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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just purchased a pre-owned 2012 Pilot EX-L 4WD 5-speed auto tranny with 95k miles. Cost $15k no trade-in with a dealer 90 day parts/labor warranty.

Ext paint, zero detectable body work and interior leather,trim and carpet are pristine.

I'm otherwise very happy with the purchase ... except that there is a slight shudder at low speed (10mph-25mph) after making a turn from a stop sign or red light. Right turns seem worse, maybe because they are usually tighter turns. The vibration disappears quickly after several seconds or by the time it hits third gear

Dealer recommended.changing the transmission fluid. Not covered under warranty as it is a maintenance item. Three transmission drain and fills later (using Honda ATF DW1) no improvement in the vibration. If anything, maybe a little worse. Since it only had this problem after a making a turn, the next guess by the dealer was, change the rear differential fluid. Two drain and fills later using Honda VTM4 fluid, no real change. Although, now I notice it will sometime shudder even from a straight start, as well as after a turn. It seems worse with harder acceleration or if the straightaway after the turn is up an incline. I think the shudder I'm feeling is a slip and grab in a clutch pack.

For good measure we also changed the transfer case gear oil with the recommnded Honda gear oil. No improvement.

All drained fluids look original, butt none smelled burnt. Everything was done by the book, up on the rack shifting gears between drain and refills.

A VCMuzzler was installed right after purchase. There are no ride issues associated with the ECO light cycling on and off.

The dealer felt that updating the PCM and AT software might possibly help if not cure the problem. They advised me that the update helps with the vibration concern but some vibration may still be felt. While they were at it, they also performed a TC graphing which it passed. They also noted the purple mark on the propeller shaft protector indicating the latest propeller shaft had been installed.

In typical dealership-speak, the service director told me that they have only seen this problem once before. Then after I paid for all the guesswork non-fixes, he commented that, that's just characteristic of this car. How can a problem be so rarely seen yet be just characteristic of the car? The service tech did confirm the vibration in his test ride so it's reproduceable and not my imagination or a hyper sensitive bottom.

Oh, I also menioned to the service writer that the AC compressor makes a whining noise when the AC kicks in at idle. It's only noticeable when stopped at a light or parked with the AC on. When I got the bill and tech writeup, they suggested a new reconditioned P/S pump Update Package which includes 1.6 hours of labor and $872 in OEM parts which also includes a new three bolt mounting bracket for a whopping total of $1132.00! I told them I thought for that kind of money I could live with the noise or turn the radio up.


This is my first Honda. From what I can tell both these concerns are known issues with very, very expensive fixes requiring new major assembly parts, either a new or rebuilt transmission and P/S pump. Before I was told the price of the P/S pump they said, "Good news, it's not the A/C compressor!"

The service writer handed me a copy of Service Bulletin 14-078 but it didn't appear to have anything to do with the problem I described, which makes me wonder.
 

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my 2013 has the shudder too - but not always - some days better than others. I'm suspecting a mount and also the torque convertor. I gave up on my dealer trying to diagnose it and will be taking it to a reputivle transmission shop soon - had a busy summer so far. Have you tried any lube gard red or platinum in there ?

as for the power steering noise - my older pilot was fixed by changing an o-ring that was like 3.00 part. You can see many posts on youtube about this. I was going to also do it on this newer pilot but the bolt is harder to get to. You can at least buy 2-3 bottles of honda power steering fluid and suck out the reservoir and refill (run the car a 30 seconds each time to re-circulate fluid)
 

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I have a very very similar issue at low speed. Checking if you were able to resolve it?

I just purchased a pre-owned 2012 Pilot EX-L 4WD 5-speed auto tranny with 95k miles. Cost $15k no trade-in with a dealer 90 day parts/labor warranty.

Ext paint, zero detectable body work and interior leather,trim and carpet are pristine.

