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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2017 Pilot with 80,000 miles. One day after exiting the car and locking the doors I heard some strange clicking beeping type sounds from under the hood. I looked through the window at the dash and the dash along with all interior lights were flashing/blinking in addition to the clicking beeping type sounds I could hear from under the hood. It had a mind of its own. It wouldn't stop even though the car had been turned off. I opened the door and started the engine. Engine started fine and car acted normally while running. Turned the car off and for the time being it seemed normal. Next day it did it again. I took into honda and they could not duplicate the symptoms. They tested the battery and alternator. Both passed but they said the battery was about 30 cranking amps lower than its rating. They suggested I change the battery but they didn't have any batteries in stock. I went to autozone and bought the Platinum Duralast model. Problem seemed to be solved at that point. Now two weeks after installing the new battery the problem has returned. The problem only shows up here and there. Not everyday. it seems to act up just after I have a day of a lot of driving with many starts and stops (I'm an outside salesman by trade). Makes thing something is heating up before the symptoms kick in? The strangest part to all of this is the car behaves perfectly fine while running. This issue only shows up AFTER I park the car and turn it off. Some sort of voltage drop or short/bad ground is occurring while off. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Shops just aren't interested unless the problem can be witnessed. Right now its not happening often enough to be witnessed on demand. But that's the point. I want to fix it before it becomes so bad that I get stranded somewhere. Anyone have similar experience?
 

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Try to replace ignition button- this might be something shorting and causing symptoms you having. If no try moving wires coming out of fuse box under the hood. Or see if any part of the fuse box feels warm after long drive.

But i think its the button


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Malv- My pilot is not showing any warning or error lights. But you think this could still be the issue without any warning lights? Thank you very much! I will definitely try this out.
 

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Malv- My pilot is not showing any warning or error lights. But you think this could still be the issue without any warning lights? Thank you very much! I will definitely try this out.
My theory is that your ignition button is shorting due to normal wear. So after you shutting the engine off your button either getting stuck in (partially) depressed position or contacts inside of the button stays in very close to "on" position. This causing the car to go into "acc" mode and then into "ignition on" mode and then into "off" position (it won't crank because it all happening very quickly).

All this happening very quickly (a few times per second) and many-many times so the clicking sound from under the hood you hearing is the relays switching on and off and the lights on the dash go on and off - all because of the ignition switch keeps switching the modes for some time after you left the vehicle.

And yes - this won't trigger any warning lights on the dash.

However please be aware that this is just an educated guess - it's pretty complicated to diagnose an issue without seeing the vehicle. Try to take a video of this behavior on your smartphone when next time it happen and post it here. It also will be beneficial for your mechanic to see what are you talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
See video link below. I was smart enough to capture it on video the last time it acted this way. Turn up the volume. Honda says video isn't enough for them. They want to witness in person. This may take many attempts so I decided to reach out here instead. I plan on replacing the start button myself. I just ordered it. Its an easy job and worth $75 to try it myself. Thank you for all your info! It makes logical sense and well worth a try to solve this issue.

 

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See video link below. I was smart enough to capture it on video the last time it acted this way. Turn up the volume. Honda says video isn't enough for them. They want to witness in person. This may take many attempts so I decided to reach out here instead. I plan on replacing the start button myself. I just ordered it. Its an easy job and worth $75 to try it myself. Thank you for all your info! It makes logical sense and well worth a try to solve this issue.

After watching the video I think it worth to try replacing the button


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Might be the Smart Power Control unit. You might need to get a dealer involved.

Here is a similar problem on a Ridgeline:
 

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2017 Touring had the exact same problem. First they replaced the alternator then on the second visit I was lucky to find a tech there who knew right away that it was some sort of module that is involved with the keyless entry. It has been replaced and working fine for a couple of months now after several days of it exhibiting this behavior.

That’s bs that the video is not enough for them. My dealership saw the video I shot and were very responsive.


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fsrenduro- Thank you. Do you have the part number or formal name for the module? I have exact same year and trim as you. 17 touring 2wd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Might be the Smart Power Control unit. You might need to get a dealer involved.

Here is a similar problem on a Ridgeline:
MtMan, thank you. After a few weeks of replacing the start push button I'm finally starting to have issues again. I've been setting my alarm constantly know matter what the situation as I know it will go off should the erratic dash behavior show up again. We've been having good sunny weather lately but it finally got cooler and rainy seeming to trigger the erratic behavior again. I've read through the thread you shared and it appears some people replace the smart power control unit and some replace the MICU. I just ordered the smart power control unit on line. part # is 38320-TG7-A52 which fits 2017 pilot touring 2wd. i glanced under my dash on the drivers side and cannot seem to locate it. Does anyone know where the smart power control unit is located? i can see the MICU but so far havent found the smart power control unit. Thanks in advance.
 

