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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I have a 2006 Honda Pilot EX-L which I bought at approximately 168,000 miles (I now have approximately 183,000 miles) for $6,800 about a year and a half ago plus about $1,800 in upgrades to bring the SUV up to a good condition.

Since then, I've spent about $4,000 in fixes doing the following:
  • Valve cover gaskets replaced
  • Intake manifold gasket replaced
  • Air filter replaced
  • Cabin filter replaced
  • Front brake pads replaced
  • Front brake rotors resurfaced
  • Power steering hose/line replaced
  • serpentine belt replaced
  • Driver's side airbag clockspring/reel replaced
  • Alignment performed
  • Front struts and strut mounts replaced
  • Rear brake pads replaced
  • One engine mount replaced
  • Crankshaft oil seal replaced
  • Camshaft seal replaced
  • Timing belt and water pump replaced
  • Timing belt tensioner/idler replaced
  • Automatic transmission fluid flush
The previous owner did the first timing belt and a valve correction job.

And now there's the infamous rear main seal leak which I've been quoted for around $1,200 and the driver's seat is starting to rock like a loose tooth, which I understand is a problem with the rails, and that could be another $400 to fix at least.

With what I've put into the car so far on top of the purchase price is almost $13,000 which is getting to be almost double the cost of what I paid for the SUV if I do the rear main seal and driver's seat fix.

So at this point, if I sell it, I might get $5,000 at best which is a lot less than what I've put into it, however I don't know if it will be reliable if I kept it. Honestly, I bought this car thinking I'd be having Honda reliability, granted the engine is very smooth and powerful and the transmission (although a little rough on the shifts) seems to be working well. The rest of the car seems to be falling apart!

So my dilemma is should I forget the losses in what I put into it and sell it as other things could go wrong, or keep it?

I'm leaning toward keeping it because I've already put so much money into it and I feel it would be wasted since the parts are all new and I could get at least another three years out of it, but I'm not sure as the rear main seal and driver's side seat fix is expensive.

Also, with all the fixes I've done, am I now in a good shape to have the Pilot give my three good years since I've done everything major or do you know if more stuff can go wrong with these cars? Also, in the short term fix, should I do the rear main seal now or wait till the transmission gives out and do it then, but just keep filling up the oil in the meantime?
 

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For the rear main seal:
  1. I don't know of anywhere in the Owner's Manual Honda specifies when or even if you should change the PCV valve. But you should anyway. Think of it as cheap insurance against a much more costly main seal leak repair, or the difference between one that's going bad but not so far gone that it can't be saved by some Stop ATP AT-205 and a PCV valve swap. Just tread lightly when you remove the old one:
    http://www.piloteers.org/forums/69-...small-oil-leak-rear-main-seal.html#post987490
  2. Switch to Maxlife High Mileage Oil
  3. Did I mention https://www.amazon.com/ATP-AT-205-Re-Seal-Stops-Bottle/dp/B000NVW1LM
Watch the manufacturer's video:


Or take it from good old Mr. Kilmer. Gotta love Scotty.




With that, you'll go a long, long way before you get to $1200.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
For the rear main seal:
  1. I don't know of anywhere in the Owner's Manual Honda specifies when or even if you should change the PCV valve. But you should anyway. Think of it as cheap insurance against a much more costly main seal leak repair, or the difference between one that's going bad but not so far gone that it can't be saved by some Stop ATP AT-205 and a PCV valve swap. Just tread lightly when you remove the old one:
    http://www.piloteers.org/forums/69-...small-oil-leak-rear-main-seal.html#post987490
  2. Switch to Maxlife High Mileage Oil
  3. Did I mention https://www.amazon.com/ATP-AT-205-Re-Seal-Stops-Bottle/dp/B000NVW1LM
Watch the manufacturer's video:


Or take it from good old Mr. Kilmer. Gotta love Scotty.




With that, you'll go a long, long way before you get to $1200.