I'm otherwise very happy with the purchase ... except that there is a slight shudder at low speed (10mph-25mph) after making a turn from a stop sign or red light. Right turns seem worse, maybe because they are usually tighter turns. The vibration disappears quickly after several seconds or by the time it hits third gear

Dealer recommended.changing the transmission fluid. Not covered under warranty as it is a maintenance item. Three transmission drain and fills later (using Honda ATF DW1) no improvement in the vibration. If anything, maybe a little worse. Since it only had this problem after a making a turn, the next guess by the dealer was, change the rear differential fluid. Two drain and fills later using Honda VTM4 fluid, no real change. Although, now I notice it will sometime shudder even from a straight start, as well as after a turn. It seems worse with harder acceleration or if the straightaway after the turn is up an incline. I think the shudder I'm feeling is a slip and grab in a clutch pack.

For good measure we also changed the transfer case gear oil with the recommnded Honda gear oil. No improvement.

All drained fluids look original, butt none smelled burnt. Everything was done by the book, up on the rack shifting gears between drain and refills.

A VCMuzzler was installed right after purchase. There are no ride issues associated with the ECO light cycling on and off.

The dealer felt that updating the PCM and AT software might possibly help if not cure the problem. They advised me that the update helps with the vibration concern but some vibration may still be felt. While they were at it, they also performed a TC graphing which it passed. They also noted the purple mark on the propeller shaft protector indicating the latest propeller shaft had been installed.

In typical dealership-speak, the service director told me that they have only seen this problem once before. Then after I paid for all the guesswork non-fixes, he commented that, that's just characteristic of this car. How can a problem be so rarely seen yet be just characteristic of the car? The service tech did confirm the vibration in his test ride so it's reproduceable and not my imagination or a hyper sensitive bottom.

Oh, I also menioned to the service writer that the AC compressor makes a whining noise when the AC kicks in at idle. It's only noticeable when stopped at a light or parked with the AC on. When I got the bill and tech writeup, they suggested a new reconditioned P/S pump Update Package which includes 1.6 hours of labor and $872 in OEM parts which also includes a new three bolt mounting bracket for a whopping total of $1132.00! I told them I thought for that kind of money I could live with the noise or turn the radio up.


This is my first Honda. From what I can tell both these concerns are known issues with very, very expensive fixes requiring new major assembly parts, either a new or rebuilt transmission and P/S pump. Before I was told the price of the P/S pump they said, "Good news, it's not the A/C compressor!"

The service writer handed me a copy of Service Bulletin 14-078 but it didn't appear to have anything to do with the problem I described, which makes me wonder.
I just purchased a pre-owned 2012 Pilot EX-L 4WD 5-speed auto tranny with 95k miles. Cost $15k no trade-in with a dealer 90 day parts/labor warranty.

Ext paint, zero detectable body work and interior leather,trim and carpet are pristine.

I'm otherwise very happy with the purchase ... except that there is a slight shudder at low speed (10mph-25mph) after making a turn from a stop sign or red light. Right turns seem worse, maybe because they are usually tighter turns. The vibration disappears quickly after several seconds or by the time it hits third gear

Dealer recommended.changing the transmission fluid. Not covered under warranty as it is a maintenance item. Three transmission drain and fills later (using Honda ATF DW1) no improvement in the vibration. If anything, maybe a little worse. Since it only had this problem after a making a turn, the next guess by the dealer was, change the rear differential fluid. Two drain and fills later using Honda VTM4 fluid, no real change. Although, now I notice it will sometime shudder even from a straight start, as well as after a turn. It seems worse with harder acceleration or if the straightaway after the turn is up an incline. I think the shudder I'm feeling is a slip and grab in a clutch pack.

For good measure we also changed the transfer case gear oil with the recommnded Honda gear oil. No improvement.

All drained fluids look original, butt none smelled burnt. Everything was done by the book, up on the rack shifting gears between drain and refills.

A VCMuzzler was installed right after purchase. There are no ride issues associated with the ECO light cycling on and off.

The dealer felt that updating the PCM and AT software might possibly help if not cure the problem. They advised me that the update helps with the vibration concern but some vibration may still be felt. While they were at it, they also performed a TC graphing which it passed. They also noted the purple mark on the propeller shaft protector indicating the latest propeller shaft had been installed.

