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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow forumites..

New to the Honda world, I just picked up an 07 Pilot EX FWD with 146k miles for my wife. Family is getting bigger and that third row was necessary with family coming over to visit.

I'm no newbie to wrenching, I've done a lot of work on all my cars.. Mostly BMW's since that's all I've been driving since getting my license lol..

That being said, I'm in the middle of trying to resolve a vibration issue at 65-70 mph and above, as well as a minor clanking sound at low speeds from the front right side. I'm asking here because you guys are more experienced with these pieces of machinery, and might be a common issue that I may be unaware of. I did some searching and found that the VCM can cause motor mount failure, that can lead to vibrations. Upon inspection, they seem to be fine, but I didn't go in with a magnifying glass to conclude that. I further inspected most suspension components and noticed that control arm bushing are torn/worn so I figured that may be where the clanking is coming from. I already ordered them and they should be installed by next weekend. But when I bang them with a rubber mallet it does not reproduce the clanking sound, so I'm just hoping somehow the new control arms do the trick.

I checked the CV axles and they look fine. The boots are nice and clean, and there are minimal to no play by the joints. So I don't think its the axles.
I also rebalanced and rotated the front two wheels to see if it would help, and it only helped a tiny bit. The vibration is still there.
Also RE the clanking, it seems to only happen during lower speeds and more so when weight is being shifted. Not the physical bump if that makes sense. So if I go over a bump, it doesn't clank upon impact, but more from the shifting of the weight up front. So it makes me think its not the struts, but maybe sway bar bushing? Or maybe the control arms too? But I'm skeptical about the control arm because when I stop suddenly from a slow roll, I don't hear any clank or notice and body shift that is common with bad control arms. I don't know, my head is twirling with the options, but I don't want to just keep throwing money down on guessing what it could be.

Anything else I can check that may cause a vibration at higher speeds, and the clanking at lower speeds?
 

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Replaced the sway bar bushings on mine, low speed clunks went away. Don't know it that's your issue, but it's an inexpensive part that does go bad but you can't really see it until they're removed and even then it's hard to tell they're slightly out of round. My clunking was at low speeds going over lowered sidewalk curbs, etc., but it's a common wear item on these vehicles. Could also be sway bar links, do 'em both because why not while you're in there.
 

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For a high speed vibration, I'd think tire balance, out of round tire, flat spot on tire, driveshaft.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Replaced the sway bar bushings on mine, low speed clunks went away. Don't know it that's your issue, but it's an inexpensive part that does go bad but you can't really see it until they're removed and even then it's hard to tell they're slightly out of round. My clunking was at low speeds going over lowered sidewalk curbs, etc., but it's a common wear item on these vehicles. Could also be sway bar links, do 'em both because why not while you're in there.
Buying right now! Hope to get them by the weekend.
For a high speed vibration, I'd think tire balance, out of round tire, flat spot on tire, driveshaft.
I'll rotate the back to the front just to see if it makes any difference.. But I still think it's something else. I'm hoping the control arms do it. The bushings are pretty worn. I'll attach pics shortly.
 

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I found my clunking by having the car parked and inspected while someone else bounced the car up and down. Turned out to be the Strut. You can also lift up the car and see if there's any play on the tire as you try to wiggle it in and out. Wiggle the top and bottom and left and right. There shouldn't be any play.
 

