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My 19 Touring FWD is one year old this month and I have jusrt under 14K miles. I was a little skeptical of upgrading to the touring because of the tranny issues. However, I really wanted some of the features that the Touring offered so I purchased one. In regard to the tranny, the only time I notice its operation is when I am eyeing the tach or, on occasion, when I am driving around 30 MPH and I take my foot off of the gas. When I do the latter, I do notice a brief stumble or jerkiness. Overall, I am happy with its performance. The freeway off ramp near my home in configured with a sharp bend as well as having to be near the speed limint when entering it. I really enjoy the paddle shifters in this scenario as it allows me to brake the vehicle without solely relying on the brakes. For those familiar with SoCal, I also used the paddles to downshift on the Grapevine. No regrets to date.
 

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My one year old 19 Elite AWD has 18k miles. Unfortunately, for me personally, this car has noise and transmission issues. Low frequency noise/vibration can be annoying (Honda says that it is normal since most people do not hear that noise). Unintended acceleration during forced downshifting using down shifter is normal (Honda says that the car was designed that way). Two reasons that I don't like paddle shifters on this car are: (1) it is very dangerous since the car accelerates by itself (before slowing down) when it supposed to continuously slow down, (2) the paddle shifters rotate with the steering wheel that creates issues when the steering wheel need to be turned more than 90 degrees (I am too old to track the locations or to twist arms holding the paddles). Personally, I am using the paddle shifters only on a straight or a gently curved road to create hard acceleration. I, however, use manual down & up shift on my 2012 Sienna quite often (one hand for steering and the other hand for shifting). It is a lot easier to mimic stick shift. It will be nice to have the Toyota layout on the Honda Elite. I hope that Honda at least update their software such that the engine does not overshoot excessively when down shifting (not up shifting). The excessive overshooting works fine when up shifting during hard acceleration.
 

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My one year old 19 Elite AWD has 18k miles. Unfortunately, for me personally, this car has noise and transmission issues. Low frequency noise/vibration can be annoying (Honda says that it is normal since most people do not hear that noise). Unintended acceleration during forced downshifting using down shifter is normal (Honda says that the car was designed that way). Two reasons that I don't like paddle shifters on this car are: (1) it is very dangerous since the car accelerates by itself (before slowing down) when it supposed to continuously slow down, (2) the paddle shifters rotate with the steering wheel that creates issues when the steering wheel need to be turned more than 90 degrees (I am too old to track the locations or to twist arms holding the paddles). Personally, I am using the paddle shifters only on a straight or a gently curved road to create hard acceleration. I, however, use manual down & up shift on my 2012 Sienna quite often (one hand for steering and the other hand for shifting). It is a lot easier to mimic stick shift. It will be nice to have the Toyota layout on the Honda Elite. I hope that Honda at least update their software such that the engine does not overshoot excessively when down shifting (not up shifting). The excessive overshooting works fine when up shifting during hard acceleration.
Wow! I have not noticed any of the issues that you noted. Sorry to hear about that.
 

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Read a lot of this thread before I purchased my 19 elite, but so far I’m about 2800 miles in with no issues on the 9 speed. I have driven 98% of the miles and been passenger for the other 2%, and I am always very observant to watch for issues. Hopefully this good run keeps up for another 300k miles.
 

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Just bought a 2020 Touring and have driven 3000 miles so far. I am noticing an occasional light clunk / disconnect when coasting and then accelerating. It's almost like there is backlash / looseness somewhere in the trans or possibly in a driveshaft or cv joint. This usually happens around 30 - 50 mph.

I can repeat the sound by accelerating and then coasting then quickly accelerating again. Basically loading and unloading the trans / drive-line causes this clunk. I notice it most downhill but have been able to replicate it otherwise as well. Sometimes I even hear a snap / pop. The sound seems to be reduced in eco-mode.

I read somewhere on Reddit that this sound comes from "dog clutches" which don't immediately line up during shifts, and in my case might be allowing slack in the trans, causing the clunk. So no amount of programming can change this issue, since it is mechanical in nature. I understand the 19 and 20 Pilots have an updated ZF 9 speed but this clunk seems to be a problem, at least to me. One of the reasons I was happy with purchasing a 2020 was because this issue was supposedly resolved.

Shifting is smooth otherwise and when coming to a stop, it almost feels like there is some engine braking occurring, which I do not mind, just need to get used to it.

I am very particular and notice little intricacies such as this whereas other drivers can't tell. Sometimes this is a blessing, other times not lol.

Has anyone else experienced this clunking when loading / unloading the drive-line? Can anyone try to replicate this? I hope I am wrong about my dog-clutch theory. I will head out to test drive another touring to see if this is just a characteristic of the transmission.

I guess I am going to get the 8 year extended warranty to be safe!




