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#2675186 - 07/05/12 09:52 PM What is my Honda Pilot engine's REAL problem?
Adam_in_NH Offline


Registered: 07/05/12
Posts: 90
Loc: NH
I have a 2009 Honda Pilot I bought new and have maintained as per dealer recommendations, which is to use the on-board maintenance minder computer. At 80K miles the engine developed a tick in the valve train, which has since become louder. At almost 90K miles the dealer went to do a valve adjustment but instead told me that the engine has heavy sludge which caused premature wear of the camshafts, probably cylinder heads, and possibly lower end. They now recommend significant engine work, engine replacement, or vehicle replacement. I am troubled by the fact that my dealer insisted the Pilot would be fine running conventional oil as long as the 9K to 10K mile service intervals the maintenance minder ran before indicating an oil change was due. I spoke with Mobil who told me that the conventional Mobil Super oil the dealer was running had a 5000 mile rating and although this oil would continue to lubricate beyond its rating, the additives and detergents would begin to break down after that point. My conclusion is that the maintenance minder on this vehicle was operating in error by letting conventional oil run as long as it did, and the breakdown of the overused oil caused the accumulation of sludge over the lifetime of the engine. This seems obvious to me as I have always changed my oil at 5000 miles, yet the dealer service department said they, "Just don't know" what happened. My dealer's parts department told me that Honda started using synthetic-hybrid oils for their 2011 models. Can someone please tell me if my conclusion is correct, or if there is another solid reason for what might have happened here? Many Thanks!


Edited by hr1940 (07/20/12 06:33 PM)

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#2675188 - 07/05/12 09:56 PM Re: What is my Honda Pilot engine's REAL problem? [Re: Adam_in_NH]
addyguy Offline


Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 13449
Loc: Canada
The only thing I can add to this discussion is that I've read on here that some Honda Minivans equipped with the 3.5L V-6, that were maintained in a similar way, developed problems with heavy varnishing that affected camshaft opeartion.

The Pilot uses the same AFAIK, so i'd expect this to be a similar issue. MOST Honda engines are very easy on oil; it sems like the 3.5L is an exception to that rule.
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#2675194 - 07/05/12 10:00 PM Re: What is my Honda Pilot engine's REAL problem? [Re: Adam_in_NH]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 12583
Loc: Chicago, IL
This is a bad situation. Did you ever get that in writing? This is partially why I don't trust OLMs.
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#2675196 - 07/05/12 10:00 PM Re: What is my Honda Pilot engine's REAL problem? [Re: Adam_in_NH]
dave1251 Offline


Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 7394
Loc: Maricopa, AZ
Sorry you have a dead engine. Should of researched more before jumping into 9-10K OCI's. Engine is more at fault than oil.
_________________________
make the inside of your engine oil cap white.
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#2675198 - 07/05/12 10:00 PM Re: What is my Honda Pilot engine's REAL problem? [Re: Adam_in_NH]
tig1 Offline


Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 10019
Loc: Illinois
I have never believed dino should be used for much over 5K. Now I know there are some exceptions. Both of my engines have nearly 100K all on M1 synthetic with 10K OCIs and they are very clean. I also would not put any trust in a OLM as often they will have the OC well in excess of the life of dino. Of course this is my opinion and will stick to it. welcome


Edited by tig1 (07/05/12 10:02 PM)
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#2675199 - 07/05/12 10:00 PM Re: What is my Honda Pilot engine's REAL problem? [Re: Adam_in_NH]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 21691
Loc: NY
I'd get a second opinion. I think member Trav dealt with a sludged up Honda Odyssey which was also maintained by the MM. IMO I'd can the MM and do shorter OCI's maybe 5000 miles with a synthetic oil, if in fact your engine is as bad as they say it is.
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#2675201 - 07/05/12 10:01 PM Re: What is my Honda Pilot engine's REAL problem? [Re: Adam_in_NH]
JRed Offline


Registered: 06/01/09
Posts: 1635
Loc: Virginia
Your case is NOT an isolated incident. There are many reports of this same problem on other Honda-specific forums - we might've even had another poster asking something similar to this a few weeks ago, I think.

Whatever it is, it's a shame. I'd lean towards undersized sump (4.5 qts) and the OLM telling you to go much, much too far.


