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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I'm headed in to the dealership tomorrow for two fixes, one minor and one hopefully minor. Any thoughts, suggestions, appreciated...

The glass rattle/buzz on driver's side is officially driving me nuts, and I'm thinking/hoping they can fix that pretty easily.

The other issue is more troubling. Engine makes knocking/valve chatter sort of noise when accelerating. Soft, subtle but there. Not on all accelerations, and not necessarily on the ones you'd expect it on. I can hear it most often when accelerating, say, up a slight grade after a stop (I live in a moderately hilly area).

I noticed it the first night, but thought it was either my imagination or caused by poor gas. I've been through three or four tanks of gas now, am on 1500 miles, and my husband now hears it too. I've tried different brands of gas, all plus or premium grade, and still hear it.

I guess it's possible it could be a loose something that just rattles at a certain vibration, but my husband says it sounds just like the valves knocking to him.

Thoughts? What could possibly cause this in a brand-new, doesn't need tune-up for 100,000 miles, car?

Diane
 

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Very tough to diagnose, but some things ease to rule out...

Without sitting in your Pilot I can't really get a sense of what your are experiencing, but I can help you to rule out some things.

First, you want to be sure this is not "spark knock" or "detonation". Easy to rule out. If the knock sensor is good, it will retard timing and be noticeable on diagnostic equipment.

Second you want to rule out "valve train noise", again these are easy to rule out. This is sometimes called "valve noise" but in Honda's VTEC system the rockers are "direct actuated" by the cams and there is slight noise as the switch from low rpm to high rpm lobes occurs (this is normal).

You may be hearing some other drivetrain noises, including the engagement of the lock-up torque converter, shifting of the gears or release/engagement of VTM (4 wheel drive) system. Each of these has a normal sound, as well as abnormal noise. Normal sounds are likely to be encountered in all Pilots,
I would expect the serving dealer to allow to test drive another.

Finally there are a number of known "sound annoyances" that have cropped up in Pilots & MDXs. For the most part these have been related to manufacturing/assembly techniques. Some are related to the fuel tank(sloshing), front suspension (thud), bouncing headrests in storage compartment, and similar minor issues. I doubt these are what you are describing.

It seems that the sound as you describe it is related to LOAD, that is when the vehicle is acclerating, especilly up a hill, it is noted. I suspect the same saound is made as accelerate on expressways and such, but the added noise of high speed air/raod surface noises is masking it, whereas when acclerating under load you reach higher RPM with reduced road speed. This strongly suggests the VTEC normal sounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Update on service visit

Wanted to report in on my Pilot's first service visit Friday. All in all, a very good experience with the dealer (Darryl Waltrip Honda in Franklin, TN, outside of Nashville). Also got my rear splashguards (ordered from Tim) installed; my wheel locks (also ordered) put on, and my car washed....

My rattling drivers window glass has been fixed, rather easily and, it seems, completely. They reportedly sprayed some silicon spray on the seals because they were "dry;" said they'd already done the same fix to another Pilot brought back with the same problem. (Moral: don't put up with rattles and buzzes; could be fixed easily).

Second complaint -- the valve chatter/knocking sound heard infrequently but regularly on acceleration at low speeds -- could not be identified by them. They said they couldn't find anything wrong, and coudn't hear anything abnormal on three separate road tests. My service rep even got two other guys to ride in it including his service manager, and then he took another Pilot out to compare, and said they sounded the same to him. He said he never heard anything like knocking.

The transmission also sounded like it was shifting normally to them. And service guy checked it out in the shop before the road tests and found nothing wrong.

They did find that the front tires were out of balance (these are the same ones I had touble with the day I bought the car -- from another dealership -- and they reportedly had been rebalanced before.) Now they've moved these tires to the back, which makes the ride noticeably better. I now hear/feel the vibration coming from the rear, however, and wonder if one of those tires is possibly out of round? Admittedly, I'm a perfectionist...maybe I should just live with it.

The valve knocking noise is still there. My husband and I heard it again last night, and husband says it sounds exactly like valves knocking to him. Would any normal VTEC noises sound like that?? (Renov8r??)

