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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2003 pilot with 182,000 miles on it.I have some play in my steering and I’m hearing some noises in my suspension. I took it to my mechanic he said it needs a rack and pinion .any thoughts?
This is about $1000 job just for the rack and Pinion it may be another 500 for suspension work.
I am not sure if I should bite the bullet on this one or maybe try to find another pilot with about 130,000 miles
 

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I doubt that you'll find another Pilot with fewer issues for $1,500 plus whatever yours will sell for. On the other hand, if you haven't already had your timing belt done for the second time, that's another $1,200 you need to plan for. If you prefer to pay someone else to do the work, your Pilot is going to get expensive quickly.

Replacing the steering rack isn't simple, but the rest of the suspension stuff is easy DIY.

If your front suspension is all original, it really needs everything (struts, links, control arms, sway bar bushings) replaced if you plan to keep the car. That's going to be more like another $1,250 from a pro. Get new rear shocks too, while you're at it. The good news is that it will make a huge difference in the way the car handles.
 

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2008 Honda Pilot EX-L 2013 Honda Pilot EX-L
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Is a smooth ride important to you? That's an old car, although the mileage is pretty low considering the age.
I also wouldn't jump straight to replacing the rack and pinion. Start with smaller/cheaper stuff. You can live with worn out suspension parts for a while before they become a safety issue.

Keep in mind that if you do put a couple thousand dollars into the car, if it were to get totaled next week the insurance company won't really care that you just spent that money. There's always a risk with putting a lot of money into an older car that's not worth much.
 

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If I already owned it, I'd fix it. Unless it's a complete rust bucket. You likely would be trading your problems for someone else's problems.
A steering rack will progressively get worse and worse. If you already feel like your a pin ball bouncing off walls, it's best to get it fix soon.
With your front wheels lifted off the ground, grab the tire and try to move horizontally side to side an then vertically. Is there excessive play? That would be the determining factor of what I'd do first, depending on what's worse. You might can buy some time putting the suspension repair off down the road further.
 
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I have a 2003 pilot with 182,000 miles on it.I have some play in my steering and I’m hearing some noises in my suspension. I took it to my mechanic he said it needs a rack and pinion .any thoughts?
This is about $1000 job just for the rack and Pinion it may be another 500 for suspension work.
I am not sure if I should bite the bullet on this one or maybe try to find another pilot with about 130,000 miles
Another Pilot with 130k is not the best answer. Your Pilot has been good to you for 180k so you must have done some maintenance to get there. Now you have to determine whether to invest at least 2500 in rack, suspension, fluids for ATF-PS-PB-rear diff etc to go for the coveted 300k
 

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With a 2003, rust is the big question. If you live in a road salt area, your Pilot is likely to have corrosion problems. No point in doing all that work on a rusted unit body.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Another Pilot with 130k is not the best answer. Your Pilot has been good to you for 180k so you must have done some maintenance to get there. Now you have to determine whether to invest at least 2500 in rack, suspension, fluids for ATF-PS-PB-rear diff etc to go for the coveted 300k
Thanks for input
I already put transmission at
140, 000 miles
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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If the rust isn't too bad, keep it. Start with the suspension work and see how it goes. Get a second opinion on the rank and pinion.
 

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Thanks for input
I already put transmission at
140, 000 miles
Other than the rack the rest of the repairs could be performed by a DIYer on weekends if you’re up to the task which can reduce the overall expense. Plenty of past info on the subject can be found on the forum as well as awesome Piloteers to guide you. The rack will involve lowering the heavy sub-frame which will not be fun without help. If it has not been done consider adding the radiator to the list as Pilots from 2003 are known for radiator failures resulting in the infamous strawberry 🍓 cocktail mixing coolant with ATF
 

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Other than the rack the rest of the repairs could be performed by a DIYer on weekends if you’re up to the task which can reduce the overall expense. Plenty of past info on the subject can be found on the forum as well as awesome Piloteers to guide you. The rack will involve lowering the heavy sub-frame which will not be fun without help. If it has not been done consider adding the radiator to the list as Pilots from 2003 are known for radiator failures resulting in the infamous strawberry 🍓 cocktail mixing coolant with ATF
Actually, I don't believe that the 2003 was a bad year for the radiator failure. 2005 was the real weakest link on that problem.
 

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Actually, I don't believe that the 2003 was a bad year for the radiator failure. 2005 was the real weakest link on that problem.
True but the radiator for nearly any old high mileage first gen Pilot has to be on the recommended list. My 2004 was one lucky Pilot that avoided the strawberry cocktail
C821BCAA-A5B9-402E-B538-D3B435CA91F6.jpeg
🍹 LOL
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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Awesome, where did you find this chart?
On this forum, from a member who compiled it a few years ago. He deserves the credit. Wish I could remember his name.

141160
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Other than the rack the rest of the repairs could be performed by a DIYer on weekends if you’re up to the task which can reduce the overall expense. Plenty of past info on the subject can be found on the forum as well as awesome Piloteers to guide you. The rack will involve lowering the heavy sub-frame which will not be fun without help. If it has not been done consider adding the radiator to the list as Pilots from 2003 are known for radiator failures resulting in the infamous strawberry 🍓 cocktail mixing coolant with ATF
Thanks for info
 
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