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Discussion Starter #1
From reading this forum, I have compiled a list of maintenance needed on my 2003 Pilot (250,000 miles). Wondering where I should start, taking into account I am relatively new at working on automobiles. I have done a few projects like replacing a window acuator and stereo. Should I start with the big important job - the valve adjustment, or work my way up to it? Also, if you see anything on this list that looks unnecessary, I would be happy to eliminate some of them.

Valve adjustment
Radiator
Spark plugs
Serpentine belt
Thermostat
Shocks/struts
Transmission pressure switches
Tire pressure sensors
PCV valve
EGR valve
Engine mounts
Rear AC blower filter/screen
Air filter
Transmission fluid
Differential fluid
Brake fluid
Power steering fluid
 

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From reading this forum, I have compiled a list of maintenance needed on my 2003 Pilot (250,000 miles). Wondering where I should start, taking into account I am relatively new at working on automobiles. I have done a few projects like replacing a window acuator and stereo. Should I start with the big important job - the valve adjustment, or work my way up to it? Also, if you see anything on this list that looks unnecessary, I would be happy to eliminate some of them.

Valve adjustment
Radiator
Spark plugs
Serpentine belt
Thermostat
Shocks/struts
Transmission pressure switches
Tire pressure sensors
PCV valve
EGR valve
Engine mounts
Rear AC blower filter/screen
Air filter
Transmission fluid
Differential fluid
Brake fluid
Power steering fluid
I would add the following, if they haven't already been done, since you're planning to do the struts anyway:

Sway bar links and bushings
Tie rod inner and outers
Lower control arms (to get the compliance bushings and ball joints)

And my favorite - check the date on your donut spare. If original, replace with full size immediately.

Sequence them to take advantage of logical groupings and time constraints. Efficiency will save you a lot of time. Some of this work has probably already been done, so take that into account, too.
 

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Since you mentioned you’re fairly new to working on vehicles I would start with the easier jobs (air filters and fluids) and work your way up to the more difficult jobs.

Since you’re going to replace the radiator and thermostat you might consider the radiator hoses too.

If your local dealer’s pricing on parts isn’t that great check out:
Hondaautomotiveparts.com
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I just had the timing belt, water pump, etc. done. I will definitely look back over paperwork to see what else has been done before I begin. I know the transmission has been rebuilt, but needs fluid changed.

Fluids and filters to start sounds like a good plan. I like the idea of grouping tasks together, but not sure which ones could be combined or which ones might be out of my depth (like the valve adjustment). Seems like I should have at least had my mechanic change out the spark plugs when he did the timing belt. Oh well, learning curve.

Thanks, guys. I appreciate your help.
 

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Things to group would be:
1) Radiator, radiator hoses, thermostat
2) Front struts and lower control arm since these require an alignment
3) Tranny pressure switches whenever you have the front end on jackstands for another task.
I think pretty much everything else can be done solo without much compromise.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you so much, road2cycle!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Things my son and I have accomplished:
Spark plugs PCV valve Rear AC blower filter/screen
Air filter Transmission fluid Differential fluid
Brake fluid Power steering fluid

Things we still need to do:
Radiator Serpentine belt Thermostat
Shocks/struts Engine mounts Transmission pressure switches
Tire pressure sensors

Things we are in the middle of with parts spread out in garage:
EGR valve
Knock Sensor (was getting a code)
Fuel injectors (broke one disassembling and they look awful)
Valve adjustment (since we have it disassembled anyway)

I may have questions when we begin to reassemble. Any words of advice would be appreciated.
 

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Hopefully these repairs are all needed, on the egr, use lots of PBR type spray before trying to remove the bolts holding it in place.

Suggest you also clean the EGR channels at the top of the engine. Mine was really clean, thanks to constant long highway drives.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update:

Son and I finally finished putting 2003 back together. We changed out the knock sensor, adjusted the valves, replaced fuel injectors, changed spark plug tube seals, replaced one coil pack, and cleaned everything as we went. Now reassembled, we can not get the Pilot to start. The starter sounds normal but like it is not getting gas.

Any ideas? We’ve done so much, no idea where to start looking. Thanks.
 

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It could be that you just missed putting a connector back together. I would look it over good and to make sure you do not see anything disconnected. Did you disconnect the battery before you started working on it? If not, it is possible you touch something to ground and blew a fuse. If you did disconnect the battery before you started then I would probably start by making sure it has spark. Pull one of the coil packs and put a sparkplug in it and crank the engine with the threaded part of the plug sitting on the valvecover or something else metal to ground it.

If you have spark I would then check to see if you are getting fuel to the fuel rail supplying fuel to the injectors.
 

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I just replaced the knock sensor and I recall the front fuel rail had to be monkeyed with. As mentioned above start by checking the simple things such as electrical connectors. Are any codes being thrown (not sure if any would before the engine cranks but worth checking into)?
 

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Another simple thing to check is battery voltage. You had it disconnected for many months so verify its voltage is still ~12.6Vdc with the key out of the ignition and headlights off. If it’s low get it charged back to full capacity.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We got it cranked finally, but now it is rough “surge” idling. Seems OK while driving around the block.

Maybe the IAC valve? What do you think?

I haven’t but will check for codes. Thanks.
 

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Good to hear y’all got it started. How long did you let it run? Sometimes if a car sits for a while it will run a little funny at first. If you did not run it long it may clear up on its own. With that being said, a dirty IAC will make it idle funny but what did you do to the EGR valve? If the EGR valve is not sealing it will cause a rough idle too.
 

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Rough running after the battery has been disconnected for a while is typical. It’s part of the idle learning procedure, or something like that. I recall mine ran rough for about five minutes the last time I had the battery disconnected for some time. Glad to hear you got the engine cranked.
 

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Or at least a DIY with a paid and experienced tech with him guiding and inspecting/checking the work. Proper tools need to be used with this one along with care and caution. The risks are high for the reward here.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ended up replacing the IAC valve and now it is idling a little high but constant.

I agree that we got in a little over our heads, but knowing I have a great local mechanic (who drives an old Honda Pilot) I can call or easily take it to makes us a little more daring than we would normally be. He helped be remove the old spark plug tube seals for no charge.

All the interruptions have made me forget about the rest of the list...will get back to it soon.
 
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