In typical dealership-speak, the service director told me that they have only seen this problem once before. Then after I paid for all the guesswork non-fixes, he commented that, that's just characteristic of this car. How can a problem be so rarely seen yet be just characteristic of the car? The service tech did confirm the vibration in his test ride so it's reproduceable and not my imagination or a hyper sensitive bottom.

Oh, I also menioned to the service writer that the AC compressor makes a whining noise when the AC kicks in at idle. It's only noticeable when stopped at a light or parked with the AC on. When I got the bill and tech writeup, they suggested a new reconditioned P/S pump Update Package which includes 1.6 hours of labor and $872 in OEM parts which also includes a new three bolt mounting bracket for a whopping total of $1132.00! I told them I thought for that kind of money I could live with the noise or turn the radio up.


This is my first Honda. From what I can tell both these concerns are known issues with very, very expensive fixes requiring new major assembly parts, either a new or rebuilt transmission and P/S pump. Before I was told the price of the P/S pump they said, "Good news, it's not the A/C compressor!"

The service writer handed me a copy of Service Bulletin 14-078 but it didn't appear to have anything to do with the problem I described, which makes me wonder.
 

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I've had the same type of issue now in my 2012 for a while.

Check out my post here to see all of my issues and solutions tried.

I suspect torque converter, but if someone else figures out a solution, I'd love to hear it!

At least I feel better knowing others are feeling the same type of shudder so I know it's not just my vehicle.
 

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It’s probably an unbalanced drive shaft or bad center bearing. Did you have a shop put it on the rack and check if it is smooth at the vibration speeds?
 

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Oh, I also menioned to the service writer that the AC compressor makes a whining noise when the AC kicks in at idle. It's only noticeable when stopped at a light or parked with the AC on. When I got the bill and tech writeup, they suggested a new reconditioned P/S pump Update Package which includes 1.6 hours of labor and $872 in OEM parts which also includes a new three bolt mounting bracket for a whopping total of $1132.00! I told them I thought for that kind of money I could live with the noise or turn the radio up.
There is a TSB for the PS noise/vibration at idle when the AC cycles.

 

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Same thing here. I thought maybe it was my tires at one point but they've since been changed and I still feel it. Doesn't seem to be causing problems, just annoying.

2012 EX-L
 

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How is it possible that there is no confirmed fix for this problem, when hundreds if not thousands of people have the same exact issue! I have done transmission fluid, transfer case, rear diff, balanced and rotated all tires, used S-VCM to defeat eco mode, changed spark plugs, and done the TSB PCM update and slightly better but still pronounced from 25-35 mph. The vibration feels like you are running over little ripples in the road but clears up after accelerating past 35/40mph.

I had my mechanic video the drive shaft with the Pilot on a rack and it doesn’t look unbalanced nor is there any play at the center bearing. The only thing left to do is change the drive shaft and/or torque converter but that’s a pretty expensive guess at this point. My problem was never the VCM but this 25-40 mph judder people have been talking about. It happens when the car is warmed up (it’s winter now) but I have the VCM defeated with the S-VCM muzzler. I’m at a loss! Please help! Feeling duped...the test drive was good when I bought it because this problem doesn’t happen right after cold start. Picked this 2013 car up 2 weeks ago with 85k miles.

Any clue to next steps? Dealership is of no help and suggests just following the TSB as the “next step”...which is an $1800 drive shaft which they won’t guarantee will fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
An update since my original post back in March 2019 … I don't know if temperature has anything to do with this, but it has gotten cold (low 40's F) here in Florida for the first time since I've owned this vehicle and the vibration problem at low speed has seemed to have all but disappeared! I am totally clueless why. No other work has been done since my original post other than an oil and oil and air filter changes. The problem doesn't seem to return even after the engine reaches normal operating temp. I don't have any realtime temp readings on the transmission fluid so I can't say if the air temp is having any affect on it. It will be interesting, if not disappointing to see if the problem returns when the weather warms up. No codes of any kind.
 

