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Discussion Starter #1
Idler Valve Problem

My year old '03 Pilot was scheduled to go in for the 15,000 mile maintenance and recalls next Tuesday, but last night when I left work to go home, I noticed my idle speed was a bit fast. A few moments later, the Pilot shuddered, and the check engine and VTM4 lights came on. I stopped and turned off the engine. After waiting a few moments, I restarted. The engine idle was still fast and the engine light came back on, but the VTM4 light was off, so I proceeded home. I noted a shudder whenever I took my foot off the gas. By the time I got home, the VTM4 light was back on. When I put the Pilot in neutral, the RPM revved up and down between 1200 and 1900 rpm - over and over.

I called the dealer this morning, and after describing the problems, the technician told me I would not damage it to drive it in to them today. I had the same problems on the way to the dealer. They would not speculate on the cause until they hook it up for diagnostics. In addition to this problem, it will be looked at for:

15,000 mile normal maintenance
SRS recall
Timing Belt recall
Driver's seat noise during tight turns
Occasional Rattle in left rear window
Occasional Rattle around Glove Box

While I like the Pilot, I would have to say my experience with problems so far has been similar to the '99 Chrysler I had before the Pilot.

In looking at other threads, I suspect the cause may be the EGR Valve or the Idler Motor, but I'll post again when I find out for sure.
 

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Glove Box Rattle

Please let me know what they determine, if anything, is causing the glove box rattle. Mine has been to the dealer at least a half dozen times for this rattle and it hasn't been fixed yet.
 

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Even though its a Honda and they do a fairly good job with quality, there is something to be said in buying a vehicle in its first model year. I wonder how many ot these "issues" will corrected in 2004.
 

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tonyrwc said:
Even though its a Honda and they do a fairly good job with quality, there is something to be said in buying a vehicle in its first model year. I wonder how many ot these "issues" will corrected in 2004.
I have a first-year (1997) CRV with ZERO problems. It has been the best car I have ever owned (I'm hoping up until now, since I have an '04 Pilot).

It does bother me that the Pilot has had so many issues its first year out. I might expect and accept that in another make of vehicle, but Honda?

From what I've read so far on this board there have been a couple of '04 owners with some of the same '03 issues. Honda seriously needs to get it together. News of this nature is disappointing, in my book.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I got my Pilot back today

After living with a loaner '99 CrV for the past three days, I'm very happy to have my Pilot back this evening!! My father has an '02 CrV, and I must say Honda certainly improved it with the newer model. The '99 was quite cramped and noisy for my taste, and the stereo sounded awful! The CrV had 103,000 miles on it, but the engine and transmission purred like new! Gotta love Honda! Since my dealer was kind enough to let me use it, I shouldn't complain, but the Pilot spoils you!

The idle/shudder/warning lights problem was a defective IAC Valve, or Idler Valve as they called it. This is the same problem seabbott97 and jhb had - might be a trend? See this thread:

http://www.piloteers.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1880

The dealer completed my SRS and Timing Belt Recalls, as well as my 15,000 mile maintenance. However, I struck out on the other items. They told me they test drove my Pilot and could not observe the seat noise on tight corners, the glove box area rattle, or the rear window rattle (they do come & go). They lubed the seals on the back door just in case.

I told the dealer there was a Service Bulletin for the seat noise issue, and they told me I was wrong. Wish I had taken a copy of the SB shown on this site with me. The service technician said he had never heard of Honda-Pilot.org. I'll go prepared next time before my warranty ends.
 

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My Pilot has been a problem form day 1. It may be a first year model (purchased summer of 2002), but, Honda should have done better. More rattles, bumps, fir and trim issues, broken seats, wind noises etc. than any car I have owned. we just leased a new RX 330 (after turing in our 300) this summer. No problems with this 1st year model. I have owned 3 Hondas since 1978. I like them. I don't like the issues I have had to deal with related to the Pilot. I get mune back frm the dealer tomorrow after they have had it for a week. Fixed the brken back seat (so it would lay forward or recline), SRS recall, tensioner recall, try to fix the rattle around/above the glove box (which had been replaced due to warped plastic). I am planning to have it sold by the end of the weekend. Also, what is this "1st year model" stuff - it really is a rebadged - re-trimmed MDX. Enough said for a mediocre product from a great company.
 

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Worst Resale Value...

I had many problems and still exists. I wanted to trade in for 2004 Pilot. Dealer's appraisal value was $22k (I had paid $34k including tax, accessories) for a 12k miles and a year old PILOT. Dealer told me that 2003 year Pilot has many problems that is why the resale value is low. I'm stuck.

I thought Honda cars retain their value for long time but not this one.
 

