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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys,

2005 Honda Pilot

So I was driving down the freeway, noticed a gradual loss of power over the course of a minute, so I pulled to the side of the road. I made the mistake of coming to a stop too soon, and couldn't get the car to move at all in any gear. I smelt burning tranny fluid, and popped the hood to find fluid everywhere. It looked like it was spraying out a hose, what looked to be a vent hose maybe? No other issues with the car.

I've highlighted what I think was spraying the fluid, although I could be wrong.

Any help would be appreciated. Couldn't find any one else. Describing this issue.
 

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Is it possible that the transmission fluid was overfilled recently?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is it possible that the transmission fluid was overfilled recently?
It has had the same fluid level for the last year that I know of. It's possible the fluid level was too high before that time, but it's had over 10k miles in the last year.
 

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Let it cool off completely. Check the ATF level. Refill if necessary. See if that gets you moving again.

Take it to a transmission shop for diagnosis.

Venting ATF means that the system is pressurized way beyond normal. Overheating clutches and boiling ATF is a simple explanation for that. There are others, but that's why this needs a specialist.
 

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It has had the same fluid level for the last year that I know of. It's possible the fluid level was too high before that time, but it's had over 10k miles in the last year.
If it had been overfilled, it would have vented out before now. Has the transmission filter ever been replaced?
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So an update, I was able to add 2 quarts of fluid to it and got it to move, although it seems to be shifting rough. The level seems correct on the dipstick, although I suspect it will change once it's gone through all the gears a few times. Now I think it might have killed the starter since it won't even crank. Starter is covered in ATF fluid.
 

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Hoping for a positive outcome for your transmission but the lack of movement coupled with burnt smell, pressurized ATF leaks are not good. As mentioned inspect the ATF lines that run to and from the lower part of the radiator below the fans. Some first gen Pilots had age-related radiator failures that resulted in SMOD or the metal ATF line to+from the radiator leaks due to corrosion. If all the ATF leaked out due to broken line there’s a chance fixing the cause of the leak might get this trans rolling again.
 

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Usually trans breather hose has tip curved down. Yours is pointing upward and outward. Was your vent broken?

Wet look on the plastic at the base of the windshield indicates when you opened the hood, the spraying of ATF was still active for a while. If your hose is pointing out how did ATF get on the plastic base? There are 2 weather/noise/smell rubber seal strips at the location, ATF would not be able to get up there had you not opened the hood.

There might be possibility the spraying may have happened at the ATF tank and ATF fluid was shooting toward the firewall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just an update:

So I confirmed that black tube in the picture is in fact the vent tube. Its attached to the metal one thats bent down like I see in most pictures. It looks stock, but maybe its an addon? I forgot to take a picture. All the hoses look to be in OK condition, no leaks anywhere that I can see, and nothing dripping. I had added 2 quarts, but it might have been over filled slightly. I had filled it to the first dot, but now its about an inch or so above the second dot. I plan on doing a drain and fill here in the next day or so. It drives fine so far, but I did test it on the highway and it was having some slipping in one of the higher gears around 60mph. My issue with it not starting was caused by the wire on the starter being pulled out by the transmission dipstick. Still have no clue what caused the initial issue. I suspect the fluid might have been low. I did have the car running for a few hours, and thats about the longest its ever been driven since I bought it 1 year ago.
 

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If you don’t have service records for the tranny fluid , my recommendation would be to buy a case of DW-1 (or 3 gallons of Valvoline MaxLife if you’re okay with aftermarket fluid) and do a 3x drain and fill. Drive a few miles in between each drain and fill.
 
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I'm still suspect of clogged lines or filter. If it's shifting smooth after this event, the 3 x drain and fill with Full Synthetic Valvoline MaxLife ATF and a filter element change would be on my to do list. Inspect all transmission hoses leading into the radiator.
 
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And don’t let anyone tell you the 2005 Pilot doesn’t have a serviceable filter (it’s the one Nailgrease mentioned). It’s #7 on the diagram I linked a few posts ago.
 

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It drives fine so far, but I did test it on the highway and it was having some slipping in one of the higher gears around 60mph.
Squirrely shifting between third and fourth is a common indicator of trouble. Start paying attention to which gear it's in so you can begin to see the patterns.

Speaking from experience, I would avoid taking it far from home for a while until you get it sorted out. This guy had his wife drive a Pilot with transmission problems way off the grid. He never did say if she ever came home.
 

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Squirrely shifting between third and fourth is a common indicator of trouble. Start paying attention to which gear it's in so you can begin to see the patterns.
Third and fourth pressure switches on the transmission are also known failure points, but counterpoint to that is swapping them out (OEM only) is often the fix.
 
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