It happens around 30 mph, when accelerating up an incline like a low hill. Doesn't seem to happen all the time, but usually early on in a trip (like within first five minutes of driving). I told my husband that maybe it was happening at other times and we didn't hear it, but he doubts that...we're listening hard and don't hear any sign of it under load at higher speeds (like when passing on the interstate).

Thoughts? Guesses? I feel that if this noise was normal, other Pilot owners would have at least noticed it by now...

Anyway, it's officially noted in my service record, and I guess I'll wait until it gets worse. I just don't want it to be doing any damage to the engine in the meantime. Service reps agreed that engine trouble "is not something that happens to these VTEC engines)." Two of them have been working there two years and have only seen one with engine problems (and it, they said, developed at 50 miles).

Basically, a good visit -- courtesy car ride to and from house offered-- and friendly service.
 

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Re: Update on service visit

TopMomm:

Glad you got most of the problems taken care of.

One question on drivers window glass - does it rattle when you are driving or when you open/close the door ? I feel like the window glass is loose but nothing out of the ordinary though.

TopMomm said:
Wanted to report in on my Pilot's first service visit Friday. All in all, a very good experience with the dealer (Darryl Waltrip Honda in Franklin, TN, outside of Nashville). Also got my rear splashguards (ordered from Tim) installed; my wheel locks (also ordered) put on, and my car washed....

My rattling drivers window glass has been fixed, rather easily and, it seems, completely. They reportedly sprayed some silicon spray on the seals because they were "dry;" said they'd already done the same fix to another Pilot brought back with the same problem. (Moral: don't put up with rattles and buzzes; could be fixed easily).

Second complaint -- the valve chatter/knocking sound heard infrequently but regularly on acceleration at low speeds -- could not be identified by them. They said they couldn't find anything wrong, and coudn't hear anything abnormal on three separate road tests. My service rep even got two other guys to ride in it including his service manager, and then he took another Pilot out to compare, and said they sounded the same to him. He said he never heard anything like knocking.

The transmission also sounded like it was shifting normally to them. And service guy checked it out in the shop before the road tests and found nothing wrong.

They did find that the front tires were out of balance (these are the same ones I had touble with the day I bought the car -- from another dealership -- and they reportedly had been rebalanced before.) Now they've moved these tires to the back, which makes the ride noticeably better. I now hear/feel the vibration coming from the rear, however, and wonder if one of those tires is possibly out of round? Admittedly, I'm a perfectionist...maybe I should just live with it.

The valve knocking noise is still there. My husband and I heard it again last night, and husband says it sounds exactly like valves knocking to him. Would any normal VTEC noises sound like that?? (Renov8r??)

It happens around 30 mph, when accelerating up an incline like a low hill. Doesn't seem to happen all the time, but usually early on in a trip (like within first five minutes of driving). I told my husband that maybe it was happening at other times and we didn't hear it, but he doubts that...we're listening hard and don't hear any sign of it under load at higher speeds (like when passing on the interstate).

Thoughts? Guesses? I feel that if this noise was normal, other Pilot owners would have at least noticed it by now...

Anyway, it's officially noted in my service record, and I guess I'll wait until it gets worse. I just don't want it to be doing any damage to the engine in the meantime. Service reps agreed that engine trouble "is not something that happens to these VTEC engines)." Two of them have been working there two years and have only seen one with engine problems (and it, they said, developed at 50 miles).

Basically, a good visit -- courtesy car ride to and from house offered-- and friendly service.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
QualityDan -- I couldn't believe it when I read that someone else is actually hearing the knocking! I'd thought I was alone with a lemon or something.

And, beyond that, you're also in Nashville!!! Think we're buying a bunch of bad gas or something??? (Actually, I've tried Shell, BP and Exxon, of various grades, and the knocking/rattle is still there.)

FYI, there is a thread on the MDX site (acuramdx.org), which I recently found that sounds identical to my problem. It's in their Knowledge Base, Problem 92, and has been solved for some -- but not all -- by moving the throttle cable bracket slightly. Seems it rattles at certain RPMs and creates a noise which we may be hearing as knocking.

