Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I’m new to the Pilot world, but not new to car repairs. I’ve been fixing up a 2003 Pilot with 140k miles. She’s in pretty good shape overall and I’ve caught up on a number of repairs and maintenance issues but still trying to figure out what can be done for the transmission at this point. And thank you in advance for your input. So here’s the story: The tranny seems to shift pretty well overall, but I’ve noticed two signs of trouble. One is that every time it goes from first to second gear, it “bumps” into gear, meaning an aggressive shift. Not terrible, but definitely noticeable. It starts happening only once the tranny warms up but then it happens every time. And the second thing is that occasionally while driving, I’ll press on the gas and the car will not respond at all, and it will be almost as if I was revving it in neutral, and then a couple seconds later it will “catch” again and go back to normal. I’m assuming this is also transmission related, correct me if I’m wrong.

I did follow the recommended trans fluid changes, and these issues did not go away. Also changed the diff fluid. So I realize there’s a pretty good chance that these issues aren’t fixable without replacing or building the transmission (which I have no plans of doing). But I want to rule out any other possibilities. It was scanned with a professional scanner, and it has no engine or transmission codes. I saw a thread about cleaning the screens for some solenoids possibly helping some transmission issues. I also saw some threads about people changing pressure switches although I’m not sure if that matches my symptoms. I also saw that there is a transmission filter that some have replaced, but I didn’t see much discussion about the filter being implicated in any specific transmission problems. Besides for these three things I’m not aware of any other simple possibilities. Could some of you with some more insight into these kinds of issues share some thoughts? Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Anyone? Please guys I’m at the end of my rope with this tranny it’s driving me nuts...thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
There are a couple of things to try before you give up on that transmission. I assume that you have already done the drain and refill of ATF several (3) times. There is an external filter on the transmission, located on top, and hidden by the battery tray. It is worth while to change it out, probably has never been touched. Some folks have found that cleaning the solenoid screens helps as well. If none of this helps, and you continue to have false neutral and harsh 1-2, it's probably reman time.

The Honda transmission valve body is very sensitive to dirty or burned fluid. That's why 3 drain and refills are recommended to clean up the fluid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks STMech. I’ll try those ideas. Have you heard of people having good results from changing the external filter? I had gotten the impression that it wasn’t much of a major benefit to change it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,153 Posts
It's not an encouraging scenario. The drain and refill could be last ditch effort. I would suggest you do one, then put a tank of fuel through the car, then another if symptoms persist etc. That allows any old stuck dirt a chance to get suspended in new fluid before being drained out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
Regarding the external filter, I can only speak to my own experience. I purchased a 2003 with 197k miles. Transmission shifted ok, but a bit sluggish. 3 drain/fills helped. I also changed out external filter, and I swear that helped give faster, smoother shifts. It's an inexpensive part, a bit difficult to change, but not impossible. Your call on your car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
I had a 05 Odyssey with a vibration issue on light throttle,the dealer diagnosed as needing the tranny replaced,I decided to try and fix it myself because there wasn't anything to loose at that point.

After some research I drained and filled the tranny and fluid until the fluid coming out was bright red (actually took 5 x times!) while driving it a few hundred miles in-between I initially used Honda fluid but switched to Valvoline Max life synthetic on the recommendations of people on Odyclub and the issue eventually went away.

I did replace a small filter hidden under the battery tray and on the last fill put in a bottle of Lubeguard,dunno if the pilot has this one but this was really clogged ....the whole episode cost about just 30 dollars more than the doofy dealer telling me in needed to replace the tranny...lol.

Let us know how you get on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
There are a couple of other threads with 'false nuetral' that I posted in yesterday. My 2003 Pilot has been doing that very irregularly for the last 6 1/2 months/nearly 10K miles, starting 44K miles after transmission was rebuilt. I put a lot more details in posts in those threads at Transmission. HELP!! and 03 Honda random high revving and have not seen any replies. My transmission shifts smoothly on 995/1000 shifts and all but two of the false nuetrals have been under light throttle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
There are a couple of other threads with 'false nuetral' that I posted in yesterday. My 2003 Pilot has been doing that very irregularly for the last 6 1/2 months/nearly 10K miles, starting 44K miles after transmission was rebuilt. I put a lot more details in posts in those threads at Transmission. HELP!! and 03 Honda random high revving and have not seen any replies. My transmission shifts smoothly on 995/1000 shifts and all but two of the false nuetrals have been under light throttle.
I think that shifting problems like you describe are due to sticky action in the valve body, or insufficient fluid flow/pressure. Neutralizing at low RPM, as you described, points to insufficient pressure. What type of ATF do you use? I know that Honda DW-1 is slightly higher viscosity than Valvoline MaxLife. If your pump clearances are a bit worn, a higher viscosity might give a bit more pressure?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
I think that shifting problems like you describe are due to sticky action in the valve body, or insufficient fluid flow/pressure. Neutralizing at low RPM, as you described, points to insufficient pressure. What type of ATF do you use? I know that Honda DW-1 is slightly higher viscosity than Valvoline MaxLife. If your pump clearances are a bit worn, a higher viscosity might give a bit more pressure?
Thanks for the reply. My longer posts in two other similar threads did not get any replies. I would be surprised if my mechanic is not using Honda fluids, but will confirm when I bring Pilot in soon for next minor service and share your thoughts with him. Since my Pilot shifts well on 995/1000 shifts at a variety of throttle levels, I still have to wonder if there is something else going on that is telling transmission to be in nuetral. And note that my transmission only has about 45K miles since it was re-built so not sure that pump clearances are a problem assuming parts were replaced in re-build.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
I took Pilot to Honda/Toyota specialist today for minor service and to have battery, front end and transmission checked as this will be last service before I do a long trip in a month and a half. He was too busy for service today so I will have to go back tomorrow. I verified that he uses Honda ATF. He has a lot of different AT fluids, two for Honda, others for Toyotas and Mazdas. He does not think there is anything external that could be causing my 'false nuetral'. He thinks it is most likely a malfunctioning 'one-way valve' that is internal. He told me to talk to the guy whose shop rebuilt the transmission. He also said that he thought my transmission will eventually fail and I took him to me sooner rather than later.

Both businesses are in the same auto service center so I went to talk to the transmission guy who said they replaced all the control valves when my transmission was rebuilt 54K (corrected) ago. He said it was possible there is something that could be flash/updated to make transmission work better, but did not have time to look at my Pilot or do any research. He said to call him next Wed. when he hopes to be less busy.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top