Thanks! Just a few quick questions:

1. What’s a good price at the mechanic for labor to replace the PCV valve, since I’ve read the part is about $20.

2. Do I just pour in one bottle of the ATP fluid to the same place where engine oil is poured? How frequently do I need to add the ATP fluid, or is once enough?

3. Are there any side effects with ATP fluid?

4. Regarding my question on keeping it or selling my Pilot with all the work I’ve done to it, will it be reliable now even if I don’t fix the rear main seal and driver’s seat issue? Are they any more issues with Pilots of this mileage?
 

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I don’t think anyone will be able to give you a definitive answer if the Pilot will remain trouble free for the next three years. While you have had lots of work performed on the Pilot the fact is that you are driving a 14 year old vehicle and there is a strong likelihood something else will fail over that period of time.

If you keep it you know it’s history, at a minimum for the past 18 months, while if you sell it you will be acquiring a new set of unknowns on its replacement.

On these older vehicles it’s easier to justify keeping them if you’re doing the majority of the repairs since you’re only out parts cost and your time. It becomes a lot more difficult decision when you’re paying someone $150+ per hour to make the repairs. You’re in a tough spot here, but it’s a decision you’ll have to make based on your financial position.
 

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On these older vehicles it’s easier to justify keeping them if you’re doing the majority of the repairs since you’re only out parts cost and your time. It becomes a lot more difficult decision when you’re paying someone $150+ per hour to make the repairs.
Agree completely. If you're open to turning an older car into a hobby, the economics make a lot more sense.

In any case, I suggest that your expenses so far shouldn't factor into your decision. That money is gone. What you have is a car you can sell for $5k, balanced by the potential for additional work. If you can find another Pilot for $5k or less that needs less work, its a better value. The trick is knowing in advance that it will need less work.

I wouldn't be shy with fixes in a bottle for the seals. You can pour in a lot of oil for the cost of the part alone.
 

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Thanks! Just a few quick questions:

1. What’s a good price at the mechanic for labor to replace the PCV valve, since I’ve read the part is about $20.

2. Do I just pour in one bottle of the ATP fluid to the same place where engine oil is poured? How frequently do I need to add the ATP fluid, or is once enough?

3. Are there any side effects with ATP fluid?

4. Regarding my question on keeping it or selling my Pilot with all the work I’ve done to it, will it be reliable now even if I don’t fix the rear main seal and driver’s seat issue? Are they any more issues with Pilots of this mileage?
  1. It literally is 5 minutes with one easily accessible bolt. Whether you do it yourself or have a mechanic do it, however, heed the cautionary tale in my link above and this one: https://www.piloteers.org/threads/broken-pcv-valve-stuck-in-engine-fix.56050/
  2. Yup, and give it about 5 hours to work. Once ought to be enough.
  3. Besides all that heavy money in your pocket you saved by not having to replace the rear main seal, nope.
  4. Your call, but I'd also get the seat issue taken care of. You may be able to do that with an inexpensive weld job. https://www.piloteers.org/threads/driver-seat-broken.29779/#post-382886
 

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Hmm, valve cover gaskets, intake manifold gaskets, driver's side airbag replacement, struts, engine mount, crank and cam shaft seals are not a part of routine maintenance. But the rest is. I already spent a total of $4,500 on fixes on my '05 with 140k miles. AC, alternator, starter, brake line, rear struts, airbag and lastly radiator replacement. So you're actually spent less (?). Of course, that main seal leak is worrisome...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you keep it you know it’s history, at a minimum for the past 18 months, while if you sell it you will be acquiring a new set of unknowns on its replacement.
That’s why I’m having a dilemma in selling. However, if I do end up selling, I’m thinking of getting a much newer more reliable (as per my research) vehicle such as a 2014+ Toyota Sequoia or Toyota Landcruiser. Much more expensive, but much newer, more reliable, and good better value. Plus rugged, proven off road capability with 7- 8 passenger seating.
 

