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Discussion Starter #1
Im looking to buy a used Pilot, preferably under $8k, but I am unsure of what I should look for.

From what I have been told, buying at the end of a Generation is the best thing to do, as generally that's when most of the major issues for that Generation have been fixed by the car manufacturer.

Most of what I can find for under $8k, is First Generation Pilots, and I was looking at around 2007 and 2008 model years. Is this adviseable to purchase, or would it be better to try and buy the early Second Generation Pilots, despite what I have been told about buying early on in a Generation?

Im focused mostly on reliability, as I'd like a vehicle that just runs and runs and runs, without any major mechanical or electrical issues, that I would need to take to a shop, or to the dealer, to fix. Doing maintenance isn't an issue for me, but I certainly don't want to buy a 'lemon' (like my current car :/ ).

Also, when looking to buy a used Honda Pilot, is there anything I should be looking out for when inspecting any potential candidate? Anything I should run far away from?

Thanks for any advice and help!
 

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Im looking to buy a used Pilot, preferably under $8k, but I am unsure of what I should look for.

From what I have been told, buying at the end of a Generation is the best thing to do, as generally that's when most of the major issues for that Generation have been fixed by the car manufacturer.

Most of what I can find for under $8k, is First Generation Pilots, and I was looking at around 2007 and 2008 model years. Is this adviseable to purchase, or would it be better to try and buy the early Second Generation Pilots, despite what I have been told about buying early on in a Generation?

Im focused mostly on reliability, as I'd like a vehicle that just runs and runs and runs, without any major mechanical or electrical issues, that I would need to take to a shop, or to the dealer, to fix. Doing maintenance isn't an issue for me, but I certainly don't want to buy a 'lemon' (like my current car :/ ).

Also, when looking to buy a used Honda Pilot, is there anything I should be looking out for when inspecting any potential candidate? Anything I should run far away from?

Thanks for any advice and help!
I dont know of any problems any more or less in the year models you are searching. As I'm sure your are aware of, buying any used vehicle with this much age, you should expect that it will require additional maintenance. All these vehicles are equipped with VCM technology and you should expect to deal with the troubles this function causes long term or accept the options to disable. Also you have the additional expense of having the timing belt replaced every 7 years or 105k miles, which ever comes first. It's important to know when this was done or when it's due before you buy the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have managed to find 2008 Pilots for a reasonable price, that are 150k or less, and I certainly don't mind doing a little extra maintenance. Although I have been doing my homework, I am unaware of the VCM issue you are referring to. Is there some post or article I could read that covers all the need-to-know things?

Also, its worth noting that I intend to purchase only a FWD Pilot, as I have heard about the issues you can have with the 4WD version, with respect to the transmission; how it costs more to fix if it goes out in a 4WD vehicle, versus a FWD. Besides, I have no intentions of driving offroad, or anything of that matter, so I don't really have much of a need for 4WD.
 

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I have managed to find 2008 Pilots for a reasonable price, that are 150k or less, and I certainly don't mind doing a little extra maintenance. Although I have been doing my homework, I am unaware of the VCM issue you are referring to. Is there some post or article I could read that covers all the need-to-know things?

Also, its worth noting that I intend to purchase only a FWD Pilot, as I have heard about the issues you can have with the 4WD version, with respect to the transmission; how it costs more to fix if it goes out in a 4WD vehicle, versus a FWD. Besides, I have no intentions of driving offroad, or anything of that matter, so I don't really have much of a need for 4WD.
Yes, lots of VCM talk in this forum. VCM disables certain cylinders when coasting or while in cruise, for fuel economy. It is known to cause oil condumption. Oil enter the combustion chamber causing stuck piston rings, fouled spark plugs, dirty injectors and valves. Oil can enter into the exhaust system causing problems there. It sounds bad, it can be if left unchecked. Many on the forum are using $100 devices connected to the temp sensor that defaults the engine temp reading lower than it really is. The ECU will not activate the VCM at this low temp. To have peace of mind, I inspect my cooling system regularly to ensure that all is working properly since I use this device.
Yes, if you don't need AWD, 2WD is less trouble and maintanance. It should cost you less to buy one too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, lots of VCM talk in this forum. VCM disables certain cylinders when coasting or while in cruise, for fuel economy. It is known to cause oil condumption. Oil enter the combustion chamber causing stuck piston rings, fouled spark plugs, dirty injectors and valves. Oil can enter into the exhaust system causing problems there. It sounds bad, it can be if left unchecked. Many on the forum are using $100 devices connected to the temp sensor that defaults the engine temp reading lower than it really is. The ECU will not activate the VCM at this low temp. To have peace of mind, I inspect my cooling system regularly to ensure that all is working properly since I use this device.
Yes, if you don't need AWD, 2WD is less trouble and maintanance. It should cost you less to buy one too.
Well, not just about the VCM, but any issues I should be aware of period. I don't know if there's some post on here that covers all, or most of the issues I should be aware of.

