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 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #53

Feb 102010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles


Our Pilot drive light started flashing one day, we pulled over, shut off the vehicle, then restarted it and the light went out. This has happened about 5 times over the past 3 years. Now our engine light came on and we found out that we need a new transmission! we have less than 100,000 mi. Also, our gas pedal sticks, to accelerate we take off extremely fast from a dead stop. I am afraid that this will cause an accident!!! it started out a little sticky and is now very bad.

- Pleasant Hill, IA, USA

problem #52

Apr 082013


  • 92,000 miles
My 2004 Pilot ex-res started a faint whining noise around 73K miles. The noise became progressively more pronounced with time/miles. The noise is only audible when pressing on the gas pedal and in third gear. As soon as the gas pedal is depressed the noise disappears. I have 93K miles on the odometer as of May 2013 and the noise is now a high pitched whining noise; it is very annoying and easily audible inside the cabin even with the windows closed. I took it to the Honda dealership to diagnose this noise and they told me it is the torque converter and that it will eventually fail with the transmission; they advised me not to do anything at this time since the fluid and transmission pressure lines all checked out good. I was surprised to hear this recommendation from the service adviser. I take immaculate care of my car with on the spot oil/filter/transmission/vtm-4 fluid changes using Honda oem parts and quality motor oil. I am concerned one day my Pilot will leave me and my family stranded on the road with a huge bill to replace the transmission and torque converter. I have 2 small kids and this is the last thing I need to worry about; my vehicle was not part of the recall to install the oil jet kit. I believe Honda should fuss up about this issue and issue a proper fix to all affected owners, otherwise lots of people will look elsewhere for their next vehicle.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #51

May 122013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
Yesterday my Honda Pilot started acting irregular as I was pulling into a controlled intersection turning left. My Pilot would not accelerate as normal and left me stranded in middle of intersection as oncoming traffic approached. Traffic did slow down and I shifted into 2nd gear, and that allowed my to move through safely through the intersection. No accident, just a angry young man shaking his hand and screaming through his windshield. I called Honda and open a case # this morning. Interestingly, I call Honda and opened up a case in 2010, with shuddering and vibration problems at 50-55 mph. I bought new tires (only 34K on bridgestones), changed differential fluid, vtm-4, egr value, even had drive shaft inspected for vibration, anything that was suggested to me. Nothing fixed issue, spoke with several other Pilot owner (2003-2004) and they suggested it was normal operation and theirs does that too. Only item left in my mind was torque converter. Ask Honda for help. Gave me the 3yrs/36,000 mile speech. Now the "D" indication light flashes green. Indicating a transmission problem. Taking to dealer this morning to inspect. Being very careful at stop and go lights.

- Waukesha, WI, USA

problem #50

May 062013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 157,000 miles


The transmission failed on my 2004 Honda Pilot with only 157,000 miles on it. Thankfully, it was in a parking garage and did not cause any injuries or blocked roadways other than a busy parking garage.

- Davis, CA, USA

problem #49

Sep 132012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 190,000 miles
The transmission shakes and stutters as if it is stalling at speeds of 35 to 50 miles an hour. It will not go in reverse or forward. Engine starts but it will not go.

- Caledonia, IL, USA

problem #48

Mar 262013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the transmission slipped between second and third gears. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The mechanic stated that the solenoid would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Carencro, LA, USA

problem #47

Feb 142013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles


At a traffic stop everything wa normal, when I accelerated the vehicle I noticed that the D indicator started to flash. Before contacting the dealership I did a search on line and found that many other Pilot owners are having the same issue. When I contacted the dealer they wanted to charge me $150 for them to hook the vehicle up to their computers. I now found out that the problem is a switch for the fourth gear. My vehicle runs great and shifts very smoothly. My wife and daughter use this vehicle to go back and forth to school. It appears that Honda has had over nine years to fix and address this problem, weather you are the first owner or not, and if you purchased it from a Honda dealer should not be a consideration. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Dacula, GA, USA

problem #46

Sep 222012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 59,340 miles
Went to dealer for a recall service and maintenance, also ask dealer to check for an issue about car makes a clunking sound some where in front engine when turn right. They found the front/right engine mount was broken, need to be replaced both of them and cost $820. I found a lot of Pilot owners has same issue. I think Honda should issue a recall for this.

- Wilmington, MA, USA

problem #45

Jul 122012


  • 119,000 miles
Pilot rolled away while it was parked, I had key in my hand, it hit a concrete flower pot. Damaging my right fender bumper mirror.policeman got inside Pilot took key in and out of ignition several times, while it was in gear. I drove the car to Honda dealership told them what happened. They admitted it should not do that, but did nothing to help. After hearing of recall in Jan. I contacted Honda about the incident telling them they should fix my Pilot since it was there fault this accident happened. They had me send them information about what happened. The police report ect.they had me take the Pilot to dealership and leave it 5 hours. When Honda called me back a week later they refused to take responsibility for accident because the key does not come out of ignition when dealership had it, it does not do this all of the time, but it did happen in July 2012 long before I knew about recall and I have police report and witness to prove it did. My insurance has gone up because of accident plus I have to pay deductible, when this was not my fault. Honda has recall on Honda so how could they not be responsible" could you please help me with this"

- Peoria, IL, USA

problem #44

Feb 092013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 173,996 miles
Driving on freeway transmission completely dis-engaged ( as if I shifted into neutral ). while "coasting" I was attempting to safely pull off to the side of the freeway. After approximately five seconds the transmission re-engaged and was performing normally again. I took surface streets for the ten mile trip home and the problem occurred four additional times.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #43

Dec 052011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


Vehicle shudders at 45 mph, making a "whoosh' sound and slowing abruptly, if briefly.

