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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Soooo my 2016 pilot with 50k miles is having the whole transmission replaced under my extended warranty. I got in my car one day after work and when it started it gave me a warning light that the transmission system failure. I took it to Honda and they kept it over night stating it need a software update. Picked the vehicle up got it home and went to leave a little later that evening and the same message came up. The car drove fine to the dealership. Again left it at Honda and was given a rental and was called and said a part with the transmission needed replacing and they were ordering it when “Honda” called and said the whole thing needs replacing. I am a little nervous about this as I had already had a steering column replaced. I love my car and am trying to to dwell on the negative things that’s happened. Has anyone had transmission replaced yet?
 

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Yup. They replaced our transmisison at 19k miles. I believe in our case the transmission cooler started leaking which allowed coolant to mix with transmission fluid, killing the transmission.

I got so fed up with the 9-spd transmission that I traded our '16 Touring for a '17 EX-L to get back to the proven 6-spd transmission. Our '16 was a very early production model of the new design (2nd sold in St Louis) so maybe ours had extra issues. It had very jerky shifts, clunky downshifts, and would actually accelerate when you touch the brake when coasting downhill. They did several software updates but it didn't fix it.

Good luck!
 

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Soooo my 2016 pilot with 50k miles is having the whole transmission replaced under my extended warranty. I got in my car one day after work and when it started it gave me a warning light that the transmission system failure. I took it to Honda and they kept it over night stating it need a software update. Picked the vehicle up got it home and went to leave a little later that evening and the same message came up. The car drove fine to the dealership. Again left it at Honda and was given a rental and was called and said a part with the transmission needed replacing and they were ordering it when “Honda” called and said the whole thing needs replacing. I am a little nervous about this as I had already had a steering column replaced. I love my car and am trying to to dwell on the negative things that’s happened. Has anyone had transmission replaced yet?
In your case 50K is still just the standard warranty. Seems like a real problem with these 9 spd's
 

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Yup. They replaced our transmisison at 19k miles. I believe in our case the transmission cooler started leaking which allowed coolant to mix with transmission fluid, killing the transmission.

I got so fed up with the 9-spd transmission that I traded our '16 Touring for a '17 EX-L to get back to the proven 6-spd transmission. Our '16 was a very early production model of the new design (2nd sold in St Louis) so maybe ours had extra issues. It had very jerky shifts, clunky downshifts, and would actually accelerate when you touch the brake when coasting downhill. They did several software updates but it didn't fix it.

Good luck!
My 2006 Pilot EX-L had coolant mixed in transmission (6-speed) fluid too, albeit much later around 100,000 miles. Hope your new transmission is better.
 

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2016 CRV Touring AWD, 2005 Pilot RIP.
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My 2006 Pilot EX-L had coolant mixed in transmission (6-speed) fluid too, albeit much later around 100,000 miles. Hope your new transmission is better.
Point of reference from your friendly moderator. 2006 and 2016 Pilots had very different reasons for coolant mixing with ATF. So 2006 owners should not be posting about their issues in the 2016 section

When a 2006 radiator failed, it did so internally and allowed the radiator coolant to mix with the transmission fluid. Early 9 speeds suffered from a problem that affected many brands of car equipped with ZF auto transmission.
The ZF9 transmission warmers, used engine coolant to speed up the warming of the ATF and improve economy, but leaked the two fluids together. ATF warmers are separate from the car's radiator.

Honda, FCA and BMW brands (and maybe more) all had this issue briefly until the problem was resolved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have not heard anything from Honda except them stating that the car HAS to throw the code for Honda to give the go ahead for the transmission to be replaced. It’s been 2 weeks that they have had my car and the “can’t seem to make it throw the code”. It starting to get a little frustrating because we are going out of town this weekend and I don’t have to space for our things we need in this accord and when I called the dealership about getting a bigger car even just for the weekend I was told that we could keep the one we have or I could take our pilot back. I don’t want my pilot back until it’s fixed especially with my kids in it on a somewhat long trip. I called the Honda auto number from the website just to make sure it’s been documented about this. I mean this getting a little old.
 

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Point of reference from your friendly moderator. 2006 and 2016 Pilots had very different reasons for coolant mixing with ATF. So 2006 owners should not be posting about their issues in the 2016 section

When a 2006 radiator failed, it did so internally and allowed the radiator coolant to mix with the transmission fluid. Early 9 speeds suffered from a problem that affected many brands of car equipped with ZF auto transmission.
The ZF9 transmission warmers, used engine coolant to speed up the warming of the ATF and improve economy, but leaked the two fluids together. ATF warmers are separate from the car's radiator.

Honda, FCA and BMW brands (and maybe more) all had this issue briefly until the problem was resolved.
Same basic design, different implementations. Both are examples of fluid-to-fluid heat exchangers that recruit the engine cooling system to regulate transmission temperature. The ATF cooler/warmer in the radiator of early Pilots/MDXs fails because of corrosion of an externally exposed fitting, so it tends to fail "late in life" after warranty expiration and it tends to be sudden, often leading to catastrophic failure of the transmission.

In the case of the stand-alone heat exchanger in 3rd-gen Pilot/MDX it is partial failure of defective internal structure that causes intermixing, and it seems to be more progressive so catastrophic failures ( dead car at roadside ) seem to be rare. Let's hope it stays that way.