I will have to try and look into that VCM issue some more, and figure out how I will deal with it. I would hate to impede temperature sensors, and it be my luck that some day lady fortuna looks down on me, and suddenly Im stuck on the side of the road somewhere, hah.
 

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I will have to try and look into that VCM issue some more, and figure out how I will deal with it. I would hate to impede temperature sensors, and it be my luck that some day lady fortuna looks down on me, and suddenly Im stuck on the side of the road somewhere, hah.
The newer devices are supposed to monitor the temperature while tricking the ECU. The warning light is supposed to come on in the event of an overheating condition. I've not heard of anyone having overheating troubles because of using this device.
 

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Im looking to buy a used Pilot, preferably under $8k, but I am unsure of what I should look for.
Check out this link for fantastic information that fellow Piloteer @Tacoma'03Pilot put together and updated with input from innumerable other Piloteers.
p.s.: there is always room to share your experiences...

 

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From what I've been reading/seeikng, the VCM disable is helping more on the 3rd Gen Pilots? 16 and up, with the 6 and 9 spd trannies? ?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I dont know of any problems any more or less in the year models you are searching. As I'm sure your are aware of, buying any used vehicle with this much age, you should expect that it will require additional maintenance. All these vehicles are equipped with VCM technology and you should expect to deal with the troubles this function causes long term or accept the options to disable. Also you have the additional expense of having the timing belt replaced every 7 years or 105k miles, which ever comes first. It's important to know when this was done or when it's due before you buy the vehicle.
Out of curiosity, how hard is it to perform a timing belt swap myself, and will I require special tools?
 

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Out of curiosity, how hard is it to perform a timing belt swap myself, and will I require special tools?
I'd recommend to watch a few YouTube videos on this. Some special tools required to get past the crankshaft pulley bolt. There are a couple ways of doing that. Will need a torque wrench. Very doable if your comfortable turning a wrench. The Aisin Timing Belt Water Pump Kit is about $200 with shipping cost. You can save $800 or more DIYing.
 

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OP, where are you located? 2006-2008 have VCM only in the two-wheel drive models, not the 4WD models. If a 2WD pilot has been driven for 200,000 miles without some sort of VCMuzzler device, there's a chance the oil problems mentioned above have happened. Whereas a 4WD model would not have that problem and the Pilot's VTM-4 "rear transfer case" system if really quite reliable provided it's been maintained with the proper VTM-4 fluid when called for by the Maintenance Minder every 30,000 miles or so, usually, if we go by the 2005 model year's schedule, the last before the MM was introduced.

At every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) up to
30,000 miles (48,000 km) or every 1 year,
then every 30,000 miles (48,000 km) or 2
years.



Check out this link for fantastic information that fellow Piloteer @Tacoma'03Pilot put together and updated with input from innumerable other Piloteers.
p.s.: there is always room to share your experiences...

Indeed. At some point I hope a mod or admin will make this post, at least, a sticky in the 1st gen subforum.

First Draft? Crowdsourced First-Gen Buyer's Checklist
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OP, where are you located? 2006-2008 have VCM only in the two-wheel drive models, not the 4WD models. If a 2WD pilot has been driven for 200,000 miles without some sort of VCMuzzler device, there's a chance the oil problems mentioned above have happened. Whereas a 4WD model would not have that problem and the Pilot's VTM-4 "rear transfer case" system if really quite reliable provided it's been maintained with the proper VTM-4 fluid when called for by the Maintenance Minder every 30,000 miles or so, usually, if we go by the 2005 model year's schedule, the last before the MM was introduced.








Indeed. At some point I hope a mod or admin will make this post, at least, a sticky in the 1st gen subforum.

First Draft? Crowdsourced First-Gen Buyer's Checklist
I live in Florida! Its nice because most of rhe cars here are rust-free, or have very little rust, UNLESS it was a car owned by someone who lived near the beaches.

Im going to have to scruitinize whatever Pilot I end up getting, very carefully, to see if it has a VCM Muzzler or not. And, 4WD does sound nice, but I would hate to have a car whose fluid hasn't been replaced. I will have to be careful about that, especially since most Pilots I am looking at are around 100k to 150k miles. If they never replaced the fluid, then that's going to be a huge gamble, though I would like to assume they havre at least once or twice.
 
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