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I own a 2018 Pilot Ex-L now with 66K miles. “Transmission Fluid Too Hot” warning came on in early 2019 when had approximately 32K miles. Returned to dealer and transmission replaced. 15 months /34K miles later and the “Transmission Fluid Too Hot” warning came on again today. Over the last week or so have noticed the transmisson “slipping” between 10-40 mph (especially going uphill) and the RPMs fluctuate 100-200 RPM. Will be looking for Honda to replace the second transmission as well. asHave seen discussions on this site regarding TSB 17-014 That described similar slipping/RPM fluctuation in 2016 and 2017 pilots. Have others seen this problem on 2018s? Is there a TSB on this issue for 2018s? Frankly, I’m leary that a software update/3X fluid change will solve this problem - three transmissions in 66K miles seems to be design flaw. BTW - also owned a 2006 Pilot that had transmission problems and reluctantly let it go at 160k when it needed a new tranny. I have been told by two reputable independent mechanics that need to add a second transmission cooler.
 

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Heat seems to cause a real challenge for the 6 speed in the Pilot. What kind of driving is typical for you? Do any towing? Sounds like you have the tiny factory transmission cooler?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mostly highway - no towing. Yes, standard cooler. If/when I get this transmisson fixed I will be adding a cooler.
 

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What part of the country if you don't mind me asking? Curious what kind of ambient Temps you drive in. Some folks are very leery of the Honda DW1 fluid, which seems OK for most people but maybe doesn't hold up in the heat too well? I don't have any answers here, only speculation but sorry for your bad luck!
 

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Definitely get a trans cooler installed and dump that nasty DW1 fluid as it is not synthetic and breaks down quickly especially when it is hot.
 

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I believe the design flaw rest between the operation of the VCM and transmission. Erratic behaving rpm gauge is the symptom, most noticeable when your cruise control is on. Going up and down hills.., everytime you let off the accelerator, the VCM activates, killing 2-3 cylinders. When you accelerate, the delay of getting all 6 cylinders firing again is not transferring the energy smoothly to the transmission causing the transmission to slip. Your transmission is simply being over worked. My problems ended after 3 time drain, fill, and drive(few miles) with MaxLife ATF to remove old black fluid and disabling the VCM. I use S-VCM. Getting an ATF cooler in my opinion is treating a symptom and not curing the cause.
 

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I believe the design flaw rest between the operation of the VCM and transmission. Erratic behaving rpm gauge is the symptom, most noticeable when your cruise control is on. Going up and down hills.., everytime you let off the accelerator, the VCM activates, killing 2-3 cylinders. When you accelerate, the delay of getting all 6 cylinders firing again is not transferring the energy smoothly to the transmission causing the transmission to slip. Your transmission is simply being over worked. My problems ended after 3 time drain, fill, and drive(few miles) with MaxLife ATF to remove old black fluid and disabling the VCM. I use S-VCM.
Is it possible that the Honda ATF would still be satisfactory if you just disabled the VCM function?
 

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Is it possible that the Honda ATF would still be satisfactory if you just disabled the VCM function?
In my experience, I did a one time service using DW-1. That's when I discovered the black Honda fluid in my transmission.
137620
But I continued to have slipping issues. I did a 3 time drain, fill and drive with MaxLife and my symtoms were reduced to just an erratic behaving rpm gauge while in cruise (flat terrain). Disabling the VCM cured that. I don't believe that DW-1 caused this problem. But I do believe that DW-1 failed to protect my transmission. This situation was a lot to ask from a Non-full synthetic fluid. I do not have a clear cut answer to your question. But it is plausable since I feel the VCM was the cause. I'm sure somone has a 3rd Gen 6-speed with the VCM disabled running with DW-1 thats not having any slipping issues.
I will never put DW-1 back in this vehicle.
 

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I’m curious why VCM affects the transmission at all? I had VCM enabled on my 2008 and I would get a horrible shudder around 30-40mph. I assumed it would try to lock the transmission into that gear But I have no idea. Who knew an idea created to increase fuel economy would not only hurt the engine but also the transmission?!

Our 2013 never had VCM disabled and we could never really tell when it did come on but I went ahead and disabled it because why not?
 

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I’m curious why VCM affects the transmission at all? I had VCM enabled on my 2008 and I would get a horrible shudder around 30-40mph. I assumed it would try to lock the transmission into that gear But I have no idea. Who knew an idea created to increase fuel economy would not only hurt the engine but also the transmission?!

Our 2013 never had VCM disabled and we could never really tell when it did come on but I went ahead and disabled it because why not?
There are very bad vibration issue going on between the engine and transmission during VCM operation. So bad that Honda started using fluid filled electronic controlled engine mounts. If you ever have had one of these fail, you will experience the quaking of what is actually going on under the hood.
 

