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Discussion Starter #1
2014 Pilot EXL.

Had the check engine light come on/blink. Soon thereafter, the
VTM-4, and traction control idiots came on a few minutes later.

Took it to the closest dealer ... about 10 min away! (good
luck there).

We were on vacation, passing through Salisbury MD, about 3 hours
from home.

Codes 0303 stated, and shop noted number 1-3 plugs were fouled. The
advisor mentioned "tear down" at my expense to diagnose further,
mentioning the rings could have gone bad?! Or I should be fine
replacing the plugs, and getting on our way.


I have Honda-Care, and shop noted HC would require I pay for
any tear-down, and if it were covered, they would cover that.

Ug ...

So paid for plugs .. and, were due for oil change (@40%, but we
do the 5000 miles, had 577 yet till due, and got the pass airbag
recall done ...

QUESTIONS:
Is this ring thing real? A little googling tonight, seems this may
just be "normal" fouling due to ECO feature/operation.

Is the car going to be just fine? Aside from changing plugs again
in the future.

Think I can get any cost relief for the "plug change"? Or, are
plugs not covered for this repair, of this model year?

The warranty that I find in papers is ... 5/60K. It will be in
service 5 years in a couple months (Dec 3). Miles on car 55247.

Appx: $425 ... (Diagnosis $79.88 Supplies $11.50 plugs $39.85
.. each! $239 replace $95).

Pretty pricey for plugs ...

Have Honda Care through 120K ... this seemed to be spoken of as
"third party coverage", something I have to check (but, it is Honda
Care ... I should probably study to understand how to use this).

Thank you for listening!
 

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Please correct me if i'm wrong ? Are these the plugs only at 55K ish? ... i'm turning 57k on my 2015 and starting to notice a shutter starting to happen... I'm going to pull the plugs this weekend.
I also have honda care and your correct it's a third party that pays honda for the issue that is covered under there plan. Also a deductible on some cases.

Get the VCM Muzzler II ..that will solve the ECO issue ..looks like your catching the engine just in time ...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply!



I have read the thread on the Muzzler ... sound like a good preventive measure.


The actual miles were 55247 at time of service - put another 120 or so on it after
repair, and I gotta say, every jiggle/wiggle that thing makes .. equals anxiety.


Enlightened on the Honda Care ... I was expecting the treatment from the place
where I took Mustang through 113K miles ... mention an issue, get it back fixed: $50.
 

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So Honda pulled those plugs and didn’t warn you that you have an issue? You certainly have fouling and it’s due to the TSB for the VCM/fouling.

Bring it to your local dealer with plugs in hand and demand they address the TBS politely. They also need to reimburse you for the plug service. The only ones that are bad are the ones fouled. Plugs are replaced at 90K intervals, anything less is a waste.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No warning other than "tear down" expense mentioned above - that is what
lead to net-researching last evening.



We did get it to our "home" service department today and they have it
for their own evaluation. Also they have a copy of the paperwork from
the remote service department (that did the plugs), and the plugs. I have
all the maintenance papers ... so, just oil change receipts.
 

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No warning other than "tear down" expense mentioned above - that is what
lead to net-researching last evening.



We did get it to our "home" service department today and they have it
for their own evaluation. Also they have a copy of the paperwork from
the remote service department (that did the plugs), and the plugs. I have
all the maintenance papers ... so, just oil change receipts.


Very interested in what your dealer says.

I’d call Honda customer service and get a case started too for reimbursement on a spark plug service that was uncalled for.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Got the Pilot back!


Dropped it off 10/9, got it back this morning.


Cylinders 1-3 re-ringed
Plugs 1-4


Also, new lower control arms ... they noted they were leaking,
so they replaced them.


All under warranty ... hooray! Mrs has it, seems good. Will
get a few hundred miles on it this week.
 

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Now that’s great customer service. They fixed the compliance bushings without even asking. Glad it all worked out!
 

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Now that’s great customer service. They fixed the compliance bushings without even asking. Glad it all worked out!
we do that because its basically free money from Honda.

This is one of those situations that you dont have to complain about it for us to fix.

If we notice on a routine oil change we are allowed to repair provided we return the old bushings.


And they pay for an alignment so a win/win for both of us
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Is good to have it fixed - And the extra of the bushings!

This bushing thing is pre-fixed, long before I would have noticed
an issue. Very nice touch ... where they could have have easily
delayed addressing the issue until much later or until we noticed ...

