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According to the A/T troubleshooting guide in the service manual, the best description of my symptoms was "excessive shock or flares on 2-3 upshift or 3-2 downshift", and the first thing on the list to check/replace is the shift solenoid valve C, which is the lowest one underneath the starter, and doesn't require removing the starter if you want to access it from below. But because I have had a few other random shifting issues, I wanted to replace some of the other valves too, so going in from the top was necessary for getting to the other 2 shift solenoids. Removing the starter is pretty easy and gives you so much more room to work. So it could be that all I needed to do was either replace the shift solenoid valve C, or clean the filter on the clutch pressure solenoid C, but I didn't mind spending a few extra minutes and a few extra dollars to replace all of those rusty 17 year old parts. I will probably still remove and clean the A/B solenoid unit since that's the second suggestion on the troubleshooting list. It's right next to the transmission filter, and I think I want to do another drain and fill and change the filter after swapping all these valves, just in case I accidentally introduced some dirt into the system. I'll take some photos next time I'm doing that.
Would you say that these 17 year old solenoids were leaking ATF?
Sounds like a job for a can of spray Degreaser and a can or two of CRC Electronic Cleaner for wiring and conections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Would you say that these 17 year old solenoids were leaking ATF?
Sounds like a job for a can of spray Degreaser and a can or two of CRC Electronic Cleaner for wiring and conections.
No, it was definitely motor oil in all of the solenoid electrical connectors and not ATF (I can tell by the smell). I had also found motor oil in the connectors for the 3rd and 4th gear pressure switches when I changed them out last summer. I've read on here about wires wicking oil into connectors over long periods of time, and I'm wondering if that's where it came from.
 

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No, it was definitely motor oil in all of the solenoid electrical connectors and not ATF (I can tell by the smell). I had also found motor oil in the connectors for the 3rd and 4th gear pressure switches when I changed them out last summer. I've read on here about wires wicking oil into connectors over long periods of time, and I'm wondering if that's where it came from.
May could stop some of the oil wicking on the transmission side by replacing the cam thrust cover gaskets?
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Another update: the gasket for the A/B pressure solenoid unit arrived today, and I've got nothing else to do on a Friday night, so I figured I'd dismantle my engine again. I drove about 20 miles earlier today, and even though the hard shifts between 2nd and 3rd gear, and 3rd and 4th gear seem to be gone, I still get a clunk whenever I slow down to about 10mph using the brake, and then start accelerating, like when making a rolling stop/right turn kind of thing.

So I removed the battery, battery tray, and intake tube so that I could get to the torque converter solenoid I couldn't reach yesterday. It still took lots of effort to get the old one out and the new one in. It would be a whole lot easier to do those 2 solenoids when the thermostat and radiator hoses are removed.

Removing the A/B pressure solenoid is a little harder because it's underneath the hard metal lines for the ATF cooler, and you've got to remove a couple of cable harnesses and brackets, but I eventually got it out. Once the solenoid unit was out, I tested their resistance and actuation performance, and they were both fine. In the top of the transmission housing, there are 4 small metal tubes that stick up and go into the solenoid unit. Three of those little metal tubes have a metal mesh screen in them. Two of them were clear, but the center screen was completely clogged. Like yesterday and the other clogged filter, I could not see any light through it. After cleaning it with a few blasts of brake cleaner and compressed air, it was crystal clear and ready to be reinstalled. I cleaned off the old paper gasket material, and reinstalled the old solenoid unit using a new gasket. See attached photo of what the area under the solenoid unit looked like after I removed all the ATF and dirt that fell in during the removal. I also changed the ATF filter since it's right next to this part and will save me the trouble of removing all this stuff again just to change the filter.

I reassembled everything and took it for a test drive, and now the clunk I was getting when accelerating after braking is gone. I also don't have the clunk I was usually getting when shifting from P to R, or from N to R. So I'm hopeful that maybe this solves the worst of my transmission problems for now and will keep me rolling in this Pilot a little longer.
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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How to make a good job even better. Kudos.
147779
 

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So I'm hopeful that maybe this solves the worst of my transmission problems for now and will keep me rolling in this Pilot a little longer.
Wow! It's just amazing! This is the kind of problem most just throw in the towel. I guess we can say that shift solenoids dont last forever. Yes, I'd say you should be rolling in the Pilot quite a bit longer. Just can't think of anything else it could possibly need.
 
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147785

I feel I'm getting a tongue-in-cheek subliminal message.​
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Wow! It's just amazing! This is the kind of problem most just throw in the towel. I guess we can say that shift solenoids dont last forever. Yes, I'd say you should be rolling in the Pilot quite a bit longer. Just can't think of anything else it could possibly need.
Not sure if you're being sarcastic or not, but now that I've replaced just about everything serviceable on my Pilot that has been known to fail or wear out, I'm really hoping I can stretch its life as long as possible, since money is tight and I can't afford a new car right now, or to even have this thing serviced at a garage.

