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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
Not if you plan on driving it until the wheels fall off. :)
 

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Really nice job. That's some determined troubleshooting. I'm glad it was rewarded with success.

Seems like the keys here are that the shift flare is between 2 & 3, but (very important) there's no loss of ATF or smell of hot ATF from internal friction. My impression (before this project) was that "shift flares = high internal temps = slipping clutches = transmission death". Refining that is great knowledge.

When mine went into terminal mode, the flare was between 3 & 4, and I could smell the ATF boiling off in hilly terrain. I got a flare into R as a farewell message. I hope that I won't be doing more transmission work on my Pilot, but I'm glad to know that there's more of a gray area than I previously thought.

As always, it's a pleasure to have this resource where so much knowledge is shared.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Another followup, today my transmission started flaring and clunking really bad when shifting from 2nd to 3rd, or from 3rd down to 2nd. I've only been driving it 15 minutes to work and back each day. Today I was going to lunch and had just driven about 20 minutes, and it was the hottest day we've had so far this year, and that's when it started acting up. Like really violent clunks that can't be good for the gears. I managed to limp a couple miles back to work by keeping it in 2nd gear and under 25 mph. On the way, the check engine light came on with a P0730 (incorrect gear ratio) code, and then the D light started blinking. I stopped and cleared the code with my Torque app on my phone, but the CEL came in a minute later with a shift error code (I forget the P number). I let it sit about 8 hours, borrowed a car to go home for dinner, and then went back to the office with a handful of tools and one of my old solenoids. The Shift Solenoid C can be replaced from underneath the vehicle, without removing the starter or anything else. It's by far the easiest one to replace. Reading the shop manual transmission troubleshooting page says the #1 thing to check for this type of behavior is the Shift Solenoid C. Since I replaced it with a non-Honda brand, I thought maybe that was my problem. So I put the original back in and drove the 10 miles back home, using back roads, and at midnight, so there was no other cars on the road and I could go nice and slow. It drove totally normally and I thought maybe going back to the original solenoid solved the problem. I made it almost home when it started jerking and flaring and clunking again, and the CEL came back on with the P0730. So I'm wondering if it's worth putting the other 3 original OEM solenoids back in, and the OEM clutch pressure solenoid C that I replaced because the old one was kind of rusty/corroded on the outside, but seemed to be functioning okay once I cleaned out the internal filter screen. I don't know if any of these other non-oem parts could be causing the problem, or if it's somehow related to heat, since the issue doesn't happen with the transmission is cool.
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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With all the skillful TLC you've been giving your transmission, I can't think of a better next thing to try than swapping in new OEM solenoids, short of replacing the whole transmission, at this point. Neither option is going to be cheap or easy, but at least you have the know-how to DIY it. Alternatives, like having it done or purchasing a new car, are likely to be even costlier.

We're all rooting for you, here. :)
 

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That’s a bummer the tranny started acting up again. If those solenoids are anything like the third and fourth gear pressure switches, I’d use OEM instead of aftermarket. You’ve got a tough decision of putting the old one back in or getting new ones. It’s that time versus money thing and which one you have more of. We’re hoping you’re able to get the Pilot back up and running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Another followup: I removed Clutch Pressure Solenoid Valve C and found the filter screen completely clogged with fine metal material. I looks almost like a powder, but is attracted to a magnet. I found that much material in there last month when I replaced the valve and screen, so I'm amazed that it clogged up so quickly. I also removed and check the dual linear solenoid unit A&B and all the of the mesh screens in there were completely clean. So it seems all the crud was only in the C unit. I went ahead and drained all the ATF and replaced it with new Maxlife. The drain plug magnet had lots of gray sludgy filings on it too, which is surprising since I did a drain-and-fill about a month ago when I also replaced the filter and all the solenoids. I'm guessing that something in the transmission is deteriorating very quickly and sending lots of metal in the fluid. Hopefully most of it gets caught by the drain plug magnet, but I guess the rest is getting stuck in the Valve C screen. It's not too much work to remove the valve, except that it requires removing the battery and tray. But I think I'll just have to check it every few weeks to see if it gets bad again and hopefully prevent the violent jerking and slipping and issues getting in and out of 3rd gear.
 

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Another followup: I removed Clutch Pressure Solenoid Valve C and found the filter screen completely clogged with fine metal material. I looks almost like a powder, but is attracted to a magnet. I found that much material in there last month when I replaced the valve and screen, so I'm amazed that it clogged up so quickly. I also removed and check the dual linear solenoid unit A&B and all the of the mesh screens in there were completely clean. So it seems all the crud was only in the C unit. I went ahead and drained all the ATF and replaced it with new Maxlife. The drain plug magnet had lots of gray sludgy filings on it too, which is surprising since I did a drain-and-fill about a month ago when I also replaced the filter and all the solenoids. I'm guessing that something in the transmission is deteriorating very quickly and sending lots of metal in the fluid. Hopefully most of it gets caught by the drain plug magnet, but I guess the rest is getting stuck in the Valve C screen. It's not too much work to remove the valve, except that it requires removing the battery and tray. But I think I'll just have to check it every few weeks to see if it gets bad again and hopefully prevent the violent jerking and slipping and issues getting in and out of 3rd gear.
Perhaps an easily accessible add-on replaceable inline trans filter might help clear out the gray crud floating throughout the system.
 

