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Discussion Starter #1
I finally got my wife out to test-drive a Pilot today. She's been waiting, since I decided to wait for the 2004's. We had free time today so she agreed to stop by the dealership.

They had a demo Pilot with a little over 1300 miles on it. My wife drove. Once we got on the expressway, I began hearing a very annoying noise from the passenger door. I told her that this must be the "scrunch" that people refer to on the forum. She didn't hear it until it was time for me to drive. I also heard a slight scrunch coming from the driver's door while I was driving.

Once we returned to the dealership, I asked the salesman how old the Pilot was. He said that from the serial number, not very old. I then told him why I asked. Of course, I got the run around..."I've never heard of the door scrunch issue"...

Like I told the salesman, I could not stand driving a vehicle with a noise like that. I also told him that I was disappointed that Honda has not addressed and fixed this issue at the factory.

Some questions for those of you "in the know":

1. Has Honda fixed the scrunch problem?

2. Is there a real fix for the problem? (yes, I've search this site for a fix. I have not been able to read anything about a permanent fix.)

3. Does the MDX have the scrunch problem?

4. Since I'm really annoyed by noises like this, should I look at purchasing something else?


We really like how the Pilot drives. We like the size and cargo space. I'd like to purchase the Pilot if I knew I wouldn't have an unacceptable/unfixable problem with it.

Thank you for your helpful input!

Jim
 

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Scrunch...

There have posts that suggest that Honda is aware of the "scrunch" and the root cause appears to be motion of the door against the seal.

The MDX has not had this problem, probably because the MDX has a differently shaped door and the weight distribution is just slightly different.

The 2004 Pilots might address this 'issue' by making changes to the seals and/or making other changes that would reduce/eliminate the motion of the door against the seal BUT there is not guarantee of that...

The majority of the "fixes" that have been attempted by the dealers involve working to get the alignment of the door dead on perfect. The seals can also be lubed to quiet them.

If the noise REALLY bothers you you should make sure that it is not present in the vehicle you buy, as the "fixes" are MOSTLY temporary that MAY not lead to "permanently addressing the root cause" -- you would also be smart to wait until well into the 2004 model year to see IF Honda makes assembly based changes & IF they are "permanent".

The Pilot has MANY great features, but if you get one with a problem that yo just can't ignore you will always regret it...
 

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Noises

Junglejim, we bought a Pilot in July, it now has over 1600 miles. Our Pilot does not have the door scrunch that some people have complained about. To be exact our Pilot has had no problems at all but again it only has 1600 miles on it. Many owners have had zero problems with their Pilots with much higher mileage. If you are worried: 1) Only buy a vehicle you have test drove and has zero problems. or 2) Wait until the 2004 come out. Some place I remember reading that Honda was going to stiffen the body on the 04's. This should reduce body flex and thus end the scrunch problems. But, this is only what I remember reading about, I would make sure Honda is actually going to done this. I am sorry this post is not much help. But, the scrunch and some of these other problems seem so far to be hit or miss on the Pilot.

One, question I do have about some of these problems are the late production run vehicles having these same problems? Or, is it only in the lower vins earlier production run units?? It would be interesting to see if Honda has made some changes? I know from my previous Honda ownership that Honda has made production changes during the year. Keep on Piloting! Regards Rockman
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Noises

rockman19762001 said:


One, question I do have about some of these problems are the late production run vehicles having these same problems? Or, is it only in the lower vins earlier production run units?? It would be interesting to see if Honda has made some changes? I know from my previous Honda ownership that Honda has made production changes during the year. Keep on Piloting! Regards Rockman
The VIN on the demo indicated it was made toward the end of the 2003 production. This is exactly why I asked the salesman about the VIN.

I was extremely disappointed that the demo Pilot had the scrunch. I am seriously rethinking our purchase of the Pilot. It's sad, because the Pilot meets most of our needs. But I'd rather compromise on our needs and get a vehicle the I won't be annoyed and frustrated with.

Our 97 CRV just turned 100,000 miles on our trip up to Minn from Ohio. It has had zero problems since we purchased it new. Maybe Honda should just stick to making smaller vehicles?

Something else that was interesting. The Honda salesman admitted to me that he thought Honda quality had dropped slightly. But he also said that Honda made a recent announcement that Honda was "going back" to what it did well....making high quality vehicles. He said that Honda was concentrating too much on growing the company in response to criticism that certain vehicles were too hard to get, instead of concentrating on traditional Honda standards.

Again, a big disappointment today on our test drive on the Pilot.
 

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Re. Scrunch

I too have the dreaded scrunch. Picked it up around 2,000 miles into ownership. I probably wouldn't have noticed it if I hadn't become aware of the noise in this forum. It doesn't bother me that much though.

There have been several members who have had their scrunch problem fixed with the use of teflon tape along the door where the seal meets the door. I have not heard of a single member who had successfully used this fix where the fix was only temporary. In other words, once it was fixed, it stayed fixed.

I have not personally tried the teflon tape fix nor will I have the dealer try it when I bring my Pilot in for service, like I said, it doesn't really bother me.

If you are picky, or sensitive to the scrunch, and you would not want to try the teflon tape 'fix' then I would recommend you wait and test drive a 2004 that has been around for a while just to see if maybe the problem has been fixed more permanently somehow.

Good luck on your decision.
 

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Quality Slipping

As a five time Honda buyer beginning with an '83 Accord, I would agree both quality and Honda's responsiveness to problems appears to have at first risen and now slipped. It's also somewhat interesting that folks keep getting the "what scrunch?" initial response from Honda.

The September Consumer Reports lists reliability as very good for the Pilot versus excellent for some of the Pilot's competition [versus poor for some others].

I had the "scrunch" from the get-go, have formally documented it to Honda, and would be terribly annoyed if the Shinetsu treatment of the door seals had not put Mr. Scrunch into at least acceptable remission. That said, 14 months and 15,000 miles into ownership, the Pilot is still one very nice and versatile vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: door seals

Scoobs said:
Looking around the MDX forum...it just doesn't seem to be an ongoing issure. I've also heard that they stiffened the MDX recently.

I also read a post here about a member speaking to a Honda rep about the issue. I copied the post, but not the author (sorry).

"He said the window scrunch problem is really a body flex issue. They have had meetings "at very high levels" and they need to stiffen the unit/body but that will not be ready for 2004 or at least the early 2004 models. I asked why the MDX does not have this issue since they are very similar, but the Pilot does. He said the Pilot is slightly larger than the MDX and they didn't expect that the slightly larger size would cause these problems but they did. He seemed to be very honest with me and admitted that it's a real problem, but there's nothing they can do about it at this time, and he doubts there will be any kind of "refit" for existing cars. He said they can minimize the sound of the scrunch by lubricating the door seals, but the body flex is still there and is the real problem, but if you keep the seals lubricated regularly you may never notice it and it is not a safety issue."

How slow is Honda going to move on this?
 

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I also have two friends in the TO area with MDXs and they both have the door seal scrunch. Given the other problems that seem to inhabit the MDX the doorseal scrunch may not seem like such a big issue to them.
There also aren't as many complaints on the MDX boards about the paint but any MDXs that I have seen, particularly silver ones, have the same paint issues as the Pilot. The paint issue, however, seems to be discussed at much greater length on the pilot boards.
 
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