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I can tell it used to be red at one point.

OP, I can't blame you for wanting to delay just in case it's an issue. It's not what I would recommend but I get where you are coming from.

Am I the only one who noticed IS-F? Pics please! Does it still exist?
 

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Discussion Starter · #123 ·
I can tell it used to be red at one point.
Yep. It also didn't smell bad either.

Am I the only one who noticed IS-F? Pics please! Does it still exist?
You read that correctly. Unfortunately, it no longer exists as it was totaled in August 2020. I loved that car so much. Here are pics of it
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148360
 

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She was a beauty. Sad to hear about her passing way too soon. I don't know if I could own a car like that in an urban setting, especially NYC. I'd be so upset over every little scratch or ding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #125 · (Edited)
She was a beauty. Sad to hear about her passing way too soon. I don't know if I could own a car like that in an urban setting, especially NYC. I'd be so upset over every little scratch or ding.
Yeah. Luckily I live further out in semi-suburban Brooklyn where we have our own driveway, so she was parked on the street as little as possible. Of course one of the few times I did leave it parked on the street overnight it got scuffed and I was super pissed. I used the car mostly for weekend fun and long trips, but it still took NYC abuse like a champ.

That's one advantage of the Pilot, though. It has high ground clearance and high profile tires that can take abuse from NYC potholes and curbs. My F's rims were pretty scratched after so much parallel parking, and I busted 2 tires on potholes (thank god for TireRack's road hazard warranty). I'm probably gonna get another nicer car when my finances get better (likely a 2015-2016 Hyundai Genesis 5.0), but I'll still keep the Pilot as an urban runabout and a hauler/utility, or if I'm going to a place with gravel roads so where I won't have to worry about nicking it's less than pristine paint job.

Also, my family used to have a 2004 Honda Odyssey when I was a kid with the same engine, so hearing that engine note again brings a bit of nostalgia
 

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It has high ground clearance and high profile tires that can take abuse from NYC potholes and curbs.
In that respect NYC's similar to Montreal, the only two jurisdictions in North America that still don't allow right turns on red. And for good reason. :)
 

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In that respect NYC's similar to Montreal, the only two jurisdictions in North America that still don't allow right turns on red. And for good reason. :)
We get Right Turns on Red & U-TURNS in Florida! of course....our insurance seems a little high- Tourists & Blue Hairs LOL ( I have very little hair so I can make fun of those that do!! LOL)
 

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Discussion Starter · #128 ·
So blackstone labs got my sample last wednesday (the 5th) and I thought turn around time was 1 business day but apparently it's closer to 5 when i called them. So no real updates until next week. However, I just checked the fluid using the dipstick on the paper towel method and it definitely looks decently red (pic below). When i uploaded the picture of the sample in the container, CintoCrunch noted he could tell it was once red, and i agreed. That and how the fluid looks on the paper towel, I'm a lot more optimistic. I very much doubt 280K mile fluid would look like that on a paper towel. It seems much more likely to me that the fluid was changed multiple times, and there's simply no record of it and the owner just forgot.

Also, I'd like to thank some of you for encouraging me to tackle the EGR ports. I cleaned ports all myself with carb cleaner, throttle body cleaner, time, and elbow grease. I got a little nervous when I started it up for the first time and it sounded off, but I was expecting that. After a couple of minutes it was running completely normally, and I took it on a 100 mile trip and it continued to run fine, and no CEL.

I don't think that was THE fix though, because I didn't actually have the standard EGR valve code, those are in the P0400's. I did some research and apparently the right fix is to adjust the valve clearance, which is actually supposed to be done every 105k miles. The CEL stayed off but will likely turn back on again if this isn't done


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Very Nicely Done!! If you like mechanical stuff, slightly mechanically inclined, have a long day (or 2- short ones) you can do your own Valve Adjustment. You save $$, Learn, get New Tools!!, and will be Extremely Happy with the results! This Forum gave me the Confidence to do one on my 2005 EXL and I’m still Giddy!! 😁👍👍
 

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The transmission fluid is old and brown, but not a lost cause. I've seen worse.
Nice job on the EGR passages. Since you have the EGR valve code, it will need replacing. I'd also work through the basics...
  • Air Filter New or Clean
  • Air intake tube leak free
  • If intake hose is found to be compromised, I'd remove and clean throttle body.
  • Spark plugs New/Clean. If worn, replace. .044 gap/check gap
  • Spark plug tubes oil free. If oil is present it will need valve cover gaskets, grommets and spark plug tube seals replaced.
  • Each coil tested for fire. Clean Oil free. Replace boots if needed.
  • Replace PCV valve
  • Replace EGR valve (as mentioned)
  • Full synthetic 5w20 oil (no blends or Extended Performance oil)
  • Use a Top Tier 87 octane fuel or fuel injector cleaner.
These steps should end your misfires.
 
