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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 2011 Honda Pilot EX with 125k miles. I've replaced the timing belt and NGK spark plugs along with water pump. I have an occasional long cranking especially morning time. So I have left the key in the II position for a few seconds and crank. It always works. Does it mean that the fuel pump has some issues? It seems battery and starter are good.
 

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I have a 2011 Honda Pilot EX with 125k miles. I've replaced the timing belt and NGK spark plugs along with water pump. I have an occasional long cranking especially morning time. So I have left the key in the II position for a few seconds and crank. It always works. Does it mean that the fuel pump has some issues? It seems battery and start are good.
125k is low miles for a fuel pump problem. Has all other maintenance been done? Is the engine light on? Your vehicle is also equipped with VCM technology. It's not unusual to start having engine issues associated with the side effects of the VCM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
125k is low miles for a fuel pump problem. Has all other maintenance been done? Is the engine light on? Your vehicle is also equipped with VCM technology. It's not unusual to start having engine issues associated with the side effects of the VCM.
There is no engine light on. All maintenance have been done according to the manual. My two keys have that Intermittent long cranking issue. I don’t have any knowledge of VCM. I will look at it. I might also check the fuel pressure and any injection leaking.
 

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Have you tested the battery? I swear it takes longer to fire up when they are getting weaker…
 

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There is no engine light on. All maintenance have been done according to the manual. My two keys have that Intermittent long cranking issue. I don’t have any knowledge of VCM. I will look at it. I might also check the fuel pressure and any injection leaking.
A VCM disabling device will keep your engine running on all 6 cylinders 100% of the time. This helps to burn off carbon deposits.
How are the fuel trims? Do you have a OBD II scanner?
My order of things to do or check would be...
  1. Disable the VCM. I use S-VCM.
  2. Air filter New/Clean Installed correctly, box sealed
  3. Air intake hose leak free, clamps tight
  4. Clean MAF. I use CRC Electronic Cleaner or MAF Cleaner. Spray a few short bursts directly into the electrodes. Let dry thoroughly before re-installing. This will help fuel/air mixture.
  5. Spark plugs New/Clean
  6. Spark plug tubes oil free. If oil is present, replace valve cover gaskets grommets and spark plug tube seals. Install a new set of intake manifold gaskets if doing valve covers.
  7. Coils firing, oil free.
  8. Replace PCV valve.
  9. Replace EGR valve
  10. Use full synthetic 0w20 oil, no semi or extended performance oil.
  11. Use a top tier 87 octane fuel or use injector cleaner regularly.
  12. Italian tune up. Take on some long highway speed drives
Because of age, examine around the oil dipstick. Is there any oil leaking, possibly dripping into the alternator. This can cause a power loss and eventually destroys the alternator.
 
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This had been happening to us less than half the time before changing the starting routine to hold for a moment or two at position II. All maintenance up to date, VCM disabled, no codes, new battery. Works fine starting from position II after waiting a couple of seconds. We just keep starting it this way until the problem becomes consistent.
 

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Prolonged crank is often just the in-tank check valve allowing system pressure to bleed off more quickly than normal, where the pump has to fill and repressurize the fuel line/rail. An annoyance, but not usually leading to sudden pump failure, in the vehicles I had experience with. For an around town vehicle, I'd leave it be until it got too annoying or the pump failed for other reasons.

For my main trip vehicle, I'd address it, as the pressure loss could be a splitting/leaking hose in or out of the tank, cracked pump housing, or a leaking injector, bad o-ring.... any of which would render a vacation miserable should they give up entirely.

A leaking injector will usually make the engine run rough for a few seconds after start.
 

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Berryman Chemtool B12 for the gas tank. Hopefully than will clean your injectors. Throw in some seafoam into the engine and gas tank every other oil change.
 

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Speaking of Seafoam....that stuff was designed to dissolve those sticky hydrocarbon deposits that 2 cycle engines are prone to. I've experimented with it on 4 cycle mowers and cars, and mostly it produced copious smoke, but little to no effect on the hard carbon and shellac deposits common to them. Seafoam probably dissolves sludge reasonably, given its ingredients, but I've never had an engine with that issue. B-12 on the other hand, is more potent on 4 cycle engines and hard deposits. Better still it seems, are high PEA content solvents.
 

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I have been lately experiencing similar issue with one difference. In the morning, the cold engine starts right up.
When restarting the hot engine, it will crank for a while and once it finally fires up, it initially idles fairly rough.
No CEL, haven't checked for codes. No gas smell.
At first I thought the starter was getting stuck, but that does not seem to be the issue.
Because if I turn the key to position-II and wait for about 3 seconds until all lights go off and beeping stops, then it fires up no problem.
It reminds me of one of my motorcycles which requires to wait with the key in position-II until the fuel pump gets primed, and you can actually hear the pump making noise.
With my Pilot there is no problem when the engine is cold, so gradual loss of fuel pressure over time seems unlikely.
Vapor lock crossed my mind, but that doesn't seem to be an issue with Pilots and injected engines in general.
Overall very similar to what the OP is experiencing, except in my case it happens only when the engine is hot.

So far I have installed a new battery, cleaned the MAF sensor and the EGR valve, without any change.
Low mileage 2011 Pilot - 54k. VCM muzzled at 38k. Stock spark plugs.
Only use top tier 87 and Mobil-1. Mostly city driving, lately about 4k/year.

The next steps will be along with what Nail Grease suggested: adding Techron, italian tune-up and a new PCV valve.

How to diagnose a leaking injector?

Thanks
 
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