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I'm not a Honda Pilot "guru" by any means, but I have now owned 3 of the late 1st generation honda pilots (two '07 EX's, and a recently purchased '06 EX-L). I purchased the '06 with 74,081 miles about a month ago, and have yet to officially drive it daily because I live where road salt is used very heavily (so I can't really use it for reference).
I am commenting because of personal experience with the two 07's I have driven daily (both with 160K+ miles when purchasing them). They both shared what I would consider to be a "must be common" problem area. Both needed new front stabilizer bar bushings installed because of a thud/rattle noise from the front when going slower over almost any sort of bump. It sounds like a strut is loose, which is immediately what I thought was causing the noise at first(I guess this is also ~somewhat~ common?). After reading several postings from the internet, I figured I'd try the front stabilizer bar bushings. I installed new stabilizer bar end links at the same time just because I had to remove them anyways, but the actual rubber bushings were the culprit for the noise I had on both of these vehicles. NOTE: If you have the middle row heat/air conditioning assembly(maybe they all do?) the a/c lines run right over the rear most bolt on the bushing's horseshoe shaped bracket/hold down on the driver's side, which make it almost impossible to remove without(I guess?) lowering the front K member assembly. At least that is what a video on youtube claims to be the "easiest way". After some research, I found some people who claimed to use an "offset" boxed end wrench to remove that difficult bolt, but I didn't have any luck going that route because Honda simply (and very sparingly) spot welds a larger nut hidden inside the front lower K member area that these bolts go in to. Well, that damn nut broke loose and just started spinning making it impossible to remove. Long story short, I took a smaller (about 1") hole saw and drilled access holes to get a (18 mm....I think it was anyways) socket on those hidden/broken loose nuts to remove them. In all, 2 out of the 4 nuts(counting both sides) ended up breaking loose even though this pilot in particular was fairly "rust free" for the year. When reinstalling, I replaced that hardware with common (approx) 1" long 3/8-16 nuts/bolts/washers. It will be super easy to swap out those bushings now if need be in the future. It's too bad Honda didn't just have access holes in the k member from the factory, but I think you'll find a LOT about Honda engineering that leaves you pulling your hair out while trying to work on these vehicles your self. However, I will admit, it probably isn't just Honda that offers this type of engineering though.
All in all, I have become very fond of this model after owning 3 of these late 1st gen honda pilots. I guess I'm a little old school, but I didn't want all the bells and whistles that are common place with today's vehicles. To me, more options=more problems. I'm really hoping my latest purchase (with 74K miles) will prove to be as good the other 2 that had 173K+ miles and were/are still going strong.

EDIT: After looking at the pictures you posted, and looking at the stabilizer bar bushing shown in the second picture, I would definitely bet that you are getting at least some noise from that bushing. Look at the top and the 'gap' between the bushing and bar. Also, I know my reply is "long winded", but it does appear from the picture that you do in fact have that a/c refrigerant line (with the black foam around it) blocking this from being the super easy job it COULD be.
You may find an easier way than how I explained I had to do mine though. I just wanted to offer it as a last resort resolution in case you get to the "oh F%$K" position I felt I was in after the first one of those hidden nuts snapped loose inside the k member. FWIW, the passenger side is fairly easy as far as getting to the bolts.......unless one of those hidden nuts snaps loose inside the k member like happened to me on both sides :( . I call it a k member, maybe honda calls it something else(?)
I'm not trying to scare you, I just wanted to offer my misfortune in case it helps you in some way. I believe that many people have had an easier experience than I did when I did mine. At the very least, I'd start by spraying some penetrating oil on all bolts a few days in advance, including the 4 nuts on top/bottom of both side's stabilizer bar links.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I found my clunking by having the car parked and inspected while someone else bounced the car up and down. Turned out to be the Strut. You can also lift up the car and see if there's any play on the tire as you try to wiggle it in and out. Wiggle the top and bottom and left and right. There shouldn't be any play.
Yeah I tried shaking the car to reproduce the sound but I got nothing. I might try to put a little more umph to see if any sounds become apparent.
Those look pretty shot. Get the whole LCA and save yourself some aggravation.
Yeah definitely, I already ordered the whole lower control arm assembly. Should be in next week. Sway bar bushings will be in this Saturday, so I'll throw those on this weekend (y)
I'm not a Honda Pilot "guru" by any means, but I have now owned 3 of the late 1st generation honda pilots (two '07 EX's, and a recently purchased '06 EX-L). I purchased the '06 with 74,081 miles about a month ago, and have yet to officially drive it daily because I live where road salt is used very heavily (so I can't really use it for reference).
I am commenting because of personal experience with the two 07's I have driven daily (both with 160K+ miles when purchasing them). They both shared what I would consider to be a "must be common" problem area. Both needed new front stabilizer bar bushings installed because of a thud/rattle noise from the front when going slower over almost any sort of bump. It sounds like a strut is loose, which is immediately what I thought was causing the noise at first(I guess this is also ~somewhat~ common?). After reading several postings from the internet, I figured I'd try the front stabilizer bar bushings. I installed new stabilizer bar end links at the same time just because I had to remove them anyways, but the actual rubber bushings were the culprit for the noise I had on both of these vehicles. NOTE: If you have the middle row heat/air conditioning assembly(maybe they all do?) the a/c lines run right over the rear most bolt on the bushing's horseshoe shaped bracket/hold down on the driver's side, which make it almost impossible to remove without(I guess?) lowering the front K member assembly. At least that is what a video on youtube claims to be the "easiest way". After some research, I found some people who claimed to use an "offset" boxed end wrench to remove that difficult bolt, but I didn't have any luck going that route because Honda simply (and very sparingly) spot welds a larger nut hidden inside the front lower K member area that these bolts go in to. Well, that damn nut broke loose and just started spinning making it impossible to remove. Long story short, I took a smaller (about 1") hole saw and drilled access holes to get a (18 mm....I think it was anyways) socket on those hidden/broken loose nuts to remove them. In all, 2 out of the 4 nuts(counting both sides) ended up breaking loose even though this pilot in particular was fairly "rust free" for the year. When reinstalling, I replaced that hardware with common (approx) 1" long 3/8-16 nuts/bolts/washers. It will be super easy to swap out those bushings now if need be in the future. It's too bad Honda didn't just have access holes in the k member from the factory, but I think you'll find a LOT about Honda engineering that leaves you pulling your hair out while trying to work on these vehicles your self. However, I will admit, it probably isn't just Honda that offers this type of engineering though.
All in all, I have become very fond of this model after owning 3 of these late 1st gen honda pilots. I guess I'm a little old school, but I didn't want all the bells and whistles that are common place with today's vehicles. To me, more options=more problems. I'm really hoping my latest purchase (with 74K miles) will prove to be as good the other 2 that had 173K+ miles and were/are still going strong.