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Someone at the dealership was blowing smoke...
They didn't want to give you more for your trade in, plain and simple. They will say whatever they can to take your money. They WILL turn around and sell a 2003 Pilot for at least 27K. Where's the low resale there? If this "problems logic" were true, '03 Trailblazers Explorers and Durangos would be just about FREE.
I agree, there are a few problems, but nothing like the domestics.
Don't worry, your Pilot will be worth more than that. Sell it private party. Auto trader works great. Good luck, but sorry you are disappointed to that extreme:(
 

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74PILOTMOM said:
Someone at the dealership was blowing smoke...
They didn't want to give you more for your trade in, plain and simple. They will say whatever they can to take your money. They WILL turn around and sell a 2003 Pilot for at least 27K. Where's the low resale there? If this "problems logic" were true, '03 Trailblazers Explorers and Durangos would be just about FREE.
I agree, there are a few problems, but nothing like the domestics.
Don't worry, your Pilot will be worth more than that. Sell it private party. Auto trader works great. Good luck, but sorry you are disappointed to that extreme:(
To carry this a bit farther - I learned a LONG time ago that no matter what vehicle you are BUYING, it is always the greatest and that is why it demands the high price. AND, that same vehicle is always the worst when it comes time to SELL, and that is why it has such a low trade-in value.


Some people are very adapt at talking through both sides of their mouth (among other things).............
:2:
 

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Resale

I think last week or possibly the week before the Pilot made it to the top of the shortest days on the lot list. It was hovering around 3rd or 4th then jumped to no. 1

If you can find that survey bring it with you to the dealer and ask him about it.

The '03 and '04 are essentially the same machines so don't take that 03 problem guff.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
While I was picking up my Pilot from service last night, I was talking to the tech and paying for the 15,000 mile service while they pulled my SUV around from behind the dealer. When I went out the door, someone was walking around my Pilot. I thought it was the guy who pulled it around from the back, but instead found it was a customer hoping it was a used Pilot for sale!

He asked me how I liked it and told me it's very hard to find any used Pilots. If that's true, the dealer's argument for low resale does not hold water. Supply and demand drive price, and the high ratings Consumer Reports gave the Pilot help too.
 

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I was talking with my neighbor today and he offered to buy my '03 for $27.5K. Earlier in the day when I picked my Pilot up from the dealer following my 11th trip to the service department since July of '02, I asked what my trade in would be if I wanted to buy a new S2000. They stated $23-24K. Dealers ar always low. Sell it privately, thats what I'm going to do. This is a bad outing for Honda and I have read a recent comment in our local paper about the Honda Pilot breaking the usual quality standard for Honda. I stopped a person at our local food store who had a Pilot and her experience mirrored mine. Many thinkg to like about the vehicle but growing weary of the nagging problems. TIme to move on. I really don't feelI can brag about the Pilot anymore. My 97 Explorer (on yes) had fewer problems than my Pilot.
 

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Link?

...and I have read a recent comment in our local paper about the Honda Pilot breaking the usual quality standard for Honda.
Wiley:

Could you please post a link to this article? If your local paper is not online, simply name the paper and the appx. date (or range within one week) when this story appeared and I will contact the publisher, track down the article, retype it and post.

Thanks in advance for enlightening us!
 

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problems

I've had a full share of problems since I picked it up. Most of them I ignore, the dealer wants to charge me for the broken rear air vents that broke the first week. I know there are a lot with that problem.

Another really anoying thing is the schedule they have for enriching the service department. Rotate this, turn that, replace this, check that, analyze the light bulbs.
If this thing was half what they claim all you should need to do is change the oil. And notice the service schedules are not coincidental. If you follw them you might as well buy it and just leave it at the dealership for service.

I also have a 98 Explorer and for the first 4 years was essentially problem free. But then at 55K miles I'v lost a cat converter, four brake rotors, alternator bearings, both emergency brake cables, and the bearings in the alternator.

So this thing is just the reverse, all the problems in the first 4 years then trouble free, ya
 

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After the warranty?

We are in the second year. Problems are too many and fixes are too less. Dealers would fix it as long as we are under warranty. What would happen after this?
 

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Re: After the warranty?

hondalover said:
We are in the second year. Problems are too many and fixes are too less. Dealers would fix it as long as we are under warranty. What would happen after this?
From some dealers, you can buy an extended warranty as late as year 4, fyi.

kad
 

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I'm also having a problem with the engine and VTM4 lights coming on for no apparant reason. I had my 30K service last week and they were supposed to have straightened it out. I gotta go back tomorrow because they're back on. I also asked them to look at a rattle coming from the left rear (suspension?) They said they replaced a bushing and the problem was fixed. I still hear the noise. We picked the Pilot over the Explorer largely because of Honda's rep for quality. We love the Pilot, but the quality has been a bit of a disappointment.
 
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