2017 Honda Pilot Transmission Problems

In this article, we will be discussing the transmission problems commonly encountered in the 2017 Honda Pilot. You will learn about the specific issues that have been reported by owners, as well as potential causes and solutions for these problems. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the common transmission issues that you may encounter if you own a 2017 Honda Pilot, and be better equipped to address these problems if they arise.

2017 Honda Pilot Transmission Problems

If you own a 2017 Honda Pilot, you may be familiar with some of the common transmission issues that owners have experienced. While the Honda Pilot is known for its reliability and overall performance, there have been reports of certain problems specifically related to its transmission. In this article, we will discuss some of the most frequent issues that have been reported, the possible causes, the effects on vehicle performance, signs and symptoms to look out for, ways to diagnose the problems, preventive maintenance and care tips, possible solutions, warranty coverage, customer experiences, and the overall conclusion.

2017 Honda Pilot Transmission Problems

Common Issues with Honda Pilot Transmission

Hesitation to Shift Gears

One of the most common complaints from Honda Pilot owners is a hesitation or delay in shifting gears. This issue can occur when the vehicle is moving at various speeds, making it particularly frustrating for drivers. Some owners have reported feeling a noticeable delay when accelerating or when the transmission is attempting to switch gears. This hesitation can be potentially dangerous, especially in situations that require quick acceleration, such as merging onto a highway or passing another vehicle.

Transmission Fluid Leaks

Another issue that has been reported by Honda Pilot owners is transmission fluid leaks. Transmission fluid is essential for the proper functioning of the transmission, as it lubricates the moving parts and cools down the system. The leaks can occur due to deteriorated seals or gaskets, which can result in a loss of fluid and potentially cause damage to the transmission. It is crucial to address fluid leaks promptly to prevent further transmission problems and maintain the vehicle’s overall performance.

Shuddering or Jerking during Acceleration

Some owners have experienced a shuddering or jerking motion when accelerating. This issue can occur when the transmission struggles to engage properly, leading to an unpleasant driving experience. Shuddering or jerking can also put additional stress on other components of the vehicle, leading to potential damage if left unresolved. It is important to have this issue diagnosed and repaired by a qualified technician to ensure the safety and performance of your Honda Pilot.

Failure to Engage in Reverse Gear

One of the most concerning transmission problems reported by Honda Pilot owners is the failure to engage or shift into reverse gear. This issue can occur unexpectedly and can be extremely frustrating, as it limits the ability to maneuver the vehicle in certain situations. Owners have reported having to repeatedly shift between gears or apply excessive force to engage reverse gear. This problem can greatly inconvenience drivers and may require immediate attention to prevent further complications.

Causes of the Transmission Problems

Several factors can contribute to the transmission problems experienced by 2017 Honda Pilot owners. Understanding the possible causes can help in diagnosing and resolving the issues effectively. Here are some of the common causes:

Defective Transmission Fluid Pump

A malfunctioning or defective transmission fluid pump can lead to various transmission problems. The pump is responsible for circulating the fluid throughout the transmission, ensuring that the necessary pressure is maintained for proper gear engagement. If the pump fails or is not functioning correctly, it can result in issues such as delayed shifting, gear slippage, or even complete transmission failure.

Faulty Torque Converter

The torque converter plays a crucial role in transferring power from the engine to the transmission. It allows the engine to continue running even when the vehicle is stationary or when the transmission is in a different gear. A faulty torque converter can cause issues such as shuddering or jerking during acceleration, gear slipping, or difficulty shifting gears. If the torque converter is not functioning properly, it may need to be repaired or replaced to resolve the transmission problems.

Wear and Tear of Clutch Plates

Clutch plates are fundamental components of the transmission system, enabling smooth gear engagement and shifts. Over time, the clutch plates can wear down due to the normal operation of the vehicle, resulting in transmission problems. Worn clutch plates can cause slipping or jerking during gear changes, decreased acceleration, and other performance issues. Replacing worn clutch plates can help restore the smooth functioning of the transmission.

Software Glitches in Transmission Control Module

Modern vehicles, including the 2017 Honda Pilot, rely on complex computer systems to control various functions, including the transmission. Software glitches or programming errors in the transmission control module can lead to performance issues and transmission problems. These glitches can cause delays in shifting, erratic gear changes, or even the failure to engage certain gears. Updating the transmission control module software can often resolve these software-related problems.

Effects of Transmission Problems on Vehicle Performance

Experiencing transmission problems with your 2017 Honda Pilot can have significant effects on the overall performance of the vehicle. Here are some of the notable effects:

Reduced Fuel Efficiency

Transmission problems can impact the fuel efficiency of your Honda Pilot. Issues such as delayed shifting or gear slippage can cause the engine to work harder, leading to increased fuel consumption. As a result, you may notice a decrease in your average miles per gallon, leading to increased fuel costs over time.

