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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is going to be kind of a long post. Here's the backstory: I bought at used 2003 Honda Pilot (July 2020), with at that time just shy of 200K on the odometer, from a pull your own parts type place. It was a good price (under $2K). First thing it needed was front end work, and an oil change. In September 2020 I noticed the transmission would sometimes go into a neutral like state for 30 seconds or less and then shift normally. It would do it sporadically. Sometimes once week, other times once every few months. No codes would pop up.

Recently, December 2020/January 2021, the shift problem would be more frequent, sometimes 3 times in a row, other times not for a few weeks. Sometimes, you would have to pull over (safely), come to a complete stop, and then could go on your way. Other times, if no one was around, I could manually shift it myself, and all would be well. (This happened maybe 1 or 2 times at most) After a trying to give it some gas to get to a safe spot would it only throw a P0730 code, incorrect gear ratio. I checked the fluids, no burnt fluid, no metal particles. This morning, while driving it to my mechanic's garage, my Pilot would not shift at all. Check engine light came on as well as the flashing D light. (The flashing D hadn't came on until this morning) Luckily, our mechanic's garage is about 1 mile away from my house.

I pulled up a post I found on here about checking the solenoids and filters to my mechanic. After about 30 minutes, the other mechanic at the shop came out and said he had some issue getting the screen out. It was completely blocked/caked with who knows what. After cleaning the solenoids, cleaning the screens, and topping off the fluid, he took it for a test drive. He came back and gave me the "uh oh" look. The shop owner/ mechanic had him take it out one more time to see if it was truly not shifting or the fluid needed to get through the screen and such issue. Other mechanic comes back. My pilot shifted perfectly. No issues.

At the time this happened, my Pilot (Cirice) has 208K on the dash. I don't know much about her past after her 1st owner. The carfax I looked up kind of drops off after she was traded in and was bought by the 2nd owner. The first owner also kept a detailed service record log that I found in the Honda Book in the glove compartment. The 2nd owner did some oil changes and such like that.

I have to say also this: Cirice has gotten me (and my family) to Virginia Beach (early Sept 2020), Butler, PA (late Sept 2020), Columbus, OH (October 2020) and all around Ohio many, many times with the issue only arising here and there.
We talked about whether it could be a dreaded issue where the transmission is toast. Any time the Pilot had an issue shifting, I started to keep a written/text log, just as a backup.

I hope this helps someone (like me) who might be going through this issue. Also, this may not work everyone.

Here is link to the post that I showed my mechanic(s):
 

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Very informative.
I know there are some that have or are having this issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Very informative.
I know there are some that have or are having this issue.
I was very frustrated with P0730 and shifting issue. Thanks to this forum, I got some knowledge of what to look for and what could be the possible issue. I'm glad I didn't try to remove the screen myself, as it was pretty stuck in there. Having a great mechanic/garage to go to was also a great help. Along with an oil/filter change, it was $174 out the door. Better than having a full transmission failure and the costs associated with that.
 

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I was very frustrated with P0730 and shifting issue. Thanks to this forum, I got some knowledge of what to look for and what could be the possible issue. I'm glad I didn't try to remove the screen myself, as it was pretty stuck in there. Having a great mechanic/garage to go to was also a great help. Along with an oil/filter change, it was $174 out the door. Better than having a full transmission failure and the costs associated with that.
No doubt, thanks for sharing your experience.
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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OP, thanks for sharing, and this tempers (verb, def. 3) my resolve to continue doing a Valvoline Maxlife ATF drain and fill every other oil change as cheap insurance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update 01/25/2021

Two days after we had Cirice worked on, the shift issue started happening again. This time it wasn't all the time; maybe twice a day. One day it didn't occur at all. (Frustrating, but I knew it could be a clogged filter issue again) This of course happened over the weekend. This morning as soon as the mechanic opened I took her in. The 3rd mechanic brings me the clutch pressure solenoid "C", the one under the battery and battery holder. The O-ring inside was in pieces; tiny annoying little pieces. They recleaned everything again. Solenoids tested fine. The amount of gunk that I saw only made me believe even more that after the 1st owner had this, the 2nd owner did nothing other than oil changes; that is until I bought her. After all was said and done, for all this work it still came to about $200 total and that's even with the oil change. I believe I dodged a HUGE bullet by catching this before something catastrophic happened and a rebuild was necessary. Thank you to everyone on here that shares their issues, solutions, and such.
I did take her on a drive today after all this. The shifting was very smooth (she'd always had a weird shift when I first bought her). Cirice definitely had more get up and go, not at all sluggish. I'll be checking her fuel economy next fill up to see where she's at; normally its around 18-22 mpg (city/highway combined) I know for a bit, I was getting 16-19 mpg.
I will be sure to update when/if anything else should arise.
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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I believe I dodged a HUGE bullet by catching this before something catastrophic happened and a rebuild was necessary.
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Glad it's working out for you.
 

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Hopefully the mechanic was kind enough to let Cirice know what a bad guy DW-1 is and introduced her to Valvoline MaxLife ATF. This ATF will be a good friend to her shift solenoids. 😁
 
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