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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I am a new Pilot owner, I bought a 2017 EX-L 6 speed with 56k on it. Very clean and taken care of. however.......

Around 40mph or so, the RPMs are jumping around. And you can literally feel it as well, it mostly happens while going up slight hills. You can hear it as well (vroom..1sec hesitation..vroom..1sec hesitation) and so on. the RPMs are not jumping very high, I think it only jumps to 2000RPMs. This is actually quite annoying...I didn't think much of it at first but it happens quite often.

I have done some research and it seems that other people had similar problems (I think). Is there a tried and true fix for this? Should I be concerned?

I saw that some people said to change the transmission fluid, but I brought that up with the dealer and they just tilted their head at me...like "huh?".

Not that happy about this considering it's a certified honda vehicle. who knows what that truly means.
 

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It sounds like you are describing a slipping transmission? Unless you have an extended warranty, your Honda power train warranty will expire at 60,000 miles. Our 2018 needed a new torque converter under warranty at 58,500. You should have a dealer service advisor ride with you and document the issue in writing. If the car sets a trouble code, have that followed up and documented as well, to try to get a warranty repair if needed.

This may be related to torque converter wear caused by the VCM system.
 

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The VCM is playing havoc on your torque converter clutch lock. This is a serious problem that can eventually destroy your transmission. There is a technical service bulletin (TSB) for this problem. It involves a 3 time drain and fill of the ATF and a software update. Get to a Honda dealership asap. If you have no warranty like me. I've done the multiple drain, fill and drive service myself along with disabling the VCM that also solves the problem.
I would advise to stop driving the vehicle until this is fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have no idea what these things are, but I will take it in hopefully today then. That really pisses me off...why would they not just update the software when they are "certifying" the car? Smells like BS to me.

I am also confused as to why all of the guys I have talked to have never heard of this problem. If several others are seeing the same thing, the dealership should be seeing the same. I certainly don't feel like a 1 in a million case here.

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll report back after I take it in.
 

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I have no idea what these things are, but I will take it in hopefully today then. That really pisses me off...why would they not just update the software when they are "certifying" the car? Smells like BS to me.

I am also confused as to why all of the guys I have talked to have never heard of this problem. If several others are seeing the same thing, the dealership should be seeing the same. I certainly don't feel like a 1 in a million case here.

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll report back after I take it in.
Keep in mind that this service may have been performed when the previous owner had it. If that's the case, this transmission may already be toast.
 

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Bring in a copy of the TSB (link below) if you have to. Sometimes you have to actually show it to them in order for the techs to admit it exists.

 

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I have no idea what these things are, but I will take it in hopefully today then. That really pisses me off...why would they not just update the software when they are "certifying" the car? Smells like BS to me.

I am also confused as to why all of the guys I have talked to have never heard of this problem. If several others are seeing the same thing, the dealership should be seeing the same. I certainly don't feel like a 1 in a million case here.

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll report back after I take it in.
I have to believe that the dealerships are aware of the VCM issues, but are reluctant to admit anything. I had to wait for two weeks for a new torque converter, Honda was short this part nationwide. Service advisor said he had no idea why.
 

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Hello,
I am a new Pilot owner, I bought a 2017 EX-L 6 speed with 56k on it. Very clean and taken care of. however.......

Around 40mph or so, the RPMs are jumping around. And you can literally feel it as well, it mostly happens while going up slight hills. You can hear it as well (vroom..1sec hesitation..vroom..1sec hesitation) and so on. the RPMs are not jumping very high, I think it only jumps to 2000RPMs. This is actually quite annoying...I didn't think much of it at first but it happens quite often.

I have done some research and it seems that other people had similar problems (I think). Is there a tried and true fix for this? Should I be concerned?

I saw that some people said to change the transmission fluid, but I brought that up with the dealer and they just tilted their head at me...like "huh?".

