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.

CarComplaints.com Notes: We all want our SUVs to be able to stop on a dime, just not randomly and without warning. But that's what was happening to 2005 Pilot owners: their vehicles were slamming on the brakes even when they didn't. A government investigation of this problem led to a recall in March of 2013.

Another issue that keeps popping up is transmission fluid mixing with coolant in the radiator which is causing transmission failure, a costly repair to say the least.

9.4

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,275.00
Average Mileage:
117,353 miles
Total Complaints:
41 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace radiator (10 reports)
  2. replace radiator and flush transmission (9 reports)
  3. replace transmission & radiator (9 reports)
  4. not sure (5 reports)
  5. new transmission (4 reports)
  6. replace radiator and transmission (4 reports)
2005 Honda Pilot transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Honda Pilot:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2005 Honda Pilot Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #41

Jan 122016

Pilot EXL 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,873 miles

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

Could have been prevented had Honda recalled vehicles with a the bad batch of radiators.

I would have gladly replaced the radiator at my cost had Honda told me there were multiple reported instances where leaking radiators were destroying their transmissions.

Poor customer experience.

- , Swisher, IA, USA

problem #40

Dec 102015

Pilot EX-L 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 197,000 miles

Had the same problem on our other 2005 Honda Pilot EX-L, too!!!

- , La Grange, KY, USA

problem #39

Oct 242014

Pilot EX-L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

This is another failure problem that I now know is common to this vehicle. Not much one can do except avoid Honda if you want to keep your cars beyond the warranty. Fortunately, the problem was detected while I left it for several months. The transmission fluid was all over the floor. Otherwise I would have driven it without fluid.

- , Venice, USA

problem #38

Oct 092015

Pilot EXL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,492 miles

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

Same problem as all the others. Pilot revved up to 5 rpm before it kicked into gear. Stalled on me one time at a red light then took awhile to get it going. Took it to the service center and they said it would cost $900 to replace radiator and flush both fluids. Not knowing yet if the transmission will need to be rebuilt..

I've lost all respect for Honda. Quality is not like they used to be.

I called American Honda to let them know of problem. Don't think they will do anything but, everyone needs to call them so they know more people have same problem. Get enough people they might do something. Flood them with calls.

American Honda

888-234-2138

- , marysville, OH, USA

problem #37

Sep 022015

Pilot EXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles

Like everyone else is saying here, had the truck in for inspection on Monday and on Wednesday I left a trail of fluid for about 1/2 mile right into my driveway. Liquid was coming from the right passenger side front wheel. Turns out the radiator was leaking into the transmission and the fluids were mixing. The mechanic said the radiator has to be replaced, the trans flushed 3 times and then they hope the transmission isn't involved. I'm going to freak out. We were in negotiations to trade it for a 2016 Pilot but after reading all of this I may go with something else. I'm PO'd.

- , Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #36

Mar 182014

Pilot LX 3.5L Litter

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,549 miles

I had the car only a year after buying it new. Still had 4 years of car payments on the vehicle and had to get it fixed. Had it towed to a Honda dealer near me where they confirmed my car mixed fluids.

The fix took a whole week and a lot of money! Also that Honda dealer left my can bone dry of any gas. So I had to not only pay for the fix but also drive to a local gas station to buy a gas can and gas just to get my car off the lot!

After said fix my transmission never felt right again.

- , Galloway, OH, USA

problem #35

Jun 132015

Pilot LX 3.5L Litter

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,665 miles

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

I had a to Replace the new radiator I had put in on march-18th-2014. So that is two radiators in less then a two year time. I also just before this paid a Honda dealer to flush the fluids we where still seeing a mix from the last radiator mix replacement.

That's when they informed us that the radiator that we just put in failed! So we had it towed to the Honda dealership that replaced it the first round.

When they looked at it said yes it did fail and that it was past the 12 month warranty. But I drove less then 10,000 miles on the radiator. So they where "nice" and covered all but 350$ of that fix. This time they didn't drained my fluids they "flushed" my fluids. Something Honda says to never do to a Honda engine. Because they recommended it I felt the best action was and "is" to do what they say. On pick up I was told that they looked at the transmission was fine and would work much better now...