- The Woodlands, TX, USA

problem #42

Oct 222012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 92,500 miles
To start off I bought my Pilot used from Honda with about 83,000 miles on it a year ago. When I drive my car at a steady 30mph to 45mph it shutters and makes noises as if I'm driving over road turtles. It's very violent until I let off the accelerator. I talked to Honda and they said it was the torque converter. I asked if it had been recalled and they told me there had never been a recall for the transmission. I know that's not true and they won't do anything about it. It's mine and my wife's only car right now. It's a serious issue that is very unsafe for my family and could cause a crash. There faulty transmission puts my families life in danger every time we drive it. Honda should take care of us free of cost do to there defective parts that are not because of normal wear. They also should have never sold us the Pilot without fixing the known faulty transmission. I believe it's illegal by federal law to sell it knowing there is a faulty transmission and recall with out addressing it and fixing it.

- Longview , WA, USA

problem #41

Jun 062012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 180,000 miles
I have noticed when my Pilot gets below 50 mph it gets a shuddering to it (not always but most times driving in the city), almost like its driving over a washboard. During a visit to the dealership I talked to another Honda Pilot owner who was experiencing the same thing but the dealership could not tell her what the issue was. So after more investigating she took it to a non-Honda repair person who told her the problem lies with the torque converter and to use a product called shudder fix. My question is if Honda is having these complaints why are they not fixing this issue and still selling these vehicles with this problem? I love my Honda other than that, but feel this is a defect in the workmanship.

- Snellville, GA, USA

problem #40

Oct 252012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 93,500 miles
Pulled vehicle into a service shop. Turned off vehicle and removed key from ignition to take key off ring for technician. Vehicle was not in park but still in drive even though I was able to remove key. A minute after leaving vehicle car rolled down slight incline and into and across 3 lanes of busy 40mph traffic. Two vehicles slammed on their brakes amazingly missing broadsiding the vehicle. A second change in the timing would have certainly resulted in three car accident and potentially serious injuries.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #39

Oct 172012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
Transmission made a very loud noise wheels locked up, and trans lost fluid through the drivers side. Upon closer examination I found that the entire transmission case had small cracks and the trans would lock-up as if there was something in the gears like a bolt or pin of sorts if driven even a couple of feet. Complete transmission had to be replaced, contacted dealer no coverage from Honda.

- Gull Lake Sask Canada, MT, USA

problem #38

Jul 192012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 111,297 miles
Apparently I did not place the car in park but was able to take the keys out of the ignition. Left the car and when I came back to the car, the car had rolled backward and crashed into bushes which stopped the car. This has happened to me twice. I now make sure I engage the parking brake to make sure the car does not roll.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #37

Aug 012010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
The shift interlock allowed the key to be removed without the Pilot being in park. This caused the Pilot to roll backwards in a parking lot. Luckily the lot was fairly flat, so it didn't roll far or hit anything (or anybody!). a Honda dealer confirmed the issue, and contacted Honda about it. Honda said they wouldn't fix the issue due to the mileage, and the fact that I purchased the vehicle used (from carmax).

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #36

Sep 082012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
Complete transmission failure at 60 mph. No warning, no blinking lights, sounds, shuddering etc. I was able to coast off the freeway without collision! I had my car towed to the dealership and was told $5000-$5500 for a transmission replacement. My VIN was not included in the transmission recall of 2004. This is dangerous! I am so grateful that my children were not with me and that there was no collision.

- Rainier, WA, USA

problem #35

Aug 042012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
I was parked in the driveway on a completely flat surface. I put the car in reverse to back out of the driveway. I touched the accelerator pedal lightly to get the car moving, the car accelerated wildly. I stomped on the brake, which went to the floor. I had time to look down and see that my foot was on the brake pedal and to stomp on the emergency brake. The car did not slow down at all. The vehicle continued accelerating until it smashed into a tree going approximately 30 mph (estimated). A couple hours before the wreck a previously unseen brake error light came on the dash. The shop it was taken to refused to look into the brakes, accelerator, master cylinder or the transmission. They stated there were no codes triggered, though they could provide no proof that they even had the necessary equipment to read the codes. State farm insurance refuses to investigate because the vehicle was a total loss. This from a stand still on a flat surface. It was horrific. I would like the vehicle inspected to determine if there was a mechanical failure.

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #34

Mar 012012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • miles
My 2004 Honda Pilot has a shuddering sound when I go above around 35 miles an hour. It is very intermittent but can be loud. My local dealer said they had to get a Honda engineer out to look at it and it is verified to be the torque converter. This seems to be a very common issue researching it here and on the internet. I am frustrated that Honda has not recalled these knowing that it is such a wide sweeping issue with Pilot.

- Plano, TX, USA

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