Automotive

2018 Honda Pilot: Jerky 6-Speed Transmission

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  • Feb 6th, 2021 12:43 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2004
2158 posts
220 upvotes
Calgary

2018 Honda Pilot: Jerky 6-Speed Transmission

Hey guys,

My 2018 Pilot AWD EX-L is around 35k km, has the 6-speed transmission. and still under bumper-to-bumper warranty until Sept..

I've heard the Honda transmission issue mentioned many times here before but always thought the current 6-speed as tried-and-true (by comparison, the ZF 9 speed on the top trim is usually considered pretty bad)

For the first time yesterday I experienced a pretty jerky transmission which also gave me an engine light at the time.
This happened when I was making a left turn and tried to speed up. (before this I've been driving at 100 km/h for about 2 hours).
I stopped the car, and turned it off, restarted without issue, didn't see the engine light though.
The car drove fine afterwards for the rest of the trip. (~500km).
When I got home, hooked up my generic OBDII scanner through bluetooth, but couldn't find any fault code.
Has anyone experienced something like this before?

Thanks a lot.
24 replies
Deal Expert
Feb 24, 2007
15070 posts
2661 upvotes
renhui wrote: Hey guys,

My 2018 Pilot AWD EX-L is around 35k km, has the 6-speed transmission. and still under bumper-to-bumper warranty until Sept..

I've heard the Honda transmission issue mentioned many times here before but always thought the current 6-speed as tried-and-true (by comparison, the ZF 9 speed on the top trim is usually considered pretty bad)

For the first time yesterday I experienced a pretty jerky transmission which also gave me an engine light at the time.
This happened when I was making a left turn and tried to speed up. (before this I've been driving at 100 km/h for about 2 hours).
I stopped the car, and turned it off, restarted without issue, didn't see the engine light though.
The car drove fine afterwards for the rest of the trip. (~500km).
When I got home, hooked up my generic OBDII scanner through bluetooth, but couldn't find any fault code.
Has anyone experienced something like this before?

Thanks a lot.

Check engine light is related to an engine emission issue and nothing to do with your transmission. Was there any engine misfire?
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
4381 posts
3979 upvotes
Ottawa
Take it to the dealer and have it checked. I had a 2016 EX-L that had its 6 sp transmission replaced at 10,000 kms.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
17375 posts
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Oakville
Any chance you mistook accelerating on a slippery road for a transmission issue? It may have just been aggressive traction control intervention.
Otherwise check your ATF level and consider the VCM muzzler.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

Selling 18x8 Winter Wheels/Tires 225/60R-18 for Audi Q5, A5, Mercedes, PM for info, lots of tread.
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details.ht ... 1589757439
Deal Guru
May 1, 2012
10119 posts
10033 upvotes
Markham
Take it to Honda and get it checked. It's still under warranty, why you doing anything? Plus this gives them a papertrail, in case in the future this stuff pops up again.
Temp. Banned
Jun 4, 2020
1634 posts
1685 upvotes
Clarington, ON
Is it possible that what you felt wasn't transmission related, but a misfire of some sort. You indicate that the CEL did illuminate. There should be some sort of data that can be accessed that can provide more insight into why the light came on, but may not be accessible to the Amazon OBDII scanners.
Sr. Member
Jun 21, 2006
839 posts
456 upvotes
if you have changed the transmission fluid, change that first then i would suggest you have changed agian in the summer
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
46900 posts
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T.O. Lotto Captain
The Honda Pilote V6 automatic transmission has a replacement interval of every 3 years.
Sounds like youre due for a brand new transmission. Requires a brand new transmission every 3 years.



Jk

I hear a lot of horror stories about honda auto tranny’s...
Temp. Banned
Jun 4, 2020
1634 posts
1685 upvotes
Clarington, ON
engineered wrote: Unless I'm reading it wrong, he said there was no warning light.
I saw "For the first time yesterday I experienced a pretty jerky transmission which also gave me an engine light at the time." and then "I stopped the car, and turned it off, restarted without issue, didn't see the engine light though."

I interpreted as CEL came on at same time as "jerky" feeling started? I dunno.
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
KevinM56081 wrote: I saw "For the first time yesterday I experienced a pretty jerky transmission which also gave me an engine light at the time." and then "I stopped the car, and turned it off, restarted without issue, didn't see the engine light though."

I interpreted as CEL came on at same time as "jerky" feeling started? I dunno.
Yea, my bad. I missed that first mention of engine light.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

Selling 18x8 Winter Wheels/Tires 225/60R-18 for Audi Q5, A5, Mercedes, PM for info, lots of tread.
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details.ht ... 1589757439
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2004
2158 posts
220 upvotes
Calgary
Thanks a lot for all your replies.
I've checked the ATF level and it seems ok and also the fluid is still pinkish color, nothing too off.
skeet50 wrote: Take it to the dealer and have it checked. I had a 2016 EX-L that had its 6 sp transmission replaced at 10,000 kms.
That's sad to hear, what happened in your case that warrantied a transmission replacement at 10k only?
sandav wrote: At the very minimum, I suggest you install a VCM Muzzler or VCM Tuner:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/VCMuzzler-II-t ... 2807770690
https://www.vcmtuner.com/

May help clear your problem and at the very least, it will help with long term engine reliability.
Seems like I'll have to look into it, I was under the impression that VCM only affects the engine, but it apparently negatively impacted the transmission as well.
engineered wrote: Any chance you mistook accelerating on a slippery road for a transmission issue? It may have just been aggressive traction control intervention.
Otherwise check your ATF level and consider the VCM muzzler.
I think it was a transmission issue at the time, maybe I accelerated too much and caused some misfire as well.

