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First, I want to take back what I've said in my previous postings that my Pilot is trouble free. After 4400 miles my story is different.

On Thursday, I checked my Pilot in at a local dealer for "scratching" noise or probably the clicking noise like others have experienced. I told the service tech that the noise can be heard only after overnight parking. He suggested that I should leave my Pilot overnight so that they can check it the following morning. The dealer provided me with a $30/day worth of car rental from Enterprise, a Mitsubishi Lancer. They said it's the max amount Honda warranty allowed. I'm not happy about it because I need a bigger car. That's why I bought the Pilot in the first place.

The following day, I got a phone call that the problem is the steering rack. It is leaking and needs replacement. When asked if it's a minor or major repair. He said it's major of course. Since I don't know much about car engine and mechanics, I took his words for it. The replacement parts will be in Monday and hopefully I would get my Pilot before the dealer closes.

Has anybody has this problem? I browsed through all the postings and I haven't read any problem like my Pilot's. Probably I got the first case:3:
 

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My steering rack is also toast

I started having problems at 1,800 miles. I took it in once - they couldn't find the leak. They refilled the fluid (it was almost empty) and it was fine until about 2,800 miles.

Now at 3,200 they found the leak and I need a new power steering rack - they wouldn't let me drive it in the meantime as it is too unsafe. I have a rental Civic for the next week until they can get the new rack, install it, realign, etc.

This thing is not going to drive like a new car anymore. I'm glad I paid $33,000 for 1, 800 miles of new car experience.

My Accord was fine for 120,000 miles. My Pilot started falling apart at 1,800 miles. I have no confidence in the reliability or saftey of the Pilot after this experience - I do not feel safe putting my family in this car. Buying this car during the first year of production was a very bad idea. Consumer Reports should have waited a few months before rating this SUV #1.

This was our 4th and last Honda - they have lost a loyal customer.
 

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Why?

This thing is not going to drive like a new car anymore
Why not?

The new rack should be just like all the ones that did not have this problem.

Did you have the Tow package installed? Specifically the coolers?
I wonder if there is a connection between not purging the streering system, and later failures?

What other issues have you had?
I am at 5500 miles and just about 100% happy.

I am not sure about the first year issues, because I would think the steering rack would be shared with the MDX, and probably the Odyssey. (As the water pump is shared with most of the V6 engines, and not a "First Year Issue" either.)
 

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I'm sorry to hear that you guys are having such issues. However, I don't think you should feel so badly against Honda. No product evern made is perfect, there are bound to be failures.:(
 

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Damn, sorry to hear about your steering rack problems.

It's really unfortunate that you guys are experiencing this. I also was rather hesitant about purchasing a first year model, but in the end, it was the "Honda" name that convinced me.

mbapoppy, how did you discover your steering rack problem besides the low fluid level? Did you see any leaks at all on the ground? I'd like to know what to look out for in case I ever run into this problem. Thanks.
 

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The fact of the matter is Honda quality is going down and fast...

A Honda vehicle is not the product it was 5-10 years ago. A recent article in Car and Driver ranked the Civic 5th in a comparison of cars less than $16,000. The editors noted that the silver paint was waaaay too shady and there were way too many rattles and buzzing from cheap plastic parts.

I completely agree. Even though the Pilot has been relatively, and I do use the term loosely, trouble free, our family will be looking to Toyota or Lexus next time.

I agree with the original posters...the Pilot would lose its charm if I needed major repairs this early in the game. Also, I'm with you guys...buying the first model year of a car is NOT a good idea, Honda or not.
 

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So far so good

My '02 CR-V (first year) has 17000 almost flawless miles.
One TSB on the drivers seat, that I did not even notice the problem, till pointed out on a CR-V board.

My '03 Pilpot has 5700 almost flawless miles.
Had the minor buzz from the throttle cable braket. Honda probably should have done a redesign after the MDX had it, but very minor.

No other car I have had has been this good since my '83 Civic.

What are the choices do I have.

A Rav-4 and a Highlander would be less car for more money.
A Highlander and a Saquoa would do, with worse gas milage and a LOT more money!

How better should I have spent my $53,000?
(Suggestions should be interesting) :2:
 

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learning to live with it, but nervous

There are rattles and scrunches and squeaks and I've learned to live with them (in hopes of some fixes). . .but I am worried about a few issues, like the power steering and tranny.

Now, while boards like this are fantastic resources, they also can feed paranoia (as we saw with the tranny posts).

However, while I have had no problems with the tranny, I am starting to notice a clicking noise in the steering while parking. Haven't checked the fluid yet, but plan to do so today. . .not expecting to find anything, but who knows? Maybe it's low and I've got a leak there. . .

in any event, the car is under warranty. . .and I have the extended to 100,000 miles and frankly, at this point, I'm glad I purchased it.
 

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Honda quality

There isn't a manufaturer on the planet that has a 100% flawless track record. I've owned 6 Hondas starting when I was 17(I'm 31 now). They were all great driving, excellent egineered, extremely reliable vehicles. Honda is still rated at the top in reliability over all the other manufaturers. Minorities may scream loud, but the majorities lay down the law. Another thing I don't think many are considering is that people are WAY more critical of cars than they were 5-10 years ago due to the fact that this is the information age. Point in case....we're all here on this forum picking apart this vehicle. That wasn't happening (to this degree) 5-10 years ago. That's what kills me about reviews and ratings these days. The expectation of the consumer has gotten out of reach. Statements like, "boring styling", "an interior that isn't exciting", "not enough power", (published reviews on the Pilot), just sounds crazy to me. With the combination of people really counting pennies these days, mixed with way to much information available, and unreasonable expectations, I think we've all grown to expect the impossible....perfection. No matter how much many is spent on a vehicle.....it's not going to happen. I don't like problems anymore than anyone else on this forum. I don't like it when my tv stops working, my toilet starts leaking, or my razor stops shaving....but these things happen. It doesn't mean that I'm going to stop buying those items, it just means that I will try to get the most reliable one available that fits in my budget.........so far Honda is the only one that fits. Isn't that why all of us bought one. :8: Let's be realistic and try to keep things in prospective.

Forever Honda
Chet(1984 CRX, 1981 Accord, 1997 CRV, 2000 Accord, 1996 Odyssey, 2003 Pilot)
 

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Still waiting;

Still waiting for an answer about the cooler installations.

I wonder if this is a mechanic induced or assited failure?
 

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Re: Why?

N_Jay said:


Did you have the Tow package installed? Specifically the coolers?
I wonder if there is a connection between not purging the streering system, and later failures?
No tow package was installed. Honda topped off the fluid at 1,800 miles. That is the only time anyone has touched the power steering level.

As for why I am so disappointed - the only reason I buy Hondas is for reliability. If I loose confidence in reliability, I no reason to buy a Honda. The squeaks, rattles, and scrunches are really getting on my nerves, too. I don't mind the excessive road noise as much as the excessive Pilot noises.
 

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Re: Damn, sorry to hear about your steering rack problems.

RipRocK said:

mbapoppy, how did you discover your steering rack problem besides the low fluid level? Did you see any leaks at all on the ground? I'd like to know what to look out for in case I ever run into this problem. Thanks.
No leaks on the ground, but a slight burning odor makes me believe that the fluid was dripping onto, and burning off of, the manifold - but I really don't know.

The power steering pump really started to make some loud whirling noises - that is how I knew something was up. And the power steering fluid looked like bubble bath . . . .
 

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What kind of a "scratching" noise were you guys hearing and when??? Pls be specific...
 
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