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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

Though I am new on this forum, I have been lurking for a while and learned a lot from this forum.

I have a 2004 Pilot EXL with 170K miles. While I am happy that she has been running strong, I am trying to improve the gas mileage without much success: I got 15-16 mpg with a mix of highway/local drive.

My recent preventive maintenance work:
1) 150K: replaced spark plugs and PCV valve (2nd time of replacing).
2) 153K: replaced the EGR valve
3) 156K: new tires & wheel alignment
4) 158K: new timing belt + water pump
5) 164K: replaced the MAP sensor
6) 165K: replaced 2 O2 sensors
7) 170K: ATF tranmission flush

Recently the condenser and radiator are also replaced: they were leaky so they are not preventive maintenance.

I am actively looking for things to work on and in particular to improve the gas mileage. What else should I look or do?
 

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I didn’t see engine air filter on your list. Also are you using the specified grade of engine oil (5w-20 I believe)?
You might also clean the air intake tube and throttle body/butterfly plate. I believe you need to take extra precautions if the throttle body is electronic.
 

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On top of the air intake plenum there is a cover that houses the EGR passages, just cleaned mine recently is had a lot of carbon build up. I noticed a difference in overall performance
 

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What should be the avg MPG for the Pilot? We also avg around 15-16 (85% + is highway)
 

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15-16 would be ok for first gen awd on highway if you are doing 80mpg or towing or have a roof box on on to etc. Most first gen's experienced a drop in MPG going away from the awful Goofyear tires they put on at the factory. 18/19 was about as you get in everyday use. Best ever was a fluke drive possibly pump error of 23, best when trying was 22. I don't drive it much but put Ecopia tires on it 20k ago and the mpg improved to where it was with the Goofyears (it was a typo, I'm keeping it). Mine only did 15-16 running short trips around town with max AC usage or max heater usage in depth of winter.

Best way to improve mpg is always going light with your right foot followed by keeping up with recommended maintenance.

Fuel Economy of the 2005 Honda Pilot 4WD
 

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Our 2005 (AWD; 2wd not available) Pilot gets about 14-15mpg for 50/50 city/highway driving. I think the best we’ve ever done is 18-19mpg on an all highway road trip.

These things are heavy and boxy which doesn’t bode well for fuel economy. Anyone who gets 20+ mpg must live in a flat area with a constant tailwind or drive 55mph on the highway.?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I didn’t see engine air filter on your list. Also are you using the specified grade of engine oil (5w-20 I believe)?
You might also clean the air intake tube and throttle body/butterfly plate. I believe you need to take extra precautions if the throttle body is electronic.
The air filter is changed every 12 months or about 10K miles.

I do have 5W-20 synthetic.
 

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For most of my time owning my 2005, I have consistently been getting just under 20mpg with Goodyear Assurance tires (which is the 2nd set on the vehicle, not sure what came on from factory). 19.5+/- mpg has been my magic range lately. I'll get up around 21-22 when taking a longer highway trip. For a while, I was getting 21 pretty consistently, then I realized I was overinflating my tires.


I've been prompt with standard maintenance....oil changes every 6-7K miles....atf fluid (w/additives) every 20-22k....I have a heavier foot than most. But most of my driving is on standard state roads with probably an average speed of 60-65. On highways, I'm 75+ depending on which highway. I live on the eastern shore of Maryland, so it's all flat.


You'd probably squeeze a little more mpg by overinflating your tires a few lbs. Also, set your cruise as often as possible, and I definitely noticed when I first bought mine, that it seemed sensitive to aggressive acceleration. Ease out of stop signs and lights as much as possible. Smooth and consistent acceleration seemed to make a big difference for me.
 

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Valve adjustment. At that mileage they are surely in need of adjustment and that will make a difference.
Turn off the A/C when not needed.
Coast to each stoplight.Don't be in a hurry.
EGR valve cleaning. (egr fills the cylinder with a bit of exhaust, displacing the space that would otherwise get filled with fuel/air mix)
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
"On top of the air intake plenum there is a cover that houses the EGR passages, just cleaned mine recently is had a lot of carbon build up. I noticed a difference in overall performance"

=> Today I opened the air intake plenum and cleaned it: there was so much carbon built up that some grooves were completely filled with carbon deposits. I am sure that the engine will be happy after removing them.
 

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The gasket is metal, and can be reused multiple times. Replace it if you see large dents, dimples or major scatches.
 

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Has anyone considered swapping to lighter wheels? Tirerack.com currently lists 31 16" models that are lighter than the 22.75 lb OEM wheels.

If you are likely to also play around in the dirt, I'd stay away from the spindly little 5 spoke types, but they have some that should hold up to a little bouncing.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
An update: I replaced the differential oil for the first time after owning the car for about 15 years. I am starting to get 18-19mpg with a mixed of local/highway driving, a big improvement from 15-16mpg before.
 

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I replaced rear diff fluid and had no change whatsoever in MPG on my 50/50 HW/city driving: 19+
I run 36 PSI in the front and 35 PSI in the rear tires cold.
 

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What did the 15 year old VTM fluid look like compared to the new fluid you put in?
 

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Well, there's the old adage of driving like there's an egg between your foot and the accelerator.

But what fun is that?

For one thing, you'll never experience the thrill of "VTEC just kicked in, yo."?

I mean drive safe, but have fun. Improve your fuel economy by combining trips instead.
 
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