BTW, You-Tube has an interesting 2 part video about the construction and operation of the ZF-9HP, reviewed by an engineer:

Dog Clutch Demo - ZF 9HP 9-Speed Transaxle Operation - Part 1 of 2

Power Flow - ZF 9HP 9-Speed Transaxle Operation - Part 2 of 2
 

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Agreed, but the update for the 2019 was both software and some internal parts.. details of exactly what that update was remain sketchy. The Acura MDX has the same issues and the same 9 speed transmission. It's unusual that there is so many that appear to be happy with the 9 speed while some have very real problems with it.

So no amount of programming can change this issue, since it is mechanical in nature. I understand the 19 and 20 Pilots have an updated ZF 9 speed but this clunk seems to be a problem, at least to me. One of the reasons I was happy with purchasing a 2020 was because this issue was supposedly resolved.
 

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Yes, the transmission fluid for the 9 speed transmission which your 2016 Touring model has does require the Honda 3.1 fluid. Very expensive at between $35.00-$45.00 a quart here in the US depending on where you can order it from.

I believe a fluid exchange takes around 3 quarts. I am sure a Honda dealer will usually charge more than the prices I posted.

There is also no dipstick and a special procedure has to be followed to insure the proper fill amount is used. It involves running the transmission through most of the gears, reading the temperature of the fluid with the Honda tool, looking for a specific range, and then seeing if any fluid is leaking out of the fill hole or not. That is how the fluid level is determined to be correct.
I worked at a Jeep/Chrysler dealership for 40 years and many people would get mad when you told them they could not buy a dipstick for their transmission. They would not like the answer that to check fluid level we charged $100.00.
 

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Hi All!

I've read at least half of this 34 page thread and it got me concerned enough to reconsider getting a 2017 pilot with 9 speed transmission. I am still confused if the problem is still valid or a software fix (or something else) can fix this problem once and for all. OR is this a problem that will keep happening even after a short-term fix? I was hoping to get a pilot and drive it for at least 5-7 years. Don't want to do this if I can't be confident in the transmission.

Who could clarify this for me? Or maybe point to a link with the latest info? Can't make a conclusion from this thread.

Model in question: Pilot 2017 Touring Canada (9 AT, top trim)

Thanks in advance!
 

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My 19 Elite drives fine if a driver uses it to go from point A to B, without worrying about how the car behave. My kids who are novices and my wife who are not mechanically oriented like the car very much. They, however, started feeling issues since the car started having unknown static or crackling noise coming from the audio (and possibly from the windshield). Having mechanical back ground, I maintain all the cars we have and am very sensitive to the details. For me, even if Honda says that everything is normal, our car has unusual issues. I regret trusting Honda too much based on my 08 Pilot experience. Unfortunately, I did not know that the 9 speed has two dog clutches until I experience the problem. I tried to illustrate my thoughts on the issue below. Please reply with correction if there is a mistake.

Information available from website on the operation of the 9 speed transmission indicates that the two dog clutches are readily mated at low gear. One of them uncouples when the transmission shifts up from 4th to 5th (the two components, male and female concentric parts, separates by hydraulic force, possibly causing a banging noise). The other uncouples the same way when shifts up from 7th to 8th. I guess that the frequent banging noise may come from these actions (sounds like the car runs over a sheet metal on the road even if there is nothing). Uncoupling will be less of a problem other than the potential noise issue since both components are rotating at the same speed (as far as the separation happens quickly).

When down shifting from both 8th to 7th and 5th to 4th, the two uncoupled components may not have the same rotating speed and can cause grinding issues unless the two are synchronized first (the male and the female part of metallic teethes can rub each other unless they are rotating at similar speeds or if the coupling is not done quickly, similar to a manual transmission making grinding noise).

Hence, I guess, Honda tried to synchronize the rotating components by adjusting the rpm of the engine. In my case, the engine control module tries to adjust the rotation by increasing the engine rpm (giving extra gas without driver's input, the rpm momentarily shoots up drastically). The problem is that the adjustment is way too excessive such that the car that suppose to slow down continuously actually (momentarily) gains speed by few mile per hour when it happens. Unnecessary braking is necessary due to the surge and the stopping distance gets longer if not using brake. Hence, using engine brake to slow down, without using brake, to time a traffic signal is very tricky. I am hoping that the brake pads last long enough since it has to cover the extra work. Same issue affects using pedal shifters to slow down. It is very unpredictable since engine revs up without input (not every time but at some down shifting situation).

In summary, the unintended acceleration may happen all the time, in D or S mode, while down shifting. Only difference is that it is less obvious in D. In S mode, engine braking feels heavier than in D and thus the effect is more noticeable. Not knowing the details, I am wondering if the transmission have sensors that measure the speed of each dog clutch component. If they have means of measuring speed of each component then my car may have defective sensors. If not, the software should predict the range of correction but it is not doing the job right.
 

