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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,190 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2005 Honda Pilot Owner Comments

problem #19

Jun 202015


  • 280,000 miles


I've owned this car for a year now and its been a great running vehicle. I noticed that the rear of the car had been sagging a bit but I didn't think anything of it because of the miles it had and figured the springs were just a little worn out. My wife pulled it in the driveway one afternoon and I noticed the rear of the vehicle was lower than normal (no additional weight in truck area). I looked underneath to inspect what could be the problem and saw that the rear suspension cradle that's mounted to the unibody cross member had broken the rear two bolts completely out from the cross member. I took pictures for documentation. This vehicle has many miles on it but it is only 10 years old and I feel that this should not have happened. I have never towed with this vehicle and never had anything over 200 pounds in the trunk area. In my opinion this seems like a serious safety issue because this could have ended much worse. I believe this is caused by water sitting in the cross member and rusting it from the inside out. The outside of the cross member has few signs of rust. Even though I haven't been able to find any information on this happening in the past I feel it needs to be brought to some attention before it becomes a real problem. Thank you.

- Cedar Lake, IN, USA

problem #18

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 #17

May 162014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 151,900 miles
Yes my 2005 Honda Pilot has developed serious kncking and shaking in suspension steering, called Honda they said its not covered under recall I fell it should be for safety reasons.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #16

Nov 052013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


Honda Pilot 2004's compliance bushings cracked. If it is totally broken off. It can cause serious car steering problem or crash. I have seen this happen on every single 2004 Honda Pilot that my friends had as well my own Honda Pilot and possible later years of Honda Pilot.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #15

Jun 012012


  • 104,000 miles
When approaching 35-40 mph, my 2005 Honda Pilot begins to shutter and I feel a lot of vibration. I have got new tires, rotated, and balanced them thinking this would help the problem to no avail. When I pass 40 mph, the noise/vibration/shuttering stops.

- Kingwood, TX, USA

problem #14

Nov 132012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
I took it in for a recall. I was told that the front and right engine mounts are "cracked". at about 25-45 mph there is a noticeable shudder under the hood. In searching the NHTSA database I find many other reports of this shudder and several saying that engine mounts are a problem in this model. The reports are in several areas including engine, suspension, drive train, transmission. It seems the engine mounts could be a common denominator. If the mounts go it could cause a catastrophic failure including loss of control.

- Soulsbyville, CA, USA

problem #13

Jul 022012


  • 85,000 miles


Vehicle pulls to the left and wheels shimmy on freeway. Purchased 4 new tires with front and back alignment, plus tire balancing on 08-01-12. Vehicle still pulls to the left and wheels shimmy when driving on freeway.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #12

Mar 162012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
My Pilot has a very bad shake in the steering wheel whenever I reach speeds of 70mph. I've had three wheel balances (one road force balance), two alignments, rotors and brakes checked with no issues with those items. I've had to of the motor mounts replaced on the vehicle since I purchased it which I never had to do on any other vehicles I've ever owned. I told the Honda dealer that I think Honda corporation should do a recall on the motor mounts because all Pilot owners are complaining about the same issues. I still have the shaking in the steering wheel and I'm afraid that I might have to replace the third motor mount to resolve the shaking in the steering wheel. This is another expense that I can't afford but it doesn't seem Honda cares about their customers so I guess we have no other options since it seems we (Honda owners) can't get through to Honda corporation to help us!

