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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
155,938 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. ignition replaced by dealer (2 reports)
2003 Honda Pilot electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Honda Pilot Owner Comments

problem #5

Aug 112016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 187,000 miles


Twice yesterday and again this morning, my key would go in but not turn to start the vehicle. Problem resolved itself after a few minutes, but from reading other posts it is only a matter of time before I may be stuck somewhere!

- , Kerrville, TX, USA

problem #4

May 012016

Pilot ELX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

I have ignition key issue also. Dealer said it's wear and tear. I know its a defect. I have 20 cars over the years, never had this issue. It could be a cylinder and electrical sensor failure. This is terrible on Honda Pilots, especially their first line of Pilot, 2003. If I were people stay away from Honda from now on, their components and electrical issues are not stable, and their parts do NOT last anymore.

Stay away from Honda until they can recall their Sh!t and issues.

- , Westminster, CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 012016

Pilot ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

I am just logging the failure of the ignition so hopefully Honda will do the right thing and recall this problem. I'm sure I'm not the only one where my wife is the primary driver of our Pilot being it is our family car. We also have two children so them getting stuck in the middle of... anywhere. So I would appreciate if this was fixed. I'm going to go the locksmith route as it seems to be significantly cheaper cutting out the crook dealership.

- , Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #2

Feb 222016

Pilot RX 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

click to see larger images

ignition will not turn

When we took the broken ignition switch for replacement, and paid for and got a new part, it failed within days. Locksmiths declare it is a fact that the design is a failure and a problem that will break often because of bad engineering. A combination of high tech with cheapest materials that should be an embarrassment to a company with a reputation for quality. Ask people whose loved ones have died from faulty air bags, I rest my case.

- , Kings Mountain, NC, USA

problem #1

Jan 142016

Pilot EX-L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,692 miles

About a month ago I tried to use my spare key and the key wouldn't work in my ignition. So, I located my regular key and it key worked as it should.

Last week my normal key would go into the ignition but, the ignition would not turn. After several attempts the key did finally turn and I was able to get home.

Later that day, I went to leave my house for work and again the key would go into the ignition but, not turn the ignition. After 20 minutes of inserting and removing the key it finally worked again. It continued to work for the remainder of the day.

I spoke with my mechanic and he suggested I get the ignition replaced before It got to a point where it wouldn't start an in his opinion the ignition was deteriorating quickly. He also stated that this would be a dealer only repair. I did ask two other mechanics in the area & I reached out to a locksmith, They all said due to the structure of the alarm & the lazer cut key style it was a dealer only part.

I started to Google the issue & saw other people have experienced the same problem & I made an appointment with the dealership. The dealership mentioned that the previous owner had work done on the ignition with a previous recall but, they felt this issue was unrelated and would be an out of pocket expense.

The next morning the key became stuck in the ignition. The ignition would now turn but, I was unable to remove the key, leaving my car a prime target for theft. I dropped the car off this morning & I made a call into Corporate to file a complaint. It was also suggested I file a complaint here by one of the many other 2003 Pilot owners on this site:

I also went to the Honda Pilot Facebook page and posted about the issue.... Surprisingly, they responded ..... with " Hello, thank you for contacting us. We are sorry to hear that your vehicle is experiencing issues with the ignition. Recalls and warranty extensions are VIN specific and cover particular components for a specific issue. Considering the age of the vehicle, the repair would be ownership responsibility unless a Honda dealership verifies it's the same issue that a recall or warranty extension covers. Thank you. ^SP" I must admit I was surprised because they haven't responded to another peoples posts in the last month.... come on people, maybe we're making progress! Let's hope if we all continue to post this issue here, vcall corporate and file with NHTSA they may help us recoup some of our money!

Total cost of repair $538.89

- , Conway, SC, USA

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