CarComplaints.com 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.

8.6

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$3,730
Average Mileage:
131,600 miles
Total Complaints:
16 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace the transmission (9 reports)
  2. not sure (7 reports)
2005 Honda Pilot transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Honda Pilot Owner Comments

problem #16

Dec 152017

Pilot

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

On my way home from work my wonderful Honda Pilot started to act funny like the transmission was slipping and eventually while going up a hill just decided to stop going....,

making a loud revving noise. It wouldn't go forward anymore so I had to coast backwards into a driveway hoping I didn't get hit. Just barely got the vehicle off the road. I was having problems with the radiator a few weeks before this happened. I think the radiator was leaking fluid because it smelled like it and my car wasn't heating properly so we added some antifreeze. Now I have to take my Pilot somewhere to get an estimate on what the fix will cost. After reading the problems everyone else had with the radiator leaking fluid into the transmission because of the Honda Pilot design I pretty much know what has to be done! An expensive fix which should be covered under a recall because of the way this vehicle is designed. This really annoys me to no end because the reputation that a Honda has as being an outstanding vehicle. I will never get another Honda! Maybe I will just junk this one if the estimate is to much and get a different type of vehicle. I will tell everyone I know NOT to buy a Honda Pilot......because there have been many repairs made to this vehicle in the three years I've had it.

- Kathy W., Spencer, NY, US

problem #15

Jul 192014

Pilot

  • Automatic transmission
  • 168,000 miles

This time we were out of town in the middle of east Jesus Ohio. We did find a fantastic mechanic. They replaced the transmission but we had to rent a van to put us all in plus to huge Labrador retrievers.That cost us $1200 for the two weeks it cost to have the car fixed while on vacation. I will drive it off a cliff if this ever happens again and will never take it on another trip. WE EITHER GOT A LEMON OR HONDA NEEDS TO RECALL IT> I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER HONDA AGAIN!!!!

- gibsonpartyof4, Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #14

Aug 062010

Pilot

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I WAS SO PISSED OFF AT HOW MUCH THIS COST AND THE CAR WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD! I THEN HAD TO REPLACE IT 3 MORE TIMES BECAUSE WE WERE OUT OF TOWN EVERY TIME IT HAPPENED SO I COULD NOT JUNK THE CAR. TRUST ME, I WOULD HAVE JUNKED IT. jASPER AND HONDA BOTH SUCK!!!!

- gibsonpartyof4, Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #13

Jul 262013

Pilot

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I cannot believe that neither Honda nor Jasper would pay for this transmission to be fixed. I cannot believe it happened so many times. We had it rebuilt because they would not get it done under warranty. HONDA SUCKS!

- gibsonpartyof4, Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #12

Apr 152016

Pilot EX-L 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,600 miles

I've had this 2005 Honda Pilot EX-L since it had 30K miles. We had the tow package installed and air lift air bags to alleviate any strain on the transmission when we pulled 1700LB. Pop-camper. I guess neither was going to prevent the usual (from what I've been reading) transmission failures.

Mine just started to slip in the front gears about 2 weeks ago and it's getting worse. I'll update this post soon with the final cost or if I trade it for something else.

Update from May 26, 2016: Well here is the update on my failed Transmission. I received two quotes for rebulids - The first from my long time mechanic for $2000 and another from a friend of a friend for $1500. I went with the $1500 because after this I'm not sure if I'll have this vehicle for more than a year.

I was told that the clutches were burned out or worn out. It's running better now and I was told to change the trans fluid every 20k to 25k to keep it operating smoothly.

- Ernie M., Chicago, IL, USA

problem #11

Sep 102015

Pilot EX-L 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 195,000 miles

Shifts at about 30-40 MPH are hard - both upshift and downshifts. Quotes are $2,500 for a rebuild to $4,500 replacement by dealer...

- William R., La Grange, KY, USA

problem #10

Oct 032015

Pilot EX-L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Like many Honda around these years the transmissions have a high failure rate. The 2005 Pilot starts with a loud chatter around 40 mph. Very expensive to fix. My solutions has been to avoid Honda, but I am not happy with my Nissan. I can still drive this while I decide what to do with it. Do you really want to pay $3000 to fix a car worth less than $7000???

- Bruce H., Venice, USA

problem #9

Jul 192014

Pilot EX-L 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

One hour into our 7 hour family trip and the transmission completely dies on us. We were on a busy expressway with tons of construction and nowhere to exit for 3 miles when the transmission light went on. We quickly checked the manual and found the first exit. The Pilot died at the stop light after the exit. Luckily we could see a Honda dealership about 100 yards away. We still had to get a tow to take us there. They said the transmission was completely dead. Fluid level was fine but was black and the transmission was gone. They wanted $6,500. We towed it back home, got a family loner and finished our trip. While we were away it was fixed at a different shop for $4,300. OH, did I mention we bought it used for $9,500 only one year prior.