Loss of Power and Acceleration

When your vehicle’s transmission is not functioning correctly, you may experience a loss of power and acceleration. Issues such as hesitation or shuddering during acceleration can diminish the overall performance of your Honda Pilot. This can make it challenging to merge onto highways, overtake other vehicles, or simply enjoy a smooth and powerful driving experience.

Unpredictable Shifting and Gear Changes

Transmission problems can result in unpredictable shifting and gear changes. You may notice that your Honda Pilot’s transmission does not respond as expected, leading to sudden or harsh gear changes. This inconsistency can be frustrating and can affect the overall driving experience, as it can disrupt the flow and smoothness of the vehicle’s operation.

Potential Damage to Other Components

If transmission problems are not addressed promptly, they can potentially cause damage to other components of your Honda Pilot. Issues such as gear slipping or delayed shifting can put additional stress on the engine, drivetrain, and other related parts. Over time, this can lead to more significant and costly repairs if not resolved in a timely manner.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Transmission Problems

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of transmission problems can help you identify the issue early and seek prompt repairs. Here are some of the common signs to look out for:

Delays in Shifting Gears

If you notice a delay or hesitation when shifting gears in your Honda Pilot, it may indicate a transmission issue. Pay attention to any noticeable delays or resistance when shifting from park to drive or from one gear to another.

Burning Smell from Transmission

A burning smell emanating from the transmission area can be a sign of transmission problems. This smell may indicate overheating or the breakdown of transmission fluid due to excessive friction. It is crucial to address this issue promptly to prevent further damage to the transmission.

Unusual Noises during Gear Changes

Listen for any strange or unusual noises when shifting gears in your Honda Pilot. Clunking, grinding, or whining sounds can indicate problems with the transmission. Such noises may be accompanied by the feeling of jerking or shuddering during gear changes.

Slipping or Overtaking of Gears

Another sign of transmission problems is the slipping or overtaking of gears. You may notice a sudden loss of power or a sensation of the engine revving higher than normal without a corresponding increase in vehicle speed. This can indicate a slipping transmission, which requires immediate attention.

2017 Honda Pilot Transmission Problems

How to Diagnose the Transmission Problems

If you suspect that your 2017 Honda Pilot is experiencing transmission problems, it is essential to diagnose the issue accurately. Here are some ways to diagnose the problems:

Performing a Computerized Diagnostic Test

Taking your Honda Pilot to a qualified technician for a computerized diagnostic test can provide valuable insights into the transmission issues. These tests can identify any error codes stored in the vehicle’s computer system, helping pinpoint the source of the problem.

Checking Transmission Fluid Levels and Quality

Inspecting the transmission fluid levels and its quality can help in diagnosing potential issues. Low fluid levels or fluid that appears dark, burnt, or contaminated may indicate a transmission problem. It is important to ensure that the transmission fluid is at the correct level and in good condition.

Inspecting the Transmission Pan for Debris or Metal Shavings

Removing the transmission pan and inspecting it for debris or metal shavings can reveal any underlying issues. Excessive debris or shavings may suggest internal transmission problems or component failures. This inspection should be carried out by a trained professional to avoid causing further damage.

Examining the Transmission Filter

Inspecting the transmission filter can provide insights into the condition of the transmission. A clogged or damaged filter can restrict the flow of transmission fluid, leading to performance issues. Replacing the filter, if necessary, can help restore proper transmission function.

Preventive Maintenance and Care for the Transmission

Taking proactive measures to maintain and care for your Honda Pilot’s transmission can potentially prevent or minimize transmission problems. Here are some preventive maintenance tips:

Regular Transmission Fluid Changes

Regularly changing the transmission fluid can help keep the transmission in optimal condition. Consult your Honda Pilot’s owner’s manual for the recommended interval for fluid changes. Fresh and clean transmission fluid promotes smooth operation and can prevent premature wear and damage.

Proper Transmission Flushes

In addition to regular fluid changes, periodic transmission flushes can help remove built-up contaminants and ensure the transmission is working properly. A flush typically involves removing old fluid, cleaning the transmission system, and replenishing it with new fluid.

Ensuring Correct Transmission Fluid Levels

Regularly checking the transmission fluid levels can help prevent issues related to low or high fluid levels. Maintaining the correct fluid level ensures that the transmission is adequately lubricated and cooled, promoting optimal performance and longevity.

Avoiding Excessive Towing or Loading

Excessive towing or loading can put additional stress on the transmission, potentially leading to problems. Respect your Honda Pilot’s recommended towing and load capacities to prevent unnecessary strain on the transmission and other components.

