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I know that my Pilot isn't really meant to be a full blown off-roading vehicle, but I got a big surprise this last weekend. I decided to take a daytrip and meander down some dirt roads just to see how well the VMT system really works.

Well, the VTM works really well no real surprise there. A couple of other items did surprise me though. I found out that the Pilot has very soft springs because when I went over a couple of crossroads (with large ruts) the front end bottomed out faster than most of the cars I've owned in the past.

The really bothersome thing is that the front panel/spolier section under the bumper pulled loose. Now mind you I was only soft hitting sand at very low speeds (<5 mph) when the two bottoming outs occurred. Has anyone else had this problem? Only two of the attaching points are broke, and it appears that not all the bolts holding my panel were installed from the factory. I'll find out more when I take it to the Dealer for answers.

With the front panel/spoiler removed I was also amazed at how little protection is provided for the transmission/engine pans. It has less than any car I have ever owned, much less than any of the trucks. :awais: DO NOT under any cricumstances take this vehicle out over rocky/rough terrain where you might hit something with the undercarraige, you WILL risk serious dmage to your engine/transmission. They are almost totally unprotected! I'll take my two wheel drive Surburban before I ever think of offroading with this vehicle. Does anyone sell skid plates for the Pilot yet?
 

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The Pilot should have definitely come with skid plates.. Honda made it more for the family, but offroading is also it's pleasure... If you damaged your vehicle from offroading, and there is no skid plates, then you have a darn good argument for yourself to get it fixed at there expense..

Even the Manuel says you can use the Pilot for off-road use..
 

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I've also damaged that part. The dealer called it the "Front Splash Pan". They replaced the four broken clips I smashed. They said it's a very common repair on Pilots.

I had bottomed out on a trail which crushed the splash pan and also pushed the passanger side fender liner outside the lip of the fender. I was able to get it all back into position, but the dealer replaced the broken clips when they installed my trans / ps coolers.

I would be VERY interested in some sort of metal or heavier plastic replacement for this part!!! The fragile nature of this part is disappointing. It's not like I was flying along at high speed when this happened! I was crawling through the rut in the trail because I knew my ground clearance could be an issue. CRUNCH!
 

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"The really bothersome thing is that the front panel/spolier section under the bumper pulled loose. Now mind you I was only soft hitting sand at very low speeds (<5 mph) when the two bottoming outs occurred. Has anyone else had this problem? Only two of the attaching points are broke, and it appears that not all the bolts holding my panel were installed from the factory. I'll find out more when I take it to the Dealer for answers."

If you got the coolers installed by the dealer it is likely they left off some of the fasteners when they reattached the spoiler. When mine was done nine ( 9) of the fasteners were either broken or missing. The dealer replaced all of them when i pointed it out.
 

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I don't know how you were going down the road but I did take the Pilot on a nice rocky road without issue. Of course we spent time doing the 45* angle across larger ruts and placed the tires on the taller rocks rather than straddling them. The only bottoming out I did was when I decided to see how far I could go in some worn tire tracks before I scraped. It was pretty far and no damage was done.
 
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