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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
100,100 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.

2005 Honda Pilot drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2005 Honda Pilot Owner Comments (Page 2 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #105

Dec 252014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 9,500 miles


When I am going in a speed range about 35 mph I get like shudder/grinding sound coming out of the bottom of the Pilot. I am getting very concern because I've driven other Pilot and they all do the same and they shouldn't be doing this noise.

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #104

Dec 022009


  • miles
My Honda Pilot 2005 shudders at about 35-50 mph speeds. The shuddering lasts for about 10-15 seconds. The shuddering goes away by either increasing or decreasing the speed. This problem has been happening for a few years. Today I am sitting at the Honda dealership and I complained about the shuddering and the Honda technician mentioned that the torque converter might be the problem. I researched on this site and there are complaints for this issue. I was wondering what could be done about it. Thanks

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #103

Dec 202014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
My wife was driving to work when suddenly she heard like a whirring sound and the car just suddenly shut down. She pulled on the side and noticed fluid was leaking underneath the front side of engine. We have the vehicle towed to dealership. Talking to the agent, they told us that transmission fluid leaked into radiator and radiator coolant/trans fluid leaked into transmission. Cost of repairs: $1130 to flush out the fluids and 5000 to fix transmission. My problem is that we're upto date with the service check-up and upset that this was not prevented from happening.

- Lutherville Timonium, MD, USA

problem #102

Dec 012010


  • 35,000 miles


At speeds of 35-40 mph under light throttle there is a shudder. Letting my foot off the accelerator and stomping back on it sometimes helps make it go away. It seems to be worse on inclines where the throttle is under load at the described speed. There is a hill in my neighborhood that it repeats almost every trip. It almost feels like the pavement is rutted perpendicular to traffic but doesn't happen in other cars. It also returns around 70-75 mph. I thought it was out of balance of tires but I have had an alignment done and asked the mechanic to look into the suspension to see if there was any play. He said there wasn't anything out of the ordinary. I have also taken it to a local repair shop which I trust and they drove it, inspected it from underneath and they too couldn't figure out the problem and chalked it up to out of balance tires. My Pilot has been through 3 sets of tires since I've had it and the problem is exactly the same with every set of tires. I have used Bridgestone, yokohama, and kumho tires trying to rule out brands.

- Mount Juliet, TN, USA

problem #101

Dec 092014


  • 95,000 miles
This is a 2005 Honda Pilot we bought in 2009. The dealer called me to say that the radiator burst and the antifreeze got mixed in with the transmission fluid causing the transmission to fail. He is now quoting a $5,000 bill to replace the radiator and the transmission.

- Peoria, IL, USA

problem #100

Aug 012014


  • 124,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. While driving approximately 45 mph, the front end of the vehicle vibrated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 124,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #99

Jul 132013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 147,622 miles


The transmission line that goes into the radiator was dislodged and all the transmission fluid leaked out as well as coolant. The car had been driven about 4 miles and was parked at the time of the incident. There was no visible damage to the transmission line or the radiator but both had to be replaced according to the Honda dealer.the cost of replacement was $641.55 and none of this was covered by Honda. We believe that this is a serious defect in the Honda Pilot and is a major problem in both the Honda Pilot and Odyssey van. This connection was not damaged and simply let loose. It has occurred in many other vehicles at different amounts of mileage from my vehicle. This connection should never come loose under normal driving conditions and is a serious defect with significant safety concerns. The repair person at the dealer told me that they are seeing a lot of these problems and that the line simply blows out under the pressure from inside the radiator (he said about 110 psi) Honda should be held responsible for this defect and all Honda Pilot and Odyssey vans should be recalled and the defect corrected before serious injuries occur. We believe you should investigate this further and have Honda take corrective action. As I investigated this I determined that in some cases the coolant and radiator fluid mix together and cause serious damage to the transmission. This is caused by the same problem but the repair cost go into the thousands $ because of the damage to the transmission.

- Southampton, PA, USA

problem #98

Jul 282014


  • 126,000 miles
I was driving my Honda RPM started going up and down vehicle started violently started to shake. I luckily made it home. The transmission fluid and coolant had mixed. I bought a new radiator, extensive transmission flush 15 qts. Now 2 months later the vehicle is shifting hard, shaking at 35-40 mph and have been informed I need a new transmission. I have read numerous comments and reports of this Honda should be notified and a recall put in place.

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #97

Sep 012014


  • 127,000 miles
Vehicle shudders at 40-45 mph. Causes severe shaking that could hinder driving ability especially in slippery conditions. Lots of complaints on internet related to torque converter and motor mounts. Threats of class action suit against Honda for multiple people complaining of this ongoing problem.

- Manitowoc, WI, USA

problem #96

Aug 282014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 122,953 miles
Transmission shudder between 35-40 mph. This is a well known problem that is caused by a failing torque converter.

