Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

8.7

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$492.00
Average Mileage:
124,871 miles
Total Complaints:
79 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (44 reports)
  2. dealer to replace ingnition and comp at cost of 450+ (10 reports)
  3. replace ignition switch (8 reports)
  4. dealership says not under recall and new switch is required (5 reports)
  5. have a locksmith replace the ignition switch (5 reports)
  6. leave key in the ignition (3 reports)
2003 Honda Pilot accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Honda Pilot Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #39

Nov 102012

Pilot LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My husband was driving the car and came inside and asked if I had any problems with the key lately. All of a sudden, we couldn't get the key in the ignition. After putting some graphite into the ignition, we finally got the key to go in. We did try using the spare and the valet key, with no luck. After about 2 hours, we finally got the car stared. We drove it to our shop and left it there until they opened on Monday. After they took a look a the car, they said we needed a new ignition, which was going to run about $400. The other bad news is that we were going to have one key for the doors and one key for the ignition. My gripe is that it happened all of a sudden with no warning. We are also driving other older cars and none of them had any ignition problems like this. Not happy!!

- , Moorpark, CA, USA

problem #38

Jul 022012

Pilot EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

My very expensive key takes a bit of jiggling to get into the ignition. When I took it to a mechanic they informed me that this is the 3rd 2003 Honda that they have had in their shop this week for the exact same problem. There should be a less expensive fix for this problem. Has Honda addressed this in later models?

- , Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #37

Nov 042012

Pilot EX-L V6 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,556 miles

One time before today we had a problem with the ignition key sticking - difficult to get it into the ignition. Tonight after dinner the car started right up, drove 1/2 mile, turned off the engine and 20 minutes later....trouble began.....It became VERY difficult to get the key into the ignition. Once in - it would not turn. Tried spare key with same results. Got the key in and tried jiggling the steering wheel - only to have the steering wheel lock solidly in place. Tomorrow I'll deal with it....call Honda....call my mechanic. This is the first really disappointing mechanical issue with this car. As misery loves company, it was reassuring to see that others have had the same problem. I appreciate the knowledge of how others dealt with this problem.

- , Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #36

Jan 252012

Pilot

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

This malfunction is THE reason to have a vehicle in warranty. The Pilot is in great shape all engine components, interior wear, exterior needs some TLC, but she is a beauty.

But i can't turn her on. Unless we give 10 minutes of continuous effort to literally ' turn the key'. Estimate of 250 to 800 is a lot of gas or tires in summer. Hate to see her go but once they go bad it is never quite the same, because once the next malfunction arises plus wear...When does it end! I am still discussing the Pilot!!!!

Honda will have to get a few letters through the attorney general, so answers must be given! If anyone starts or started a petition for this repair ...

Please contact me at vpfamilyllc@live.com. subject: pilot problems.

- , Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #35

Aug 272012

Pilot

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,983 miles

The Honda dealership says this item is not under recall, which is rediculous because this a part that should not break down. To me this is a faulty part. I have had so old vehicles that have taken more abuse than the Pilot and they have no issues.

- , Peterborough, Ontario, canada

problem #34

Jun 012012

Pilot EX 4WD V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,938 miles

I took it to the Honda dealer we bought it from, they charged me $150.00 to make 2 new keys. The new keys worked for half a day, I went back the next day they are saying I need to replace ignition cost for parts $202.00, not sure how much labor will cost. when I said what about the $150.00 I just paid yesterday, they said the $202.00 quote on parts included a 20% discount for the $150.00 I had just spent. How crazy is that!!!! They say they can't tell me how much labor will cost yet as they have to have a locksmith come once they replace ignition and not sure how much his/her labor will cost. I went to a locksmith they said they have had several people come to them with same problem with this year and make. For $85.00 they can do something with the ignition as a temporary fix, cannot guarantee how log it will last. they said it is they way the key was designed

- , Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #33

Aug 062012

Pilot

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

WELL THE KEY IS Stuck IN THE IGNITION,IT WONT BUDGE, I HAD IT TOWED TO A MECHANIC, AS DEALERSHIPS RIP YOU OFF! the mechanic can't do anything about it , but he did do temporary electrical work so i don't need a key. I am thinking of taking 1st to a locksmith and then if all fails I will have to take to the dealership. I searched the web and have found out this is common problem in 2003 honda pilots. I THINK IT IS A MANUFACTURERS DEFECT!!!!

