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Discussion Starter #1
Warning…..this is long…..

I read through several threads.....but did not find one direction to go in…..

So…..I want to tell you what is happening with my 2004 Honda Pilot…..(Mileage 229,000)…..

Just so that you know the condition of the vehicle…..these are the current maintenance issues:….

First…..the transmission needs to be replaced…..but I have been nursing it along until I can get the money to replace it…..

Second…..the exhaust needs to be repaired…..(bad after-market muffler)…..

Third…..brake rotors are due to be changed…..

This is the intermittent no start issue:….

About 10 days ago…..after sitting all day…..I drove it to a meeting…..(about 2 miles)…..which lasted about two hours…..

After the meeting…..I got in and tried to start it in my normal way…..turned over…..but did not start…..I tried a second time…..still no start…..(I did hear the fuel pump running the first time I tried to start it)…..

I waited a minute…..cycled the key a couple of times…..tried to start it…..and still no start…..(B-T-W…..it had about a ½ tank of gas)…..(No fuel pump sound heard)…..

I decided to wait a few minutes…..in case I was flooding it…..after about 15 minutes…..I cycled the key 2 times and tried to start it again….started right up…..(No fuel pump sound heard)…..

Drove it home…..(about 2 miles)…..it ran and drove normal…..I parked and turned it off…..I tried to start it again…..and it started right up…..(No fuel pump sound heard)…..

I drove it the rest of the week without any starting or running problems…..(in total…..about 100 miles)…..

7 days later…..I drive it about 20 miles running some errands…..and no issues…..when I get to the next stop…..I go in the store for about 20 minutes…..come out…..turn the key…..and no start…..I tried a second time…..and no start…..(No fuel pump sound heard)…..

So…..I waited about 15 minutes…..cycled the key a few times…..tried to start it…..and no start…..(No fuel pump sound heard)…..

After about a half an hour…..still no start…..So…..I call to get a ride home…..

Seven hours later…..I return with a tow truck to take my Pilot home…..put the key in and it starts right up…..I still tow it home…..(I did not listen for the fuel pump sound)…..

When I get home…..I try to start it…..and it starts right up several times…..(this was Tuesday before Thanksgiving)….. (No fuel pump sound heard)…..

I did not drive it on Wednesday…..on Thursday evening…..I decided to take it on a short run to the neighborhood store…..(about ¼ mile)…..going to the store…..it started up and ran fine…..(I did hear the fuel pump running when I tried to start it)…..

After being in the store for about 10 minutes…..I came out…..and again…..no start…..I cycled the key a couple of times again…..and still no start…..(No fuel pump sound heard)…..

I wait about 15 minutes…..cycle the key 5 or 6 times…..and it starts…..I drove it home and parked it…..(No fuel pump sound heard)…..

The next day…..(Friday)…..I go out and it starts right up.....I run some errands…..(about 15 miles)…..and it starts normal every time…..(I heard the fuel pump before I started it the first time)…..

Saturday morning…..I want to take it to my friend’s shop to test the fuel system…..I go out and…..it won’t start…..(I did not listen for the fuel pump)…..

I read on the internet…..that sometimes the connections inside the PCM-FI relay become loose and tapping on the relay while turning the key will sometimes allow the vehicle to start…..So…..I try it…..but no success…..no start…..

I tapped on it a second time…..still no start…..I was about to just drive something else…..but decided to try to start the Pilot one more time…..and it started…..(No fuel pump sound heard)…..

I drove it to his shop…..and the tech with the testing equipment that I need is out with the flu…..and the equipment is locked in his toolbox…..So…..no testing yet…..

I made two stops on the way home…..(about 3 miles)…..no problems…..

So…..what I am looking for…..is any information that you can give me…..so…..that when I am at the shop on Monday…..I can isolate the issue and repair my Pilot…..

Thanks in advance…..
 

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Check the fuel pressure regulator. Diaphragm can rupture and allow raw gas to pool in the intake manifold, causing hard starting with black smoke. Another possibility is leaking fuel injectors after shutdown. This also can flood the engine and cause a difficult hot start. And of course, old fuel pumps can become intermittent and unreliable
 

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You are on potentially the right path with the fuel pump relay testing. Is the green immobilizer key going out every time you try to start it?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Check the fuel pressure regulator. Diaphragm can rupture and allow raw gas to pool in the intake manifold, causing hard starting with black smoke. Another possibility is leaking fuel injectors after shutdown. This also can flood the engine and cause a difficult hot start. And of course, old fuel pumps can become intermittent and unreliable
Thanks.....

I don't smell a strong gas smell when I start it up.....and I will look for the black smoke in the morning.....

If it is the fuel pressure regulator.....will there be visible signs of fuel leakage on the outside?....Or how can I test the fuel pressure regulator?....

You are on potentially the right path with the fuel pump relay testing. Is the green immobilizer key going out every time you try to start it?
I did not notice if the imobilizer icon is going out.....I will check it in the morning.....

Should it go out before I actually start the engine.....when the key is all the way forward?....

Or only after the engine starts?....

Thanks.....
 

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Regarding the fuel pressure regulator, a leak will not be obvious from the outside. However, I think that you can remove the regulator and visually inspect it. I haven't done this on a Pilot, you will have to do some reading to figure this detail out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The green key should disappear quickly after you turn the key.
Okay.....so today.....tech still sick.....so.....no testing.....

