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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first Pilot so I don’t know if it normal or not.

it runs fine. Transmission seems shifting normal. I get about 16mpg in city with VCM muzzler.

But gas petal responses seem like if I am driving in 2nd low gear sort of. When I let go petal, it drop speed pretty quick but not like if I forgot the parking brake type of drop. Hard to explain. If you driven golf cart then sort of like a golf cart de-acceleration when you quickly release the gas petal without touching brake

is that normal or something riding on brake? Transmission? Differential?

feedbacks welcomed
 

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What is the mileage of your Pilot, and do you know the service history? Are you the first owner? What I am asking here: has the transmission been serviced regularly? The Honda tranny is very sensitive to running on clean, high quality ATF. If your Pilot trans has not been serviced recently, then that's the first place to go. I would recommend that you start to use Valvoline Maxlife synthetic transmission fluid. If your Pilot has not had a recent service, then you should do the 3x drain and fill routine.

If you DIY, it is easy. If you don't know a ratchet from a rebate, then find a mechanic that you trust and have them do the procedure. Drain the ATF, replace the plug (new washer). Refill with Maxlife ATF, about 3.3 quarts. Go for a drive . Repeat. Repeat.

After the 3x D&F, with any luck, your tranny will start to shift a little better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What is the mileage of your Pilot, and do you know the service history? Are you the first owner? What I am asking here: has the transmission been serviced regularly? The Honda tranny is very sensitive to running on clean, high quality ATF. If your Pilot trans has not been serviced recently, then that's the first place to go. I would recommend that you start to use Valvoline Maxlife synthetic transmission fluid. If your Pilot has not had a recent service, then you should do the 3x drain and fill routine.

If you DIY, it is easy. If you don't know a ratchet from a rebate, then find a mechanic that you trust and have them do the procedure. Drain the ATF, replace the plug (new washer). Refill with Maxlife ATF, about 3.3 quarts. Go for a drive . Repeat. Repeat.

After the 3x D&F, with any luck, your tranny will start to shift a little better.
Sorry forgot to add the mileage. It’s close to 155,000 and I did my own timing belt replacement. I posted about it here in this forum.
I brought it when it was at 152,000 miles about 4 months ago

The shifting while driving seems to be smooth but maybe you’re right that old fluid id causing it to downshift hard or something.

thanks for the advice. I will look into about replacing the tranny fluid.

The previous owner said that he service it regularly and when I took it to Honda dealership to have oil change, I told the mechanics that I just replaced timing belt along other stuff like water pump, pulley etc and motor mount if they would check the motor out and listen it for me. They said it sounded great. I am profound Deaf since birth so I had to borrow their ears.

Thank for info on tranny, I’ll see if it something I can do myself.
 

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TechBill, you are clearly a DIY guy. I would encourage you to do the 3x D&F if you do not know the service history of the Pilot. Lots of the members here like Valvoline Maxlife synthetic, rather than the Honda DW-1 fluid. (not all of us--some folks here still like to use OEM fluids). The VML fluid is fully synthetic, and has a seal conditioner blended in. This is good for an older transmission. Hope that this helps your Pilot shift better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What is the mileage of your Pilot, and do you know the service history? Are you the first owner? What I am asking here: has the transmission been serviced regularly? The Honda tranny is very sensitive to running on clean, high quality ATF. If your Pilot trans has not been serviced recently, then that's the first place to go. I would recommend that you start to use Valvoline Maxlife synthetic transmission fluid. If your Pilot has not had a recent service, then you should do the 3x drain and fill routine.

If you DIY, it is easy. If you don't know a ratchet from a rebate, then find a mechanic that you trust and have them do the procedure. Drain the ATF, replace the plug (new washer). Refill with Maxlife ATF, about 3.3 quarts. Go for a drive . Repeat. Repeat.

After the 3x D&F, with any luck, your tranny will start to shift a little better.
Pilot have drain plug on tranny pan? You said drain and fill repeat 3x after driving around in between. How long a drive?

Should tranny filter be replaced? I know it probably mean dropping the pan
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
TechBill, you are clearly a DIY guy. I would encourage you to do the 3x D&F if you do not know the service history of the Pilot. Lots of the members here like Valvoline Maxlife synthetic, rather than the Honda DW-1 fluid. (not all of us--some folks here still like to use OEM fluids). The VML fluid is fully synthetic, and has a seal conditioner blended in. This is good for an older transmission. Hope that this helps your Pilot shift better.
I will probably just do this.
Thanks for the advice!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Most of you probably wondering why a DIY take Honda in for a oil change.

I have gone to same Honda dealership to have oil change since way back in early 90’s with all brand vehicle I owned GMC, Chevy, Dodge etc so I am their what they call a premier member and they change it for me using OEM Sync oil and filter for only 34 dollars. It used to cost only19 dollars then it when up over the years which I would only save 5 dollars if I did it myself

And they know I am Deaf so they will warn me it time for pads replacement etc anything they will hear from my vehicle knowing that I’ll do it myself

They are a bunch of great folks
 

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Pilot have drain plug on tranny pan? You said drain and fill repeat 3x after driving around in between. How long a drive?

