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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I recently purchased a 2019 Honda Pilot ex-l AWD with about 41000 on it. This model has a digital tachometer and I'm noticing that sometimes during acceleration the needle is really busy, I mean its going back and forth slightly as the car accelerates, so not a smooth acceleration, mostly between 1-3000rpm. A lot of my driving is done in the lower rpm range, and the tachometer just never seems smooth here, a lot of small movements with even pressure on the gas. At higher rpms the tachometer is steady.
Then other times while cruising along, with light pressure on the gas petal, I'll see the needle fluctuate about 200 - 400 rpms, back and forth, when this happens you can actually feel the SUV rock back and forth to the rhythm of the rpms.

Has anyone else experienced this type of behavior? Any ideas of what it might be? VCM?
 

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Sounds like torque convertor slipping. Are you still under powertrain warranty? There is a TSB out for transmission "judder".

Major issue...you need to address it immediately before permanent damage occurs.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sounds like torque convertor slipping. Are you still under powertrain warranty? There is a TSB out for transmission "judder".

Major issue...you need to address it immediately before permanent damage occurs.

Thanks for the info, sounds exactly like what I'm experiencing. I will be taking it to the dealership as soon as possible, its under 60k so the power train warranty should still apply.

For the TSB, I don't see that it includes the 2019 model year, do you think they would still do the service? Or does it apply to all 3rd generation pilots?
 

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For the TSB, I don't see that it includes the 2019 model year, do you think they would still do the service? Or does it apply to all 3rd generation pilots?
Hmmm...you're right about that, unless there has been and updated one (which I have not seen). Hopefully the techs will be able to reproduce it and cover the repair (3x transmission fluid exchanges at the least, new torque convertor at worst/best) under warranty.

The 6AT transmission in these cars is pretty sensitive to burned fluid, and the Pilot has (1) a very poor stock transmission cooling setup and (2) the Honda-spec DW1 transmission fluid breaks down really easily in high heat. Those things, combined with the extra slip from the torque convertor that Honda programmed in to smooth vibrations from the cylinder deactivation system makes for a world of hurt, especially if the transmission fluid isn't changed regularly. Maintenance spec is a 4qt drain and fill every 30K miles, but many people have opted to do that every 10-15k miles, especially if they live in a hot climate. Changing to a synthetic fluid like Amsoil, Amalie,or Valvoline Maxlife is an option too, but I'd see what the dealer will do under warranty first.

Also, like @Hondamon said, get a device to disable ("muzzle") the VCM in the long run, which will protect your transmission and a few other components that the VCM system is hard on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hopefully I'm making the right decision, I have 12 quarts of Honda DW1 being delivered, so I can flush the transmission fluid, and an s-vcm. I'd like to avoid the dealership.

The Pilot that I purchased was coming off a lease and according to the carfax it had regular oil changes at the dealership, and that's it. There is no record of the transmission fluid being changed, which is pretty obvious when i took a look at its color.

146639
 

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When we purchased ours a year or so ago with 80k kms, the fluid was pretty dark so I did a 3x drain and fill , installed a transmission cooler, changed the in line trans filter and plugged in a SVCM disabler. The old fluid looked like it had never been changed. I used Valvoline MaxlifeATF which is full synthetic instead of the DW1 and the transmission has been performing perfectly since
 

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When we purchased ours a year or so ago with 80k kms, the fluid was pretty dark so I did a 3x drain and fill , installed a transmission cooler, changed the in line trans filter and plugged in a SVCM disabler. The old fluid looked like it had never been changed. I used Valvoline MaxlifeATF which is full synthetic instead of the DW1 and the transmission has been performing perfectly since
Are any special tools or jacks needed to change the transmission fluid? Given I just had the fuel injectors replaced and I installed the SVCM, I’m thinking I should flush the transmission fluid next. I’m already at 78,000km. Thanks for any advice! ( I will also check YouTube)



2019 Pilot EX-L Navi (Black)

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To get a more complete drain. Do this on level ground, not on ramps. A rear drivers side jack will drain another .3.
146667

The drain bolt requires a 3/8 ratchet no socket. Simply reach in from the front of the vehicle, stick it in the bolt and pull to open.
 

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Are any special tools or jacks needed to change the transmission fluid? Given I just had the fuel injectors replaced and I installed the SVCM, I’m thinking I should flush the transmission fluid next. I’m already at 78,000km. Thanks for any advice! ( I will also check YouTube)



2019 Pilot EX-L Navi (Black)

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Pretty easy job to do a drain and fill especially if you have a garage with a nice smooth floor. Depending on how bad the fluid is, you may only need to do it once. Mine was really dark so I did it 3x with a short drive in between each. Use the dipstick tube to refill and you don't need to find and remove the big fill plug on top of the transmission. You will need a longer funnel that will fit the tube or you can rig something up with a regular funnel and some plastic tubing that will reach like I did. You will need 4 litres for each fill but I would get some extra just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Triple ATF drain and fill done, the color on the dip stick has improved. The SUV also feels smoother in the low RPM range and during acceleration, I did still notice some fluctuations but nothing like before the ATF flush. I'm hoping the s-vcm (being delivered Monday) will finish the job.
 

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Triple ATF drain and fill done, the color on the dip stick has improved. The SUV also feels smoother in the low RPM range and during acceleration, I did still notice some fluctuations but nothing like before the ATF flush. I'm hoping the s-vcm (being delivered Monday) will finish the job.
I'm confident that S-VCM will end this problem.
Although DW-1 may provide a smoother shift, IMO, it can eventually be the Achilles heel in our quest for transmission longevity.
 
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Just remember you've got to keep that DW-1 fresh and it overheats easily. I'd do something like 12k-15k mile or every other oil change single drain and fills unless you're going to install an ATF cooler (not necessary unless you're towing) or switching to a synthetic fluid.

Glad everything is working smoothly again!
 

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