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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have one 2016 Honda Pilot AWD EXl, purcharged brand new on Nov, 2016, current 23k, it was running great till Oct 20th, My wife drove car about 70 miles to visit another city, stopped at the first red light after got off the highway, when she turned car to right when light is green, she heard one large sound from engine, it was running very quiet before, so she stopped the car, Called me. My first question for her if she saw any light on dashboard, it was negative. so I ask her to drive to nearby dealership to check, it is about several miles away. After she drove there, engine light is on and engine has loud noise.

She was told they do not have time to look at it right now, will call us back on Monday(22nd). When I called Monday, I was told by service Advisor the engine was seized and they could not start the car at all. Then they asked my service records from dealer, I told them I did all my Oil change by myself, and provide all my parts receipt by email.

On Oct 23rd, went to dealer to pick up personal items and check my car, was told Honda denied my warranty claim due to my DIY oil change, I follow up with service advisor, could you give me official document on this, then he said he can not since service manager is not on site. I need come back next day.

On Oct 24th, I went there to speak to service manager about office denied documentation, was told if I agree to $800 dollar(4 hours labor) to disassemble the engine up front, it is better for them to find out what is the problem, I agreed on the spot and sign diagnosed agreement.

On Oct 25th noon time, went back to dealer to check result, was told they only opened top of engine($500, 2.5 hours job), and signs show it is oil starvation cause my engine failed. once again asked official diagnosed document, was told they have not yet finished yet and will send me before they are closed. one hour later, when I was on the way back to home, received email saying they found something else cause the problem, but he need check with Honda district manager to see if my car is covered.


On Oct 26th, received email from Service manager saying my car is seized because of hydrolocked engine, here is statement I copied from his email "At some point fairly recently someone had to have driven thru a good size puddle which caused water intrusion into the motor that over time has caused internal damages. We see this quite often and would absolutely explain why even with good oil level the motor siezed." he suggest I contact with my insurance to get it checked, which I did the same day to check with my insurance agent, it was scheduled to get car checked this week, my car is still with dealership.

I have no idea what insurance adjustor is going to say if it is covered or not, I remembered it was raining a lot of on the first week of Oct here, but both my wife and me could not remembered we drove pilot over deep water at all, but I am pretty sure there is no sign on car's other body and part to show this car has been into deep water.

On Oct 27th and today, I sent two emails to service manager for official document from Honda for denied claim, so far, zero response.

yes, I did try to contact with Honda directly since day 1, there is no customer service there, always was told I have to check with my case manager for detail information, and she will contact with me when she finished talking other clients. Never got call back from her.

Sorry for the long story, now what is my option here to get my car covered by Honda if my insurance was denied. Any idea and suggestion are welcome here, should I start to work with my lawyer, I know someone local is very good.

I think my next step is to call high end corporate person to get my case moving, anyone has similar experience to fight their claim?

I will keep this post updated once I got new info...

Thanks!!!
 

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Did water go in through the air intake? Head gasket didn't blow?

Those are the only things I can think of to get water in the cylinders.

Unless you put water in the crankcase instead of oil, it has to be a design problem or part failure and should be covered in my mind.

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Sorry to hear your sad story. If you are sure you, or your wife have never driven the car through deep water, you may want to try other dealer, or a third party, to check and rule out water damage, or find the cause of problem and hopefully someone will back you up on this, so you can push Honda to cover it under warranty. A lot of headaches for sure. Good luck and hope you can sort it out to your favour.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What a surprise, Just got email from service manager from dealer about my car after I posted this message 50 minutes ago, I hope there is no Honda staff here monitor this forum, attached is official statement from dealer. Any suggestion and idea does this sound right?

Thanks!
 

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if they determined this pilot to be a flooded vehicle the insurance will write off the pilot all together. Good luck this is going to be a nasty battle
 

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OMG. I own 2 Hondas: a '16 Pilot and a '18 CRV. Just 7 days ago Honda posted a YouTube video finally acknowledging publicly for the 1st time in the USA that 2017 and 2018 CRV's have a fuel dilution issue (i.e.: water in the engine oil) in the turbo charged 1.5 liter CRV engine after months of stonewalling. In the video they claim this is a "normal" condition. They suspended all CRV and Civic sales in China late last year because of this problem. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVdKNRgzGT8


To each his own, but if this happened to me I'd start a letter writing campaign, beginning with Consumer Reports, who recently took notice of the fuel dilution issue, and copy Honda on all correspondence. In other words, put a little pressure on your service manager's opinion.
 

