pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
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 1 of 4)

problem #79

Dec 022016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 222,000 miles


The key can be removed from the ignition wile running.

- , Signal, TN, USA

problem #78

Jan 102012

Pilot ES2HKY V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles


- , Ventura, CA, USA

problem #77

Feb 112016

Pilot 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

So I just purchased this 2003 Honda Pilot from an owner. My fiance had noticed that the key comes out even when the car is running and it goes in gear. So I was wondering what is the cost to fix this or what do I need to do?

- , Rosemead, CA, USA

problem #76

Jul 012015

Pilot LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles


This is a very common problem with the Honda Pilot and Honda won't cover it. They say because of the age of the car & don't bring it to a Honda dealership for maintenance. I keep all my cars for a very long time & I never ever heard of this problem. My brother also had the same problem and paid over $700 to have his Pilot fixed.

Honda knows this should be a recall & won't even cover a cent of it. I will NEVER EVER buy another Honda & will tell everyone I know not to buy one. VERY disappointed in them!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , West Chester, PA, USA

problem #75

Aug 142015

Pilot ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

My son's 2003 Honda Pilot had problems with the ignition key. I had to have it replaced, it would not turn, it cost about $600.00 dollars. I have seen several others have had the same problem.

- , Jupiter, FL, USA

problem #74

Jan 012016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

I have a 2003 honda pilot...with 120,000 miles. About 3 months ago the key starting having issues going in and or turning. I called a locksmith who told me this was typical. So he charged me 450 dollars to rebuild the entire ignition that turns the key. Well today 1/10/2016 after everything was rebuilt I am having the same problem. So Im back to calling the locksmith to see if he backs up his work like he says he does.

This seems to be a huge problem with honda pilots and needs to be fixed. Ive had many cars in the past and have never ever run into an issue like this. I buy honda for being a great vehicle all around... Honda needs to add this to there recall lists.... this issue is going to steer people from buying honda if this is what is going to happen


Seattle, Wa

- , Bothell, WA, USA

problem #73

Aug 112015

Pilot 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


I also had a problem with my 2003 Honda Pilot's ignition switch failing to turn, preventing the car to start. I would keep fumbling with the key in the ignition, trying to get it to rotate out of position and into the "start" position, but the ignition switch wouldn't budge. I had to fork out a whopping $500 to the dealership to get it fixed. I shouldn't had to have paid anything since it's such a common issue with this particular vehicle. This should be put on the Recall list. And people like me should get reimbursed for costs paid for a defective part.

- , Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #72

Nov 012014

Pilot V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

The key gets stuck in the ignition switch and won't turn. I informed Honda dealership of issue and they also confirmed that this is a known issue and Honda would not cover it for its due to wear and tear. I got stuck in a parking lot luckily and not somewhere worst. it was late at night and took a cab home with my son. It's a $550 fix that Honda believes is due to wear and tear. Can I ask how can that be for turning a switch on a car?

There are numerous complaints on the web relating to this issue and Honda should do a recall. In the meantime, I had an auto starter placed therefore they cannot program it back and, and, and too boot, I have to have two keys. the old one to open the door and the new one to start the ignition.

The inconvenience is truly a factor in this matter and for all the complaints that Honda received and all of the lives they have impacted with this issue would you think they would try to resolve it and/or at least pay for a portion of the fix??? hmmm...no.

- , Quincy, MA, USA

problem #71

Jul 012015

Pilot EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

The key started to become jammed. Very difficult to turn on. Of course on a very busy work day I finished one job and was ready to go to next appointment when I tried to turn on car the key would not turn. I was stuck at job site for 2.5 hrs waiting for a tow truck. Hand to cancel all of my appointments. Towed my car to Firestone where they quoted me $602. To have the key cylinder replaced, labor and to recalibrate. This should definitely be on Hondas list of recalls!!!!

- , Wesley Chapel, FL, USA

problem #70

Aug 312015

Pilot EX 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 195,000 miles

ignition lock and switch went bad

I was surprisingly informed by Honda dealer that Ignition lock and switch went bad even though this was recalled. Therefore, they are making pay $683 for the entire repair. They will probably get away with this because of the mileage of the vehicle. I have never experienced an ignition switch going bad. We are the third owner of this vehicle which means the vehicle was purchased used from an individual.

