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Wife comes home last night and says there is a light on the dash of our 2013 Pilot. I go out and there is a traction control, engine and TPM4 light all lit up in up yellow. Call the local dealer. Turns out they have to replace the piston rings. Go on line and there is a class action settlement to fix and extend engine warranty to 8 years regardless of mileage.
 

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Wife comes home last night and says there is a light on the dash of our 2013 Pilot. I go out and there is a traction control, engine and TPM4 light all lit up in up yellow. Call the local dealer. Turns out they have to replace the piston rings. Go on line and there is a class action settlement to fix and extend engine warranty to 8 years regardless of mileage.
I just checked my VIN last night to make sure my 2013 Pilot didn't fall into the piston and oil ring recall. Thankfully I am ok but, the driveshaft TSB is another story.
 

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I HAD a 2012 Pilot for about 1 year when the same thing happened. In the end the dealer replaced rings, etc on 3 cylinders ($1910 warranty). Two days later the same thing happened but the lights were flashing. The dealer sent a roll-back for it but no code was set in the computer. The dealer wanted to keep it for a few days but I was to leave for a 4000 mile trip the next day so I dumped it for a new CRV. Really wanted a new Pilot but have no faith in Honda 6's. So, I am off to join a CRV forum.
 

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Same thing happened on my wife's 2009 V6 Accord at 85k miles. Oil blow-by fouled spark plugs causing misfire. No other warning other than flashing engine light. Fortunately, she stopped immediately. Honda offered same fix; 3 cylinders,rings, 4 plugs gratis. Of course, I ponied up for the the other 2 plugs and the service mgr. did cut me a deal on replacing the timing belt while the engine was already torn apart. Now at 115K miles, the Accord has been a great car since. Still gets near 30 mpg on highway.
 

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So the 2014+ Pilot presumably has upgraded/different piston rings that in theory prevent this issue? I know this issues has been discussed at long length in many different discussion threads, but I'm just looking for a summary and final consensus. Does the 2014 and 2015 Pilot V6 engine suffer from the same potential issues as the previous model years.....frustrating issue, because many engines seem great like the recent posts of the 2012 Pilot engine and plugs that look great.

Thank you.
 

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I have a 2014 pilot with 12,000 miles. I have owned since new. So far I have not yet experienced the piston ring issue. However I still received the letter/notice from American Honda informing that my pilot is covered for this piston ring problem should it happen. The warranty is also extended to 8 years for this. So I believe 2014 pilots are also included anyway otherwise I don't see why I receive this notice from Honda.
 

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I have a 2014 pilot with 12,000 miles. I have owned since new. So far I have not yet experienced the piston ring issue. However I still received the letter/notice from American Honda informing that my pilot is covered for this piston ring problem should it happen. The warranty is also extended to 8 years for this. So I believe 2014 pilots are also included anyway otherwise I don't see why I receive this notice from Honda.
CORRECTION: I reviewed the notice from American Honda again and realized this notice about the piston ring issue is actually for my 2012 pilot but not 2014. My first pilot was an 2012 and two years later I traded it in for the 2014. the notice from Honda only lists 2009 -2013 pilots that may have the issue. So there is no where mentioning 2014+ pilots. I tend to believe the piston ring issue may only affect pilots before 2014 except someone receives or sees notice that includes 2014 and up. I am sorry for the confusion made in my previous post.

My 2012 pilot suffered with power steeling noise problem that was not fixed by the TSB. That was why I replaced it with a 2014. Now my 2014 has the VSM vibration issue (not so bad at the moment actually) that seems getting worse gradually.
 

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CORRECTION: I reviewed the notice from American Honda again and realized this notice about the piston ring issue is actually for my 2012 pilot but not 2014. My first pilot was an 2012 and two years later I traded it in for the 2014. the notice from Honda only lists 2009 -2013 pilots that may have the issue. So there is no where mentioning 2014+ pilots. I tend to believe the piston ring issue may only affect pilots before 2014 except someone receives or sees notice that includes 2014 and up. I am sorry for the confusion made in my previous post.

My 2012 pilot suffered with power steeling noise problem that was not fixed by the TSB. That was why I replaced it with a 2014. Now my 2014 has the VSM vibration issue (not so bad at the moment actually) that seems getting worse gradually.
Too bad. I noticed the PS vibration on my first test drive and the dealer fixed it immediately with the TSB in hand. Haven't seen anything regarding the piston rings, but mine still look good at 56K (separate thread here.)
 

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That is the thing I'm still unclear about: the piston ring issue has a defined VIN range, so it doesn't affect all Pilots, which would indicate it's not an inherant design flaw, but a batch of bad parts, or a lot of poor manufacturing QA/QC? I'm assuming the 2015 model year is not affected....there's something strange about this.
 

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The notice I received says some pilots 2009 - 2013 models may have this issue. There is not where on the notice listing out VIN's.
 

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Thanks for the info everybody. I re-read your post from Huluobo and see that you did clarify this only affects 09-13 Pilots, thanks for the clarification!

Interesting that this implies Honda made some changes to engine parts at the 2014 model year, perhaps a new piston ring design. If anyone with a 2014-15 Pilot has had issues with the engine, pistons, cylinders, spark plug fouling etc. I'd be interested to hear about it but I'm assuming the 14-15's are not experiencing this issue.