Edited by JRed (07/05/12 10:04 PM)
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#2675202 - 07/05/12 10:02 PM Re: What is my Honda Pilot engine's REAL problem? [Re: Adam_in_NH]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 10411
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Quote:
I am troubled by the fact that my dealer insisted the Pilot would be fine running conventional oil as long as the 9K to 10K mile service intervals

Is this a 3.5? I would be nervous even running synthetics without a UOA to insure at least the TBN was holding up.
If this is an iVTEC i wouldn't go over 5000 miles.
You are the victim of a bad service manager.

The engine sounds like a dead player replace it with a long block.
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#2675205 - 07/05/12 10:04 PM Re: What is my Honda Pilot engine's REAL problem? [Re: Adam_in_NH]
tdpark Offline


Registered: 07/25/05
Posts: 432
Loc: New York
Open up a claim with Honda directly and see what they will do. There is a good chance they they will help you out especially if your vehicle was dealer serviced.

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#2675206 - 07/05/12 10:04 PM Re: What is my Honda Pilot engine's REAL problem? [Re: Adam_in_NH]
Tortuga Offline


Registered: 04/12/12
Posts: 17
Loc: UT, USA
That's terrible to hear. Did you have all the oil changes performed at the Honda dealer? What engine is in your Pilot: the normal 3.5 V6 or the i-VTEC with the Variable Cylinder Management? Did you do a lot of towing or other severe service? I am very interested to hear more as I also have a Honda with the 3.5 liter engine.

Again, sorry to hear about your troubles and I hope things work out for you. I think the Maintenance Minder is way too optimistic for this vehicle, especially with conventional oil. That is the most likely reason for the sludge. The dealer and Honda should stand by their recommendations.


Edited by Tortuga (07/05/12 10:07 PM)
Edit Reason: Spelling
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#2675209 - 07/05/12 10:14 PM Re: What is my Honda Pilot engine's REAL problem? [Re: Tortuga]
GMFan Offline


Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1485
Loc: Catskills, NY
If the oil was changed every 9 to 10k miles with a decent quality conventional oil such as Mobil I highly doubt it would sludge up severely to the point of engine failure...Did you actually see sludge with your own eyes? Can you see any sludge through the oil fill hole? At 9-10k OCI I'd expect maybe varnish but not sludge.

Either the motor burned excessive oil and it ran repeatedly low, the dealership failed to change the oil on one occasion, they used cheap swill motor oil and passed it off as Mobil or they are claiming sludge to pass the blame on you.

Out of curiosity, did you do a lot of short trip driving with this vehicle?


Edited by GMFan (07/05/12 10:17 PM)
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#2675214 - 07/05/12 10:20 PM Re: What is my Honda Pilot engine's REAL problem? [Re: Adam_in_NH]
Hallmark Offline


Registered: 10/28/10
Posts: 830
Loc: Pacific Northwest
With 9-10K OCIs on conventional oil in NH climate, there should be no question as to what caused the sludge issue.

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#2675218 - 07/05/12 10:25 PM Re: What is my Honda Pilot engine's REAL problem? [Re: Hallmark]
GMFan Offline


Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1485
Loc: Catskills, NY
I did some quick research and some folks have oil consumption issues with the 3.5L V6.

http://www.carcomplaints.com/Honda/Pilot/2009/engine/excessive_oil_consumption.shtml
_________________________
2011 Mazda6i Sport 6spd MT-57k miles
PP 0w20-Purolator PureOne
"If you are not free to choose wrongly and irresponsibly, you are not free at all."

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#2675221 - 07/05/12 10:26 PM Re: What is my Honda Pilot engine's REAL problem? [Re: Hallmark]
dave1251 Offline


Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 7394
Loc: Maricopa, AZ
Originally Posted By: Hallmark
With 9-10K OCIs on conventional oil in NH climate, there should be no question as to what caused the sludge issue.


Yeah the engine.
_________________________
make the inside of your engine oil cap white.
don't use.

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#2675224 - 07/05/12 10:31 PM Re: What is my Honda Pilot engine's REAL problem? [Re: Adam_in_NH]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 8092
Loc: Barberton,Ohio
nice first post welcome to bitog and i hope you arent a trolling
formerly banned member here.


Edited by Rand (07/05/12 10:31 PM)
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