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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
90,949 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Honda Pilot Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #15

Aug 252011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 94,500 miles


The accident occurred with my Honda Pilot ex 2005 at 01:00 am on 08/25/2011. I traveled from houston to dallas, Texas, the sparkplug number 5 blew off during driving at 65 mph ( 99 miles from dallas ). my Honda Pilot was repaired at Honda dealer on next day. Total cost was $3,325.14. The sparkplug ( that blew off ) was oringinal from Honda and all sparkplugs were never been replaced before the accident. My Honda Pilot only has 94,500 miles. I thought that this problem was a manufacture defect. I sent this problem to Honda customer service but they ignored my report. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Moore, OK, USA

problem #14

Aug 132011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 58,970 miles
Transmission would not engage into reverse, notice a pink-brown fluid in the driveway. Had Pilot towed to dealership where Pilot was bought & serviced. Informed transmission cooling lines in radiator had disintegrated, causing transmission fluid to leak into radiator & radiator fluid into the transmission. When asked how this could happen to a 6 yr old Pilot with only 59 K mileage no one had the answer. Recommendation was new radiator & 2 transmission flushes, cost $906.29. I asked for some kind of assistance with the cost of the repair, because of the year, mileage & all schedule services were performed @ the dealership. Here comes the Alabama shim-sham. I was informed to call Honda of N America. Honda offered me $300 towards the repair cost, I said the offer was unacceptable, they offered $450, that was unacceptable. A few days later Honda called back offering 400, I asked what happen to the 450 offer, they offered 450 again. I informed Honda I needed an offer of 600, they agreed, I'm waiting for the check in the mail. 4 days after I took the Pilot from the dealer repair shop the transmission went. Dealer informed me replacement cost would be $5200. Informed dealer I should not be charged because disintegrated transmission cooling lines caused the transmission problem. Here comes the Alabama shim-sham again. Dealer & Honda would pay $2500, I was to pay remaining cost $2700. I informed them that the offer is unacceptable. Dealing with Honda & dealer they stated the new cost to me would be $500, I informed both I need a better offer than that, the next offer was for me to pay $250, I accepted that offer. Honda has a problem with the 05 Pilot transmissions & transmission cooling lines. They know it but won't admit it. Transmission cooling lines are disintegrating @ the 5 - 6 year mark regardless of the mileage. Something needs to be look at for the reason why.

- Sutton, MA, USA

problem #13

Jun 032011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
I had complained about a shuttering noise when traveling low speeds of between 30-40 mph. No else heard this but me. Had another problem with a window switch (which was covered under warranty) asked the Honda mechanic if he hears a noise in the engine. He said he heard nothing. Kept driving my vehicle and now the noise is louder and took it back to the dealer and they said its the torque converter and now the warranty has expired. After some research online, other Honda Pilot owners have had this problem and had to get a new transmission due to Honda installation of a bad or faulty torque converter. So now I am forced to dig deep into my pockets to fix this transmission. Since finding so many others who have or are experiencing this same problem, I think this issue should be investigated. Thank you.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #12

Apr 142011


  • 65,000 miles


While driving on city road I heard a loud bang and smoke appeared under the vehicle. The vehicle then started running very rough so I pulled off the side of the road. I got out of vehicle and found a coil laying on the ground along with some other plastic pieces. I had the vehicle towed to my mechanic. My mechanic examined the vehicle and found that a spark plug had blown completely out of the engine block head along with the blown coil that I had picked up. The spark plug was never recovered even though I returned to the scene of the incident.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #11

Oct 012010


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20-35 mph, the vehicle would sway from left to right. The contact had to struggle with the steering wheel in order to keep it from swaying. The failure occurred everyday since September 2010. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who informed the contact that the yaw rate sensor failed. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 115,000 and current mileage was approximately 122,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #10

Feb 012011


  • 79,000 miles
High engine whining sound. With only 78,00 mi, dealer told me I needed new engine mounts. Upon checking the internet I've found many other cases where this happens and it's all around 80,000. Sure sounds like a design flaw.

