Is Your Honda Pilot

Reliability Affected By One Of

These Problems?

by Bill Flitter

My family is seriously considering buying a new Honda Pilot as our next family SUV. We’ve done a ton of research on it, including its safety features and tech features. But what about things that Honda doesn’t list on their website? What should I know that the salesperson at the dealership will fail to mention?

In particular, I was curious to learn about any maintenance or reliability issues with the Honda Pilot. To learn the answers, I scoured the Honda Pilot Owner Facebook group to learn what real people were posting about it online. Here’s what I found out:

honda pilot reliability 2017

6 Maintenance Issues That Affect Honda Pilot Reliability


One of the first posts that I noticed dealing with upkeep of the Honda Pilot was in reference to its headlights. Apparently, switching from the stock headlights to vented LED headlights makes a huge difference, “There is a massive difference in brightness, depth and visibility.”

From what I see, the LED headlights are included in the Elite model.

honda pilot reliability 2017


When I saw someone post about their Pilot’s brakes, I definitely took notice. But when I read the details, my concern quickly went away. The poster is driving a 2003 Pilot with 175,000 miles on it and it’s only now getting a squeaky brake noise.

My Accord started having a squeaky noise a while ago and it’s younger and has 50,000 fewer miles. So, again, this “maintenance” issue seems pretty minor on the scale of things to worry about.

Honda Pilot Reliability 2017


The next post I saw in the Honda Pilot FB group was about the alternator. It looks like someone with a 2009 Honda Pilot with 190,000 miles on it recently had the alternator replaced and it was causing trouble. However, if I have to wait six years and 190,000 miles for my car to start having trouble, I think that’s pretty fair. Plus, this says a lot in terms of the Honda Pilot reliability.

Honda Pilot Reliability 2017


Honda offers a maintenance package called HondaCare, which comes in tiered service levels. A member of the FB group wondered  if it was worth the extra cost. I can say from personal experience that when I bought my Honda Accord, I did sign up for HondaCare, and it was worth it. Getting the regular maintenance checks done is important. I did that for the first 7 or 8 years and I still have never had a single issue going on 12 years!

So, if you plan to keep your Honda Pilot for 10 or more years, then yes. Get the regular maintenance checks done through HondaCare. It’s worth it.

honda pilot reliability 2017


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CD Player

CD Players in SUVs are not hot tech. However, when you build your 2017 Honda Pilot, there is an option to include a CD player. I’d advise against it, though. My own 6-disc CD Player in my Accord just recently stopped working. I can’t eject the discs and now they just spin around in there every time I start the engine.

So I did some quick research. Broken CD players are a common problem for Honda.

The reason I bring this up, is because someone posted about their 2006 Honda Pilot CD player. They said that it broke and they were wondering how to upgrade to a better system. They want to stream music from Spotify.

For me, this isn’t really an issue because I don’t plan to add a CD player to my Pilot. Just in case you’re holding tight to your CD collection, just consider yourself warned.

honda pilot reliability 2017

Grinding Noise

OK, so when I saw a post about a Honda Pilot making grinding noises, I had to check it out. But then I discovered the grinding noise was coming from a 2003 Honda Pilot with 183,000 miles on it.

Again, if my 14-year-old SUV starts making grinding noises, I think that’s something I could live with. If the Honda Pilot reliability is strong enough to withstand 14 years of hard use, I’ll be happy.

honda pilot reliability 2017

In Conclusion

After scouring the Honda Pilot FB group for maintenance issues, I noticed a theme developing: People were only posting questions about upkeep on Pilots that are many years old. I didn’t see any complaints about brand new Pilots, or any Pilots built within the past few years.

The newest Honda Pilot’s reliability is too early to ass. However, if history is an indication, I’m feeling pretty confident that the Honda Pilot is one of the most maintenance-free SUVs on the market.

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Honda Pilot Reliability 2017

Over To You

Have you experienced any of these maintenance issues with your Pilot? How has your Honda Pilot held up over the years? Let me know in the comments.