2016 Honda Pilot: A1 Service Completed, with Repair Parts on the Way
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on February 10, 2016
The 2016 Honda Pilot had been in our fleet just three months when it displayed its "Maintenance Due Soon" warning near the 7,500-mile mark. The A1 service is a simple one, just an oil change and tire rotation. I didn't think the service would take very long, so I offered to take it to my local Honda dealer.
Before handing the key over, car commandant Mike Schmidt warned that my waiting time would be extended because of the Pilot's malfunctioning steering wheel heater. No problem, I said, then jumped into my emerald chariot. After driving for about five minutes, I realized my wait time would likely be even longer.
I heard a funky whirring noise while on the freeway and rolled the driver window down to make sure it wasn't another vehicle. Sure enough, it was a nearby commercial truck that made the commotion. As I rolled my window up, I heard a distinctive cracking sound. I lowered my window and heard nothing, but the sound resurfaced when I rolled it back up. I repeated the procedure another half-dozen times with the same result. Item two on the repair order.
I also noticed the radio intermittently quieting itself and returning to full volume a few seconds later. This happens in many cars when a destination is plugged into the navigation system but the system's voice commands are muted. It's a subtle way to let you know that you are about to divert from your straight-ahead path without actually telling you what to do.
But there was no destination stored in the nav system. I made sure the driver alert systems, like lane departure warning, were turned off. Some audio systems alter the volume depending on vehicle speed, but this problem happened regularly during my hour-long commute regardless of velocity.
I pulled into Community Honda in Whittier at 3:00 p.m. on Monday afternoon without an appointment. I was greeted promptly and informed my service advisor about the unusual problems. The estimate for the A1 service was $67.55, while the other problems would be diagnosed and repaired under Honda's warranty. The Pilot was promised back the next day.
I got a call at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday with an update on the Pilot's progress. The oil change and tire rotation were completed. Unfortunately, the technicians were unable to replicate the audio problem. The assembly that controlled the steering wheel heater would have to be replaced, as would the regulator for the driver window. The dealer didn't have the assembly or regulator in stock. The parts were ordered and would arrive in five days.
In the meantime, I will dig through the Pilot's settings more thoroughly to see if I can solve the audio issue or at least consistently replicate it by the time I return to the dealer. Dan Edmunds has suggested I start with the navigation system's real-time traffic alerts.
Five quarts of 0W20 oil @ $5 each: $25
Oil filter: $7.30
Drain washer: $0.40
Oil change: $12.54
Oil disposal: $3.79
Tire rotation: $17.60
Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor @ 8,028 miles