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 7 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #5

Oct 012010


  • miles


Vehicle has noticeable shimmering/shuttering between 30-50 mph, noticed over a year ago. Soon after the drive indicator light would flash intermittently, although both seem transmission related, they did not seem to correlate. Over time the shimmering/shuttering seems to be more frequent and pronounced and the drive indicator seems to blink more frequently. After researching on the internet, it does not appear to be an isolated incident as there are many other 2005 Honda Pilot with similar symptoms at different stages of transmission 'failure' or complete failure. Have not seen a formal release from Honda (like with Acura MDX issue which sounds too similar), but like with the tsb on the MDX, many problems seem to be resolved with replacement of torque converter or complete transmission. I don't expect any sympathy from Honda so I am going to have our Pilot diagnosed and repaired by a private mechanic (Honda service is way too expensive) but wanted to file a formal complaint on this issue in the hopes that if it becomes big enough maybe others will benefit from Honda having to get involved at some point.

- Laporte, IN, USA

problem #4

Dec 062010


  • 72,600 miles
Car shutters or vibrates around 25-35 miles per hour during normal acceleration. It appears that that tires are out of alignment, but after taking my car in for a tire balance and alignment it was determined to be the transmission. It happens whether the car is cold or warm. I was told that the torque converter could fix the vibrations, but the design flaw is with the whole transmission. This started at around 72,600 miles on the vehicle, and has progressively gotten worse. It has only been a month, but after doing some research I found this to be a common design flaw with the 2005 Pilot. My local service department was able to negotiate 75% coverage of the approximately $3,300 repair bill by Honda to replace my transmission even though it is out of warranty. I feel it should be 100% and plan on pursuing this issue with Honda of America. I was told Honda wouldn't cover anything after 75,000 miles. I feel Honda needs to step up and own this well documented issue, but it is cheaper to deal with the one off complaints than admit fault and issue a recall.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #3

Apr 242010


  • 62,232 miles
Blinking 'd' light and once car is turned off, the blinking stops. This problem first occurred when we were driving back from lancaster, ca to san diego. The low fuel light went on and shortly thereafter, the blinking 'd' light. We pulled off the interstate and put some gas in the vehicle. The blinking D light did not appear again for two weeks. I took into my independent who could not duplicate the problem. The problem appeared this week and took in to my independent while it was still running and they were able to scan P0872. The car had just 62,232 miles on it and advised I take to the dealer. The dealer could not duplicate the problem. I took back to dealership where I bought the vehicle and gave them all the information from the independent and from this site. They were able to look up the dtc troubleshooting from american Honda and replaced the 4th gear pressure switch, cleared code and reset the light. I was reassured that this is electrical and not mechanical. It could lead to damage to the internals of the transmission, if the switch is not replaced in a timely manner.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #2

May 102009


  • 434,544 miles
Bt shimmy" is this a new dance? not!!!! dangerous vehicle~brakes transmission? shimmy? August 25, 2009 '05 Honda Pilot brakes lock up while driving. Did thorough investigation when this started in may: Brakes lock up and vehicle veers and stops while going over 35-40 mph. I am a journalist and did research. Numerous complaints: Honda says they don't listen to 'websites' what about your customers Honda? this was fixed for $500 back in may and happened again while three year old daughter is in the vehicle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! danger danger danger. Jack of diamonds service department in tyler Texas wants to argue about it. Sales manager says I can leave it there ~ B/C he is sure nothing is wrong and will resell it!!!! tyler, Texas. Further: Stranded in greenville, Texas most of the day with child. Unsafe unsaĻ“ unsafe. Brakes? transmission? shimmy" I don't know.

- Carrollton,, TX, USA

problem #1

Feb 172009


  • 60,000 miles
Front motor mount failed at approx. 60K miles. Service department has no know cause for the failure, but says it is likely a material defect.

- Spreckels, CA, USA

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