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Last night I was driving home from out of town. I'm in a 2010 Touring with 139,000 miles on it. I was about 100 miles from home when my check engine light started blinking. In the past, the engine light has gone off and stayed lit with the "check emission system" warning with code P0420. It usually goes off on it's own. But this time the engine light was simply flashing with no other warning or indication. The car was driving perfectly fine. I googled it and every post said to stop the car immediately. I had no choice but to drive another 5 miles or so to be able to pull over safely into a well lit area. I turned the car off for about 20 minutes, restarted it to see if the light would come back and it didn't. I still didn't want to chance it so I got a hotel with my young son and decided to deal with it this morning, Sunday. After asking around since it was a tiny Town and no mechanics were open, I was advised that as long as the car felt fine and the light wasn't on it was ok to drive. I drove about 50 miles when it started flashing again and about a mile down the road I was able to pull over. However as I was stopping the car I felt it sputter and jerk a bit and I turned it off as soon as I possibly could. I ended up towing it home, and after the tow truck driver took the car down, I had to drive it just to park it in a spot because the tow truck driver wasn't able to release the car into the spot. Just in those 10 or so seconds, the check emission system, VTM-4 light and flashing engine light came on and the car was sputtering really bad from the exhaust. No one can look at it until Tuesday and I am terrified that I did major damage to it in those 50 miles I drove it, even though it drove fine. All fluids and temperature were normal. The car felt fine up until the very second I shut it off when it started jerking. Does anyone have any idea what this could be? I did fill up and drove about 125 miles before the first check engine light came on. Any insight would be helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
And why is that? Because i'm a woman? The car has been perfectly maintained since it was purchased brand new. The warranty only ran out last year and has since had every bit of routine maintenance performed on it.
 

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Could be bad o2 sensor or most likely failed catalytic converter since you had lack of power. Don't think you caused any major damage. $300 in parts and $150 in labor would be my guess.
 

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I recommend getting the codes read by a tool which identifies Honda specific codes. Some of the generic scanners will not report the Honda specific codes. If you’re not going to try to diagnose this yourself I would take it to a shop which has the ability to read the Honda codes; hopefully the dealer isn’t your only option.
 

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When the CEL is on the dealer will always start with the codes. If you don't have a code scanner, then a local auto parts store will usually read them for you. Then you can google the codes to see what they mean. At least then you have some expectation when you take the car in to a dealer or another mechanic.


We have a 2010 and got the CEL about the same mileage as you for misfires. The plugs were changed at 105k per the MM schedule but the new ones got fouled thanks to a combination of bad tube seals and the VCM issue. I recall the car did sputter. If it is misfiring, it is not a good idea to continue driving especially when it is hesitating/sputtering so it is good that you stopped.


Keep us posted on what you find out.
 

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I would most likely in your situation have the code cleared, run some seafoam in your gas tank and use 93 octane for a few thousand miles, most likely since the code just came on it means its at the very beginning stage of deterioration and it will most likely take a while to return .


If the code returns immediately then its time to replace the cat. converter on the firewall side ( P0420 code is the cat on the firewall , P0430 is the cat on the radiator side )
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The mechanic changed the spark plugs, which were very fouled. The car runs great now but I'm a bit nervous that that wasn't the only issue. I may take the car elsewhere to have it fully inspected and diagnosed. I'm just not comfortable that the spark plugs were the only issue.the spark plugs surprised me because the car has had all routine maintenance done.
 

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The mechanic changed the spark plugs, which were very fouled. The car runs great now but I'm a bit nervous that that wasn't the only issue. I may take the car elsewhere to have it fully inspected and diagnosed. I'm just not comfortable that the spark plugs were the only issue.the spark plugs surprised me because the car has had all routine maintenance done.
Which plugs were fouled? Did you tell you which cylinders or give you the CEL codes?
 
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