- Wellesley, MA, USA

problem #9

Nov 182010


  • 81,000 miles


2005 Honda Pilot ex with navigation, 81K miles approx. Problem: - no 2 spark plug and thread (coil) blew out during in-town driving, the cylinder head was damaged causing extensive re-condition expense. - all spark plugs are believed to be the originals, we have no re-collection that any spark plug has been replaced since we have not reached the manufacturer's recommended tune up schedule of 105K miles. Service history we bought the car new in ca back in Dec 2004. We followed all recommended maintenance schedules by Honda. All services, except a recent oil change, were done by Honda dealerships across the countries. The recent oil change was done by a local garage, and no work has been performed on the spark plugs as confirmed by the garage owner. Communications with Honda - based on my discussion with Honda America on Nov 19. 2010, they were willing to open a case in order to track the complaint. However, they will not investigate the matter further since my car is out of warranty. Investigation: We believe there may be a latent defect on certain spark plug (or on the engine itself) in certain Honda Pilot. Based on my research, a similar failure happened in ann arbor, mi, in March 2010 to a 2004 Honda Pilot. In that case, that car had 58K miles on it and the no. 5 spark plug came out causing similar damages to the engine. I have no evidence if the ann arbor incident has the original spark plug or not. However, it is just one case too many for a manufacturer with a very good reliability reputation. Like the owner in ann arbor, we are so lucky that we were not involved in a major accident when the failure happened. Hope the authority will investigate this matter further and urge Honda to resolve the problem before someone get hurt.

- Cerritos, CA, USA

problem #8

Oct 102010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph the brakes decelerated on their own. The vehicle came to a complete stop and stalled. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer. The dealer was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 55,000. Updated 12/23/11... updated 02/17/12 the consumer stated the electronic stability control system was defective, which caused the steering to fail and the brakes to apply involuntarily. Updated 04/2412 updated 05/03/12

- Arlington, MA, USA

problem #7

Jun 152010


  • 89,000 miles
2005 Honda Pilot radiator coil failed causing fluids to mix and transmission to fail. Repair shop indicated that radiator had prematurely deteriorated causing failure. Had a new radiator installed at $500- system flushed multiple times....just about a month later- radiator failed again. Replaced but vehicle is still not running well. At @40 mph vehicle seems to randomly "rev and stick"- let off gas and it passes.

- Chicopee, MA, USA

problem #6

Mar 202010


  • 88,000 miles
I was driving my wife and three kids when our 2005 Honda Pilot's transmission stopped functioning. We were nearly rear-ended 3 times on a 40 mph speed limit street, before I was able to get the car and my family pushed to a side street. Our car was towed to a dealer and we were told that the issue was due to the interior of the radiator disentegrating and then metal parts leaked into the transmission. We've taken meticulous care of the care and had all service performed at the dealer. In fact, we had the radiator flushed just 5 months ago and only 9,500 miles ago.

- Coronado, CA, USA

problem #5

Sep 232009


  • 84,000 miles


The "D" flashes while driving, indicating something is wrong, but Honda can not find the problem. This has happen a few times, highway driving. This does not occur all the time.

- Southampton, MA, USA

problem #4

Sep 172009


  • 84,000 miles
The "D" flashes while driving, indicating something is wrong, but Honda can not find the problem. This has happen a few times, highway driving. This does not occur all the time.

- Southampton, MA, USA

problem #3

Sep 082009


  • 109,583 miles
2005 Honda Pilot heater temperature control motor assembly blows hot air out of vents. No matter if you adjust temperature or put on air conditioner the cold air doesn't come threw vents instead hot air is blowing threw. I had car check at shop and they say the temperature mix motor stays in hot position.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 042007


  • 63,000 miles
Since I bought my 2005 Honda Pilot on 06/25/2007. Every time I would drive between 65 and 70 mph my steering wheel would shake. I took my Pilot in today for inspection(06/06/2009)and here they tell me my motor mount engine needs repaired. Prior to this I had called them on several occasions and told them that my steering wheel shakes when I drive close to 65-70mph. I was told several times that it is just my alignment "easy fix". last year for inspection I needed tires got tires, alignment checked asked service people again if the shaking was fixed I was reassured it was to only find out it was not. Now today a year later this happens and to find out it is happening to alot of other 2005 Honda Pilot motor mount is going out. I'm outraged. I owned several Honda through-out my life and never once had this problem with any of them. I use to own a civic and an Accord. Hondas are great vehicles until now. I believe Honda should recall this. And this will be the last Honda I own.

- Hershey, PA, USA

problem #1

Oct 212008


  • 70,000 miles
1. normal vehicle usage led to failure 2. the front and right motor mount failed leading to vibration and clunky shifting. 3. vehicle owner purchased and installed new motor mounts.

- Windermere, FL, USA

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