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2008 Pilot EX-L
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2008 EX-L AWD, 176,000 Miles

A week or so ago my check engine light came on. I have a mechanic I trust do most of my work these days, so I took it to him to see what the diagnostic computer would find. The Pilot was still running just fine, so I did not know what to expect. He calls with a diagnosis of the engine not running the correct temperature, so the decision was made to replace the thermostat and temperature sensor. Because he was doing that anyway, he removed that section of the intake and cleaned out the carbon build-up and fixed a small leak where it all attached to the heads/block. He got all that back together, took it for a test drive and the check engine light came back on. This time it showed a bad anti-knock sensor, so he replaced that. He took it for a test drive and thought all was good. I picked it up late on Friday and before I was a mile from his shop, the check engine light was on again. I have driven it close to 400 miles since and it runs just fine. Gas mileage is as good as it has ever been for me.

A bunch of years ago a friend had a similar situation. Every time his mechanic fixed one problem a different code would pop up. They ended up realizing that the main computer was going bad. Once they replaced that, he didn't have any more issues. I'm wondering if something like that is possible with my Pilot. Anyone have any thoughts?

Additional info:
Timing belt was replaced at about 147K and my mechanic said he checked the valves then. He also took a peek at the spark plugs then and said they were fine.
While performing this thermostat replacement he discovered that the intake tube was starting to crack, so we put a new one of those on.

Any thoughts would be appreciated! I will be taking it back in a couple days from now, but hoping to have some possible ideas to run past him.

Big Bob
 

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Do you have access to a code reader?


While performing this thermostat replacement he discovered that the intake tube was starting to crack, so we put a new one of those on.
That was going to be one of my suggestions. Was it a new one? Just putting a used and possibly brittle one back on may cause it to crack just under the far left side when bending the right side upward, like when replacing the engine air filter.

What cabin air filter would you recommend

 

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I don't have any problem right now, but, maybe one of you folks with an obd scanner can explain this? (I don't own a scanner)

I have read that some car computers show the fault that causes the CEL, but also store some "pending" errors? Errors that were triggered but reset quickly? Are these only readable on dealership scanners? Or more expensive consumer scanners?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Do you have access to a code reader?
I've never bothered to get a code reader. I don't do much work myself anymore. I primarily inhabit these forums to learn about issues to watch out for rather than to learn how to do it myself. I've actually been quite fortunate over the years in that the majority of my car issues have not been computer/electronics related, so I've never felt like I've been missing out by not having a code reader.

That was going to be one of my suggestions. Was it a new one? Just putting a used and possibly brittle one back on may cause it to crack just under the far left side when bending the right side upward, like when replacing the engine air filter.
I did put a new one on. My Pilot is still in good enough shape that I'm not going to cheap out on parts to save a few $'s. It will get there eventually, but today is not that day. :giggle:
 

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Some codes can mask others. My scanner will show both current codes and pending codes. I work on Radar systems, and one problem masks other problems a lot.
 
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I have around the same mileage as your car (150 k) and since I bought the car used at 90k I understand your situation. I've always drive Japanese cars - either Toyota or Honda. To be honest, I've been frustrated with my Pilot since I never threw any codes until I got this car. If it's any consolation, most of them weren't serious and if you take car of your car most of the routine maintenance hasn't been too expensive. I was fortunate enough to have a neighbor that is a mobile mechanic. That being said, I can see why know people dump certain European or American cars if they are money pits.
 

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Are these only readable on dealership scanners? Or more expensive consumer scanners?

In my case, even though I hand over the more grueling jobs to someone else nowadays, this Foxwell NT-630 scanner has more than paid for itself. It's one of the cheapest I've found that also reads Honda-specific codes.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, the final results of the "Check engine light whack-a-mole" ended up as follows:
  • Replaced the thermostat and temperature sensor. There were small leaks where this part of the cooling system attached to the heads/block, so cleaning the carbon buildup from EGR passageways as part of this job made sense. Apparently on my 08, the passages that get gunked up are no longer on top of the engine (I checked). They are now somehow included in the intake section where the thermostat is located or are at least much easier to get at when doing this work.
  • Replaced an anti-knock sensor.
  • The final fix turned out to be the purge control solenoid, which is part of the fuel evaporative control system.

I have no idea why all these things popped up at the same time. I guess I'll have to chalk it up to "stupid computers!".

I'm not sure if I should be a bit peeved that I just spent a bunch of money fixing things that didn't actually cause the car to run poorly, or if I should be happy some smaller problems were fixed before they turned into bigger problems. I guess only time will tell.
 

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Even if you don't do your own repairs, it helps to have a code reader so you aren't "flying blind" when you take your car in for repairs on a problem. If you know the codes in advance, you will know if someone is blowing smoke. Don't tell them that you know the codes beforehand. You will learn who you can trust with your diagnosis.
 
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