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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Piloteers,

The engine idle on my wife’s 2005 Pilot with 116k miles has gotten rougher over the past couple months. There are no issues getting the car to accelerate from a stop nor while at any driving speed. I have searched the various threads on this forum but there isn’t any one thread which lists all the possible things to try and which one ultimately solved the problem. I have seen a couple threads where folks have replaced the EGR valve with success, but don’t know what was tried before that.

These are the things I have tried:
1) No codes reported from my Honda specific code reader.
2) Upper intake manifold EGR ports cleaned (during knock sensor replacement a few months ago).
3) Throttle body, upper intake manifold, intake manifold spacer, and front lower intake manifold cleaned a few months ago as well during knock sensor replacement.
4) Timing belt service was performed at Honda dealer about four years ago at 82k miles.
5) Spark plugs replaced at 105k miles.

This is what I’m planning to do, in this order (updated per additional suggestions):
1) Check engine air filter, even though it’s not due any time soon.
2) Check air intake tube, between the air filter and throttle body, for cracks.
3) Visually inspect, then clean the MAP sensor with electronic cleaner.
4) Run a bottle of Techron at the next fillup. That may be a while though since the Pilot hasn’t been used much this past month due to the virus. I did give it one 45 mile freeway run to/from work once last week with no idle difference when I left and when I returned home.
5) Run a bottle of Seafoam through the air intake after the mass air flow sensor.
6) Determine if Foxwell scanner provides live data for sensors listed by DaltonGang.
7) Check/clean the EGR valve. Replace if needed.
8) Determine if Pilot has a replaceable fuel filter and replace if possible.
8) Have local Honda dealer perform valve adjustment. I’m holding off on this one since it’s $550, but mainly because I don’t want someone else’s germs in the family hauler until the virus is done.

Can you guys/gals think of anything else I should try? If replacing the EGR valve is necessary what aftermarket ones are decent (OEM costs ~2.5 to 4x aftermarket)? Or should I bite the bullet and replace the EGR with OEM?

I appreciate any insight you can offer.

Thanks,
Steve
 

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2020 Honda Passport Touring AWD Metallic Steel
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There are several possible issues, some cheap and easy to fix, some more expensive and not as simple to fix. Things to take a look at....
Clogged Fuel Filter
Dirty Air Filter
Dirty Oxygen Sensor
Bad Coolant temperature sensor
Intake leak
Dirty Throttle Body
Speed/Distance Sensor Failure
MAP Sensor Failure
Throttle Position Sensor Failure
Vacuum Leak
Throttle Stop
AIS Motor


As for taking the vehicle to the dealership. You need to keep in mind that covid 19 isn't something that is going to disappear any time soon. Covid viruses have been know about since the 1960's. We have lived with it for years, maybe hundreds of years. Learning about it, how long it can last on various surface and how to mitigate the danger is something that everyone needs to learn about. coved 19 is actually a fragile virus. Simple soap will destroy the virus on surfaces including human skin. The problem is going to be finding something that is safe to be introduced into humans that will combat covid 19.
 

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Hi Piloteers,

The engine idle on my wife’s 2005 Pilot with 116k miles has gotten rougher over the past couple months. There are no issues getting the car to accelerate from a stop nor while at any driving speed. I have searched the various threads on this forum but there isn’t any one thread which lists all the possible things to try and which one ultimately solved the problem. I have see a couple threads where folks have replaced the EGR valve with success, but don’t know what was tried before that.

These are the things I have tried:
1) No codes reported from my Honda specific code reader.
2) Upper intake manifold EGR ports cleaned (during knock sensor replacement a few months ago).
3) Throttle body, upper intake manifold, intake manifold spacer, and front lower intake manifold cleaned a few months ago as well during knock sensor replacement.
4) Timing belt service was performed at Honda dealer about four years ago at 82k miles.
5) Spark plugs replaced at 105k miles.

This is what I’m planning to do, in this order:
1) Check engine air filter, even though it’s not due any time soon.
2) Run a bottle of Techron at the next fillup. That may be a while though since the Pilot hasn’t been used much this past month due to the virus. I did give it one 45 mile freeway run to/from work once last week with no idle difference when I left and when I returned home.
3) Run a bottle of Seafoam through the air intake after the mass air flow sensor.
4) Check/clean the EGR valve. Replace if needed.
5) Have local Honda dealer perform valve adjustment. I’m holding off on this one since it’s $550, but mainly because I don’t want someone else’s germs in the family hauler until the virus is done.

