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What is the Truth about 2012-2013 Pilot??

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Old 11-09-2013, 08:40 AM   #1
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Default What is the Truth about 2012-2013 Pilot??

Hi, , everyone!

We currently have a 2005 CR-V and a 2004 Toyota Highlander and are exploring replacing the Highlander with a 2012 or 2013 Pilot.

Both the CR-V and the Highlander have been great vehicles and we have had no major problems with either. Of course, the two cars have completely different rides and driving characteristics - each is good in its own way.

Reading user\owner reviews on several web sites - Consumer Reports, Edmunds, Cars.com, etc. - we have seen many who rave about the Pilot and its reliability. Also, we have read many reviews from owners who are having these problems with the Pilot:
  • Engine vibration, especially in ECO mode.
  • Loud A/C or loud engine with A/C on.
  • Excessive wind noise.
  • Bad cruise control (odd engine noise with cruise on).

We've had great service from our CR-V and are disappointed to read about the reported Pilot reliability problems. We like the look and features of the Pilot, but are concerned that Honda's reputation for reliability is not what it has been.

Thanks in advance for comments or experiences on the accuracy of these problems.

-Barry
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: What is the Truth about 2012-2013 Pilot??

With every car there is a bad review or a pro or con. I would say go and drive a new one and see if any of these issues appear to be present. I work for a dealership and get so sick of people reading on the internet about something that affected someone elses car and now they feel their car has the same problem. Don't always believe what you read and make up your own review is my advice.
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Old 11-09-2013, 05:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: What is the Truth about 2012-2013 Pilot??

Quote:
Originally Posted by 92HatchHybrid View Post
With every car there is a bad review or a pro or con. I would say go and drive a new one and see if any of these issues appear to be present. I work for a dealership and get so sick of people reading on the internet about something that affected someone elses car and now they feel their car has the same problem. Don't always believe what you read and make up your own review is my advice.
Thanks for your reply and your "inside" view of customers' reactions to online reviews. I read many online reviews about almost every major purchase I make, and I take both the good and bad with so many grains of salt. I don't recall reading reviews of other cars I have bought that describe a problem as frequently as the reported Pilot vibration problem.

You did not state that you work at a Honda dealership. If you do, have you frequently encountered Pilot owners who have the vibration problem?

Thank you,
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: What is the Truth about 2012-2013 Pilot??

I do not work for Honda. I work for a Subaru dealer. I'd imagine a new pilot would be nice. I'd like to drive one to see as well.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 92HatchHybrid View Post
I do not work for Honda. I work for a Subaru dealer. I'd imagine a new pilot would be nice. I'd like to drive one to see as well.
Thanks for your reply! I'm hoping some Pilot owners or technicians will chime in.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: What is the Truth about 2012-2013 Pilot??

[QUOTE=wjb-49;49285428]
  • Engine vibration, especially in ECO mode.
  • Loud A/C or loud engine with A/C on.
  • Excessive wind noise.
  • Bad cruise control (odd engine noise with cruise on).
Thanks in advance for comments or experiences on the accuracy of these problems.
QUOTE]

I have 2 Pilots - a 2005 (EX with 100k miles) and a 2012 (EX-L with 25k miles).
- the VCM on the 12 can be very annoying. it seems even worse in cold weather. Honda says it's normal. What is very irritating is that it can often be heard (a rumbling noise) and if conditions are right..... it can be felt.
- The a/c compressor is noisy when it cuts in while idling. When driving, you can't hear it. Apparently there's a recall for it that involves replacing the compressor mount. Nowhere near as annoying as the VCM
- Wind noise - not an issue and the 12 has a sunroof.
- I haven't heard about the cruise issue - but I would strongly suspect the VCM causing noise when the cruise is being used.

Overall - the 2005 is MUCH smoother running and gets the same mileage as the 2012.
The 12 would be a MUCH better vehicle is it didn't have the VCM or Honda would disable it.
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: What is the Truth about 2012-2013 Pilot??

