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Discussion Starter #1
Green Vehicle Guide, 4 5, or 6 out of 10

The EPA Green Vehicle Guide gives a 5 rating (out of 10, where 10 is the cleanest) for the Pilot with Underhood label ID# 3HNXT03.5EA5 and a 4 rating for the Pilot with Underhood label ID# 3HNXT03.5DAP.
Update: Some '04 Pilots receive a 6 rating

It seems that there are different engines in the 2003 Pilot, one with a ULEV rating and one with a LEV rating. I'm not sure exactly how this relates to the tougher emission standards in CA, NY, MA, and VT since the EPA website seems to indicate that both versions are able to be sold throughout the US.

Incidentally, the 2003 MDX has an amazing 8 rating or a 9 rating in California and the Northeast. Why such a huge difference from the Pilot?

Here's the link for 2003 Pilots:
http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/suv-03.htm

Here's the link for 2004 Pilots:
http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/E-HONDA-Pilot-04.htm
If this website is correct, the engines with the lowest emissions are NOT sold in California and the Northeast. Here are the 2004 engine codes and scores:

4HNXT03.5DAT rated 4 in California & Northeast and 6 elsewhere
4HNXT03.5EA6 rated 5 in California & Northeast and 6 elsewhere
 

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Who knows. Can't say I don't care. But there is nothing I can do with pilot's rating anymore since I already bought it.

The best thing you can do to help environment is to keep your pilot running great.
 

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Bigrob said:
The MDX has been tuned to meet the ULEV standard.
plus higher octane fuel is greener
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Bigrob said:
The MDX has been tuned to meet the ULEV standard.
Can the Pilot also be tuned to run as cleanly with high octane fuel?

Thanks, Robrecht
 

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Sorry, I think I meant S-ULEV standard. I know that the MDX has been tuned to meet the more stringent standard and that must account for the difference in the green rating.

It's possible that the Pilot may be tuned similarly in 2004 but I wouldn't necessarily count on it... it may not happen until the MDX gets the bigger engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Bigrob said:
Sorry, I think I meant S-ULEV standard. I know that the MDX has been tuned to meet the more stringent standard and that must account for the difference in the green rating.

It's possible that the Pilot may be tuned similarly in 2004 but I wouldn't necessarily count on it... it may not happen until the MDX gets the bigger engine.
Is this something an ecologically minded mechanic could do or is it something set at the factory that cannot be changed?

Thanks, Robrecht
 

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Bigrob said:
Sorry, I think I meant S-ULEV standard. I know that the MDX has been tuned to meet the more stringent standard and that must account for the difference in the green rating.

It's possible that the Pilot may be tuned similarly in 2004 but I wouldn't necessarily count on it... it may not happen until the MDX gets the bigger engine.
What is the difference between ULEV and S-ULEV? The Pilot is ULEV (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) certified, at least in Ca.
 

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I don't have the details on what changes would be required, but I would be surprised if a mechanic could make the changes. It's possible the 2004 Pilot will have the 03 MDX engine/tuning.

I'd recommend looking at the Acura website to get additional information on emissions if that is important to you. Seems I remember reading about the MDX being clean-burning there.
 

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This seems really odd to me. The Acura has 20 more horses and gets slightly worse mileage, correct? So where does the cleaner running come into play? I'd really love to see readouts from the sniffer on both these vehicles.

If just running higher octane were the ticket, then we could run super (which i always do anyway) and get s-ulev. And that's just not true.

If the Acura were cleaner, I would expect better gas mileage. That's what happens. You burn the fuel more efficiently and more completely. That's how you get lower emissions. The only other option is to collect those impurities somewhere. Does the Acura possibly have an additional catalyst over the Honda?? But doing that would cut back on power.... tis a strange thing. I'm just not buying it until I see some hard numbers from the same sniffer testing the 2 vehicles back to back.

In any case, the difference between a "5" and a "9" should be significant. A 9??? So that only leaves 1 ranking higher. You mean to tell me that the difference between an MDX and an electric car is one number??? I think not.
 