As a reward for being a loyal Honda/Acura customer, I have experienced both of these modes of failure first-hand. I guess I'm lucky that way. At least in the 2016 it was covered by warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Customer service issues

I am beyond frustrated with Honda and our dealership right now. My ‘16 pilot has been in the shop for over 3 weeks now. I had a transmission system failure error code come up and immediately took it to the dealership. The first time it was a software update that needed to be preformed. I got my car back the next day and it immediately happened again as soon as I brought it home. Took it back to the dealership and was told a $2200 part on the transmission needed to be replaced and was covered under warranty. They went to order the part and Honda said they couldn’t and the whole transmission needed replacing. But before they could the error would have to come up again. So I call Honda customer service after two weeks and get a “case manager” hoping it would help thing move along with my repair. I called my so called case manager yesterday and was told that I am probably going to get my car back with nothing being done to it or fixed in anyway after them having my car for weeks. I am at my wits end with this as this isn’t the first time my car has had a major component replaced (my whole steering column). I do not feel comfortable driving my kids around in a car I was told needed a new transmission. I am to the point of trading my car on for another and it wouldn’t be Honda after this fiasco. I bought a Honda for the reason I know so many people who love theirs and had no issues. Can anyone give advice on who I should go to next.
 

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I merged your two threads, since the subject matter the transmission is the same.

It just doesn't make sense that the dealer claims a part needs to be replaced. Is Honda saying it doesn't need replacing? I don't know about you but I'm confused! As you know there haven't been too many compliments about the early 2016s with 9 speed boxes.

Its 100% your car and you absolutely have the right to trade it for something else. If however you are locked in for some reason, my bias would be to have another dealer look at it. Especially if you doubt the first dealer's ability.
 

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OP -- Take your Pilot and drive it. See if the code comes back. If it does, make sure to take a picture for documentation purposes!! At least it never let you down on the side of the road, so chances are it still won't.

Sorry to hear ur troubles. Good luck with it!!


biz
:eek:
 

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This may be related to a problem with an electrical connection ( crimp ) on some of the ZF 9-speed transmissions used in early 3rd-gen Pilots and many other vehicles. There is the potential for the vehicle to suddenly shift into neutral because of the flakey connection that is internal to the transmission. A recall was issued to apply a software patch that will supposedly keep this from happening, amongst other issues, but it doesn't fix the physical problem. ( That's probably the software update that was applied ).

AFAIK the transmission isn't likely to explode and if the software error persists the definitive solution is to replace the transmission. Document.

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/zf-recalls-nine-speed-automatic-for-random-drops-into-neutral
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So update on my ‘16 touring. After 40 days they finally got the code to be thrown again and recorded and was finally given the ok to replace the transmission. Supposed to be picking up my car. I won’t lie I am a little nervous about it since I have kinda gotten used to the rental but everyone has been reassuring me. Now for the fight over what warranty this new transmission will have and who is to pay for the rental (hint: it won’t be me).
 

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Our 2016 transmission was replaced at about 30k kms (Vancouver Canada). There was no error codes ever thrown, but it started "chirping" when shifting between gears when pulling away from any stop. I'm rather up tight about my vehicles so we took it in and they wouldn't even let us drive it home. Ours was replaced over a year ago before the official recall came out. It took the 8 weeks to finish the work because they didn't even have an internal part number for the replacement yet, or so we were told. They gave us a rental car for the entire time which was good of them i suppose. My wife is still complaining of issues with jerky and lurching at odd times when driving. We are considering trading for something else at this point.
 

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We own a second gen Pilot and I am disappointed that Honda optioned the higher end Pilots with a ZF transmission in the 3rd gen Pilot. We may not buy one as a result. You could say that I am a recovering German car addict and I got sick of the leaks, expensive failures and general lack of long term reliability and durability (unless you wanted to spend a small fortune on repairs each year). ZF is, in my mind, synonymous with the tendency of the German car manufacturers to embrace sophisticated technology before it is fully tested and proven, with the result that the owner picks up the tab out of warranty. I believe that their rationale for so doing is that someone who buys a $75k car shouldn’t be too concerned about expensive repairs. This plan doesn’t work with Honda, a brand that has earned its reputation based on the reliability, practicality, and thoughtfulness of the product. These failures in the ZF transmission will undermine the brand’s reputation for reliability and diminish resale. Ever notice how the German luxury cars drop like a rock in price once they near the end of the warranty period? This has not been an issue with Honda and Toyota because consumers are not afraid of them out of warranty. Honda is damaging its long run brand with its best customers and should end this partnership as soon as possible. Equip the Tourings with wither the six speed or the new Honda 10 speed before additional damage is done.
 

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Soooo my 2016 pilot with 50k miles is having the whole transmission replaced under my extended warranty. I got in my car one day after work and when it started it gave me a warning light that the transmission system failure. I took it to Honda and they kept it over night stating it need a software update. Picked the vehicle up got it home and went to leave a little later that evening and the same message came up. The car drove fine to the dealership. Again left it at Honda and was given a rental and was called and said a part with the transmission needed replacing and they were ordering it when “Honda” called and said the whole thing needs replacing. I am a little nervous about this as I had already had a steering column replaced. I love my car and am trying to to dwell on the negative things that’s happened. Has anyone had transmission replaced yet?
 
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