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Discussion Starter #1
Hello.
I'm about a month into owning my 2012 Pilot EX-L 4WD. From the first time on the highway I noticed slight "pull" left and then right on the highway at various times. At first, I thought it felt a little like lane assist (which is not installed) and sometimes I thought it might be an uneven road surface..
I had it on the road this weekend for a 3 hour highway ride and decided it was time to go back to Honda to check it out, so I spent some time reproducing the issue.
I determined that at highway speed, if I accelerated enough to kick down out of overdrive, the steering wheel dipped to the left a bit. Once I settled into speed and it went back into overdrive, it dipped to the right.
A little research exposed a phrase that was new to me: "Torque Steer". However, every example I read about included the driver "nailing it" or accelerating hard.
In my situation, it was during any acceleration causing a downshift out of the highest gear.
So back to my question: Is it really Torque Steer or is it a potential transmission issue?
Does anyone have any experiences like this?
Thanks in advance...
 

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I've never experienced torque steer in this car. The engine can feel pretty gutless when mashing on the gas. Could be a simple alignment issue, but check your compliance bushings and engine mounts as well.
 

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I've had this exact same issue on my 2003. Replacing worn suspension and steering components will tighten it up.
 

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Actual "Torque Steer" is a feature that comes with uneven length axles on FWD cars. Virtually all modern front drive cars, including our beloved Pilots, have even-length front drive axles so are not subject to the problem.

Meanwhile, the "compliance bushing" is the rear inner carrier for the lower control arm, and a known failure part. There have been some infant-mortality issues with them, and IIRC Honda had a silent extended warranty on them for a good while. When that bushing fails, the control arm allows the wheel to snap forward a little on hard acceleration. It isn't a lot, but the movement is enough to affect all three alignment parameters at once (caster, camber and toe). The car will suddenly pull slightly to one side under hard acceleration, very similar to the torque steer effect enjoyed by many pre-1980's FWD cars. You can do a simple visual inspection of that "compliance bushing", looking for leakage and cracks in the bushing itself. If your dealer service adviser greets you by name as you drive up to the service bay, you may be able to advantage the silent warranty program. Else, the replacement process includes the bushings plus alignment. Depending on age and mileage, you may do well having some of the other wear parts in the steering and suspension replaced at the same time. Think tie rods and ends, the ball joints, the dampers in the strut assemblies as a start. My fix it before it breaks philosophy would also include wheel bearings, CV joint inspection and boots replacement at minimum, stuff like that. Once I have the car on the lift and there are parts on the floor, I find it easier to just take care of everything and don't even think of that stuff for another 75-100k.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So Honda's first attempt to isolate and repair this issue has failed....
New stabilizer links, bushings, and holders and a 4-wheel alignment was their suggestion and it did not resolve the problem.
The hunt continues....
 

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So Honda's first attempt to isolate and repair this issue has failed....
New stabilizer links, bushings, and holders and a 4-wheel alignment was their suggestion and it did not resolve the problem.
The hunt continues....
What make/model tires do you have, and their current inflation PSI and wear level?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Last week I brought it in (2nd attempt to diagnose/repair) and this time I went on a ride along with the Technician. He felt what I had described and actually said "this car is not safe"! They thought it might be the tires so they put 2 new Michelin's on and sent me on my way. No change. Same issue.
On today's service (3rd time's a charm!) there was a senior tech there fresh out of a training class. He determined that the right lower control arm bolts were not torqued to specs. They tightened it up and all is now good. Resolved!
 

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I'm sorry but you should get your money back for at least the sway bar work. The sway bar has absolutely no effect on what you were describing. And one of the first posts recommended you look at the control arms for compliance bushing wear, which I'm assuming you brought up to them. IF that is the case and they did all of this other work BEFORE looking at what you specifically requested, you should get all of the money back. Just my opinion but I'd be pretty upset.
 

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Last week I brought it in (2nd attempt to diagnose/repair) and this time I went on a ride along with the Technician. He felt what I had described and actually said "this car is not safe"! They thought it might be the tires so they put 2 new Michelin's on and sent me on my way. No change. Same issue.
On today's service (3rd time's a charm!) there was a senior tech there fresh out of a training class. He determined that the right lower control arm bolts were not torqued to specs. They tightened it up and all is now good. Resolved!
Interesting! Do you know which bolts on the control arm?
 

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If you suspect that you may have the same issue, .and. you plan to have the torque wrench and the socket set out anyway... Do them all. Inspect first to make sure the rear control arm carrier "compliance bushing" isn't cracked or leaking. FWIW, the suspension bolts don't just come loose on their own. The factory added QC paint marks on mine to show they were torqued and checked. I I found one loose, I'd be going back through every repair the car has seen to try and ID a task that had a wrench on those before.

For the DIY'ers, a paint pen/marker is a pretty essential tool in the arsenal these days. I end up going back over everything critical that a tool touched, and mark stuff that has a torque spec (pretty much everything...) when the correct torque is confirmed.
 
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