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There are very bad vibration issue going on between the engine and transmission during VCM operation. So bad that Honda started using fluid filled electronic controlled engine mounts. If you ever have had one of these fail, you will experience the quaking of what is actually going on under the hood.
So you’re saying that the motor mounts cause transmission issues?
 

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So you’re saying that the motor mounts cause transmission issues?
When the VCM starts shutting down cylinders, it creates an imbalance in the engine which is offset by the high tech motor mounts when they are functioning as they should. If the VCM is causing surging in the drive train it will put additional stress on the drive line components including the clutches in the transmission. Luckily in my case, I have not experienced any of this on my 16 EXL so I am leaving things as is for now. I do have a larger aftermarket transmission cooler and I am running Valvoline Max life ATF.
 

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I’m curious why VCM affects the transmission at all? I had VCM enabled on my 2008 and I would get a horrible shudder around 30-40mph. I assumed it would try to lock the transmission into that gear But I have no idea. Who knew an idea created to increase fuel economy would not only hurt the engine but also the transmission?!
It doesn't affect the trans per say. During vcm the tq converter clutch is allowed to slip up to 30%, to help damping the user from feeling it. Anc, active motor mounts, and slipping the converter are all to reduce nvh.
Your shudder happens when the fluid reaches a point that the coefficient of friction no longer allows the clutch to slip smoothly.
 

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Assuming big-time here....Good news is the since you had the trans fixed under warranty and the problem persists it should still be covered by Honda.
 

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I believe the design flaw rest between the operation of the VCM and transmission. Erratic behaving rpm gauge is the symptom, most noticeable when your cruise control is on. Going up and down hills.., everytime you let off the accelerator, the VCM activates, killing 2-3 cylinders. When you accelerate, the delay of getting all 6 cylinders firing again is not transferring the energy smoothly to the transmission causing the transmission to slip. Your transmission is simply being over worked. My problems ended after 3 time drain, fill, and drive(few miles) with MaxLife ATF to remove old black fluid and disabling the VCM. I use S-VCM. Getting an ATF cooler in my opinion is treating a symptom and not curing the cause.
On your s-vcm is all plug and play? No resistors to mess with. I might get one for our 19. Thanks.
 

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On your s-vcm is all plug and play? No resistors to mess with. I might get one for our 19. Thanks.
Yes, no changing out resistors.
 

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I own a 2018 Pilot Ex-L now with 66K miles. “Transmission Fluid Too Hot” warning came on in early 2019 when had approximately 32K miles. Returned to dealer and transmission replaced. 15 months /34K miles later and the “Transmission Fluid Too Hot” warning came on again today. Over the last week or so have noticed the transmisson “slipping” between 10-40 mph (especially going uphill) and the RPMs fluctuate 100-200 RPM. Will be looking for Honda to replace the second transmission as well. asHave seen discussions on this site regarding TSB 17-014 That described similar slipping/RPM fluctuation in 2016 and 2017 pilots. Have others seen this problem on 2018s? Is there a TSB on this issue for 2018s? Frankly, I’m leary that a software update/3X fluid change will solve this problem - three transmissions in 66K miles seems to be design flaw. BTW - also owned a 2006 Pilot that had transmission problems and reluctantly let it go at 160k when it needed a new tranny. I have been told by two reputable independent mechanics that need to add a second transmission cooler.
This is a tough one take back to dealership you probably could have been there by now if not to stop here and complain
 

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I don’t care what ATF fluid, what cooler or in what region you drive your 2018.
You should not see this warning - period.

In all honesty, I don’t think dealership replaced your transmission unless you saw it with your own eyes.

I have 360 cameras installed in my Pilot.
I went to “honest by reviews” Honda dealership to replace lower suspension control arm bushings. I was told I would need to pay for 4 hours labor + parts “because that is how long it takes”. I agreed but I knew it should have been replaced for free because of the issues pilots have with those.

My Pilot stayed in parking for 2 hours. Then it was driven to the shop inside. 25 minutes later it was driven out and put back on the parking lot. 2 hours later I received a call my car is ready. In total 4 hours and 25 minutes.
They did not know I had cameras.
Guess, how everything turned out for me?
I paid nothing for the new bushings and installation.

My point here is: do not trust unless you can reconfirm on your own. If they did replace transmission and you still get this warning - get rid of it or trade it in.
 

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There are very bad vibration issue going on between the engine and transmission during VCM operation. So bad that Honda started using fluid filled electronic controlled engine mounts. If you ever have had one of these fail, you will experience the quaking of what is actually going on under the hood.
So were the transmission issues that you had because of bad motor mounts? My Pilot only has 1500 miles, but I don’t notice when the VCM engages or not. Since the mounts are filled with fluid, does that mean the Pilot will have less issues than the older Pilots since there’s less vibration? I’d prefer not spending the $100 on a S-VCM muzzler, but if it’s does that much damage, I might as well.
 
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