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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A story for my fellow Pilot owners - I know this group will appreciate this story. It's a long one - but I know you'll want the details!

On July 25th, I drove from Ontario, Canada to Pittsburgh, PA. I was granted permission to enter the US to pick up my daughters from their dad who lives in the US. While I was there, my 2018 Touring (Elite in the US) with ~78,000kms (~48,000miles) went into complete transmission failure, 500 miles from home, during a pandemic. 馃槨

I was coming off the interstate and a notification came up on the dash that parking system wasn't working. I didn't think too much of it, I just assumed their was dirt or something in the sensors. Us Canadians usually dig snow out of them. My next stop was Trader Joe's, and that was the only light on. Got out of Trader Joe's and when I restarted the car, it came up with three warnings on the dash now: 1. Parking System Failure 2. Blind Spot Monitor Failure and the big one 3. Transmission System Failure. Not good.

I called to get towed to the nearest Honda Dealer. With the push button transmission, they can't get it into neutral to get it on a flatbed. No power to the buttons at all. So, I had to wait two days until they could get a truck in to moved it because of the AWD.

Timeline from arrival at the dealer outside Pittsburgh on the Monday:
Monday - diagnose of Transmission Control Module. Part is ordered overnight.
Tuesday - part doesn't show
Wednesday - part arrives and they can't get it to calibrate. Says it's because of the two countries cars being slightly different. Whatever that means. That evening I rented a car to drive the 5 hours home. (Costco for car rentals, and Enterprise for the car were great!!)

Add 6 more weeks of BS and on the phone with Honda Canada Customer Service, the dealer I bought it from in Ontario (great dealership in SW Ontario PM me if you want the name of it) and the dealership in Pennsylvania, just desperately trying to get answers.

I finally get a diagnosis of it being the entire transmission. Honda Canada tells Honda America what to order to be shipped from Tennessee. One of the issues is all the dealerships are independently owned. So Honda corporate can't control how the dealerships handle these types of issues - we are at the mercy of the dealerships.

7 weeks!!! is how long it took from when my transmission failed to get it back to me. That's a long time. But the good news is Honda Canada finally stepped up and tried to make it right.

Honda Canada did some good things for me:
-I had basic warranty, but they covered this issue
-They paid for my 5 nights in a hotel in PA, my rental car to get me back to ON, and my food.
-Once I was back home, (and my stupid 14 day quarantine was done) they got me a rental car. A small rental car, but at least it was something.
-They gave me Honda Plus extended warranty on my Pilot
-And they arranged transport to get the Pilot from PA to ON due to the border being closed.

The dealership I bought it from also helped. I wouldn't have gotten anything if they hadn't advocated for me. I drove an hour away from where i live to buy this Pilot, and I'm happy I did. The dealership fixed the alignment after the moving of it to get it towed, did an oil change/tire rotation, washed the outside (the inside was full of luggage from picking up my kids), and gave me a full tank of gas. Customer Relations Dude: "Did you know your gas light was on?" Me: "Yes, I was in America and going to get cheap gas and hadn't had a chance to get it yet". 馃榾

So, my advice is if your parking system warning light comes on saying it's in failure, get somewhere easy to deal with your failed Pilot.

And the best part! After all of this that stupid Idle Stop "feature" doesn't work anymore! It never goes into Idle Stop!! I am so thrilled for this. I despise Idle Stop.
 

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Sounds like Honda did right by you and thank God for good dealerships!
 

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Sorry to hear you had to deal with this. I'm glad Honda (eventually) stepped up and did the right thing. It sounds like they did more than they had to, and that's great.
 

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And the best part! After all of this that stupid Idle Stop "feature" doesn't work anymore! It never goes into Idle Stop!! I am so thrilled for this. I despise Idle Stop.
Glad they took care of you. That says something. 馃憦
Now, to figure out how your Idle stop start is disabled. It be interesting to know. 馃攳馃
 
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Just a side note. For the 9 speed transmissions, there is a special tool that is used to place the transmission into Neutral if the car has no power from a dead battery, etc to do so. Last year these could be found on eBay for around $40.00 or $50.00 IIRC. Honda dealers were asking list price of around $260.00.