Honda should at least try to make some remedy of the situation.

- , Odenton, MD, USA

problem #69

Jul 022015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


I have been having problem with the key and ignition. The key will go into the ignition but won't turn. Which means you can't turn the car on. I had it towed to the dealership back in 2013, which they fixed the 2013 recall part for the ignition. Unfortunately, the recall for the ignition didn't cover the tumbler or the key. The dealership wanted over $1000 to fix it.

I had the car towed back to my address and the tow company put me in contact with a locksmith that was able to re-key and fix the tumbler for less than $200 dollars. Now the problem has arisen again with the key and ignition. The key goes in the ignition but will not turn so the car can go on. I had to call a tow truck. Luckily, after an hour of sitting in a parking lot with my son, I retried to see if it will work and it did. I got home but the car is now sitting in my driveway and have to find a locksmith to fix it yet again.

- , Largo, FL, USA

problem #68

Jun 132015

Pilot LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

So for about a week or so I have had to "jiggle" the steering wheel when putting the key in to get it in all the way or to be able to turn the key. Yesterday, nothing would help! Got the key in, but it would not turn for nothing!! Fortunately it happened in a place where I could safely leave my car until able to take care of it. And I was able to use a relatives car for the day to do what I needed to do.

After looking onlin , it seems Honda will probably charge me $500 or more, so I think the first thing I will do is check with a locksmith. That should also save me a towing fee!

I will update later this week when I decide how I will handle this.

Update from Jun 15, 2015: So I called Honda , they said $300 for part, $250 labor + $75 Re-key (additional $50 to tow it there)

Called some locksmiths, I've got one coming to my car tomorrow morning (no tow fee!) to fix it. $200 total. Says he's done this kind of thing many times. Hope it all goes well and I'm up and running by later tomorrow .

- , Millville, NJ, USA

problem #67

Nov 112014

Pilot LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

I have the same problem of the key not wanting to go into the ignition without playing with it and praying! This needs to be a recall obviously, and trying to charge $500 to fix..Crazy!! I just leave a key in the ignition at all times. It's a pain not being able to use the remote since it won't work as long as the key is in, but I can't take a chance of it not going in at all!!

- , Lexington, KY, USA

problem #66

Feb 282015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

This is a serious problem my wife and son almost got stuck in a empty parking lot at 9pm at night in 0 degree weather.I called Honda they wanted 250 for the part plus labor comes to 500. did some research called a locksmith found its a common problem that Honda refuses to fix. the teeth inside the tumbler become worn which causes the tumbler to stick. also the fact that Honda charges 200 in labor for a 20 mins it took to remove it is robbery. will be contacting my legislator and a few other sources to have the amount of money being charged for a 60 min job. also this is dangerous what happens If my wife and son were out in the middle of nowhere with no cell service they could have died or been severely injured. this needs to be recalled now before someone get seriously hurt.

- , Pittston, PA, USA

problem #65

Feb 162015

Pilot EX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

Key will not turn to start the engine right away. I can take the key out and put it back in. After a while something clicks and the engine starts. Sometimes changing to a spare key helps - sometimes not. Sometimes pressing the auto door open helps - sometimes not. It seems like the problem is getting worse and worse.

Update from Mar 7, 2015: Brian from American Locksmiths, LLC in Waukesha WI did a great job to fix my ignition key problem.

- , Brookfield, WI, USA

problem #64

Jan 122015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Key won't go into the ignition unless the wheel is turned just right. I fear I may not be able to get it in at all soon.

- , Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #63

Jan 152014

Pilot EX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

I noticed that you already have this complaint listed several times on your site and I just wanted to add mine so that Honda will take some action to fix the problem at their expense. My ignition key will not turn at times. I have to remove it several times and keep inserting it until it turns. It happens randomly but seems to be getting worse as time goes by. I am afraid that one day I will get stranded. I noticed that several people have reported that Honda will charge about $500 to fix this problem. That is a rip off to say the least. Given that many people have this problem, Honda should accept the fact that they installed an ignition switch that has a defective design and should initiate a recall.