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On these older vehicles it’s easier to justify keeping them if you’re doing the majority of the repairs since you’re only out parts cost and your time. It becomes a lot more difficult decision when you’re paying someone $150+ per hour to make the repairs.
I would really like to work on it on my own, but I haven’t really worked on cars yet (I love cars and driving them, but really haven’t got into the mechanics part yet). That and trying to make time is hard since this is our family car and if I break it, it would be more expensive. I’m planning on getting a project car to start working on so if that breaks, it can sit there till I learn how to fix it lol.

So until then, I’m paying a mechanic to fix this which is another factor I need to think about when selling this.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
In any case, I suggest that your expenses so far shouldn't factor into your decision. That money is gone. What you have is a car you can sell for $5k, balanced by the potential for additional work. If you can find another Pilot for $5k or less that needs less work, its a better value. The trick is knowing in advance that it will need less work.
I’d probably stick with the Pilot in this case. If I sell it, I’m looking at a 2014+ Toyota Sequoia or Toyota Landcruiser (the Landcruiser being a little more older) but since those cars are significantly more expensive, I’d need to save up more for this.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I wouldn't be shy with fixes in a bottle for the seals. You can pour in a lot of oil for the cost of the part alone.
Not sure I understand. Do you mean getting a bottle of ATP or not fixing the seal and keep filling it with oil instead?

By the way seal is only wet now and not dripping is what the mechanic tells me. Really hoping a new PCV valve and high mileage synthetic oil will fix this.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
  1. It literally is 5 minutes with one easily accessible bolt. Whether you do it yourself or have a mechanic do it, however, heed the cautionary tale in my link above and this one: https://www.piloteers.org/threads/broken-pcv-valve-stuck-in-engine-fix.56050/
  2. Yup, and give it about 5 hours to work. Once ought to be enough.
  3. Besides all that heavy money in your pocket you saved by not having to replace the rear main seal, nope.
  4. Your call, but I'd also get the seat issue taken care of. You may be able to do that with an inexpensive weld job. https://www.piloteers.org/threads/driver-seat-broken.29779/#post-382886
Thanks, I’ll think about using ATP in the oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hmm, valve cover gaskets, intake manifold gaskets, driver's side airbag replacement, struts, engine mount, crank and cam shaft seals are not a part of routine maintenance. But the rest is. I already spent a total of $4,500 on fixes on my '05 with 140k miles. AC, alternator, starter, brake line, rear struts, airbag and lastly radiator replacement. So you're actually spent less (?). Of course, that main seal leak is worrisome...
Yeah it looks like regular work on an older car, but now that all this work is done, I’m hoping that those will be the major fixes for along time.

With the rear main seal, it’s a wetness so I’m just thinking to change the PCV valve and keep using high mileage synthetic oil.

What would be the damage eventually if I kept going like for a long time with the rear main seal not fixed but just keeping the oil up?
 

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Hmm, valve cover gaskets, intake manifold gaskets, driver's side airbag replacement, struts, engine mount, crank and cam shaft seals are not a part of routine maintenance.
I've probably beaten this to death in the past, but I think that all the suspension work and the engine mount is routine maintenance at 100 - 120k.

If the goal for a first-gen Pilot is to go 250k+ miles, then the wear parts (shocks, struts, links, LCA's / ball joints / compliance bushings and sway bar bushings) should be done with the timing belt or shortly after. In my area, most Pilots / MDX's of that era are over-priced (in my opinion) because they're all original down there - its $1k for the suspension parts alone.

As the original poster illustrates, if you pay someone else to put those parts in for you, it significantly impacts the economics of owning a first-gen Pilot. If I didn't enjoy doing most of the work myself, I would not think of this vehicle as a great value, despite the fact that it is a pretty great light-duty SUV.
 

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That’s why I’m having a dilemma in selling. However, if I do end up selling, I’m thinking of getting a much newer more reliable (as per my research) vehicle such as a 2014+ Toyota Sequoia or Toyota Landcruiser. Much more expensive, but much newer, more reliable, and good better value. Plus rugged, proven off road capability with 7- 8 passenger seating.
Don’t forget to add the 4Runner to that list unless it’s too small or not powerful enough for your needs. If you’re looking for off-road capability check out the Trail Edition version.
 

