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My 2012 Pilot just started making a loud knocking noise.I took it in to a local repair shop because I was afraid to drive it all the way to the closest dealership (40 minutes away). The mechanic told me he found metal shaving in the oil and that I need a new engine! :frown:

I have followed the maintenance schedule to the letter. I take it to the dealership for all oil changes/tire rotations and minor work. The only thing I took it to someone else for, was the timing belt and related work.

What did I do wrong?

Any advice? I am a little in shock.

Thank you,
Sherri
 

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I would probably have it towed to another nearby shop you can trust (or the dealer) and get a second opinion.

Assuming it does need it, hopefully whoever does it can diagnose what caused the failure. I don't think total engine failure is common at all on J series engines, there are some issues with the VCM but that results in a loss of compression and burning oil, not necessarily a total failure.

I doubt you did anything wrong, probably just a freak occurrence.
 

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Depending on ones perception of loud , it could be a valve adjustment is needed. I would imagine that something major would cause engine misfire. I would find another shop like mentioned , or the dealer. It may also be possible they can link the problem to the vcm issues and repair it for free.
 

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Even though it has 125k miles, I would contact American Honda Customer service to report the problem and see if Honda would be any help. First contact could be through your usual dealership.
 

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My 2012 Pilot just started making a loud knocking noise.I took it in to a local repair shop because I was afraid to drive it all the way to the closest dealership (40 minutes away). The mechanic told me he found metal shaving in the oil and that I need a new engine! :frown:

I have followed the maintenance schedule to the letter. I take it to the dealership for all oil changes/tire rotations and minor work. The only thing I took it to someone else for, was the timing belt and related work.

What did I do wrong?

Any advice? I am a little in shock.

Thank you,
Sherri
Hey there, did you ever figure this out? I’m going through the EXACT same thing on my (relatively low mileage) 09!
 

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Eds -- This member hasn't been in the forum since these posts in 2018, so it's unlikely you'll get a direct reply.

Although the engines are quite similar between your 2009 and the OP's 2012, there are some differences. Consider posting your question in the 2003-2008 Pilot or 2009-2011 Pilot forums.

All that out of the way, these engines very seldom have bottom-end bearing issues unless the engine is run low on oil, or there's an oil pump issue. There are recommendations for resealing the oil pump at every other timing belt service, for instance. The symptoms include oil in the timing belt area as a telltale. I've also seen more than a few not-Honda engines over the years that have amazingly clean oil in them, but have a bearing failure noise. After more discussion, it turned out that the engine was run low on oil, and the owner changed the oil in the hope that it would magically heal itself. Not saying anybody here does that, just saying that I've seen it especially in high-performance engines that might use a little more oil natively.
 
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Another key point I'd add to this is using the correct weight oil recommend by the manufacturer. A heavier oil takes longer to reach the main bearings on start up. Another reason to avoid the quick lube and DIY yourself. Least wise, if you must use these places, verify what's being used in your vehicle. I'd avoid economy priced oil filters. Change oil on time using a full synthetic oil.
 

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Eds -- This member hasn't been in the forum since these posts in 2018, so it's unlikely you'll get a direct reply.

Although the engines are quite similar between your 2009 and the OP's 2012, there are some differences. Consider posting your question in the 2003-2008 Pilot or 2009-2011 Pilot forums.

All that out of the way, these engines very seldom have bottom-end bearing issues unless the engine is run low on oil, or there's an oil pump issue. There are recommendations for resealing the oil pump at every other timing belt service, for instance. The symptoms include oil in the timing belt area as a telltale. I've also seen more than a few not-Honda engines over the years that have amazingly clean oil in them, but have a bearing failure noise. After more discussion, it turned out that the engine was run low on oil, and the owner changed the oil in the hope that it would magically heal itself. Not saying anybody here does that, just saying that I've seen it especially in high-performance engines that might use a little more oil natively.
I’m a little at a loss. We’ve taken care of the car, and I know the previous owner did too (we bought it from a friend). It’s a huge bummer to take it in for a noise we thought was related to the timing belt and then be told we need a whole new engine. This is the only Honda I’ve ever owned and I thought it was a good option based on all the great reviews. It feels like something freakish happened, and I just wish I could understand why.
 

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While your experience is poor this is the first I've ever heard of a J35 with bearing damage (and this is technically undiagnosed since he's basing that on his experience and not a teardown). I don't presume to accuse you of poor maintenance habits, so the only other source of main bearing failure on a J series has to be a material defect that is an exceptional occurrence.

My best explanation for why something like this could happen - these things just happen sometimes. I know people with German cars that have been amazing and Lexus that has been nothing but problems.
 

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It's certainly worth a little bit of teardown (drop the oil sump, inspect the bearings) to confirm the diagnosis before committing to a replacement engine.
 
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It's certainly worth a little bit of teardown (drop the oil sump, inspect the bearings) to confirm the diagnosis before committing to a replacement engine.
Thank you. I agree, will confirm before proceed with a new engine. This is something I don’t know, though: once there is metal in the oil, could the engine still be salvageable?
 

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Thank you. I agree, will confirm before proceed with a new engine. This is something I don’t know, though: once there is metal in the oil, could the engine still be salvageable?
It is unlikely the engine is salvageable with metal shavings in the oil. I would plan for the worst expense wise and hope for the best. Candidly, I would probably not put a motor, new or used, in a car with 125k miles. A used motor from a yard is a gamble as you have no idea what kind of maintenance it has had and the labor is as substantial as it would be to install a new motor. Plus, if the motor is bad in one of these cars, while anything can happen chances are, given how generally robust a J series v6 is, that there is other work the car will need. Stated differently, it’s a sign the car has been neglected, maintenance wise.

Talk to the shop that you use, preferably one that knows Hondas very well, and get their views on your options. They may have a reputable source for a used motor, or you may get lucky and find a low mileage motor from a yard at a good price.
 

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Engines can certainly be salvaged, depending on how much damage has been done. Oil gets filtered slightly at the suction screen in the sump, then better as it passes through the filter. Cut the filter open (use a filter cutter, looks like a big pipe cutter with sharp wheels), and lay the paper media out flat under a good light. You'll get an idea how much metal is in there. I'm not suggesting that serious oil shavings don't deserve a full disassembly and cleaning of block and heads to get shavings out. But a relatively easy rod bearing noise may not demand that. Again, depending on the amount of metal loose in the system.

Reminders: Rod bearings fail before main bearings, thanks to the way oil flows through the crankshaft. Our engines don't have hydraulic lifters, so don't suffer from some of the oil-flow afflictions that hydraulic-lifter engines might with dirty/contaminated oil. We do have engine-oil hydraulic actuators for VCM in the cam boxes, though, that are very sensitive to particle-contaminated oil. You can remove rod bearing caps and inspect individual rod bearings one at a time after removing the oil sump. Look for metal particles in the cam boxes after removing the intake plenum and the cam covers. Check the valve clearances. These first steps are targeted at identifying the source of the noise and the metal found in the sump.
 
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