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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Long time reader, first time poster (just joined). Sorry for the long post, but thought I'd share the full history.

We bought a 2012 Pilot EX-L RES back in September of 2011 with 3 miles on it - right off the truck. We now have about 89k miles. It's been reasonably reliable, but lately we've had to put some money into it, more than I was expecting. It's our 3rd Pilot and 7th Honda.

Items that I have replaced due to breaking or just normal maintenance (most work done at a local trusted mechanic, not dealer):
  • Front bushings replaced at 35k miles, just one month out of warranty. Honda did 90% goodwill and then full refund after they issued the extended warranty.
  • Alternator replaced at 63k miles
  • Front struts at 73k
  • Both front axles at 76k
  • Front rotors replaced with performance aftermarket, rear rotors turned, and new brake pads all around at 76k. No more warping and pulsing when braking down hill!
  • Power steering hose o-ring replaced due to a leak at 76k.
  • TSB 14-078 flash applied at 76k, at my cost out of warranty. Had no idea about it until last year.
  • Timing belt, water pump, spark plugs, fuel injector cleaning, new terpentine belt, coolant change at 82k (we live in AZ and are supposed to follow severe schedule due to heat. Didn't want to have a timing belt break)
  • Rear shocks replaced at 82k
  • Rack and pinion boot replaced at 82k
I have always bought Hondas because they are "reliable", but this Pilot has not really lived up to it lately.

I've been chasing a weird shudder on acceleration between 20-30 mph (blamed on torque converter), a vibration that comes and goes on the freeway (blamed on tires), and sluggish acceleration (no cause determined). I've taken it to a few different places and everyone tells me it drives fine and they can't find any issues. I've been dreading something going wrong with the transmission and just been driving it until something breaks or becomes an obvious problem. Since I have driven it new, I can tell it drives differently, but someone else just getting in may not notice the things I can.

Recently, it started shifting kind of weird on a long road trip and then started downshifting very hard. Again, everything checks out but one place mentioned the engine mounts might be ready to be replaced, so I started looking into that and have found that it's common to replace these mounts after 4-5 years and before 100k miles. In researching it some more, I feel that those 3 issues I've been chasing could be due to 8 year old, 89k mile worn out motor mounts.

My mechanic said to find them cheaper online and he'll install them. So I found new in the box OEM Honda front and rear active mounts from a reputable seller on ebay for $249 each. The seller has excellent feedback and has sold many of these and has many other Honda items for sell. I suspect it's someone who works at a dealership or has access to get these at wholesale and doesn't add much of a markup. We shall see. I also found the other two mounts at a local dealer reasonably priced.

Anyway, I should have all 4 of these installed in the next week or so and will report back to see if they solve all of the weird things I've been seeing.

Anyone else with similar issues or see a big improvement after changing the mounts?

ETA: I've also been seeing poor gas mileage and a pulling to the right at times. Alignment is good and had spark plugs changed and throttle body cleaned. Hoping that all of these little things are just symptoms of motor mounts.
 

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Have you been changing the trans fluid frequently? I’ve found that to help a lot for anything weird transmission wise. I’ve joked that the transmission on this thing feels like it’s made of glass. I’m not impressed... but supposedly they’re pretty reliable. Next time I think we’ll just get a German SUV and deal with REAL reliability issues, but at least I’d enjoy driving it. Our 2013 has only had a few minor issues:

AC Noise TSB
Pulling Brakes (go aftermarket)
Compliance bushings

Otherwise no issues so far. If you want to see some real nightmare issues go check out the various domestic forums. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
briantii, yes, I've changed the fluid at 30k, 60k, and then again at 76k to make sure because I thought it was a transmission issue. Nothing has changed it.

I dropped off all 4 mounts this morning and should have the vehicle back either late today or Monday. My mechanic is saying it's a 9 hour job (about $900 labor) for all 4 mounts, but I suspect that's based on the book hours for each individual mount. I'm hoping they gain some economy of scale by doing all 4 at once that knocks off an hour or two for all of them. I figure they only have to support the engine once, take off some components once, get the tools out once, etc. instead of having to do it 4 times.

