really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,791 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Honda Pilot Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #44

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 #43

Jun 012011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 125,463 miles
2004 Honda Pilot when accelerating between 35-45 miles per hour the vehicle starts to shudder. As time has passed this is starting to happen more frequently a nd at lower speeds. I have read other complaints about this and the recall that was issued for the same problem with Acura. I know the was a recall for the 2004 Pilot but was informed by the dealer that mine was not involved.

- Belchertown, MA, USA

problem #42

Jul 122011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 131,567 miles
2004 Honda Pilot with 131,567 miles. All required maintenance done at the dealer since purchase. Took in a car that was running fine for scheduled routine maintenance & left with a $3,000 bill. Was told by the dealer that the car was now good for another 30,000 miles. Drove several blocks down the road & after stopping at a stop sign, wouldn't go into drive, just ran as in neutral. Finally got into drive by downshifting into 2nd. Went back to dealer who couldn't duplicate problem. Went home & problem persisted. Took back to dealer who drove & duplicated problem. Stated that I now need a new transmission for a cost of $4,800.I cannot afford another $4800 on top of $3000 so car is now sitting in my driveway wince it is obviously not safe to drive while I drive my fathers 26 year old Toyota cressida which runs fine.

- Cashiers, NC, USA

problem #41

Jun 012010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


I am an owner of a 2004 Honda Pilot (purchased new and meticulously maintained) with 89,000 miles and have been experiencing an automatic transmission/torque converter shudder/vibration that occurs between 30-50 mph. The vibration began occurring at about 75,000 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.

- Albany, NY, USA

problem #40

Jul 122011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 138,000 miles
My vehicle is having automatic transmission problems. I have taken it to several mechanics and the dealership and have been told they need to run diagnostics. They diagnosed the same problems and said the sensor and transmission need to be replaced. I have done some research and found that most 2003 and 2004 Honda owners have had this problem. This morning I was driving on the highway and my car stopped and I was almost rear ended. This problem has been there for a while and I took it in before but was told different sensors needed to be replaced.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #39

Jan 012010


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that a burning odor was coming from the transmission. The vehicle would also shake excessively while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic, who was unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was then taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was advised to have the torque converter replaced. The manufacturer was aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 90,000.

- Jericho, VT, USA

problem #38

Mar 012011

Pilot 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles


We are having issues with our 2004 Honda Pilot. We took it to the dealership where after charging us for each and every item to find the problem. They have concluded it is the torque converter. We have just over 70,000 miles and our certified warranty expired in January 2011. The worst is that our extended warranty is basically worthless. Glad we paid for that one.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #37

May 172011

Pilot 8-cyl

  • 65,500 miles
2004 Honda Pilot ex I have the "D" gear flashing from time to time.

- Buffalo Grove, IL, USA

problem #36

Mar 302011


  • 100,000 miles
Transmission drive D light is blinking. Told need a need 4th speed clutch pressure switch. Error code P1740? I have read many complaints about this issue on various consumer web sites. Honda should have this recalled and pay for repair.

- Kenner, LA, USA

problem #35

Jan 282011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
The first symptom our 2004 Honda Pilot experienced was a shutter/jerking of the car at a little under 30 mph. We took it to the repair shop but the mechanic was not able to replicate the condition. The shutter and jerking then started happening between 40-45 mph. We took it back to the shop at which time the mechanic was able replicate it. The transmission was pulled and inspected. There was heat build up and discoloration. One of the components was totally burnt. The mechanic said that the transmission had to be replaced and could not be rebuilt. He wrote that there was heat build up between the countershaft and secondary shaft 2nd gear. He suggested that I call Honda usa because there was a recall issue that year. I called Honda usa. Honda said my VIN was not included in the recall. I explained that the problem located by my mechanic was exactly what the recall was all about-heat build-up between the countershaft and secondary shaft second gears in the automatic transmission, eventually leading to gear tooth chipping or gear breakage. Honda apologized but said our car was not part of the recall. They also said our car needed to be taken to an authorized Honda dealer for inspection and repair. I paid for the replacement of the transmission out of pocket-$3800-because we needed our car to get around. I told Honda that the defective transmission was sent to their plant if they wanted to inspect it.