- , Toronto, ON, canada

problem #32

Jul 012012

Pilot V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 154,000 miles

I am tired of my key not working.I see that this is a huge problem on this Pilot and no one will do anything about it.I am so afraid I am going to get stranded I am 50 years old and do not live in a great neighborhood I am not going to leave my spare key in the car so it can be stole so for now I fight with starting my car everyday for at least 5 minutes.I do not have 500 to fix this problem does anyone know why Honda will not recall?

- , Round Lake Beach, IL, USA

problem #31

Jul 232012

Pilot LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,159 miles

IT STARTED APPROX. 10 DAYS AGO, AT FIRST THE KEY WOULDN'T TURN RIGHT AWAY THEN IT WOULD TURN AFTER A COUPLE OF TRIES. THEN IT WOULDN'T TURN I HAD TO SIT IN CAR FOR APPROX 1/2 HR I WAS LATE FOR WORK EVENTUALLY I GOT IT TO TURN. THEN I DECIDED SO I WOULDN'T GET STUCK AT WORK TO LEAVE THE KEY IN THE IGNITION AND USE MY SPARE KEY. I LEFT THE KEY IN FOR A DAY WITHOUT STARTING IT THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FINE AND THEN THE BATTERY DIED. MY BATTERY WAS NEW GOT IT RECHARGED NOW I JUST HAVE TO START IT DAILY. THIS IS TERRIBLE MADISON HONDA IN NJ WANTS TO CHARGE ME 810.00 I CANT AFFORD THIS COST AND BESIDES I THINK ITS A BUNCH OF GARBAGE THAT A PROBLEM LIKE THIS IS MY PROBLEM. I'M SO HAPPY I FOUND THIS SITE I THINK THAT THIS IS A DEFECT AND HONDA SHOULD PAY FOR THIS. I'VE HAD OLD CARS AND USED CARS AND HAVE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM LIKE THIS AND HAVE NEVER HEARD OF A PROBLEM LIKE THIS BEFORE. THIS IS RIDICULOUS AND SO ANNOYING. I WILL BE LODGING A COMPLAINT WITH HONDA CORP IN THE MORNING. IN CONCLUSION I WILL BE USING MY SPARE KEY UNTIL I SAVE UP THE MONEY TO REPAIR OR HONDA MAKES THIS RIGHT MANY THANKS TO THE PERSON WHO PASSED ON "#7 AND ASK FOR JOHN.

- , Summit, NJ, USA

problem #30

Jun 202012

Pilot LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

My wife got off from work at 12:30AM one time, and tried to start the engine,but could not, because she cannot turn turn the key in the ignition switch, she called me after 30 minutes of trying. I had to pick her up, but before leaving, I tried my own key and the same result, the key won"t turn. The following morning, after about 20 minutes we were able to start it, since then we decided not to use the Pilot for the meantime. I tried starting it on a daily basis but, the key just won't turn.

- , Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #29

Jun 112012

Pilot

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

From the looks of it, this appears to be a widespread issue. Luckily I was able to get the key in the ignition and start the vehicle, otherwise I would still be stuck in the mountains of Wyoming.