JDK - Thanks for relating your experience with the Pilot. At this point, we are considering delaying our purchase until later in the 2014 model year. Maybe Honda has corrected the problems you described. Anyway, we are in no rush for a new vehicle, both of our daily use cars have around 65,000 miles.
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:10 AM   #8
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Ok, I know that some readers don't depend on Consumer Reports.

I've owned an 84 CRX, a 92 Civic, a couple of Integras, a 03 Accord, a 03, 06 & 08 Civic.

The quality dropped off (for me) when I bought my 03, 06 & 08 Civics.

I noticed that Consumer Reports started saying that Hondas weren't as good as they used to be, in the 2006 new car buying guide.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: What is the Truth about 2012-2013 Pilot??

the winning noise with the ac winning on is a recall , take ur pilot to the dealer and have them replace the p/S pump along with the bracket that holds the ps pump , new design is that instead of the ps pump having 2 #12mm bolts holding it it has 3 #12 bolts


other major issue the pilot has is the misfire on front bank cyl head , i have seen pilot with even 12k at work getting a new front bank cyl. head , apparently coolant leaks on the front for some reason , need a head
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: What is the Truth about 2012-2013 Pilot??

I am considering a pilot. I would like to know which year and generation is the best overall? I know best is kinda subjective.
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:50 AM   #11
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Default Re: What is the Truth about 2012-2013 Pilot??

My wife and I looked at a few Pilots, EX-L with RES (Rear Entertainment System) for our daughter. We loved it, but have decided to wait on pulling the trigger as well until we can make it more affordable for us.
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:51 AM   #12
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I'd say the truth is that its over-priced. The car is in high demand, therefore you know
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:38 AM   #13
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Default Re: What is the Truth about 2012-2013 Pilot??

2013 Pilots should go for $5K-$6 off MSRP. Is that what you guys are asking?
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:59 PM   #14
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Default Re: What is the Truth about 2012-2013 Pilot??

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKROENING View Post
I am considering a pilot. I would like to know which year and generation is the best overall? I know best is kinda subjective.
I am looking into SUV's. The transmission issues with the MDX detour me. I think the Pilot shares some if not all of the drivetrain components. I have owned a few honda and acura cars and love them. I would like to go with a honda or acura SUV, but am not convinced about the reliability. Any insight would be appreciated.
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:39 AM   #15
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Default Re: What is the Truth about 2012-2013 Pilot??

The 2008+ got the revised 4 shaft version of the 5spd auto. Being "revised" is suppose to be better. As an owner and what I read, you don't hear the same stories as the past models, even when the AT gets old.

Then again, many of us started changing (drain & fill) ATF every 20K-30K miles. Instead of 60K or so that Honda recommends.

2009 80K miles. I'm about to replace the ATF for the 4th time. ATF is pretty cheap when you DIY.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:25 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKROENING View Post
I am looking into SUV's. The transmission issues with the MDX detour me. I think the Pilot shares some if not all of the drivetrain components. I have owned a few honda and acura cars and love them. I would like to go with a honda or acura SUV, but am not convinced about the reliability. Any insight would be appreciated.
Late model/current MDX's use SH-AWD and the Pilots use VTM-4. The systems are different.
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:37 PM   #17
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Well, I now own a 2013 Pilot, after having had a 2006 Suzuki XL7 for 7 years.

With the other car, it took some time to become acquainted with new things, and especially to learn how to drive it to pull a 3000 lb trailer. In the end, we parted company reluctantly, when it blew its AC compressor.

Therefore, my new mate has had a LOT to match in quality and performance. And thus far it is not doing at all well, in every department. But that is another story, and my old guy is gone!

But, my latest, of many issues, is the TPMS debacle. All of a sudden, TPMS indicator is on, won't tell me which tire, and nothing looks odd outside. When I check pressures (instead of running to a dealership (which is another story)), I find 3 are down by 3 lbs. Unbelievable. WHAT have we done to ourselves, with all this stupidity. I have owned about 10 cars, and I have always managed to remember to check all of those things that are now "computer-controlled", because of ???)

