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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So not sure if radiator on my 2007 Pilot is original or no? Is there a way to confirm it?

I can smell coolant after a drive, have recently done all fluids so will closely monitor coolant levels.

No strawberry milkshake(fortunately), planning to pressure test the system to detect the leaks.

Looking at few threads it seems like leaks starts from driver side bottom area. Are there other small coolant hoses which are prone to leak?
 

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Take that coolant smell as your first warning. There will be no obvious date codes to be readily found on an old radiator. Inspect for rusty ATF lines.
Radiator Metal
Size of the leak may be relative to coolant loss or necessary top up. I’d change it now before it gets worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Could it be a head-gasket too? Or coolant smell and slight coolant loss pointing towards a leak in the cooling system.

In terms of recommendations(consensus) for a radiator, is there any preferred one?Like Denso vs TYC vs something else?

Thank you @aggrex
 

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I have 202,000 miles on my original radiator. I thought it was an updated part which meant the strawberry milkshake was not a risk for later model Pilots. Am I mistaken?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have 202,000 miles on my original radiator. I thought it was an updated part which meant the strawberry milkshake was not a risk for later model Pilots. Am I mistaken?
That's exactly my question, if it was resolved after 2006 and onward? Of course, planning to replace the radiator but should I not drive at all or?
 

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That's exactly my question, if it was resolved after 2006 and onward? Of course, planning to replace the radiator but should I not drive at all or?
If the radiator is just leaking coolant I don't think it would be an issue. Certainly won't mix with transmission fluid. At least in my opinion I would think that would only happen if the area where the transmission line goes into the radiator was badly corroded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
At least, so far not seeing any reduction in coolant levels in the radiator as well as reservoir, but will closely watch it.

Is there any possibility of ATF being mixed with it and can I drive it for now?
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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RA minus 5% is a favorite site for the Denso radiator
That would be my recommendation as well.

Is there any possibility of ATF being mixed with it and can I drive it for now?
You never know, but hopefully OK for the short term you'll be OK. Keep a close eye on it. It's not going to get better.
 

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I have 202,000 miles on my original radiator. I thought it was an updated part which meant the strawberry milkshake was not a risk for later model Pilots. Am I mistaken?
With the data we can see from the forum (vs. what Honda knows from repair stats), it appears that 2005's are the higher-risk model. But that doesn't mean that other years are zero-risk.

This is a trip to Vegas, like letting your timing belt go past 105k. Your odds are good, but Honda's integrated transmission fluid cooler design fails catastrophically when it goes.

If I thought my radiator was leaking anywhere or if it looked as bad as aggrex's, I would replace it next weekend and consider an external transmission cooler as well. It's a cheap repair that prevents a very expensive one.
...

It's interesting that you don't seem to be losing coolant. That suggests a really small leak. If you're smelling it inside the car when you stop, I would check the heater system. If you only smell it when you step outside, check the upper and lower hoses, and your thermostat housing. Hoses and t-stat are easy fixes, but the access is a little awkward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oddly enough yesterday on a drive, smelled inside the car for the first time. Else have always smelled outside, will be very closely watching the coolant levels. Next thing is pressure testing the system.

But is it fair to not drive or should be fine for a short term? Of course no guarantee, more of assessing the risk. Thank you.
 

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Oddly enough yesterday on a drive, smelled inside the car for the first time. Else have always smelled outside, will be very closely watching the coolant levels. Next thing is pressure testing the system.

But is it fair to not drive or should be fine for a short term? Of course no guarantee, more of assessing the risk. Thank you.
As bad as my radiator appeared in the pic I never overheated (trip to Canada) nor had any issues other than needing to top up the coolant. Only when the radiator was removed the details became more apparent such as the ongoing slow coolant leak, radiator decay and the badly rusted ATF lines. Removing the hoses revealed another potential blowout: coolant was leaking from the decayed metal thermostat housing o_O
IMO I think you should be fine driving your Pilot for now as your problem is probably the 13 yr old radiator with coolant smells indicating some type of leak that should be addressed soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@aggrex thanks for the help. I don't think it's still the OEM radiator, its clean as a whistle from inside and front fins look in reasonable condition too, but again it might be the 2nd radiator on it's way out!!!!

