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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. I've owned a 2009 Pilot Touring for about 6 years. We have 250K miles on it and have had very little trouble. It's aged well but it's about time to put her out to pasture and upgrade.

My wife really likes the newer Pilot more than the Toyota Highlander or Sequoia so it looks like that's what we're going with. What I'd like to know is if anyone has suggestions, has experienced trouble or has other items you'd recommend I look out for with the 3rd generation. We're currently looking at the 2016, which has the 6-speed auto. I'm nervous about the ZF in the later models anyways since Acura hasn't exactly had good luck with them, especially the TLX.

I'm a gearhead and have owned 3 other vehicles with the Honda J-series V6 (2006 TL, 2012 TL and 2009 Pilot). I've worked quite a bit on them including timing belt replacements, valve adjustments, etc. And I've read a good deal on the forum about potential problems. However, I'm hoping anyone who's owned one for a while can shed light on anything I should look for in particular.

If anyone has any tips, please let me know. Thank you!
 

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In additional to problems echoed here, familiarize yourself with the TSBs and recalls issued for the 2016 model year >> 2016 Honda Pilot Service Bulletins. ALso use owners.honda.com to check them.

The ZF transmission in the Pilot and Odyssey seem to have some issues, though addressed, not everyone is happy about it. Odyssey has since migrated to the 10AT, which is problem free and it a Honda child.

As you know, the first model year of any generation of vehicles, has its own issues. I would say wait on the Pilot to get a 2020 or later.
 

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'16 is the first model year for the 3rd gen. You get many creature comfort and performance upgrades over the 2nd gen but there have been teething problems. Injectors are probably the biggest risk, followed by infotainment issues (since you are staying away from the 9 speeds).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks to both of you. I'll definitely look up the TSB's to get familiar with anything those. Curious on the injectors though. I haven't owned any vehicles with direct injection yet. I understand that those injectors are a lot more expensive than standard port injectors. Have there been very many owners with injector problems?

I'm giving it the one over this afternoon. We'll see how it goes.
 

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Thanks to both of you. I'll definitely look up the TSB's to get familiar with anything those. Curious on the injectors though. I haven't owned any vehicles with direct injection yet. I understand that those injectors are a lot more expensive than standard port injectors. Have there been very many owners with injector problems?

I'm giving it the one over this afternoon. We'll see how it goes.
If you get a certified Pre Owned, then you would be in luck because you have very good warranty coverage which is 7years/100K miles (' 2015 - '2020 model years). As far as the powertrain is concerned, if the vehicle you are purchasing still has its 'new vehicle warranty' then you get 4-yr/48K extension, if the 'new vehicle warranty' expired, then you get a 1-yr/12K extension. All these begin from the date of delivery. More info here >> https://www.hondacertified.com/-/media/HondaCertified/PDF/certified-preowned-benefits/Honda-Certified-Pre-Owned-Vehicles-Warranty-Booklet.ashx


Fuel injectors
Some are starting to have issues, and some have repetitive issues. This is across the board on Ridgeline and Odyssey as well. If you get a CPO (certified pre-owned) then this work, as long as the VIN qualifies, will be performed. If it does not, it is worth negotiating prior to delivery. Generally speaking, for new vehicle purchase; the customer has the upper hand. For a used vehicle; the dealership has the upper hand.
The direct injection fuel injectors are pretty much the same price as the port fuel injectors. We are talking about price of each fuel injector here and they are about the same. For example, the Port fuel injector on a 2014 Ridgeline is $62.11/each while the direct injection fuel injector on a 2018 Ridgeline is $62.89.

The difference is, you CANNOT get one single direct injection fuel injector; it will only come as a kit of 6 from the dealership. Everything associated with the DI injector replacement will also be done in a set of 6. So this means, when one injector is bad in your 2016 Pilot, you will shell out $377.35 to purchase 6, though you only need 1. This is why the DI injector replacement, with labor, is a lot more than changing one faulty injector in a non-DI engine.
 

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Get the sequoia if you can afford it! Honda has lost its way, the technology isn’t up to par and I have no confidence in the longevity of the engines.
 

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2016 is the one year I would never buy. First year run of a redesign is proving true in this case.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Agreed. The J is pretty solid. Now the turbo's out recently are another subject. Time will tell......
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh, and the Pilot we looked at the other day ended up selling. Too bad because it was the perfect combo my wife was looking for. Black interior, factory DVD and 2nd row bench (not captain chairs). Apparently it's not common for the factory DVD to come on the EX-L. There are lots of Touring's and Elite's for sale but no bueno on the 9 speed. My wife test drove a touring and agreed.
 

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Hello all. I've owned a 2009 Pilot Touring for about 6 years. We have 250K miles on it and have had very little trouble. It's aged well but it's about time to put her out to pasture and upgrade.

My wife really likes the newer Pilot more than the Toyota Highlander or Sequoia so it looks like that's what we're going with. What I'd like to know is if anyone has suggestions, has experienced trouble or has other items you'd recommend I look out for with the 3rd generation. We're currently looking at the 2016, which has the 6-speed auto. I'm nervous about the ZF in the later models anyways since Acura hasn't exactly had good luck with them, especially the TLX.

