Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Please excuse the lengthy post. I want to provide as much info as possible to present and describe the problems.

Wondering if anyone in the forum has experienced the following issues and/or may have resolutions / suggestions:
  1. Transmission seems to kick (hard shifting - practically all gears) in both acceleration and deceleration. Symptom has been for sometime but I thought it was low on ATF (before I did the drain/refill). A couple of things I did to troubleshoot this issue:
    • I did a drain / refill 3x as per recommendation by many forum contributors found in Internet search - which is easy enough to do. Mistake I made was I didn't measure the amount I drained. So I proceeded to use the dipstick check method to ensure I refill adequate amount. Only issue is, I seem to have problem getting a good reading on the dipstick. Readings seem to be very inconsistent and I've checked many times. I follow best practice as per owner's manual and recommendations (again from forum contributors) to: i) warm up the vehicle to normal temp - I usually drive a good distance to ensure ATF is hot, ii) Park on level ground, iii) shift thru all the gears, iii) shut off vehicle and time it to check level between 60-90 seconds. Again, readings are inconsistent where sometimes it is correct level, or low, or high. I take multiple dips within the 60-90 sec window. What process do DIYers in this forum follow to take accurate readings?
    • The hard shifting occurs on acceleration and decelerate when I ease off the gas pedal. The "thud" can be heard and felt when the transmission automatically shifts gears. It's like "engine braking" as someone said in one of the internet searches but I am not sure what to think of it at this point. Another point on the easing of the gas pedal, it seems to immediately down shifts when I ease off the pedal when it should be coasting until the RPM slows down to the appropriate speed.
    • Except for the rear engine mount, I replaced the front and side mounts (both broken) and as well as the 2 transmission mounts.
    • None of the above seem to resolve the hard shifting issue. I am concerned it may be a sign of transmission problems.
    • I am also reluctant to use the Lucas Transmission Fix fluid... at least for now.
  2. Timing Belt was replaced several years ago at about 90K miles (now it is at 117K.) The car ran fine (as it seemed) in city driving so never noticed "lack of power" until a recent long distance road trip. During the road trip, I had problem keeping speed above 60 MPH on long stretch of incline roads. If I try to step on the gas pedal harder to get the car going faster, it does not seem to do much good. Typically when giving more gas the engine would rev higher and feel the thrust. But that wasn't the case with my car. A few weeks ago, I decided to recheck the timing belt alignment. I found both cams were slightly (1/2 tooth) off BTDC (sometimes the view angle of the timing marks plays tricks on the eyes). I proceeded to adjust the cams and make them perfectly aligned. After the realignment, the car ran much better - believe it or not that 1/2 tooth made a difference. However, 2 weeks ago, all of a sudden the car lost the "umpth" on acceleration and at lower speeds. But, at times, it still seems to be still "ok" at higher speeds above 65 MPH - even going up incline - but not all the time. Overall, it seems to be better than before the realignment.
    • Once again, Internet search mentioned breaks / leaks in the exhaust system: pipes, manifolds, cat, muffler, etc. can exhibit this behavior.
Has anyone experienced similar issues or can offer advice / validate the Internet search claims?

All comments / feedback welcome and thanks in advance.

Looking forward to hearing back from the group.

-2HS
 

·
Registered
Banned from wife’s 2005 Pilot LX
Joined
·
2,934 Posts
Have the spark plugs been changed? They are rated at 105k miles.

Have you had the codes read with a reader capable of deciphering Honda specific codes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply Road2cycle.

Yes the spark plugs were replaced with OEM NGK Iridium plugs. I did pull them out and checked them and they seemed fine. There is no carbon build up or anything like that. One thing did stand out of the ordinary is the coil packs where a couple of them were kind of brownish - like burnt color. Other than that, no other signs of defect. Anyone know how to check the coil packs to see if they are good electrically? That’s part of my next step for troubleshooting.

No codes stored - pending or registered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
814 Posts
Please excuse the lengthy post. I want to provide as much info as possible to present and describe the problems.

