Honda Pilot Problems | Avoid These Year Models

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 05/04/21 •  8 min read

In today’s world, there are many types of vehicles on the road. Some people prefer to drive SUVs while others prefer sedans.

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Regardless of your preference, you need to know that all cars have problems and Honda Pilot is no exception.

This blog post will discuss some common Honda Pilot problems, the worst year models to avoid as well as the best years to buy.

Most Common Honda Pilot Problems

Honda Pilot Engine Problems

Honda Pilot Problems
2021 Honda Pilot © carbuzz

Honda Pilot engine problems are common, and most Honda owners know that. This is because the Honda pilot has a very complex design with many parts close to each other. 

These engine issues can stem from a variety of causes including poor maintenance and lack or improper use of fluids such as oil and transmission fluid.

One of the more common reasons for engine failure is oil sludge buildup on top of piston rings, which can cause the motor to overheat.

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The most common of these is low oil supply from the engine, which in turn causes internal damage to the engine.

 Honda Pilot owners have had issues with their engines due to problems with the timing belt and camshafts, but other problems may be unique to your vehicle.

Honda Pilot Problems
2021 Honda Pilot © carbuzz

Honda Pilot Transmission Problems

The Honda Pilot is a popular vehicle with many happy owners. However, as we all know, nothing in life is perfect and the Honda Pilot has had its share of problems.

One of the biggest Honda Pilot problems that some people have been experiencing is transmission issues.

The first and most common problem is the slipping of gears. This can be caused by dirty or damaged gear oil, which may need to be replaced with Transmission Fluid. 

Another common transmission issue for Honda Pilots is that it will not shift from 1st to 2nd gear when starting in stop and go traffic.

Another issue is that of slipping or jerking when it’s time to accelerate, then it suddenly catches again.

This can be very dangerous because there could be another vehicle in front of you at this time which would cause an accident if you don’t apply your brakes quickly enough.

Honda Pilot Worst Years To Avoid

It’s no secret that Honda has been a staple in the automotive industry for decades. The Pilot SUV was first introduced in 2006 and Honda continued to produce it through 2013. 

For many people, this vehicle is a perfect fit for their lifestyle as they need something large enough to handle the kids and all of their gear but still want something fun to drive.

 However, there are some years you may want to avoid when looking at purchasing one of these vehicles so you don’t end up with problems down the road!

2003 Honda Pilot Problems

Honda Pilot Problems
2005 Honda Pilot © KBB

The 2003 Honda Pilot is a popular SUV, with over two million vehicles sold. It’s perfect for families looking to take their kids on adventures while also maintaining practicality and fuel efficiency.

 Unfortunately, some issues can affect the performance of these vehicles and may even cause them to become unsafe.

Common 2003 Honda Pilot problems include oil leaks in the valve cover gasket, leaky seals on camshafts or timing chains, broken bolts in the connecting rods between cylinders, as well as other smaller things like defective pistons or rings.

Another problem that many people seem to have is with the transmission slipping or jumping out of gear. This could also lead to stalling when driving on an incline. 

Honda Pilot problems
2003 Honda Pilot| wikimedia commons

One solution that has been suggested by some experts is replacing the fluid and filter in the transmission.

Honda has recalled 2003 Honda Pilots to replace the airbag inflator. The recall affects 211,000 vehicles in America and 3,500 Honda Pilot models overseas.

The reason for the recall is a possible defect that could cause an airbag to explode when deployed, increasing the risk of injury or death.

2005 Honda Pilot Problems

There are many 2005 Honda Pilot problems that car owners need to be aware of to take care of them before they become bigger issues. 

The first problem is the convertible top not going up or down. There is a sensor switch located on the driver’s side headliner; if this has been activated, it may need to be replaced.

Honda Pilot Problems
2005 Honda Pilot © KBB

Other common complaints owners have with their vehicles include Intermittent power steering issues

A coolant leak in the engine, engine overheating due to cracked head gasket or blown head gasket, and oil leaks from valve cover gaskets and oil pan seal.

