2004 Honda Pilot ESX from North America


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).

General Comments:

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

2004 Honda Pilot LX V6 from North America


Resale value pretty much sums it up


Seat trim where the power seat controls were housed was unhinged. Discovered shortly after purchase.

Rear seat AC vents were broken, most likely mishandled by the prior owner.

General Comments:

Would have loved to have kept this car if it hadn't been totaled in an accident.

V6 power was incredibly smooth and ample enough considering the size of the vehicle.

Ride comfort was impeccable. Perfect for the "road-warrior" sales job I was in.

The only car in its price range that had room for the sample bags I had to carry with me.

Hadn't had a single problem with the car, besides scheduled maintenance and what appeared to be prior owner neglect.

Was hit from behind at 40+ mph, walked away from the accident without a scratch. Incredibly safe vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th June, 2010

2004 Honda Pilot LX 3.5 from North America


OK, but get detailed extended warranty


Drivers seat frame has cracked (snapped/broke at joint).

General Comments:

Generally runs good trouble free following service schedule.

Noisy compartment sounds, gas sloshing, clicking in dash.

Cheap leather in 2004. Dye rubbed off in 2 years (no dealer help)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th July, 2009

2004 Honda Pilot LX from North America


Great People Hauler


Nothing whatsoever. I'd recommend this vehicle in a heartbeat!

General Comments:

I love our Pilot. It was the best decision we've made as a family buying this. We've had the car four months and nothing has gone wrong.

It averages about 20-21 mpg in mixed driving, which is why I rated this a 6 for running costs. On straight highway I've gotten as high as 27 mpg. The price of fuel is the thing that costs.

Besides the initial check by my mechanic to make sure I wasn't buying a lemon, the only thing that I've had to get done is an oil change.

We drive 100 miles a day, so we needed a vehicle that is reliable, will start, can haul baby items as well as people. The second row is very roomy. The third row is really only good for kids, which we've done on one road trip. The seats are comfortable.

The dash is well laid out. I love the seat warmers and the three 12v outlets that are in the first and second rows. I can now have my GPS and my satellite radio plugged in at the same time without any problem. I use a two outlet lighter adapter in my other car and it's not the greatest. It pops out and you lose signal intermittently.

One of the few negatives that I can relate is that the car can be shifted from Park to Drive with the key turned in the ignition. This is probably not a design flaw but a person flaw, since we've never had a 4WD vehicle before. My husband found this out first-hand. He was waiting for me to fill the gas tank so he shut the car off, but then turned the key so he could hear the radio. He then forgot that he turned off the car but put the car into Drive. Thank God he realized when there was no power for anything so he shifted into Park and then started the car. The gas station has a slight incline before you get into traffic so it could have been an accident waiting to happen.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th August, 2008

17th Jun 2009, 00:03

Most automatics have an internal safety switch that won't allow the car to be started while in Drive.