Thanks again everyone for your input and info sharing.
 

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I'm having the same problem with my 2012. Ring job is scheduled for early November. Does anyone know if this will eliminate the problem or can I expect the problem to come up again in another 50k miles?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Are there any warning signs/symptoms besides the check engine light? Curious to know if the dealerships will preemptively fix it if the VIN falls into the recall...

That's all we got. When I drove after the lights came on there did seem to be some slight performance issues but nothing drastic. Kind of a slight stutter/miss.
 

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I have about 34K miles on my 12. We get into these discussions about oil changes, do you follow the MM or not blah blah blah.

A "friend of a friend" of mine has an independent shop where a 2009 came in with cam issues, probably due to lack of oiling. From what I hear, the vcm shuts off 3 cylinders on one bank, and if you drive with it on for an extended period of time, the idled bank starves for oil. This is probably why Honda switched of 0w-20 in 2011 or 2012 from the 5w-20. Now, you have a school of thought on here that says run it until the MM is at 20%, no less than 15%. At 30K, I made the decision that I will change my oil at every 5k, regardless what the MM says.

In my opinion, keeping fresher, cleaner oil could help from whatever is causing these oiling issues(sludging?), and while I won't do the VC muzzler, I drive it in such a fashion so as not to go into VC mode for extended periods of time(i.e., I drive between 70&75 MPH) on the highway. So between oil changes at 5k, HondaCare 8/120, and NOT letting the old lady drive it much(reducing the possibility of going into VC mode), and every once in a while, really kicking it in the ass, I think I'll be ok.
 

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The 2009-11 aka Gen 2.1 did have some issues depending on usage and maintenance with the front cam.
These are well documented by a small number of posters here.
Honda has put out good videos on how VCM works which you can find with Google.
 

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So the 2014+ Pilot presumably has upgraded/different piston rings that in theory prevent this issue? I know this issues has been discussed at long length in many different discussion threads, but I'm just looking for a summary and final consensus. Does the 2014 and 2015 Pilot V6 engine suffer from the same potential issues as the previous model years.....frustrating issue, because many engines seem great like the recent posts of the 2012 Pilot engine and plugs that look great.

Thank you.
Here is what happened to my 2015 Pilot EX-L with 4600 miles on it. Do you think it is the same "ring problem"?

Our 2015 Pilot EX-L 4x4 has 4600 miles on it and the check engine light it on. Halfway through my 45 mile commute, the light came on and the car felt sluggish and a little shaky. Thankfully I took this SUV today, instead of my 2013 Toyota 4Runner. Had my wife been driving with my daughter in the car, I would have flipped out. To have a car lose power on the interstate can be deadly.

I stopped by work before taking the car in, just to check in. When I re-started the car, the check engine light was on, but now so was the traction control light and VTM light. I dropped the car off at the Honda dealer near work and was told that it is rare that a new Honda has this happen. That makes me feel worse, as I may have bought a lemon. If this happens again, I'm going to push for a new SUV.

Update from Aug 27, 2015 Dealer said that one of my fuel injectors went bad. They were surprised that one went bad so quickly, which makes me worry that perhaps I got a bad batch of injectors. These are only covered by the 3yr/36k bumper to bumper I believe. They didn't have the part in stock and had my car for 3 days, although they gave me an Enteprise rental car.

So far the Pilot is fine now. That said, I'm going to constantly worry about it happening to another injector, perhaps with my daughter in the car. This is my first Honda after buying only Toyota SUVs (2 - 4Runners, Sequoia, and Highlander), which NEVER had anything wrong with them. I may trade this Pilot in, give my wife my 4Runner and treat myself to a Landcruiser.
 

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I am considering buying a used 2013 that was turned into the dealer off of a lease. Is there a VIN range to check if it at risk of misfire. I went through this with my 2010 Odyssey at 80K and it was not fun.
 

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My understanding of at least part of the issue is that a percentage of cars in the affected years have piston rings installed with the ring gaps lined up too close together. That lets extra oil into the affected cylinders, which leads to detonation and piston and ring damage. Pistons and rods are paired with a specific "offset" based on front or rear bank, so it might be safe to assume that the assembly of rear piston and rod sets was somehow compromised.

Meanwhile, there's really no such thing as "coincidence" in mechanical stuff. Thinking of this as an assembly error, it's a stretch to believe that it would be so hit or miss. Of course we have no way to know what actual percentage of a particular production of engines are potential victims.

The dr's diagnosis would look at possible causes of oil entering the cylinders while VCM is active. The valves are likely sequenced so that there's low pressure ("vacuum") in the cylinder to reduce pumping losses and heat associated with compressing and relaxing the same charge of air in the cylinders. With that low pressure and the piston still moving, oil is drawn in but not burned off, at least until the cylinder comes out of VCM mode. Then fuel is added, and the oil causes detonation, which collapses the ring lands (the piston metal that supports the rings in grooves). The rings get pinched, allowing more crankcase oil to remain on the cylinder walls, more detonation, and finally combustion failure when the oil fouls the plug and prevents ignition.

The first telltales might be excessive oil consumption and lagging engine performance. The engine controller monitors spark plug firing current, so a fouled plug should quickly set the MIL (check-engine light). Worn rings will cause crankcase pressure to increase, not sure if or even how the engine controller would quantify that.
 
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