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What would be the damage eventually if I kept going like for a long time with the rear main seal not fixed but just keeping the oil up?
If the seal is wet but not dripping, its still doing 90% of its job. If you check the oil regularly and frequently, and keep a quart in the car to top it off whenever you need to, the only downside is the bottom of the engine and transmission getting dirty from the oil and grime. Try the ATP. Even if that doesn't work, its easy to keep the engine full of oil.

It sounds like your mechanic is very thorough. That's a good quality. However, its often harmless to let small issues wait, to see if they become bigger. I often ask my mechanic "if your wife was driving this, would you fix it now, or wait a while?"

You'll probably have fewer repairs with a newer car. If the additional cost is worth it, that's not a bad decision. On the other hand, for the cost difference between your Pilot and the newer car, you could do a lot of repairs and rent an Enterprise car while yours is in the shop. Which one makes more sense all depends on your priorities.
 

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All this stuff I seen posted .. are just maintenance from wear and tear from usage ...I haven't yet see something that had failed due to Honda's workmanship. Almost 200k on the Pilot was the op expecting these parts to last for 200k? I yet to ponder.... now it was mentioned in the posts ...dependability ? had the Pilot failed during the first 100k ish from any after market parts installed ? 4k on the parts listed seems a little high unless all done 100% at the dealership .. if so those are oem parts they will last another good 150k . I have two 06's that are still running close to 290k and yes I have installed all those items including lower control arms from ball joints , struts front and back cause they are now leaking after 200k . rack and pinion included , oil pan replaced from impact . nothing from Honda's workmanship only wear and tear ... Not trying to bash anyone but I would love to see any vehicle out there that has no maintenance ...Think Honda is bad try GM ... there new meaning is now from General maintenance to Got money :)
 

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As the original poster illustrates, if you pay someone else to put those parts in for you, it significantly impacts the economics of owning a first-gen Pilot. If I didn't enjoy doing most of the work myself, I would not think of this vehicle as a great value, despite the fact that it is a pretty great light-duty SUV.
I’m with you there. Between 80k and 105k miles my wife’s Pilot had a three or four major items which needed to be addressed. I did what I was capable/confident enough to do on my own and paid a shop to handle the timing belt/water pump job. I completely understand where the OP is coming from because if I had paid to have all that work done I would feel a lot differently about my Pilot.
 

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I would really like to work on it on my own, but I haven’t really worked on cars yet (I love cars and driving them, but really haven’t got into the mechanics part yet). That and trying to make time is hard since this is our family car and if I break it, it would be more expensive. I’m planning on getting a project car to start working on so if that breaks, it can sit there till I learn how to fix it lol.
I was in your shoes about seven or eight years ago. A $400 bill for some simple maintenance motivated me to learn how to do most of the routine items on my own. Now I really enjoy wrenching.

That is a good idea that you’re considering a project car to learn on. If you end up instead learning on the daily driver my advice to you is start with something simple (tranny or differential fluid change for example), read as many posts as you can until all the steps are clear, ask questions before you start the job, and make sure you have all the necessary tools and parts before beginning the job. You’ll gain confidence as you successfully complete a job. If something goes wrong understand why and treat it as a learning experience. I’m sure everyone on this forum who works on their vehicles has at least one story of a self-induced repair blunder. Mine involved a 100+ foot oil streak down my driveway and the street.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Don’t forget to add the 4Runner to that list unless it’s too small or not powerful enough for your needs. If you’re looking for off-road capability check out the Trail Edition version.
I like the looks of the 4Runner, but it’s too small for our family as we need a three row SUV. I’m also tired of the unibody grocery getter crossovers. I want a body on frame, full size large off road ready SUV. And after the Pilot, there’s nothing that seem to be more reliable with those characteristics than a Toyota Sequoia or Land cruiser. Although I briefly looked at the Nissan Armada, or rather Nissan Patrol (in other markets) as it’s pretty solid as it’s the Land cruiser competition but Nissan reliability still worries me so it looks like Toyota will be my next stop after Honda.
 
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