I 've taken it in once (Darryl Waltrip in Franklin, TN) but will now take it back with the new info about the cable bracket. Let me know if you get to Crest first -- also I'd like to hear your description...have you noticed a pattern? certain RPMs or speeds???

I now believe it happens exactly as it was described by one MDX poster --- between 2500 and 3500 RPMs...I can hear it when that happens at low speeds (such as climbing a hill at, say, 30-35 MPH.

After the engine shifts down and the RPMs drop, the knocking stops also.

Feel free, Dan, to e-mail me with more info. This knocking is bothering me -- a lot.

Diane
 

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Diane- Do you always buy gas at same place? A thought might be to try a different brand (or even try a mid-grade octane). I know that my (nonPilot) car's performance is extremely sensitive to not only the octane grade , but the brand of gas I use.
Just a relatively "no cost" suggestion that may be worth giving a try.
-Dave
 

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Yeah, I think dave may be right. thats why I had a previous post about what gas everybody used. so anyone who isnt experiencing this problem, could you tell us what type of gas you are using?
 

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Bracket rattle

You can actually see this bracket. With hood open (and engine off) trace the cable back toward the shock tower. If the bracket has any play in it, you will need to tighten the bolt. Then it is a simple matter to bend it to proper clearance (it's stamped metal).
 

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Anyone Solved the Knocking Problem?

I have been experiencing the same problem discribed here and it's driving me nuts. I have had nothing but positive experiences so far with my Pilot other than this hopefully minor issue.

I notice it anytime the RPMs run between 3000-4000 and even sitting still in the driveway in neutral. I also don't live in Nashville and have tried multiple brands of gas.

Any luck with the throttle cable for anyone (more info would be great as I'm not sure where its located or how to repair). What about dealer experiences? I need to take it in but am afraid the dealer will not admit to hearing the problem.
 

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Hi TopMomm,

I had the acceleration rattle you describe in my Pilot (Havasu Blue #953). My problem turned out to be the throttle cable bracket vibrating against the strut tower. To solve this problem, grasp the bracket and bend it by hand away from the tower. My service rep rode up and down the street with me until he heard it, then we fixed the bracket in his parking lot using the info from this board I shared with him. Haven't heard it since.

Here is a pic of the bracket from acuramdx.org.



You can find the pic and the related discussion in this thread.
 

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Re: Anyone Solved the Knocking Problem?

Wolfman_matt said:
I have been experiencing the same problem discribed here and it's driving me nuts. I have had nothing but positive experiences so far with my Pilot other than this hopefully minor issue.

I notice it anytime the RPMs run between 3000-4000 and even sitting still in the driveway in neutral. I also don't live in Nashville and have tried multiple brands of gas.

Any luck with the throttle cable for anyone (more info would be great as I'm not sure where its located or how to repair). What about dealer experiences? I need to take it in but am afraid the dealer will not admit to hearing the problem.
Mine was diagnosed as a hydraulic leak in the belt tensioner. Engine knocked between 2000-3000 rpm. It was replaced, under warranty, a few weeks ago.
 

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Casdas & Spartanman - thanks for the info! I will let you know how things turn out.
 

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Thanks - Problem Apparently Solved!

Casdas - thanks again for the tip. I went out and immediately found and bent the bracket (with my bare hands - it's pretty flimzy). I took her for a test drive around the block and haven't heard the noise since. An amazingly simple fix that I'm sure took some detective work on somebodies' part.

My Pilot is now trouble free

:D
 

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No prob Wolfman, I'm glad it was your solution. If your Pilot was like mine was, as soon as you saw the bracket, you could tell it had been vibrating against the tower.

ToppMom, re: your glass squeak and the way it was fixed. I just want to say that on the 21st of this month, I will have had Havasu Blue #953 for one year. I have not had this problem. I keep the Pilot washed, waxed, and detailed, and I regularly dress all of the seals with 303 Aerospace Protectant. I'm not saying it is the only product that could help - obviously the silicone lube did - but it might be worth your effort to purchase some and use it on a regular basis. I apply it at least monthly. You should be able to purchase some at a local boat/marine dealer.
 
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