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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone
I’m heading to the dealership very soon to pick up of a new 2021 pilot SE awd , I have been following this forum for a few weeks now , if I could take a minute of your time to find out :
1- At what mileage should I start worrying about adding the VCM device I keep reading about ?
2- I just read a post about changing the transmission fluid for the 9 speed , since I don’t have the car yet , at what mileage is recommended ? (Not doing it myself , will definitely take it to the dealer, do I have to pay anything out of pocket ?)
3- timing belt , when should I change that ? And can a mechanic outside of Honda do it ?
4- the car will come with 20” tires which I am not really a fan of, will I be able to change it to 18” rims/tires later down the road and not mess up anything on the car ?
anything else I should be concerned about down the road ? (I will keep digging on the forums but if anybody knows any other tips I will greatly appreciate it !)
5- When picking up the car, is there anything I should check and double check on the vehicle before signing my life away and driving off with the car?
Thank you so much for reading ! This forum has been a great help in convincing me to get one for my family !
 

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The maintenance code for the transmission fluid change for the 9 speed displays around the 60000 mile mark. The 6 speeds were different with the display popping up around 30000 miles.

Yes, any maintenance will have to be paid for by you unless you got any type of maintenance package from the dealer or if you purchased one. Those usually only cover oil changes, oil filters, tire rotations, and perhaps a few other items for a limited time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The maintenance code for the transmission fluid change for the 9 speed displays around the 60000 mile mark. The 6 speeds were different with the display popping up around 30000 miles.

Yes, any maintenance will have to be paid for by you unless you got any type of maintenance package from the dealer or if you purchased one. Those usually only cover oil changes, oil filters, tire rotations, and perhaps a few other items for a limited time.
Thank you so much for your reply .
Do you know how much I should be expecting to pay to the service place at the dealership ?
 

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I’m heading to the dealership very soon to pick up of a new 2021 pilot SE awd , I have been following this forum for a few weeks now , if I could take a minute of your time to find out :
1- At what mileage should I start worrying about adding the VCM device I keep reading about ?
2- I just read a post about changing the transmission fluid for the 9 speed , since I don’t have the car yet , at what mileage is recommended ? (Not doing it myself , will definitely take it to the dealer, do I have to pay anything out of pocket ?)
3- timing belt , when should I change that ? And can a mechanic outside of Honda do it ?
4- the car will come with 20” tires which I am not really a fan of, will I be able to change it to 18” rims/tires later down the road and not mess up anything on the car ?
anything else I should be concerned about down the road ? (I will keep digging on the forums but if anybody knows any other tips I will greatly appreciate it !)
5- When picking up the car, is there anything I should check and double check on the vehicle before signing my life away and driving off with the car?
Download a copy of owner's manual and read the section on the Maintenance Minder.
http://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/pubs/OM/AH/ATG72121OM/enu/ATG72121OM.PDF

Service costs can vary from dealer to dealer. so shop around.
Check the dealer websites for specials and discount coupons.

9-speed transmission fluid costs about $25-30 per quart so a fluid change, including labor could cost ~$200.

Timing belt replacement isn't due until about 105K-miles or 7-years.
Any competent mechanic should be able to do the job.

If you really don't want the 20" wheels/tires, check with the dealer before you pick up the vehicle to see if they can swap them out for the 18" wheels/tires from a lower trim level Pilot at minimal cost to you.
 

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Thank you so much for your reply .
Do you know how much I should be expecting to pay to the service place at the dealership ?
People have been reporting $300-400 for the 9 speed transmission fluid change. It is a special procedure and the fluid itself is quite expensive.

The timing belt is more like $1000 at the dealer but an independent shop can do it to. It's typically not due for 10 years or 105k miles.

As for VCM I'd pick up a VCM Tuner II or SVCM and disable it day one. The negative effects are all long term problems so it's best not to wait until they show up.

As for the wheels, you can swap in 18s from any other "big" Honda no problem as they all have the same specs. Ridgeline, Odyssey, lower trim Pilots, even Acura MDX all fit. If you're willing to swap with someone locally you could probably make a few bucks as those 20s will be in demand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
People have been reporting $300-400 for the 9 speed transmission fluid change. It is a special procedure and the fluid itself is quite expensive.