Also, the mounts I got from ebay for $249 each were in fact brand new in the box, genuine Honda OEM mounts. I have no idea how that seller is doing it with free shipping fedex ground (they aren't light), but it makes it a little less painful for changing them all.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Also, wanted to add that I've ordered the VCMTuner II. I'll install that and hope to get much better life on the motor mounts and better performance overall.
 

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i have a simalar issue - interested to see your results - the transmission place just this week said they think my vibration around 2200-2500 rpm is a mount somewhere.
 

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Ugh, we’ll let us know how it turns out. Hopefully they help significantly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I got the Pilot back today and only had a short drive home on congested local streets during rush hour. But in the short testing I could do, it seems the mounts have helped tremendously.

The hard downshift is completely gone. It shifts very smooth now. So I'm confident a mount was the issue

The sluggish acceleration may be gone, too. But between the heavy traffic and it being 107 degrees out, I can't really tell what the acceleration will be. But it did seem a bit quicker off the line and more responsive in general.

Only time will tell if my mileage improves again.

Also, I'll be taking it on the freeway tonight so I'll know if the high speed vibration and pulling are gone. It was very smooth on the way home and there were times before that I could feel vibration at these speeds on this same road, so I'm hopeful that issue is gone as well.

The shudder from 20-30 has reduced significantly as well. It was pretty noticeable before, but now I could barely feel it. I'll need more time to see if it's actually gone and I'm just feeling normal vibration or if there is something else causing it (like the torque converter). VCM kicking in and out was nearly imperceptible.

My mechanic said the front mount definitely looked bad, but the others didn't seem too worn. I just wanted to replace all 4 to be sure. It cost me $620 for all 4 mounts, plus $773 for labor to replace them. They also adjusted my parking brake for free as it was going all the way to the floor.

Anyway, for $1400, to have all four mounts replaced with brand new Honda OEM mounts, I'm pretty happy.

We are taking our son to college on Wednesday, so I'll have an even longer drive through some hilly area (going from Chandler, AZ to Embry Riddle in Prescott, AZ). I'll wait until I return to put on the VCMTuner II. I didn't want to change too many things at once right before a road trip. I'm not thrilled that I only have the vehicle back for one day before a trip after major work, but it seems to be driving well now. It will also give me time to compare how it was driving on VCM with old and new mounts and then again with it disabled.
 

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I got the Pilot back today and only had a short drive home on congested local streets during rush hour. But in the short testing I could do, it seems the mounts have helped tremendously.

The hard downshift is completely gone. It shifts very smooth now. So I'm confident a mount was the issue

The sluggish acceleration may be gone, too. But between the heavy traffic and it being 107 degrees out, I can't really tell what the acceleration will be. But it did seem a bit quicker off the line and more responsive in general.

Only time will tell if my mileage improves again.

Also, I'll be taking it on the freeway tonight so I'll know if the high speed vibration and pulling are gone. It was very smooth on the way home and there were times before that I could feel vibration at these speeds on this same road, so I'm hopeful that issue is gone as well.

The shudder from 20-30 has reduced significantly as well. It was pretty noticeable before, but now I could barely feel it. I'll need more time to see if it's actually gone and I'm just feeling normal vibration or if there is something else causing it (like the torque converter). VCM kicking in and out was nearly imperceptible.

My mechanic said the front mount definitely looked bad, but the others didn't seem too worn. I just wanted to replace all 4 to be sure. It cost me $620 for all 4 mounts, plus $773 for labor to replace them. They also adjusted my parking brake for free as it was going all the way to the floor.

Anyway, for $1400, to have all four mounts replaced with brand new Honda OEM mounts, I'm pretty happy.

We are taking our son to college on Wednesday, so I'll have an even longer drive through some hilly area (going from Chandler, AZ to Embry Riddle in Prescott, AZ). I'll wait until I return to put on the VCMTuner II. I didn't want to change too many things at once right before a road trip. I'm not thrilled that I only have the vehicle back for one day before a trip after major work, but it seems to be driving well now. It will also give me time to compare how it was driving on VCM with old and new mounts and then again with it disabled.
Long time reader, first time poster (just joined). Sorry for the long post, but thought I'd share the full history.