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #11

Mar 162012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 96,500 miles
Traveled ~15 miles at highway speed. Exited highway onto secondary roads thru a busy town. Traveling approx 30 mph. Car shuddered and speed dropped to about 10 mph. Transmission wouldn't shift out of low with RPM approaching 4000 RPM. Stopped at light, car stalled all sensor lights came on and flashed. Got it restarted, had to put in low to it moving at ~3500 RPM, went a block to get off the main road into parking lot. Cooling fan running, but temp gauge showed no issue. Puddle of brown fluid formed under passenger side front of engine. Looked like fluid sprayed through front passenger side of engine compartment no indication on sensor lights or temp gauge that anything wrong prior to stall and all sensor lights came on. Had car towed to Honda...they diagnosed as 2 transmission cooling lines burst mixing the transmission and cooling fluid. Fix options...1) flush cooling & tranny system 5-7 times, replace radiator, filter, and lines for $1600-1800 but won't know if transmission needs replacing. 2) full replacement of radiator, lines and transmission $3800 or if option 1 chosen and subsequently transmission needs to be replaced it would cost the initial $1600-1800 plus an additional $4000 for a total of approx $5800. No indicator from dealer of the problem history for this vehicle. Had previously complained about shudder and the dealer replaced a wheel bearing first, then when kept complaining they replaced my rotors saying the rotors had warped...after being resurfaced only ~3600K miles prior. Learned lesson....investigate any problems on -line before you accept the dealer explanation.

- New Windsor, NY, USA

problem #10

Dec 172007


  • 56,000 miles
2005 Honda Pilot vibrates or shutters at low speed approximately 20-40 mpg while pushing the gas pedal. Does not do this every time so back in 2007 when brought in to dealer they couldn't find any problem.

- San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA

problem #9

Nov 132008


  • 33,376 miles


I recently purchased an '05 Honda Pilot from butler pre-owned dealership in butler, pa. The vehicle was leased for 3 years, and I worked the deal on the car on the internet. When a price was agreed to, I drove to butler to pick up the vehicle, however, I test drove it first. It had a very noticeable shimmy, and a shudder when driving at 50mph speeds and up. I told the salesman that this was unacceptable, so we returned to the dealership, and drove 3 other '05 Pilot on the lot, all with the same problem. The salesman and sales manager said this was a result of putting new tires on all of these vehicles, and after driving the vehicle for a while, the ride would smooth out. Well, I swallowed this line of crap, hook, line, and sinker, and after returning home, and driving the Pilot for a couple weeks, I replaced the new kumho tires with oem Goodyear integrity tires, and had the wheels balanced twice, once at Honda dealer, and again at local tire shop, with latest state of the art balancing machines. After all this, the shimmering and shuddering is still as bad as it was when I brought the vehicle home, and I cannot drive this thing at highway speeds. After much research on the internet lately, I have found literally thousands of complaints from Pilot owners with the same problem that I am having. I paid $16500 for this vehicle, and can't even drive it out of town, and I'm not going to sit still and accept this as my fate. First, at the very least, the dealer mis-represented this vehicle, and I should have some recourse in this respect. Second, Honda has obviously put out a defective product, which they should be willing to fix, or compensate the victims of this type of fraudulent product. I was very happy at the prospect of purchasing a quality vehicle, which my wife and family could enjoy for years to come, and felt justified in spending the money to do so. However, I now feel sick at the prospect of paying for this mistake for the next 6 years. Please help!

- Upper Sandusky, OH, USA

problem #8

Jun 112005


  • miles
Since we purchased our new Pilot, we have experienced a continued steering wheel vibration at approximately 69 mph through 80 mph. Several attempts to repair the vibration have failed. The service manager said that Honda is aware of the condition but is unable to find a solution. Taking this vehicle on a trip is out of the question. We will trade this vehicle in on a different make as soon as we have enough equity to break even.

