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2004 Honda Pilot AWD
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, everyone. I was looking for a larger SUV for our growing family and lucked into finding a 2004 EXL with 151K miles on a local auction site here in DFW.

So far, I replaced the cut off cat and o2 sensor, touched up the exhaust, and replaced both engine belts.

The motor mounts are all shot, so 3 Anchor mounts are ordered from Rockauto. I'm also planning on doing a full synthetic oil change, new NGK laser iridium plugs, and the 4x ATF drain/fill using the Valvoline MaxLife.

Since the exhaust work, the CEL is no longer on and it's not showing to be throwing any codes. I drove it around 50 miles to try and get it to kick a code, but nothing.

I do have a few questions for the community after reading through the forum and about my specific car.

The Pilot is currently up at the dealer for the airbag recalls so I can't just go out and check some of these items below.


1) It looks like disabling VCM is the thing to do. What's the preferred way to do this on an 04?

2) The rear vents are not blowing at all. Is there a common fuse or relay for this? What turns the rear blower on, just turning the knob on the rear center console?

3) Is there supposed to be a "headlights on" reminder chime?

4) When a DVD is in the drive, a red circle is shown in the upper right corner of the screen. Any suggestions on this?

5) Were cloth seats offered in an EXL? My suspicion is the leathers were taken out at some point and replaced with the cloth seats in there now.

6) Are all EXL Pilots AWD? Is there a distinction between 2WD w/AWD and 4WD?

7) Any other suggestions on general maintenance items that I should be doing aside from plugs, oil, ATF? A timing belt replacement is also in the near future.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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4x ATF drain/fill using the Valvoline MaxLife
Off to a great start as a new Piloteer, IMHO. :D Welcome to the forum.


Here are a few answers inline for starters:

1) It looks like disabling VCM is the thing to do. What's the preferred way to do this on an 04?

Did not exist on a 2004, so you dodged that bullet.

2) The rear vents are not blowing at all. Is there a common fuse or relay for this?

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What turns the rear blower on, just turning the knob on the rear center console?

You have to "enable" the rear knob by pushing the RR A/C MAN button up front.

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3) Is there supposed to be a "headlights on" reminder chime?

I couldn't tell you for sure for a 2004.

4) When a DVD is in the drive, a red circle is shown in the upper right corner of the screen. Any suggestions on this?

Does the DVD actually play? Try several to be sure. Otherwise, it might be as easy as using a CD lens cleaner disc with embedded bristles and a few drops of fluid, or in a pinch 70% isopropyl alcohol can do.

5) Were cloth seats offered in an EXL? My suspicion is the leathers were taken out at some point and replaced with the cloth seats in there now.

It's been my understanding that the "L" in EX-L stands for Leather seats. Hmmm.

6) Are all EXL Pilots AWD? Is there a distinction between 2WD w/AWD and 4WD?

Only AWD for your model year, AFAIK.

7) Any other suggestions on general maintenance items that I should be doing aside from plugs, oil, ATF? A timing belt replacement is also in the near future.

VTM-4 fluid for the rear differential. Probably due for fresh brake fluid. Get a full size spare; it fits and the original donut spare is probably way past is safety prime at this age.

More to come, I'm sure, as other members chime in.
 

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2005 Pilot EXL- 227,700 Miles
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I developed a leak in valve cover gasket as soon as I went full synthetic. Changed back to regular oil and leak went away!! 2005 EXL
Also, not sure where RockAuto gets there plugs, but from what I’ve read there are counterfeit NGK’s online (Amazon, eBay etc) so I would go local Auto parts store.
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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Not sure how full synthetic ATF can cause a valve cover gasket leak, unless you're talking about full synth motor oil.

There's online and there's online. Amazon and eBay have been known to sell fake NGKs, but Rockauto continues to be a trusted source. But local trusted source should be fine, too. I actually got my NGK Laser Iridiums from a local Canadian Tire.
 

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Your 2004 has an external transmission filter that probably should be changed out. It's a small spin on filter with an oil line bolted into the top. Location in on top of the transmission, acessible if you remove the battery tray. New ones are less than $20 on Amazon, or you can get one from Honda for $60+.

Your Pilot is probably due for some suspension work, cosidering age and miles. Rock Auto is a good source for new aftermarket parts at better prices than Honda. If your suspension is still all original, you will probably need to replace:
Front lower control arms
Front and rear sway bar bushings and end links
Front struts (KYB fully loaded struts are a good match)
Tie rod ends, if sloppy

At 151k miles, the EGR passages in the intake manifold are probably carboned up
The valve clearances are due for adjustment

Congratulations on your "new" Pilot, they are amazing and durable SUV's.
 

