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2014 EX-L - Dark Amber Metallic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. I want to buy a Pilot, so I joined this forum to research any issues prior to purchase, and of course to join in the discussions once I'm an owner.

I like everything about the Pilot (especially the driver seat adjustment), the '13-15 are in my price range, and Consumer Reports gives this generation high marks (unlike 2016+). I've read enough about VCM and the VCM disabling devices to be satisfied that I can install a device to eliminate the vibration problem and the subsequent damage.

But what about buying a used Pilot with 75K miles? If the original owner was unaware of the issue, could I be buying a vehicle with a host of hidden damage that I would have to fix in the near future?

Thanks for any advice you may have for this newbie! 馃槑
 

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2008 Piot SE FWD, 2015 Pilot LX 4WD. 2005 GSX-R1000
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75K? Barely broken it. Buy it. PS, the LX doesn't have powered driver seat adjustment controls. Don't ask me how I know.

I didn't add an SVCM on my 08 Pioot until 186K miles! on it!
 

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If it's running good @ 75k miles on it and has a good service history I wouldn't be too concerned that VCM has already damaged it badly. With that said - you for sure want to disable VCM ASAP as it's not good for anything.
 

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You can get a great idea of engine condition (damage) from VCM by looking at the spark plugs. You can look more closely with a bore-scope camera through the plug holes, but oil blowby from VCM-induced cylinder damage will be obvious with oil coking on the plug tips.

I'll recommend that you shop for a higher trim especially if you plan to do any towing. The Touring comes with all the wiring and isolation relays from the factory. The factory navigation updates are in the $150 range, worthwhile if you plan to actually depend on that system. In my opinion, the The Touring trim has so many extra features that it's worth the extra cost. Upgrading almost any lower-trim feature to Touring level will cost about the same as just getting the right car to start with. In my opinion, worth a hard look anyway.

Read the sticky on test driving a used Pilot, and look at the front suspension and particularly the rear 'compliance' bushings on the front lower control arms. Don't buy white, as there are some interesting paint peeling issues that have appeared.

Tour the last few months of post titles here, and get a sense for things people ask/complain about.

Good luck with your descision.


and... Welcome to Piloteers! Good to see folks asking before a purchase vs. complaining after the deed is done.
 

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2014 EX-L - Dark Amber Metallic
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69 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You can get a great idea of engine condition (damage) from VCM by looking at the spark plugs. You can look more closely with a bore-scope camera through the plug holes, but oil blowby from VCM-induced cylinder damage will be obvious with oil coking on the plug tips.
Great advice! Justy checking, did you mean "oil cooking"? I don't know what "coking" is.

I'll recommend that you shop for a higher trim especially if you plan to do any towing.
I want the navigation, and from what I have seen, I have to buy leather to get nav...so that's either EX-L or Touring. After having several cars with leather, I would prefer to get cloth, but I really want the nav.

Don't buy white, as there are some interesting paint peeling issues that have appeared.
Damn, it seems like half the vehicles for sale are white :cry:...but thanks for the tip! :)
 

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2008 Piot SE FWD, 2015 Pilot LX 4WD. 2005 GSX-R1000
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We recently bought a 15 that's white. No issues thus far.........
 

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2014 EX-L - Dark Amber Metallic
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Also, what about the choice between 2WD and AWD? I know that the 2WD is less expensive to buy and maintain. I assume that AWD is way better in snow, but do you still need chains or special tires with AWD? I live in California and don't ski, so snow is a rare event for me.
 

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2008 Piot SE FWD, 2015 Pilot LX 4WD. 2005 GSX-R1000
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Also, what about the choice between 2WD and AWD? I know that the 2WD is less expensive to buy and maintain. I assume that AWD is way better in snow, but do you still need chains or special tires with AWD? I live in California and don't ski, so snow is a rare event for me.
We have a Gen 1- 08 FWD=Front Wheel Drive
and a Gen 2 4WD.

I drove the FWD 08 to work/30 miles today in 3" of unplowed snow- no problem.

If you are hardly ever going to see snow/ice- get the FWD.

If you drive in in alot during the winter season and want excellent control and traction- get the 4WD/AWD

Oh yea, apparently the tow rating is higher w/ the 4WD too. Especially w/ the added tranny cooler?

My 2 cents.
 

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Also, what about the choice between 2WD and AWD? I know that the 2WD is less expensive to buy and maintain. I assume that AWD is way better in snow, but do you still need chains or special tires with AWD? I live in California and don't ski, so snow is a rare event for me.
"...Snow is a rare event for me" SoCal drivers are among those who will most benefit from AWD, especially when that "rare event" happens. I'll also share that the AWD and stability control are huge benefit for rain days that follow long no-rain periods. SoCal roads see a lot of traffic between rains, so accumulated oil and crud float to the surface to lubricate the surface. It's a field day for tow services, body shops and car dealers when it happens.

For a few decades I managed a commute among homes at OC beach communities HB and Surfside, to Pasadena, Long Beach, east Los Angeles, and way back when I was at UCLA. Logged a ton of miles there. Also had homes in Mammoth Lakes and Incline Village, and a 40-60 day annual ski addiction to satiate. 4WD/AWD since the mid 1980's, a blessing.
 
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2014 EX-L - Dark Amber Metallic
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
the AWD and stability control are huge benefit for rain days that follow long no-rain periods.
Yeah, same here in NorCl. There are some stupid drivers out there...:D
 

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If you want cloth, get cloth (EX). Factory navigation is outdated junk - and if you decide to go aftermatket, Nav models are harder to upgrade. The 2012-15 are in general not audio upgrade friendly, but Nav more so.

If you are squeamish about cutting into your dash innards, you can just invest in a good phone mount and have much better navigation than OEM.

White paint peel issue, IRRC, was only for the premium 'taffetta' paint which I think was only available on touring. Regular white is fine.
 

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Also, what about the choice between 2WD and AWD? I know that the 2WD is less expensive to buy and maintain. I assume that AWD is way better in snow, but do you still need chains or special tires with AWD? I live in California and don't ski, so snow is a rare event for me.
Get AWD - it's better even when roads are just wet.
The only extra maintenance is rear differential and transfer case fluid changes, typically every 30K miles.
 

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I just bought a 2014 Touring with 180,000km on it and love it. I couldn't be happier. Just had all the fluids replaced, spark plugs and timing belt and water pump. Just bought the SVCM controller and love it!
 

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We have a 2012. Great family SUV. However if I were buying one used now like any used car I would want a documented service history and I would pay a Honda mechanic to go over the car. At this age you are buying the previous owner鈥檚 maintenance and driving habits as much as you are buying a Honda. Stayed differently, no car, irrespective of its build quality, will be that reliable after this many years without maintenance and repair. Pay more for the better car up front as that is cheaper than fixing one up. Finally, don鈥檛 compromise on service records. If the owner wasn鈥檛 careful to keep the records, you don鈥檛 want to buy that person鈥檚 car. High standard but you will weed out a lot of junk with this standard. Maybe compromise if the dealer has the service history but that is about it. The VCM issue discussed constantly here is real- our Pilot had the work done by Honda last year - but there are other things that can and will go wrong at this mileage with any car, particularly one that hasn鈥檛 been maintained.. Good luck and HTH.
 

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Go all wheel drive. We have front wheel drive only and frankly the car is asking way too much of the right front tire. You simply struggle to put the power to the ground even in dry conditions.
 
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