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Hello everyone,

I have spent some time reading throughout the forums but want to get an opinion. I am looking at purchasing a 2017 Honda Pilot Touring which has a hitch already which is not OEM. My question is, I will only be towing a 2014 Bayliner boat which the weight of the boat and trailer combined is 2145 lbs. Will I need to get a transmission cooler installed to haul this boat?

Thank you in advance for your guidance.

David
 

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The ATF cooler will be your best investment next to regular ATF maintenance to keep that transmission in tip top shape. There are several recent threads on ATF coolers from OEM versus aftermarket to ATF fluid OEM versus MaxLife and ATF maintenance to maximize transmission life.
Keeping the ATF temperatures lower is important so invest in the ATF cooler.
 

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Installing one will improve your chances of having a transmission trouble free day.
Are you positive that there is not one already installed?
 

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Hello everyone,

I have spent some time reading throughout the forums but want to get an opinion. I am looking at purchasing a 2017 Honda Pilot Touring which has a hitch already which is not OEM. My question is, I will only be towing a 2014 Bayliner boat which the weight of the boat and trailer combined is 2145 lbs. Will I need to get a transmission cooler installed to haul this boat?

Thank you in advance for your guidance.

David
Do you need an ATF cooler to tow the Bayliner? No.

Should you get one installed to relieve stress on the transmission from towing the Bayliner? Yes.

I have a 2020 Passport Touring and I am installing the ATF cooler without a hitch. I have a tow vehicle, a 3/4 ton PU that has an ATF cooler, Oil Cooler and Power Steering Cooler. But unlike your antifreeze and even your engine oil, your transmission fluid can't be too cool, and a cool transmission is a less stressed transmission.
 

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Hello everyone,
My question is, I will only be towing a 2014 Bayliner boat which the weight of the boat and trailer combined is 2145 lbs. Will I need to get a transmission cooler installed to haul this boat.
You are still under the 3500lb limit so technically you can tow the boat but these transmissions tend to run hot so you will put additional stress on your vehicle. I would install a cooler even if you are not planning to tow.
 

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You must have the 16ft, that's a pretty light load your trailering. A tranny cooler is always a great thing to have.....however think about how far and how many times a year you are trailering. The last time I checked the install price it was about $800 from the dealer
 

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From my prospective, that pretty cheap when you consider a rebuilt or salvage yard transmission will run between $1500 and $4500 not including install costs. I was disappointed that the Passport didn't come with the ATF cooler as part of the vehicle. The tow package and ATF cooler were part of my 2013 Pilot Touring when I bought it new.
 

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From my prospective, that pretty cheap when you consider a rebuilt or salvage yard transmission will run between $1500 and $4500 not including install costs. I was disappointed that the Passport didn't come with the ATF cooler as part of the vehicle. The tow package and ATF cooler were part of my 2013 Pilot Touring when I bought it new.
I think the only Honda vehicle that comes with the ATF cooler is the RL. Or at least my 2011 did, it was much larger than the add on one for the Pilot they have now


Just as important as a ATF cooler can be is surge brakes. At 2100lbs your trailer might not even have them. I know here anything above 2500lbs is required to have them. They can be a life saver and will really help the brakes on your Pilot
 

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Not a big surge brake fan, but then I don't pull a boat so no need for surge brakes. There are some electric/hydraulic brake systems out there for boat trailers however what the cost is I don't know.

For me electric brakes all the way. It's nice to be able to control the breaking aspect of the trailer especially when going up and down hills. But when I'm backing a trailer up I want the ability to have the brakes grab on the trailer when I want them to and not have to mess with a pin to disable the braking.
 

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If you really want to wait and see, grab a scangauge or one of the bluetooth OBD2 dongles and monitor trans temps while towing.
 

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Just an FYI. I tow my 1500lb boat/ trailer 75 miles round trip about every 5 days. Done this since the new purchase in March 2017, over 185 trips. I have a 2017 Pilot FWD EX that now has 57000 miles,14000 towing miles. I have done a drain/refill twice on the ATF. I have no ATF cooler. I live in central Florida. No tranny issues so far. Honda engineers say if you tow under 3500lbs an ATF cooler is unnecessary. Just sayin. I'll knock on wood here now though!
 