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My 19 Elite drives fine if a driver uses it to go from point A to B, without worrying about how the car behave. My kids who are novices and my wife who are not mechanically oriented like the car very much. They, however, started feeling issues since the car started having unknown static or crackling noise coming from the audio (and possibly from the windshield). Having mechanical back ground, I maintain all the cars we have and am very sensitive to the details. For me, even if Honda says that everything is normal, our car has unusual issues. I regret trusting Honda too much based on my 08 Pilot experience. Unfortunately, I did not know that the 9 speed has two dog clutches until I experience the problem. I tried to illustrate my thoughts on the issue below. Please reply with correction if there is a mistake.

Information available from website on the operation of the 9 speed transmission indicates that the two dog clutches are readily mated at low gear. One of them uncouples when the transmission shifts up from 4th to 5th (the two components, male and female concentric parts, separates by hydraulic force, possibly causing a banging noise). The other uncouples the same way when shifts up from 7th to 8th. I guess that the frequent banging noise may come from these actions (sounds like the car runs over a sheet metal on the road even if there is nothing). Uncoupling will be less of a problem other than the potential noise issue since both components are rotating at the same speed (as far as the separation happens quickly).

When down shifting from both 8th to 7th and 5th to 4th, the two uncoupled components may not have the same rotating speed and can cause grinding issues unless the two are synchronized first (the male and the female part of metallic teethes can rub each other unless they are rotating at similar speeds or if the coupling is not done quickly, similar to a manual transmission making grinding noise).

Hence, I guess, Honda tried to synchronize the rotating components by adjusting the rpm of the engine. In my case, the engine control module tries to adjust the rotation by increasing the engine rpm (giving extra gas without driver's input, the rpm momentarily shoots up drastically). The problem is that the adjustment is way too excessive such that the car that suppose to slow down continuously actually (momentarily) gains speed by few mile per hour when it happens. Unnecessary braking is necessary due to the surge and the stopping distance gets longer if not using brake. Hence, using engine brake to slow down, without using brake, to time a traffic signal is very tricky. I am hoping that the brake pads last long enough since it has to cover the extra work. Same issue affects using pedal shifters to slow down. It is very unpredictable since engine revs up without input (not every time but at some down shifting situation).

In summary, the unintended acceleration may happen all the time, in D or S mode, while down shifting. Only difference is that it is less obvious in D. In S mode, engine braking feels heavier than in D and thus the effect is more noticeable. Not knowing the details, I am wondering if the transmission have sensors that measure the speed of each dog clutch component. If they have means of measuring speed of each component then my car may have defective sensors. If not, the software should predict the range of correction but it is not doing the job right.
It sounds to me that the issue might be "by design" but the behaviour is quite unusual for a traditional automatic transmission and is not consistent with the driver's actions. Knowing my wife, who will be driving it most of the time, I am very skeptical that she will feel comfortable driving when the transmission will be doing what you have described. I guess I'll have to downgrade to EX-L just because of the transmission =(( damn it, honda
 

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I think that it drives fine if the driver do not play with the settings. My wife is the main driver and my kids started driving the car since it has all the safety features. They are fine with the car. I think that the transmission issue comes from the non-traditional design. I just find out that there are about 80 complaints on 19 Pilot AWD submitted to NHTSA.GOV. It appears that I now have to worry about the electronics failure that can create unsafe situation since my car started generating static/crackling noise. Based on the complaints, I warned my family about the possibility of electronics system failure while driving and instruct them what to do when it happens.
 

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It sounds to me that the issue might be "by design" but the behaviour is quite unusual for a traditional automatic transmission and is not consistent with the driver's actions. Knowing my wife, who will be driving it most of the time, I am very skeptical that she will feel comfortable driving when the transmission will be doing what you have described. I guess I'll have to downgrade to EX-L just because of the transmission =(( damn it, honda
Yes, the EX-L will have a better shifting pattern and a longer lasting transmission in my opinion, plus it will not stop and start 100's of time per drive. That feature is a pain in the rear to me.
 

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Really, hundreds of times per drive?????

I have taken 400 and 500 mile road trips with a lot of city driving involved. I doubt if I have ever had more than 25 stop and stops during any of them. Even if you added up all of them over the three weeks of driving, hundreds aren't anywhere near the total. Even doing almost all around town driving now I might manage to have 5 or 10 stop or starts.

If it is that much of a "pain in the rear" to you, just use the shut off switch or disable it completely.
 

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Really, hundreds of times per drive?????

I have taken 400 and 500 mile road trips with a lot of city driving involved. I doubt if I have ever had more than 25 stop and stops during any of them. Even if you added up all of them over the three weeks of driving, hundreds aren't anywhere near the total. Even doing almost all around town driving now I might manage to have 5 or 10 stop or starts.

