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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my 2007 Pilot a year ago. I have never had any issues/codes with it until this week, currently 145k miles on it.

It threw a code with rough idle, misfire on cylinder 5. Taking off the coil it was so fried it broke. I was able to get it out but was unable to get the plug out because of the debris burnt around it. Fearing I was getting in over my head at this point, I took it to a independent shop near me. On the way over the plug shot out. We found the plug, which looked like it had been previously installed cross threaded/crooked - now the previous coil condition was making more sense. All the threads are now gone for the plug. The shop called me back today after taking out all the plugs (to double check the thread job on them) and they recommended that they take the front head off and send the head out to have the threads machined back in (stated time-cert or helicoil was out of the question due to area being totally cleared in the blow out). Quote was for around 13.5 hours at $4k. Or $5k for a new head ordered from Honda. The quote also included all new plugs/coils, and a full timing belt job due to the decreased hours at that point. Does this quote seem reasonable or not? I'm in the Denver area. Getting a second opinion sounds difficult at this point, either towing or them taking my word without seeing he vehicle.

Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I did read the number of the posts regarding similar issues people have had and the time-cert fix. Just not sure how to assess what point it is at myself, or taking their word for it. Also, for the people asking on those threads - how was the longevity of the fix. I am not sure I am comfortable doing that myself, or who I can find that would be doing it for me at this point.
 

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What are they charging you to rebuild the head? There are good used heads on www.car-part.com .
No, I don't like the price. Seems excessive.
 
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Yikes. I am not spending $4k to fix 3 spark plug holes. I would find another shop. The fronts head should be easy to fix. They make longer tools for repairing those recessed spark plugs. I would call around and talk to some other local shops.
 

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Yikes. I am not spending $4k to fix 3 spark plug holes. I would find another shop. The fronts head should be easy to fix. They make longer tools for repairing those recessed spark plugs. I would call around and talk to some other local shops.
I'd consider a complete engine replacement if I was going to spend 4k. There may be more damage to the cylinder. I'd get the vehicle home and DIY.

For the audience...,

Plugs melting like this is usually caused by not tightening the spark plug to the proper specifications (not tight enough).
 
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I agree with huntertn, the repair quote smells funny. Make a few calls for a second opinion. Talk to Honda service about thread repair. Use the Click and Clack "Mechanic Files" search to find a highly rated independant mech for a second opinion on thread repair.
 

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I did read the number of the posts regarding similar issues people have had and the time-cert fix. Just not sure how to assess what point it is at myself, or taking their word for it. Also, for the people asking on those threads - how was the longevity of the fix. I am not sure I am comfortable doing that myself, or who I can find that would be doing it for me at this point.
If you are a handy DIY, why not take a shot at the time-cert repair? What do you have to lose?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I consider myself handy DIY but don't necessarily feel comfortable boring out the valve area by myself.

I am currently calling for other opinions or someone else to consider the cert. The first place stated 'there wasn't enough there for a cert to work'. Can this be true? If I got a time-cert to work would that be more of a band-aid? I am thinking about towing a pop-up camper or state-state road trips.

Honda won't tell me anything. Service individuals can't seem to find a correct entry in their drop down menu in their system of what needs to be done and I can't talk to someone who knows cars there. The best they can do is tell me rates for typical jobs like $1300 for a full timing belt job. They are insisting on taking a look at it themselves before giving me any ideas. $160/hr for diagnosis. Seems like this issue spans the Honda line too much to have them be that round-about in their approach.
 

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Plugs melting like this is usually caused by not tightening the spark plug to the proper specifications (not tight enough).
I reiterate this from time to time, so I hope that savvy Piloteers and even lurkers now include checking spark plugs and retorquing them to spec as part of scheduled maintenance. It shouldn't have to be so, but it is. This thread is a sad reminder of why.
 

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I agree. We have only had the car for 1.5 years, purcahsed from a small dealership, and have put 20k on it. I don't know when the last time the spark plugs were done or by whom. I am not sure how I would have been aware of this prior to purchase, guess that's the risk when buying used?

I got a quote engine replacement at $9400...that's more than I paid for the care itself.
 

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I agree. We have only had the car for 1.5 years, purcahsed from a small dealership, and have put 20k on it. I don't know when the last time the spark plugs were done or by whom. I am not sure how I would have been aware of this prior to purchase, guess that's the risk when buying used?

I got a quote engine replacement at $9400...that's more than I paid for the care itself.
If you do not have a good trusted mechanic where you live find one. If nothing else this may help. Mechanics Files

Next time you go to buy a used vehicle take it to a trusted mechanic and have them give it a thorough pre purchase inspection. Mine does it now for $65, used to be $45. They look it over well, hoist it up and give it a complete inspection under the hood, they will check all of the fluids, the vehicle for worn or improper parts or fixes, leaks, as well as pulling the plugs and examining them for issues. They can then give you a list of things that are either a concern or just plain need replacing. Sometimes it may be something like brake pads, sometimes it may be an engine or transmission issue that negates the purchasing of that particular vehicle. $65 is good piece of mind that you are not getting taken with a vehicle that has obvious issues to the trained eye.

Secondly, what ever a used vehicle costs you, plan on spending $500 to $1000 more on that vehicle. At the very least, the oil, tranny fluid, differential fluid and filters should be changed including the air filter and cabin filter. Also change out the coolant. If you're not sure of the brake fluid change it or have it done. Same thing with the power steering pump. Those fluids, especially brake fluid, deteriorate over time and need changing as well.

There is no way to ensure that you won't have some kind of issue, but a little up front preventative maintenance can go a long way, especially with a used vehicle.
 

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$65 is good piece of mind that you are not getting taken with a vehicle that has obvious issues to the trained eye.
Werd.

It's the best money you can spend on a used vehicle, arguably even moreso if you end up not buying it.
 

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This is a classic old Pilot risk/reward challenge.

Its only a Pilot. It's utilitarian transportation. Those of us that drive old ones seem to be most interested in low cost per mile and basic reliability. I assume you're in the same boat.

You're never going to get a definitive answer to "what's best?" That depends on your personal calculus. All you know for sure is that a good mechanic will always recommend a solution that they are confident won't fail prematurely, and a dealer will always cost a lot more. All the advice on this page is good. You just have to decide what's best for you.

I would try a helicoil. Its fast, its cheap, and your head is already compromised. New heads are under $700 online. If the helicoil fails, I would put in a salvaged head. Your mechanic will probably do the helicoil for you if you agree there's no warranty.

However - if you need the assurance of a warranty and DIY isn't an option in the future, you may want to consider unloading the Pilot. I don't think that the cost of paying someone else to fix an old one is justifiable vs. getting something newer that is less likely to need work, if low cost per mile is important.
 

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Werd.

It's the best money you can spend on a used vehicle, arguably even moreso if you end up not buying it.
If I were looking at buying a used vehicle then yes to me it is money well spent if it keeps me from buying a money pit in a cream puff body. We've seen a couple of those lately here, remember. One was listed as an AWD but there was not rear differential, the other if I remember correctly, was basically a total fabrication on the vehicle description.
 

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I would call an automotive machine shop and see what they say. A good machine shop can do wonders. If they don't want to mess with it in the car I would ask them to give you a couple of names of competent local shops who might be able to help.

I have not seen how bad the hole is so I really can't say if it can be fixed on the car or not but they do make a oversized sparkplug repair Timesert called a BIG-SERT.
 
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