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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All,

Thank you for the years of reading while I’ve been lurking through the forums. I’ve come across a significant issue that I would love to have your pilot-biased opinions on.

My wife and I are the original owners on a 2017 EX AWD with ~70k miles. Mostly highway. We recently received a transmission problem display on the driver console. I was with my wife when it happened, luckily as it’s only happened again one other time. Both times we pulled over, placed in park, and shut off the engine. Problem display cleared each time. We scheduled a diagnostic today and herein is where I need help/guidance:

1) Honda warranties have expired on power train. And they are asking $3600 to repair the P0741 code. Is this the correct route to just repair the torque converter?

2) Reading through older posts I see that filling and flushing was performed by the dealer under TSB 17-014 and 17-015. My dealer tells me that TSB does not apply because their diagnostic code shows trouble with the torque converter (what?!). Is this correct, that the TSBs do not apply (8 yrs, 80k miles) because my vehicle threw a code?

3) it is my assumption that anyone receiving the Transmission Problem display would be throwing a code. Yet, other dealerships performed the work under the TSB. Does my mileage kick me out of this or is there some Honda policy that won’t cover the TSB warranty claim if there is a P code found?

I’m at a loss of words, and I’ve never been so shaking mad after a call with the maintenance manager before, but I’m really looking for some alternate perspectives here.

Live long and piloteer,

义丶Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I just spoke to Honda USA and they stated that the code that applies to the TSBs referenced above is P03505. Guess it’s my lucky day - no database codes listed on the web for that! Guess it’s a mystical repair?
 

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P0741 Possible causes

  • Low transmission fluid level
  • Dirty transmission fluid
  • Faulty torque converter clutch solenoid valve
  • Torque converter clutch solenoid valve harness or connectors
  • Torque converter clutch solenoid valve circuit is open or shorted
  • Transmission internal mechanical problem
While it is possible that the worst case would be last on this list, there's a chance that it could be caused by the lesser things. No I would not pay Honda $3600 just yet without ruling out the lesser causes.
 

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Do you do your own vehicle maintenance. If you don’t, you should. Changing the transmission fluid is as easy as they come on the six speed. Disable the VCM. That can cause havoc on the transmission due to slipping causing the fluid to burn up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
P0741 Possible causes

  • Low transmission fluid level
  • Dirty transmission fluid
  • Faulty torque converter clutch solenoid valve
  • Torque converter clutch solenoid valve harness or connectors
  • Torque converter clutch solenoid valve circuit is open or shorted
  • Transmission internal mechanical problem
While it is possible that the worst case would be last on this list, there's a chance that it could be caused by the lesser things. No I would not pay Honda $3600 just yet without ruling out the lesser causes.
Thank you for the reply. Do you believe that it can likely be resolved by draining and flushing? Do you think it could be too far gone and changing the fluid may not recover the torque converter / clutch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do you do your own vehicle maintenance. If you don’t, you should. Changing the transmission fluid is as easy as they come on the six speed. Disable the VCM. That can cause havoc on the transmission due to slipping causing the fluid to burn up.
I do some. During COVID I replaced the engine oil a couple of times. All of this is very new to me, as I was unaware of the requirements to keep the reliability of our Pilot up to par was to perform a transmission flush every 25k miles and bypass the VCM. I'm learning so much, but hope it is not too late.
 

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Thank you for the reply. Do you believe that it can likely be resolved by draining and flushing? Do you think it could be too far gone and changing the fluid may not recover the torque converter / clutch?
That's the hope. If you DIY, you can test and see without breaking the bank. Otherwise your at their mercy.
If your sure you can not get Honda to perform any work under warranty, I'd go to Wal-Mart and buy three 1gal jugs of Valvoline MaxLife ATF. With the vehicle setting flat on the ground, I'd do 1 drain and fill, then drive 10 miles or so, and do the 2nd. After the second you should see an improvement if fluid changes are going to work. If all is well, after 100 miles, do the 3rd. I'd consider a 4th if there is any black particles floating in the fluid.
I'd also disable the VCM. I use S-VCM. S-VCM will keep your engine running on all 6 cylinders 100% of the time. The VCM is what causes the torque converter clutch lock issue in the TSB. Honda solves this with 3 drain and fill and a software update.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's the hope. If you DIY, you can test and see without breaking the bank. Otherwise your at their mercy.
If your sure you can not get Honda to perform any work under warranty, I'd go to Wal-Mart and buy three 1gal jugs of Valvoline MaxLife ATF. With the vehicle setting flat on the ground, I'd do 1 drain and fill, then drive 10 miles or so, and do the 2nd. After the second you should see an improvement if fluid changes are going to work. If all is well, after 100 miles, do the 3rd. I'd consider a 4th if there is any black particles floating in the fluid.
I'd also disable the VCM. I use S-VCM. S-VCM will keep your engine running on all 6 cylinders 100% of the time. The VCM is what causes the torque converter clutch lock issue in the TSB. Honda solves this with 3 drain and fill and a software update.
The service dept head did confirm that I have the most recent software update out of everything today. Thank you for your time, and I've got some fluid swaps in my weekend plans. I hope O'reilly's can accept all those gallons 😅
 

