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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Please forgive my ignorance on this forum and cars in general. I'm trying my best to sort this out.

2011 Honda Pilot EXL (front wheel drive only)
1 owner
143,000 - odometer reading
No reported accidents
Asking price is $12,800 (from Dealership)


I am going to look at a 2011 EXL about 150 miles from where I live so I am searching everywhere to make sure I know what to look for engine & transmission wise.

VCM ISSUE ??
I've been seeing a lot of mention of the VCM issue on these but I'm still confused about the severity of this issue or how to tell if it actually has a VCM issue. - Is the engine junk if it has a VCM issue?

The service history on CARFAX is close to impeccable.
ONE owner and they documented EVERY SINGLE oil change on the vehicle at the same Honda Dealer ship the entire length of ownership. The oil change intervals listed are all within acceptable range and accounted for. The timing belt & water pump was also replaced and documented at 105,000 miles at the same Honda Dealership.

However, I can only find ONE document of the Transmission fluid changed at 66,500 miles. (should this raise concern?)

Other than that, I don't know what else to look for or do.

I would GREALTY appreciate anyone's help or suggestions. Thank you all for your time.
 

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Hey, I was you only a few months ago. I just got a 2011 EX-L back in the beginning of April. Mine had 121 on the clock. I got a lot of good advice on here that I've been bringing up to snuff. I got the S-VCM disabler even though my engine hasn't been burning oil and when I pulled plugs 1-4 they were in pretty good shape ( just think of it as a hundred dollar insurance policy.) I also did the transmission dump & fill with the Valvoline Max Life and oil change 0-20w which is highly recommended here.

Some of my personal experiences though are that because of the potential for engine troubles down the road & in light of Honda's recall warranty extension I opted to take out a dealer extended warranty in case there were any problems down the line. I also still have my 90 day dealer warranty during which time I've so far gotten the driver side cv joint replaced (boot leaking), new PS Pump (chasing a vibration in steering) and I'm looking to have the ac compressor looked at/replaced as it idles wonky when the clutch engages. Take advantage of whatever dealer perks they give ya. As far as service records are concerned I got the carfax maintenance manager but I also signed up for a Honda account and added the vehicle to get service records direct from them. This filled in some unreported gaps from the carfax that slipped through the cracks. The biggest one being the timing belt package which was done at about 90k on mine.

Everything else is really just your normal used car checks. Recall status, leaks...etc. There are plenty of different threads outlining the finer points of contention and plenty of very knowledgeable people here so I find myself reading answers more often than providing them cuz somebody is always on top of it!
 

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Bring a Actron OBD2 code reader with you to check for engine codes. Honda J-series motors are notorious for misfires. And a magnet to check for hidden damage to the car on.



 

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2008 Piot SE FWD, 2015 Pilot LX 4WD. 2005 GSX-R1000
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Bring a Actron OBD2 code reader with you to check for engine codes. Honda J-series motors are notorious for misfires. And a magnet to check for hidden damage to the car on.



Is this Scotty behind this Avatar/member? LOL
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bring a Actron OBD2 code reader with you to check for engine codes. Honda J-series motors are notorious for misfires. And a magnet to check for hidden damage to the car on.

**I went and bought a BlueDriver scanner. This will be the 1st time attempting to use a scanner, it looked the easiest fit for me. Do you have experience with them? Do you think they are lacking anything?
 

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I use the owners.honda.com. Theres an option for my maintenance records where you can add your vehicle by vin number.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I use the owners.honda.com. Theres an option for my maintenance records where you can add your vehicle by vin number.
**Thanks CK. I think this is the same website just a different section. Appreciate it.

When you went to look at your Pilot, did you ever take an OBD2 scanner with you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah I have a basic bluetooth scanner and the torque pro app on my phone. Are you familiar with how to use a scanner?
**Not familiar at all. I just started using the BlueDriver OBD2 Scanner yesterday on my current vehicle. It seems pretty straight forward so far but I haven't delved into it much, yet.
 

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I've never use that particular one or it's program but the hardware is pretty universal. Plug it in to the port with the car off then put the key to the "on" position and open the app letting it connect to the ECU. once its connected you can check to see if there are any "not ready" indicators from the dtc screen because this could be an indicator that the codes were recently cleared. You can also run the fault codes and see if there are any pending or historical fault codes that haven't cleared the system yet. These are codes that could become active codes or are ones that have been repaired but haven't cleared the system yet respectively.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've never use that particular one or it's program but the hardware is pretty universal. Plug it in to the port with the car off then put the key to the "on" position and open the app letting it connect to the ECU. once its connected you can check to see if there are any "not ready" indicators from the dtc screen because this could be an indicator that the codes were recently cleared. You can also run the fault codes and see if there are any pending or historical fault codes that haven't cleared the system yet. These are codes that could become active codes or are ones that have been repaired but haven't cleared the system yet respectively.
**I'll be spending the better part of today learning how to use it.

I was able to set up my Honda account and low & behold, lots of service records (for free). Not as many service records as CarFax claim to have but this is better than nothing. Thanks for that gold-nugget of information.
 

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The difference is that it's only going to be dealer-specific service records. In my case for some reason with my pilot the dealer only sporadically reported their service history to carfax so certain things like the timing belt service, the warranty work for the compliance bushing & the airbag recall etc went unreported.
 

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Before buying, I found my Vin number through Vingurus , and before that, I had to make a free vin check. Car identification numbers can tell a lot about cars, including the type of their airbags, country of origin, engine size, model year, car type, trim level, and factory name.
 
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