I closely inspected thermostat housing and area, at least didn't see anything obvious. I suspect it's the radiator or one of the hose leaking around radiator. Top and bottom radiator hoses look in good condition too.
 

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And as a data point on the other end of the scale, when my radiator died, it was losing a little tiny bit for several days and then just up and emptied itself all of a sudden.

You get to ask yourself one question. Do you feel lucky? :D
 

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Oddly enough yesterday on a drive, smelled inside the car for the first time. Else have always smelled outside, will be very closely watching the coolant levels. Next thing is pressure testing the system.

But is it fair to not drive or should be fine for a short term? Of course no guarantee, more of assessing the risk. Thank you.
Since yesterday was the first time you smelled it inside, that suggests to me (and I'm not a Real Mechanic, like some folks here) that it's getting worse.

I suspect you're OK to drive, but no long trips and not if your lifestyle won't tolerate being stuck on the side of the road at some point until you fix it.

Do you feel lucky, indeed.

A question, vs, a suggestion: What can a pressure test really tell you? You already know the system is venting from somewhere. Pressurizing the top of the radiator is going to leak. How does it help you find the leak, other than pushing out coolant while you can look underneath for the drip?

Like I said, I'm not a Real Mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Please bear in mind, I got the Pilot almost a week ago too, so have no historical information in terms of the smell.

Pressure test, to actually see where's the leak coming from, hopefully not a hose leaking and boiling coolant off instead of the radiator.

Yeah got it for small and local trips, nothing for cross country :)
 

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I smelled coolant on both my 2007 pilot and 2006 ridgeline for years before my RL radiator gave out dumping all coolant and trans fluid. I got very lucky and didn’t get SMOD. The radiators I had in each had the horrible single-nut design for the trans cooler connection that also holds the trans cooler in place inside the plastic shell. Replacement radiators have a two-nut design for the trans cooler connection. Check to see if yours has just a single nut, and if so, replaced the radiator (~$150) before it potentially destroys your transmission (~$4000).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The radiators I had in each had the horrible single-nut design for the trans cooler connection that also holds the trans cooler in place inside the plastic shell. Replacement radiators have a two-nut design for the trans cooler connection. Check to see if yours has just a single nut, and if so, replaced the radiator (~$150) before it potentially destroys your transmission (~$4000).
Thank you, would you have a pic of it? Or you mean they'll be 2 nuts at the bottom - similar to this one? More Information for DENSO 2213226
 

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So not sure if radiator on my 2007 Pilot is original or no? Is there a way to confirm it?

I can smell coolant after a drive, have recently done all fluids so will closely monitor coolant levels.

No strawberry milkshake(fortunately), planning to pressure test the system to detect the leaks.

Looking at few threads it seems like leaks starts from driver side bottom area. Are there other small coolant hoses which are prone to leak?
I'm going to take a little different direction on this question.

You say that you have had the Pilot for a week, and that you just serviced the fluids.

It's possible that some coolant was spilled on the outside of the radiator. A little bit can make a lot of smell when the engine gets warm. Try hosing off the area and take a drive to dry things off. If the smell keeps coming back, then a leak is likely.
 

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Thank you, would you have a pic of it? Or you mean they'll be 2 nuts at the bottom - similar to this one? More Information for DENSO 2213226
Post 20 here you can see the compare and contrast pictures:


Edit: you will be hard pressed to find anyone that uses the old single nut design that causes the SMOD. In the post above I took a picture of my wife’s 2007 though, single nut. I believe the originals were denso, but denso updated the design. So any denso you buy now will likely be the two-nut design, unless somehow you get your hands on some NOS radiator from the factory that was never installed or something crazy. I put denso in both my RL and Pilot I believe. I got lucky when my RL failed, and didn’t get SMOD, just dumped all fluids and was stranded a mile from my friend’s shop where he was able to flat tow me with a tow strap. I did the radiator swap there that weekend. It only took maybe two hours including all the careful fluid extraction with a 12v suction pump. I overpaid for the denso radiator to get it from another mechanic’s worldpac subscription to show up by the weekend because I needed my RL. With the Pilot, I decided to do the job preventatively and got it cheap like the RockAuto pricing. I think it was cheaper via Amazon Prime for the free shipping though.
 
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