I'm a gearhead and have owned 3 other vehicles with the Honda J-series V6 (2006 TL, 2012 TL and 2009 Pilot). I've worked quite a bit on them including timing belt replacements, valve adjustments, etc. And I've read a good deal on the forum about potential problems. However, I'm hoping anyone who's owned one for a while can shed light on anything I should look for in particular.

If anyone has any tips, please let me know. Thank you!
 

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Stay away from 2016-17 years. Low quality and lots of issues. 2009-11 are the best years along with 03 for the Pilot.. 2019 is just so-so, some quality issues.Have not heard much of the 2020 yet.
 

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Stay away from 2016-17 years. Low quality and lots of issues. 2009-11 are the best years along with 03 for the Pilot.. 2019 is just so-so, some quality issues.Have not heard much of the 2020 yet.
Interesting you pick 2003 in the 1st gen. I always thought 2006-2008 were the best years for the 1st gen Pilot, and 2014-2015 was the best years for the second get. What are you basing that on?
 

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Stay away from 2016-17 years. Low quality and lots of issues. 2009-11 are the best years along with 03 for the Pilot.. 2019 is just so-so, some quality issues.Have not heard much of the 2020 yet.
Based on various posts about the 2020 models it seems like there really wasn't anything that was changed from 2019 (short of something like the Black Edition becoming available in US).
 

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Y
Based on various posts about the 2020 models it seems like there really wasn't anything that was changed from 2019 (short of something like the Black Edition becoming available in US).
Yeah I would think 2019 and 2020 are exactly the same
 

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Interesting you pick 2003 in the 1st gen. I always thought 2006-2008 were the best years for the 1st gen Pilot, and 2014-2015 was the best years for the second get. What are you basing that on?
I still have my 2003 EX-L I bought new with the tow package. Besides putting a new air-conditioner and catalytic convertor on, it drives like a dream.
 

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I still have my 2003 EX-L I bought new with the tow package. Besides putting a new air-conditioner and catalytic convertor on, it drives like a dream.
Count yourself as extremely lucky... the automatic in the early Pilots (and every other V6 Honda and Acura that had the early 5 speed) is known for extremely high failure rates. My mom got rid of hers around 90k when it started to shudder.
 

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Count yourself as extremely lucky... the automatic in the early Pilots (and every other V6 Honda and Acura that had the early 5 speed) is known for extremely high failure rates. My mom got rid of hers around 90k when it started to shudder.
I know it had a recall in 2004 for the trans which I brought it in for but have not had a problem. May be having the tow package with the trans cooler helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I guess I didn't listen to suggestions because I picked up a 2016 EX-L with the RES (DVD) last Saturday. 75K miles. I was slightly hesitant but my wife loved it and was the deciding factor so I figured I'd deal with whatever issues rear their ugly head. It was a pretty good deal but already has some issues but I'm up for a good challenge. And I figured if I was purchasing a 3rd gen Pilot that I’d have to deal with the issues anyways. I test drove another 2016 as well as a 2018 and both of them had super wacky fuel trims, telling me that the injectors, valves or O2 sensors were a few sandwiches short of a full picnic.

And on that note - when we test drove it, it already had the P0172 code - incorrect fuel mixture for bank 2. Telltale sign of fuel injectors or bad valves. I wrote in the purchase agreement that they had to resolve the problem. Two days later they said it cleared, all was well and ready to go. We picked it up Saturday - no pending codes and all emissions readiness codes were complete (I used a Bluetooth OBD-II module and the Torque app to confirm).

No sooner had we gone about 10 miles when the CEL came on. P0304, P0305. Misfires on cylinders 4 and 5 - which are on bank 2. Shocker! Anyways, I've contacted the dealer. I offered to take care of the problem myself if they comp me for parts. Fuel injectors for $360. We'll see what they say.

I ordered new spark plugs, O2 sensors (upstream, A/F ratio), PCV valve and air filters from Rockauto. I’d do that stuff anyways when I get a “new” used car, as well as a 3x3 of the ATF. I'm also going to do a seafoam job on it today. I'm going to peer down into the cylinders with a boroscope and see what kind of carbon buildup I'm looking at. I also ordered the VCMtuner. I know there's mixed feelings on here about Honda's "2nd generation" VCM. But I'm not taking any chances. VCM did some serious damage to our 2009 Pilot's engine. Had I known about VCMtuner earlier I could have mitigated it.

Oddly enough, there's no symptoms whatsoever due to these codes. Power is great and mileage is much better than the ’09. I got nearly 28mpg on the highway on the way home. No hesitation, starts up great, power is good. I suspect the codes are due to intermittent misfires and that the ECU is doing its best to compensate. It doesn’t take a lot of misfires for the ECU to freak out and throw those codes. The fuel trims on Bank 1 look pretty good but Bank 2 is at -15%. So the ECU is trying hard to lean out the fuel mixture due to it running rich. That seems odd to me though. I’d think clogged injectors would causes the engine to run lean, not rich. Has anyone looked at fuel trims when they suspect bad injectors? I haven't had bad injectors on any other engine, and I've owned 4 other vehicles with the J-series V6. However, all of them were port injected.


I’ll throw in some updates as they happen.
 

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Do research before seafoaming into the intake... there are legends out there that if you do have carbon buildup on your valves it's extremely hard, almost like lava rock due to no fuel passing over it. When those break off they are hard enough to scratch the cylinder walls and cause blowby issues. I'm not saying I 100% agree with this but there is some merit to it.
 
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