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I think the EPA mileage is as follows:

Pilot 17/22

MDX 17/23 - didn't change even after the additional 20hp for 2003 :29:
 

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From the Acura website:

Yet in spite of all its power, the 2003 MDX is one of the first SUVs to be offered as an ultra-low emissions vehicle (CARB ULEV-2, EPA BIN-5) for all 50 states. It also has class-leading fuel efficiency, thanks to VTEC, lightweight components, excellent aerodynamics, efficient swirl-chamber combustion, Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI), direct ignition and the drive-by-wire throttle control. A new close-coupled catalyzer mounted closer to the engine helps reduce emissions. Along with the larger-diameter exhaust pipe, this placement also helps lower exhaust resistance, which accounts for a significant share of the added horsepower.

So, I'm not sure where the rating of 8 or 9 comes from. Explains what some of the differences are (close-coupled catalyzer, drive-by-wire throttle) that helped reduce emissions.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks, Bigrob! Can you explain a little about "drive-by-wire throttle control"? What is that?

Thanks, Robrecht

Bigrob said:
From the Acura website:

Yet in spite of all its power, the 2003 MDX is one of the first SUVs to be offered as an ultra-low emissions vehicle (CARB ULEV-2, EPA BIN-5) for all 50 states. It also has class-leading fuel efficiency, thanks to VTEC, lightweight components, excellent aerodynamics, efficient swirl-chamber combustion, Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI), direct ignition and the drive-by-wire throttle control. A new close-coupled catalyzer mounted closer to the engine helps reduce emissions. Along with the larger-diameter exhaust pipe, this placement also helps lower exhaust resistance, which accounts for a significant share of the added horsepower.

So, I'm not sure where the rating of 8 or 9 comes from. Explains what some of the differences are (close-coupled catalyzer, drive-by-wire throttle) that helped reduce emissions.

Thanks.
 

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Bigrob said:
From the Acura website:

Yet in spite of all its power, the 2003 MDX is one of the first SUVs to be offered as an ultra-low emissions vehicle (CARB ULEV-2, EPA BIN-5) for all 50 states. It also has class-leading fuel efficiency, thanks to VTEC, lightweight components, excellent aerodynamics, efficient swirl-chamber combustion, Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI), direct ignition and the drive-by-wire throttle control. A new close-coupled catalyzer mounted closer to the engine helps reduce emissions. Along with the larger-diameter exhaust pipe, this placement also helps lower exhaust resistance, which accounts for a significant share of the added horsepower.

So, I'm not sure where the rating of 8 or 9 comes from. Explains what some of the differences are (close-coupled catalyzer, drive-by-wire throttle) that helped reduce emissions.

Thanks.
I wonder what difference there is between the ULEV (that the Pilot is certified) and the ULEV-2, EPA BIN-5 on the MDX? If it does make the vehicle run cleaner, why wouldnt Honda have it installed on both vehicles? :3:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
robrecht said:
Thanks, Bigrob! Can you explain a little about "drive-by-wire throttle control"? What is that?
In case anyone is still interested, this was added to the MDX in 2003 and is also sometimes called Electronic Throttle Control System (ETCS):

From Acura:
In most vehicles, a mechanical cable connects the accelerator pedal to the throttle valve. In the MDX, an all-electronic system senses the accelerator pedal position and relays that information to a computer, which opens the throttle accordingly. The pedal feel is more direct. And control is more precise, which in turn allows the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) to function more precisely. Drive-by-wire control, by its very nature, eliminates the need for a separate cruise control unit, so the computer that reads the accelerator input is the same one that reads the cruise control settings.
http://www.acura.com/models/model_perf_engine.asp?module=mdx#

See also:
http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/jk/021218.htm
 

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methanol fuels

Can you run fuel with methanol in our Pilots? I have been told that methanol fuels burn cleaner.
 

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:D I think they tested the pilot to run on regular fuel while the MDX on premium fuel that why it has a higher rating. Have the pilot run on premium in your next fillup and it would have attained a rating of 9 like the MDX:rolleyes:
 
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