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 1 of 7)

problem #125

May 022016


  • 138,000 miles


When accelerating at approximately 35-40 mph the cars shakes and vibrates. If you let off the accelerator the shake will go away.

- Oklahoma, OK, USA

problem #124

Apr 042016


  • 147,000 miles
My vsa light and my vtm-4 wheel light came on. When I attempted to push on the gas petal it would accelerate. I was driving on a city street going home

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #123

Dec 142015


  • 142,000 miles
My 2005 Honda Pilot check engine light came on. My local mechanics scanned the computer code P0741, torque clutch solenoid. After he replace the solenoid and cleared the code I drove it for about 50 miles before the light came on again. So I took it back the the shop to have the code scan again. The same code, P0741 appear in his scanner. He recheck the replacemental part for malfunction and connection issues with no issues. So I took it to a transmission shop to have a second opinion. The trans shop exam the tran and found no issues also. Both shops suggest that there must be an interior issue in the tran itself. My only option are to replace the whole tran or drive it as long as it is driving fine. I think Honda know of this interior issue and don't want to recall the vehicles. Replacing a tran isn't a cheap fix.

- Irvington, NJ, USA

problem #122

Dec 172015


  • 90,000 miles


There is vibration when accelerating between 35-45 mph. Seems there issue with transmission which is common among other ownwers.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #121

Feb 022016


  • 1 miles
At 105,000 miles I took my 2005 Honda Pilot for some preventative maintenance-oil change, transmission service, and an air bag recall. The mechanic noted that the vehicle shuddered on his test drive. Now the D light is blinking and the vehicle does shudder between 35-50 mph. The service writer alex schenbeck at dick's Honda in hillsboro said he didn't notice the mechanics note and had no idea what this could be. After doing some research this is a very common problem. Acura issued a recall on the MDX for the exact same problem caused by a design flaw in the torque converter. On the NHTSA website there have been 208 complaints on the 2004-2005 Honda Pilot transmission and 66 complaints on the torque converter specifically. I will be contacting Honda North America to see if they are interested in helping a loyal Honda customer or losing my business for life.

- Beaverton, OR, USA

problem #120

Jan 022012


  • 100,000 miles
When the vehicle gets to about 30 mph you feel a shudder in the transmission. After momentarily losing inertia, the vehicle is able to increase speed and continue without hesitation. I've had the dealer check it and they think it may be a faulty torque converter. This has been ongoing for a number of years.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #119

Dec 232015


  • 140,000 miles


When accelerating at approximately 35-40 mph the cars shakes and vibrates. If you let off the accelerator the shake will go away. Has progressively gotten worse.

- Galena, OH, USA

problem #118

Jul 042015


  • 0 miles
My Pilot 2005, 45000 mls. Is running very good but from 3 month ago the engine light is on and the vtm-4 is on at the same time some times in off and always back. This happen when the engine start and stay on, sometimes on the road is off back again on engine light and vtm-4.

- Bloomfield, NJ, USA

problem #117

Nov 052015


  • 148,000 miles
D light started blinking as I was going down the interstate. After I stopped I check gas cover and transmission fluid levels. Both ok. Happened again so I went to get code read...throwing code P0872 and code 0700. I had this problem a few years ago and Honda fixed problem for almost $500. Why is it happening again?

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #116

Oct 012000


  • 65,000 miles
At speeds up to approximately 35 mph, the car randomly has a shudder or vibration. It is not felt in the steering but in the body of the car. When accelerator is pushed harder or if the gear selector is moved to D3 the shudder stops. This occurred from 60K mile when purchased to now at 170K miles. Dealer can't identify the problem but recommends a new torque converter. Honda America will not do anything because of the age. I've seen numerous complaints with the same symptoms. Honda is ignoring that this problem exists. It point to transmission issues. Tires have been replaced, rotated, rebalanced, realigned and it had no effect on the problem.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #115

Oct 072015


  • 105,746 miles


The vehicle jumps on and off and I tend to loose control of the vehicle with steering. Further check revealed that the transmission failure of the vehicle.

- Mount Laurel, NJ, USA

problem #114

Sep 252015


  • 112,234 miles
Traveling about 35 to 45mph we feel a shutter once you speed up it goes away.also see a flutter in engine RPM.