In addition, the "outside temp" gauge on the dash has gone yellow.

So, pump in 3 lbs per tire, and voila! Fixed. Everything (that I can see.)


This is only to add to the "problem" of a while ago: the remote was not working at night, so I left it till morning. Still not working. I go outside later, and all windows have been rolled down to 1/2 position, including the rooftop.

My past experience with another car was that you do not go near a dealership unless you have a warranty issue, or a fix-required, or unless you like throwing money out the window. So I have not gone to a dealership for these items.

I asked Honda HQ about it, and got a very stupid response via the web approach, and have been composing the snail-mail approach for awhile - and I hope to make it a blast (since there is a "no reply" to their response.)

Because most of my issues are:
- the "da__ dealership" I bought from
- gas performance, or lack thereof, compared to the adverts. {Of interest is the recent KIA announcement that they will compensate owners for bad gas-usage performance .. but I'll believe it when I see it ...)

So, how does it compare ! Hmm, maybe I should go try Highlander, and see what they'd give me ...
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:59 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Was-suzuki View Post
Well, I now own a 2013 Pilot, after having had a 2006 Suzuki XL7 for 7 years.

With the other car, it took some time to become acquainted with new things, and especially to learn how to drive it to pull a 3000 lb trailer. In the end, we parted company reluctantly, when it blew its AC compressor.

Therefore, my new mate has had a LOT to match in quality and performance. And thus far it is not doing at all well, in every department. But that is another story, and my old guy is gone!

But, my latest, of many issues, is the TPMS debacle. All of a sudden, TPMS indicator is on, won't tell me which tire, and nothing looks odd outside. When I check pressures (instead of running to a dealership (which is another story)), I find 3 are down by 3 lbs. Unbelievable. WHAT have we done to ourselves, with all this stupidity. I have owned about 10 cars, and I have always managed to remember to check all of those things that are now "computer-controlled", because of ???)

In addition, the "outside temp" gauge on the dash has gone yellow.

So, pump in 3 lbs per tire, and voila! Fixed. Everything (that I can see.)


This is only to add to the "problem" of a while ago: the remote was not working at night, so I left it till morning. Still not working. I go outside later, and all windows have been rolled down to 1/2 position, including the rooftop.

My past experience with another car was that you do not go near a dealership unless you have a warranty issue, or a fix-required, or unless you like throwing money out the window. So I have not gone to a dealership for these items.

I asked Honda HQ about it, and got a very stupid response via the web approach, and have been composing the snail-mail approach for awhile - and I hope to make it a blast (since there is a "no reply" to their response.)

Because most of my issues are:
- the "da__ dealership" I bought from
- gas performance, or lack thereof, compared to the adverts. {Of interest is the recent KIA announcement that they will compensate owners for bad gas-usage performance .. but I'll believe it when I see it ...)

So, how does it compare ! Hmm, maybe I should go try Highlander, and see what they'd give me ...
I hate TPMS as much as anyone, but *any* new car you buy is going to have this. I'm not sure what you are complaining about though--it worked as it should.

What are you getting for gas mileage? Keep your foot out of it and you can expect about 18-20 in mixed-mode. Maybe 21-22 highway. And by the way, don't run 87 octane. Run 89 or above if you want the ECU to give you the best mileage and performance.

As for the remote, if you hold the unlock button down, it'll roll down the windows. If it is being quirky, go back to the dealer, period.

Actually, why are you writing Honda directly anyways? Go back to the dealer. Perhaps the problem is not with the car but with your expectations/understanding.
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:20 AM   #19
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When I use my snow tires, which do not have the TPMS sensors I see the yellow TPMS warning light, but it goes away when I put my (correctly inflated) original wheels back on.

My Accord V-6 (3600 pounds) got 23 city and 28 hwy mpg. The Pilot is a lot heaver and is expected to get worse mpg.

My old Accord's windows would roll 1/2 way down, if I pressed and held the unlock button on my remote.

