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I have a 2004 Honda Pilot, 5.5 years old, 65K miles. My mechanic tells me that the front center spark plug loostened and plug ignition coil melted from blowback allowing debris from those parts to enter the piston. The top of the piston is all banged up, and the cylinder walls are scored, he showed me. He says if I want to patch it put in a new coil and piston, then sell it. If I plan on keeping it, get a new motor. I read one or 2 other things where people have had the same issue, are there more? Has anyone gone after Honda to cover this? Needing a new motor 6 months after the warranty is expired seems excessive. The local dealer was useless.
 

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In 30 years of messin with motors I've never heard of a spark plug getting loose on its own. Did you have someone change the plugs? I think they messed up.

In fact this entire story has me suspicious of the mechanic.
 

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In 30 years of messin with motors I've never heard of a spark plug getting loose on its own. Did you have someone change the plugs? I think they messed up.

In fact this entire story has me suspicious of the mechanic.
Gotta agree. This problem has not been a "known issue" with the Pilot. Also the 2004 Pilot came with a 3yr/36K warranty - it's been out of factory warranty for longer than 6 months.
 

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Never heard this problem before. Im a pilot owner for quite some time now but I havent dealt with this kind of problem. Im not saying that this was impossible but its just rare.
 

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George

I have the same problem 6 years old/86,000 miles igition coil broken, spark plug siezed in the head, recommended new engine by dealership.

What did you do?

Did you get "good will" from Honda?
 

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Do know since I had it a a Honda Dealership

Described by the Honda Dealership as:

Ignition Coil Head melted in half, can't get plug off since recessed 4" and Ignition coil in the way. Also plug described as "welded" or "fused" to the head. It was Cylinder #5.

They are original plugs and i realize they were good for 105K.
 

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I think you are very unfortunate. I swear this is the first time I've heard this happening.

Just be glad you don't have a VW or Audi. Owners of those vehicles suffer from regular coil failures.....
 

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A coil melting and making a mess of the spark plug recess sounds rare but possible. I'd bet a good/creative mechanic could take off the front end of the car (bumper, radiator, etc.) to gain sufficient access to get the remnants of the coil pack out of there so the plug could be removed and replaced. Worst case, you might have to pull the head so it could be reconditioned or replaced, but I'm not groking the "replace engine" recommendation.

To the OP, I'd be skeptical of any significant piston damage unless the engine had been run a long time with the plug loose. What did your mechanic "show you"? I've seen engines run for thousands of miles with loose plugs and never seen any significant piston or valve damage. Again, I'd look for someone who wanted to take a shot at getting the coil pack removed and a new plug put in; I'd try this and see how it goes. If the engine doesn't recover with this, then pull the head and find out what is going on. Again, "engine replacement" sounds way radical. And regardless of mileage or warranty status, get Honda involved if the plugs/coils haven't been messed with since the car was new.

In both cases, I'd look for a good independent mechanic rather than the bozos at the dealership who sound like they are too busy doing $1K 60K inspections and knee-jerk replacement of expensive parts to be bothered doing a decent diagnosis and creative repair.

- Mark
 

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Melted ignition coil AGAIN

Last wk, driving 2005 Pilot with 69k miles about 50 mph. Nothing special. All maintenance done at dlr including $900 for 60K service. Heard an explosion under the hood, lots of metallic clanking. Immediately pulled over and spark plug/ignition coil on front of engine had blown out and was dangling by a wire. Hole into engine block. Just had checked at dlr and he confirmed problem. Needs to disassemble engine, inspect block, may be damaged. On the plus side, it is under warranty. But seriously, still stranded 100 mi from home in a lightly used HONDA. Still have to go for wks without a car and pay $100 deductible. Not good press for my beloved pilot.
 

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Last wk, driving 2005 Pilot with 69k miles about 50 mph. Nothing special. All maintenance done at dlr including $900 for 60K service. Heard an explosion under the hood, lots of metallic clanking. Immediately pulled over and spark plug/ignition coil on front of engine had blown out and was dangling by a wire. Hole into engine block. Just had checked at dlr and he confirmed problem. Needs to disassemble engine, inspect block, may be damaged. On the plus side, it is under warranty. But seriously, still stranded 100 mi from home in a lightly used HONDA. Still have to go for wks without a car and pay $100 deductible. Not good press for my beloved pilot.
Negative first post....for all we know could be a troll.

If true story, post a pic of the engine......
 

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Backed out spark plug

I think you are very unfortunate. I swear this is the first time I've heard this happening.
I joined this group because of a problem with my Pilot & guess what- the same thing, a backed out #5 plug (middle front) and when inspected, some chips of ceramic missiing from around the center electrode. Methinks this may be more common than you thought.
 