We bought a 2012 Pilot EX-L RES back in September of 2011 with 3 miles on it - right off the truck. We now have about 89k miles. It's been reasonably reliable, but lately we've had to put some money into it, more than I was expecting. It's our 3rd Pilot and 7th Honda.

Items that I have replaced due to breaking or just normal maintenance (most work done at a local trusted mechanic, not dealer):
  • Front bushings replaced at 35k miles, just one month out of warranty. Honda did 90% goodwill and then full refund after they issued the extended warranty.
  • Alternator replaced at 63k miles
  • Front struts at 73k
  • Both front axles at 76k
  • Front rotors replaced with performance aftermarket, rear rotors turned, and new brake pads all around at 76k. No more warping and pulsing when braking down hill!
  • Power steering hose o-ring replaced due to a leak at 76k.
  • TSB 14-078 flash applied at 76k, at my cost out of warranty. Had no idea about it until last year.
  • Timing belt, water pump, spark plugs, fuel injector cleaning, new terpentine belt, coolant change at 82k (we live in AZ and are supposed to follow severe schedule due to heat. Didn't want to have a timing belt break)
  • Rear shocks replaced at 82k
  • Rack and pinion boot replaced at 82k
I have always bought Hondas because they are "reliable", but this Pilot has not really lived up to it lately.

I've been chasing a weird shudder on acceleration between 20-30 mph (blamed on torque converter), a vibration that comes and goes on the freeway (blamed on tires), and sluggish acceleration (no cause determined). I've taken it to a few different places and everyone tells me it drives fine and they can't find any issues. I've been dreading something going wrong with the transmission and just been driving it until something breaks or becomes an obvious problem. Since I have driven it new, I can tell it drives differently, but someone else just getting in may not notice the things I can.

Recently, it started shifting kind of weird on a long road trip and then started downshifting very hard. Again, everything checks out but one place mentioned the engine mounts might be ready to be replaced, so I started looking into that and have found that it's common to replace these mounts after 4-5 years and before 100k miles. In researching it some more, I feel that those 3 issues I've been chasing could be due to 8 year old, 89k mile worn out motor mounts.

My mechanic said to find them cheaper online and he'll install them. So I found new in the box OEM Honda front and rear active mounts from a reputable seller on ebay for $249 each. The seller has excellent feedback and has sold many of these and has many other Honda items for sell. I suspect it's someone who works at a dealership or has access to get these at wholesale and doesn't add much of a markup. We shall see. I also found the other two mounts at a local dealer reasonably priced.

Anyway, I should have all 4 of these installed in the next week or so and will report back to see if they solve all of the weird things I've been seeing.

Anyone else with similar issues or see a big improvement after changing the mounts?

ETA: I've also been seeing poor gas mileage and a pulling to the right at times. Alignment is good and had spark plugs changed and throttle body cleaned. Hoping that all of these little things are just symptoms of motor mounts.
The timing belt/water pump is one of the joys of Honda V6 ownership, we all get to shell out for those if we keep them long enough
 

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I'm in Mesa and have a 12 touring 4WD with 64k miles,, the A/C in the pilot just sucks gobs of RPMs from the engine. keep the current MPG view open on the readout, and turn off the a/c temporarily when accelerating from a stop and you can immediately notice the difference. unless you're driving 65 or less with the cruise on, it's going to cause an additional hit. i rarely get 20mpg in summer
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The timing belt/water pump is one of the joys of Honda V6 ownership, we all get to shell out for those if we keep them long enough
Yep, it's one of the reasons my new vehicle is a 2018 Mazda 6 Signature with the 2.5T. No timing belt in most of the 4 cylinders out there. I'm sure the new Accord 2.0T is the same. I really like the torque of these little 4 cylinder turbos, too!

I'm in Mesa and have a 12 touring 4WD with 64k miles,, the A/C in the pilot just sucks gobs of RPMs from the engine. keep the current MPG view open on the readout, and turn off the a/c temporarily when accelerating from a stop and you can immediately notice the difference. unless you're driving 65 or less with the cruise on, it's going to cause an additional hit. i rarely get 20mpg in summer
Yeah, my mpg has been down to 14-15 mpg, though, when it was usually around 17-18. We'll see how it does on this road trip. The AC does suck the power out of it!