- Warrenville, SC, USA

problem #113

Sep 012014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
When I slow down from going higher then 40 miles per hour my Pilot shudders between 35 and 40. It quits at about 35 but it started happening a year ago and does it every time I drive now. I have read on line of other Pilot doing the same thing. Seems tome this is a recall issue as well as a safety one if my transmission quits because of defective torque converter as a dealer once told me. I don't want to pay the costs of a new transmission when it sounds like a defect. I am getting airbag recall fixed this week I plan to ask about this problem. Thank you, [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Muscatine, IA, USA

problem #112

Sep 082015


  • 140,000 miles
On 9-9-15, our 2005 Honda Pilot abruptly stopped on emerald parkway - police assisted. Leaking fluid was clumpy red/brown and vehicle hot. Shop today says radiator and transmission and possibly engine need replaced and instructed us to contact a Honda dealer. This is our second safety complaint on this vehicle - 1st was dangerous "phantom braking" or inadvertant application on brakes in 2012, which Honda subsequently recalled in 2013. After reading thru complaints, I see the exact same problem - transmission line in radiator suddenly came loose and transmission fluid leaked into radiator and coolant leaked into transmission, ruining both has occurred numerous times. We anticipate a very expensive repair.... we are thankful this did not occur on the highway, during rush hour or with any of our 3 kids in the vehicle, and are angered at Honda's failure to recall this as well - as some said they did for 2003 and 2004 models?

- Dublin, OH, USA

problem #111

Aug 132015


  • 105,000 miles
After coming home from work I noticed a drip line in the driveway. When I turned around I saw a pool of milky red liquid under the passenger side engine compartment. After opening the hood I saw that the coolant overflow bottle was in fact overflowing with this milky red liquid. After having the vehicle towed to the service station I was told that the transmission cooler failed in the radiator causing the coolant to mix with transmission fluid. I was told that this a common problem in the 2005 Pilot and that now the transmission will have to be replaced or rebuilt at a cost of $2500 plus the cost of replacing the radiator and lines, total bill $3500. I am told and I have since researched that Honda is aware if this issue and has not at least warned owners that the radiator will most certainly fail, had they informed me I would have replaced the radiator before this happened. I recently came back from a 1500 mile road trip and was told that I was lucky this did not happen on the road at speeds of 70mph. I would like to see Honda held accountable for the aftermath of a known faulty part and the cost of replacing the transmission when there should have been no need.

- Elgin, IL, USA

problem #110

Jun 222015


  • 120,000 miles
The powertrain has a very irritating vibration when accelerating through or holding it at 35 - 40 mph. The vibration lasts about 5 seconds and has a very odd noise that happens at the exact same time. Kind of like deep base. All info I can find points to the torque converter and my mechanic says all his information points to the torque converter also.

- Sherwood, AR, USA

problem #109

May 152015


  • 135,300 miles
Car shudders occasionally around speeds 30 while accelerating, the shudder lasts few seconds and stops. This could happen only once or several times if you continue to drive around speeds 30 mph. From Honda forums it looks like a common problem with same year Honda Pilot and accura rdx. Driving with such an condition shakes the driver for an unknown vehicular behaviour that may cause an accident/ fatality. It is suggested Honda Corp may be asked to put a recall for all vehicles in this manuafcture year.

- Oakdale, MN, USA

problem #108

May 102015


  • 151,415 miles
Traction control system (vsa) light came on. Took to mechanic, who advised me of recall and that I should take to dealer. I took vehicle to dealer, who tells me that the car is not under the March, 2013 recall, even though my vehicle issues are the same as the issues which led to the 2013 recall.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #107

Aug 242013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
On our way home to NJ from a family trip to Canada we stopped for a bathroom break in the "middle of nowhere" Maine. The car hesitated to go when stepping on the gas. I managed to drive down the road, the "temp" light went on, then I pulled over. I checked the fluids....the transmission fluid was milky red. We were lucky to have cell phone service to call for a tow. I had my family, wife and two younger kids in the car. We waited for over 30 minutes for the tow truck to arrive, he had to call for Transport for my family. We managed to find a service center that was willing stay open to fix our car. The car needed a new radiator and have the transmission flushed ($800), a valve broke sending coolant into the transmission. We learned that other 2005 Pilot had the same problem of which there was a recall for this issue on the 2004 Pilot, Honda would not do anything! (as a side note, I had some seat leather replaced and the color match was that of a 2004 Pilot). Since the day of the repair the transmission is very rough/bucking while shifting gears. To date, besides routine maintenance, oil changes and small parts, I have replaced the timing belt, starter, water pump, and the radiator. To have the transmission replaced would be a very costly repair. This was our family travel car and I now will only take the car around town for fear that the transmission will go. I was not in the market for a new car but due to this situation I need to get rid of this car!

- Metuchen, NJ, USA

problem #106

Sep 262014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Heard a weird noise while driving home from work. When I pulled over to see what it was, tranny fluid was bubbling out of the radiator overflow. Had the transmission and radiator replaced by aul, the extended warranty co. They sent a used tranny and within a week it was shaking the whole car on the downshift at 35-40 and 60mph. Another used tranny was sent. On day one, began noticing the whole car shakes at 40-45 and 60-65mph on the upshift. I am waiting for my mechanic to be available to diagnose and request another tranny. This will be number three in three months.

- Deer Park, WA, USA

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