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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am driving a 2004 pilot that was a hand-me-down from my parents. I just turned 290 thousand miles on it and its due for the 100k maintenance and will probably need new tires and possibly front end work soon. I estimate that I'll probably need to put somewhere between 3-4k into it just for maintenance. Plus its got some electrical issues with the door locks and the transmission likes to slip out out of drive when the engine is cold. Are there other people driving pilots with 300plus thousand miles on them? If i go ahead and do the timing belt, belts and water pump what else should i just do at the same time. Does keeping this car mean that I just look at dumping another 2 grand in shit like and alternator and wheel bearings etc. At that point i might as well just spend 6-8k now and get a car with 200k less miles on it. Without doing anything, whats this thing practically worth? Maybe 1000-1500 trade in and maybe 2000 on craigslist? Thanks!
 

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On a non-collectible car, it all comes down to its condition, your interest and sentimental attachment.

In purely financial terms, its pretty hard to justify putting the money into it to get it really right again. If you're not doing most of the work yourself, there's no way it makes sense. If there's no rust, you enjoy working on cars, and you just like driving your parent's old car, then its a labor of love and you don't have to justify it.

If that description fit mine, I would do the minimum to make it safe to drive (tires) and not irritate me (door actuators), then just drive it to death. From your description, I suspect that the transmission will fail first. When it does, walk away and start over.

To answer your question, you'll spend around to $2k just on parts for the work you describe, and you'll probably find more as you dig into it. If $2k is your limit, stop spending now, put the money aside for your next car, and drive this one until the wheels fall off.
 

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The transmission slipping tells you that you should not put too much into the car. Do a drain and fill ATF service, see if it helps. Hold off on the timing belt service. Forget about the front end. Unless the transmission comes back 100 percent, you have a 20,000 mile, or maybe 20 mile car, so make other plans.
 

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Dump the car. These early year Pilots were known for transmission issues...and to be honest any car that has 300k miles on it is likely to need a new transmission. You could get a lower mileage Pilot of the same year, or you can spend more money and get something newer. If you aren't ready to get a new car, swap out the transmission fluid and drive it until it dies. It's hard to justify renewing the suspension and paying for the timing belt just to have the transmission blow up in the next 6 months.
 

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There you have it from the Experts that I listen to and have not steered me wrong once! Let us know what you decide, please.
Thanks,
Conrad
 

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I am driving a 2004 pilot that was a hand-me-down from my parents. I just turned 290 thousand miles on it and its due for the 100k maintenance and will probably need new tires and possibly front end work soon. I estimate that I'll probably need to put somewhere between 3-4k into it just for maintenance. Plus its got some electrical issues with the door locks and the transmission likes to slip out out of drive when the engine is cold. Are there other people driving pilots with 300plus thousand miles on them? If i go ahead and do the timing belt, belts and water pump what else should i just do at the same time. Does keeping this car mean that I just look at dumping another 2 grand in shit like and alternator and wheel bearings etc. At that point i might as well just spend 6-8k now and get a car with 200k less miles on it. Without doing anything, whats this thing practically worth? Maybe 1000-1500 trade in and maybe 2000 on craigslist? Thanks!
You got some great honest answers for your Pilot which would apply to nearly any vehicle out there with 300K miles. As mentioned addressing the transmission should be the numero uno which will dictate the next step(s). Whats the trans fluid look like and when was the last trans service? Should be a nice ruby reddish color. A few low expense drain+fills might get the trans in reasonable working order. Post up some answers and what you decide for the Pilot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dump the car. These early year Pilots were known for transmission issues...and to be honest any car that has 300k miles on it is likely to need a new transmission. You could get a lower mileage Pilot of the same year, or you can spend more money and get something newer. If you aren't ready to get a new car, swap out the transmission fluid and drive it until it dies. It's hard to justify renewing the suspension and paying for the timing belt just to have the transmission blow up in the next 6 months.
So the deal with the transmission is that it will slip out of drive at very low speeds when I am starting out and the engine is cold. usually ill put it in 1st and drive a bit and shift into drive and its fine. the problem has been around for longer than ive owned the car which i got in may of '18. I drive a lot and i got the car at 225k and now its got 291K. My dad said it was some kind of pressure sensor in the transmission but ive never bothered to get it looked at because its been more of an annoyance than anything. From your experience do you know more about this problem? Is it common among older pilots and is it usually something else like a worn out friction collar?
 

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So the deal with the transmission is that it will slip out of drive at very low speeds when I am starting out and the engine is cold. usually ill put it in 1st and drive a bit and shift into drive and its fine. the problem has been around for longer than ive owned the car which i got in may of '18. I drive a lot and i got the car at 225k and now its got 291K. My dad said it was some kind of pressure sensor in the transmission but ive never bothered to get it looked at because its been more of an annoyance than anything. From your experience do you know more about this problem? Is it common among older pilots and is it usually something else like a worn out friction collar?
Would you say all those miles were mostly highway miles or a lot of stop and go driving? Shift or Pressure solenoids are replaceable.

2004 HONDA PILOT 3.5L V6 Shift Solenoid | RockAuto

As much as I hate to see the death of a high milage vehicle, If the transmission had to be replaced to make this Pilot keep going, I'd throw in the towel too. Maybe see if these parts will keep it going, plus drain and fill with Full Synthetic Valvoline MaxLife ATF (only, it needs this thin fluid). If things are going good then, get some cheap tires, brakes and think about the timing belt. Baby it till then.
 

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^^^^Yes, that's where I'd start, too. Shift solenoid(s) and drain & fill with Valvoline Maxlife ATF. Normally for those solenoids (pressure switches) I'd recommend OEM, but in your case, especially if you're on a budget, why not try the ones from Rockauto?

A rough shift?

DIY: Replacing Transmission Pressure Switches


 

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Fresh ATF is the first thing to do for the transmission. Your 2004 also has an external transmission filter that may have never been changed. It's a small spin on filter with an oil line inserted in the top. Location is on top of the transmission, hidden by the battery tray. I recommend that you change this filter out.
 

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another spot check is rear subframe rust - if your in the rust belt....I assume your subframe is rusted out. Look from behind the rear tires up at the subframe to body mount.
 

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^^^^ Threads with pics of what he's referring to so you can visualize it:


Rear subframe mount rust

 
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