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Well now you can add me to the growing list of Pilot owners who have a timing belt tension problem. My pilot died today, lost power as I was pulling way from a stop light. I pulled it into a parking lot and had to have it towed to the Honda dealer. What a bummer! At least it happened to me and not my wife who usually drives it. My Pilot was one of the recalled group and had been in for service about 2 months ago. This sucks only 4 months with 6,000 miles and it's been in the dealership twice and now this part is backordered nationally so it could be in for a few weeks.

I'm tempted to invoke the Lemon law of IL. I bought Honda thinking I wouldn't have these problems. So much for that thought! thanks for letting me vent.:mad:
 

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After I signed on the famous dotted line, the dealer's rep told me I really ought to get the Extended Service Contract, "because they don't make them like they used to". (I have had two other Hondas which were simply great).
Nonetheless, I declined.

He may well have told the truth (fairly unusual for a dealer rep). I didn't trust him, because I figured he's in a selling mode again after he sold the car.

I have a little over 1K on my Pilot, and aside from the terrible roar from opening a rear window while rolling, it's ok) . knock knock.
 

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Manufacturers sell extended service plans to make money, and they do a good job of it. The majority of the vehicles never need repairs exceeding the cost of the service contract. And when they tell you they don't make them like they used to, thats not really true.

Technollegy may be getting to be too much for some people, what with all the computers being installed in new vehicles. But the quality and reliability of these computers are much better than they were ten or so years ago. The manufacturer put a warrenty on your vehicle to deal with problems that are caused by manufacturing defects or (in the case of the belt tensioner) bad designs that wern't discovered in the design stages. I have owned several new vehicles and only one needed warrenty work. My 96 Dodge Ram had an extended warrenty (bought by the orriginal owner) that was only used once to replace the radio when the CD player became jammed.

I haven't had the pleasure of picking up my Pilot yet, and I'm not sure if I will by the extended plan or not. The dealer told me that I can purchase the plan (albiet at a slightly higher cost) any time during the 3/36 period. So I have plenty of time to make up my mind.
 

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Is Honda going to issue a recall regarding the timing belt tensioner problem? Do we need another letter to Honda? Maybe a combined letter on door scrunch and timing belt?
 

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Sent a letter today regarding starting problem, maybe this is the best way to go, get a whole bunch of members in on it, and see what happens...

had about 20 members on our letter to Honda.

rob
 

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Maybe

Could the problem be improper tention set after the first repair?
Seems a few people here ona don MDX.org had problems after the water pump repair.
Broken pullies seemed to be the common issue. Is this what failed on yours?

Has anyone that did not have the water pump recall had a timing belt or serpentine belt issue?
 

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What are you gonna write Honda about. IMO this issue differs from the hard start or scrunch problems. The solution is obvious (fix the pulley & belt) and the cause, like NJay said, is most likely improper torquing by the tech -- I think *every* instance of the P/S pulley shear has been *after* the water pump replacement. It's gotta have something to do with the reassembly after the waterpump replacement.

IIRC, when replacing the P/S pulley, the bolts have to be torqued properly (obviously) *but* the tension on the belt must be set twice: to "new" spec when initially installed, then run the car for a few minutes and re-tension the belt to a "used" spec. Both are in the svc manual AND they differ. Perhaps the 2nd tensioning isn't occuring?
 

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Possibly, but wouldn't you think the second belt adjustment would in effect result in the re-tightening of a now somewhat stretched belt thusly putting additional tension on the water pump pulley bearings?
 

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seadog said:
Possibly, but wouldn't you think the second belt adjustment would in effect result in the re-tightening of a now somewhat stretched belt thusly putting additional tension on the water pump pulley bearings?
As I remember it, the 2nd retensioning is actually MORE play than when installed new. I envisioned that as a slight "loosening". The spec for a "used" belt is about 1/2 of a new one.

In a nutshell, the new P/S belt installation is s'posed to be @ 165-198 lbft (or .33-.43in of deflection) and the "used" P/S belt (which is the retension after 5 minutes and a lock-to-lock turn) is 88-121 lbft or .51-.65in of deflection.

This is from the MDX 01 svc manual, so YMMV for the 03 Pilot.

Like I said, I'm assuming that second retension is a LOOSENING from the original "new" install. Certainly, it *could* be a tightening. But obviously something's fishy with the way some of the waterpumps and belts (including P/S) are being reinstalled by the techs. IMO if it were a core design or product quality issue, the problem wouldn't *only* be on cars that have had the waterpump recall work done.
 