A week later and 63 miles later my transmission is slipping now!

- , Galloway, OH, USA

problem #34

Apr 102015

Pilot LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

Same issue again! This time I have to replaced the radiator and the transmission needs rebuilt! I will never buy a Honda again, if I didn't owe on this car still I would burn it in my next Bon-Fire!

- , Great Valley, NY, USA

problem #33

Mar 212013

Pilot LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

Car would not move in gear, took it to a mechanic and they replaced the radiator and flushed the transmission.

- , Great Valley, NY, USA

problem #32

Mar 312015

Pilot LX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,100 miles

Same as the rest of the folks here. Radiator failed and the transmission fluid started to mix with the coolant. Coolant reserve tank was overflowing with the strawberry shake color looking fluid.The tech told me that transmission may go at any time and to sell the car as it is not worth fixing. Very disappointed owner of few Honda made cars (2002 Honda Civic LX,2002 Acura TL-S,2005 Honda Pilot LX and 2007 Honda Accord LX). I owned the Pilot for 10 years and it was always serviced at the dealer and I wanted to keep it for at least another 5 years. I don't think I'll buy another Honda any time soon.

- , Waltham, MA, USA

problem #31

Nov 152014

Pilot EX-L 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,939 miles

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

When the radiator blew about 6 months prior to this incident, my mechanic told me that tranny fluid flooded the radiator and coolant entered the tranny.

He told me it was not a matter of if, but when the transmission would fail.

I got about 6 months out of my vehicle and it died when my family was on the highway. No gradual failure, just driving at highway speed and poof. Done.

- , Canton, OH, USA

problem #30

Nov 142014

Pilot EX-L 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,500 miles

I was on my way home from work when I noticed I had no heat. Got home, popped the hood and low and behold a strawberry milkshake coming out of my radiator overflow. Only it was made with TRANSMISSION fluid. the radiator or cooling lines failed mixing the coolant and Transmission fluids. I knew better than to go to the dealer. I have a mechanic that specializes in imports. He has seen this before. New radiator, several transmission flushes, and coolant flush. Did timing belt while at it. Now I am praying Literally that the transmission is not damaged. I love this car, but now I am open to buying something other than a Honda. Honda knows they have a problem. I have seriously thought of a class action suit on this. This is outrageous, That in a few minutes you can do MAJOR damage to a EXPENSIVE car because of a design flaw and/or cheap parts. Don't drive it if this happens. Trailer it to service dept.

- , Brunswick, OH, USA

problem #29

Nov 032014

Pilot EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

I love my Honda Pilot. I've always said I'll get another one when I'm through with this one. However, now I am not so sure.

I am a graduate student, so obviously I'm poor, ha ha. I've had my Pilot paid off for about 3 years. We all know what happened to my car since it's the same "chocolate milk story" as everyone else.

I am faced with dilemma to fix it or sell it as is for cheap to put down on another vehicle. I have been quoted $3,500 to $4,200 to have it fixed with a rebuilt transmission.

I feel that Honda should definitely fix this problem or they should have sent out a recall and it all could have been avoided. I hope this issue is fixed with the new Pilots.

- , Coshocton, OH, USA

problem #28

Sep 222014

Pilot LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Our supposedly "reliable" vehicle broke down today after having it serviced at the Honda dealer last Thursday before our weekend trip. The technician told me I will be needing a radiator change in the future but it doesn't have to be done immediately. There is a small leak. It should be fine for the trip. Why didn't he tell me how IMPORTANT it is to change the radiator because, if not, it could kill the transmission... which is exactly what happened!!! I have lost faith in Honda... They should recall and fix this manufacture defect of the radiator leaking into the transmission!!! Make this right! This vehicle is no longer valuable in my eyes... Honda, you lost my respect!

- , Lockport, NY, USA

problem #27

Aug 272014

Pilot

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles

I don't need to say much here as many of the end-users of this vehicle know exactly what I am referring to. And all of the stories are 100% similar to mine. I will say that I believe Honda should make it a requirement to change the radiator if it could damage or destroy a transmission.