Was-Suzuki, it sounds like you're learning how your Pilot operates and that is a good thing.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:47 AM   #20
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In response:

General comment: please be nice in Forums - if you really do not understand what the comments are about, then perhaps ask a question, instead of trying to imply your "superior" knowledge.

- comment about TPMS - yes, MOST new cars have it (but not all) - and, as consumers, should we not be able to say what we really do not want in our vehicle, especially if it adds a huge amount to the cost. As I indicated, 10 cars over 40 years, and I NEVER had a flat tire problem. But if consumers are not willing to speak up, then ... you get what you deserve ...

- windows all opening ... cannot recall holding down any button, but that REALLY scares me ... so, if I am walking away from my locked vehicle, and the keys are in my pocket, and the button happens to get pushed (eg., bending over to pick up something), and I don't happen to look back ... and all my windows open .. NOW, who's brain-wave was that design ? Anyone know how to reprogram it (just like I happened to find, in that monster of a manual, how to reprogram the door locks when the engine shuts off ...)

- mileage - well, yes, heavy foot, hills, speeding, fast acceleration, etc etc - we all know what eats gas .. but what I was trying to imply was that the Pilot knows how to eat it better than almost any (a recent column here spoke about the 4Runner, Highlander, Pathfinder and Pilot as all being huge disappointments when it comes to gas consumption - don't know about you, but when the performance is so way off the specs, then I consider it a fib on someone's part ..)

- go to MY dealer - no way! but I will not get into that. I was strung the line, which I stupidly accepted, that buying a $1000 insurance policy on rims and tires was essential for a Pilot - but I come to find out I can buy a whole set of wheels and tires for $1000 (which I did recently). Pissed off !

- go to a HONDA dealer - yeah, right. Why ? Is there something really unique about the Pilot that makes me want to pay so much more than my very dependable local garage? Which had serviced my Suzuki so much better than the long drive to the Suzuki dealer, and the extra costs there.


In conclusion, a forum should be a place where people share issues, not attack others. Questions, not caustic comments. Appreciate that perhaps others have been driving longer than you, and perhaps with a more varied set of vehicles. If you are a superior mechanic, perhaps you know more about that vehicle - but "go talk to your dealer" does not help anyone - I promise you I do know when to talk to the dealership - which is generally as seldom as possible.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:57 AM   #21
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TPMS are becoming a thing of the past. Newer cars (new model) should have the new system where the sensor just measure the rotation of the tire. If one has a greater rotation, then it must be low and the indicator goes on.

Both consumers and tire shops sometime struggle with TPMS, where there is "no" issue. Everyone should be happy with the new tire pressure system.

Since this forum often talks about aftermarket, not sure how larger-smaller wheels-tires will affect it, or if there is an override method yet.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:08 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Was-suzuki View Post
In response:

General comment: please be nice in Forums - if you really do not understand what the comments are about, then perhaps ask a question, instead of trying to imply your "superior" knowledge.
Perhaps listen and stop acting as if you know everything about cars, eh? Speaking of which...

Quote:
- comment about TPMS - yes, MOST new cars have it (but not all) - and, as consumers, should we not be able to say what we really do not want in our vehicle, especially if it adds a huge amount to the cost. As I indicated, 10 cars over 40 years, and I NEVER had a flat tire problem. But if consumers are not willing to speak up, then ... you get what you deserve ...
No, ALL new cars have some form of TPMS, PERIOD. Most use sensors on the wheel, but some use other means of measuring tire pressure (indirect vs direct TPMS).

I suggest that you read up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire-pr...itoring_system


Quote:
- windows all opening ... cannot recall holding down any button, but that REALLY scares me ... so, if I am walking away from my locked vehicle, and the keys are in my pocket, and the button happens to get pushed (eg., bending over to pick up something), and I don't happen to look back ... and all my windows open .. NOW, who's brain-wave was that design ? Anyone know how to reprogram it (just like I happened to find, in that monster of a manual, how to reprogram the door locks when the engine shuts off ...)
It's a convenience option. Do you worry about accidentally unlocking your doors as well? Seems most of the public has the little keyfobs figured out ok, so I'm sure you'll manage as well.

