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2006 Honda Pilot
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Discussion Starter #1
Every once in awhile when I start the car the “P” is not illuminated on the cluster and the car will not shift out of park unless I use the manual release on top. Every time this has happened the brake lights are still working fine which makes me not want to replace the brake light switch and tells me none of the fuses involving brake lights are blown.

Most of the time once I release it out of park and immediately shift back to park the P will then be illuminated. Any tips?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Unfortunately a blown fuse would cause a problem 100% of the time and not an intermittent issue like I am having.

Also my brake lights work 100% of the time so the brake light switch could not be the cause.
 

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Unfortunately a blown fuse would cause a problem 100% of the time and not an intermittent issue like I am having.
Still, for peace of mind, check your fuses with a multimeter in case it's a hairline fracture which might cause intermittent disconnects. Or better yet, switch the suspect fuse out with a known good one.

Then if you rule that out, move on to other things, like the transmission range sensor aka neutral safety switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Still, for peace of mind, check your fuses with a multimeter in case it's a hairline fracture which might cause intermittent disconnects. Or better yet, switch the suspect fuse out with a known good one.

Then if you rule that out, move on to other things, like the transmission range sensor aka neutral safety switch.
If my brakes light are working while the issue is happening not sure how it could be a fuse problem. Will look into the neutral safety switch.
 

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If the Pilot doesn’t think it’s in Park or Neutral then it won’t start, so your Pilot must think it’s in one of those two gears. What happens when you try to start it with the shift lever in neutral?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If the Pilot doesn’t think it’s in Park or Neutral then it won’t start, so your Pilot must think it’s in one of those two gears. What happens when you try to start it with the shift lever in neutral?
Well when this issue is happening and I have started it and the red “P” indicator is not illuminated once the car starts I have to use the manual release to change gears but it does recognize every other gear and it does start in neutral while this is intermittently happening.
 

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So it sounds like the path to ground between the tranny range sensor (when in neutral and park) and the starter cut relay coil is intact.
Have you looked at the condition of the wires and connector pins at the tranny range sensor?
 

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Make sure the shift interlock solenoid is getting power and ground, and then that the solenoid is operating correctly.
 

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Does this happen when you park on an incline/hill and level ground, or only on a hill?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Make sure the shift interlock solenoid is getting power and ground, and then that the solenoid is operating correctly.
Solenoid seems to be the most likely thing to me. Going to look into it!
 

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Would a faulty shift interlock solenoid cause the dash P icon to not illuminate.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Would a faulty shift interlock solenoid cause the dash P icon to not illuminate.
That’s the biggest part that is confusing me. Pretty sure I’ve never heard it click though on the times that this is happening but I am able to hear it normally. Not sure how Honda has it set up to illuminate the P indicator.
 

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If a dealer is close, stop at the parts counter and ask how much the interlock solenoid costs. They'll give you a price and then you can explain the problem - and they'll probably give you a few things to look at.

My local Honda dealer is great and the parts department tends to give 'preferential treatment' to anyone with a Honda over 15 years old or with 300,000+ miles. In reality, people driving the reliable older models are probably the best brand advertisement they can get, and the parts guys know it but also recognize the limitations of having an older car, so they (at least at my dealer) keep us on the road as best as possible.
 

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Hasn’t seemed to matter whether it’s flat ground or incline. We mostly park on flat ground only.
I asked because if it occurred only on a hill then the problem may be associated with an actual mechanical problem in the tranny, not an electrical phantom.
 
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