If it is that much of a "pain in the rear" to you, just use the shut off switch or disable it completely.
Certainly can depend when and where someone drives. You hit a patch (let alone something more than that) of heavy traffic on your daily commute and you can make plenty of stops in just a span of a mile or so.
 

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Just bought a 2020 Touring and have driven 3000 miles so far. I am noticing an occasional light clunk / disconnect when coasting and then accelerating. It's almost like there is backlash / looseness somewhere in the trans or possibly in a driveshaft or cv joint. This usually happens around 30 - 50 mph.

I can repeat the sound by accelerating and then coasting then quickly accelerating again. Basically loading and unloading the trans / drive-line causes this clunk. I notice it most downhill but have been able to replicate it otherwise as well. Sometimes I even hear a snap / pop. The sound seems to be reduced in eco-mode.

I read somewhere on Reddit that this sound comes from "dog clutches" which don't immediately line up during shifts, and in my case might be allowing slack in the trans, causing the clunk. So no amount of programming can change this issue, since it is mechanical in nature. I understand the 19 and 20 Pilots have an updated ZF 9 speed but this clunk seems to be a problem, at least to me. One of the reasons I was happy with purchasing a 2020 was because this issue was supposedly resolved.

Shifting is smooth otherwise and when coming to a stop, it almost feels like there is some engine braking occurring, which I do not mind, just need to get used to it.

I am very particular and notice little intricacies such as this whereas other drivers can't tell. Sometimes this is a blessing, other times not lol.

Has anyone else experienced this clunking when loading / unloading the drive-line? Can anyone try to replicate this? I hope I am wrong about my dog-clutch theory. I will head out to test drive another touring to see if this is just a characteristic of the transmission.

I guess I am going to get the 8 year extended warranty to be safe!




BTW, You-Tube has an interesting 2 part video about the construction and operation of the ZF-9HP, reviewed by an engineer:

Dog Clutch Demo - ZF 9HP 9-Speed Transaxle Operation - Part 1 of 2

Power Flow - ZF 9HP 9-Speed Transaxle Operation - Part 2 of 2
What you are describing is not a problem, it's just a characteristic of the way the transmission is designed. It's explained in detail in the videos you posted. Get used to it, it's just the way it is and is not an issue once you drive it for a few months, you'll stop noticing it.

Cheers
 

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Yes, the EX-L will have a better shifting pattern and a longer lasting transmission in my opinion, plus it will not stop and start 100's of time per drive. That feature is a pain in the rear to me.
My Touring stops exactly zero times per drive. Shifting into gear is simply a 2-button press (drive, and disengage start/stop). Seriously, I don't get how people make such a big deal of this. After 3 months I don't even think about it, it's just 2nd nature to push those 2 buttons in rapid succession. Actually, it's no different than changing to drive from park on the 6-speed.. you have to do 2 things too, push in the safety lock switch, and then pull back to drive.
 

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My Touring stops exactly zero times per drive. Shifting into gear is simply a 2-button press (drive, and disengage start/stop). Seriously, I don't get how people make such a big deal of this. After 3 months I don't even think about it, it's just 2nd nature to push those 2 buttons in rapid succession. Actually, it's no different than changing to drive from park on the 6-speed.. you have to do 2 things too, push in the safety lock switch, and then pull back to drive.
You are running errands on a Saturday, you are in a rush and have 6 stops to make. You have never forgot to push the start/stop button? If the answer is yes, you still should not have too hit a button 6 times. Have a turn knob like headlights or 4WD. If the knob is off, it is off, til you decide to turn on even if it is 2 years later.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

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Really, hundreds of times per drive?????

I have taken 400 and 500 mile road trips with a lot of city driving involved. I doubt if I have ever had more than 25 stop and stops during any of them. Even if you added up all of them over the three weeks of driving, hundreds aren't anywhere near the total. Even doing almost all around town driving now I might manage to have 5 or 10 stop or starts.

If it is that much of a "pain in the rear" to you, just use the shut off switch or disable it completely.
A little defensive? Do you take everything as literal? Yes it is a pain, I have driven many new Jeeps and 1 Civic and that is the dumbest feature to be added to a car. Oh and on the good side the restart batteries fail quite often.
 

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Defensive? No.

When someone says it is a pain in the rear for them, just disable it as it can be done very easily. Shut it off each trip or do the mod to shut it off permanently. There is a post on this forum showing how to do it.
 

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As far as I know there is no way to disable the start/stop function on the 2017 and newer pilots. The 2016 yes but the wiring changed in 2017 and green wire disappeared and the power wire became momentary. If there is a permanent method to disable this function in the newer pilots I hope someone can point it out without having to read 5000 posts. o_O
 
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