Good point on the generic OBD2 scanner probably can't pick up the code.
Anikiri wrote: Take it to Honda and get it checked. It's still under warranty, why you doing anything? Plus this gives them a papertrail, in case in the future this stuff pops up again.
I thought about that, my concern would be if they can reproduce the issue, is dealership like " if we can't reproduce the issue, we can't do anything about it"
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
4381 posts
3979 upvotes
Ottawa
renhui wrote: Thanks a lot for all your replies.

That's sad to hear, what happened in your case that warrantied a transmission replacement at 10k only?
Transmission was leaking. The vehicle was at the dealership for its first oil change and they called me to let me know that they discovered the issue during their inspection.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2004
2158 posts
220 upvotes
Calgary
skeet50 wrote: Transmission was leaking. The vehicle was at the dealership for its first oil change and they called me to let me know that they discovered the issue during their inspection.
That's so unfortunate for a new car.
Hope they at least put in a brand new transmission, instead of rebuilt.
Penalty Box
Mar 23, 2004
29877 posts
10586 upvotes
eldiablo wrote:
Check engine light is related to an engine emission issue and nothing to do with your transmission. Was there any engine misfire?
That's actually not true. There are thousands of possible DTCs with in the standard OBD-II subset. Probably hundreds of them can illuminate the MIL. While the symbol looks like an engine and is typically called a "Check Engine Light" or "CEL" by people, the correct OBD term for the light is "MIL" or Malfunction Indicator Lamp. The MIL illuminates whenever any emission-related issue comes up whether it's related to the engine itself or otherwise. For example evap leaks (which can be caused by a missing or improperly tightened gas cap) will most certainly illuminate the MIL. This is because gasoline evaporating into the atmosphere is a major pollutant.

As an additional note, a blinking or flashing MIL, indicates not only an emission problem but a catalyst damaging one (heavy misfires will cause the MIL to flash, for example).

Anyway there are indeed transmission-related DTCs which can command the MIL on, it's certainly not just pure engine issues that do this. Slipping TCC in an automatic will turn on the MIL, as an example.
Anikiri wrote: Take it to Honda and get it checked. It's still under warranty, why you doing anything? Plus this gives them a papertrail, in case in the future this stuff pops up again.
Pretty much this. Might as well take it in if it is under warranty and seemingly could be a big-ticket repair. I mean you might get your windshield smashed or car ransacked in the process, lol, but if it's actually a major trans problem I guess saving thousands in repair costs might be worth it.

As mentioned there should be DTC history codes stored, which either you are not able to read with a generic reader, don't have the right software to read, or don't know how to. Also very likely manufacturer-specific codes which you can't read. If the MIL came on at all there should be some remnants of what happened stored, unless OP did any "code clearing" business which it doesn't sound like they have.
Deal Addict
Feb 17, 2012
1621 posts
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ORLEANS
why are people are suggesting take it to dealer when the code is gone? i did this once and dealer said they couldnt find anything an charged me a diagnostic charge of $100
Deal Addict
Sep 6, 2017
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Palidino wrote: why are people are suggesting take it to dealer when the code is gone? i did this once and dealer said they couldnt find anything an charged me a diagnostic charge of $100
$100 is a nuisance charge to stop people coming in for nothing.
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
Palidino wrote: why are people are suggesting take it to dealer when the code is gone? i did this once and dealer said they couldnt find anything an charged me a diagnostic charge of $100
ES_Revenge wrote: As mentioned there should be DTC history codes stored, which either you are not able to read with a generic reader, don't have the right software to read, or don't know how to. Also very likely manufacturer-specific codes which you can't read. If the MIL came on at all there should be some remnants of what happened stored, unless OP did any "code clearing" business which it doesn't sound like they have.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

Selling 18x8 Winter Wheels/Tires 225/60R-18 for Audi Q5, A5, Mercedes, PM for info, lots of tread.
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details.ht ... 1589757439
Newbie
Oct 11, 2007
42 posts
34 upvotes
Regina
I've got a 2014 Acura MDX which I think has the same 6 speed as your vehicle. I've had severe jerkiness happen several times. Sounds similar to what you describe. Restart vehicle and it goes away until next time. My own ODB reader nor dealer sees any codes. Have had the vehicle in to dealer many times for them to drive around for a while and it can't be recreated at will so dealer has never experienced it. They did a related TSB for changing fluid but didn't fix it. Started happening after it was off warranty so I'm just living with the few times per year it does it, and hoping I don't have to pay for a transmission while I have the vehicle.

PS. Definitely recommend getting VCM tuner or similar. It won't do anything for your tranny but made a world of difference in engine performance and consistency. I was going to trade my MDX in soon after I bought it because of VCM but totally changed when I installed the device. No difference in fuel mileage and way smoother engine. I think newer honda/acura vehicles may not have quite the same issue with VCM as my MY but something to think about. If yours under warranty, keep taking it back until they figure it out.

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