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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I have an '03 Pilot (original owner) that started something new late last year: after driving for a good 30 min's in hot temp, I'd stop for gas/groceries, etc and the car wouldn't start. It'd act like there was no juice. There was one time that after almost 30 min's of sitting, it started up. Whew! But it sounded just like when you've got a bad battery... and when I DID get it started, it was a rough start. Other times it was "try to get a jump", time. Ugh.
Had the battery replaced just in case (was 5yr batt (got 6 from it and still good) but..nope, no help. So we changed out the starter as we felt that's what it was. Or maybe it was a fuel thing 馃 darn.. think starter. 馃檹馃徏 It's an intermittent thing and no codes showed prior to the starter work was done and it was an understandable thing to try.

Has anyone had this issue and found a fix? Or... does anyone have a suggestion on this? I have a guy that does the work (he's certified) for reasonable prices... but neither of us want too just start replacing parts for nothing. I believe his reader is for all makes.

She's got over 300k and other than running rough at idle, she runs well. I'm just not sure where to even start.

I know there's a TON of you really smart guys that probably know what issue is, so PLEASE share some of those thoughts with me! I totally need your guidance!! 馃檹馃徏
Thank you!! 馃檪馃檪馃檪
 

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What happens when it fails to start? Do normal dash lights come on, but it doesn't crank at all? If that's the case, it sounds like what happened to me last summer and cost me a starter far from home. But I turned lemons into lemonade and made it into an overnight romantic conjugal hotel stay.

If it cranks but doesn't start, it might be your immobilizer chip in your key being read sporadically. Is your key kind of beat up? What happens if you use your other key?

Those are some first things to try, but it may be something else, too. What's the mileage and maintenance history?
 

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First thing to do, check and tighten the battery cables, the ground(s), along with the starter connections. Heat expansion on a loose connection can cause little or no contact until the connection cools.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What happens when it fails to start? Do normal dash lights come on, but it doesn't crank at all? If that's the case, it sounds like what happened to me last summer and cost me a starter far from home. But I turned lemons into lemonade and made it into an overnight romantic conjugal hotel stay.

If it cranks but doesn't start, it might be your immobilizer chip in your key being read sporadically. Is your key kind of beat up? What happens if you use your other key?

Those are some first things to try, but it may be something else, too. What's the mileage and maintenance history?
Interesting.... well, all the lights worked, as well as door locks if memory serves. It just went silent. No noise when cranking.... after about 10 min's 茂牛 then acted like it had built up juice and tried to start but couldn't, so I had to sit there and try several times; adding more time between starts. I think it was the 3rd time that it started and then I needed (or felt the need to) give it more gas like the old days and pumping the gas. It was during this part that I thought it maybe fuel related but the new cars throw me. I'm a carburetor gal and know nothing of all these electronics. Ok. On the key...it has happened using both keys (they actually look pretty decent, I think) so... another thing: if it's just one stop on my way home it doesn't have any problems starting again... but if I make several quick stops... that's when it happens. I just remembered that
It's an '03 that has ~ 320,000 miles... it does have a2nd motor due to my VTM light (more transmission) causing my motor to seize up on the hwy.
This may not matter but... a lady bought the vehicle and brought back w/6 miles on it. It's had some issues such as: rear a/c going out quickly but not being used, we only found out after warranty. Plus, our door lock mechanisms have been replaced in both front driver/ passenger doors and after a couple years the front drivers has problems again and the rear passenger won't work at all. No warning, no nothing. I say all this because I have no clue if this can be mechanical or electrical??
Starter was replaced just prior to the shutdowns from the pandemic and as this is intermittent, we can't make the problem happen when we need it to.
I really appreciate any thought on this. Could this be a fuel issue in some strange way??

I'm lost on what or how to proceed but I greatly appreciate ANY suggestions/thoughts. 馃檪
What happens when it fails to start? Do normal dash lights come on, but it doesn't crank at all? If that's the case, it sounds like what happened to me last summer and cost me a starter far from home. But I turned lemons into lemonade and made it into an overnight romantic conjugal hotel stay.

If it cranks but doesn't start, it might be your immobilizer chip in your key being read sporadically. Is your key kind of beat up? What happens if you use your other key?

Those are some first things to try, but it may be something else, too. What's the mileage and maintenance history?
My guess is the starter. Let us know.
The starter was just changed.
My guess is the starter. Let us know.
The starter is brand new. Changed it when this issue came up.
Anyone familiar with a "heat soak"?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
First thing to do, check and tighten the battery cables, the ground(s), along with the starter connections. Heat expansion on a loose connection can cause little or no contact until the connection cools.
Gotcha, I can do that. Sorry... hadn't seen your reply.
I am also going to take it in and have a full computer diagnosis done (if that'll even show that?) just in case. I didn't think 卯f it was something like that heat stroke thing it'd show on the computer.?
It's just me and my pilot. She looks great so I'm trying to keep her running the same.
I did hear of a shield of some sort that could be put over the starter, but here's a question:

The problem started, so we replaced the starter and it still does it. Why, after all these years, would this start? And would it be worth it to drain the antifreeze and flush it? Plus, I had a new transmission put in last year... any relation to cause? I mean, I live in S. Texas so hot weather... but it's not THAT hot.
I'm an old-fashioned Chevy girl and have no clue with these vehicles. Ugh.
Thank you guys!! I will take all the advice and explanations I can get. 馃檹馃徏 seriously appreciate y'all!!
 

