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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2017 Pilot EX-L, with the 6 speed transmission.

Just wanted to report, for what it’s worth, that I hadn’t seen a code to change my transmission fluid since I bought it new from the dealer.

At 48,000 miles, the transmission check
Engine light came on. Soon after, there was some gear slippage.

Had the transmission fluid flushed and everything cleared up immediately. It’s been about 2,000 miles later and all is well.

Thought I would report on the longevity of the Honda transmission fluid.
 

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Glad the fluid change remedied it. I would disable your VCM as well if you haven't already done so as it will reduce the wear and tear on the transmission torque converter.
 

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If you are resetting the maintenance minder whenever you change the oil rather than letting it run down to the 15% warning level, you will not get the correct maintenance alerts showing.

Since you are using the factory transmission fluid (DW-1, which is garbage) I recommend you get a single drain and fill from the dealer every 15k miles. Also, like @Hondamon said disable your VCM to save the extra wear on your torque convertor.
 

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When you say flush, are you meaning multiple drain and fills?
There is a TSB for the torque converter clutch lock problem your vehicle is likely having. To solve, Honda recommends 3 drain and fills of the ATF and a software update.

When coasting, holding speed or in cruise, the VCM causes your engine to run on 3 cylinders. These vibrations are what cause the torque converter clutch lock issue. I permanently solved this by disabling the VCM. I use S-VCM.
 

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I have a 2016 Pilot with the 6 speed. I have decided to to change fluid every 20k to keep this slipping from happening. The Pilot seems to respond much better and smoother shifts. The service advisor even agreed this was worth doing too.
 

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I just had my entire tranny and TC replaced under warranty because of this on my '17 EXL. I posted this in another thread but here's my story......




Hi All,

I know there's various threads out there about 6 speed transmission problems but I wanted to share my recent woes.

Bought a '17 EXL in October 2017. Vehicle has the Transmission Cooler and factory hitch. Vehicle was ok until summer of 2020. Towing my 18' 3000lb RV on a cool night at 90km/h (55mph) I received the dreaded "TRANSMISSION TEMPERATURE TOO HOT" Warning Light. I pulled off the HWY and idled the vehicle in neutral for about 20 minutes to cool it down and limped it home. A trip to the dealer the next day revealed the vehicle had cooked the transmission fluid and they replaced it under warranty.

Fast Forward about 6 months, during the winter months, the vehicle began to "chug" up hills almost as if it was slipping. Soon after on the HWY I noticed the RPM's fluttering. Another trip to the dealer and they blamed it on a fluid issue and changed it again. Problem gone....

Fast Forward another 6 months to Summer 2021. Towing a small boat I tried to accelerate from a stop and the vehicle stuttered and the "EMISSION SYSTEM PROBLEM" light came on, and the gear indicator on the dash was cycling through P R N D L all on its own. Towed it to the dealer and they did a software update on it. Soon After towing my RV for 2.5 hours I got off the HWY near my house and stopped at a light. Upon accelerating the transmission SLAMMED into second gear and wouldn't go into third. Had the vehicle towed to the dealer who determined that it needed the Secondary Valves in the transmission replaced under warranty. It was running the code P0776 PRESSURE CONTROL SOLENOID B PERFORMANCE / STUCK OFF.

One week later attempting to tow my RV again the awful SLAM into second gear happened again. The vehicle was towed again to the dealer and after speaking to Honda Corporate Tech support it was determined that the entire Transmission & Torque Converter needed to be replaced.

Honda apparently has a 3 step process....

1. Triple Flush Transmission Fluid (done)
2. Replace Secondary Valves (done)
3. Replace Entire Transmission / Torque Converter

My thoughts here are that the transmission cooler isn't effective enough when towing a trailer such as mine that although under the 5,000lb towing limit, is not aerodynamic and has constant wind drag which is generating heat that the cooler is not dissipating fast enough.

That said, although I have a new Trans and TC, Honda Canada will only provide a 1 year warranty on the job, so I'll be trading it soon as I wouldn't want to deal with this issue out of warranty. I've read that the Trans / TC is around $7000 installed. : O

My suggestion to you is:
1. Watch for any sort of RPM flutter on the HWY.
2. Listen for a "knock" or a "clunk" when shifting into reverse (mine did this from day 1....new trans doesn't)
If you have either of these issues I would keep a close eye on the vehicle's behaviour especially if your warranty is coming due.

It's too bad really as I love the vehicle. It's had little issues here and there but for the most part I've enjoyed it. Unfortunately however I think Honda overshot the towing rating on the vehicle, so I'll be looking for a truck or something larger for my tiny little 18' trailer.

Please reply if you have any questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Not sure if I had a flush done, or a drain and fill. 10,000 miles later and the hot transmission fluid came back. When I stopped at a gas station, the fluid appeared brown, but when I started it back up after a 20 minute cool down, the warning never came back. No slippage, or issues from the transmission, just the warning light.

This time I took matters into my own hands and did a triple drain and refill with DW-1. I think I might pay to have that cooler installed.
 

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I recommend you ditch the DW-1. The fluid does not hold up to the heat. Amsoil ATL, Redline D6, Valvoline Maxlife are all going to hold up better in the 6-speed transmission.
 

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I recommend you ditch the DW-1. The fluid does not hold up to the heat. Amsoil ATL, Redline D6, Valvoline Maxlife are all going to hold up better in the 6-speed transmission.
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I'd also disable the VCM. The torque converter clutch lock issue is improved with clean ATF, but it's not a for sure fix.
 
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