Not that happy about this considering it's a certified honda vehicle. who knows what that truly means.
Hello! I bought the same pilot as you with 49000 miles on it four months ago. First, let me say that a lot of people on this forum are amazing with their intelligence as well as correspondence. I had exactly the problem you are having. This is why I joined the forum originally. I performed the recommend tsb myself which is flushing and filling the trans three times. This took care of the large rpm deviations +/- 2000 that bounce back and forth. The fluid seems to burn prematurely and lose its ability to perform correctly. Mine was burnt to all hell when I drained it even though it was supposedly changed. I don’t know much, but I can see and more importantly smell burnt trans fluid. My pilot is Honda certified as well and they should have caught it, but the workers are just like us and I’m sure sometimes they cut corners too. Maybe they just sign off on stuff because everyone knows Honda is a quality product. I might too in that position, who knows? Or they may follow the rules to a tee. The other thing that you are feeling and seeing reflected is that pain of a vcm system. I had correspondence with several posters on here and just installed a device to get around that. I’m going through the evaluation and critique process now, just today actually. There is enough talent and info on this forum to get around and deal with most of the problems you will encounter. Where you will get burned up financially is if you are not doing your own work. Stealerships always come up with some bs for why they can’t fix your problem, up to and including denying they exist. Have a great one and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hello! I bought the same pilot as you with 49000 miles on it four months ago. First, let me say that a lot of people on this forum are amazing with their intelligence as well as correspondence. I had exactly the problem you are having. This is why I joined the forum originally. I performed the recommend tsb myself which is flushing and filling the trans three times. This took care of the large rpm deviations +/- 2000 that bounce back and forth. The fluid seems to burn prematurely and lose its ability to perform correctly. Mine was burnt to all hell when I drained it even though it was supposedly changed. I don’t know much, but I can see and more importantly smell burnt trans fluid. My pilot is Honda certified as well and they should have caught it, but the workers are just like us and I’m sure sometimes they cut corners too. Maybe they just sign off on stuff because everyone knows Honda is a quality product. I might too in that position, who knows? Or they may follow the rules to a tee. The other thing that you are feeling and seeing reflected is that pain of a vcm system. I had correspondence with several posters on here and just installed a device to get around that. I’m going through the evaluation and critique process now, just today actually. There is enough talent and info on this forum to get around and deal with most of the problems you will encounter. Where you will get burned up financially is if you are not doing your own work. Stealerships always come up with some bs for why they can’t fix your problem, up to and including denying they exist. Have a great one and good luck.
Yeah I just got my Pilot serviced yesterday. The service department was actually pretty helpful, however, they should have changed the transmission fluid before selling the car...But my update is, they just replaced the transmission fluid and it is good as new. They said that my software was already up to date, and they did not have to do a triple drain of the transmission fluid to make the problem go away. My pilot truly feels like a perfect vehicle now. So the lesson here is simple-Replace your transmission fluid every like 30-40k miles, perhaps sooner...to ensure that the pilot is chugging along nicely. FIXED
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have to believe that the dealerships are aware of the VCM issues, but are reluctant to admit anything. I had to wait for two weeks for a new torque converter, Honda was short this part nationwide. Service advisor said he had no idea why.
Yeah the first guy I talked to gave me a head tilt, but the second guy said "Oh yeah it's probably just your torque converter, it happens every now and then, but not very often". They did a transmission fluid change and presto. All set.
 

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I would proceed with caution.
I'd always be checking for the "Erratic RPM Gauge of Death", this is most noticeable in cruise.
I'd also do ATF drain and fills at least every 20k. Especially after a hot summer season of stop and go driving.
 

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Yeah the first guy I talked to gave me a head tilt, but the second guy said "Oh yeah it's probably just your torque converter, it happens every now and then, but not very often". They did a transmission fluid change and presto. All set.
Did they write down that the torque converter was slipping on your repair ticket? Or did the transmission set any trouble code? If you have documentation of this now, before 60k miles, then you have a case for a warranty claim in the future. If you need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Did they write down that the torque converter was slipping on your repair ticket? Or did the transmission set any trouble code? If you have documentation of this now, before 60k miles, then you have a case for a warranty claim in the future. If you need it.
All that they wrote on the ticket was that the RPM variation was caused by break down of the transmission fluid. Replacement of the original transmission fluid fixed it.
 

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This problem may return. In my opinion, the VCM system is the cause. By deliberately slipping the torque converter lockup clutch, VCM wears out the fluid and the clutch itself. This is exactly why I installed the S-VCM device to prevent additional damage.
 

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All that they wrote on the ticket was that the RPM variation was caused by break down of the transmission fluid. Replacement of the original transmission fluid fixed it.
Was there 30k miles on the old DW-1 ATF? If not, that proves what @STMech is pointing out.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Was there 30k miles on the old DW-1 ATF? If not, that proves what @STMech is pointing out.
I'm pretty sure the transmission fluid had a full 56k miles on it (which is the mileage of it when I bought it). So they should have replaced the fluid as soon as they took it in....I'll have to look at the paper work on the car though to be sure. They gave me a maintenance history paper.
 