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This problem just sounds crazy to me. Even if the plug wasn't torqued properly, the coil pack is bolted down which wouldn't allow the plug to back out.

I guess anything is possible though.
 

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hey all,

First post.. fwiw, i had the same problem this weekend(12 June 2011). dropped the vehicle at the dealer, and he said I had burnt out coil, the spark plug, wire, and the plug "casing", so they will need to bore, and re-thread an insert. what a mess. (i don't recall the cyl #). The vehicle is a 2007 pilot, with ~57K. need to check to see if this can be covered by the power train warranty. I'm just inside the 5 years/60K miles.

any thoughts if this type of failure is considered a "power train" failure?

Many thanks!
Gary in Portland, or
 

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any thoughts if this type of failure is considered a "power train" failure?
As I read the warranty, I'd say technically, no. Typically "powertrain warranties" are written in a way that covers internal parts (e.g., block, pistons, cams, valves, etc.) but not accessories and external parts like spark plugs, coils, etc. They may suggest a compromise which would cover any cylinder head damage, but require you to pick up the tab for the electrical parts.

Regardless, I'd pursue a warranty repair under goodwill if necessary, including escalating to a zone rep if the dealer pushes back. Good luck!

- Mark
 

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Hi All,

Final update. The dealer's service manager stated that the coil had failed, and the result of the failure was a strong misfire that blew out the the spark plug, damaged the head, and burnt out the ignition wire. The dealer stated (as said above) that the coil isn't covered by the powertrain warranty. Since a coil failure wasn't covered, any "downstream" damage (wires, plugs, head, etc) wasn't covered.

Honda repaired the head, (rather than replacing it) replace the coil, plug, and wiring. the toal repair cost was $592. The repaired coil/plug/wire is in the front, center of the engine (not sure what cyl number it is). the parts are clearly new.

I opened a case with Honda America. Honda agreed to pay for all parts, and part of the labor. The refund came to $260. They didn't state why they agreed to pay what they did, so I assume it was "goodwill".

Glad to get some back, but am generally surprised by the failure. The coils are a "lifetime" part, to the best of my knowledge (they don't have a recommended replacement schedule (105K miles, etc). IMHO, just poor quaility on honda's part.

thanks for the help. wanted to post my experience so others can benefit!

Gary in PDX.
 

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Hi All,

Final update. The dealer's service manager stated that the coil had failed, and the result of the failure was a strong misfire that blew out the the spark plug, damaged the head, and burnt out the ignition wire. The dealer stated (as said above) that the coil isn't covered by the powertrain warranty. Since a coil failure wasn't covered, any "downstream" damage (wires, plugs, head, etc) wasn't covered.

Honda repaired the head, (rather than replacing it) replace the coil, plug, and wiring. the toal repair cost was $592. The repaired coil/plug/wire is in the front, center of the engine (not sure what cyl number it is). the parts are clearly new.

I opened a case with Honda America. Honda agreed to pay for all parts, and part of the labor. The refund came to $260. They didn't state why they agreed to pay what they did, so I assume it was "goodwill".

Glad to get some back, but am generally surprised by the failure. The coils are a "lifetime" part, to the best of my knowledge (they don't have a recommended replacement schedule (105K miles, etc). IMHO, just poor quaility on honda's part.

thanks for the help. wanted to post my experience so others can benefit!

Gary in PDX.
Consider yourself lucky Gary, when this happened to me I had to replace the entire engine due to pieces of the plug going down into the cylinder.

I've been told my numerous people now that the coil is not the issue, it is the spark plug that backs out and arcs to the head which causes the coil meltdown.

It makes more sense that the coil is the cause, but everyone I have talked to blames the plugs. One local dealer has started suggesting plug changes at 60K instead of 105K for this reason.

I would suggest that everyone at least checks their plugs to see if they are loose. I'm still a little pissed that I could have potentially saved myself thousands of dollars by just tightening a spark plug.
 

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I opened a case with Honda America. Honda agreed to pay for all parts, and part of the labor. The refund came to $260. They didn't state why they agreed to pay what they did, so I assume it was "goodwill".

Glad to get some back, but am generally surprised by the failure. The coils are a "lifetime" part, to the best of my knowledge (they don't have a recommended replacement schedule (105K miles, etc). IMHO, just poor quaility on honda's part.
I'd say you did about as well as can be expected. I'm actually a little surprised that the total bill wasn't higher.

There are lots and lots of parts on a vehicle which have no set replacement schedule, but given how many there are, stastically some will fail over time. Just the way it is.

- Mark
 
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