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Hey guys, I just bought a 2008 EXL with 120k miles and am having some pretty immediate purchase regret.

I bought it in the LA area as a one-owner vehicle with extensive service records and a documented timing belt change and regular transmission fluid service. I live in the bay area, ~400 miles away. The car was super clean and drove/shifted very well on a pretty extensive test drive. On my drive home, the alternator zonked, and I got towed in the last ~100 miles.

Got that sorted out, but the next day I was making a 3 point turn to park and on the shift from D -> R the car made an extremely loud squealing noise, reminiscent of a slipping belt. I immediately shifted it back into neutral, and pushed it where it needed to go.

I've had it in to the mechanic since, and had the transmission fluid level checked -- it was fine. After some further driving/testing, Ive collected the following data:

Shifts through the gears in D totally fine
Shifts from P -> R smoothly, and backs up smoothly
Shifting from D -> R produces the 2 second belt squeal noise, and an eventual rough shift

I imagine this all means my transmission is cooked and I need a rebuild. But given the atypical way in which its failing (at least to me, I've driven a lot of older cars and had a few transmissions go, but they never went like this) I thought I would post and see if anyone had any alternate (aka cheaper) theories.

Thanks.
 

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Here's a wild ass guess. Reverse gear has been damaged. Probably by a former driver with the bad habit of shifting into drive while the car is still rolling backwards. That is, not braking to a stop, but slop shifting while the car is rolling backwards.

Do a drain and fill, and check the transmission drain plug magnet for metal. If you can baby it into reverse when you need to, perhaps you could get some miles out of it.
 

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Cheaper things to try, in no particular order:
  • replace serpentine belt and tensioner
  • do a 3x drain & fill of the transmission fluid (not flush), driving a few miles between each. Use OEM ATF, Redline, or my fav, Valvoline Maxlfe ATF
  • swap out the power steering fluid using OEM Honda fluid
 

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Discussion Starter #4
134447


Drain and fill in progress as we speak (mechanic is a friend). That doesn't look good, eh?

Serpentine belt and tensioner were done ~10k miles ago. Belt still looks brand new at a glance.

Power steering fluid is full, pump is quiet, and it steers well. Still worth a shot?
 

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Well, looking at those shavings, I wish I could give you a more positive assessment... :cry:

At least keep trying the 3x drain & fill, FWIW.
 

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Damn, that's not good. Having deposits there is normal, but VERY fine. You have some damage there. Bummer.
 

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Power steering fluid is full, pump is quiet, and it steers well. Still worth a shot?
Nah. Given your symptoms and those shavings.... that looks like it's going to be rebuild/replace time.

Damned shame. Problems like this on a lower mileage well cared for Pilot are rare.
 

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Wait until it actually slips and then make the decision to rebuilt or replace. It could go on like that for a long time in its current condition.
 

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Thinking positive (which is tough with that trans plug pic) continue with a few trans flushes as mentioned. Since you're working with a mechanic perhaps a pan drop and adding an inline trans filter in the hopes to remove the large debris and keep the rest of the trans happy for a longer period of time.

p.s.: keep an eye out for a used trans
 

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Yeah, your pic does not look good at all. Are those protrusions shavings that you can see, or just fine metal dust that follows the magnetic lines?
 

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View attachment 134447

Drain and fill in progress as we speak (mechanic is a friend). That doesn't look good, eh?

Serpentine belt and tensioner were done ~10k miles ago. Belt still looks brand new at a glance.

Power steering fluid is full, pump is quiet, and it steers well. Still worth a shot?
Oh no my friend... The magnet. :(
 

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Hey guys, I just bought a 2008 EXL with 120k miles and am having some pretty immediate purchase regret.

I bought it in the LA area as a one-owner vehicle with extensive service records and a documented timing belt change and regular transmission fluid service. I live in the bay area, ~400 miles away. The car was super clean and drove/shifted very well on a pretty extensive test drive. On my drive home, the alternator zonked, and I got towed in the last ~100 miles.

Got that sorted out, but the next day I was making a 3 point turn to park and on the shift from D -> R the car made an extremely loud squealing noise, reminiscent of a slipping belt. I immediately shifted it back into neutral, and pushed it where it needed to go.

I've had it in to the mechanic since, and had the transmission fluid level checked -- it was fine. After some further driving/testing, Ive collected the following data:

Shifts through the gears in D totally fine
Shifts from P -> R smoothly, and backs up smoothly
Shifting from D -> R produces the 2 second belt squeal noise, and an eventual rough shift

I imagine this all means my transmission is cooked and I need a rebuild. But given the atypical way in which its failing (at least to me, I've driven a lot of older cars and had a few transmissions go, but they never went like this) I thought I would post and see if anyone had any alternate (aka cheaper) theories.

Thanks.
Hello,
bought my 2003 Pilot at 188K miles...had to replace transmission/ had my mechanic send out to a local Honda-only rebuilder...back, 2 year warrenty/ $2400. been a year, with trips to Albuquerque and Durango, from SoCal, and I cannot believe how smoothly it drives. NO, I don't pull a trailer, nor did previous owner (known person)…
get the rebuilt, and now at 202,000+ miles today... keep on driving. For a first year of production, has had a great life. Also, have records on work done since 125K milage.
 
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