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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So my 2010 Pilot (97k miles) was throwing a p3400 code several months ago. I checked the forums and they led me to TSB 11-033


and to check my oil level. It was 3.5 quarts low! First time ever being that low between oil changes. I topped it off and codes resolved. Next week or so I took the truck in for an oil change as it was due. I discussed the idea of updating the PGM-FI software per the bulletin and the service advisor preferred to have me monitor my oil level/consumption between this oil change and the next.

Further info, at the next oil change we were planning to replace timing belt and tensioner (it's leaking they said) as well.

So now I'm between those oil changes, maybe 40% on maintenance minder and I was a quart low (topped it off). I was driving home and the car started to not be as responsive on acceleration and was shuddering at idle, dark smoke out of exhaust too. Lights came on across the dash and I limped home. Ran code and I got p0301, misfire on cylinder 1.

Now I have concern over TSB 13-082, right? - 13-082 Honda Technical Service Bulletin

All signs pointing to VCM stuff.

The vehicle was purchased in 2010, then my grandparents purchased it used from the dealer, I'm thinking it was a lease return. I purchased it from them ~3 years ago. Either way, it's beyond the 8 years extended warranty for that TSB.

What steps do I take next? Pull spark plug on cylinder one to check for fouling myself, then put it back and get towed to dealer and discuss the TSB and what they might do for me? Pulling plug myself let's me see for myself if the plug is fouled per the TSB, not taking dealerships word for it.

I'm thinking it's best to have them service the plugs if there is any case to be built for support in a repair?

Perhaps they will just want to do plugs (and a software update?) and then monitor things? Is that a safe course of action?

Is my thinking off? What else should I do at this point? Haven't driven the vehicle since it began throwing the p0301.

I'm outside the 8 year window for the extended warranty. What approach are others taking or have taken in the same boat?
Thanks!
 

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I would take to dealership and have them make a case for you and see if American Honda will step in and pay for or pay a fraction of repairs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do we agree this should be towed there?

If there are no fouled plugs, then the TSB doesn't apply and I would be dealing with a normal repair myself, correct?
If there are fouled plugs, I need the dealerships support for repair subsidy, correct?

Do I need to worry about the dealer lying about the plugs being fouled or not? Should I verify what I see in the plug myself before engaging the dealer?

Others experience? This doesn't seem too uncommon from what I'm reading around here.
 

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Since your pilot is getting close to the 100k service which calls for timing belt and spark plugs replacement I would start with replacing the spark plugs now and inspect for fouled plugs and have them update the PGM-FI software. If your still having issues with oil consumption have them make a case for you and see what American Honda can do if anything. If they deny your claim get an estimate to see how much it will cost to replace the piston rings and timing belt all together since they are tearing down your engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
What should my order of operations be? I've read that some need to engage Honda of America first to get them to open a case/approve the investigative work. Others seem to say to engage the dealer first and have them help you with HOA.

I'm not sure which to start with because I don't know the extent of my issues. Could be just need to replace plugs, update PGM-FI and install VCM muzzler, then do timing belt, etc. in time.


In this thread and post, How bad is this engine ring/VCM/lawsuit issue, really?

Boom suggests that if you aren't covered by warranty to install a VCM disabler, get plugs replaced and monitor oil consumption.

-If I can't get HOA to help or support any repair, should I have dealer replace ONLY plugs to correct my p0301 and call it a day?
-Should I ask the dealer to let me know if Plug 1 is fouled?
+If it is, is there a course of action I should take?
+If it's not, is there a different course of action?

As I mentioned earlier, I planned to do my timing belt at my next oil change (few thousand miles from now). Should I keep that same plan for timing, or move it up for some/any reason?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Trying another follow up for advice.

First question, do you start with HOA or a dealership service department when in this scenario of potential issue and being beyond the 8 year extended warranty.

Second question, if I do have a larger issue but I only replace plugs and correct the cylinder 1 misfire issue and install a muzzler, what can I expect going forward? Is this an acceptable approach? Will that buy me 40/60/80k miles? Just drive on all six cylinders and monitor oil consumption?

Thanks to those willing to share their experience with this situation. I need to get my Pilot back up and running and don't want to take the wrong next step!
 

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Keep the muzzler a separate topic from the dealer until repairs are complete to ensure the best outcome from the HOA/dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sharing an update. Spoke to HOA, nothing they can do. Too far out of warranty. Bear in mind, I don't have a true diagnosis yet, but I just wanted to see what they might have to say or offer before I visit the dealership and determine extent of any issue.

Called my service rep at the dealer I work with and had a nice conversation. Explained where I was at with the new to me oil consumption and that the car was now throwing code for a misfire on cylinder 1 and I'm concerned TSB 13-082 might apply to me.

I asked the service rep if they were familiar with that TSB and they chuckled and were like 'oh yes, quite familiar'. They let me know that the current status of approach to repair for that TSB is to update PCM software (if needed) and then complete a spark plug replacement (one, or all plugs. up to me). Then they want to monitor the vehicle and see if a plug fouls again in the future. If it comes back, they investigate pistons, etc. They confirmed that my vehicle does indeed need the PCM software update, so that's potentially positive news for me. Could be plugs and computer update and I'm OK going forward.

Since my Pilot is 10+ years old with 98k+ miles on it, I asked if the issue were to happen again, do you HAVE to complete the piston repair work, or can you just continue along with spark plug replacements and monitor oil consumption as plugs continue to foul. They confirmed that you can totally proceed with that approach. I wanted to gauge whether, if the piston work were 'required', it would be worth investing the money in a vehicle as old as mine or can you continue with plugs and oil and just live with it.