I did watch for the green key icon to disappear.....and it did.....both times that I tried to start it.....

".....causing hard starting with black smoke."
Also.....from the driver's seat.....I could not see any smoke coming from the tailpipe.....

I will update everyone tomorrow.....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So sorry to leave this hanging out there.....The Tech is still out with the flu.....So I will have to wait a little longer.....

So far.....it has not failed to start since I posted about 10 days ago.....

What I did notice.....is one time last Saturday night.....the green key icon did blink one time while I was driving.....But the vehicle did not stall or act in any unsusal manner.....Also.....when I arrived at my destination.....I cut the vehicle off and then tried to re-start it.....It started with no problems.....

It has started everyday so far.....

I will post when the Tech returns and we can test the fuel system.....
 

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Are you still using the original factory keys, or are you using an aftermarket key, by any chance?

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Are you still using the original factory keys, or are you using an aftermarket key, by any chance?

I have the aftermarket flip keys.....I have been using the aftermarket flip keys for over 10 years.....I assembled and dis-assembled the keys myself.....Originally had the dealer cut and program the keys.....(I was adding extra keys to the vehicle).....I spent a lot of time convincing the dealer to cut "my" keys.....Since it was unheard of to have a flip key for a 2004 Honda Pilot at the time.....I had to dis-assemble the keys so that the blank could be cut.....Then re-assemble the keys so that they could be programed.....All while the dealer kept telling me that they would not work.....They apololgized after all was said and done.....

A couple of weeks ago.....the battery died.....and when I changed it.....I noticed that the chip was now loose in the corner holder in the flip key.....(never had this happen before).....I secured it back in place.....Changed the battery and went on my way.....Except for batteries.....I have never had a problem with my aftermarket keys.....

I wish that I had seen this thread sooner.....I will change to one of my other keys and see if I have a problem re-occur.....I will still be checking the fuel system.....

And separate from this issue.....I will be removing the fuel pump and changing the in tank fuel filter.....I read in some of my research.....That an old and partially clogged fuel filter can cause the random misfire codes.....I have already changed all the ignition system parts and I have a new timing belt (Jan. 2018).....And I still get the random misfire codes from time to time.....I have 229,000 miles on my Pilot.....and I want to put another 229,000 on it.....

Thanks for the information.....
 

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I did the aftermarket flip key thing on our 2011 pilot. Every once in a while, it would crank-no-start. But - in those cases, I seem to remember the security light being on. It was caused by the transponder chip being just a hair farther away from the ignition switch than with a factory key. We just got used to it, and if it happened, we'd just take the key out and reinsert it, maybe flip it over, then it would work. Eventually we wore out two of these aftermarket flip keys and just gave up, went back to the factory key/fob. Never had another issue like that.... even though it was fairly rare when it happened.
 

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A couple of weeks ago.....the battery died.....and when I changed it.....I noticed that the chip was now loose in the corner holder in the flip key.....(never had this happen before).....I secured it back in place
Aha! To make my long story I link to above short, here's what fixed it for me:
So I took apart my flip key and secured the immobilizer chip in its little slot I could see near the hilt using sticky tack.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Aha! To make my long story I link to above short, here's what fixed it for me:

So I took apart my flip key and secured the immobilizer chip in its little slot I could see near the hilt using sticky tack.
When I changed the battery in the key remote.....I secured the chip.....
 

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When I changed the battery in the key remote.....I secured the chip.....
That's what I thought, but it broke free. A couple of things to try:
  1. Turn the key upside down and reinsert it.
  2. Jiggle it and try to listen for something loose inside.
  3. Open it up, check, and re-secure if with sticky tack, the kind you used to use to put posters up in your dorm room.
 

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I used hot glue to secure the transponder when I had to transfer it from a broken key fob.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That's what I thought, but it broke free. A couple of things to try:
  1. Turn the key upside down and reinsert it.
  2. Jiggle it and try to listen for something loose inside.
  3. Open it up, check, and re-secure if with sticky tack, the kind you used to use to put posters up in your dorm room.
I know that the chip is secure.....because I checked.....

I had the green key icon blink "once" last Saturday night after driving about 15 miles.....And it blinked "once" again on the return trip after about 15 miles of driving.....

I don't know what the distance of 15 miles has to do with anything.....But this Saturday night.....I will be making the same trip.....And I will be using the same key going.....But my other key on the return trip.....I want to see if I can duplicate the green icon blinking.....

The vehicle runs fine.....It does not stall or hesitate.....But the green key icon did blink once during the trip there and back.....

If I can duplicate the blinking green key icon.....Then I will check the key and see if there is something else wrong.....I don't know what that could be.....

I used hot glue to secure the transponder when I had to transfer it from a broken key fob.
Good idea.....
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So.....Sorry for leaving this out there for so long.....But I wanted to make sure that the problem was solved before posting again.....

There was nothing wrong with the fuel system.....Or any other system on my Pilot.....

The issue was the chip in the key being out of place at the times that the Pilot would not start.....

Every since I secured the chip back into the slot inside of the key.....the Pilot never had a starting issue again.....

It has been about 6 weeks and no problems with starting or driving the Pilot.....

This repair costs nothing but a little time and some research.....

For anybody else who has a simular problem.....start with the simple things that will cost no money.....and take the time to eliminate those issues before spending your money.....

Thanks to all of you who posted helpful comments.....
 
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