I wouldn't say that the solenoids themselves are worn out, I think the majority of the problem was the clogged filter screens on both of the pressure control solenoid units. But since the shift solenoids are also listed early in the troubleshooting steps, I figured I'd replace them while I was under the hood. It just seemed like all the research I found on people who were experiencing clunking and flaring like I did, were told they needed new transmissions or an trans overhaul. So replacing and cleaning a few solenoids seems like a good first step to try before replacing the transmission, or scrapping the car since a tranny replacement will likely cost more than the value of the Pilot. If anyone else experiences issues like I was having, I'd suggest replacing the shift solenoid C (which can be done easily from underneath and without removing the starter), and removing the two clutch pressure control solenoid units (C and the A&B one) and clean their filters. You'll need a new paper gasket for the A&B unit, the C clutch pressure solenoid has a rubber gasket with integrated filter). This can all be done for less than $100 and a few hours of time, and is certainly cheaper and easier than replacing the transmission or scrapping the entire vehicle.
 

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@andywatson He's not being sarcastic, just cleverly playful. And always helpful.

Read only the letters in bold font. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
@andywatson He's not being sarcastic, just cleverly playful. And always helpful.

Read only the letters in bold font. :)
Okay, got it now. Those letters don't appear for me, they are white and only show up if I highlight the text. Here's a screenshot of what it looks like for me:

147794
 

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Not sure if you're being sarcastic or not, but now that I've replaced just about everything serviceable on my Pilot that has been known to fail or wear out, I'm really hoping I can stretch its life as long as possible, since money is tight and I can't afford a new car right now, or to even have this thing serviced at a garage.

I wouldn't say that the solenoids themselves are worn out, I think the majority of the problem was the clogged filter screens on both of the pressure control solenoid units. But since the shift solenoids are also listed early in the troubleshooting steps, I figured I'd replace them while I was under the hood. It just seemed like all the research I found on people who were experiencing clunking and flaring like I did, were told they needed new transmissions or an trans overhaul. So replacing and cleaning a few solenoids seems like a good first step to try before replacing the transmission, or scrapping the car since a tranny replacement will likely cost more than the value of the Pilot. If anyone else experiences issues like I was having, I'd suggest replacing the shift solenoid C (which can be done easily from underneath and without removing the starter), and removing the two clutch pressure control solenoid units (C and the A&B one) and clean their filters. You'll need a new paper gasket for the A&B unit, the C clutch pressure solenoid has a rubber gasket with integrated filter). This can all be done for less than $100 and a few hours of time, and is certainly cheaper and easier than replacing the transmission or scrapping the entire vehicle.
No, not being sarcastic. It's amazing that your Pilot will now likely make it to 300k+. 😁
Went back and edited color. See if that helps. 😏
 

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No, not being sarcastic. It's amazing that your Pilot will now likely make it to 300k+. 😁
Went back and edited color. See if that helps. 😏
Nothing like steering a transmission thread off track with a subliminal tire message.😁

@andywatson I’m glad you got the tranny functioning. Thanks for providing the detailed write-up.

For those that have had to clean the solenoid screens, do you think it was due to a longer than ideal transmission fluid change interval, or is it just a matter of time before the screens get clogged regardless of how often the fluid is changed?
 
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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
For those that have had to clean the solenoid screens, do you think it was due to a longer than ideal transmission fluid change interval, or is it just a matter of time before the screens get clogged regardless of how often the fluid is changed?
Not sure, I've been doing frequent drain-and-fills with Maxlife since I got the vehicle last year and have driven about 20k miles in that time. According to the previous owner's records, he apparently never changed the filter and only changed the ATF a few times since purchasing the vehicle. I'm guessing what clogged the solenoid screens is either a slow buildup over time that finally got to a point where I noticed degraded shifting behavior, or a rapid decay/destruction of some internal part of the transmission that is sending lots of particles through the system. I'm hoping it's the first option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
No, not being sarcastic. It's amazing that your Pilot will now likely make it to 300k+. 😁
Went back and edited color. See if that helps. 😏
No problem, I've been here long enough to get all the Maxlife, Sumitomo, and shop rag jokes. I knew there was some sort of joke in your message, but had no idea because of the missing text, and I mistakenly thought you were saying I was underestimating all the things that can go wrong with first generation Pilots.
 

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OK, now scroll back up and look again at my immediate response to his subliminal message. Besides presumably @Nail Grease, who else caught mine there? :)
 

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OK, now scroll back up and look again at my immediate response to his subliminal message. Besides presumably @Nail Grease, who else caught mine there? :)
I'm having a difficult time understanding, but for some reason I just got this sick feeling that I lost a bunch of money. smirk
 
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