Once word got out of how inexpensive these tools were, the prices on eBay went up to around $150.00! Not sure what they are going for now. Many owner's were buying them to keep in the car as part of an emergency tool kit. Heck, even most tow truck drivers don't know about this tool and fumble with towing something they can't put into Neutral. Look at the OP's experience and they had to wait two days for a truck to haul it!!!!

Below is a Honda service procedure showing how to use the tool. It is an older copy and doesn't include the Passport and perhaps the Odyssey which may also have the 9 speed and may need the same tool.


140357
 

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I called to get towed to the nearest Honda Dealer. With the push button transmission, they can't get it into neutral to get it on a flatbed. No power to the buttons at all. So, I had to wait two days until they could get a truck in to moved it because of the AWD.
Couldn't they have jacked up the rear of the vehicle, put a dolly underneath the rear wheels, and then lifted the front (and towed) with a conventional wrecker truck?
 

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Glad they took care of you. That says something. 馃憦
Now, to figure out how your Idle stop start is disabled. It be interesting to know. 馃攳馃
I wonder if the battery isn't holding a good charge after all of this, which would keep idle start/stop from engaging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just a side note. For the 9 speed transmissions, there is a special tool that is used to place the transmission into Neutral if the car has no power from a dead battery, etc to do so. Last year these could be found on eBay for around $40.00 or $50.00 IIRC. Honda dealers were asking list price of around $260.00.

Once word got out of how inexpensive these tools were, the prices on eBay went up to around $150.00! Not sure what they are going for now. Many owner's were buying them to keep in the car as part of an emergency tool kit. Heck, even most tow truck drivers don't know about this tool and fumble with towing something they can't put into Neutral. Look at the OP's experience and they had to wait two days for a truck to haul it!!!!

Below is a Honda service procedure showing how to use the tool. It is an older copy and doesn't include the Passport and perhaps the Odyssey which may also have the 9 speed and may need the same tool.


View attachment 140357
I would love to be able to get one of these! The dealership that I was getting towed to was looking high and low for theirs.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Couldn't they have jacked up the rear of the vehicle, put a dolly underneath the rear wheels, and then lifted the front (and towed) with a conventional wrecker truck?
Because of the parking lot they had to move it from the side, at least that鈥檚 what they said. Tow driver that ended up moving it was great. So careful.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I wonder if the battery isn't holding a good charge after all of this, which would keep idle start/stop from engaging.
Interesting. The dealership did charge my battery for me because it had been sitting for so long. Good thing I always back into my garage!


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Unfortunately your delay for a tow was due to lack of tower drivers (or competent ones). Did you have any symptoms that you noticed ( some people don鈥檛 notice some signs and you could have been distracted by other things on your mind) at all before transmission light came on? If not, I鈥檓 skeptical it was the transmission and think the dealership just thought that would be the easier and more profitable way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Unfortunately your delay for a tow was due to lack of tower drivers (or competent ones). Did you have any symptoms that you noticed ( some people don鈥檛 notice some signs and you could have been distracted by other things on your mind) at all before transmission light came on? If not, I鈥檓 skeptical it was the transmission and think the dealership just thought that would be the easier and more profitable way to go.
No other lights on. The only other thing that was out of the ordinary - I was listening to CarPlay and it was buggy that morning. I would shut my car off and the audio screen would still be on. I didn鈥檛 think much of it.

I was alone and there was no traffic so I wasn鈥檛 distracted with kids in the back seat. I鈥檓 usually pretty aware of anything weird going on in my car(s). I鈥檝e logged a lot of miles over my years of driving.


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I didn鈥檛 mean to be snarky as this would
I鈥檝e me distracted: 鈥渄rove from Ontario, Canada to Pittsburgh, PA. I was granted permission to enter the US to pick up my daughters from their dad who lives in the US.鈥 I still wonder if there was a simpler fix and the dealer just chose to get the extra $ for the bigger job. I guess we will never know.
Thanks for letting us know there were no obvious symptoms to watch for. Although I wish there were....
 
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