- , Green River, WY, USA

problem #28

Jul 232012

Pilot LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

This is the 2nd time I have had this problem with my 2003 Honda Pilot, and apparently I"m not the only one. I had it fixed a few years back by a locksmith and until this week, it was fine. Then the past few days it started getting hinky every time I put the key in. Sometimes easy, sometimes it was a struggle. Drove around for 2 days and left my key in the ignition and locked the car with the other key. Just to make sure it wouldnt be a problem and we'd be stuck. TOday I accidentally took the key out. Habit. Now I cannot get it back in to save my life! Tried a little WD-40. Key goes almost all the way in at times, but will not make it fully. I am not stuck at home. Not sure how I"ll get to work tomorrow. Thinking it will have to be towed and then will cost me a bundle for a car I'm ready to sell. SO angry right now. SO sick of this problem and about a dozen other small problems with this car, including the locks on all 4 doors, brakes that need to be fixed over and over, AC not working in the back seat, etc... SO over this HONDA and promise I will NEVER buy another car the first year its on the market.

- , Austin, TX, USA

problem #27

Jul 012012

Pilot EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

Disappointed in a mechanical failure like this on a Honda. I expect more !!

- , Seal Beach, CA, USA

problem #26

Feb 152012

Pilot

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

I can not believe this has not been recalled. I have found hundreds of complaints on the Internet for this same issue with the 2003 pilot. I am livid and upset with Honda for not letting us know.

- , McDonough, GA, USA

problem #25

Jun 162012

Pilot

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

A common, terribly inconveniencing and costly problem. Helpful post here: http://www.carcomplaints.com/Honda/Pilot/2003/accessories-interior/key_wont_turn_in_the_ignition.shtml#15

- , Fabius, NY, USA

problem #24

Jun 222012

Pilot V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

This is the second time my key won't go into the ignition. I got it replaced the first time and now it's happened again. I can't go to work. Single parent with no other means of transportation. Seat belt sensor light is messed up causing the air bag to not work in case I need it. Brand new battery that is hooked up correctly but the engine sucks the juice out of the battery causing my car not to start. I need my vehicle to be in good shape so I can go to work and to take my children places. I'm sick of all of these things going wrong with this vehicle. I take care of this car so it's not neglect. It's like this vehicle is a lemon.

- , Nacogdoches, TX, USA

problem #23

Apr 242012

Pilot V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,988 miles

My key started being difficult to get into the ignition a couple of month back. I never really thought much about it, until I was an hour away from home late one afternoon, practically in the middle of nowhere and couldn't get the key in at all. After fiddling with it for almost 15 minutes, and just about to call a tow truck, it finally went in and turned the ignition. Since then I have lived with leaving the key in the ignition and using my spare key to get in and out of the car. I can bring myself to spend $500 to fix it — it seems like highway robbery for a car with normal use to have a failure such as this.

- , Charleston, SC, USA

problem #22

Oct 062011

Pilot LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,200 miles

I can not believe that a Honda of all brands, would have this ridiculously bad ignition, that doesn't allow it to turn on. The key started to get stuck, a few months ago, and now it's getting harder. The dealer said they have heard a lot about this issue.

- , Beachwood, OH, USA

problem #21

Apr 202012

Pilot

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

I bought this car from a dealership about 2 months ago because of the honda reliability. I've had problems starting the car for the last month. It's a hassle to turn the ignition on with the key. It takes a very long time to do that. I googled how much it would cost to fix it and i'm showing aprx 500.00 Are you serious? I see other people have had issues too. What is wrong with Honda. There is seriously a problem with the ignitions on the 2003 Pilot.

- , Fall River, MA, USA

problem #20

Feb 132012

Pilot EX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

Noticed the ignition key started to have some difficulties inserting and within a week I had several back-to-back really tough attempts to get it in, while being sure not to force it in. Each time I tried, it got worse, so I've decided to leave the key in and use my spare key to unlock/lock the doors.

While miles and fact that I just spent $4200 last year to rebuild the transmission, I doubt I'll take it to the dealer for a $500 repair. Not worth it.

- , Roanoke, VA, USA

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