The timing belt is more like $1000 at the dealer but an independent shop can do it to. It's typically not due for 10 years or 105k miles.

As for VCM I'd pick up a VCM Tuner II or SVCM and disable it day one. The negative effects are all long term problems so it's best not to wait until they show up.

As for the wheels, you can swap in 18s from any other "big" Honda no problem as they all have the same specs. Ridgeline, Odyssey, lower trim Pilots, even Acura MDX all fit. If you're willing to swap with someone locally you could probably make a few bucks as those 20s will be in demand.
Thank you !
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Download a copy of owner's manual and read the section on the Maintenance Minder.
http://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/pubs/OM/AH/ATG72121OM/enu/ATG72121OM.PDF

Service costs can vary from dealer to dealer. so shop around.
Check the dealer websites for specials and discount coupons.

9-speed transmission fluid costs about $25-30 per quart so a fluid change, including labor could cost ~$200.

Timing belt replacement isn't due until about 105K-miles or 7-years.
Any competent mechanic should be able to do the job.

If you really don't want the 20" wheels/tires, check with the dealer before you pick up the vehicle to see if they can swap them out for the 18" wheels/tires from a lower trim level Pilot at minimal cost to you.
Thank you !
 

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Hello everyone
I’m heading to the dealership very soon to pick up of a new 2021 pilot SE awd , I have been following this forum for a few weeks now , if I could take a minute of your time to find out :
1- At what mileage should I start worrying about adding the VCM device I keep reading about ?
2- I just read a post about changing the transmission fluid for the 9 speed , since I don’t have the car yet , at what mileage is recommended ? (Not doing it myself , will definitely take it to the dealer, do I have to pay anything out of pocket ?)
3- timing belt , when should I change that ? And can a mechanic outside of Honda do it ?
4- the car will come with 20” tires which I am not really a fan of, will I be able to change it to 18” rims/tires later down the road and not mess up anything on the car ?
anything else I should be concerned about down the road ? (I will keep digging on the forums but if anybody knows any other tips I will greatly appreciate it !)
5- When picking up the car, is there anything I should check and double check on the vehicle before signing my life away and driving off with the car?
Thank you so much for reading ! This forum has been a great help in convincing me to get one for my family !
  1. If I were planning to keep the vehicle past the warranty, I'd disable the VCM asap.
  2. Since it is important for your warranty, follow the Maintenance Minder (MM)(60k miles), there is no need to change the ATF sooner than recommended under normal driving conditions. Cost of a 9-speed ATF drain and fill at the dealership is around $350.
  3. Follow the MM for the timing belt water pump service. Under normal driving conditions, this should come up around 100k. Yes, this can be performed by an independent mechanic. Hopefully this independent mechanic knows about the good quality Aisin timing belt water pump kit for this job. Anyway, that's a long time from now.
  4. Yes, you can replace the 20" inch rims with 18s. Some on the forum have already done so. The recommended tire size is 245 60R18. This change will open up to you a large variety of tire choices. I have High Performance All Season tires on my Pilot for highway speed driving. What are your needs and likes? There will be many here who would be glad to give you their opinion on tire selection.
  5. I wouldn't buy any extended warranty other than a Honda Care warranty. This can often be purchased online for less. I wouldn't be overly concerned about taking delivery, since everything has a warranty. Search for defects. Test drive, make sure the engine idles smoothly, drives without any vibrations and steers straight. Look closely at the tires and rims for curb rash. You might take a look at the price others are paying. 2021 Passport price paid
Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
  1. If I were planning to keep the vehicle past the warranty, I'd disable the VCM asap.
  2. Since it is important for your warranty, follow the Maintenance Minder (MM)(60k miles), there is no need to change the ATF sooner than recommended under normal driving conditions. Cost of a 9-speed ATF drain and fill at the dealership is around $350.
  3. Follow the MM for the timing belt water pump service. Under normal driving conditions, this should come up around 100k. Yes, this can be performed by an independent mechanic. Hopefully this independent mechanic knows about the good quality Aisin timing belt water pump kit for this job. Anyway, that's a long time from now.
  4. Yes, you can replace the 20" inch rims with 18s. Some on the forum have already done so. The recommended tire size is 245 60R18. This change will open up to you a large variety of tire choices. I have High Performance All Season tires on my Pilot for highway speed driving. What are your needs and likes? There will be many here who would be glad to give you their opinion on tire selection.
  5. I wouldn't buy any extended warranty other than a Honda Care warranty. This can often be purchased online for less. I wouldn't be overly concerned about taking delivery, since everything has a warranty. Search for defects. Test drive, make sure the engine idles smoothly, drives without any vibrations and steers straight. Look closely at the tires and rims for curb rash. You might take a look at the price others are paying. 2021 Passport price paid
Hope this helps.
Thank you so much ! I will make sure to test drive the vehicle before signing it off . As far as the 20” wheels I have never driven in one , I heard the ride is more on the “rough” side . My plan is to drive them for a year or two and if I don’t really like them then just purchase a whole new set of 18’s . I was just wondering if any mechanic will need to “calibrate “ the vehicle again or just a matter of swapping them and done .
Does my plan makes sense ?Or should I just ask the dealer to swap them before picking up the car ?Not sure if I will end up paying more (and more important , since it’s the SE edition, even if I swap them now , will the chrome polish look of the 18’s match with all finished black on the vehicle?
 