So, to the dealer it goes tomorrow for six new plugs (I'm choosing to have them replace all so I have a clean slate of plugs at this point) and the software update (and an oil change, I'm at 30% on the MM so I'm going to increase my oil change frequency as others have mentioned they have done with vehicles of a similar age). Quoted approximately $450 for plugs and software update in case anyone is curious.

I'll drive that for a time after the change, see how things feel and if all is well get it back to the dealer for timing belt, tensioner, water pump, etc. as I'm due for that as well.

So that's my status, thought I'd share.

Others with similar situation where they will just monitor oil consumption and replace plugs as they foul as you go?
Is this the time where others have installed VCM muzzlers?
 

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If this is all on your dime. Don't take it to the dealer. Other than the oil being low, was it running poorly?
If not, forget the code for now. Add a VCM disabler and keep an eye on it.

I read all the time of people and shops changing all sorts of things- like chasing a tail.

If it's not running poorly, or misfiring, leave it alone!

All kinds of things can cause a misfire.

My 08 had all but cylinder #2 showing misfire a few weeks ago.
I cleared the code and did NOTHING. It was running fine.
Code has not come back yet.

I didn't chase my tail and thros loads of $$ at it because on a silly code light!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's running poorly. Shuddering during idle, weak acceleration. CEL and other lights on too.

Started it the other day and it continued. Started it again today and it was a bit smoother. I don't think I should continue driving on it in this state where it could go back to poor performance randomly on me at any point.
 

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I'd pass on the update, and disable the VCM asap.
Change spark plugs at the nearest trusted independent shop or pay double at the dealership. Ask for NGK Laser Iridiums spark plugs. Ask for your old spark plugs back. Post photos of them here.
143681
 
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It's running poorly. Shuddering during idle, weak acceleration. CEL and other lights on too.

Started it the other day and it continued. Started it again today and it was a bit smoother. I don't think I should continue driving on it in this state where it could go back to poor performance randomly on me at any point.
Get the CEL codes.
Post here.
Disable VCM.
Other things that can be done...
New Air filter.
Clean the MAF.
Inspect air intake hose for cracks.
Tighten clamps on intake hose.
Inspect spark plug tubes for oil. It may need valve cover gaskets, grommets and tube seals replaced.
Use fuel injector cleaner or a top tier 87 octane fuel.
Replace PCV valve.
After all the above, do long periods of highway speed driving.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK, I have a great local shop. Called them and we are ready to go with the proper NGKs for Friday. They will save and label the old plugs for me. @Nail Grease, was the suggestion to skip the software update because it's unnecessary due to the suggestion to disable VCM? Why bother updating if it's not something to be used?
 

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Thanks! P0301 is my only code.
Misfire of cylinder #1. Check for oil in the spark plug tube and the other things I mentioned in post #13 can possibly help remedy your misfire code. I'd also make sure full synthetic oil is being used. It is less likely to pre-ignite.
Has the timing belt been replaced?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
After driving a few short trips today, the CEL is no longer illuminated. I haven't scanned for codes again, but the 0301 has been in and out intermittently across the past few weeks.

I've been having oil changes done at the dealer with full synthetic.

I may pivot to having the shop check for oil in the spark plug tube for me and work through the things @Nail Grease mentioned in post #13. If there's oil, I'll replace plugs? If not worth it anyway due to age of vehicle and I'm not sure when/if plugs were ever done?

Timing belt and tensioner have not been replaced, but were planned for next oil change, so that will be completed in the next month or so.
 

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I've been having oil changes done at the dealer with full synthetic.
Only because there has been proof of Honda invoicing being vague, some believe they are receiving full synthetic when in fact they are getting synthetic blend. I saw an invoice today where item # 0020C-BAS-NOL = synthetic blend.
I may pivot to having the shop check for oil in the spark plug tube for me and work through the things @Nail Grease mentioned in post #13. If there's oil, I'll replace plugs? If not worth it anyway due to age of vehicle and I'm not sure when/if plugs were ever done?
Oil in the tube with the coil can cause misfires. It's not the only reason. I recommend replacing all plugs at the same time. Along with a valve cover gaskets, grommets and tube seals.
Timing belt and tensioner have not been replaced, but were planned for next oil change, so that will be completed in the next month or so.
If this Pilot has never had the timing belt water pump job done, I would cease driving it with a belt that is 11 years old with 97k miles on it. Sincerely.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks, @Nail Grease! Going in for full timing belt job tomorrow along with plugs. They will investigate oil in the tubes and we will do valve cover gaskets, grommets and tube seals if oil is discovered.

Since the car has been burning oil, I buy a few quarts of the honda oil when I'm there for a change and they are selling me full synthetic.
 

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Thanks, @Nail Grease! Going in for full timing belt job tomorrow along with plugs. They will investigate oil in the tubes and we will do valve cover gaskets, grommets and tube seals if oil is discovered.

Since the car has been burning oil, I buy a few quarts of the honda oil when I'm there for a change and they are selling me full synthetic.
I enjoy giving advice. Please know that the 11 year old timing belt needing to be changed was a curve ball in this discussion.
I've personally experienced the benefit of disabling the VCM. It does help lessen oil consumption. Having all 6 cylinders firing 100% of the time can help an engine recover. Since I DIY, it may cost me a few $100s to do everything mentioned in this thread, to try and save an engine. Timing belt water pump job, along with every thing else suggested here, is $2k to have it done for you. I know the advice given can work, if your engine is viable. I'd hate for you to spend $1200 on a timing belt water pump job, only to find out something is majorly wrong.
 
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