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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
SUV was running a bit rough and had a shudder and a check engine light when accelerating hard going up a steep hill. Check engine light went away and was able to drive home fine (took it easy accelerating). When home I tried to read the codes but nothing was in the history (strange?). Noticed a crack air intake hose so replaced it 1st. Also I've NEVER replaced the spark plugs since owning the vehicle (got the vehicle with 80000kms/50000miles and currently mileage is 280000kms/174000miles) so decided to replace them with NGK iridium plugs ($60 CDN for 6).

Did this job 1st thing in the morning with engine cold. Went really easy with no big surprises. Only things I noticed was that the back (towards cabin) middle spark plug (#2) was almost loose when I removed the spark plugs. Also it probably had the most fouling (see attached picture) but honestly after 280000kms the spark plug condition wasn't too bad except #2 with cracked insulator and fouling (caused by VCM?). Other than that general wear on the spark was fairly even.

Here a picture of the spark plugs in order with top left being #1 and bottom right being #6.
 

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Sooooo, big question is: did yours run better after the plug replacement???

I have an '09 too, but only 80k miles. Ours seems to run fine, so I'm planning on a spark plug change at about 125k miles, or will do it sooner if it starts running rough. Was gonna do timing belt, WP, tensioner around then too....

What other mileages have owners had sparkplug or timing belt problems on this Pilot generation???
 

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You mention the fouled plug was taken from the middle on the rear side (closer to cabin) - that is cylinder #2 and one of the ones that is prone to fouling thanks to VCM. The good news is that the rest look pretty good, even more so when considering the mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Was running great. Much smoother than before (haven't driven enough to check mileage yet).

But... after a week of running perfect had a problem going up a steep hill on the way to the cottage. Same issue as before (shuddering, rough running), VTM-4 light came on and check engine light was flashing. This time read the code before turning off engine when home and got a P0304 (misfire cylinder #4). Read up and it seems that this may be caused by loose plugs. Removed ignition coils, checked spark plugs (one was really loose although I tighten 1/4 turn as NGK recommends, just didn't torque them), this time torqued them to about 15 ft/lbs, reinstalled ignition coils, reset check engine light and now runs perfect again. Hopefully that's it! Otherwise maybe the problem is the ignition coils which I can diagnose by switching the coils between cylinders.

I'll try to repost in a few weeks once I get new mileage and ensure things run fine.

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You mention the fouled plug was taken from the middle on the rear side (closer to cabin) - that is cylinder #2 and one of the ones that is prone to fouling thanks to VCM. The good news is that the rest look pretty good, even more so when considering the mileage.
Updated my original post. Thanks for clarifying the spark plug numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sooooo, big question is: did yours run better after the plug replacement???

I have an '09 too, but only 80k miles. Ours seems to run fine, so I'm planning on a spark plug change at about 125k miles, or will do it sooner if it starts running rough. Was gonna do timing belt, WP, tensioner around then too....

What other mileages have owners had sparkplug or timing belt problems on this Pilot generation???
Yep. Smooth as glass once replaced. Easy job to do but make sure you get the torque on the spark plugs correct (13 ft/lbs with no anti-sieze).
 

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I know this old but I think you guys may be able to help me with a similar issue where no one else seems to. I have a 2011 Honda Pilot, 156k mi which needed the spark plugs changed (cylinder 3 misfire and switched coils to make sure the code was the same). Had a friend change them then the same day and every day since then the car has had a delayed or slow start at least one to three times per day. Sounds the same but takes longer than it is supposed to to turn on. I can't help but feel it is related since it started the same day. I've used every resource and person that I am able to (cant afford dealership) to figure out the issue but no one seems to know. No codes either. Do the spark plugs need to be pulled back out and tightened again, not related or any ideas? At a loss and out of $ and the person who helped isn't anymore because they didn't know. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
An update...

20,000km later (at 300,000km or so) and car runs so smooth. Can barely hear it when stopped at a light. Still using Mobil 1 synthetic 5W20 so that probably helps. But never got the VCM muzzler so I have to check the oil every month or so and top it up with a quart or so.

Also drained and replaced transmission fluid with Valvoline Max life (red bottle). This stuff is recommended and much cheaper than the Honda stuff. Only done it once but will try to do it 2 more times before winter really hits hard in Ottawa. Much smoother shifts.

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I know this old but I think you guys may be able to help me with a similar issue where no one else seems to. I have a 2011 Honda Pilot, 156k mi which needed the spark plugs changed (cylinder 3 misfire and switched coils to make sure the code was the same). Had a friend change them then the same day and every day since then the car has had a delayed or slow start at least one to three times per day. Sounds the same but takes longer than it is supposed to to turn on. I can't help but feel it is related since it started the same day. I've used every resource and person that I am able to (cant afford dealership) to figure out the issue but no one seems to know. No codes either. Do the spark plugs need to be pulled back out and tightened again, not related or any ideas? At a loss and out of $ and the person who helped isn't anymore because they didn't know. Thanks!
Sorry. I never had this issue even when the spark plug was loose. Surprised you get no check engine light or something. Did you clean out the insides of the ignition packs in case it's a connection issue. I think I used some brake cleaner and then electrical cleaner and then maybe put some dielectric grease on the inside of the boots. Apparently that can make a big difference.

Does it only have trouble starting when cold or only then hot? That might mean something (connectivity).

Richard
 

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I'm not sure about the ignition packs since I wasn't the one doing it but I doubt it. He did use the dielectric and anti-seize. It is not consistent with the car being hot or cold either. Sporatic. Thx for replying.

I know this old but I think you guys may be able to help me with a similar issue where no one else seems to. I have a 2011 Honda Pilot, 156k mi which needed the spark plugs changed (cylinder 3 misfire and switched coils to make sure the code was the same). Had a friend change them then the same day and every day since then the car has had a delayed or slow start at least one to three times per day. Sounds the same but takes longer than it is supposed to to turn on. I can't help but feel it is related since it started the same day. I've used every resource and person that I am able to (cant afford dealership) to figure out the issue but no one seems to know. No codes either. Do the spark plugs need to be pulled back out and tightened again, not related or any ideas? At a loss and out of $ and the person who helped isn't anymore because they didn't know. Thanks!
 
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