2004 Honda Pilot ESX
Great car, but look at 2005 or later models -- 2003-2004 models have transmission problems
Only owned the car for two months. Purchased from non-Honda dealer July 2010.
Two weeks later, "D" light starts blinking indicating possible transmission problem.
Topped off transmission fluid with Honda fluid, problem went away for one week.
Took to Honda dealer to pull code, paid $167 parts and labor for new 4th gear pressure switch (sensor), a known faulty part on these 2003-2004 transmissions.
Problem went away for two weeks, got CHECK ENGINE light.
Took to Honda dealer to pull code, got PO740 "TC clutch failure." This is the solenoid torque converter that controls the transmission. Without repairing, the TC clutch will disintegrate, causing bits of material to travel to the clutches and gears, eventually causing total failure.
$4193 (!) repair bill and only 3 yr/36,000 mile warranty (!!) on replacement tranny. Honda corporate offered me a 25 percent discount, or $3061, for this repair. Oh, and I only have 30 days to cough up the cash or the offer goes away.
Better off going with a rebuild (around $2400) or a third-party manufactured transmission (around $2400 plus labor, so $3000, but with a 5 year/100K mile warranty).
Great car, I love my Pilot.
However, I purchased it due to Honda's reputation for:
* Reliability (nope).
* Low repair cost ($3500 in repair bills within first two months?).
* Great customer service (not so much -- Honda corporate gave me the runaround, costing me $220 and counting on car rental, would not acknowledge transmission defect or April 2004 recall of 1.1 million cars, failed to escalate call, did not callback within 24 hours as promised, was told that if you did not purchase from a Honda dealer "Honda does not consider you a customer" (!)
* High resale value (won't recoup the $3500 in repairs, even if I sold at a modest profit)
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 9th October, 2010