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As the title suggests, I am looking for a high mileage Pilot to have as a 2nd vehicle for camping trips, towing a medium sized boat (under 21 foot), and as a driver over our arduous Michigan winters.

I also have one other Honda, a 2005 Civic that has been nothing but wonderful, its about to cross the 200k mile threshold and I intend to keep it forever.

my understanding is the big weak point of the Pilot is the 5 speed automatic, although I cant seem to find much evidence of failures occuring, im wondering if anybody can point me towards a buyers guide or can suggest general “what to look for” tips so I can make an educated purchase. I am finding 2003 - 2007 examples between $2000 and $4000 ranging between 110k miles and over 200k.
my maximum is $4000. I also have a shop with most tools to do anything from brakes to welding exhaust parts, so at home service isnt that big of a deal.

any words of advice?
 

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I drive a 2003 with 208k miles. First thing to check on a road salt state Pilot is the rear subframe bolts, where they are attached to the unit body. This area--the rear unibody crossmember--tends to trap salt water and rust out. Otherwise, be ready to replace sway bar bushings, links, and front lower control arms. Struts are probably due as well. Sellers often get rid of a Pilot instead of doing deferred maintenance, especially the timing belt. The 2005's are notorious for radiator/transmission cooler internal failure, which can ruin a good transmission with anti-freeze contamination.
 

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Adding to STMech’s list motor mounts (especially front and passenger side) tend to fail often.
 
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