Wondering if anyone in the forum has experienced the following issues and/or may have resolutions / suggestions:
  1. Transmission seems to kick (hard shifting - practically all gears) in both acceleration and deceleration. Symptom has been for sometime but I thought it was low on ATF (before I did the drain/refill). A couple of things I did to troubleshoot this issue:
    • I did a drain / refill 3x as per recommendation by many forum contributors found in Internet search - which is easy enough to do. Mistake I made was I didn't measure the amount I drained. So I proceeded to use the dipstick check method to ensure I refill adequate amount. Only issue is, I seem to have problem getting a good reading on the dipstick. Readings seem to be very inconsistent and I've checked many times. I follow best practice as per owner's manual and recommendations (again from forum contributors) to: i) warm up the vehicle to normal temp - I usually drive a good distance to ensure ATF is hot, ii) Park on level ground, iii) shift thru all the gears, iii) shut off vehicle and time it to check level between 60-90 seconds. Again, readings are inconsistent where sometimes it is correct level, or low, or high. I take multiple dips within the 60-90 sec window. What process do DIYers in this forum follow to take accurate readings?
    • The hard shifting occurs on acceleration and decelerate when I ease off the gas pedal. The "thud" can be heard and felt when the transmission automatically shifts gears. It's like "engine braking" as someone said in one of the internet searches but I am not sure what to think of it at this point. Another point on the easing of the gas pedal, it seems to immediately down shifts when I ease off the pedal when it should be coasting until the RPM slows down to the appropriate speed.
    • Except for the rear engine mount, I replaced the front and side mounts (both broken) and as well as the 2 transmission mounts.
    • None of the above seem to resolve the hard shifting issue. I am concerned it may be a sign of transmission problems.
    • I am also reluctant to use the Lucas Transmission Fix fluid... at least for now.
  2. Timing Beltwas replaced several years ago at about 90K miles (now it is at 117K.) The car ran fine (as it seemed) in city driving so never noticed "lack of power" until a recent long distance road trip. During the road trip, I had problem keeping speed above 60 MPH on long stretch of incline roads. If I try to step on the gas pedal harder to get the car going faster, it does not seem to do much good. Typically when giving more gas the engine would rev higher and feel the thrust. But that wasn't the case with my car. A few weeks ago, I decided to recheck the timing belt alignment. I found both cams were slightly (1/2 tooth) off BTDC (sometimes the view angle of the timing marks plays tricks on the eyes). I proceeded to adjust the cams and make them perfectly aligned. After the realignment, the car ran much better - believe it or not that 1/2 tooth made a difference. However, 2 weeks ago, all of a sudden the car lost the "umpth" on acceleration and at lower speeds. But, at times, it still seems to be still "ok" at higher speeds above 65 MPH - even going up incline - but not all the time. Overall, it seems to be better than before the realignment.
    • Once again, Internet search mentioned breaks / leaks in the exhaust system: pipes, manifolds, cat, muffler, etc. can exhibit this behavior.
Has anyone experienced similar issues or can offer advice / validate the Internet search claims?

All comments / feedback welcome and thanks in advance.

Looking forward to hearing back from the group.

-2HS
What year is your Pilot? How many miles? What is the service history on the transmission? Regular fluid changes?
You describe a lack of power. Is the engine revving but the car not accelerating? (this would be caused by transmission slipping)
You also describe harsh/abrupt upshifts and downshifts. This could be either sticking transmission solenoids, or it could be that the transmission has gone into "limp mode" and is shifting abruptly because the vehicle computer is telling it do so. A visit to Honda might be a good idea. Have them read all the codes, both engine and transmission, and give you that information. They should be able to do a test drive with a code reader to help diagnose the cause of the harsh shifting as each shift occurs. Once you have better information, you can decide if you should buy and install new parts (solenoids).
The transmission solenoids are controlled by the computer, and are in charge of controlling the internal hydraulic spool valves that do the actual gear shifting and torque converter clutch apply/release. In order to do this,the solenoids are capable of varying the control pressures to the internal hydraulic valves. If the solenoids get sticky due to wear or dirt, they can lose the ability to provide this variable control, and shifting can become harsh.
If the transmission has many, many miles, and has other issues like worn clutches, leaking internal seals, even worn out hard parts--you may be in need of a rebuild.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks STMech.

It’s an ‘03 with 117K. I am the original owner. I maintenance all the work on the car except transmission work with the exception fluid change. I changed the ATF 2x thru life of the car. Engine does not rev like trans slipping. It just does not seem to change the engine speed much. It’s like stepping on gas but nothing getting to the cyclinders. I don’t have any misfire or rough idle or sputting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,649 Posts
Connect the OBD scanner and check that the throttle position matches the pedal position as you depress the pedal and does not stick at some low percentage. This would rule out throttle pedal position sensor.

Also run a can of Seafoam through a 1/4 tank of gas and do the Seafoam spray cleaning procedure, then change your oil to a high mileage product and stick with it going forward.

I also had a bit of a thud when decelerating after I bough the Pilot with 60k on it, and until a couple months after I changed the fluid to Valvoline Maxlife ATF. For a few years now there is no thud and it is smooth as silk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
814 Posts
Connect the OBD scanner and check that the throttle position matches the pedal position as you depress the pedal and does not stick at some low percentage. This would rule out throttle pedal position sensor.