Can you guys/gals think of anything else I should try? If replacing the EGR valve is necessary what aftermarket ones are decent (OEM costs ~2.5 to 4x aftermarket)? Or should I bite the bullet and replace the EGR with OEM?

I appreciate any insight you can offer.

Thanks,
Steve
Have you cleaned or replaced you Mass Airflow sensor (MAF). If it is dusty, it can cause problems with air/fuel mixture. To clean, take a can of CRC Electronic Cleaner and spray some short burst directly into the electrodes. Let thoroughly dry, reinstall. If this was your problem you will see immediate results.
 

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2005 Pilot LX
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Discussion Starter #4
There are several possible issues, some cheap and easy to fix, some more expensive and not as simple to fix. Things to take a look at....
Clogged Fuel Filter
Dirty Air Filter
Dirty Oxygen Sensor
Bad Coolant temperature sensor
Intake leak
Dirty Throttle Body
Speed/Distance Sensor Failure
MAP Sensor Failure
Throttle Position Sensor Failure
Vacuum Leak
Throttle Stop
AIS Motor


As for taking the vehicle to the dealership. You need to keep in mind that covid 19 isn't something that is going to disappear any time soon. Covid viruses have been know about since the 1960's. We have lived with it for years, maybe hundreds of years. Learning about it, how long it can last on various surface and how to mitigate the danger is something that everyone needs to learn about. coved 19 is actually a fragile virus. Simple soap will destroy the virus on surfaces including human skin. The problem is going to be finding something that is safe to be introduced into humans that will combat covid 19.
Thanks for the suggestions. Thus far I have checked the engine air filter (it still looks good; can see the OEM blue/green color on the bottom side for the most part) and the throttle body (I gave that a good cleaning a few months ago when it was separated from the upper intake manifold).

Would you expect faulty sensors to result in a diagnostic trouble code? I scanned for that this morning but nothing came up. Or is watching the live data on the scanner, if supported, the way to go?

For the virus, yeah I realize we’re in this for the long haul. Just want to limit potential exposure as much as feasible.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Have you cleaned or replaced you Mass Airflow sensor (MAF). If it is dusty, it can cause problems with air/fuel mixture. To clean, take a can of CRC Electronic Cleaner and spray some short burst directly into the electrodes. Let thoroughly dry, reinstall. If this was your problem you will see immediate results.
Thanks. I will give this a try to rule it out. I know it’s never been cleaned before.
 
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Thanks for the suggestions. Thus far I have checked the engine air filter (it still looks good; can see the OEM blue/green color on the bottom side for the most part) and the throttle body (I gave that a good cleaning a few months ago when it was separated from the upper intake manifold).

Would you expect faulty sensors to result in a diagnostic trouble code? I scanned for that this morning but nothing came up. Or is watching the live data on the scanner, if supported, the way to go?

For the virus, yeah I realize we’re in this for the long haul. Just want to limit potential exposure as much as feasible.
If a sensor fails yes you will get a code. If a sensor is starting to fail, It could take some time. Especially depending on what the sensors duty is. A coolest temp sensor can begin to report an improper temp when it first starts to fail.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If a sensor fails yes you will get a code. If a sensor is starting to fail, It could take some time. Especially depending on what the sensors duty is. A coolest temp sensor can begin to report an improper temp when it first starts to fail.
Thanks for the additional info. Good to know. I’ll check if my Foxwell scanner supports live data on the sensors you listed and see if they report any erratic readings.

I also just checked and cleaned the MAP sensor. I couldn’t see much dust inside of it but gave it a couple squirts of electronic cleaner then let it dry out as NailGrease suggested. No immediate change in rough idle behavior afterwards.
 

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Good set of plans.

1) Check engine air filter, even though it’s not due any time soon.
One thing I often add, and it occasionally turns out to be, is an easy and cheap thing to check while you're at it is if there is a crack in the air intake tube that gets bent when the air filter gets changed, as you can see in this video. Feel for cracks on the underside of the tube as well.

https://d2n97g4vasjwsk.cloudfront.net/2006 Honda Pilot EX 3.5L V6/Air Filter Engine - Part 1 - 480p.mp4

In fact, I make it part of my air filter replacement routine to check for cracks all along that tube each time I finish putting in a new air filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good set of plans.