- Port Barrington, IL, USA

problem #95

Jul 052014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 175,000 miles


Transmission overheated, over pressurized and sprayed out bleeder valve.

- Douglassville, PA, USA

problem #94

Jul 162014


  • 38,333 miles
I had been driving for about 15 minutes when car suddenly failed to maintain speed and slowed from 45 mph to 30-35 mph. I could not get car to accelerate, engine was audibly strained and smoke was shortly evident from under hood. I put on my emergency flashers and pulled off the road as soon as it was safe to do so. No warning lights were illuminated. Smoke ceased when I turned the engine off. Upon exiting the car I observed a heavy stream of brown oily liquid draining from hood and additional blue oily fluid following shortly thereafter. I checked the fluid levels to find totally depleted transmission fluid and rapidly diminishing engine coolant. I called my Honda dealer service dept. And was advised not to drive the car and to have it towed to the service dept. Which I did. It was determined that a hose had disconnected and the radiator would need replacement. He could offer no explanation as to what caused the problem stating it had not seen it before. Total cost: $825. Given the many internet complaints of this identical problem unreported to official agencies combined with those reported to Honda corporate and NHTSA I am unconvinced that all Honda dealerships are unaware of this issue. I am, however, totally convinced that serious injury or death would have resulted had I been driving on a crowded highway at 70 mph when this hose disconnected causing an instantaneous loss of speed with impending engine failure. I am equally convinced that Honda Corp. Is negligent in not admitting this to be a manufacturing defect worthy of a voluntary recall and financial reimbursement to it's customers. NHTSA is negligent in it's lack of attention to the serious nature of this problem and failure to mandate a recall.

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #93

Jul 022014


  • 102,000 miles
I have been having problems with my transmission since I financed it in 2009. I was driving and the D would constantly flash. I took it back to the dealership and they informed me they put to much fluid in the transmission. A few months back I started hearing funny noises and when I go to make a U-turn the steering wheel will become locked and it will be hard to turn the wheel back. I thought I didn't have enough power steering fluid but once it was checked everything was full. Two days ago I am driving my car and go to turn and the car wouldn't move with the gear in drive. I had to cut it off and back on then it moved and kept stopping until I was able to park it. Once I went to go park it I put the gear in reverse and the car went forward now it don't move in any gear.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #92

Apr 192014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 58,485 miles
The D light is flash. So there are something warning my transmission I think my transmission is going to be fail. We know that Honda, Pilot 2004 had recall for this. Would you please have my 2005 recall transmission? I worry to drive it now, cause of safety reason and also the cost of repair. Since this car only 58,485 miles. It doesn't make sense the D light is flash with this miles. Please help! thankyou

- Lakewood, CA, USA

problem #91

Apr 022012


  • 80,000 miles
Transmission shudder between 35-40 mph. This is a well known problem that is caused by a failing torque converter.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #90

Mar 272014


  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns 2005 Honda Pilot. The contact stated while driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle over heated and stalled without warning. The vehicle did not restart. The vehicle was towed to the contacts residence. An independent mechanic stated that the transmission pushed water into the radiator and the transmission needs to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 200,000.

- Andrews, SC, USA

problem #89

Mar 012014


  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the vehicle exhibited a reduction in power. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the radiator and transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 125,000.updated 06/10/14

- Kirtland Hills, OH, USA

problem #88

Nov 042013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
Transmission shudders at 35-40 mph apparently due to faulty torque converters and transmissions installed in these vehicles. There are numerous instances of premature transmission failures documented on this vehicle. It can cause the vehicle to stop suddenly, and is a hazard. These torque converters and transmissions should be recalled.

- Manasquan, NJ, USA

problem #87

Jan 312014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 128,100 miles
Transmission cooler line inside radiator failed combining fluids and causing the transmission to malfunction. Loss of ability to drive/move vehicle with family in the vehicle. This is a common failure and requires a new radiator and replace / rebuild the transmission. A recommendation from Honda to replace the radiator every 100,000 miles would have prevented having to replace / rebuild the transmission. Subsequent to repair, oil remains in the coolant system and has caused failure of a coolant line due to over-pressurization. The vehicle, with multiple children in it, has been stranded two more times due to coolant system failure.

- Old Lyme, CT, USA

problem #86

Jan 082014


  • 145,000 miles
Like so very many other Honda Pilot owners of the timeframe, I have experienced a transmission leak and failure from a radiator failure - and though Honda had settled a class-action suit about these problems with a minor warranty extension... my failure, of course, happened shortly after that extension. I am out nearly $5,000 and nearly got killed when my car died because Honda has failed to properly recall these transmissions. Shame on Honda - and shame on you for not holding them to task even after they settled a lawsuit (with such a lame and still unsafe response).

- Maumelle, AR, USA

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