts leaking.

Also, note that you shouldn't flush the fluids you mention, but rather drain & fill.
 

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I'm at 225k with mine..its starting to leak now so i'm waiting for a heat wave so I can tear into it ... OEM rad in the shed $300 later
 

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why don't just add a trans cooler to avoid the mixing if a failure occurs? swapping radiators every 100k is tad bit overkill i think.... are you using coolant other than the honda blue?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I added a transmission cooler when I replaced the radiator. Does a transmission cooler prevent the issue mixing coolant and transmission fluid?

I'm using the coolant my trusted mechanic selects. For transmission and differential fluid, I've only been using Honda stuff.
 

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but even if you add an external transmission cooler, ATF is normally still flowing through the radiator. However, recent versions of even the OEM Denso radiator have upgraded the troublesome fitting, so you should be OK.

BTW, while Honda VTM-4 fluid is indeed the only thing to use for the rear differential assembly, many folks, myself included, have had very positive long-term experiences with Valvoline Maxlife ATF or Redline for a transmission that shifts well.
 

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If you bypass the tranny cooling portion of the radiator then there is no way for the pink milkshake to happen. But it will also take the tranny fluid longer to warm up on cold days if the tranny fluid bypasses the radiator, so there is a drawback.
 

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but even if you add an external transmission cooler, ATF is normally still flowing through the radiator. However, recent versions of even the OEM Denso radiator have upgraded the troublesome fitting, so you should be OK.

BTW, while Honda VTM-4 fluid is indeed the only thing to use for the rear differential assembly, many folks, myself included, have had very positive long-term experiences with Valvoline Maxlife ATF or Redline for a transmission that shifts well.
I honestly don't see the need for an external ATF cooler since its going through the radiator, unless your just really planing on putting a load on it for a long period of time.
 
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