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Hello,

I've seen some discussions about keys not turning in the front, driver side door, but nothing that directly addresses a couple of questions I have. I drive a 2008 Honda Pilot and a while back, the key stopped turning in the drivers side door. It wasn't a problem as I just used the key FOB to open the door. Lately, the FOB has been acting up, culminating in a lock out in a Target parking lot last night. Rather than have it towed to the dealership where they could hold it(me) hostage, I had them tow it home so I could do some research and try to fix it myself. After reviewing some of the posts on here, I've got a couple of questions before I dive in.

1) how difficult is it to get the lock cylinder out and open it up to try to fix any stuck pins? Don't want to get stuck mid-way through the repair. I have two keys and neither one will open the door but work in the ignition.
2) The two keys look pretty worn so it could be an issue inside the lock with the pins. itf I cannot fix it and have to buy a new one, do I also need new keys or can I make it work with my existing keys?
3) I just replaced the battery in the FOB and I know that's not the issue but the little red light doesn't light up anymore when I push any of the buttons. Seems like the issue is either with the guts of the FOB or the actuator. How can I tell if the actuator is bad?
3) I bought a new FOB a while ago (OEM) but it needs to be programmed. Apparently, this has to be done by either the dealer or locksmith/mechanic with the right programming equipment. If I take it somewhere and the programmed FOB doesn't work, is it pricey to have a mechanic fix it?

Thanks to this awesome community in advance for your advice. I just want to try to figure out what I'm getting myself into if I opt to fix it myself.

Matt
 

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I’ll try to answer in more detail later, but you might try using some TriFlow Superior Lubricant and cleaning out the driver door lock cylinder with it. Put a bit on the key, insert key, remove key, wipe grime off key. Repeat the process until the key comes out clean. Whatever you do don’t use the original WD-40 as that attracts dust and dirt.
 

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And welcome to the forum.
 

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Did they remove the key cylinder from the passenger and tailgate on the later first gen Pilots? Just checked and my 2005 has those.

For the actuators, if you press the lock/unlock buttons on the doors and the door locks respond correctly the actuators are good.

For the new key fobs you can transfer the transponder chip (for engine immobilizer) from fob to fob if the 2008 is the same as 2005. I learned recently this isn’t possible on 2003 and 2004. You will have to have the Pilot relearn the fob to lock and unlock the doors. Search YouTube.

If the fob red light doesn’t blink when you press buttons, and you are certain the fob battery is good, the unit is toast. Both of mine failed within the first 10 years in that same manner.
 

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I'm all for generously lubing it up first. :)

If you eventually need to reprogram a fob, here's how:

Have all remotes for the vehicle on hand. Make sure all the doors and rear hatch/trunk are closed during programming. Only need to use 1remote to get into program mode but all remotes must be programmed during the same session. Each step must be completed within 5 seconds.

1. Sit in the car with all doors/trunk tightly closed

2. Turn the key to the ON position, marked by "II" on the ignition bezel so the dash lights come on, then within 5 seconds press the "Lock" button on the remote for 1 second or so and release the button.

3. Turn the key to the OFF position, marked by "I" on the ignition bezel - dash lights go off.

4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 three more times (A total of 4 times) -- each step must be done within 5 seconds of the previous step.

5. Upon the 4th turning of the key to "ON", press the lock button on one remote, the locks will make a cycling sound (clunk), locks will NOT lock or unlock at this point, they will just make a noise. The system is now in programming mode. Do not turn key off.

6. Within 5 seconds of entering programming mode and within 5 seconds of each other, press the lock button ON EACH remote you are programming, for a second or so and release. This step needs to be completed within 10 seconds. Each time a remote button is pushed, the locks should cycle. Up to 3 remotes can be programmed.

7. Turn ignition completely off and remove the key. Step out of car and close door. The remotes should be programmed and should work. If you have a trunk/hatch release, the button for this feature needs to be held for a few seconds before the trunk/hatch will "pop".


Here's a video that might also help.


Keep trying, it eventually does work, if your fobs are good. In the end, what finally worked for me when using the method that goes from II to 0 didn't work: Going from II to I is what did it for me.
 
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