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Is it harmful to use any unpainted metal surface to connect the negative ground for jump starting? Or do you have to use the engine hanger as stated in the manual?
 

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Why do you not want to use the engine hanger that the Honda engineers were nice enough to highlight in your owners manual?
 

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2020 Pilot Black Edition - Trailer hitch & Harness, All-weather Mats, cargo mat, and Black Emblems
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As long as the unpainted surface is grounded (practically all metal comprising the frame), it really doesn’t matter.
 

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With all the sensitive electronics in your Gen 3, following the instructions in your owners manual for jumping is best. If access is an issue, you can get a grounding extender.
 

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You can try this $7 mod. Verified works on my Ridgeline, should be same for the Pilot.

 

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Never had to jump mine. I should remove the cover and take a look at this so I know what I have to do. I would just assume you'd attach to the neg on battery, but I'm guessing that's not easy or possible if this is a question. Hmmmm
 

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This is the grounding strap (ground extender) that I mentioned earlier. Something like this can be used to reach a grounding point of the engine block, without scuffing up your forearms.


You can try this $7 mod. Verified works on my Ridgeline, should be same for the Pilot.

Funny to see you here :) Small world.
 

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Funny to see you here :) Small world.
Have a 2017 Pilot (got to keep the wife happy) and a 2017 Ridgeline. Could be double trouble, but both have been flawless so far (knock on wood). Both setup with the same mod's (practice on one, easier install on the other).
 
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