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I had a knocking noise when I would go over rough bumpy roads. I took it to the Honda dealer and they said the noise was coming from loose pins on the front brake calipers and they needed to be replaced for $850. I figured they knew what they were talking about so I had them changed for $200 (I bought the parts and had a local mechanic install them and put in brake fluid). The noise was still there. Today, I replaced the front strut/shock assembly and it fixed the problem.

Now I have an oil leak and have had one for quite some time. I just add new oil. The Honda Dealer says I need to have the valve cover gaskets changed. I generally get the oil changed at whichever local place that has the cheapest price when my light comes on. So, I have had it changed at several different places. They all tell me I need to fix the leak. The problem is that I have been told it is the valve cover gasket, the oil pan, the rear main seal, and a leak around the vtec valve. They all want to do the work for big money. For now, I am just adding more oil.

Not looking for advice, just blowing off steam. I would think that the Honda dealer works on Hond Pilots all day long and would be able to figure out the shock/strut assembly was bad. No way I would trust them to replace the valve cover gasket to stop a leak that may or may not be there.
 

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VTEC spool valve leaks, and valve cover leaks are VERY common on these older J35's. The gaskets harden over time and require replacement. Valve cover leaks are EASY to diagnose as there is oil running down the heads and block.

Its possible that it is only leaking from the spool valves, but if your engine is over 12 years old it is likely if not common to have a valve cover gasket leak as well.

Rear main seal leaks are common on older and high mileage engines, but the leaks are usually very minor, and difficult to measure when you have other oil leaks. I'd not worry with that until you repair the obvious leakers.
Oil pan leaks can happen, but are less common unless the pan is removed and the gasket not replaced. Impossible to determine this as the source when a valve cover gasket is leaking all over the engine. Again, ignore until the top gaskets are replaced.

If you are going pull the intake and valve covers, it is a good time to have the valves adjusted, since there is very minimal labor for this service as the valve covers are off. Only do this with a very trustworthy shop who is experienced with these Honda engines as this is not a common service today. I'd recommend a Honda dealership.
 
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You're describing exactly the same thing that made me take charge of all my repairs. Got super sick of paying top dollar to have repair shops diagnose and fix my Pilot, only to 1) not have the problem(s) fixed, and 2) have them get upset when I wanted to know how they came to their diagnosis.

I had a knocking noise that no shop could diagnose, a noisy blower fan, and a coolant leak attributed to a failed water pump. I fixed the knocking noise by tightening the center nut on my strut (a solution found here), fixed the blower fan by cleaning it (solution found here), and found the pin-sized hole causing the coolant leak by doing some googling after I vowed to diagnose the problem myself - and pay someone else for the actual fix once I determined the root cause (didn't feel like fixing the hose myself).

I've made it a goal to diagnose and fix everything on my Pilot that is not the engine or transmission. Brakes, fluids, suspension, A/C, cooling system, axles... if something's wrong, I'm going to diagnose it and fix it myself. No more taking a shop's word on the diagnosis. I do that shit myself.

--Chris N.
 

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They all want to do the work for big money. For now, I am just adding more oil.
Ideally, do what @boom recommends.

However, if you choose not to or it's more than you want to spend and your leak isn't a geyser, throw in a bottle of AT-205 and drive for a hundred miles or so. For ten bucks, what've you got to lose (except less oil)?

More Information for ATP AT205


This snake oil does in fact work. (y)
 

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My, oh, my! I thought that I had all stealership BS horror stories, but this just sunk them to a new low.

A knock because of the caliper pins? OMG.

Your problem is likely the sway bar bushings, or links, or lower control arms (either ball joints or bushings, but complete LCA solves both).
 

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Was talking to one of my buddies at Honda about that . What I heard was that Honda is not in the market of diagnosing problems and issues any more. If they can visually see it then advise then have it replaced. It's no longer worth the business for them to spend the day troubleshooting . Scanner says this ... replace the defective part.. oil change..no problem ..they go by the service manual whats needed on the mileage that's on your ride. Most of the new guys in the shop wouldn't be able to trouble shoot anything outside of the box.
 

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Honda dealership service department workflow:
  1. Plug in exclusive HDS scanner.
  2. Fire the parts cannon.
  3. Here's your invoice, sir. Have a nice day.
 
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