- Panama City , FL, USA

problem #7

Mar 042006

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,323 miles
The incident happened while driving home from school at around 4:30 pm. Just like always around at certain part of the freeway the traffic began and everyone was slowing down. I began to press on my breaks. This is were things all went to fast and are kind of weird. Going about 60 mph, my SUV was not slowing down and it jerked to the left. There were a lot of bad, scary noises, ones that automobiles shouldn't make. Luckily, I didn't hit anyone else. My thought before I got out of the car was that I totally slammed into the center median. However, upon exiting the vehicle I saw that cosmetically the car was pretty much fine. All the commotion that I heard and felt didn't make sense at first but then it all came to fruition. It seems that going 60 mph with 10-15 feet my car came to a dead stop, resting on two right side tires and to left side wheels. The freeway patrolman went up and down the freeway to make sure I didn't hit anything (because I didn't!), and all he found were pieces of my car and nothing else. Again we don't know what happened, but there is a long list of mechanical, body and refinish work that needs to be done and replaced. So far around 7,000+ in damages. Not to mention they are not sure if the transmission and the frame are messed up. The rear sub frame, the piece that holds the suspension together, broke clean in half. We don't know if the front failed and caused the back to fall apart, or if the back failed and caused the front to fall apart. To correct it they are just going to repair everything that needs to be fixed, most which are being replaced with used parts. The only physical injury that occurred was a big burn/cut I got from the side air bag going off. Plus, by replacing the pieces with used parts, how do they know it won't fail again? especially because they don't know what happened in the first place! thanks for your time.

- Whittier , CA, USA

problem #6

Jun 182005

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2005 Honda Pilot has been to dealer 4 times have not fixed problem thought it was fixed rotated tires problem is back now tires are wearing on edges alignment done on car 4 times this is not the problem with pttr will go off the road in seconds if not careful this is a safety problem.

- Pink Hill, NC, USA

problem #5

Jun 202005


  • miles
My vehicle continues to have a front end shimmy at 70 to 75 miles per hour. The dealer has balanced and rotated my tires numerous times with no improvement. A high speed balance by an independent dealer has improved the shimmy but it is still annoying.

- Powder Springs, GA, USA

problem #4

Aug 252005


  • miles
2005 Honda Pilot developed problems with vibration at speeds of 70 mph.*** no answer required***. the vehicle was taken tot he dealer twice. The first time the dealer's technician balance the wheels but that did not correct the problem. The second time the technician rotated and balanced the wheels but the consumer could still feel the vibration while driving.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #3

May 202005

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles
At 8,000 miles my 2005 Honda Pilot developed a vibration, or jitter at 65 mph and higher. Moderate steering wheel vibration by 73 mph. Owner had an independent tire dealer check and re-balance the wheels as needed. Vibration remained. 2 more visits to dealer who advised no problem found and go see the Goodyear dealer, who wanted no part of this issue. More trips to dealer who advised the vehicle owner should consider replacing the oem tires (now at only 8,500 miles). Owner replaced oem tires with Michelin ltx M/S ($700) and vibration remains. Dealer re-balanced tires on hunter 9700 machine resulting in minor improvement but basic jitter remains. Next visit the deal acknowledges jitter, it's annoyance, and blames tread pattern on the now non-oem tires. Filed complaint with Honda North America and waited 312 business hours for a return call. Honda responded when I mentioned arbitration. Honda North America reports the dealer said 'no problem found'. now at 14,000 miles. Honda says they have no regional rep covering my area (4th largest metropolitan area in the us) and will call me back, soon. The vehicle jitter remains, 65 mph and higher, making the vehicle tiring to drive on trips of distance (vacation travel). The jitter/vibration is distracting and over rides standard 'road feel'. Honda appears to not be interested in my issue, or does not have a solution. Other Honda Pilot owners in my area, and on internet boards, report the same symptom.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #2

Jul 132005

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles
2005 Honda Pilot ex-L was purchased on 7-13-2005 it now has 1210 miles on it. A vibration has occured similiar to out of balance wheels and tires at around 70 mph. Dealer has balanced wheels, sent vehicle out to another tire company for rotation and spin balance. Nothing has cured the vibration. The dealer is helpful, but apparently cannot solve my problem. We feel this is an accident waiting to happen. We also understand this is not an uncommon problem, that Honda refuses to address.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 272005

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4 miles
Brand new 2005 Honda Pilot exl with res has a vibration between 70 mph and 80 mph. Honda will not fix this because they claim they can't drive over 65 mph and therefore can't prove the problem exists. I've had Honda balance the tires twice and paid to have a Goodyear deal balance them. The problem still exists.

- Delaware, OH, USA

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