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There are lower priced EGR valves out there, but SMP has proven to me to be good. Even matched my exact OEM part maker.
148531
 
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Nice work!

The ATF is definitely ready for replacement IMO, but let's see what the lab report says. As long as you don't have a TON of friction material in the fluid I'd say jump on the drain and fills right away.
 

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With the EGR valve removed, it is also a convenient time to replace the cam thrust cover gasket(s). This is a known oil leak point.
148571

 
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So blackstone labs got my sample last wednesday (the 5th) and I thought turn around time was 1 business day but apparently it's closer to 5 when i called them. So no real updates until next week. However, I just checked the fluid using the dipstick on the paper towel method and it definitely looks decently red (pic below). When i uploaded the picture of the sample in the container, CintoCrunch noted he could tell it was once red, and i agreed. That and how the fluid looks on the paper towel, I'm a lot more optimistic. I very much doubt 280K mile fluid would look like that on a paper towel. It seems much more likely to me that the fluid was changed multiple times, and there's simply no record of it and the owner just forgot.

Also, I'd like to thank some of you for encouraging me to tackle the EGR ports. I cleaned ports all myself with carb cleaner, throttle body cleaner, time, and elbow grease. I got a little nervous when I started it up for the first time and it sounded off, but I was expecting that. After a couple of minutes it was running completely normally, and I took it on a 100 mile trip and it continued to run fine, and no CEL.

I don't think that was THE fix though, because I didn't actually have the standard EGR valve code, those are in the P0400's. I did some research and apparently the right fix is to adjust the valve clearance, which is actually supposed to be done every 105k miles. The CEL stayed off but will likely turn back on again if this isn't done


[ATT
While you’re waiting for the lab report, it might prove useful to run some tests of your own.

I would take the car for a drive and get the atf up to operating temp and run through all the gears to get as much of the fluid circulated and any sediments stirred up and then drain the fluid out.

Check the magnet on the drain plug for the amount and size of all the adhered particles. That should give you an idea of how long the plug has been collecting debris. It’s very unusual the change the atf and not clean that magnet. Be on the lookout for shiney metallic pieces.

Let the drained fluid sit overnight and see what settles to the bottom of the pan.

it’s also useful to filter the fluid through a funnel and coffee filter and see what gets filtered out. If you see any shiney metal particles or worse chunks of metal stop. The tranny is toast. Just put the atf you drained back in and keep driving it

While you’re doing the warm up drive. Pay particular attention to the tachometer and watch for any greater than normal variations in rpm as you accelerate. Also try varying degrees of acceleration from a stop both heading straight and after making sharp turns. Be aware of any vibrations or shudders.

if it passes all those tests you’re probably ok installing an inline atf filter and doing the first drain and refill. I’d do one and drive it for a while and see if the fresh detergents start loosening up any varnish and clogging up valve body channels. If so I wouldn’t bother doing any more d&rs.

If the transmission starts slipping due to the lower viscosity of the added clean atf or the lower amount of worn clutch debris, the transmission is worn out so there’s no harm in adding a friction modifier to help it live a little longer.

A free car can be like a free puppy or kitten. Once you get an emotional attachment, they’re far from free anymore. Even if the transmission survives replacing most of the atf, it’s still a 300k mile piece of mechanical hardware. So are most of the rest of the parts in the car. You can keep it going as long as you’re willing to pay to replace those old parts many of which could be near the end of their service life.

Pilots that old with much lower mileage can be had for a few grand so from what you’ve spent so far, it’s already not a free car anymore so try to do your best to not get emotionally involved with it... yet.

