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:
87,613 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Honda Pilot Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #19

Jul 062010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 155,000 miles


There has been a definite shudder in the car between the speeds of 20 -40mph. If you accelerate - the shudder goes away - if you don't - it becomes more aggressive. Because of this shudder - I now hear some sort of knocking in the car at the same speeds - which also goes away once you accelerate. This is also now responsible for a noticeable imbalance of the steering wheel between those speeds. I have a Honda Pilot ex 2005. Honda does not have a recall / service bulletin for this.

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

problem #18

Sep 042010


  • 91,500 miles
My 2005 Honda Pilot shudders and vibrates when accelerating around 35-40. Once I get slightly past this speed range the vibration stops.

- Mc Adenville, NC, USA

problem #17

Jul 262009


  • 75,000 miles
My 2005 Honda Pilot ex shudders and vibrates when accelerating lightly between 30-40 mph. It also occasionally makes a "purring" noise between 40 and 50 mph, but not at the same time of the shudder. We have taken it to 3 Honda dealers and none can replicate the problems (they can happen 10 times a day or not at all) and refuse to do anything about it.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #16

Sep 112009


  • 90,000 miles


My 2005 Honda Pilot has a bad torque converter causing the transmission to shudder or vibrate between 35-45 mph. I was told by my service man that the transmission could just lock up which is a safety issue.

- Gum Spring, VA, USA

problem #15

Jun 162008


  • 70,000 miles
2005 Honda Pilot torque converter issue when pressing the gas pedal lightly going from 30mph-40mph the car begins to shudder/vibrate. Then pressing the gas pedal a little more the shuddering ceases after passing 45mph. Problem started around 70,000 mi. Now car is around 84,000 mi and problem still persists. Have not corrected failure.

- Middleburg, FL, USA

problem #14

Jan 012010


  • 90,000 miles
2005 Honda Pilot has torque converter shutter/vibration between 35-40 mph. This issue has been addressed on the Acura MDX, 2003-2004 models, and the torque converter is being replaced at no charge. See Acura service bulletin 06-003. The Honda and the Acura have the same parts! should be investigated before this becomes a life or death matter!

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #13

Jul 152010


  • 70,000 miles


The transmission shudder before the gear shifts under a moderate acceleration. Sometimes this occurs in the 30 mph range and sometimes it occurs during higher speed shifts such as 60 mph. If I keep my foot on the accelerator the shuddering will continue until I either press the accelerator harder or I let off entirely. It also occurs if I have the cruise control on which really worries me.

- Half Moon Bay, CA, USA

problem #12

Aug 022010


  • 118,000 miles
I have a 2005 Honda Pilot with 118K miles. The car seemed to be running fine. I commute about 40 miles to work so today when I got to work I noticed the fan was still running. When I stepped out of the vehicle it was heavily leaking a substance that looked like chocolate milk. I had the car towed to a body shop and they informed me that the radiator pumped fluids into my transmission and now I need a new radiator and transmission. After researching online this seems to be a major issue with Honda's. seems way too early to have such an issue.

- Sandwich, MA, USA

problem #11

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 #10

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 #9

Feb 242010


  • 107,000 miles


2/24/10. 2005 Honda Pilot ex with 107K miles. Have a blinking "D" light after driving for a few minutes. The light stops blinking when I cut off the car and turn it back on, but then it returns. Today is the 1st day that this has occurred. Owner?S manual notes that the blinking "D" light indicates a transmission problem. I called the dealership (economy Honda-chattanooga, tn) who said that this is a common problem and may just be a bad transmission sensor which will cost me abt $350 and 2 hrs of my time. However, it could also mean that my transmission is failing prematurely. This is ridiculous as last month I spent over $1K to get the $105K mile maint and have always kept up with required maint. If this problem is so common- why has no recall been issued? in looking at other online complaints, the same issue occurs with the 2003-2004 Pilot. I have an apt with the dealership tomorrow to address this issue.