- Rick H., Chicago, IL, USA

problem #8

Jul 052014

Pilot EXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

It seems that the issue with my transmission is the same as previously documented by 2003 and 2004 Honda owners. There is a known defect with the transmission that was not corrected in the 2005 model. Expensive learning curve!

- Steve B., Pottstown, PA, USA

problem #7

Oct 122009

Pilot EXL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

Started having transmission problems right when it went over its warranty. Had the transmission replace for $3,700 with the standard warranty of 1 year 15,000. Guest what, 18 months later and 16,000 miles, the transmission went out again. Called and was forcefully told that the miles and time exceeded the warranty. I had a 1981 Prelude, a 1989 Accord, and a 1990 Accord with no problems. All reached over 250,000 miles and then I sold them. I keep care of my vehicles.

Not only have I had problems with my transmission, I have had problems with the starter and now the positive battery cable needs to be replaced. My interior lights have issues and have had an issue with the rear differential and both front axles. Most disappointing vehicle I have ever had. It took first place over my 1971 Murcury Capri.

I guess Honda is getting like the other car companies that put emphases on how many they sale and not being to concerned about return buyers. Big mistake. I will not buy another Honda, ever. I know I am just one disappointed customer and it may not hurt honda. But I am sure there are a number of you that have experience the same issues.

- Eric D., Bowie, MD, USA

problem #6

Oct 192013

Pilot EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,955 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Honda should recognize the prevalence of this problem and compensate Pilot owners who have had to repair/replace their transmissions/entire cars. This is ridiculous!

- Philip K., Wichita, KS, USA

problem #5

May 242013

Pilot V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

What is up with Honda. I had a 1999 Accord and now a 2005 Pilot. Both died with transmission problems. The Accord was refurbished and ran for a few more years but here I am again. My Pilot cost $3800 so far. I thought Honda was supposed to be a car for life. Not the case. If you buy a Honda of any kind put aside roughly $5000 for your first major car repair..... Transmission. And be prepared for extra cost not originally quoted. It goes up after they pull all the guts out of the car so you feel obligated to keep paying and finish the job. Otherwise Honda was a great vehicle with problems after 8-10 years of ownership. You decide.

- ccrutcher, Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #4

Dec 202011

Pilot LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

Had been having "issues" with the transmission for 4 months. Blinking green "D" light. Had the 4th gear pressure switch replaced twice. On Dec. 20th the engine suddenly redlined and the car came to a screeching halt. Had the car towed to my dealer and they called a few hours later to let me know that there had been a catastrophic transmission and radiator failure and the repair would be $6800. I asked them if there was anything they could do about the cost considering they had just replaced a part in the transmission 4 months prior and they said "no". I said "well, I have purchased three brand new car from you an the least you could do is to help a loyal customer" to which they replied "if you would like to buy another new vehicle we will give you a good trade for your vehicle"' No thank you! Why would I buy anything else from you.

- Shannan T., Smithsburg, MD, USA

problem #3

Jan 122012

Pilot EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,300 miles

My second (re-built) transmission has failed 13 months and 5,000 miles after Honda replaced my original one that made it a whooping 72,000 miles. Pulled into a parking space (flat) at the store this a.m., put the POS in park, but it keep rolling. Thought I was crazy, put the car in reverse to get back into the space and it would not engage. No leakage in the parking lot or on the driveway I had just left. Had to leave Pilot in the parking lot with the emergency brake the only thing keeping it there. Walked home, called a tow truck and am waiting to hear what the dealership that put the rebuilt in has to say. I will update with all the ways Honda will try and get out of honoring the 3 year warranty on the re-built. Should be entertaining!

- kin, Indianapolis, IN, US

problem #2

Sep 302011

Pilot

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Won't transition into second gear. Have not had it fixed as of yet.

- Maribeth D., Sunbury, OH, USA

problem #1

Jul 222011

Pilot LX 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,700 miles

Transmission problems were common in 2001-2004 pilot models, then why would it be different in 2005 or later version. Was there any modifications done to make the 2005 or later models not part of the recall? Honda should be made responsible for the product they made and back it up with their reputation that they will stand behind their product. I've had a honda accord before and no complaint that is why I bought another honda knowing they are really the one of the best company out there. With this problem of mine, I will no longer buy another honda. In fact I also own a honda civic for my daughter (2008). I will be trading it soon, not honda this time. I will trade my pilot for a different company!

- Vicente E., Chino Hills, CA, USA

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