My wife and I are both young professionals and will never buy another Honda again, unless we can be assured this issue has been fixed. Incidentally, I did call HONDA USA and they could not guarantee...so I told them I will not buy another. If the radiator goes. No problem, I don't mind paying for it...it shouldn’t result in the consumer having to pay for a major component of a vehicle because an engineer made a decision to build a part that could result in two systems failing because of cross contamination of fluids.

- , Waterford, WI, USA

problem #26

Aug 082014

Pilot EX 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

As far as I know, Honda had several complaints about this but failed to come up with a solution. My mechanic told me that he's seen this only on Honda Pilots and Nissan Pathfinders.

- , Moorestown, NJ, USA

problem #25

Jan 082014

Pilot EX-L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

THERE ARE APPARENTLY A LARGE NUMBER OF US FOR WHOM THE TRANSMISSION HAS TAKEN OUT BOTH ITSELF AND THE RADIATOR - ON VEHICLES WE SPECIFICALLY BOUGHT FOR THEIR RELIABILITY!

THE NEW YORK TIMES HAS REPORTED ON THIS! http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/08/honda-transmission-problems-seem-to-persist/?php=true&type=blogs&_r=0

HONDA ITSELF ALREADY SETTLED A CLASS-ACTION SUIT ABOUT THIS, BUT WE ARE STILL SCREWED BECAUSE THEY DID A MINOR WARRANTY EXTENSION - AND ALOT OF US ARE EXPERIENCING THE FAILURE JUST OUTSIDE OF THAT EXTENSION!

HONDA -- DO RIGHT! FIX YOUR MISTAKES!!!!

- , Maumelle, AR, USA

problem #24

Jun 032014

Pilot

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,500 miles

Left for work at 6am its a 10 mile trip. Felt a strange slip then surge on the trip but thought it might be due to wet roads. Almost to work heard a high pitch sound. Arrived parked saw steam, popped the hood and saw a nasty sludge at the transmission reservoir. Tried to make it home but stopped when the temperature gauge spiked. Dealership wanted to replace the transmission and radiator and head gasket for 7500.00. Had it towed to a small repair shop, his thought is to replace the radiator and possible rebuild on the transmission. We will wait for him to check the pilot out before we have it repaired. I have had Honda's since 1978 and have never had anything like this happen. When I found this site and saw others have had this problem I was shocked. Honda should step up to the plate and admit to this problem. We brought a 2013 Pilot last summer hope it wasn't a mistake.

- , Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #23

May 022014

Pilot EX 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 172,000 miles

2005 Honda Pilot with 172,000 miles. I notice coolant on the ground and take the SUV in for repair. I was told that the Radiator failed which casued the coolant to mix with the transmission fluid. I am hope that I do not need a new transmission still waiting to hear from the repair shop. Really Honda get on top of this one, I can see that this has not only happened to me but many others.

- , St Paul, MN, USA

problem #22

Dec 072013

Pilot LX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles

So I took my Honda Pilot to a dealership to do an oil change and transmission flush before my long trip from NY to NC. I wanted to be safe than sorry. After leaving the Honda dealership that morning, I headed off to NC, and in Delaware I see smoke from the hood. I'm thinking it's oil from the oil change, because sometimes that happens. After 10 miles, there is a plume of smoke coming from the back of the Pilot. I park it to see tranny fluid everywhere, but also including a greenish blue hue as well. My Pilot looked like it was shot in the heart, and bleeding everywhere.

Fast forwarding the story, I call in a tow, and get it towed to the Honda Dealership where I was, this was on a Saturday evening. Of course they are closed on a Sunday, so I had to wait until Monday to get the logistics. Turns out it was the Radiator failing, and I was seeing leaked coolant and transmission fluid. They quoted 800 dollars, but charged me 701. I guess I'm blessed based on the quotes I've been seeing here.

Either my transmission will go bad soon, or it will last. Who knows, all I know it's time to ditch it for another ride...and quick. Oh, and whenever I turn on the heat in the car, it smells like tranny fluid; the smell will not go away!

- , Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?