EDIT: After looking at the pictures you posted, and looking at the stabilizer bar bushing shown in the second picture, I would definitely bet that you are getting at least some noise from that bushing. Look at the top and the 'gap' between the bushing and bar. Also, I know my reply is "long winded", but it does appear from the picture that you do in fact have that a/c refrigerant line (with the black foam around it) blocking this from being the super easy job it COULD be.
You may find an easier way than how I explained I had to do mine though. I just wanted to offer it as a last resort resolution in case you get to the "oh F%$K" position I felt I was in after the first one of those hidden nuts snapped loose inside the k member. FWIW, the passenger side is fairly easy as far as getting to the bolts.......unless one of those hidden nuts snaps loose inside the k member like happened to me on both sides :( . I call it a k member, maybe honda calls it something else(?)
I'm not trying to scare you, I just wanted to offer my misfortune in case it helps you in some way. I believe that many people have had an easier experience than I did when I did mine. At the very least, I'd start by spraying some penetrating oil on all bolts a few days in advance, including the 4 nuts on top/bottom of both side's stabilizer bar links.
Good luck!
Thank you very much for your experience! Yeah I just finished watching the youtube video about that driver side being a PITA.. I'll start on that side so I get the hard part out of the way first. I hope I'm able to do it without taking apart that "K member". We'll find out.

And yeah, I noticed that gap by the way and didn't notice it before. I'm starting to get hopeful lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So the sway bar bushings came in today and i installed them. You weren't lying about how much of a PITA the driver side is.. Luckily i didn't have to remove any of the subframe, but still took a long time.

I'd say the bushings reduced about 60% of the clunking, but i can still hear a little clunking. I'm suspecting a bad passenger side axle, but I'm holding off on that idea until i replace the control arms next weekend.
 

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if your going to keep the Pilot, I would do lower control arms, struts (assemblies), sway bar and steering links. You also may find your self chasing engine mounts as you remove vibration sources.
 

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if your going to keep the Pilot, I would do lower control arms, struts (assemblies), sway bar and steering links. You also may find your self chasing engine mounts as you remove vibration sources.
Yeah, I hope to keep it for a while. I was just looking earlier at motor mount kits that include all the engine/tranny mounts, but they seem to be out of stock online. I was considering doing that if the vibration issue isn't resolved after control arms

I think my sway bar end links might need replacing as well.. I'll have to further investigate. Wish I could find more time to wrench haha
 

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Do you know if the rear differential has ever been serviced? When I looked into doing a drain and refill on my 04 I came across people saying it gets rid of the vibration at highway speeds.
 

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Update: installed the control arms, still has the vibration at 70+ mph. My next thoughts are either the motor mounts, or wheels/tires.

Also, i found out the source of the clunking noise and I'll admit, i should've listened to you guys.. Ended up being the passenger sway bar end link, so looks like I'll have to order a pair of those now. At least ill have some peace of mind with the new control arms, sway bar bushing, and end links. Now just to sort out the vibration.
 