I was able to drive it on the freeway last night and it still had some vibration. I'm not sure if that's tires or if the VCM still makes enough vibration that I am now in tune with it and can sense it. We'll see once I put on the VCMTuner if it goes away or if a different road surface is all it needs. It wasn't bad, just that I could notice it was a little shaky.

It was also still pulling to the right, but only on the freeway. I'm wondering if that was just the tilt of the freeway. I'll be watching for that, too.
 

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i installed the VCM tuner II on our 2013 and it's been perfect. You will like it. Our city MPG has not changed at all and I think it might have gone up a little on the highway - go figure.

I'm intrigue by your post - I might do my front motor mount as well if that is the one that gets most stressed - we bought out Pilot at 83k and by 84k it started doing the vibration thing - a local tranmission company that's been in business for 40 years drove my car all over and feels it's a mount but can't pinpoint which one.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
So I thought I would update after driving for a month with the new mounts and VCM Tuner.
  • It still seems to shift OK now, but sometimes it does have some hard shifts. Might just be the nature of the beast.
  • The vibration on the freeway is still there, just as bad as before. It comes and goes and still have no idea what it is.
  • The shudder from 20-30 mph is still there. I assume torque converter.
  • Sluggish acceleration is still an issue.
  • I like how the VCM Tuner works. Wish I had it earlier before I started having these other issues.
At this point, we barely drive it and don't want to replace it since it's paid off. We take it on road trips mostly or short errands around town where we need the cargo room. I'm just driving it until something finally breaks and then determining if it's worth it to get it fixed or just go trade it in at that point. I don't really enjoy driving it anymore even though it meets our needs for cargo room and people room on long trips. It's just not smooth and I have a small worry in the back of my head that it's going to strand us on a trip even though my mechanic says he'd trust it with his family on a road trip across the US.

The other issue with replacing it is what to replace it with. With one child gone to college and two at home, we don't need the room of a 3 row SUV often anymore. But we are still in the "in between" phase where we do occasionally need it. We don't want to go get a brand new 3 row SUV when we really only need that space a handful of times a year, and then soon, not at all. I'm hoping it will get us through next spring and then we'll really know what size of vehicle to get. There's not much between the larger 3 row SUV and smaller 2 row SUV. The 2 row SUVs are too small for us, as we'd like more room behind the seats for luggage on our long road trips. I'm hoping Mazda comes out with their CX-7/8 which may slot right between the CX-5 and CX-9. Honda is no longer an option for me as I don't trust them to give me a vehicle that will last.
 

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You should take a look at the Kia Telluride or Hyundai Palisade. I haven't seen one in person yet, but from the reviews online and the Youtube walk-around videos it seems like a pretty awesome 3-row SUV. Kia/Hyundai quality has improved significantly in the last few years and some would argue is equal to or better than the current Honda/Toyota quality levels.


So I thought I would update after driving for a month with the new mounts and VCM Tuner.
  • It still seems to shift OK now, but sometimes it does have some hard shifts. Might just be the nature of the beast.
  • The vibration on the freeway is still there, just as bad as before. It comes and goes and still have no idea what it is.
  • The shudder from 20-30 mph is still there. I assume torque converter.
  • Sluggish acceleration is still an issue.
  • I like how the VCM Tuner works. Wish I had it earlier before I started having these other issues.
At this point, we barely drive it and don't want to replace it since it's paid off. We take it on road trips mostly or short errands around town where we need the cargo room. I'm just driving it until something finally breaks and then determining if it's worth it to get it fixed or just go trade it in at that point. I don't really enjoy driving it anymore even though it meets our needs for cargo room and people room on long trips. It's just not smooth and I have a small worry in the back of my head that it's going to strand us on a trip even though my mechanic says he'd trust it with his family on a road trip across the US.