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2004 Honda Pilot EX-L and 2019 Chev Corvette 2LT
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I have had my 2004 since 2005. It has been a great car. The transmission is clunky but I understand that is normal. I have had regular maintenance done at the dealer and followed mostly all of Honda's recommended schedules. I had to replace the the rear fan transistor which went bad because the filter screen was completely clogged up and the resister got hot and blew out. I had to have the throttle body replaced (It was a recall kind of thing and was free) due to a bad hesitation when firs accelerating. I just had the drivers door lock actuator replaced. I went to LED headlight bulbs from BEAMTECH that I got on Amazon, and I like them. I have had very little issues. Good luck with your new car
 

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Glorificatus Oleum Mutante
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5) Were cloth seats offered in an EXL? My suspicion is the leathers were taken out at some point and replaced with the cloth seats in there now.

7) Any other suggestions on general maintenance items that I should be doing
Concerning the cloth seats, are you positive your Pilot is an EX-L? Auctions houses often misrepresent what's being sold. 2004 Pilots were also sold in LX and EX trims. In any case, you can find good used parts on www.car-part.com .

Other maintainace I would be concerned with is replacing the power steering fluid if its black. And if you really want to be proactive (because of age), replace the VVT solenoid gaskets on the oil filter housing. These can spring an oil leak like the Exxon Valdez.
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Have you inspected the suspension (rubber bushings), Tie rod and tie rod ends and possibly the struts. For safety, and because of the age, I'd plan to replace all the rubber parts in the suspension.
 

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2008 Honda Pilot EX-L 2013 Honda Pilot EX-L
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I think all Hondas are supposed to have a chime that comes on when you open your door if the headlights are on. Technically (at least my '08) has auto off headlights which means they'll turn off after a minute or so, but they aren't really automatic headlights.
 

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Glorificatus Oleum Mutante
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Oh boy, never thought that this one might have been converted to an AWDR, Like the CR-V a month ago. Wouldn't a light on the dash come on if the drive shaft was removed?
 

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I have an 04 EXL and there is a chime if you leave the lights on and open the door. Mine will turn off automatically after a while to keep from running the battery down - along with the dome light - as long as the key is not in the ignition.
 

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2005 Pilot EXL- 227,700 Miles
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Not sure how full synthetic ATF can cause a valve cover gasket leak, unless you're talking about full synth motor oil.

There's online and there's online. Amazon and eBay have been known to sell fake NGKs, but Rockauto continues to be a trusted source. But local trusted source should be fine, too. I actually got my NGK Laser Iridiums from a local Canadian Tire.
Oil change- not ATF. Sorry for confusion
 

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Banned from wife’s 2005 Pilot LX
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Welcome to the forum. All great advice above.
I don’t recall seeing replacing the PCV mentioned. Just be careful as it will be brittle if it’s the original.
If you don’t replace the spare tire, at a minimum make sure you can lower it.
 
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2004 Honda Pilot AWD
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the insight, everyone.

The Pilot is still up at the vendor, but I'll clarify where I can.

I appreciate the answer on the VCM not being on the 2004- def good news.

Looks like I have what I need for the rear blower. I ordered a cheap transistor from Amazon, and if that works, I'll look into a more longer term solution.

Thanks for the answer on the chime. I'll do some digging once I get the Pilot back.

For the DVD player issue, no, the dvd does not play. It stays on a blank screen with that red circle in the top right. Note that everything is stock. I'll look in by 1998 box and see if I can find a dvd head cleaner.

Here is the VIN:
2HKYF18674H512122
The VIN decoders I checked show it to be an EXL. I'm betting the leather seats were removed at some point and the current cloth seats were put in. I do remember seeing an unplugged connecter under the driver seat coming from the body which did not match up to the connector coming from the cloth seat. I have the controls for seat warmers, and the NOT AN ASHTRAY. Any other smoking gun that would identify it as an EXL?

I did give the undercarriage a once over and didn't see anything missing (that CR-V post is freakin nuts). Nothing in the interior that would identify it as a 4WD? Once again, the VIN decoders show 4WD.

Is this the correct transmission filter?

 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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Welcome to the forum. All great advice above.
I don’t recall seeing replacing the PCV mentioned. Just be careful as it will be brittle if it’s the original.
If you don’t replace the spare tire, at a minimum make sure you can lower it.
Yeah, hopefully you won't need this thread, but if you do you'll be glad for the link.

 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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Nothing in the interior that would identify it as a 4WD?
Does it have a VTM-4 Lock button up to the left of the radio?

 
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