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I'm pretty sure the transmission fluid had a full 56k miles on it (which is the mileage of it when I bought it). So they should have replaced the fluid as soon as they took it in....I'll have to look at the paper work on the car though to be sure. They gave me a maintenance history paper.
Sounds very similar to my case when I purchased my 16 EXL from a Honda dealer with 50k. I was getting some minor rpm fluctuations at 50mph when the car was still warming up. A 3x drain /fill fixed it but I still didn't like the way the car was down shifting when coasting to stop, so I installed a SVCM disabler and now the car is performing the way it should.
 

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BlankoNinio,
I don't know your skills on do it yourself or if you have a place to do it. I would recommend doing 2 more drain and fills to get more of the other fluid swapped out like the TSB says. Consider getting a tranny cooler if you don't have one and then possibly a VCM disabling device. If you have the 6 speed transmission, D&F is about $50 in materials if you do it using factory fluid. Amazon will deliver to your door. Dealer cost on fluid might be close. My dealer charged $299 for the D&F and $199 for rear differential. Most of the group answering has done some or all of this and we know how bad and hot the fluid and tranny can get in a short time. You can search on the members posts and see the pictures of what we did.

Update your profile so that when you hover your flag it shows location etc. There might be a member real close that could help if needed or just to hold a beer and annoy you while you're crawling under the truck :unsure::LOL: .
 

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BlankoNinio,
I don't know your skills on do it yourself or if you have a place to do it. I would recommend doing 2 more drain and fills to get more of the other fluid swapped out like the TSB says. Consider getting a tranny cooler if you don't have one and then possibly a VCM disabling device. If you have the 6 speed transmission, D&F is about $50 in materials if you do it using factory fluid. Amazon will deliver to your door. Dealer cost on fluid might be close. My dealer charged $299 for the D&F and $199 for rear differential. Most of the group answering has done some or all of this and we know how bad and hot the fluid and tranny can get in a short time. You can search on the members posts and see the pictures of what we did.

Update your profile so that when you hover your flag it shows location etc. There might be a member real close that could help if needed or just to hold a beer and annoy you while you're crawling under the truck :unsure::LOL: .
[/QUOTE
D&F's are actually easy to do IMHO- I do understand not everyone can do it though.
The Rear Diff is also EASY- if you even have 4WD.

For the Tranny- Use the valvoline MaxLife ATF- ~$18 at Walmart. So, if you did it 3 times over a few weeks, it's still under $60!
The Rear diff however should be done with the Honda VTM-4 fluid- still less the $40 shipped Prime on Amazon.
Get the pump for the rear diff to pump it in, usually less than $10- and re usable.

You paid some big markup and labor costs, and I understand not just you,but others who pay the dealer to do it also.

There are many threads on how to perform each of these fluid changes.

IIWY, I'd do a few more tranny d&f's with the Valvoline Maxlife. Tried and true, and yes, you can mix it with the Honda fluid.
 
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D&F's are actually easy to do IMHO- I do understand not everyone can do it though.
The Rear Diff is also EASY- if you even have 4WD.

For the Tranny- Use the valvoline MaxLife ATF- ~$18 at Walmart. So, if you did it 3 times over a few weeks, it's still under $60!
The Rear diff however should be done with the Honda VTM-4 fluid- still less the $40 shipped Prime on Amazon.
Get the pump for the rear diff to pump it in, usually less than $10- and re usable.

You paid some big markup and labor costs, and I understand not just you,but others who pay the dealer to do it also.

There are many threads on how to perform each of these fluid changes.

IIWY, I'd do a few more tranny d&f's with the Valvoline Maxlife. Tried and true, and yes, you can mix it with the Honda fluid.
I do most myself. I wanted some dealer "on record" versions. They did the 10k rear D&F when the MM came up. I had them do it again at 20k knowing I was towing a bunch upcoming, same scenario for tranny.

I've done tranny 2-3 times since then, rear 1x, front diff 1x. as well as the tranny filter replacement and tranny cooler. I'm not switching to VML yet. Still not sold on the different shift characteristics from when I did CRV. I don't drive it that often (wifes) and she likes as is so DW-1 with a little LG red and more frequent changes for now.
 
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