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 1 of 2)

problem #39

Sep 152014


  • 137,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. The contact stated while driving approximately 10 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed and failed to respond without warning. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic where it was diagnosed that the radiator and the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The failure mileage was 137000.

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #38

Dec 202011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,776 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that the vehicle hesitated to accelerate from stops with an abnormal increase in engine rpms. The vehicle eventually stopped accelerating completely. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that there was a catastrophic failure of the radiator and transmission. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileages were 112,776. Updated 02/03/12 updated 03/21/12

- Smithsburg, MD, USA

problem #37

Mar 152011


  • 117,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. While stopped at a traffic stop, the contact depressed the accelerator and the engine exhibited an abnormal increase in rpms. The failure was sporadic and would also occur when in reverse. The vehicle would not respond to acceleration attempts. After several moments, the contact was able to drive the vehicle to the mechanic for diagnostics. The mechanic advised that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 117,000.

- Hilo, HI, USA

problem #36

Jan 012011


  • 110,000 miles


My 2005 Honda Pilot experiences a shudder when applying light acceleration between 35-40 mph, I have done extensive research and have found many more consumers that have reported the same problem and have found that Honda is to blame for installing faulty torque converters.

- Pickens, SC, USA

problem #35

May 162011


  • 75,000 miles
2005 Honda Pilot. Shuddered & vibrated at 40 mph starting at around 70-75K miles. Determined that it was a defective torque converter known to Honda but no recall. Issue led to complete transmission failure on highway and replacement of entire transmission, torque converter.

- Chicopee, MA, USA

problem #34

Mar 152011


  • 75,450 miles
Engine light came on. Dealer determined that transmission is bad and needs to be replaced. Honda offered a discount, but not a free replacement as in the previous model year for over one million vehicles, even though it is exactly the same unit.

- North Bellmore, NY, USA

problem #33

Feb 102011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles


I have a 2005 Honda Pilot with 57,000 miles on it that I just recently bought. I am having concerns about the torque converter I have been researching about. My car will accelerate in the 32-45 mph window and then the RPM needle will jump back down to a lower RPM. Alot of the jumping needle is happening. The car will shudder at these speeds and will feel as if the transmission is letting up when I get to these speeds, hence the RPM needle coming back down. The car has already gone in for work on the relay switch which was shorting the car out briefly when I was driving.

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #32

Feb 252011


  • 98,000 miles
This vehicle sputters when the speed is between 35-40 mph.

- Terry, MS, USA

problem #31

Feb 102010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. While driving approximately 35 mph the vehicle began to vibrate and shudder. Once the consumer accelerated up to approximately 40 mph the failure stopped. The failure recurred whenever the vehicle traveled at a speed of approximately 35 mph. An authorized dealer was notified and informed the contact that the failure was caused by the torque converter. The contact was also told that the software for the transmission needed to be adjusted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 125,000 and the current mileage is 159,000. Updated 03/08/11 updated 03/09/11

- Ringgold, GA, USA

problem #30

Jan 242011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 185,000 miles
Shudder in transmission; torque converter problem. This occurs at 1500 to 2000 RPM and around 35 to 40 mph. Honda dealer wanted $4500 to replace both the torque converter and transmission.

- Cary, IL, USA

problem #29

Jan 192011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


Transmission shuddering between 35 mph - 40 mph on level grade roads. Not apparent under moderate or heavy acceleration or on uphill grades. Transmission mechanic confirms torque converter failing - typical Honda SUV & van problem he sees all the time. No recall from Honda, vehicle mileage is 85,000.

- Piedmont, SC, USA

problem #28

Jan 012011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
2005 Honda Pilot - transmission vibration Honda Pilot has only 55,000 miles and the transmission vibrates at about 25 to 35 mph with a kind of puffing sound. At 50 to 60 mph it is a much harder vibration.

- Dundee, OR, USA

problem #27

Dec 222010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 95,347 miles
2005 Honda Pilot stutters, vibrations, and has flashing "D" (drive) light on. Possible torque converter and/or transmission issues.

- Colorado City, CO, USA

problem #26

Dec 122010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Our 2005 Honda Pilot shudders! it has gotten worse over the last six months and we are extremely concerned about our safety while driving. We have taken the Pilot to the Honda dealer and also to our own private mechanic and no one has been able to help us.

- Yorktown Heights, NY, USA

problem #25

Jul 152010


  • 120,000 miles
My 2005 Honda Pilot began shuddering about four months ago. I took it to the dealer and they told me it was the torch converter. They said it was an internal malfunction and the whole entire transmission will need to be replaced. My Pilot has 122,000 miles. I have researched the issue and I see it is a common problem in 2005 Honda Pilot. My mechanic is rebuilding my transmission for $2900. I feel that Honda should claim responsibility for the faulty transmission.

- Chico, CA, USA

problem #24

Aug 252008

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
I have a 2005 Pilot Honda with ongoing shuddering between 30-40 mph. At first I though it was the air flow under the vehicle through the pvc molding. After checking I have been told this is a transmission problem (torque converter) the shudder began at 75,000 and the vehicle now has125,000 miles. To make the shudder stop I press or release the accelerator briefly. The transmission is now starting to shift hard into second gear. I will contact Honda of North America next to discuss their findings with this problem.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #23

Sep 222010


  • 80,000 miles
2005 Honda Pilot shudders when accelerating between 20 and 50 mph. Problem ceases if accelerator is depressed or released.

- Newberg, OR, USA

problem #22

Oct 012009

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 59,820 miles
My 2005 Honda Pilot shudders/vibrates between 30/40 mph. I have been bringing it into the Honda dealer since Oct 2009. They told me it was both my drive shafts and replaced them. The same day my car was returned to me the problem continued. They then told me the drive shafts were defective and replaced them again. The problem continued. They looked for trouble computer codes but could not replicate the problem or get a snap shot with the hds. It still shuddered. Now the green D (drive) light flashes in drive and in park indicating a transmission problem per the owners manual.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #21

Jan 152010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
My 2005 Honda Pilot shudders/vibrates (feels like the transmission is having problems) between 25-55 mphs while accelerating. This problem began around 90,000 miles and has gotten worse since reaching 112,000 miles.

- Dothan, AL, USA

problem #20

Jan 122007

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
There is a shudder when the car is traveling between 30 and 45 mph. The shudder self corrects or will cease when the accelerator is depressed to withdrawn.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

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