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Don't pay the dealer to downgrade them. If you swap them in the future you can always buy aftermarket wheels that match the look you want. There are no shortage of aftermarket wheels that fit the Pilot. Factory OEM wheels are both strong and light which is why they are so expensive to replace buying from the dealer. Don't give yours up for free, they are worth quite a bit if you want to sell them later.
 

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Thank you so much ! I will make sure to test drive the vehicle before signing it off . As far as the 20” wheels I have never driven in one , I heard the ride is more on the “rough” side . My plan is to drive them for a year or two and if I don’t really like them then just purchase a whole new set of 18’s . I was just wondering if any mechanic will need to “calibrate “ the vehicle again or just a matter of swapping them and done .
Does my plan makes sense ?Or should I just ask the dealer to swap them before picking up the car ?Not sure if I will end up paying more (and more important , since it’s the SE edition, even if I swap them now , will the chrome polish look of the 18’s match with all finished black on the vehicle?
The dealer will likely want to charge you for new tires and rims. You could always ask. If you couldn't work out a swap, I'd sell the set of 20s right away if I had intentions of going to 18s. There are plenty of used Honda Pilot rims around the country in salvage yards. www.car-part.com . No calibration needed. Not sure about chrome matching.
 
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4- the car will come with 20” tires which I am not really a fan of, will I be able to change it to 18” rims/tires later down the road and not mess up anything on the car ?
The easiest and cheapest way is to ask your dealer to trade/swap the rim/tires with lower trim (18"). Be sure they give you $ or credit for the trade.
 

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I would pay close attention to any unusual clunking sounds from the suspension when going over bumps. Open and close all the doors. Verify the proper engine oil level and tire pressure. Elevate yourself and look at the roof to make sure it is scratchfree.as well. And if you have ordered this vehicle from the factory, there is no reason it should have over 5 miles on the odometer. My Pilot and my sons Civic had 2 miles on them when we test drove them. Good luck with your new Pilot. Timing belt service at my dealer is over $1200 by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I would pay close attention to any unusual clunking sounds from the suspension when going over bumps. Open and close all the doors. Verify the proper engine oil level and tire pressure. Elevate yourself and look at the roof to make sure it is scratchfree.as well. And if you have ordered this vehicle from the factory, there is no reason it should have over 5 miles on the odometer. My Pilot and my sons Civic had 2 miles on them when we test drove them. Good luck with your new Pilot. Timing belt service at my dealer is over $1200 by the way.
So you recommend me to take it for a test drive before actually signing ? Vehicle has 4 miles on it
 

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