Possible Solutions for Honda Pilot Transmission Problems

If you are experiencing transmission problems with your 2017 Honda Pilot, there are several possible solutions. The most appropriate solution will depend on the specific issue and its severity. Here are some possible solutions:

Repair or Replacement of Faulty Transmission Parts

Depending on the root cause of the transmission problem, repairing or replacing faulty transmission parts may be necessary. This can involve replacing defective seals, gaskets, or other components that are causing the issues. A qualified technician will be able to diagnose and recommend the appropriate repairs or replacements.

Flush and Refill Transmission Fluid

If your Honda Pilot’s transmission problems are related to contaminated or degraded fluid, a complete flush and refill may be required. This process involves draining the old fluid, cleaning the transmission system, and refilling it with fresh fluid. It is crucial to use the correct type of transmission fluid specified by Honda for optimal performance.

Updating Transmission Control Module Software

Software glitches in the transmission control module can often be resolved by updating the software. This process typically involves reprogramming the module to the latest version provided by Honda. Updating the software can resolve any programming errors or glitches, improving the overall transmission performance.

Seeking Professional Assistance

For more complex transmission problems or if you are unsure of the appropriate solution, seeking professional assistance is highly recommended. A specialized transmission technician or a Honda dealership can provide expert guidance and ensure the issue is diagnosed and resolved correctly.

Warranty and Extended Coverage for Transmission Issues

If you are encountering transmission problems with your 2017 Honda Pilot, it is important to be aware of the warranty coverage and any extended warranty options available. Here are some key points to consider:

Honda’s Powertrain Warranty Coverage

The 2017 Honda Pilot comes with a powertrain warranty that covers the transmission for a specified period or mileage, whichever comes first. It is crucial to review the terms and conditions of the warranty coverage to understand what is included and any limitations or exclusions that may apply.

Extended Warranty Options

If your Honda Pilot is no longer covered by the standard warranty, you may have the option to purchase an extended warranty for additional coverage. Extended warranties can provide peace of mind and financial protection against unexpected transmission problems beyond the original warranty period. Consult with a Honda dealership or reputable warranty provider for more information on available options.

Recalls or Technical Service Bulletins for Known Transmission Problems

It is worthwhile to check for any recalls or technical service bulletins (TSBs) related to transmission issues for your 2017 Honda Pilot. Recalls are typically issued by the manufacturer to address safety or performance-related concerns. TSBs provide service instructions or guidelines for technicians to resolve known issues. Staying informed about any recalls or TSBs can help ensure that your transmission problem is properly addressed and potentially covered under warranty.

Customer Experiences and Complaints

Real-life accounts of transmission problems experienced by Honda Pilot owners provide valuable insights into the impact on vehicle ownership and resale value. Here are some common experiences and complaints:

Impact on Vehicle Ownership and Resale Value

Experiencing transmission problems can be frustrating for Honda Pilot owners, potentially impacting their overall satisfaction with the vehicle. Transmission issues can also affect the resale value of the vehicle, as prospective buyers may be wary of purchasing a vehicle with a known transmission problem. It is crucial to document any repairs or maintenance related to the transmission to provide transparency to potential buyers.

Legal Actions or Class-Action Lawsuits

In some cases, owners may resort to legal actions or join class-action lawsuits if the transmission problems are widespread and not adequately addressed by the manufacturer. These legal actions can bring attention to the issues and seek compensation for affected owners. It is important to research and stay informed about any ongoing legal actions related to transmission problems in the 2017 Honda Pilot.


The 2017 Honda Pilot is a popular and reliable SUV, but like any vehicle, it is not immune to transmission problems. Owners have reported various issues, including hesitation to shift gears, transmission fluid leaks, shuddering during acceleration, and the failure to engage reverse gear. These problems can impact vehicle performance, fuel efficiency, and potentially cause damage to other components.

It is important to diagnose transmission problems accurately through computerized diagnostic tests, fluid level checks, transmission pan inspections, and the examination of the transmission filter. Regular preventive maintenance, such as fluid changes and proper care, can help prevent transmission problems. Possible solutions include repairing or replacing faulty transmission parts, flushing and refilling the transmission fluid, updating the transmission control module software, or seeking professional assistance.

Be aware of the warranty coverage, extended warranty options, and any recalls or technical service bulletins related to transmission issues for the 2017 Honda Pilot. Documenting any repairs or maintenance related to the transmission can help with vehicle ownership and resale value. Stay informed about customer experiences and complaints, as well as any ongoing legal actions or class-action lawsuits.

Overall, addressing transmission problems promptly and effectively can help ensure the safety, performance, and longevity of your 2017 Honda Pilot.

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