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But, IMO the design engineers fell down on the job by making the filter change so tedious. What were they thinking, or not.
Have you done cabin air filter replacements on any other vehicles to compare to? I have, and overall, the Pilot is about average, if anything, somewhat easier than average.

- Mark
 

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I must admit I have not changed any cabin air filters but have looked at several Youtube examples. Today's cars IMO are overly complicated and not enough are designed to be easily maintained. Having to undo a number of screws and other clips or whatever is something I have a hard time understanding. Seems function follows form perhaps. And saying it is about average I believe. Some of the stories I have heard about Audi, Porsche and Jaguar are really something.

I miss my 1968 GTO. :(

GT
 

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I must admit I have not changed any cabin air filters but have looked at several Youtube examples. Today's cars IMO are overly complicated and not enough are designed to be easily maintained. Having to undo a number of screws and other clips or whatever is something I have a hard time understanding. Seems function follows form perhaps. And saying it is about average I believe. Some of the stories I have heard about Audi, Porsche and Jaguar are really something.

I miss my 1968 GTO. :(

GT
I just did this again today for the third time and I don't know why I bother. Getting the screws that hold the glove compartment back in, blind, is just maddening. Having to do all this for something that should be done once a year is not good design.

Each time I've done this, I could not get the short 8 mm screw back in on the right side. It's just not long enough to catch a thread. It has a captive washer that I can't remove. How TF did they get it on in the first place?

I hate doing it so much, I generally do it only every other year, after pollen season is over. I don't have any particular plans of getting rid of the car but I'll probably never do this again.
 

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Honda in general and the Pilot specifically have a reputation for being low maintenance. The metrics they use to determine "low" must not include what a pain it is to do routine maintenance when needed.

If this one issue is, IMO, such a lousy design it makes me wonder what else might difficult. :confused:

Difficult translates into more shop hours than should be needed and therefore unnecessarily expensive.
 

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..............

Each time I've done this, I could not get the short 8 mm screw back in on the right side. It's just not long enough to catch a thread. It has a captive washer that I can't remove. How TF did they get it on in the first place?

I hate doing it so much, I generally do it only every other year, after pollen season is over. I don't have any particular plans of getting rid of the car but I'll probably never do this again.
Did mine yesterday. I don't think it's a difficult job; took 30 mins, half of the time was spent on vacumming debris out of the filter housing. Granted, it's easier to change the cabin filter on the Pilot later year models and other makes.

You don't need to completely remove the screw on the the right side (close to the door). Just loosen this screw some and then remove the other five screws and you should be able to move the left end of the steel brace down out of the way.
 

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For comparison, look at what is involved in replacing the cabin air filter in the new Mazda CX 9 and Ford Flex. Neither requires screwing around with screws. The Ford being the most straightforward.

I purchased the Pilot after reading many reviews touting its safety and reliability. It seems no one writing reviews discusses ease of maintenance. Live in and learn. Something I will check closely when searching for my next vehicle.

And another rant, I will not buy another car with a timing belt which costs $800 or more to replace. From now on it is a timing chain or it is off the list.

End of rant(s).

GT
 

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The problem with fixating on any one or two servicing issues is that cars have literally hundreds of reliability/mileage/ease-of-service tradeoffs. The Pilot may require 20 extra minutes to change the cabin air filter, but save you 15 extra minutes every oil change by not requiring removal of a splash shield. The Pilot may have a 105K timing belt service, but the chain-cam-drive car you buy instead has a propensity to need a new timing chain guides and internal tensioner every 100K miles which is even more expensive. At least with the Pilot, you can replace everything associated with the cam drive as well as the water pump without having to do any internal engine disassembly.

I have a friend with an Audi A4. It has a timing chain and a easy-to-replace cabin filter, but getting the battery in/out is a nightmare.

Everything is a tradeoff. What you care about is overall how much service a car requires and the total effort you need to devote to maintenance. In this regard, I think the Pilot is pretty darn good. The only thing that seems out-of-line to me is that frequent VTM fluid changes, but they're pretty easy if you have the right tools.