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but still pronounced from 25-35 mph. The vibration feels like you are running over little ripples in the road but clears up after accelerating past 35/40mph.
This is exactly the shudder I feel as well and how I have described it. I have said it's like you are running over the rumble strips on the side of the road without the tire noise. I suspect the torque converter (and so does my mechanic) because I can't think of anything else that would cause this type of shudder at exactly the same speed on acceleration. But I'm not about to spend the money to replace it on a guess.

I've experienced this for 4 years now, since around 36k miles, right after warranty expired. I noticed it after I got new tires and thought maybe it was the new tires. But it's probably that I was just paying better attention to how it drove after the new tires and it may have been doing it before then.

This may sound crazy, but I'm glad that others are experiencing it! At least I know I'm not crazy, or being too sensitive, and it's not something specific to only my vehicle.
 

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Try removing the rear propeller shaft then driving it(or have your dealer try it). My propeller shaft checked out at about 75K miles, Hondacare replaced it, I just had to pay $125 to reflash the PCM.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Further update now that the weather has warmed up again … after a few weeks of temps in the 40's when my low speed vibration miraculously disappeared, now that temps are back up in the 80's the vibration is back. I still have no idea why this is so, but there is it. I'm wondering if a bigger transmission fluid cooling radiator would fix this? The stock one is pretty small, about a square foot. Plenty of room for a bigger one. I dunno.
What is also puzzling is that the vibration only occurs after a turn. Makes me wonder if this isn't a differential issue.
 

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I just purchased a pre-owned 2012 Pilot EX-L 4WD 5-speed auto tranny with 95k miles. Cost $15k no trade-in with a dealer 90 day parts/labor warranty.

Ext paint, zero detectable body work and interior leather,trim and carpet are pristine.

I'm otherwise very happy with the purchase ... except that there is a slight shudder at low speed (10mph-25mph) after making a turn from a stop sign or red light. Right turns seem worse, maybe because they are usually tighter turns. The vibration disappears quickly after several seconds or by the time it hits third gear

Dealer recommended.changing the transmission fluid. Not covered under warranty as it is a maintenance item. Three transmission drain and fills later (using Honda ATF DW1) no improvement in the vibration. If anything, maybe a little worse. Since it only had this problem after a making a turn, the next guess by the dealer was, change the rear differential fluid. Two drain and fills later using Honda VTM4 fluid, no real change. Although, now I notice it will sometime shudder even from a straight start, as well as after a turn. It seems worse with harder acceleration or if the straightaway after the turn is up an incline. I think the shudder I'm feeling is a slip and grab in a clutch pack.

For good measure we also changed the transfer case gear oil with the recommnded Honda gear oil. No improvement.

All drained fluids look original, butt none smelled burnt. Everything was done by the book, up on the rack shifting gears between drain and refills.

A VCMuzzler was installed right after purchase. There are no ride issues associated with the ECO light cycling on and off.

The dealer felt that updating the PCM and AT software might possibly help if not cure the problem. They advised me that the update helps with the vibration concern but some vibration may still be felt. While they were at it, they also performed a TC graphing which it passed. They also noted the purple mark on the propeller shaft protector indicating the latest propeller shaft had been installed.

In typical dealership-speak, the service director told me that they have only seen this problem once before. Then after I paid for all the guesswork non-fixes, he commented that, that's just characteristic of this car. How can a problem be so rarely seen yet be just characteristic of the car? The service tech did confirm the vibration in his test ride so it's reproduceable and not my imagination or a hyper sensitive bottom.

Oh, I also menioned to the service writer that the AC compressor makes a whining noise when the AC kicks in at idle. It's only noticeable when stopped at a light or parked with the AC on. When I got the bill and tech writeup, they suggested a new reconditioned P/S pump Update Package which includes 1.6 hours of labor and $872 in OEM parts which also includes a new three bolt mounting bracket for a whopping total of $1132.00! I told them I thought for that kind of money I could live with the noise or turn the radio up.


This is my first Honda. From what I can tell both these concerns are known issues with very, very expensive fixes requiring new major assembly parts, either a new or rebuilt transmission and P/S pump. Before I was told the price of the P/S pump they said, "Good news, it's not the A/C compressor!"