Best of luck to you! Hope it serves you well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #135 · (Edited)
** MAJOR UPDATE!!!!!! TEST RESULTS ARE IN!!! **

So the test results are in. I've attached the PDF. I'll also quote their comments:

Blackstone Labs said:
You said this was probably the original fluid for this unit, which would fit with the results. Iron is quite high, but that could be a combination of wear-in as well as accumulation from the long oil run rather than poor wear. Universal averages for a Honda automatic are based on closer to 25K miles. Silicon would be explained as harmless sealer if this is indeed the factory fill. The TAN is okay at 2.1. We'd suggest an oil change to reduce iron and insolubles (solids from heat/use), but no obvious problems stand out. If all is well on your end, the next report should look better.
Iron levels were 332 PPM, whereas the average is 73, which they chalk up to time rather than poor wear. They recommend I change it. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Also, I did notice there was a slight RPM surge on upshifts from 2nd to 3rd, and my mechanic didn't like it when he saw it. The car doesn't shake or anything, and someone who isn't paying attention or who doesn't know how cars work probably wouldn't even notice or care. Here is a link to a video I took of it

Pilots that old with much lower mileage can be had for a few grand so from what you’ve spent so far, it’s already not a free car anymore so try to do your best to not get emotionally involved with it... yet.
I find that line of thinking to be a bit fallacious, at least in my case. Lets say I bought one with half the mileage, 140K. I'd likely still need to do a lot of major servicing to it (plugs, timing belt, suspension, valve clearance, transmission fluid, brakes etc). Also, there would still be a fair amount of depreciation left to go. Whereas my Pilot is pretty much at the bottom of the depreciation curve, so it's not something I have to consider. And if anything, the work I've put into it adds value. The last owner, who I know personally, got oil changes every 3000-4000 miles (as opposed to 7500 per the schedule) and the engine is in great shape. Whereas it's rare to find comprehensive maintenance records for cars this old with this high mileage, and they're often on their 3rd or 4th owner by now, who probably care less and less about maintenance. Say what you will about the previous owner never changing the transmission fluid, he put in brand new shocks shortly before I bought it and otherwise took care of it pretty well.

Also, it's not like it's a F10 BMW 550i, whose engines will leak and break down, and be money pits no matter what you do. These engines will take care of you if you take care of them. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I really don't forsee any catastrophic and/or expensive repairs/maintnence going forward for the next 100K. It seems to me like anything that will need to be replaced in the future are just wearable parts anyway (filters, tires, shocks, etc). The exception being the transmission. If it goes bust down the road, I can either part it out and make a fair amount back, or get a re manufactured one for a few thousand, and yielding me a car with an engine and transmission in great shape.

I get that my car isn't free, as I indeed incurred costs bringing it up to snuff, but I needed a car anyway, and this was perfect timing for the summer. If I didn't get this car for free, I would have likely bought a more expensive one anyway
 

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Ok, so that's cause for optimism.

Now, where's @Nail Grease and his animated GIF sequence of his going to fill his Walmart shopping cart with jugs of Valvoline Maxlife ATF for his next 3x drain & fill? :)
 

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If it were me I'd be doing a 3x drain and fill. On the last fill, leave it 1/2 qt low or so and see how the behavior is. If it feels like you are getting a little slip, add Lubeguard or some other helper fluid to try and mitigate the slipping.

Also, don't 1st gens have a serviceable transmission filter? I'd be replacing that as well.
 
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Discussion Starter · #138 ·
If it were me I'd be doing a 3x drain and fill. On the last fill, leave it 1/2 qt low or so and see how the behavior is. If it feels like you are getting a little slip, add Lubeguard or some other helper fluid to try and mitigate the slipping.

Also, don't 1st gens have a serviceable transmission filter? I'd be replacing that as well.
So my plan as of now is to have my mechanic top it off with AT-205 after the 3rd D&F. I already bought the bottle. AT-205 rejuvenates seals but I don't think it does anything for slipping. Should I proceed with that, or go with LubeGuard or something like Lucas Transmission Fix? Or both?

And I already bought a new transmission filter.
 

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Change the filter and hold the special sauce
I think I would do that too and see what happens (approaching it slowly and only changing 1- variable at a time). I have No experience with transmissions.
 
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