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Just an FYI. I tow my 1500lb boat/ trailer 75 miles round trip about every 5 days. Done this since the new purchase in March 2017, over 185 trips. I have a 2017 Pilot FWD EX that now has 57000 miles,14000 towing miles. I have done a drain/refill twice on the ATF. I have no ATF cooler. I live in central Florida. No tranny issues so far. Honda engineers say if you tow under 3500lbs an ATF cooler is unnecessary. Just sayin. I'll knock on wood here now though!
Do you have any way to monitor trans temps? I'd love to know what they are doing, with that light and aerodynamic load it could be absolutely nothing.
 
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Do you have any way to monitor trans temps? I'd love to know what they are doing, with that light and aerodynamic load it could be absolutely nothing.
Just an FYI. I tow my 1500lb boat/ trailer 75 miles round trip about every 5 days. Done this since the new purchase in March 2017, over 185 trips. I have a 2017 Pilot FWD EX that now has 57000 miles,14000 towing miles. I have done a drain/refill twice on the ATF. I have no ATF cooler. I live in central Florida. No tranny issues so far. Honda engineers say if you tow under 3500lbs an ATF cooler is unnecessary. Just sayin. I'll knock on wood here now though!
Flat land terrain is on your side. Your ATF is likely warming up to 190° quickly and the warmer is holding it close to (speculation). You won't know for sure unless you monitor it. I'd be more concerned with watching for the erratic rpm gauge which signifies a clutch plate issue between the engine and transmission. I'd disable the VCM so your towing with 6 cylinders 100% of the time.
 

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Flat land terrain is on your side. Your ATF is likely warming up to 190° quickly and the warmer is holding it close to (speculation). You won't know for sure unless you monitor it. I'd be more concerned with watching for the erratic rpm gauge which signifies a clutch plate issue between the engine and transmission. I'd disable the VCM so your towing with 6 cylinders 100% of the time.
If you're towing I'd be 99% sure the computer won't allow any cylinders to be shut off. Especially given the generally higher RPMs when towing.
 

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If you're towing I'd be 99% sure the computer won't allow any cylinders to be shut off. Especially given the generally higher RPMs when towing.
Yes, I don't think the VCM will activate when towing unless you are coasting downhill.
 

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If you're towing I'd be 99% sure the computer won't allow any cylinders to be shut off. Especially given the generally higher RPMs when towing.
Yes, I don't think the VCM will activate when towing unless you are coasting downhill.
I'm 99% sure that your VCM can be active in 6th gear, in cruise, on flat land. Especially with a light load.
 

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I have not noticed any differences in my RPMs or shifting when I am towing verses not towing. And sometimes I am on I-95 doing 70mph. I do go over some steep bridges, but that is generally less than a 3rd of a mile up or down.My most annoying thing is the noise from the rig transferring into the cabin. This SUV could use a lot more sound insulating material.Even little bumps are so audible. Still have my original tires though! Oh,,what is the VCM, and how do you disable it?
 

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I have not noticed any differences in my RPMs or shifting when I am towing verses not towing. And sometimes I am on I-95 doing 70mph. I do go over some steep bridges, but that is generally less than a 3rd of a mile up or down.My most annoying thing is the noise from the rig transferring into the cabin. This SUV could use a lot more sound insulating material.Even little bumps are so audible. Still have my original tires though! Oh,,what is the VCM, and how do you disable it?
The VCM deactivates certain cylinders when coasting, maintaing speed or in cruise in the name of fuel economy. Honda has made changes to this function to try and stop some of the damage this function has caused, such as stuck piston rings, fouled spark plugs, dirty injectors and valves. Catalytic converter and EGR issues to name a few. After some of the supposed improvements, we have come to understand that when the engine is just running on 3 cylinders, it appears (for some) that it is causing transmission damage. One of the obvious signs that you have a problem is an erratic behaving rpm gauge, most noticeable while in cruise. The other is black fluid. Not burned, but a fine black residue mixed in your fluid that turns your fluid black. If you have these symptoms, your headed for trouble.
I Installed S-VCM and the problems were solved.
If you decide to use this device, make your your coolant level is normal and cooling fans are are operating correctly.
 
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