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It looks to be above the glove box. Red part on picture.
142375
 

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Any updates B_rock ? I had the same problem , dealer told me it was the start button . Picking it up now, after reading this post I'm not sure it is fixed . Hope it doesn't happen again .
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Any updates B_rock ? I had the same problem , dealer told me it was the start button . Picking it up now, after reading this post I'm not sure it is fixed . Hope it doesn't happen again .
While waiting for the new smart power control unit it arrive I caught the covid. mild symptoms but life will be on hold for a few more days. I'm supposed to receive the smart power control unit today. As you may assume I have not been driving the pilot at all other than once every 4 or 5 days to keep the battery charged. The erratic behavior has stopped since i haven't been driving it. just before i got sick the pilot had a mind of its own after i would turn it off. clicking and all the issues as described above. There's definitely some sort of trigger from driving alot that causes the issues to kick in much easier than if the car is driven much less. I don't know what to think at this point. Anyone have any idea why less driving will cause the issue to stay quiet? what is the car doing differently inside the "brains" after it sits multiple days of not being used. Anything?
 

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Wow , hope you're feeling better . Picked my pilot up after the service advisor insisted the push button start would solve the problem . Have had it back for a week now with no problem . Definitely weird issue , sounds like what you have . Hopefully I won't have any further issues . seems like it happened more in my car when it was rainy/wet outside . Good luck with everything !
 

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So when the start button starts going bad, it's basically clicking on it's own right? If it's clicking on its own then wouldn't it turn the engine off while you're driving?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The new start button eliminated the problem for just a few weeks for me. Then the problem returned. Its bizarre to say the least but perhaps the new button somehow better communicates with the smart power control unit keeping everything in line. Then finally communication breaks down and the issue returns. Honestly, I'm not confident the new smart power control unit will completely solve this but it does seem logical to me so I will move forward with replacing it once I have the time (and $$). In addition to lots of driving, moister and weather changes seem to be a contributing factor that triggers the erratic behavior. Since I've been sick the car is garaged and dry with consistent temps and humidity levels. So is it the dry conditions helping? Or is it the fact it sits for a few days between starts that somehow allows the various modules to "reboot" or flush out any potentially broken electrical signals within all the plumbing of the system. Who knows. I have bought hondas all my life (7 all together) but this may be my last one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So when the start button starts going bad, it's basically clicking on it's own right? If it's clicking on its own then wouldn't it turn the engine off while you're driving?
YS1219- the most significant thing out of all of this is that the car behaves perfectly while running. I've never had an issue while driving the car. never. This leads me to believe the smart power control unit should be the issue as that is what the alarm and locks use as part of their system. learning the various modules and what's up stream vs down stream is extremely confusing and doesn't seem to reveal much logic as to the cause of the problem.
 

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YS1219- the most significant thing out of all of this is that the car behaves perfectly while running. I've never had an issue while driving the car. never. This leads me to believe the smart power control unit should be the issue as that is what the alarm and locks use as part of their system. learning the various modules and what's up stream vs down stream is extremely confusing and doesn't seem to reveal much logic as to the cause of the problem.
I agree. It is really confusing. It's weird how it got fixed for a while but then the problem came again. I highly doubt this is the problem, but what battery do you have in your car? Maybe if your battery isn't good enough it could be causing something to act up. Again, I highly doubt this is the problem but it doesn't hurt to check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The battery is the very first thing I changed as my pilot was 3.5 years old with 80K miles. I had no issue changing out the battery at that time. My honda dealer didn't have stock of the right battery so I bought the Duralast Platinum from Autozone. Very good battery. Battery seemed to be the solution for a week or two then the problem came back. At that point I became mad because the brand new battery is being drained every time the car acts up. I turned off my interior dome lights so at least those don't come on when the car is acting up. But my running board lights come on. Anyway, That's when I came here and received the advice to change the start button. button cost me $70 and was easy to replace myself so I went ahead with it. Now it appears I've done all I can do within my shade tree garage capabilities. I paid $300 for the new smart power control unit and it appears to be located in a hard spot to reach. Also, I understand the keys must be re programed once this part is changed. Will cost another $400-$500 to do all of this making it $800 total. I'm just soured and in no mood to hurry into making the change. Hoping to learn more and maybe get someone on here to provide some more definitive info. Trying to remain patient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm finally scheduled to replace the smart power control unit tomorrow. After a long period of just dealing with this issue and keeping the new $300 control unit in my desk drawer I have decided to go ahead and have it installed. I disconnected the wiring to the hood open/shut sensor so that I could lock the car without having to worry about the alarm triggering in the middle of the night. After a couple of months of this I reconnect the hood wire and WHAM! the problem came back. The pilot behaved much better during the period with hood wire disconnected than all the times when the alarm was set. This gives me much more confidence in the smart power unit being the issue as it controls the alarm and key fbs etc.

I'm done with the dealer as I'm no longer in warranty and their prices are higher. I found a very reputable shop that will charge $125 for replacing the unit plus another $135 to reprogram everything. I've already spent $300 on the part so its most logical for me to go ahead and have this work done even if its not the final solution. Wish me luck! I will report back of the job is done.
 
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