- Mark
 

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While my 2005 Pilot is not easy to change the cabin filter, it is far easier than my 2000 Accord was. There, you had to remove the center trim piece from the dash, the right side trim, remove completely the glove box and then a bar with some bolts.

I'll take the 2005 Pilot anytime. Although, the newer Honda's, like my 2012 CRV, are a 3 minute job.

Also, I will say that the Pilot is a V6 that allows changing coils/spark plugs without removing any major component of the engine, like the intake manifold. Anyone who had to do this on an Escape/Mariner will certainly appreciate it.
 

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Have you done cabin air filter replacements on any other vehicles to compare to? I have, and overall, the Pilot is about average, if anything, somewhat easier than average.

- Mark
You are dreaming or confused. :confused:
How many other vehicles require using a saw at the first change.

Great work Armystrong.
 

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You need at least a Dremel tool. In the 03-05, AFAIK, there is a plastic bar across the door of the cabin filter opening that prohibits you to remove the cabin filter for the first change out. After the 1st time you just to undo a couple bolt from the glove compartment and then you can remove the filter. BUT you do need some sort of cutting tool to remove that plastic bar if your change the cabin filter for the 1st time.
 

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You need at least a Dremel tool. In the 03-05, AFAIK, there is a plastic bar across the door of the cabin filter opening that prohibits you to remove the cabin filter for the first change out. After the 1st time you just to undo a couple bolt from the glove compartment and then you can remove the filter. BUT you do need some sort of cutting tool to remove that plastic bar if your change the cabin filter for the 1st time.
It's hard for me to believe Honda would add the bar and not create an efficient way of changing the cabin filter. Is there not another way? :confused:

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It's hard for me to believe Honda would add the bar and not create an efficient way of changing the cabin filter. Is there not another way? :confused:

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Don't fret about it....it took a few minutes with a small hacksaw to cut the bar and changing the filter and access to it from then on was a piece of cake :D
 

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You can replace the cabin filter by scrunching the filter diagonally and squeezing it in. I have done it and it is a time saver. Honda tech hipped me to it. If there is a shortcut, the mechanics will figure it out.
 

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You can replace the cabin filter by scrunching the filter diagonally and squeezing it in. I have done it and it is a time saver. Honda tech hipped me to it. If there is a shortcut, the mechanics will figure it out.
I happen to have a new Honda cabin filter in front of me, and I wouldn't feel comfortable doing very much diagonal squeezing without feeling like there is a good chance of ripping the filter material or debonding it from the framework, both of which would dramatically compromise the filter. This sounds to me like another "mechanics shortcut": folding the engine oil filter splash guard permanently out of the way (or even cutting it off) - good for the mechanic, not so good for the car.

- Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #137
I happen to have a new Honda cabin filter in front of me, and I wouldn't feel comfortable doing very much diagonal squeezing without feeling like there is a good chance of ripping the filter material or debonding it from the framework, both of which would dramatically compromise the filter. This sounds to me like another "mechanics shortcut": folding the engine oil filter splash guard permanently out of the way (or even cutting it off) - good for the mechanic, not so good for the car.

- Mark
+1 I happen to agree. Do it right the first time, the second/subsequent replacements will be easier and faster. Most of all you will not risk damaging your brand new filter. The "techs" don't have you breathing down their back while they bend and mutilate your filter...if you were there they wouldn't do such a thing. I am sure many owners that take their Pilots in for maintenance only see the write up, the parts and labor bill, and more than likely don't even check to see if it is a new filter or what it looks like.
 

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+1 I happen to agree. Do it right the first time, the second/subsequent replacements will be easier and faster. .
+2. If you want a short-cut, you can loosen the inside bolts/screws and remove the outside bolts and screws and drop only the outside of the glovebox door out of the way.... but even doing this, I highly doubt I saved any time last time I did this.
 

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Luckily, on the later models there are no bolts to remove or plastic bar to cut. Just two clips on the glove box. Takes longer to empty the glove box than change the filter.
 
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