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Based on the new starter I am first thinking like Daltongang, check your cable connections and grounds. But, my second thought would be the main relay. I know it will cause a no crank problem but if I have not seen it cause a slow crank problem. I have seen more than one of those Honda main relays with broken solder joints that would cause intermittent starting problems. There are several internet posts about the issue and even a YouTube video or two. I don鈥檛 know what the main relay looks like on your model Pilot but the other ones I have messed with you can remove the relay and then remove the cover off the relay to look at the circuit board. It should be a quick job to pull it out and look at the board to make sure the solder joints are not broken. When I do it I usually already have my solder iron plugged in and if I see any that are questionable I resolder them.

If it is the main relay it will progressively get worse over time.

Here is a video kinda explaining it. He talks about it causing fuel pump issues but I have seen it cause no crank issues on two cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Based on the new starter I am first thinking like Daltongang, check your cable connections and grounds. But, my second thought would be the main relay. I know it will cause a no crank problem but if I have not seen it cause a slow crank problem. I have seen more than one of those Honda main relays with broken solder joints that would cause intermittent starting problems. There are several internet posts about the issue and even a YouTube video or two. I don鈥檛 know what the main relay looks like on your model Pilot but the other ones I have messed with you can remove the relay and then remove the cover off the relay to look at the circuit board. It should be a quick job to pull it out and look at the board to make sure the solder joints are not broken. When I do it I usually already have my solder iron plugged in and if I see any that are questionable I resolder them.

If it is the main relay it will progressively get worse over time.

Here is a video kinda explaining it. He talks about it causing fuel pump issues but I have seen it cause no crank issues on two cars.
Huntertn .... wow! I had no idea things were actually on a board and could cause problems!
I have had SO MANY electrical problems over the years with the dealer just telling me this or that was bad (both front door locks have failed and now rear, rear a/c out, rear door lock out, my VTM light came on and it was 卯f driving 65mph and suddenly jamming it down into 1st gear then back to D then back to 1st!!) I took it to Honda and they couldn't reproduce it so I was told "nothing we can do". Then it was fine after that for a while until it happened again and seized the motor at again, 60-70mph!! My headlamps had issues recently but was told it was on account of additional exterior lights I had installed, yet those were hard-wired totally separate from my electrical system. UGH......

So I guess I'm asking a couple of questions: am I understanding that it's possible that although my car wants to turn over but just can't, could be because of that little circuit board?? (I know there might be other issues...)
AND.... can these other electrical problems ALSO be as a result of something that small? Or is that more likely actual "wire" problems that run head-to-toe on the vehicle?

Wouldn't the dealer spot these things? I can tell you this... I do NOT walk in like a dumb blonde (no offense to anyone) with no clue and I DO know some things, but electronics not at all.

That video was a great thing - THANK YOU! I have seen how-to videos but when it comes to wires and such...馃槼

Sorry for the long reply 馃槩馃馃し馃徏鈥嶁檧锔
 

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Maybe get a second or third non-dealer opinion. With that many electrical gremlins, cables and wiring would be my first guess now, followed by a bad relay which you could relatively easily test by switching in a known good one. Cables and especially wiring, though, can involve a more meticulous troubleshooting process.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Maybe get a second or third non-dealer opinion. With that many electrical gremlins, cables and wiring would be my first guess now, followed by a bad relay which you could relatively easily test by switching in a known good one. Cables and especially wiring, though, can involve a more meticulous troubleshooting process.
plplplpl .... please tell me that doesn't involve taking the car apart and following every wire 馃檹馃徏馃檹馃徏

Taking to various shops won't be a problem. I like that idea. Silly question though is: do I just bring up the problem with the starting issue, or do I throw in the door actuators as well? Or just say "look it over for any electrical problems while you're looking for why it's hot starting"? Is that it...hot starting?
This is where I get lost... the language in wanting to be thorough but not overload with all the extra history stuff that might confuse someone?
 

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Start with switching out the relay with a know good one, because that's the easiest and cheapest thing, and you can probably do it yourself.

For the cables, start with the major ones first: battery, alternator, starter and grounds. Look for looseness and/or corrosion. Exhaust that possibility before moving on to the more onerous task of other wiring.

When you go for second opinions, depending on the level of trust you have in those places, try to find a middle ground between overloading them with too much information, in which case they may just smile politely, and giving them an accurate description of symptoms and maintenance / parts/ repair history.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Start with switching out the relay with a know good one, because that's the easiest and cheapest thing, and you can probably do it yourself.

For the cables, start with the major ones first: battery, alternator, starter and grounds. Look for looseness and/or corrosion. Exhaust that possibility before moving on to the more onerous task of other wiring.

When you go for second opinions, depending on the level of trust you have in those places, try to find a middle ground between overloading them with too much information, in which case they may just smile politely, and giving them an accurate description of symptoms and maintenance / parts/ repair history.
Got it! That, I can do.
I GRATEFULLY APPRECIATE your help and input on this! I shall start the process soon!!
馃馃徏馃馃徏馃馃徏 and I hopefully will report my findings instead of more questions 馃檮馃槖馃馃徏馃馃徏
 

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I agree with plplpl鈥檚 last post. Sounds like there is a lot going on. Some may be related and some not. I think his order of what to check is a good plan.
 
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