I also had a bit of a thud when decelerating after I bough the Pilot with 60k on it, and until a couple months after I changed the fluid to Valvoline Maxlife ATF. For a few years now there is no thud and it is smooth as silk.
I've got a 2003, and I'm pretty sure that the throttle is controlled by a cable. It was 04 or 05 when the drive by wire "improvement" was introduced. To the OP, with only 117k miles, and at least a couple of ATF services over the years, your transmission should have some life left. I suggest that you do a couple of drain and fills. My 2003 with 208k shifts better every time that I do a D&F.
The loss of power sounds like a different issue. I don't have any clues right now. Maybe another member here has an idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
STMech and CAN, Thanks for your comments.

@can, is SeaFoam better than the other fuel additive? I use the Chevron injector cleaner a few times in the past few months. Haven’t really noticed any difference but it’s probably just a way to help clean things cleaner a bit. Can you elaborate on the SeaFoam spray cleaning procedure? What would I be cleaning?

As for the ATF, I’ve always used the Honda brand ATF fluid. You recommend the Valvoline MaxLife? Many people say only use Honda ATF and stay away from 3rd party brands.

Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
814 Posts
STMech and CAN, Thanks for your comments.

@can, is SeaFoam better than the other fuel additive? I use the Chevron injector cleaner a few times in the past few months. Haven’t really noticed any difference but it’s probably just a way to help clean things cleaner a bit. Can you elaborate on the SeaFoam spray cleaning procedure? What would I be cleaning?

As for the ATF, I’ve always used the Honda brand ATF fluid. You recommend the Valvoline MaxLife? Many people say only use Honda ATF and stay away from 3rd party brands.

Thanks again.
Regarding brands of ATF, here is my experience. I purchased my 2003 two years ago with 196k miles. I knew the owner and the service history. All work was done by a local independent shop. ATF changes were at the maximum interval, and the shop used a generic multipurpose fluid. When I bought the Pilot it shifted a bit sluggishly, and the fluid was dark red-brown.
Over the past 12k miles, l have done 3 D&F with Honda fluid, and one with Valvoline. I also replaced the external filter. Shifts are quick and smooth, the car drives very nicely. I have no problem with the Valvoline ATF, and plan to keep using it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
What external filter did you replace? I thought there is no serviceable filter on the transmission. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,649 Posts
Google the things that I suggested and head over to youtube videos. They will explain much better than I can. There is a guy on youtube who compared all of those brands and found that Seafoam is the only brand which works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
814 Posts
What external filter did you replace? I thought there is no serviceable filter on the transmission. Thanks
The BVGA transmission has an external filter, located on top of the transmission, hidden by the battery tray. It is a small spin on filter with an oil pipe coming out of the top. This filter is in line with the cooler return line.
By the way, the oil pipe from the filter then goes to a modified fill plug, and the filtered oil is pumped into the transmission to improve the lubrication of the gears. This is the "oil jet mod" that was done by Honda early in the Pilot production run. Without this added lube, gears were overheating and causing early failure of the transmission. Later models fixed this issue with internal lube improvement, but the 2003 BVGA should show the oil jet piping on top. It was either added on as a recall on the first Pilots sold, or it was installed before sale of the next batch of Pilots.
 

·
Registered
Banned from wife’s 2005 Pilot LX
Joined
·
2,934 Posts
OP, as STMech mentioned your year Pilot (and 2004) have a fairly easily accessible external tranny filter. The 2005 tranny filter is inside the tranny housing but accessible once a cover plate is removed. I believe 2006+ requires the tranny to be separated from the engine to access the filter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Appreciate all the great info. I will look into the external filter. I don’t remember doing a recall for the filter so if there is one then it must’ve been installed before I bought the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
STMech - I have not looked into your external filter suggestion.

But a bit of positive news on troubleshooting my shifting and acceleration issues. Went to a local Honda dealership to pick up a couple of parts (unlrelated to this work) and started a small talk with a shop mechanic (happened to be behind me to pick up parts as well) if he had experience with the symptoms I explained. He suggested that I replace the 3rd and 4th pressure switches. I replaced this weekend and shifting is definitely smoother. Haven’t put it to a harsher drive test yet to really tell if acceleration has improved. However, in local parkway drive test, it does seem to have improved. There is still a bit of a kick (albeit, lot better than before) from 1st to 2nd gear. Will know more result this coming weekend when I go for a road trip. These 2 switches are very easy to replace as they are easily accessible via the driver side front wheel well and pulling back the spash guard back a little.

With the improvement, I am however, now experiencing a new issue which I don’t recall if it did that before the switch replacements. Hoping someone can confirm if it’s normal or it’s truly a new issue. At lower speed below 45’ish, if I suddenly take foot off the gas pedal, the RPM on tach drops to idle speed ~700RPM. If I slowly ease off the gas pedal, it gradually slows down, probably as it should bc I am slowly reducing amount of fuel. I am not sure if the sudden drop to idle is normal. Seems many others are experiencing similar issues out in the internet and with different car makes and models. Honda was no exception.

