2016 Honda Pilot engine problems: engine dies while driving

Engine Dies While Driving

2016 Honda Pilot

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Honda dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com Notes: It's worrying when the top category for 2016 Honda Pilot problems are transmission problems. Owners report jerking when accelerating. Also as the first model year of the redesigned 3rd generation Pilot, it's not a good sign.

Honda released a TSB on October 29 2016 that's possibly related. The TSB deals with a "a judder from the torque converter lock-up clutch ... while driving between 20 and 60 mph" due to deteriorated transmission fluid resulting from "specific driving conditions". In the TSB, Honda states they are developing a software fix to try to keep the transmission fluid temperature within spec.

We are keeping a close eye on this defect trend because if certain driving conditions can affect transmission shifting in the first year of ownership, we'd hate to think what 10+ years will do.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
12,700 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
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2016 Honda Pilot engine problems

engine problem

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2016 Honda Pilot Owner Comments

problem #2

Jul 102019

Pilot Touring

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles


Transmission occasionally feels jerky within the year of ownership. Struggles to shift between gears and jolts, esp downshift when approaching stop. It's not consistent yet when it does happen, if put car in park and back to drive it resets and doesn't happen for while. (of course dealer can't replicate and sees no error) The engine idle stop feature then not working properly. Radio cuts out, pops or jerks to start. Car lags to turn back on when ready to go, no pick up and have 2-3 cars blow past you when starting from a red light due to the occasional lag. Randomly, and extremely dangerous, episode of malfunction with idol stop for entire vehicle and all functions to seize up. As in sitting like a dead duck in the middle of a busy intersection with a car that won't go back into drive, park, turn on or off with an error reading across dashboard and red lights light up.... onscreen instructions state to depress brake and push start button yet car would not accept those steps with constant tries for 2-3 minutes. Car was in the middle of a busy underpass, driver luckily not rear-ended in the dead car.

Driver was thereafter able to follow on-screen instructions for restarting vehicle and taken to Honda for service. The best the Honda dealership service department appears to be able to do in diagnosing the problem is to suggest battery recharge or replacement, which has not been an observed issue in the car and is apparently a common suggestion from dealerships. Battery was replaced yet upon return from dealership the idol start no longer works at all.

This is an apparently bigger issue than Honda has been willing to admit. It's extremely dangerous to have a vehicle (only 12k miles) that will stall and not respond to restarting, while in middle of busy roads! Complaint filed NHTSA for this issue (11230891), highly suggest all others with same problem do the same.

- Stephanie L., Katy, TX, US

problem #1

Dec 252016

Pilot Elite 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,350 miles

We have had this problem three times without getting any help from Honda - I have taken it to the dealer and they say that there is nothing they can do to help us unless they can re-create the problem. Basically, the car dies - it loses all power and every warning light you can imagine starts to go off. If you give it gas, the car starts to shake like it has a major transmission problem. This has happened twice on the highway and once in busy traffic - luckily, we have been able to get to the side of the road.

The first time this happened, we called for a tow but we were able to "reboot" the car by starting and stopping it over and over again. Since then, we have used that trick to get the car working again but it is very scary and dangerous to have your car just stop working in the middle highway. I have seen a few similar complaints on this forum but it's unclear whether anyone has gotten help from Honda to get this issue fixed. It seems like a software problem of some kind but it's unclear what triggers it because it has happened in three different circumstances.

- Scott W., Chicago, IL, US

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