- , Randleman, NC, USA

problem #62

Sep 042014

Pilot EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,500 miles

Early 2014 we began having trouble with inserting the key into the ignition and turning the ignition to start the car. It began sporadically and escalated to frequently. By removing the key and reinserting it, the ignition would eventually turn. During this period, my husband backed the Pilot on to our drive (which is a hill). Some how, with the car still in reverse, he was able to turn the SUV off and remove the key. Fortunately it was in reverse on the hill, it would have rolled into the street otherwise.

About a week later I discovered there was a recall for the ignition switch shift interlock for "certain" 2003 Honda Pilots that included ours. I found information on nhtsa.gov website that stated repairing the ignition switch interlock and any part of the ignition switch that was necessary. On May 2014 the recall was repaired. We thought this remedied the problem (not being able to turn the ignition). It didn't. '

n September 4, 2014, after inserting the key into the ignition, not only would it not turn, but the key was stuck. It wouldn't budge! Had the car towed to Honda dealer and was told that it was unrelated to the recall that was repaired in May. The Key Tumbler of the ignition switch had failed. I contested their conclusion based on Campaign #12V573000, that states replacing the ignition switch interlock and any other parts of the ignition as necessary. on the nhtsa website because the ignition key tumbler is a part of the ignition. They denied it. It I'll cost us $520 to repair.

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #61

Jul 152013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Key suddenly became difficult to insert into the ignition. Problem got worse, and key was almost impossible to turn to start the car, requiring several minutes of fiddling each time. This was a huge personal safety concern, as I was worried about being stranded alone. I was told by independent mechanic and the Honda dealership that the ignition would have to be replaced at a cost between $500 and $600. This did not seem right to me, as the ignition worked fine, the problem was with the ignition lock. After extensive calling around to locksmiths, I found one in a larger city that said he could fix the problem for $125. I drove to meet him, and an hour later the problem was fixed. He said that one of the tumblers in the ignition lock cracked. He was able to replace it in under an hour. I still use the original key. The locksmith confided that he does a lot of work for dealerships fixing this problem, and that they turn around and charge the customer $500 or more for this 'fix.' So glad I did the legwork to find a locksmith who could fix it for me!


problem #60

Aug 012013

Pilot LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

I got a great deal on a used 2003 Honda Pilot from a individual seller almost 7 months ago. It was much needed. I've been a single mom for 17 years and I had only one vehicle and now 2 boys that were going off to college and needed a car. I felt blessed to find such a good deal.

There was an issue with the driver's side door not being able to be locked, but you could unlock it from that side. This was a little annoying, but I could deal with it because of the deal I got on the car. I did replace the timing belt as the seller (original owner) had never had this done and it was at 175,000 miles. I took the car to a Honda dealer and had it inspected. There were a couple of recalls that needed addressed so after they were taken care of and the timing belt was replaced, I decided to let the boys use my now paid off KIA Sportage because I was the original owner and knew everything about the car. I felt it was safer this way.

I"m glad that I made the switch because out of the blue 2 months later I couldn't get the key into the ignition!! I was on my way to pick up my sister and heading out of town. I panicked! WHAT???? I kept trying to get the key in the ignition and after about 20 minutes finally go it in. I had to hurry and pick up my sister and get on the road. We were out of state for 3 days and I had to keep the key in the ignition with a blanket over the steering wheel hoping no one would break in. Once we returned, one of my sons was home from college and went out to the Honda to get something, saw I had the key in the ignition and took it out as he thought I had forgotten it...YIKES.....it took him 15 minutes to get it back in. To this day (four months later) I haven't removed the key in fear that at one point I won't be able to get it back in.

I called the dealership and a mechanic and they quoted about $500. I don't have $500 so I guess it won't get fixed. As I'm reading the posts here I am seeing that eventually it seems that the key won't even turn. Dreading that day!!! It seems this is more common then thought so Honda should really step up to the plate and take care of this problem.

I wanted to add that now the key also won't fit into the hatch door. So that means I can't lock the car from the door from the driver's side, can't lock it or open it from the hatch and have to keep the key in the ignition. I truly don't mind going OLD SCHOOL and having two keys, one to open the door and one to start the car, but to have to pay a considerable amount to fix this problem? That should be a recall, really bites!! So much for getting a good deal :(

- , Charleston, WV, USA

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