Quote:
- mileage - well, yes, heavy foot, hills, speeding, fast acceleration, etc etc - we all know what eats gas .. but what I was trying to imply was that the Pilot knows how to eat it better than almost any (a recent column here spoke about the 4Runner, Highlander, Pathfinder and Pilot as all being huge disappointments when it comes to gas consumption - don't know about you, but when the performance is so way off the specs, then I consider it a fib on someone's part ..)
There is no fib. Did you look on your window sticker before you purchased your car? That high number is usually best-case scenario.

Quote:
- go to MY dealer - no way! but I will not get into that. I was strung the line, which I stupidly accepted, that buying a $1000 insurance policy on rims and tires was essential for a Pilot - but I come to find out I can buy a whole set of wheels and tires for $1000 (which I did recently). Pissed off !
You go to the dealer because the car is still under warranty and hopefully some kind soul there will help you to understand how your vehicle operates (because I'm not sure that you grasp a few basic concepts). And if something is wrong, you get it fixed for free.

As for this "insurance" that you purchased...that's all on you. No one with a clue wastes their money on that.

Quote:
- go to a HONDA dealer - yeah, right. Why ? Is there something really unique about the Pilot that makes me want to pay so much more than my very dependable local garage? Which had serviced my Suzuki so much better than the long drive to the Suzuki dealer, and the extra costs there.
Again, it is because your vehicle is still under warranty. For oil changes and such, take it where ever you want. But if you are concerned that something is not working properly, then take it to your dealer.


Quote:
In conclusion, a forum should be a place where people share issues, not attack others. Questions, not caustic comments. Appreciate that perhaps others have been driving longer than you, and perhaps with a more varied set of vehicles. If you are a superior mechanic, perhaps you know more about that vehicle - but "go talk to your dealer" does not help anyone - I promise you I do know when to talk to the dealership - which is generally as seldom as possible.
By your posts, it is somewhat obvious that your expectations were different than what a modern vehicle offers.

It was suggested to go talk to your dealer because you certainly need a few things clarified. I have tried to do so, but I cannot pull your head out of the sand.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:53 PM   #23
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Gas performance in a Pilot is JOKE!

Just did a fill-up - I'm at 7763 miles

Current calculation, for this last amount of 366 miles over 40 days:
based on gas-req'd to fill: 13.072 miles/gal
based on the silly gauge inside the car: way off-base ... (shown to be the case many times previously, because, of course, when sitting at a traffic light, it shows me to not be using any gas, in effect).)

Overall, for the full period since purchased, to-date, incl summer, some "lite" trailer pulling, fair bit of highway - 16.392 mpg

What the car is supposed to get, per the adverts, etc:
- city: 23.000
- hiway: 34.000

Now, either someone is pulling my leg, or there is a big "lie" going on with car performance: for the recent period, which can be defined as "city" - a number of short trips, some highway, generally driving at about 30 m/hr around the area ... trying to use ECO whenever feasible. Light on acceleration from stop signs and stoplights, no hills generally, hiways not more than 65 m/hr, very little idling (at startup, for only 20 seconds, otherwise only at stoplights, etc.).

Someone said should use 89 vs 87 grade gasoline - but let's see what Honda says about its car:

- And because itís one of the most fuel-efficient 8-passenger SUVs, you can get more done on just one tank.
- recommended fuel: regular (not 89)

Another article suggests "The only time you might need to switch to a higher octane level [than 87] is if your car engine knocks when you use the recommended fuel. This happens to a small percentage of cars.

Folks, stop defending the car ! It does not do what it is supposed to ..

As to other things: suit yourself.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:34 PM   #24
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Default Re: What is the Truth about 2012-2013 Pilot??

