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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All!

I’m new here and hoping for some guidance! We bought a 2009 Honda Pilot in December of 2017 from a reputable dealer in our area (Honda Marysville- Marysville, Ohio is where a lot of Honda is made in fact). At that time the Pilot had 90K miles on it, was a corporate vehicle for the first owner, and had been serviced by Honda Marysville by the second owner all throughout the rest of the time. It had never left Marysville according to the carfax. It is a Touring model and I just sold my other 2009 because it was 2WD (we honestly had no idea that the Tourings came in 2WD). It was the perfect car and with the low miles and record, I spent a little more than I wanted to. We then upgraded it and put in a remote start, DVD system, and put on new Acura wheels/tires (totaling $1,800).

My husband is a mechanic and we went to change the rear coils that literally had SNAPPED. He found rust in the unibody! So much rust that he could stick a screwdriver all the way through it! Mind you, this Pilot is CLEAN! No rust on the wheel wells or anywhere else on the body, not even the tailgate like they are known for!

After calling in and their body guy saying they won’t touch it because it’s rust and they can’t guarantee it, he also said there is no way it should have done that in a year and a half (basically from inspection). They had a corporate tech come look at it (well he didn’t even look at it until we forced him to) and basically Honda said they won’t do anything because of age.

The dealership is now saying they would only give me what they would get at an auction because they can’t sell it with frame damage and it’s not safe (morally they couldn’t sell it to anyone like I told them I wouldn’t do). I would guess it’s going to bring around $6K at an auction which would be a $10K hit in a year and a half!

What would you do?? Has anyone seen this before?
 

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The rear subframe to unibody cross member mounts are known problem areas. I have repaired the driver's side rear mount on my 2003. Details are posted in this forum.

The post is titled Rusted subframe mount repair.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
@STMech - The 03s and 05s are known for it, but not the 09s...and to have the body in perfect shape but the frame to be rusted? Doesn’t make sense...
 

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Please post pictures to demonstrate problems and help others.
Spring failures can happen on any brand. Volvo's BMWs seem prone to broken springs.
Your post also encourages people to fully and properly inspect any used car.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My husband is a mechanic and most definitely inspected it. There was nothing to alert us of this kind of rust or we absolutely would not have purchased. That’s what we can’t figure out! I thought I had attached pics, but apparently I didn’t. Newbie here, sorry!
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@STMech - The 03s and 05s are known for it, but not the 09s...and to have the body in perfect shape but the frame to be rusted? Doesn’t make sense...
My 2003, which is a Minnesota vehicle, has a near perfect body on street view. The road salt environment caused unibody rust, especially in the rear cross member. If your Pilot is rusting underneath, I would hazard a guess that salt and slush caused the problem. Rust never sleeps, and your '09 has had ten years of exposure.
 

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What would you do?? Has anyone seen this before?
I suggest that there are only three options available:

1. Keep driving it and hope nothing bad happens, knowing that you will eventually be disappointed.
2. Sell it now and take the financial hit.
3. Read the extensive material STMech has posted on addressing this problem, find a good welding / fabrication shop, and get them to fix it per STMech's guidance. It won't be inexpensive and it won't be guaranteed, but it will be less than the hit for selling it.

I would choose #3 and keep driving until some other terminal failure kills it.

Rust never sleeps, indeed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@Tacoma'03Pilot - definitely not #1! I have two young children and I’m not risking their safety over this! My husband is a welder and can repair it, I just find it quite frustrating that it became that serious in a year and a half and I would have to take about a $10K hit. Even the Honda body shop guy there said that wasn’t right for it to do that so quickly. E live in the middle of Ohio, not Minnesota or Wisconsin or even where there is Lake Effect Snow in Ohio. It’s been garage kept by us in that year and a half. So while I agree, rust doesn’t sleep, the quick time frame is what I’m concerned about (think back to the Tacoma issue).
 

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It’s been garage kept by us in that year and a half. So while I agree, rust doesn’t sleep, the quick time frame is what I’m concerned about (think back to the Tacoma issue).
I hear you. I've gotten the impression from the previous discussions of this failure that the most likely cause is water pooling in the low spot in the unibody. I don't think anyone knows for sure if the source of the water is condensation from the inside, leakage from the outside, spilled coffee or something else, but most of the people here that have experienced it are from places where salt is used on the roads. The age of the vehicles affected (mostly first gen Pilots, as you noted) suggests that corrosion probably starts when the car is new but takes years to become apparent when it finally penetrates the undercoating on the outside.

I agree with you that its not realistic for this to have happened entirely since you owned the car.

Its great that your family has the skills to fix it. Others on the forum who have done so seem to have ended up with a car that was better than new from a structural perspective. I hope that you get the same result.
 
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