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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks, first post in this forum. I did try a search in this specific section but did not come up with useful results. To add to the complexity of this matter, I am trying to help my sister in-law with this remotely, so my input is 2nd hand from her over the phone - please be patient.

Here is the context: 2nd Owner 2012 Honda Pilot EX-L V6 4WD (non-us Market). 210K Kilometers shown. Mostly urban driving use. Vehicle located in Argentina.

The car has received regular service/maintenance from a Honda Dealership, and had some repairs done at an independent shop (I'll have to research more on that - believe it has something to do with a misfire problem). Other than that it's been mostly trouble free.

According to the driver/owner (sister in-law), in early 2020 she started seeing the Oil Level Indicator message pop up while she was driving. Stopped at gas station, checked level - shown normal on dipstick, continued driving. From that time on this occurrence became more frequent, but according to her still at random times and without a pattern or condition to help identify the issue. Oil level remains good and is regularly changed (10K Km intervals).

I am inclined to believe this is a sensor issue, but have absolutely no way of knowing where to even start looking. If anyone has a thought or idea of what possible list of troubleshooting I can tell her to pursue, that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Oil pressure would be my concern. Is there a check engine light on? Is the engine running smoothly? Hopefully it's just a oil pressure sensor.
 

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Wasn't aware the '12 Pilot had an oil level sensor. you sure it wasn' an Oil Pressure warning? I would have someone verify oil pressure manually with a gauge. At warm idle, cruising, with and without VCM engaged.
 

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Replace fuse 15 (7.5A) in the auxiliary under-hood fuse-relay box. The owners manual has a picture that shows the location of this fuse box under the hood. A poor connection at that fuse will trigger the warning intermittently. IIRC there's a diagnostic trouble code that's stored with that warning. A fault in the AC condenser fan relay may also trigger the warning, as it shares the fuse.

There are some related functions around VCM solenoids that MAY also trigger that warning. The only real diagnosis is to recover all the fault codes, and go through them in the order they were recorded.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oil pressure would be my concern. Is there a check engine light on? Is the engine running smoothly? Hopefully it's just a oil pressure sensor.
Engine runs fine, no performance issues reported. No CEL.

Wasn't aware the '12 Pilot had an oil level sensor. you sure it wasn' an Oil Pressure warning? I would have someone verify oil pressure manually with a gauge. At warm idle, cruising, with and without VCM engaged.
I must have incorrectly interpreted her statement. Asked her again and she said that the light shaped like the outline of an oil can comes on in RED, accompanied by another light that reads "Check Oil Level" comes on in YELLOW.

Replace fuse 15 (7.5A) in the auxiliary under-hood fuse-relay box. The owners manual has a picture that shows the location of this fuse box under the hood. A poor connection at that fuse will trigger the warning intermittently. IIRC there's a diagnostic trouble code that's stored with that warning. A fault in the AC condenser fan relay may also trigger the warning, as it shares the fuse.

There are some related functions around VCM solenoids that MAY also trigger that warning. The only real diagnosis is to recover all the fault codes, and go through them in the order they were recorded.
This is an easy enough task for her to tackle (I hope), so I'll tell her to do this and see where this leads. I know she has a shop near her house that can scan the codes. That should give us good input to understand what to go after next.

Thanks all for the input. I'll get back with an update soon.
 

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The CEL you see and the "check level" warning is based on low oil pressure. Even though the CEL goes out, there's a stored Digital Trouble Code that will help ID the actual sensor and cause. High-line trim levels may offer a way to retrieve those codes without a code reader, but it's so easy to get them with a cheap reader that it's not worth all the effort to go through the recovery process to get them on a console display. In the US, most auto parts stores will check those codes for you for free. Not sure what you have available there in Argentina. The dealer is able to recover those codes, but at least here they charge for that service if they don't get to fix something. The "problem" may be as simple as a failing oil pressure, or as big as engine damage. It is a big deal, so find out now rather than dallying.
 

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Replace fuse 15 (7.5A) in the auxiliary under-hood fuse-relay box.
Quite specific, here. A known issue with this gen? Tech Bulletin?

Do know that if I had an intermittent oil pressure warning, I wouldn't be casually racking up miles until I knew more definitely whether it really did have a pressure issue or if codes indicated multiple devices and thus an electrical wonk. They run fine until they seize up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The CEL you see and the "check level" warning is based on low oil pressure. Even though the CEL goes out, there's a stored Digital Trouble Code that will help ID the actual sensor and cause. High-line trim levels may offer a way to retrieve those codes without a code reader, but it's so easy to get them with a cheap reader that it's not worth all the effort to go through the recovery process to get them on a console display. In the US, most auto parts stores will check those codes for you for free. Not sure what you have available there in Argentina. The dealer is able to recover those codes, but at least here they charge for that service if they don't get to fix something. The "problem" may be as simple as a failing oil pressure, or as big as engine damage. It is a big deal, so find out now rather than dallying.
Hi Bob, thanks for this response. Is there a tutorial to pull the high-line trim levels? I imagine this to be similar to accessing codes using the OBC or the in-dash display... is that right?

I know she's not frequently driving it as of late (Argentina has been following a strict quarantine for over 100 days...) but I am here in US and she's down there so I know little from what she tells me.
 

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If she can find someone to recover the trouble codes via the OBD-II port, it will be a lot easier. She'll get them on a code scanner, in order that way.

Pulling DTC's via the dash is described in the workshop manual, manual available via the links in this thread: 2012 Service Manual Volume 1 and 2 and Electrical -...

I don't remember the procedure off the top of my head. You'll get to find and translate the procedure from technician-english to her, getting the codes back, then searching them and coming to a conclusion. A decent code reader gives her the codes and a short description of each, so you can see why having them read there will be an advantage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
All right folks, time to revive this from the dead. Fast forward six months since I started the thread, I flew down to Argentina and found time to take a look. What I found was very interesting.

I was hoping I could go ahead and check the number 15 fuse in the auxiliary box under the hood, but it turns out that that is an open spot... below is a picture of the cover of the fuse box, and I will take a picture of the actual panel, that I thought I did but realize I missed.
092700BB-F340-4904-B934-1F9D2F6E8D3B.jpeg

Of course, I took the car for an oil change and checked all fluids and everything is fine. It is clear this is a random electronic issue, I just don’t know exactly where to go next.

What I will try is probably taking a look underneath that fuse box by unbolting it from its place and seeing if I can turn it upside down.

any ideas on what to look for are appreciated.
 

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There was an issue with the screws backing out of the rear plate on the oil pump. This causes low oil psi, random at first, get worse as they back out further. You need to either install a manual oil psi gauge or monitor the vcm oil psi, light turns on at roughly 5 psi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There was an issue with the screws backing out of the rear plate on the oil pump. This causes low oil psi, random at first, get worse as they back out further. You need to either install a manual oil psi gauge or monitor the vcm oil psi, light turns on at roughly 5 psi.
Can the Oil Pump screws be readjusted?
 

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The bolts he speaks of are on the back of the oil pump. Must drop the oil pan, timing belt must come off so oil pump can be removed.
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