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The service dept head did confirm that I have the most recent software update out of everything today. Thank you for your time, and I've got some fluid swaps in my weekend plans. I hope O'reilly's can accept all those gallons 😅
We are rooting for you.
It's real easy. A 3/8 ratchet (no socket) fits in the ATF plug. Reach under through the front and pull hard towards you. It holds 3.5 quarts on level ground. If you have an ATF cooler, you might drain a little more. A drivers side rear jack will drain an additional .3. You could probably use the whole jug each time if your patient with the draining, letting it drip. The idea is to remove as much of the old fluid as possible by dilution.
Will need a long funnel if filling through the dipstick hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We are rooting for you.
It's real easy. A 3/8 ratchet (no socket) fits in the ATF plug. Reach under through the front and pull hard towards you. It holds 3.5 quarts on level ground. If you have an ATF cooler, you might drain a little more. A drivers side rear jack will drain an additional .3. You could probably use the whole jug each time if your patient with the draining, letting it drip. The idea is to remove as much of the old fluid as possible by dilution.
Will need a long funnel if filling through the dipstick hole.
I've been told there ain't nothing a beer can't fix. Sip a little back and wait, maybe a decent distraction from the in-laws this weekend🍻

Do you have a reference for the compression washer replacement? Or can it be reused?
 

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For p0741 2 options
1. Only symptom is p0741, replace converter
2. Doesn't shift correctly and/or has debris in fluid when strained through paint strainer, replace trans.
 

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I've been told there ain't nothing a beer can't fix. Sip a little back and wait, maybe a decent distraction from the in-laws this weekend🍻

Do you have a reference for the compression washer replacement? Or can it be reused?
I reuse. Just as the drain bolt touches the washer, push the washer up to center it.
 

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For p0741 2 options
1. Only symptom is p0741, replace converter
2. Doesn't shift correctly and/or has debris in fluid when strained through paint strainer, replace trans.
Well, I guess he's going to try fluid changes.
In your experience, is the debris clutch material?
 

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For p0741 2 options
1. Only symptom is p0741, replace converter
2. Doesn't shift correctly and/or has debris in fluid when strained through paint strainer, replace trans.
I assume that these are the recommended repair options that Honda uses in their diagnostic chart. Of course, Honda wants to fix the problem right the first time, and avoid callbacks when the same code pops up again. Since the OP's Pilot is out of warranty, it makes sense for him to try a less costly repair: clean up the fluid and disable the VCM. Honda is not going to disable the VCM, due to Federal fuel efficiency standards. I would argue that by disabling VCM and cleaning the fluid, the OP has a chance of restoring transmission function, at least for a while. This route will cost a DIY owner about $200 or so, versus the much higher price tag of torque converter/transmission replacement.
 

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I haven't had even one p0741 survive with fluid changes alone yet. That was Honda's first fix, then they realized it was going to take more. But the op doesn't really have anything to loose at this point. I would strain the fluid though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I haven't had even one p0741 survive with fluid changes alone yet. That was Honda's first fix, then they realized it was going to take more. But the op doesn't really have anything to loose at this point. I would strain the fluid though.
Oh man. This is definitely raining on my parade. Guess I’ll get it cleaned up and see if I can get some decent trade in on it. Definitely trying the drain and flush though.
 

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Disabling the VCM might make a difference. The 3rd Gen VCM program causes deliberate slip of the torque converter clutch to smooth out the driving experience. If your TC clutch is worn and giving you slip codes, you don't need to have VCM actively making things worse. It's not going to fix a worn TC, but disabling the VCM removes one cause of slip.
 

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I deactivated the VCM and added a factory transmission cooler along with Amsoil SS blue cap atf. So far so good. I’ve done two drain and fills. About to do a third since A123 has popped up.
 

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I deactivated the VCM and added a factory transmission cooler along with Amsoil SS blue cap atf. So far so good. I’ve done two drain and fills. About to do a third since A123 has popped up.
I'd be very interested to see how the Amsoil ATF works out for you. Please keep us informed.
 

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I'd be very interested to see how the Amsoil ATF works out for you. Please keep us informed.
So far so good. So far I’ve done two drain and fills with it. My A123 code just popped up so at 28K I’ll do a third drain and fill. Currently at 60% on the olm at 25K miles.
 
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