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Also, i found out the source of the clunking noise and I'll admit, i should've listened to you guys.. Ended up being the passenger sway bar end link, so looks like I'll have to order a pair of those now. At least ill have some peace of mind with the new control arms, sway bar bushing, and end links. Now just to sort out the vibration.
I wondered if the link(s) were maybe loose/worn when you said you still had noise after installing the bushings, but I also didn't want to keep offering my guesses and having you spend even more money on parts that weren't responsible for the noise you are experiencing.
About your "vibration", do you notice it seem to go away at all when applying more throttle? My daily 07 pilot has a slight vibration (that I can't seem to get anyone else riding with me to sense) at right at about 60 mph and about 2K rpm. If I give it a little more throttle, it goes right away(?). I'm convinced it is a worn mount that only occurs when in the highest gear and 'lugging' the motor. I believe that when I give it more throttle, it 'rocks' the motor a little and moves it away from bottoming out on whatever mount that is worn and causing this slight vibration to subside. In my case, it isn't bad enough to cause me to want to dedicate the time/money into trying to diagnose/fix it just yet.
I would think that if you were to get a helper to shift the motor slowly from forward and reverse (with brakes fully applied to prevent any movement of vehicle) maybe you can look around underneath the hood to see if the motor is moving excessively because of a severely worn mount(?).
I saw where you said the mounts are hard to come by right now, at least for a 2WD. I see them on eBay for the 4WD pilots (like mine) as a complete set for a pretty affordable price. Of course they are probably made in China and I doubt they will last as long as the factory ones, but I'm betting almost all of the aftermarket ones and probably even the ones labeled as being OEM are probably the same ones/similar just with a crazy mark up in price. I doubt "Honda" is very concerned with concentrating on contracting "high quality" replacement parts for the vehicles they sold almost 15 years ago now.
FWIW, I've seen many reports online of the mount by the power steering pump becoming worn and being super-sloppy. Might be the first/easiest one to check(?)
Anyways, good luck and keep us posted. It is nice when people follow through with solutions when/if they finally figure their problem(s) out. People can benefit/save money from reading about them for years to come.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I wondered if the link(s) were maybe loose/worn when you said you still had noise after installing the bushings, but I also didn't want to keep offering my guesses and having you spend even more money on parts that weren't responsible for the noise you are experiencing.
About your "vibration", do you notice it seem to go away at all when applying more throttle? My daily 07 pilot has a slight vibration (that I can't seem to get anyone else riding with me to sense) at right at about 60 mph and about 2K rpm. If I give it a little more throttle, it goes right away(?). I'm convinced it is a worn mount that only occurs when in the highest gear and 'lugging' the motor. I believe that when I give it more throttle, it 'rocks' the motor a little and moves it away from bottoming out on whatever mount that is worn and causing this slight vibration to subside. In my case, it isn't bad enough to cause me to want to dedicate the time/money into trying to diagnose/fix it just yet.
I would think that if you were to get a helper to shift the motor slowly from forward and reverse (with brakes fully applied to prevent any movement of vehicle) maybe you can look around underneath the hood to see if the motor is moving excessively because of a severely worn mount(?).
I saw where you said the mounts are hard to come by right now, at least for a 2WD. I see them on eBay for the 4WD pilots (like mine) as a complete set for a pretty affordable price. Of course they are probably made in China and I doubt they will last as long as the factory ones, but I'm betting almost all of the aftermarket ones and probably even the ones labeled as being OEM are probably the same ones/similar just with a crazy mark up in price. I doubt "Honda" is very concerned with concentrating on contracting "high quality" replacement parts for the vehicles they sold almost 15 years ago now.
FWIW, I've seen many reports online of the mount by the power steering pump becoming worn and being super-sloppy. Might be the first/easiest one to check(?)
Anyways, good luck and keep us posted. It is nice when people follow through with solutions when/if they finally figure their problem(s) out. People can benefit/save money from reading about them for years to come.
Thanks for the tips! And yeah, I hate it when I search through threads that observe the same problems I am going through, just to find out that they never checked in with the solution. VERY Frustrating.

And you know, yesterday I was driving with the wife and she mentioned that the vibration isn't serious enough to go crazy about, she said it's light enough not to really worry about. She's trying to comfort me so I don't go out of control, both on money and time, trying to source the vibration issue lol. But subconsciously it is bothering me because there's something there that is causing the vibrations. Aghh, we'll see what I end up doing to find the source.

Going to make an order right now for the S-VCM Controller (Unless you all have any other preferences), and the end links.
 

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How do your rear subframe differential mounts look? I have a 2004 Pilot with some slight vibrations at highway speed. I also noticed I have a slight bushing sound (rubber rubbing) whenever I reverse out of parking and then begin to drive forward. I already replaced all my front and rear suspension and that's when I started noticing that noise, but the vibration has been there a while. I guess the suspension firmed up and moved to the next weakest point. There are a lot of rubber bushings on my Pilot. I was going to put a jack under the differential and remove the forward vertical support bolt and see if I could wiggle the jack and check out the diff mount bushings in the subframe. It's the only other thing i can think of in the driveline to vibrate. And trying to figure out if possible to yank these from the back side without dropping the differential.
 
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