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It sounds like clutch material. If the flares stop, then this will become less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Just drove 15 miles to work, it started acting up again after 10 miles, flaring bad and clunking in and out of 3rd gear. If I can make it back home, I'll remove the valve again and see if more material is in screen. The other night I put the original OEM shift solenoid C back in, but maybe I'll also put all the other original OEM solenoids and valves back on. Perhaps the combination of crud in the lines plus the aftermarket valves is making things worse. Either way, I think I'm going to go car shopping this weekend because I don't trust this car anymore.
 

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Another followup: I removed Clutch Pressure Solenoid Valve C and found the filter screen completely clogged with fine metal material. I looks almost like a powder, but is attracted to a magnet. I found that much material in there last month when I replaced the valve and screen, so I'm amazed that it clogged up so quickly.
This was what the transmission guy (and Honda fan) who replaced mine found. He said (as NailGrease notes) that it's the clutch deteriorating as it slips.

Having the problem sensitive to heat also fits: slipping = friction = hot ATF = lower viscosity ATF = more friction, etc. I would expect the problem to get worse faster on a hot day. Those pounding shift flares 1000 miles from home were what finally convinced me to get some help.

Car shopping or transmission shopping seems like a wise choice. Sorry that the repair isn't holding up well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 · (Edited)
This was what the transmission guy (and Honda fan) who replaced mine found. He said (as NailGrease notes) that it's the clutch deteriorating as it slips.

Having the problem sensitive to heat also fits: slipping = friction = hot ATF = lower viscosity ATF = more friction, etc. I would expect the problem to get worse faster on a hot day. Those pounding shift flares 1000 miles from home were what finally convinced me to get some help.

Car shopping or transmission shopping seems like a wise choice. Sorry that the repair isn't holding up well.
Thanks for the info. Sounds like what I've got. Shifting is fine when everything is cool, but once it warms up after about 10 minutes, the bad shifting starts. Will some sort of ATF additive help me get a few more miles out of it, and at least let me get it to a dealer for trading in?

Anybody interested in an 04 Pilot for parts in the PA/MD/DE area? Other than the transmission, everything is in great shape. I put $4500 worth of parts into it in the past year.
 

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Anybody interested in an 04 Pilot for parts in the PA/MD/DE area? Other than the transmission, everything is in great shape. I put $4500 worth of parts into it in the past year.
From where you are, I don't think there's a magic elixir that's going to get you very far.

Everyone's personal value assessment is different, but otherwise great shape, not much rust, and all that new stuff in it - that's where I was, and I'm glad I replaced the transmission. If my luck holds, I might get another 50k or so out of it.

It will be $4k for a rebuilt unit with a good warranty. You're not going to get much for $4k in today's market, even with the $1 - 2k you'll get trading it as-is. I would call some transmission shops before you let it go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I tried a bottle of Lucas Transmission Fix over the weekend. Took it for a couple short test drives, and everything seemed fine, I thought maybe the magic juice helped. Today I drove the 10 miles to work and barely got there before it started flaring when shifting into 3rd. On my way home today, it won't even go into 3rd gear, I had to drive all the way home in 2nd. I also made a quick stop at the grocery store by my house and discovered that it won't shift into reverse now either. So I've only got 1st and 2nd gears. Luckily the space in front of me was empty so I could drive forward and make it home in 2nd gear. I'm all out of ideas and money. I wish I could trade it in but I won't be able to get it out of my driveway unless R comes back.
 

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Reverse might engage cold if you rev it up with your foot on the brake. Just be careful - mine engaged hard and jolted the car.

I wouldn't count on being able to do that more than once, if it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Reverse might engage cold if you rev it up with your foot on the brake. Just be careful - mine engaged hard and jolted the car.

I wouldn't count on being able to do that more than once, if it works.
I let it sit for 5 hours, I just started it and was able to get it into R. I think I'll wait for a cool day and drive it straight to Carmax and see what they'll give me.
 

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I let it sit for 5 hours, I just started it and was able to get it into R. I think I'll wait for a cool day and drive it straight to Carmax and see what they'll give me.
Two years ago CarMax offered me 3k for my Pilot with 110k. I turned it down. Too bad about about your Pilot as you put in so much time, effort and money. I was hoping a trans transplant topic would emerge but totally understand your situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Two years ago CarMax offered me 3k for my Pilot with 110k. I turned it down. Too bad about about your Pilot as you put in so much time, effort and money. I was hoping a trans transplant topic would emerge but totally understand your situation.
I don't have the cash on hand for a new trans. It just turned over 190k miles, and Carmax says they'll give me $2400 for it, assuming it's in good driving shape when it pull into their lot. I was really hoping I could make it to the 200k club, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
 

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Very sad to hear. Any idea what you'll be doing for transportation? Would it end up costing more than replacing the transmission? I really feel for you; it's just not fair after all the work you put into it.
148371
 

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This is a total bummer. We were all rooting for you and your Pilot after all the work you've done to it this past year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Very sad to hear. Any idea what you'll be doing for transportation? Would it end up costing more than replacing the transmission? I really feel for you; it's just not fair after all the work you put into it. View attachment 148371
I'm trying to get approved for a used car loan so I can get something newer and with less problems, but it's tough because of my very recent bankruptcy. So in the meantime, I'll be working remotely from home and bumming rides off coworkers on the days I need to go in. If I can't get a loan, I guess I'll just have to do like last spring and buy the best thing I can afford and then try to fix it up little by little. But I'd rather be making payments on a loan instead of dropping $500 each month on parts like I did for the past year with this Pilot.
 
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