The other issue with replacing it is what to replace it with. With one child gone to college and two at home, we don't need the room of a 3 row SUV often anymore. But we are still in the "in between" phase where we do occasionally need it. We don't want to go get a brand new 3 row SUV when we really only need that space a handful of times a year, and then soon, not at all. I'm hoping it will get us through next spring and then we'll really know what size of vehicle to get. There's not much between the larger 3 row SUV and smaller 2 row SUV. The 2 row SUVs are too small for us, as we'd like more room behind the seats for luggage on our long road trips. I'm hoping Mazda comes out with their CX-7 which may slot right between the CX-5 and CX-9. Honda is no longer an option for me as I don't trust them to give me a vehicle that will last.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You should take a look at the Kia Telluride or Hyundai Palisade. I haven't seen one in person yet, but from the reviews online and the Youtube walk-around videos it seems like a pretty awesome 3-row SUV. Kia/Hyundai quality has improved significantly in the last few years and some would argue is equal to or better than the current Honda/Toyota quality levels.
Yes, we were very close to purchasing a loaded Palisade a few months ago. But then when we were talking pros/cons, my wife asked "when will we actually drive it?" It was at that moment that we realized having a large payment for a vehicle that gets little use with possibly more room then we will need in a year was foolish. It also was in such high demand with low supply that they weren't dealing on it at all. Maybe when we are ready and the prices come down to normal we'll look at it again. We were also looking pretty hard at a Mazda CX-9 but it's rear head room was a little too tight for our 6'1" son.

Once the spring rolls around, we'll see where we are at. I was just looking at the Hyundai Santa Fe online today and it's also nice. The big thing for us is determining whether we need the 3 rows at all. The frustrating part is there aren't many SUVs that have 2 rows AND have a good amount of cargo room. The Santa Fe looks like it might fit that well. The other thing that's nice about Hyundai is the 10 year/100k mile warranty. If my Pilot was a Hyundai, all of my issues would still be getting fixed under warranty! The irony is I probably wouldn't actually need it, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Just wanted to give an update on a few things I've found over the last month.

I switched to using only Chevron 87 gas for the last several tanks. We then took it on a few long road trips, over 1000 miles to LA from Phx and to Prescott from Phx.
  • The sluggish acceleration does seem to be better. I'm not sure if it's the Chevron gas cleaning things up, the cooler weather, or the long road trip with VCMTuner allowing the Chevron gas to clean up some dirty cylinders from the VCM. It's not perfect, but it does seem a lot better. When it feels sluggish now, it almost seems like it's in the wrong gear and lugging when accelerating. This happens more when coasting and then giving gas to accelerate, like coming up to a red light that turns green and then going. It just seems like it's in the wrong gear and doesn't want to downshift at times. If I let off the gas and then give it more gas, I can sometimes get it to downshift, but that's not a smooth experience for my passengers.
  • The vibration is more prevalent on inclines at high speeds. If I'm going 75+ and start going up even a slight hill, the vibration is worse. If I let off the gas the vibration almost seems to go away. On the flip side, I can be going 75+ down hill coasting and it's smooth as can be. If I give a little gas while going downhill I can sometimes get it to vibrate. This tells me it's not tires or wheels and more likely axles or suspension related. It just seems when it's under more load is when the vibration happens.
I've settled in on keeping it for a while now. I can live with the vibration, I've just kind of tuned it out and admitted defeat for now. :)

Since I've had the axles recently replaced, and the vibration happened with the original axles, I don't want to have my mechanic do a warranty replacement on them to find that they're not the issue.

Would something with the front suspension cause a vibration like that? I can feel it in the steering wheel AND my seat. When it got bad, my wife could feel it in the passenger seat and I could see the gauge cluster and center console vibrating. Could the transmission/torque converter cause vibrations like this under load?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I never really got a 100% confirmation that they were bad, just a suggestion that some of the issues I was having could be due to old worn out mounts. After researching on here and the web I saw it was a common problem and my Pilot was at both the mileage and age that it wasn't out of the question. Since I was able to get all of them replaced for a "reasonable" price, I just went ahead and did it. My mechanic did say the front mount looked worn out when he removed it, but the others weren't bad.

I did see that the engine moved in the bay under load while doing a brake stand (i.e. car in drive/reverse and foot on the brake and gas). But even with the new mounts it still moves more than I would have expected it to.

The bigger issue was the hard downshifting and that seems to be mostly eliminated.
 

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Deffenty
Those look like generic ones. I wouldn't trust them with the active mounts that the pilot requires.

This is where I got mine:
Same part for front and rear?
 
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