Should tranny filter be replaced? I know it probably mean dropping the pan
Yes, there is a drain plug on the bottom of the transmission. If you do 3x drain and fills, you could just do a 5 mile local drive between each procedure. All you need is enough miles and shift cycles to move the fluid around. Honda does not recommend that you have a transmission shop with a pump type machine do a flush. Just drain and refill. The internal filter is not accessible, unless you are tearing down the whole tranny for a rebuild. You may have an auxiliary filter inline, I don't know for sure about the 2013. My 2018 does have an auxiliary inline filter located in the hose from transmission to cooler.

There really is not a "pan" to drop on the Honda transmission. The oil sump is part of the case, and complete removal and reassembly (rebuild) is required to get to the internal filter.
 

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The behavior you're experiencing doesn't seem out of the ordinary.... It could be Honda's grade logic which uses engine braking if it senses you're going down a hill.

What you are describing is something I experienced with my 2008 and 2013.

So if the transmission has been serviced, I wouldn't rush out and get a 3x drain and fills done ASAP.

It is my opinion that these transmissions are a little wonky on their programming and sometimes they seem to get a little confused....take that with a grain of salt, but it's my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The behavior you're experiencing doesn't seem out of the ordinary.... It could be Honda's grade logic which uses engine braking if it senses you're going down a hill.

What you are describing is something I experienced with my 2008 and 2013.

So if the transmission has been serviced, I wouldn't rush out and get a 3x drain and fills done ASAP.

It is my opinion that these transmissions are a little wonky on their programming and sometimes they seem to get a little confused....take that with a grain of salt, but it's my experience.
That the word I was looking for “Engine braking”

I brought this Pilot about 4 months ago so I don’t know if the previous owner ever had transmission service on it.
 

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How's the mileage? Are you getting obscenely low mileage because something is dragging? Could be worth checking out the braking system to make sure nothing is dragging (sticking caliper or out of adjustment parking brake) or that the reservoir is overfilled so when fluid expands it pushes the calipers rather than takes up the void space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How's the mileage? Are you getting obscenely low mileage because something is dragging? Could be worth checking out the braking system to make sure nothing is dragging (sticking caliper or out of adjustment parking brake) or that the reservoir is overfilled so when fluid expands it pushes the calipers rather than takes up the void space.
I mentioned in previous post that I get about 16 mpg around city. I plan to check the brake soon to replace the pads but good suggestion about the reservoir so I will check it after work today.
 

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This is my first Pilot so I don’t know if it normal or not.

it runs fine. Transmission seems shifting normal. I get about 16mpg in city with VCM muzzler.

But gas petal responses seem like if I am driving in 2nd low gear sort of. When I let go petal, it drop speed pretty quick but not like if I forgot the parking brake type of drop. Hard to explain. If you driven golf cart then sort of like a golf cart de-acceleration when you quickly release the gas petal without touching brake

is that normal or something riding on brake? Transmission? Differential?

feedbacks welcomed
Tires? Having high rolling resistance due to aggressive or all terrain tires can be like having engine breaking all the time

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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I mentioned in previous post that I get about 16 mpg around city. I plan to check the brake soon to replace the pads but good suggestion about the reservoir so I will check it after work today.
16 in the city sounds pretty good to me, I doubt you are experiencing any drag from the braking system.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
TechBill, you are clearly a DIY guy. I would encourage you to do the 3x D&F if you do not know the service history of the Pilot. Lots of the members here like Valvoline Maxlife synthetic, rather than the Honda DW-1 fluid. (not all of us--some folks here still like to use OEM fluids). The VML fluid is fully synthetic, and has a seal conditioner blended in. This is good for an older transmission. Hope that this helps your Pilot shift better.

Is this the ones?

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Mine is a 4x4 and looking online stated 3.6 qt capacity

3 x ATF gallon fluid should do it?
 

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Bill --

-- The transmission has five distinct forward gears, with converter lockup available in at least gears 4 and 5 IIRC. Count the upshifts under steady acceleration to make sure that it's doing all the right and right number of upshifts.

-- There's a "D3" function intended to limit shifts to four forward, handy for intentional engine braking and trailer towing. Honda recommends D3 for heavy-duty towing to help manage transmission heat. There's a green D3 indicator in the instrument cluster when that's engaged. Button on the left side of the gear lever stalk engages and disengages the function. The D3 function and shift button locations are shown on Page 14 in my 2013 owner's manual, if my description isn't clear enough. There's a link to a more detailed functional description on Page 346 in that same manual.

-- At a steady 48MPH on flat ground, neutral (not pulling or dragging) throttle, my transmission will shift to top gear, with a tach reading of about 1500 RPM. Significantly more RPM's than that may mean that the transmission isn't making it all the way to fifth with the converter locked.