Honda had recalled several vehicles including the 2005 Honda Pilot. The recall was announced in early December and includes more than 1 million cars worldwide.

The company said it has been told by an outside supplier that certain bolts may not meet specifications, but they are unsure what effect this will have on the car’s performance. 

Owners should be aware of this possible defect because if it does affect safety or performance it could lead to an accident.


2016 Honda Pilot Problems

Honda Pilot Problems
2016 Honda Pilot © carbuzz

The Honda Pilot is a great family vehicle that has been in production for over 15 years. It offers plenty of space and cargo room, with a large third-row seat option as well.

However, there are some 2016 Honda Pilot problems that you should be aware of before deciding to buy one.

While the 2016 Honda Pilot is a safe family vehicle, it’s been plagued by problems in recent years.

The most common 2016 Honda Pilot problems are related to air conditioning and electrical issues, but there have also been reports of transmission failures and suspension issues.

Another common issue is a design flaw in which water leaks into the floorboard and gets trapped there when driving through deep puddles.

2016 Honda Pilot problems| carcomplaints

Honda has recalled certain 2016 Honda Pilots to install a new driver’s seat belt buckle assembly that may not restrain the occupant in the event of a head-on collision.

The recall affects 17,000 vehicles manufactured between March 25 and September 2, 2015. If you own one of these cars, be sure to contact your local dealer for an appointment as soon as possible.

Honda Pilot Problems
2016 Honda Pilot © carbuzz

2019 Honda Pilot Problems

Honda has had a long history of making reliable cars, but 2019 Honda Pilot owners have been reporting problems with the car. From not being able to use their navigation system, to difficulty in starting the vehicle, and even engine failure.

Honda Pilot Problems
2019 Honda Pilot © carbuzz

It’s no surprise that there are a lot of issues with the 2019 Honda Pilot. There have been many 2019 Honda Pilot problems on social media and forums, but the most common complaint is the lack of power from the engine. 

Owners report being unable to accelerate up hills, not able to merge onto highways without downshifting, and having trouble accelerating in stop-and-go traffic. 

The second most common complaint is about how uncomfortable it is for passengers sitting in back seats; they say their heads hit the roof when attempting to sit upright.

Honda Pilot Problems
2019 Honda Pilot © carbuzz

Honda has issued a recall for all 2019 Honda Pilot vehicles that were manufactured between July 1st, 2018, and September 18th, 2018. This is to provide customers with an additional remedy in the event of airbag deployment during low-speed collisions.

Which Is Better: Honda Pilot or CRV?

Honda is one of the top-selling car brands in America. Honda CRVs and Honda Pilots are two popular models with many similarities, but also some differences. 

The Honda Pilot has three rows and seats up to eight people while the CRV only has two rows and seats five people.

With a higher price-point than the CRV, you might think that the Pilot would be better for more family trips or road trips with friends, but it’s not just about capacity.

There are many other factors to consider when deciding which vehicle will suit your needs best.

The Pilot offers an optional third-row seat that can be folded down if needed while the CRV does not have this option at all; it also offers a larger cargo area behind.

Is the Honda Pilot A Reliable Car?

The Honda Pilot is a large three-row SUV with seating for up to eight passengers. The base LX trim offers amenities like power windows and locks, climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, and more.

The best source for determining if your specific instance of a Honda Pilot is reliable or not would be to read through reviews by other owners who’ve shared their experiences on sites like Consumer Reports or Edmunds or carmax.

To find out how reliable the Honda Pilot is you need to look at its reliability rating by Consumer Reports.

With an overall score of 3/5 stars, it has been ranked in the bottom third of all vehicles tested by CR since 1988.

The Honda Pilot has been a favorite for car owners looking for a reliable SUV. Its reliability is why it’s made the top of Consumer Reports’ list and has won J.D. Power’s award in the past.

With its strong reputation, this vehicle should be on your list when it comes to purchasing an SUV.

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Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.