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WE have a 2005 Honda Pilot with 175,000 miles on it. Great car with no problems - have only had to do oil changes and timing belt/water pump at 105,000 miles. The transmission does now hesitate a little when shifting at 45 - 50 mph sometimes but not always. I know I should have flushed the transmission and changed the fluids at some point and feel guilty that I didn't........but what do I do now?? There aren't any real problems and I don't want to cause any!

I appreciate any suggestions - let it go or is action better late than never??
 

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2008 Honda Pilot EX-L 2013 Honda Pilot EX-L
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I know someone who has only changed the fluid knce and they are still on their original transmission with almost 250,000 miles. I think a lot of people on here make it seem like transmission fluid is the single thing that will keep it working properly. I’m not saying that’s untrue. It also depends on driving habits and how you treat them your car.
I doubt changing the fluid now will cause anything negative to happen. It’ll probably make things smoother. Keep in mind, 175,000 miles is a lot and transmissions do give out at some point.
 

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Drain and refill the fluid, drive 100 miles or so and do it again. It takes 3 times total to completely change all of transmission fluid. The stuff gets dirty and contaminated and stops doing it’s job. Don’t “flush” the transmission, it could bring up sediment and cause problems.
 

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Yeah, definitely don’t have the tranny fluid flushed. And introduce new fluid slowly as mentioned above.
 

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Drain and refill will help. Don't flush.
 

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WE have a 2005 Honda Pilot with 175,000 miles on it. Great car with no problems - have only had to do oil changes and timing belt/water pump at 105,000 miles. The transmission does now hesitate a little when shifting at 45 - 50 mph sometimes but not always. I know I should have flushed the transmission and changed the fluids at some point and feel guilty that I didn't........but what do I do now?? There aren't any real problems and I don't want to cause any!

I appreciate any suggestions - let it go or is action better late than never??
I have a 2006 Pilot with 308,000 miles. I change/have flushed the transmission every 60,000 miles. The shifting gets sluggish and will often not shift properly when the fluid has reached its life. Here in the desert heat, that works out right close to 60,000 miles.

Better late than never. Transmission Flush ~$150. Transmission rebuild or replacement >$2500.
 

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I wonder if this would be why the transmission in my 2010 Pilot with 190k shifts hard from P to R in the mornings, or why the transmission shifts a tad slow


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It may seem like overkill to some but I do the triple drain and fill every 20,000 miles on my '05. I bought it in '13 with 99,000 miles and it now has 200,300 miles on it...been using Valvoline Max-Life from the day I got it.
 

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I thought my 1x drain and fill every 15k miles was ultra-conservative. You’ve got me beat!!
 

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Our '05 Pilot has 286k on it. Original trans. I've only flushed the transmission once, and I need to do it again. I did add a trans cooler when we purchased it (~60k miles), and I've had to replace the radiator.

Long story short, if your transmission fluid smells normal (not burnt) and the fluid looks normal (not terribly brown), you're likely fine to do a flush. If the fluid smells burnt, or it's a very brown color (vs red), you likely don't want to do a flush. With burnt/damaged (brown) fluid, it's likely that some contaminants/sludges are actually helping to keep the trans working. If you flush all these contaminants/sludges out with fresh fluid (which contains fresh detergent), you may actually cause the trans to start slipping.

If the fluid smells normal, and is still red, the trans is likely still (relatively) clean and in good condition. Flushing the fluid is unlikely to cause a significant issue.

Also, flush = hook to a machine and replace -all- the fluid in the trans. That's different than a 'drain and fill', which (as mentioned above) usually only replaces 1/3 to 1/4 of the fluid in the trans. That doesn't mean that doing 4 drain and fills is the same as a flush...a flush pushes out all the old fluid, and pushes new fluid in behind it. It's a near complete exchange of fluid. A drain a fill mixes the old fluid (3/4) with the new (1/4), meaning you always have a significant portion of the old fluid in there. Even if you drain/fill 4x, the fluid in the trans will still be significantly "contaminated" by containing a good portion of the old fluid. It's still better than nothing, though.
 

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I have a 2005 Pilot that recently hit 200K. In "celebration" I had the dealership do the first timing belt/water pump change and transmission flush. I hadn't had any problems with the transmission prior, and 7K later it still seems to be fine. YMMV
 

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Our '05 Pilot has 286k on it. Original trans. I've only flushed the transmission once, and I need to do it again. I did add a trans cooler when we purchased it (~60k miles), and I've had to replace the radiator.

