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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so my wifes 18 pilot with 53 thousand miles is sitting at a dealership and needs a torque converter. its under warranty but they cant find one. the part is on backorder everywhere with no ETA. is the converter failure a common problem? and any idea where i can source one?
 

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2016 EXL AWD Nav with sensing , 2008 Corolla SE
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Yes, a lot of torque converters seem to be failing in the 3rd gens so it is not surprising that those parts would be in short supply. The VCM system causes a lot of wear and tear on the torque converter and it may be a good idea to install a VCM disabler after you get the repairs done if you are planning on keeping the car for a while. You would think that the dealership should be able to track one down through their channels and give you an idea of when they could have the repairs done and give you a loaner vehicle if yours is not usable.
 

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so my wifes 18 pilot with 53 thousand miles is sitting at a dealership and needs a torque converter. its under warranty but they cant find one. the part is on backorder everywhere with no ETA. is the converter failure a common problem? and any idea where i can source one?
We experienced the same situation last summer on our 2018 with 58k miles. In our case, it took 2 weeks for the dealer to get the new torque converter. I would encourage you to stay in the warranty repair loop and let the dealer obtain the correct part. Personally, I would not take a chance on a rebuilt part sourced from a non-Honda supplier. Ask them to install a new external transmission filter as well. My dealer wanted to charge me for this item, but I persuaded them replace it as part of the job, as it should be. +1 on the install of S-VCM when you get the Pilot back.
 

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See this thread for similar situation and recommendations. Thankfully yours happened under warranty.

+1 to disable VCM system as soon as you get it back.
 

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Yes, a lot of torque converters seem to be failing in the 3rd gens so it is not surprising that those parts would be in short supply. The VCM system causes a lot of wear and tear on the torque converter and it may be a good idea to install a VCM disabler after you get the repairs done if you are planning on keeping the car for a while. You would think that the dealership should be able to track one down through their channels and give you an idea of when they could have the repairs done and give you a loaner vehicle if yours is not usable.
Soon, there will be tons of rebuilt torque converters lying around. I wonder how much more Honda will absorb in repair costs and extended warranties before it lets its dealers disable VCM.

It's not like to they have much to be concerned about CAFE from the government compared to what they are doing to themselves (and, more importantly, to their customers).

cafe_civil_penalties_final_rule_07122019.pdf (nhtsa.gov)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the help guys. the dealer doesnt want to give my wife a loaner and says this is a very rare problem and is not a safety issue. so i pulled up all the threads about this problem and showed them, we'll see what they say today. i've never really liked the pilot but she had to have it. it's amazing that honda hasn't figured out this is a common problem and worked out a fix for it or at least cranked up production of torque converters.
 

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Soon, there will be tons of rebuilt torque converters lying around. I wonder how much more Honda will absorb in repair costs and extended warranties before it lets its dealers disable VCM.
Can torque converters be rebuilt? I thought that they were welded and could not be taken apart.
 

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Your Pilot is safe to drive. Supply chain issues are killing production on almost everything. Honda rarely had backorder, pre covid, now 50% of our stuff is b.o.

Yes, converters can be rebuilt. They put in lathe, cut the weld line, fix internals, then reweld or braze it shut.
 

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Can torque converters be rebuilt? I thought that they were welded and could not be taken apart.
I doubt they throw them away. The impeller is the only part welded to the case but there must be a way to get into the case fairly easily as torque converter repair shops are all over the place. It's usually the clutch or some other part not welded to anything that needs rebuilding. Compared to the transmission, it's a relatively simple assembly to work on.

 

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No, it's an internal leak in the converter, so it's not making more heat or extra wear. Being under warranty, if it caused more damage Honda would ground the veh. and the parts would magically appear in the dealers daily order.
Slvr7, I have to question this statement. Since the mode of failure here is lockup clutch slip, this results in clutch friction material being released into the fluid. If the clutch slip continues, it will probably get worse, and repeatedly set the transmission fault message. If the driver ignores this and continues to drive in this situation, the slip can lead to fluid overheating and more debris loading up the ATF, with possible valve body sticking due to bad fluid. I suppose that the transmission would go into limp mode at some point, and perhaps prevent total failure, but it seems to me that the best course is to park the vehicle until the repair is done.
 

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Once the code is set, lock up is discontinued, for many of the reasons you stated.
Op did you purchase the veh from the dealer who is fixing it? Just wondering why they aren't willing to give you a loaner?
 

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Once the code is set, lock up is discontinued, for many of the reasons you stated.
My experience was that after a shut down and restart, the dash warning disappeared, and the transmission operated normally until the next episode of slip was triggered. In my case, cruising set at 65 mph on a warm summer day would result in lockup slip that I could see on the tach. If I kept the cruise speed at 75-80 mph, the tach was stable. Perhaps higher internal fluid pressure at higher rpm? Fortunately, the Highway Patrol didn't ticket me for going over the speed limit.

Anyway, it seemed like the slip would happen again after a shut down and restart.
 

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From Honda engineering and logging slip ratio, and converter lockup command, I haven't observed the command to lock up with the code in the system. I don't own one though, so I haven't been able to log long term.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Op did you purchase the veh from the dealer who is fixing it? Just wondering why they aren't willing to give you a loaner?
yes it was purchased at a dealership and is at that dealership awaiting parts. they said no loaner because "it is not a safety issue"
My experience was that after a shut down and restart, the dash warning disappeared, and the transmission operated normally until the next episode of slip was triggered.
the same for me. warning goes away when the car gets shut off.
 

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So how come my 08 FWD that went 186K miles w/o the SVCM,
And, didn't really have ANY ATF changes until 185K- is doing just fine? On my 08- I can't readily get to the Tranny filter either- so it's original too.?
 

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Completely different trans and operating strategy, or maybe your just lucky:)
Oh, when I'd realized what I had done- (always changed the oil and filter, never the ATF)
IN the last few months I've done 4x D&F's w/ VL ML ATF!

My newer to us 15 Pilot/4WD is getting all drive train fluids replaced properly.
 
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