One thing I often add, and it occasionally turns out to be, is an easy and cheap thing to check while you're at it is if there is a crack in the air intake tube that gets bent when the air filter gets changed, as you can see in this video. Feel for cracks on the underside of the tube as well.

https://d2n97g4vasjwsk.cloudfront.net/2006 Honda Pilot EX 3.5L V6/Air Filter Engine - Part 1 - 480p.mp4

In fact, I make it part of my air filter replacement routine to check for cracks all along that tube each time I finish putting in a new air filter.
Thanks for the additional item to check. I’ll give it a lookover when I run the can of Seafoam through the throttle body.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Update: Today I checked the air intake tube for cracks (none found) and Seafoam’ed the air intake. Bottom line was this resulted in a very slight improvement in the rough idle.

The instructions on the Seafoam can said to get the straw between the throttle body and the air intake tube, then put the air intake tube back on. That wasn’t going to happen since it’s a tight fit. I ended up not fully connecting the air intake tube and running the straw through that slight opening. I was also surprised the butterfly valve didn’t open much at 2k rpm. So I squirted the Seafoam onto the lower side of the butterfly valve to hopefully minimize contaminating the MAP sensor.

The one thing I was not ready for was the blasts of hot air when the radiator fans turned on. Holy crap that air was hot. After emptying the can and reattaching the air intake tube, I also recleaned the MAP sensor with electronic cleaner (waited a few minutes to let it cool off after removal before cleaning.

Then I took a drive with spirited accelerations. The only time a large white cloud came out the exhaust was the first time I floored the gas pedal. After that nothing eventful came out of the exhaust.

Upon returning home I noted the idle was a bit smoother, but I could still feel the engine stumbling somewhat.

Next step will be to try that can of Techron fuel system cleaner at the next fillup. Gas tank is still half full since the Pilot only got one relatively long trip this week.

I’ll continue updating this thread when I try the Techron. If anyone has other suggestions please let me know.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Update: Finally got the gas tank level to half full (or half empty depending on your take on things) and poured a 12 oz. bottle of Chevron Techron fuel system cleaner into it. As a side note, Chevron also makes a bottle of Techron additive which only cleans the fuel injectors. I spent the extra $2 and purchased the one which supposedly cleans the entire fuel system. I drove the Pilot to work two days this week (roughly 45 mile freeway round-trippers each day) and the idle got a bit smoother. It's not perfect, but it's definitely not as rough as it was a few weeks back.

I also ordered an EGR valve gasket (arrived this evening), and tonight I removed the EGR valve and cleaned it out. There really wasn't much carbon buildup on the EGR valve nor on its two ports on the engine block. I am glad I purchased the gasket since the old one wasn't in the best of shape after removing the EGR valve. After installing the EGR valve back onto the engine block I took the Pilot for a spin. There wasn't much noticeable difference in the idle compared to after the fuel system cleaner was applied.

This weekend I'm hoping to be able to figure out if my Foxwell scan tool provides live data for the sensors. I'll also have my wife take the Pilot for a spin so she can compare the engine idle to how it was before.
 
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Just tossing it out there: PCV valve? If it's never been changed it would be a good idea anyway. Certainly cheap enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just tossing it out there: PCV valve? If it's never been changed it would be a good idea anyway. Certainly cheap enough.
Thanks for the suggestion. The Pilot is on its third PCV valve. I think the one currently in there has less than 10k miles on it. I didn’t want to become one of the unlucky folks whose PCV valve breaks off during the removal process due to the plastic becoming brittle, so I’ve been changing it roughly every 50k miles.
 

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Thanks for the suggestion. The Pilot is on its third PCV valve. I think the one currently in there has less than 10k miles on it. I didn’t want to become one of the unlucky folks whose PCV valve breaks off during the removal process due to the plastic becoming brittle, so I’ve been changing it roughly every 50k miles.
Smart move. Maybe I should start doing that. I was one of those unlucky people and it was a major hassle.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update:
I spent an hour learning how to look at live data on my Foxwell NT520 and decipher what all the acronyms stand for on the live data sensor list. I took some screen captures of the sensors Daltongang listed . . . I think I got them all. These readings were while idling in my driveway after the Pilot warmed up. I did not see significant fluctuation in any of the reported values. If anyone is familiar with the expected reported values please let me know. Thanks.

The rough idle this week is no different than it was the prior week after running the bottle of Techron through the fuel tank. But then I didn’t try anything this week so it’s good it didn’t worsen.

594045ED-875A-4ABA-A988-CA244608581D.jpeg
6933921E-15BC-440D-9B15-D638FC9DC80A.jpeg
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84DBCB5F-2FDD-4DB8-8173-851817CE6985.jpeg
 

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