Smart thing to do is to take your car to the dealer and get you oil chnages there and any recomended work take it to your trusted mechanic is the best thing techs that work on delaers know your car better then your local garage or thet hole in the wall repair shop , they follow recomended maintenance and repair procedures recomended by honda

One tip is not to take the car to the express lane you cant trust a guy who makes 10$ an hour
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:34 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Was-suzuki View Post

- comment about TPMS - yes, MOST new cars have it (but not all) - and, as consumers, should we not be able to say what we really do not want in our vehicle, especially if it adds a huge amount to the cost. As I indicated, 10 cars over 40 years, and I NEVER had a flat tire problem. But if consumers are not willing to speak up, then ... you get what you deserve ...
No, you don't get to tell the mfg what you want or don't want.. at least, not directly. You can indirectly tell them by not buying their product. Honda differentiates their trim lines by features. You don't order a Honda and special order options/features you want. You decide what trim line has the features you want and buy that, assuming you can afford it. Regarding TPMS, I believe that is one of the federally mandated systems that newer vehicles must have in some form or fashion.

On my 2006 Pilot and 2008 Ridgeline, the TMPS threshold is: below 24 psi the light turns on. Above 29 psi the light goes off... if the system is in spec. Temperature differences (10*F per 1 psi) can also turn on/off the light.

Quote:
- windows all opening ... cannot recall holding down any button, but that REALLY scares me ... so, if I am walking away from my locked vehicle, and the keys are in my pocket, and the button happens to get pushed (eg., bending over to pick up something), and I don't happen to look back ... and all my windows open .. NOW, who's brain-wave was that design ? Anyone know how to reprogram it (just like I happened to find, in that monster of a manual, how to reprogram the door locks when the engine shuts off ...)
As mentioned, it's a convenience feature. I've read of a few instances where this seems to have occurred spontaneously, but no one to my knowledge has really been able to verify that there was not a legitimate cause for this unintended operation.

Quote:
- mileage - well, yes, heavy foot, hills, speeding, fast acceleration, etc etc - we all know what eats gas .. but what I was trying to imply was that the Pilot knows how to eat it better than almost any (a recent column here spoke about the 4Runner, Highlander, Pathfinder and Pilot as all being huge disappointments when it comes to gas consumption - don't know about you, but when the performance is so way off the specs, then I consider it a fib on someone's part ..)
There are way too many variables in this equation to do an internet diagnostic and tell you if your have a problem with your Pilot. Bottom line, if you make short trips, expect your mpgs to fall off the bottom of the range. If you take a highway trip and drive reasonably, you should get in the top of the range or better. By that, I don't mean a 10 mile trip on the interstate to check your mpgs, but several hundred miles.

Quote:
- go to MY dealer - no way! but I will not get into that. I was strung the line, which I stupidly accepted, that buying a $1000 insurance policy on rims and tires was essential for a Pilot - but I come to find out I can buy a whole set of wheels and tires for $1000 (which I did recently). Pissed off !

- go to a HONDA dealer - yeah, right. Why ? Is there something really unique about the Pilot that makes me want to pay so much more than my very dependable local garage? Which had serviced my Suzuki so much better than the long drive to the Suzuki dealer, and the extra costs there.
Depending on your dealer, you may have a gem or a dud. Some dealer service departments don't even know that from 2005 and up, the Pilot has a transfer assembly that is serviced with hypoid gear oil instead of transmission fluid. Hopefully, that is the exception rather than the rule.

You will have to do your own due diligence to qualify your local dealer for service. There's no reason to go to the dealer for routine maintenance if you have a local shop you trust. But you will have to go to the dealer (any Honda dealer) for any warranty work you might need.


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In conclusion, a forum should be a place where people share issues, not attack others. Questions, not caustic comments. Appreciate that perhaps others have been driving longer than you, and perhaps with a more varied set of vehicles. If you are a superior mechanic, perhaps you know more about that vehicle - but "go talk to your dealer" does not help anyone - I promise you I do know when to talk to the dealership - which is generally as seldom as possible.
You need to be open to the idea that some of your preconceived ideas may not have any basis in truth too. Be open to learning. Interweb conversations do not offer much in the way of inflection or other ways to determine whether someone is trying to help you in a clever way or is dissing you. My advice is to have a thick skin and be open to the idea that you may have something to learn.

Good luck.
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