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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
111,717 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Honda Pilot drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Honda Pilot Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #33

Dec 012011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles


I am an owner of a 2004 Honda Pilot with 123000 miles and have been experiencing an automatic transmission/torque converter shudder/vibration that occurs between 30-50 mph. The vibration began occurring at about 98,000 miles. At speeds of 30-50mph the vibration occurs under light acceleration and continues until I either push down harder on the gas pedal or let off it completely. I researched the issue on the internet and have found numerous similar complaints on Honda vehicle owner forums. Apparently this problem is due to a defective transmission that is similar to the one on the Honda made Acura and has been the subject of an Acura recall. The defect will ultimately result in a vehicle safety hazard when the transmission fails. Even though my vehicle is no longer under warranty, the transmission problem is a result of a defective part rather than normal wear and tear and Honda should issue a recall or initiate an owner notification/resolution program to prevent potential harm to passengers when the transmission fails on the road. This is a dangerous defect that should be publicly adressed by Honda.

- Cromwell, CT, USA

problem #32

Jul 012011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 138,000 miles
While driving at a steady speed of 35-45 mph the car experiences shuddering for about 5 seconds at irregular intervals. It sounds and feels like it is coming from the front of the vehicle, perhaps on the driver side and at first I thought it may be bad wheel bearings. Those turned out to be fine. I took it to a repair shop who said it needed the rear differential serviced. That did not stop the shuddering. Subsequent research has shown that the Honda Pilot / Acura MDX with the 3.5L V6 in the 2003 - 2008(?) range experience this problem on a large scale, resulting from a faulty torque converter. NHTSA item number 10022468 addresses this problem specific to the 2003-2004 Acura MDX but my experience and that of hundreds of Honda Pilot / Acura MDX owners shows that the issue is much broader in scope.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #31

Mar 022009

Pilot 6-cyl

  • miles
I've had vibration/noise issues around 40 mph while in top gear, I've noted accelerating forces a downshift, or I can manually shift to D3. Either action gets rid of the problem.

- Jackson, GA, USA

problem #30

Jun 152012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


There is a growl/grind/shudder between 30-40 mph specifically at 1,500 rpms. The noise appears to be coming from the transmission or very close to the transmission. This issue is very hard to diagnose, however I already replaced the transmission once and the issue came back. Could I have purchased two faulty Honda transmissions?

- Billerica, MA, USA

problem #29

Jun 012010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Vehicle shudders when transmission is shifting at slow speed.

- Lansdale, PA, USA

problem #28

Jun 122012


  • 98,100 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Pilot. The contact was driving 70 mph when the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who inspected the failure and advised that the transmission needed to be replaced. There was a previous recall under NHTSA campaign id number: 04V176000 (power train: Automatic transmission). The vehicle was repaired under the recall previously bu the failure recurred. The manufacturer was contacted who advised that they would file a complaint on the contact's behalf and have a representative give him a return call. The failure mileage was 98,000 and the current mileage was 99,104.

- Seccaus, NJ, USA

problem #27

May 012009

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


Torque converter stutters at 25-30mph. Very disturbing and can result in transmission damage while driving.

- Bentonville, AR, USA

problem #26

May 272011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 88,431 miles
Last year our Honda Pilot began occasionally having a shuddering sound, like driving over a metal grate. This would occur when decelerating slightly around 40 mph. Over the past year this has begun to occur regularly rather than occasionally and for a longer duration and louder. Now the D light has begun flashing. From research I am expecting to find that the transmission is failing due to torque converter problems.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #25

Apr 192012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,400 miles
Premature automatic transmission failure after recall work (04V176000) oil jet kit installation on 2004 Pilot. Honda should be responsible for replacing all transmissions on all affected vehicles. How could Honda possibly determine that no damage had occurred to the transmission prior to the oil jet kit installation that vehicles with less than 15K received as a "fix". another example of how the end consumer gets the shaft if their fortunate enough to have survived the results of the faulty part.

- Apex, NC, USA

problem #24

Apr 232012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 132,000 miles
While driving normal and slowly accelerating, at the speed of 35-45 mph a "shuddering vibration" occurs.

- Wetumpka, AL, USA

problem #23

Jan 182012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 101,500 miles


Vehicle shudders when accelerating and shifting gears around 40 mph.

- Chanhassen, MN, USA

problem #22

Apr 012012


  • 122,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that the check engine light remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the check engine light was reset several times, but the failure was not corrected. The check engine light remained illuminated and the contact took the vehicle to two different mechanics for diagnosis. Both diagnostics located the failure at the transmission torque and the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and the current mileage was 122,000.

- San Mateo , CA, USA

problem #21

May 072011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
My 2004 Honda Pilot has been making a grinding/shuddering noise. Doesn't do it all the time, but usually when I'm going 35-40 mph. If I accelerate, the noise will stop. Can't duplicate it always, but sounds like something is seriously wrong in the transmission. Many, many other reports online of the exact same problem.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #20

Jul 012010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 130,855 miles
Began to hear "rumble strip" noise. Hasn't obviously affected vehicle performance and mechanic could not find problem, but noise continues between 35 and 50 mph.

- Muskego, WI, USA

problem #19

May 092011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
My 2004 Honda Pilot has a shudder at 30 mph. It feels as though you are driving over the rumble strips. I am starting to experience poor shifts at other speeds now as well. I understand that the problem is most likely the result of a faulty torque converter. Repairs include replacing the torque converter and the transmission as well as updating the PCM. Honda recalled over a million 2003/2004 Pilot but my VIN is just passed the last VIN recalled. However, there are many 2005 Pilot owners experiencing the exact same failure. Acura also issued a service bulletin that repairs the faulty components for all 2003 and 2004 MDX owners (inside and outside of warranty). Honda should take responsibility for the failed transmissions in the later 2004 Pilot and 2005 years as well.

- Edwardsburg, MI, USA

problem #18

Dec 112010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Shutter in the tranny from 25-45 mph it has been described as the torque converter.

- Burgaw, NC, USA

problem #17

Dec 202011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
At 30-40 mph while slightly accelerating, the engine vibrates or shudders. The symptom stops if I let off the gas or if I increase the acceleration. Does not seem to have other problems associated with this.

- Erie, CO, USA

problem #16

Feb 112009


  • 60,000 miles
Purchased a used 04 Pilot from a car dealer and during the first week of operation I heard shuttering noises like going over a rumble strip. I researched this on line and was horrified to find hundreds of similar complaints (torque converter) and a recall by Acura for same reason. I took it back to dealer to get my money back and luckily was able to get out of the Pilot by trading it for another truck on the lot. I feel sorry for the next person who unknowingly (not like Honda) purchases this with their hard earned money to drive their kids around in and are in a possible death trap! shame on Honda, do the right thing and recall before you kill people.

- Deerfield, NH, USA

problem #15

Jan 242012


  • 193,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the transmission began to slip gears with a roaring noise and then suddenly failed to operate. The transmission warning indicator illuminated during the failure. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic, who stated that the transmission would need to be replaced. There was a recall related to the failure under NHTSA campaign id number 04V176000 (power train: Automatic transmission). The manufacturer was notified of the failure and they stated that the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle had not been repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 193,000.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #14

Dec 172011


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Pilot. While driving approximately 60 mph up an incline, the transmission down shift into second gear while the engine warning indicator was illuminated. The failure occurred continuously. The contact was unable to drive beyond 30 mph. There was a recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 04V176000 (power train: Automatic transmission). The VIN was ineligible under the recall defect. The vehicle was diagnosed by a certified mechanic who stated the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Longview, TX, USA

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