I have intention of check and clean the linear shift solenoid as many have reported fixed similar shift problems but it’s not a task I have time or want to do right before a road trip.

Looking at the Honda parts catalog for the transmission, the 2003 Pilot has about 6 shif solenoids and they range in price a lot. Some are ~$50 to ~$500.

Does anyone have a good description of what each solenoid controls which gear? The more expensive solenoids are the linear assembly (single or double). Can anyone explain what do “linear” solenoids do besides the general function of shifting gears?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
814 Posts
STMech - I have not looked into your external filter suggestion.


Does anyone have a good description of what each solenoid controls which gear? The more expensive solenoids are the linear assembly (single or double). Can anyone explain what do “linear” solenoids do besides the general function of shifting gears?

Thanks
Do a google search for "Honda 5-Speed Clutch Pressure Control". Scroll down to a link for "Honda 5-Speed ATRA". This will open up a PDF article from 2007 with exactly the information you are asking about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
It’s been a couple of months and I think I have some good news to share on the hard shifting problem I posted with my 2003 Pilot.

I believe I’ve finally solved my hard shift problem with replacing the linear Solenoid Assembly - dual shifting solenoid part #: 28250-P6H-024 (link below). It’s now shifting very smoothly. I recommend going with genuine Honda part and not aftermarket.

I bought the part from Amazon (mine was new in Honda packaging but I can’t guarantee the same for anyone else. Buy at your risk):
https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Honda-28250-P6H-024-Linear-Solenoid/dp/B00A4GPR1C


I’ve also used HondaAutomotiveParts.com:


* NOTE: If you have radio security, you will need the code to unlock it post installation. *

To replace, I removed the following (reciting from memory but I am fairly certain steps are accurate)

  • remove the engine cover - 4 bolts (10mm)
  • battery and tray. There are 2 wires and a small fuse box clipped to the side of the tray. Beware the metal clip on the fuse box may break from rust - mine did but still ok from the mount post. There’s another wire clipped to the front bottom of tray as well as one on top left.
  • air filter nozzle. There are 2 vacuum hoses behind the nozzle. I removed the entire air filter cover and nozzle for ease and convenience.
  • directly above the solenoid (towards firewall side) is a big wire connector that needs to be removed. Again, metal clip may break.
  • above the solenoid to the left is a small wire clip should be removed ( I did for convenience).
  • disconnect 1 brown and 1 black wire connector on top of the solenoid.
  • with some patience and handy/creative work, should not need to replace any of the parts removed.
  • there are 6 bolts (10 mm) that hold down the solenoid. A wobble 1/4” socket extension will be helpful with the bolt under the big wire connector (towards the firewall side) but if none avail, should be able to remove, again, with some care and patience.
  • This is one of two steps that I had a bit of difficulty. once all 6 bolts have been removed, carefully remove the solenoid. My solenoid was stuck on pretty good. I had to use an “L” shape pry bar that I made with a 3/8” metal rod. I made the prying end sharp like a knife edge that can slide between the solenoid and the transmission case (just a tiny bit to catch on the solenoid edge) and with a little bit of nudge it popped up. Then carefully work on fully removing the solenoid. There are 4 small tubes sticking up from the case to the solenoid that circulates the transmission fluid. 3 shorter tubes of the same size have screen filters (filters face towards the case side). There are 3 O-Rings for the short tubes (part #: 91301-PC9-003) - should replace - so get it before doing the job. The longer tube does not have a filter or O-ring and seems symmetrical.
  • b/c of the long tube, taking the solenoid assembly out and installing it can be a bit frustrating. Need to have lot more patience to carefully maneuver it around a bit to remove it. The issue is there are 2 metal oil lines (most likely transmission) going across the 2 solenoids restricting minimum movement.
  • you may or may not need to replace the gasket but I recommend it should be replaced. Part #: 28252-PAX-000. Depending on tools avail to you, removing a stuck on gasket can be another challenge. I used a razor blade with a long skinny handle (about 10”) and going in from the front between the battery cables and radiator hoses, I was able to slowly peel off the gasket in one piece... will take patience. Also be very careful cleaning the surface and not to score the mating surface risking leak.
  • to install new part
1) install the new gasket
2) install the 4 tubes on the transmission case (ensuring correct filter direction downward) and put the O-rings on the 3 shorter tubes.
3) * patiently and carefully * maneuver the solenoid assembly back in place. If you’ve successfully accomplished this part then you are basically home scot free.
4) bolt down the solenoid assembly with the 6 bolts. I didn’t torque it down and only did snug tight but not overly tight.
5) reinstall everything else in reverse order
6) if you have stock radio with security, you will need the code to unlock it. It will wipe the presets/settings.
7) hope this fixes your problem and happy driving.

Hope anyone experience this problem will find this helpful.

Good luck.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top