-- The PCM (powertrain control module) manages transmission downshifts on trailing throttle for emissions and fuel economy. With engine RPM's above about 1100 and throttle closed, the PCM cuts off fuel flow to the engine. As you roll with your foot off the pedal, the transmission will downshift to try and maintain engine RPM's above that fuel-cutoff speed, until you roll to a stop and the transmission is in gear 1 again. Then fuel and air come back on via injection and the drive-by-wire throttle servo so the engine can maintain idle speed.

With cruise control engaged, the PCM will force earlier downshifts when road speed exceeds target set speed by some amount like five or maybe ten MPH. It's annoying enough for me anyway that I try and remember to disengage CC on longer downhills to avoid the unnecessary (IMO anyway) extra shifts. For sure it's easier on the driveline doing that.


While it would be nice to allow the throttle plate to open some but still leave fuel shut off for total coasting fuel economy, it's more programming than Honda has available. The transition from 'freewheeling' to closed throttle plate to fuel flow restored to throttle opening again takes longer and is less smooth than most drivers would be happy with. When adaptive cruise is fitted and engaged in a future generation Pilot, this strategy would be readily available and not at all noticeable by drivers and passengers. Someday soon, maybe.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Bill --

-- The transmission has five distinct forward gears, with converter lockup available in at least gears 4 and 5 IIRC. Count the upshifts under steady acceleration to make sure that it's doing all the right and right number of upshifts.

-- There's a "D3" function intended to limit shifts to four forward, handy for intentional engine braking and trailer towing. Honda recommends D3 for heavy-duty towing to help manage transmission heat. There's a green D3 indicator in the instrument cluster when that's engaged. Button on the left side of the gear lever stalk engages and disengages the function. The D3 function and shift button locations are shown on Page 14 in my 2013 owner's manual, if my description isn't clear enough. There's a link to a more detailed functional description on Page 346 in that same manual.

-- At a steady 48MPH on flat ground, neutral (not pulling or dragging) throttle, my transmission will shift to top gear, with a tach reading of about 1500 RPM. Significantly more RPM's than that may mean that the transmission isn't making it all the way to fifth with the converter locked.

-- The PCM (powertrain control module) manages transmission downshifts on trailing throttle for emissions and fuel economy. With engine RPM's above about 1100 and throttle closed, the PCM cuts off fuel flow to the engine. As you roll with your foot off the pedal, the transmission will downshift to try and maintain engine RPM's above that fuel-cutoff speed, until you roll to a stop and the transmission is in gear 1 again. Then fuel and air come back on via injection and the drive-by-wire throttle servo so the engine can maintain idle speed.

With cruise control engaged, the PCM will force earlier downshifts when road speed exceeds target set speed by some amount like five or maybe ten MPH. It's annoying enough for me anyway that I try and remember to disengage CC on longer downhills to avoid the unnecessary (IMO anyway) extra shifts. For sure it's easier on the driveline doing that.


While it would be nice to allow the throttle plate to open some but still leave fuel shut off for total coasting fuel economy, it's more programming than Honda has available. The transition from 'freewheeling' to closed throttle plate to fuel flow restored to throttle opening again takes longer and is less smooth than most drivers would be happy with. When adaptive cruise is fitted and engaged in a future generation Pilot, this strategy would be readily available and not at all noticeable by drivers and passengers. Someday soon, maybe.

Thank you for the detail description. I was wondering about the D3 but now I know to engage it when I am pulling my pop up camper with it. I haven't tow anything with it yet but i plan to tow our pop up camper with it soon to a camp site.

My Honda is a 4x4 but I can't tell if it a full time or I need to push that 4x4 button on dash because it only work in gear 1 or 2 so I am not sure if it a limited slip button or engages the front 4x4. I am still reading up on this one too.
 

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The function is better described as "AWD" than "4WD", regardless of what the badging on the back says. The VTM system is "variable torque management", where torque/drive is added to the rear wheels in response to slippage detected in front. The system does that through a center differential. At the rear, drive is further varied by selectively adjusting the individual brakes when L/R slippage is detected. It's automatic as far as when it's engaged. The final traction/braking decisions are part of the VSA vehicle stability system, something you can disable with the switch by your left knee.

The VTM-4 option functionally locks the center differential, good for those slow-speed getting un-stuck events we might find ourselves in. Because you no longer have differential functions, the VTM-4 option should only be used for that specific purpose. Once you get un-stuck, the regular system is better for managing traction, braking and the rest. VTM-4 should never be engaged on dry pavement, should only be used when the normal AWD logic isn't getting you unstuck. I like to think of it as a lifeline for getting out of something. I don't want to have the system help me get too deep into that something, to the point I have no other secret weapons for getting out. VTM-4 should disengage by 15-20MPH on its own.
 
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