pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
152,342 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

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

electrical problem

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2003 Honda Pilot Owner Comments

problem #7

Oct 192016

Pilot LX 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,702 miles


Driving the pilot home I parked in the driveway and turned it off. I could not restart it due to cheap metal used for the tumblers in the ignition. Had to get it towed away for new parts. Thankfully I was not on a trip.

- , Penticton, BC, Canada

problem #6

Jun 122017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

One day out of the blue I put the car in park and I turned the key to 0 and to my surprise the key would not remove from the ignition. Lucky for me I was in my driveway when this occurred. Unfortunately I had blocked in the other cars in my house hold. The key would not come off of 0. So not only could I not remove the key but I also could not get the car out of park to move the car out of the way. I had to call a tow truck and they had to drag the car onto the bed and basically bounce it off once it was at the dealership. I saw that there was a recall on the ignition switch so I asked Honda about it and they said that there was a recall but not for the key getting stuck, it was for the opposite issue which was the key being able to come out while not on 0. When there is a recall on a part shouldn't that part be replace no matter if it has the issue or not. I asked if the recall had been done and they said I was current but could not provide proof that the defective part had been replaced. This is coming from a certified dealer so they have to be right, right? They then said because the issue was the opposite reason than the recall even though it was the same part that I would have to pay 600 to get a new ignition switch with new keys which would only work on the ignition and not the doors. The key that was in the ignition was the only key that I had because the same dealer lost the other set and would not make a new one without me paying for it. I had already signed on the dotted line so what did they care. They could not get the key out of the ignition which I now had to pay for a new copy for the door key. This is a reoccurring issue and a defective part is a defective part and should be replaced without question. If there was a recall on a heart monitor because it doubles the beat of your heart but your diffective monitor reduces it by half does it make the monitor any less unreliable?

- , Sheridan, IL, US

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: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues

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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