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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been reading here and other places. This seems the best forum by far. Hence I registered.

I like/want a reliable, durable powertrain which is always key for me. Then the other stuff kicks in.
Ref 2017 AWD Pilot likely choice at this point.

- it appears the 5000lbs tow ability/rate is only if you have the factory hitch (tow package) which only then gives you a transmission cooler

- vehicle is lowered in the generation and only a factory Class III would be viable for ground clearance as I'd require

- with this upgrade engine I see 280HP which isn't high but fine. However, is it using a timing chain or timing belt. A belt is a deal breaker for me as its a costly maintenance which needs doing in any used vehicles as we're going into the mileage where it will be mandated

- 9 speed transmission is a real concern on whether the software updates (would have be a number on a new configuration) and how well managed it is in typical winter deep snow and towing scenario. Some people here talk about it running the engine at 4000RPM. Is there not tow mode management to keep it below 3000RPM at least.

- Why are some a 6 Speed Transmission I am finding!!

I currently tow with a 2012 Highlander 4WD and 5000lbs rated off the lot. I tow a open 12fr steel trailer with a Yamaha side by side on it. Speeds not exceeding 100km/hr.

I see there is an issue with TSB on overheating ATF on the 9 speed and likely in non cooler builds as well.

Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

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Welcome,

DEAL BREAKER- All Pilots/V6 have a TIMING BELT- suggested replacement (with the tensioner and water pump), every 105K mile/ or 7 yrs- which ever is earlier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome,

DEAL BREAKER- All Pilots/V6 have a TIMING BELT- suggested replacement (with the tensioner and water pump), every 105K mile/ or 7 yrs- which ever is earlier.
Oh wow, why they doing that. I expect its and expensive job. Most vehicle I have looked at are under so even Honda Certified, it would not be done in Canada.

Thanks for the very quick reply on that point. Its a cost I'd have to investigate with a dealer for sure.
 

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I wouldn't be too fixated on a belt over a chain. I used to think belts were a terrible idea and I'd rather have a chain. The 2010 Traverse that my Pilot replaced had a chain. Actually, it had 3 chains which were prone to wearing out. And they did, which would set a check engine light, which was an automatic failure to pass e-check around here. It would have been a $3000+ job to replace them since the whole front end has to be dropped to pull the engine to replace them. Ford and other manufacturers have also had chain issues, so pick your poison.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I see, well as stated it depends!! Some manufacturers get the lubrication right in that area and not an issue. The 3.5L Highlander doesn't have that issue. I'll see how the rest of the info sifts out. I just found a chart in this forum showing the 2018 was the most reliable year of the current generation. No reason specified but encouraging if its going to work for me.
 

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Timing chains are generally more reliable, but some vehicles have trouble with it and if you run the oil too long or use cheap oil that sludges up it could cause far more expensive issues. Timing belt service with the recommended valve adjustment is in the $1,500 range. Set aside that money when you get a bonus and leave it there for that reason, planning ahead lessens the "impact".

If you pick up a 3rd gen, make sure the transmission software is up to date with the dealer. If the injectors haven't been replaced they will need to be, this shouldn't be a huge concern for a CPO vehicle and the extended warranty you should get with it being CPO. Definitely have the Honda or an aftermarket transmission cooler installed, most manufacturers have gone the route of making the higher capacity transmission cooler an option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Is there no auxiliary cooler by default. I find it odd but some indicators of manual info posted tow ratings with/without ATF cooler. My last two AWD both had cooler from the factory and good tow ratings so I never bothered upgrading. I wasn't pushing the designed limit and therefore a good buffer was had.

EDIT: Is this correct. Its showing 2017 and also 2018 AWD with 6 Speed Tranny's
 

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If you are mechanically inclined and DIY, the timing belt water pump job can be done in a few hours for around $200 with an Aisin kit and a couple of special tools.
I occasionally tow with my Pilot, but if I were going to tow loads on the heavy side, I'd look for something that doesn't have the engine sideways under the hood.
 
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So you listed all the facts in your first statement. Yes, Pilot requires this maintenance, it's part of the deal. Yes, Highlander is different. Both are fine vehicles. Pick the one that works best for you.

Keep in mind that Highlander's AWD system sucks. I do agree that Highlander is probably a more reliable vehicle if you compare the two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I currently have the afore mentioned Highlander 2nd Gen with full time 4WD. No clutches or servo engagements. The consideration is for the modern safety systems available on this newer vehicle. I don't like the newer Highlanders at all.
 

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If you're occasionally towing, the Pilot will be fine.

Timing belt will cost $1,200 every 100k miles. That is $.012 per mile. Not so bad after all.
 

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The consideration is for the modern safety systems available on this newer vehicle.
So you're upgrading for things like that system that alerts you if you wander out of a lane, and/or follow to closely?

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So you're upgrading for things like that system that alerts you if you wander out of a lane, and/or follow to closely?

Good luck
Precisely, I need to know what I am getting. I have a Sorento for my wife and has lane alert. It good on longer drives and busy roads for us older drivers. I don't want to inherit other issues which shouldn't exist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What is the scoop on towing. Posts referring to 4th gear. Why?
Does it automatically take the 9 speed down to the 4th under their load. I doubt the is an OD off button as older trannys had. No mention of a tow mode in anything I have come across yet.
 

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I thought Honda dropped both OTW and OTA Gen 3 Pilot factory installed tranny coolers, no?
 

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I currently have the afore mentioned Highlander 2nd Gen with full time 4WD. No clutches or servo engagements. The consideration is for the modern safety systems available on this newer vehicle. I don't like the newer Highlanders at all.
Keep in mind that SENSE is not stock on 2017 Pilots. It only becomes stock on 2019 models and after (which is the main reason why I went with a 2019).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am running into conflicting information. LOL (NOT YOU!!!)
I was on two dealer sites here looking at stock. 2017 Ex's all with 6 Speed transmission and shifter handle (not buttons). With that the transmission maybe better overall solution for towing situations.

Edit: I do like lane change alert and knowing. I have that in my wifes car and take it when I am in busy road driving city excursions. People don't stick to the lanes and fell they have to be passing someone all time including in between some lanes.
 

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Timing chains are generally more reliable, but some vehicles have trouble with it and if you run the oil too long or use cheap oil that sludges up it could cause far more expensive issues. Timing belt service with the recommended valve adjustment is in the $1,500 range. Set aside that money when you get a bonus and leave it there for that reason, planning ahead lessens the "impact".

If you pick up a 3rd gen, make sure the transmission software is up to date with the dealer. If the injectors haven't been replaced they will need to be, this shouldn't be a huge concern for a CPO vehicle and the extended warranty you should get with it being CPO. Definitely have the Honda or an aftermarket transmission cooler installed, most manufacturers have gone the route of making the higher capacity transmission cooler an option.
Does $1500 seem a little steep? I plan to do my timing belt in a few months at six years/70,000 miles. I have never done a coolant flush and I really don’t want to spend the money on a coolant flush now to have the timing belt done next year anyway since I figure I get a free coolant flush with the timing belt change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Does $1500 seem a little steep? I plan to do my timing belt in a few months at six years/70,000 miles. I have never done a coolant flush and I really don’t want to spend the money on a coolant flush now to have the timing belt done next year anyway since I figure I get a free coolant flush with the timing belt change.
Well I called a local dealer the other day so as to know the cost and when its specified for Canada.

Answer:
  • approx 168,000km
  • Cost ~$1350 plus tax (Also while in there they do the plugs and water pump, tensioner pulley)

Yours sound expensive, call around as it should be less.
 
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