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Correction … fuel dilution is gasoline in the oil, not water. Still I've seen some posts & videos where CRV owners are claiming that the dip stick is almost an inch above the full mark. I'm still amazed that Honda thinks that is normal, and then deny your claim due to alleged water. Wonder if it is safe to drive a Pilot in the rain now???
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for your kind of words, I know it will be a long story down the road.
@2hondas2, Thanks for information, I will forward your information to dealer service manager, hope it could bring some light on it. I also own two Honda cars, another one is 2012 Honda fit, I did all oil changes on both cars the same day one month ago, so I am sure I use the same parts and engine oil, fit runs fine, so I am certain that the engine oil I used should not be the problem, that is also the reason I agree Dealer to open my engine to check if i have lubrication problem on my car, so it was very surprised that service manager says my engine failed due to water not oil any more, from beginning service manager think I use wrong type of oil for engine, also he say maybe I did not do my oil change correctly and try to cover it with fresh oil.

I am still waiting for Honda Case manager's call...
 

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If possible, I would transport the car to your local dealer where you purchased from. Much less travelling and you might have your salesperson advocate for you.
 

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Twitter. Make it a PR nightmare. That usually gets companies attention.

How frequently do you check your oil? The 14+ years (if I remember correctly) are known to burn oil. Something about the piston ring design.

I have a weekly reminder in my calendar to check the oil in my wife's Accord and the Pilot
 

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I wish you the best of luck with it but this is exactly why I have the dealer change the oil. It's only $50 and cheap insurance in a case like this. Once the warranty is up it's another story but i refuse to give them a reason to deny anything.

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For an engine to be hydro locked, the water/liquid needs to be able to enter into the cylinder. This can happen if you run thought deep water and water get suck into air intake, it can also happen when there is head gasket leakage but usually happens during sitting for hours and liquid enters the cylinder and when starting it can damage the engine, I have never seem it happen when the engine is running as it should just burns and causing large amount of white smoke, then again, maybe large amount of liquid rush into the engine cylinder while running and cause the connecting rod to bent which is internal engine failure and Honda is liable.

The dealer you went to definitely no good, they 1st blame DIY oil change then blame driving through puddle/water and causing engine failure..

There is no such a thing that water accumulation in oil causing hydo lock (unless is so much it is over the oil pan and reaches the cylinder which I doubt this can happen because the crank will seize 1st ), it can cause crank/cam to snap due to lack of lubrication but not hydro lock. AGAIN,Liquid must enter the cylinder for it to happen.

I would contact insurance and explain to them what happened, also contact lawyer and Honda Corp of North America (I know you did but demand to speak to someone else that can handle the case since you never got a call back), also file complaint with BBB and anything you can think of plus social media. Hearing this type of thing just pisses me off.....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just got off phone with my ALLState Insurance agent, Yes, Insurance will cover my loss with my deductible. Thanks ALLState, at least it keeps its promise to cover its customer. He verified it is HydroLocked motor. But no one knows how it happens. But I think it is better as Pilot owner to check your oil level regular, fuel dilution may play role on this even I got hydrolocked motor. I live in MN, on Oct 20th, it is very cold and windy, we had cold rain days the week before, but how water get into motor due to rain or water puddle from the road, I could not connect them together.

Yes, i will try to Twitter to Honda about this, so far I still have not received call from Honda claim manager, I am still at lost of my rental , deductible ...
 

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I will forward your information to dealer service manager.

If he dismisses it, let him know about this as well … Honda Delays CR-V Engine Fix but Details Rollout Plans - Consumer Reports


I hate it when a company that I hold in as high a regard as Honda, stonewalls until their delay tactics come to the attention of someone more respected (like Consumer Reports). I'm no mechanic and have never heard of hydrolock, but my "women's intuition" tells me they are doing the same in your case. Wish you the best.
 

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Did they test the gas in the pilot for water? During heavy rains old or defective underground tanks at gas stations can take in water and ruin multiple engines. I have seen insurance claims for 15+ vehicles with blown engines due to one underground tank taking in rain water.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Finally, I got call from Honda Claim Manager who is handling my case, after 10 days I opened my case I got call back. I spoke with her for about 1 hour. In general, she said Honda denied my claim due to I am not ASE technician, anything I have done(Even Oil changes) on this car has no trace to show if I did it right or not to cause water entering into Engine, I asked her I also have no trace when Honda made this engine, how it did it right or wrong. She also denied that she is not going to give me any explanation in written why my claim was denied because of water entering into engine, I should contacted with my dealership for this. I am forced back to the starting point/day(Oct 20).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks osu1978, I will ask dealership to check on this, I need them to make sure old gas was extracted and put fresh gas before they start engine and check gas tank.
 

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I am leaning towards water in gas as well. Check your gas door, maybe heavy rain got leaked through gas door into capless gas tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I called dealership yesterday about water in gas, was told they did check gas and gas tank once they found out hydrolocked motor, but they did not find water in the gas. I will check this with my wife to see if she put some gas in one raining days. I also asked dealership to extract all gas from my gas tank in case it has something to do about this.
 
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