... Like that cylinder ring thing that caught us out while on
vacation?

Nice touch but right now I'm still not going to be feeling warm and fuzzy
that there are no more surprises.


So ... I must ask myself ... (because the Mrs asked first):

... does the repair "improve" anything?

Are the new rings different? Would that difference un-balance the
motor. Will the issue re-appear in another 55K? These are questions
that will keep me awake at night.
 

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The issue is that the piston rings rotate and which causes uncontrolled oil burning, thus the misfire. This was due to faulty piston rings and faulty powertrain control module software.

Honda will put revised rings in and update the PCM software. Plus new plugs where fouled.

So I hope you didn't pay for the plugs the first time around, they are not cheap and only the plugs that were fouled needed to be replaced. 55K is only half their lifespan.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for the reply.


Good to hear that the issue should not come back. We did not get in the big trip this
weekend as planned, so only 142 miles since repaired.



Probably just in my mind ... being hyper sensitive about the motions with that little
ECO light.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Honda says that the owner manual says the plugs are 3/36, so I'm responsible
for the extra change. (e.g. they are not part of the power train warranty).

But, they did suggest calling the service department of the place we took
it first...


Will check if any of that is covered by Honda Care ...
 

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Honda says that the owner manual says the plugs are 3/36, so I'm responsible
for the extra change. (e.g. they are not part of the power train warranty).

But, they did suggest calling the service department of the place we took
it first...


Will check if any of that is covered by Honda Care ...
Last time I checked the spark plugs were in the engine. Which generates power. Which is the power train. *eyeroll* fight until they pay. I know he Odysseys we’re covered 10 years unlimited miles. 2011-2014.5
 

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Check the actual maintenance interval in your Owners Manual. My memory is 105k, so that Honda won't need to cover them under the mandated 100k emissions warranty. I dont have the manual handy, but I think they may be trying to bull-wink you.

***UPDATE:***

Attempted bull-wink it is --

MY 2013 Owner's Manual shows the spark plug replacement due as part of service subcode 4, which includes replacing timing belt and water pump. This is a "maintenance minder" service reminder, with intervals over 100k miles. There's a note to do this full service at 60k intervals in severe service (regularly over 110ºF, regularly below -20ºF, regular trailer-towing service).

Ask your service adviser to show you where 3/36 is shown in your Owners Manual. That may be their parts-counter warranty on plugs you buy there, different from the recommended service interval.
 

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Honda says that the owner manual says the plugs are 3/36, so I'm responsible
for the extra change. (e.g. they are not part of the power train warranty).

But, they did suggest calling the service department of the place we took
it first...


Will check if any of that is covered by Honda Care ...
Correct:

These Warranties Do Not Cover:
• Failures or malfunctions of the emissions control systems caused by abuse, alteration, accident,misuse, or the use of leaded or non-approved gasoline.
• Replacement of maintenance items such as, but not limited to:spark plugs, filters, hoses, belts,coolant, or lubricants beyond their first scheduled maintenance.
• Consequential damages such as loss of time or use of the vehicle.

BUT...

Spark plugs change intervals are 90K. Fouled plugs @ 50K caused by the ring issue should be covered under that TSB.

If the previous dealer mis-diagnosed your issue and changed plugs that were not necessary, I'd fight that dealer for reimbursement.
 

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What is the source of that information?

According to the owner's manuals:
For Pilots with the MM, spark plug replacement is due whenever the '4' subcode appears.
For pre-MM Pilots, the spark plug replacement is due every 105K miles.
According to a long time friend who was a Honda/Acura master tech now with Honda corp/design engineering. He indicated he'd personally never run stock plugs beyond 90K on any K or J series. So this is my rule of thumb and what I advise others. His reasoning, because that's what NGK calls for and 90K is right in the middle of their est lifespan:

NGK said:
NGK Laser Iridium plugs have iridium center and a Platinum ground electrodes. If installed in a regular engine, they would likely last longer than most people keep their car (barring any motor problems that can cause premature plug death). All Laser Iridium plugs are an OEM design, made for a specific engine. Some feature a special resistor or electrode design, depending on the OE requirements. In their OE application, NGK's Laser Iridium plugs typically last 80-100k miles.
How Long Do Iridium Plugs Last?
 

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I think the question is specifically about the Owner's Manual recommendations, which are NOT 3/36 as the service advisor stated.
 
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