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That DIY can be less expensive than dealer service isn't news - but you keep beating that drum.
It doesn't much matter if you can't or won't do the work yourself.
Some homeowner's associations prohibit work on vehicles, for example.
The point is if a mechanic or the service dept says it's going to cost $600 (most likely more) to do 5 D&F and then says "it may not fix it," the OP may be influenced into purchasing another transmission, when they could find out themselves for 1/4 of the price.
 

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The point is if a mechanic or the service dept says it's going to cost $600 (most likely more) to do 5 D&F and then says "it may not fix it," the OP may be influenced into purchasing another transmission, when they could find out themselves for 1/4 of the price.
Perhaps @Slvr7 could share with us the approximate cost at the dealer to do all of the transmission fluid drain/refill and engine coolant flush work, plus the thermostat replacement that was described in post #3.
 

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If OP was using VML, then fine. But if my transmission was potentially cooked, I wouldn't be super worried about saving money because everything is cheaper than a new transmission. You're not an engineer so you're really only going off of your experience and the experiences of others.

For the 1000th time, DW-1 is not bad for transmissions. Dirty, contaminated fluid is bad for transmissions.
I didn't say DW-1 was bad for the OPs transmission. There are other ATFs that have proven to be successfully used in Honda transmissions. The OP can now weigh the options. It's nearly always about the money.
 

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Perhaps @Slvr7 could share with us the approximate cost at the dealer to do all of the transmission fluid drain/refill and engine coolant flush work, plus the thermostat replacement that was described in post #3.
That would be nice to know. Certainly sounds like he's got a great method.
 
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I didn't say DW-1 was bad for the OPs transmission. There are other ATFs that have proven to be successfully used in Honda transmissions. The OP can now weigh the options. It's nearly always about the money.
Anything is less than a new transmission….
I wouldn’t hesitate spending $500 in this situation.
 

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Anything is less than a new transmission….
I wouldn’t hesitate spending $500 in this situation.
I’m sorry, but I’m agreeing with NG on this one. If it’s a 50/50 situation, then go as cheap as reasonably possible. If it doesn’t work and you need to then replace the tranny (used or rebuilt), or buy a new car, I want to spend as little as possible on an ‘iffy’ situation.

I currently insure 5 cars for my family, and even though I don’t hurt for $$, I also don’t like to pi$$ it away down a proverbial rathole…
 

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Perhaps @Slvr7 could share with us the approximate cost at the dealer to do all of the transmission fluid drain/refill and engine coolant flush work, plus the thermostat replacement that was described in post #3.
It's generally 8-900 for new radiator, t stat, cooling system cleaning, 6 d&f.
 

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Also now is not the time to switch fluids. Clean out the transmission and fill it with the same type of fluid you were using. You never know if the different properties of the fluid could cause it to fail after the fact.
I hope no one experiences SMOD but if my objective is to remove as much coolant in the trans as possible VML makes sense (readily available and cheaper) then switch back to the "good" sauce later if desired. Tough to point the blame on VML for SMOD damage
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Thanks to all for the responses. Very useful to hear - seems like a general consensus: drain and fill multiple times with a good quality fluid and hope for the best. Also replace the tstat after flushing coolant. I love my pilot and the rest of the vehicle is in great shape (apart from annoying rust around the rear wheel arches.)

This is the ONLY time in 12 years and 180k miles that it's let me down. You might find this amusing: it was while delivering 400lbs of ice to my daughter's wedding on a tight timescale, THAT's when it choses to die. Sod's law I guess. Thankfully a buddy with his (Honda Ridgeline) truck helped me save the day and my stress level!

If it is damaged beyond repair, do you guys have any input on what the symptoms would be? Or is it too hard to say - could be anything in other words.

Once again, thanks all - this is a great forum and community. Cheers!
 

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Not likely that drains and fills are going to reverse whatever damage was done, if any. Even so, it is still worth a shot to do a few drain and fill. Will the transmission last? Maybe or maybe not but then if it goes several hundred miles and seems to be fine, all you can really do then is assume it is fine. You done did all you can do short of rebuild or replace.

Denso updated the radiator after a relatively high number of 2005 failures. Hopefully lessons learned from that were carried over to the 2nd gen radiators. Good to know they separated engine and tranny cooling for the 3rd gens.
How come 2005 seems to be the main year model that had the SMOD problem?
Like did they build the radiators well for 03 and 04 but then tried to save money in the 05 design?
 

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I’m not sure if anyone on this forum knows the exact reason why the 2005 radiator has so many issues. The only thing I’ve seen is the graph of reported SMOD failures in this forum, and there is a huge spike for 2005.
 

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Not likely that drains and fills are going to reverse whatever damage was done, if any. Even so, it is still worth a shot to do a few drain and fill. Will the transmission last? Maybe or maybe not but then if it goes several hundred miles and seems to be fine, all you can really do then is assume it is fine. You done did all you can do short of rebuild or replace.