Long story short, if your transmission fluid smells normal (not burnt) and the fluid looks normal (not terribly brown), you're likely fine to do a flush. If the fluid smells burnt, or it's a very brown color (vs red), you likely don't want to do a flush. With burnt/damaged (brown) fluid, it's likely that some contaminants/sludges are actually helping to keep the trans working. If you flush all these contaminants/sludges out with fresh fluid (which contains fresh detergent), you may actually cause the trans to start slipping.

If the fluid smells normal, and is still red, the trans is likely still (relatively) clean and in good condition. Flushing the fluid is unlikely to cause a significant issue.

Also, flush = hook to a machine and replace -all- the fluid in the trans. That's different than a 'drain and fill', which (as mentioned above) usually only replaces 1/3 to 1/4 of the fluid in the trans. That doesn't mean that doing 4 drain and fills is the same as a flush...a flush pushes out all the old fluid, and pushes new fluid in behind it. It's a near complete exchange of fluid. A drain a fill mixes the old fluid (3/4) with the new (1/4), meaning you always have a significant portion of the old fluid in there. Even if you drain/fill 4x, the fluid in the trans will still be significantly "contaminated" by containing a good portion of the old fluid. It's still better than nothing, though.
Note that Honda specifically advises against using any sort of transmission fluid flush machine/system and instead recommends using the multiple drain and refill method to replace the transmission fluid.

See the attachment to my previous posts:
https://www.piloteers.org/threads/05-pilot-transmission-fluid.114193/post-1182905
https://www.piloteers.org/threads/8-trips-to-shop-still-have-vibes.126049/post-1307177
 

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WE have a 2005 Honda Pilot with 175,000 miles on it. Great car with no problems - have only had to do oil changes and timing belt/water pump at 105,000 miles. The transmission does now hesitate a little when shifting at 45 - 50 mph sometimes but not always. I know I should have flushed the transmission and changed the fluids at some point and feel guilty that I didn't........but what do I do now?? There aren't any real problems and I don't want to cause any!

I appreciate any suggestions - let it go or is action better late than never??
I have a 2008 Pilot and changed the fluid at 60,000 and 110,000 miles. Believe that Honda changed the formulation of the trans fluid a number of years ago. When draining, just about 4 quarts comes out and as mentioned on some other posts, need to do it 3 times with some driving in between. When refilling I use the real fill hole on the transmission directly under the master cylinder. With a long plastic funnel for auto transmissions it is easy. Always change the drain and fill plug metal gaskets. Opening the fill plug can be tough, I use a 17 MM hex head socket with 1/2 inch drive and a good long breaker bar.
 

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Read your flaming owners manual. Tranny fluid gets 3qts changed every 30K miles.

Do the
3qt, 100mi,
3qt, 100mi,
3qt change to get things right.

You have debris in the system that is screwing up shifts. This might extend your tranny life, might not, but if you do not do it, you are on borrowed time.
 

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I have a 2003 Pilot. Celeste (named by former owner) was a working girl and had a rough life. Pulling heavy trucks out of the mud, lots of 4 wheel driving-Waipio Valley, Green Sands, top of Mauna Kea etc. She now has 270K miles. I was driving recently and she started bucking like an angry mule, like she was down shifting to second gear. Since I was climbing a steep hill, I turned around and coasted for miles then was able to drive home in whatever gear I was stuck in. The D light was blinking. Trany fluid smelt like a barbeque. Drained the 3 quarts I could get out and replaced with genuine Honda fluid and have been driving with no issues since then. Shifting is a bit rough sometimes but much better than before. Might repeat the process in a little while.
 

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I have a 2003 Pilot. Celeste (named by former owner) was a working girl and had a rough life. Pulling heavy trucks out of the mud, lots of 4 wheel driving-Waipio Valley, Green Sands, top of Mauna Kea etc. She now has 270K miles. I was driving recently and she started bucking like an angry mule, like she was down shifting to second gear. Since I was climbing a steep hill, I turned around and coasted for miles then was able to drive home in whatever gear I was stuck in. The D light was blinking. Trany fluid smelt like a barbeque. Drained the 3 quarts I could get out and replaced with genuine Honda fluid and have been driving with no issues since then. Shifting is a bit rough sometimes but much better than before. Might repeat the process in a little while.
Good response to do a drain and fill. Do it a couple more times to reach the proverbial 3x D&F.

With good fluids, Celeste will love you long time. :)
 
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