- Ringgold, GA, USA

problem #8

Jan 082010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,500 miles
Cvt failure. Please see csc-10024235-7187.pdf. More widespread problem than originally thought. Many customers just "nursed along" to get past extended warranty. Appropriate, effective, and prescribed remedies are not applied (iaw with above reference). Appears Honda is not providing a safe remedy for this safety-related problem. Car frequently stalls, just when the driver is attempting to accelerate. Less than one hour on the internet (various blogs) revealed well over 100 pages of dissatisfied owners regarding this problem. Attempts to persuade Honda to resolve this vexing problem fell on deaf ears at Honda.

- Mount Airy, MD, USA

problem #7

Dec 232009


  • 85,000 miles
Transmission failed and needed to be replaced. 2005 Honda Pilot has had numerous similar complaints as well as recalls on their 2003 and 2004 models. Called american Honda and they never returned phone calls. This was my 5th Honda vehicle and I would think they would at least contact me to discuss the problem rather than ignore it entirely.

- North Scituate, RI, USA

problem #6

Nov 232009


  • 70,009 miles
My 05 Honda Pilot has 70,000 miles. The car was performing fine until backing out of the driveway and engaging the car into drive. Upon engagement the transmission did not engage. A thick chocolate milk fluid is in the radiator and transmission dipstick. The problems results from the failure of a coil in the radiator which caused the transmission to fail. Despite american Honda's claims, the failure is a result of parts failure not any service recommendations. Since the car is just over 4 years old and has 70,000 miles, I requested and was denied a goodwill adjustment. As noted in the recall of 2003 and 2004, Honda is known for having transmission problems. Other research proves that Honda transmissions are not reliable. Transmission failure is very dangerous and could cause serious harm to the passengers.

- Guilderland, NY, USA

problem #5

Jun 262009


  • 118,000 miles
Vehicle (2005 Honda Pilot, 118,000 miles) became immobile due to transmission slippage. Left wife and two small children stranded. Vehicle towed to dealer. When vehicle driven by service tech, it overheated. Had not done this before. Determined that transmission fluid coil within radiator had likely failed causing coolant to enter transmission and transmission fluid to enter cooling system. Coolant causes surfaces of clutches in transmission to be compromised. Could not get any help from american Honda in making repair, nor from dealer (where car was purchased). Traded car in on a 2006 Pilot.

- Ashland, OH, USA

problem #4

Jul 032009


  • 75,000 miles
2005 Honda Pilot transmission failure. I started having difficulty with the transmission around 75K miles. The whole vehicle would start to shake and shimmy when trying to accelerate going up a hill. This gets scary when there is a turn to negotiate when the transmission is making the whole vehicle shake. At times, I would have to brake, to get the vehicle back under control. I have been afraid several times while driving this vehicle for the safety not only for myself and family but for other vehicles that may be near me as the Pilot became unstable while the transmission is shifting going uphill (several near crashes)! I am now at 120K miles, I am told that I need a new transmission due to gear failure and heat. I have had regular maintenance on this vehicle with Honda fluids. I do not drive my vehicle hard or take it off road to play. This is crazy! I feel Honda should produce a much better and more reliable product. I do not feel I should have to replace the transmission on a 4 year old vehicle. Honda has a serious problem here with the safety and reliability of their Pilot! I am hoping that you can help facilitate a safe and economic resolution with Honda on the fabrication of their Pilot.

- Dexter, OR, USA

problem #3

Aug 192008


  • 40,000 miles
"D" light on dash started flashing on interstate trip. Brought it into dealer 3 days later. 4th gear pressure switch on transmission had to be replaced. Car with 40, 692 miles on it. Bought brand new. The repair cost over 300$.

- Bentonville, AR, USA

problem #2

Jun 012006

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. While driving 55 mph, the vehicle came to an abrupt stop. The contact stated that the vehicle appeared to rock while in motion. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who originally stated that they were unable to diagnose the failure. However, the next day, the dealer inspected the vehicle again and stated that the transmission failed. The dealer rebuilt the transmission. After the transmission was replaced, the steering wheel began to shake and the vehicle veered to the right. The dealer stated that the vehicle needed a wheel alignment. The alignment was performed, but the vehicle continued to veer to the right. The current mileage is 52,000 and the failure mileage was unknown.

- Antioch, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 052006

Pilot 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,500 miles
I have a 2005 Honda Pilot that has been in the repair shop for the 5th transmission leak.

- Center Moriches, NY, USA

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