How come 2005 seems to be the main year model that had the SMOD problem?
Like did they build the radiators well for 03 and 04 but then tried to save money in the 05 design?
Just a bad batch of Denso radiators. Aluminum was to thin and would eventually fail.
 
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Obviously a defect in those Denso radiators in 05, but still, it be a good idea to replace the radiator at least once in the vehicles life. Especially if rust and corrosion become an issue.
Done! Again, even if I have a 2006, it's cheap insurance.

It's generally 8-900 for new radiator, t stat, cooling system cleaning, 6 d&f.
Not as bad as I would have guessed, actually. But then again, even dealship prices can vary considerable from one place to another. If I knew where you work, I'd put that dealership on my "good" list and go there if necessary.

I’m not sure if anyone on this forum knows the exact reason why the 2005 radiator has so many issues. The only thing I’ve seen is the graph of reported SMOD failures in this forum, and there is a huge spike for 2005.
Not my chart; from another member who deserves the credit.

Rectangle Slope Plot Font Parallel
 

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Done! Again, even if I have a 2006, it's cheap insurance.



Not as bad as I would have guessed, actually. But then again, even dealship prices can vary considerable from one place to another. If I knew where you work, I'd put that dealership on my "good" list and go there if necessary.



Not my chart; from another member who deserves the credit.

View attachment 152683
IMO, This graph says defective radiators in 2005.
 

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Some homeowner's associations prohibit work on vehicles, for example.
Typically HOAs restrict the appearance of your yard and/or place rules on what's visible from the street.

I've never seen an HOA tell a homeowner what he/she can or cannot do in the comfort of their your own garage, and I have a hard time determining how they would even know if the garage door is closed...

just sayin...
 

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Typically HOAs restrict the appearance of your yard and/or place rules on what's visible from the street.

I've never seen an HOA tell a homeowner what he/she can or cannot do in the comfort of their your own garage, and I have a hard time determining how they would even know if the garage door is closed...

just sayin...
That's fine if your garage is spacious enough inside to allow you to work on/around a vehicle.
 

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That's fine if your garage is spacious enough inside to allow you to work on/around a vehicle.
Are you simply making stuff up now to support people taking their car to the local dealer or trusted mechanic?

I lived in the suburbs of Portland OR, and I'm convinced that if I can cram a 2nd gen Ford Explorer in that tiny garage, then I'm pretty sure there's not a 'garage' out there that ain't big enough to work on a vehicle. Admittedly, the Explorer fit in that garage as tight as the V8 was crammed under the hood in that SUV, but it really doesn't take all that much space to work on a vehicle.

I guess I should feel lucky that I live in an area where I have options to work on my car wherever I want, and I have a trusted dealer and independent mechanic for crap I don't want to fix myself...
 

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Are you simply making stuff up now to support people taking their car to the local dealer or trusted mechanic?
I guess I should feel lucky that I live in an area where I have options to work on my car wherever I want, and I have a trusted dealer and independent mechanic for crap I don't want to fix myself...
A couple of decades ago, in the days of 3,000 miles oil change intervals, I used to do oil changes in my driveway.
I stopped doing that when the dealers started sending out coupons for $20-30 oil changes.
These days, disposing of the used oil requires a trip to a hazmat disposal site located a few towns away and that is not open year-round.
Also, now the oil changes are only needed about once a year.
Plus, unlike some who post here, I don't have a synthetic-blend motor oil phobia.

I don't see what's so evil about using the local dealer or independent mechanic for service.
At one time I used an independent mechanic for service.
While their labor rate was lower, they seemed to charge more time for a job than the dealer and they didn't use OEM parts, so the savings wasn't that significant.
Plus, getting them to give me a ride to/from their shop always seemed problematic, whereas the dealer has a shuttle service.
 

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I actually use all 3. I have 2 independent shops with great mechanics, one specializes in imports. My wife and I bought a new CRV Hybrid because the parts & service dept in my local Honda dealership is absolutely awesome, probably the best dealer service dept I've ever experienced (and I worked in automotive for about 5 years when I was younger).

I actually like to do most repairs and basic maintenance myself, but I live in the rust belt and therefore sometimes its cheaper/easier to let somebody else deal with rusty bolts that I know will need a torch or just outright PIA repairs.

I'm not sure where you live, but all my local auto parts stores and most of the independent shops accept used oil in SW Michigan. Coolant needs to go to the local Hazmat pickup, but OReilly's will take 5 gallons of oil per day and they've never refused to take more when I bring in relatively clean 5-qt jugs
 

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I don't see what's so evil about using the local dealer or independent mechanic for service.
At one time I used an independent mechanic for service.
I used to believe spending more for dealer service vs independents as they should know the ins&outs of my particular vehicle. Today I’m skeptical and unsure of both dealer service and independents. These two pics I post will not represent every possible situation but I sense laziness, incompetence, not necessarily evil but I certainly didn’t get what I paid for. I may have to diy until I can’t.
 

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