- Kingston, WA, USA

problem #34

Feb 242011


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Pilot. The contact was driving approximately 50 mph when the vehicle suddenly stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where they advised the contact that she would need to replace the transmission. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 150,000.

- Chesapeake Beach, MD, USA

problem #33

Dec 312010


  • 88,000 miles
2004 Honda Pilot shudders/vibrates violently at 30-50mph. RPM gauge moves up and down. It does this every time I drive it for the past 2 years and Honda says they know nothing about it and can't replicate it.

- Shawnee, KS, USA

problem #32

Dec 312010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 94,967 miles
We have 2004 Honda Pilot with 94000 miles, today we had it serviced and they told us that it needs a new transmission for about $4450. We have taken this car to the dealership for service since we bought it. All schedule maintenances on time and all the sudden it needs a new transmission.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #31

Jan 052009

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Torque converter shudder /vibration between 35 and 40 mph. I have taken my 2004 Honda Pilot to the service department for over 18 month now trying to get someone to hear or experience what I was with my vehicle. Finally when the vibration was so bad it could be heard and felt. It was finally heard/felt by the service manager at local Honda dealer. When I was told what the problem was and that it would cost $2500 to fix, I got a second opinion, when that opinion was confirmed, I went online to see if there was a recall that I had not been notified of. I did not find any recalls but found the numerous complaints on the manufacturer of power train/automatic transmissions:torque converter. I was livid that there were so many complaint with the same problems that I don't know how the dealership did not know or if they conveniently chose not to acknowledge my problems almost two years now. I want to know what I can do when I confront the dealership with my complaint. Until I experience this problem I loved my vehicle, now everytime it vibrates/shudders I am just sick about it.

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #30

Nov 012010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Transmission slips when shifting gears.

- West Lafayette, IN, USA

problem #29

Aug 022009

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
My transmission makes a shutter/vibrating noise when accelerating at 25-50 mph.

- Pleasant Valley, NY, USA

problem #28

Oct 092010


  • 142,000 miles
My 2004 Honda Pilot ex-L is having a torque converter issue (vibration/shudder/grinding between 20-50 mph while accelerating). I have not had the problem fixed yet, but I have read numerous complaints regarding this issue at different internet sites.

- Granger, IN, USA

problem #27

Nov 272010


  • 15,000 miles
I am an original owner of a 2004 Honda Pilot. The transmission has always had a slight shutter since new. I never thought any thing of it until I started commuting with it. If I give the car more gas the shutter will not happen. I believe this transmission will soon self destruct. The "D" on the transmission selector started blinking. I have 86,000 miles to date. I am cautious I will have to replace this thing due to the vast majority of internet threads. I was a loyal Honda owner. Please recall this transmission before it kills someone.

- Langhorne, PA, USA

problem #26

Nov 172010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 89,521 miles
2004 Honda Pilot transmission shudders while driving. Only 90,000 miles on vehicle. Dealer says torque converter needs to be replaced and possibly transmission. Upon research found this to be a large ongoing problem with many consumers.

- New Gloucester, ME, USA

problem #25

Nov 162010


  • 93,500 miles
Problem: At low RPM in 4th gear and speeds 25 to 35 mph, there is sporadic vibration of the vehicle when the gas pedal is slightly depressed. The issue goes away if pressure is applied or removed from the gas pedal. The problem has recently started to occur at highway speeds of 65+ mph as well, also at low RPM. The failure was identified as a torque converter issue by the dealer that has resulted in requiring the replacement of the entire transmission in the Pilot. If the problem is not rectified, users have reported that it could result in a sudden change of gears to a lower gear which could result in severe consequences. The dealer has recommended that the transmission be replaced in its entirety in order to rectify the problem.

- Vienna, VA, USA

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