The service writer handed me a copy of Service Bulletin 14-078 but it didn't appear to have anything to do with the problem I described, which makes me wonder.
I know people are probably going to get tired of me posting this on every transmission problem, but before you go to an expensive fix, try MaxLife ATF. I'm convinced it's better fluid. My 5-speed 2012 Crosstour still shifts smoothly at 225k miles with 123k miles logged using it. Drain, fill and drive 3 times.
 

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I know people are probably going to get tired of me posting this on every transmission problem, but before you go to an expensive fix, try MaxLife ATF. I'm convinced it's better fluid. My 5-speed 2012 Crosstour still shifts smoothly at 225k miles with 123k miles logged using it. Drain and fill 3 times.
Just one comment... D&F 3X changes 80% of the fluid. D&F 4X changes 90%. The Honda "flush" procedure calls for 4 fills.
 

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Temp changes shudder? Meaning when you get to operating temp you get the shudder? I would give serious look at your muzzled because even if your eco is not displaying you may have a bad unit and your VCM is kicking in. I have same vibrations and haven installed my muzzled yet. Everything I experience is exactly what the forums describe with VCM. First remember that VCM May be engaged even if the ECO doesn’t display. When my car warms up to operating temps at 25-35 in town and when I am at cruising speed on highway I get the small VCM noise and now that my ANC is totolly disables I really notice it plus my speaker system is not set up so get to listen to the engine at all speeds in its raw unadulterated sound.
Check your muzzler!
 

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Just one comment... D&F 3X changes 80% of the fluid. D&F 4X changes 90%. The Honda "flush" procedure calls for 4 fills.
Hey! Thanks for this. 4 fills it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This is exactly the shudder I feel as well and how I have described it. I have said it's like you are running over the rumble strips on the side of the road without the tire noise. I suspect the torque converter (and so does my mechanic) because I can't think of anything else that would cause this type of shudder at exactly the same speed on acceleration. But I'm not about to spend the money to replace it on a guess.

I've experienced this for 4 years now, since around 36k miles, right after warranty expired. I noticed it after I got new tires and thought maybe it was the new tires. But it's probably that I was just paying better attention to how it drove after the new tires and it may have been doing it before then.

This may sound crazy, but I'm glad that others are experiencing it! At least I know I'm not crazy, or being too sensitive, and it's not something specific to only my vehicle.
After following all the dealer's suggested fixes, including four drains and refills of the ATF with their $9/quart magic Honda ATF, changing the differential fluid, the transfer case oil and updating the computer software ,,,, if anything, the problem is slightly more pronounced. The dealer warranty would cover a rebuilt, not new, transmission and I'm warned it could be worse than what I have now. Since there are no codes, I would have to pay for half the cost of the new transmission. They say, that's just the way this model is. I'm not falling for that one.
What is frustration is that aside from the shudder at low speed I like everything else about the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Try removing the rear propeller shaft then driving it(or have your dealer try it). My propeller shaft checked out at about 75K miles, Hondacare replaced it, I just had to pay $125 to reflash the PCM.
The dealer informed me that a new propeller shaft had already been installed at the factory. They claim to know this because there is a blue or purple mark on the center bearing cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Temp changes shudder? Meaning when you get to operating temp you get the shudder? I would give serious look at your muzzled because even if your eco is not displaying you may have a bad unit and your VCM is kicking in. I have same vibrations and haven installed my muzzled yet. Everything I experience is exactly what the forums describe with VCM. First remember that VCM May be engaged even if the ECO doesn’t display. When my car warms up to operating temps at 25-35 in town and when I am at cruising speed on highway I get the small VCM noise and now that my ANC is totolly disables I really notice it plus my speaker system is not set up so get to listen to the engine at all speeds in its raw unadulterated sound.
Check your muzzler!
The ambient air temperature change (i.e., weather), not the engine operating temp. Muzzler is working and was working when the air temp dropped below 40*F when the vibration disappeared..
 
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