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Ummm. Interesting. Appears that I've probably been under tensioning when installing a new belt initially then as I ALWAYS had to re-tension (tighten) after a few days. Course my spec check for belts is pretty crude - sight and feel over the past 40 years of backyard mechanics. Thanks for the info.
 

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And another possibility

If Honda Motors automatically ships certain required initial spare parts inventory on new model year vehicles to it's dealers then maybe the initial inventory pumps (or a good many of them) came from the same production lot as the group of the problematic pumps put on the Pilots during assembly. I know this may be a stretch BUT?
 

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Seadog,

I dunno the answer -- I'm just guessing; I've never changed a belt myself and the P/S belt installation procedure on the Pilot/X may differ from every other car on the road, for all I know. Perhaps the "tighter" initial installation is for a break-in/stretching of the belt, or proper seating or something. :confused:

The defective waterpumps were easily identified by a stamp on the housing so I doubt anybody had a defect replaced w/a defect. In addition, I don't remember anyone w/a sheared P/S pulley having the P/S failure BEFORE the waterpump was replaced under the recall.

So, to me the issue is something that happened DURING the recall work, and since it's usually a sheared P/S pulley it seems to me that it's gotta be re-installation or torque/tension related.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I just got back from talking to the service manager. Unfortunately this part is on national backorder and he might not get the part for 30 days. So Honda is paying for my rental SUV, a Ford Expedition. I'm definately not a fan after becoming used to my Pilot. I spoke to the service manager about the problem and he claims the tensioner wasn't touched during the first repair and said maybe both parts came from the same plant and were defective. Sounds feasible but who knows I just hope they get it right and I'm not driving a lemon.
 

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Realy????

torrys said:
I just got back from talking to the service manager. . . . I spoke to the service manager about the problem and he claims the tensioner wasn't touched during the first repair . . . . .
Hmm, I take off the old timing belt and put on a new one and don't touch the tensioner???

Now I wonder where that guy went to mechanics school?
 

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Re: Realy????

N_Jay said:


Hmm, I take off the old timing belt and put on a new one and don't touch the tensioner???

Now I wonder where that guy went to mechanics school?
No kidding. Here's a re-post of the abridged service manual procedure for replacing the waterpump from another thread:

Water pump replacement:
1. remove the timing belt
(I'll stop here, the rest isn't important)

Removing the timing belt:
...lotsa steps w/TDC, belt tensioners and such
- remove the alternator belt
- loosen the adjusting nut, locknut, and mounting bolt then remove the power steering (P/S) pump belt
...lots more, relatively unimportant given that step, methinks.

IOW, they removed and replaced the power steering belt when they did your waterpump fix
torrys - I doubt you're driving a lemon. I also think your service mgr is blowing smoke (or ill informed). At least Honda is paying for a comparable rental. Of course, if they didn't, with a 30day downtime you'd be able to Lemon the car if you wanted.
 

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gopilot said:
Sent a letter today regarding starting problem, maybe this is the best way to go, get a whole bunch of members in on it, and see what happens...

had about 20 members on our letter to Honda.

rob
Rob, thanks for your time and effort that went into sending off the letter on behalf of us. But I'm rather disappointed in the number of members on the letter. I thought there'd be more that that. I wonder if Honda will take the letter seriously with only about 20 names on it. Let's hope so.
 

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Guess some people did not want there personal info and vins given out? It will still get the point across to Honda. Rather do it this way then alone.

rob
 

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gopilot said:
Guess some people did not want there personal info and vins given out? It will still get the point across to Honda. Rather do it this way then alone.

rob
Oh, yeah, for sure. I wasn't saying you didn't do a good job. Sorry if I came across that way. I just was hoping that what with all the complaints being posted in here about the starting problems, I thought more people would've been involved in the letter.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what Honda will do. Let's wait and see.
 

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No offense taken at all, I was hoping for a few more people too...

Just wish we did not even have to do this with a bran new Honda.

:confused: :)
 

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Or;

gopilot said:
Guess some people did not want there personal info and vins given out? It will still get the point across to Honda. Rather do it this way then alone.

rob
Not to be argumentative (but I am so good at it :2: ) but,

How many people here have had this problem? I don't know if 20 is 1/2, all or twice the number.
 
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