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How Long Do Honda Pilots Last?

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

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Are you shopping for cars right now and thinking about buying either a brand-new Honda Pilot or one of the many used Honda Pilots that are out there? If so, you’re going to be getting your hands on a great SUV in most cases.

The Honda Pilot has been around for almost 20 years now. And over the last two decades, it has solidified itself as one of the most reliable SUVs out on the road.

Before you start driving a Honda Pilot around on a regular basis, though, you should learn about how long it’s going to last you. It’ll give you some idea of how long you’re going to be able to keep a Honda Pilot prior to having to part ways with it.

Let’s take a closer look at the Honda Pilot as a whole before segueing into talking about how long Honda Pilots will last and touching on how to keep one running for as long as possible. Here is everything you need to know about the Honda Pilot.

A Brief History of the Honda Pilot

The very first Honda Pilot made its debut way back in 2002 in the form of the 2003 Honda Pilot. It was designed to be an SUV for the family.

The 2003 Honda Pilot came with standard four-wheel drive, and it had three rows of seating with enough room to fit eight people. It also gave Honda Pilot owners the option to fold their seats down to reveal about 90 cubic feet of total cargo space.

Since then, Honda has released three generations of the Pilot. The first generation, which included the 2003 model, had a 3.5-liter V6 engine in it that produced 240 horsepower. It also had a 4,500-pound towing capacity, and as the years went on, Honda added things like a front-wheel-drive option and stability control to it.

The second generation of the Honda Pilot was unveiled in 2008, and it took things to the next level. It was a little bit larger than the original Honda Pilot, and it also came with a new and improved 3.5-liter V6 engine that could produce 250 horsepower.

Most recently, Honda introduced the third generation of the Honda Pilot in 2015, and it elevated the Pilot to yet another level. The exterior was redesigned so that it produced 10% less drag. The 3.5-liter V6 engine was also reworked again so that it would produce 280 horsepower. And as if all that wasn’t enough, Honda started incorporating new safety features like lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control as well.

Honda Pilots have clearly come a long way over the last two decades. And it would appear as though Honda is going to continue to make small tweaks to the Pilot to ensure that it keeps on kicking for many years to come. 

How Long Honda Pilots Last

Over the last two decades, Honda Pilot owners have come to love and appreciate all of the different Honda Pilot features that we just laid out. But what they’ve come to love and appreciate more than anything is the longevity associated with Honda Pilots.

It’s not uncommon at all for Honda Pilots to last for upwards of 200,000 miles. There are actually entire message boards on the internet devoted to Pilot owners bragging about their Honda Pilots hitting the 200,000-mile mark.

And believe it or not, that’s just the start! There are also many Honda Pilot owners who have gotten well over 300,000 miles out of their Pilots. It’s a big part of the reason why so many people have started considering Honda Pilots when buying used cars.

Things That Can Affect the Lifespan of Honda Pilots

To be clear, not every Honda Pilot out on the road today is going to last for 200,000 or 300,000 miles. There are all kinds of things that can affect the lifespan of a Honda Pilot and impact how long you’re going to be able to keep one running.

The climate in your area, for example, is one of the top things that can take a toll on your Honda Pilot. If you happen to live in a place that gets very cold in the wintertime, it could reduce the lifespan of your Pilot quite a bit. The cold can cause the metal components in your Pilot to weaken and break down on you, and it can also make your Pilot’s fluids thicker than they should be, thus causing complications when it comes to your engine’s performance.

Additionally, the salt that is put on the roads in the wintertime in colder climates can also wreak havoc on a Honda Pilot. It can damage brake rotors, wheel wells, and other metal components on the bottom of your Pilot.

These are all things that are also going to impact vehicles other than Honda Pilots. But even still, you’re going to want to have these factors on your radar.

The Most Common Honda Pilot Problems

In addition to worrying about all of the things that we just mentioned with regards to the lifespan of Honda Pilots, there are also some common Honda Pilot problems that you’ll need to be aware of. These problems have been known to pop up and cause issues for Pilot owners.

Not all Pilot models are going to be affected by these problems. But if you drive a Pilot, you should keep them in the back of your mind and do some research to see if your SUV could be affected by them.

Here are just a few of the common Honda Pilot problems that Pilot owners have reported over the years:

  • Warped front brake rotors that often result in vibrations when a person is pushing down on their Pilot’s brake pedal
  • Overheating in the wire harness for a Pilot’s headlights that can result in the low beams failing
  • A knocking noise coming from the front end of a Pilot caused by stabilizer link issues
  • Faulty engine block casting that can cause engine oil to leak from a Pilot
  • Unusual noises being made during turns in a Pilot due to differential fluid breakdown
  • Rear blowers in a Pilot not working as a result of a failed power resistor

The good news for those who own Honda Pilots is that there aren’t any catastrophic problems that they’re going to need to be concerned about. Most of the issues that we just mentioned can all be fixed relatively easily without you having to spend a small fortune.

But if you keep a Honda Pilot around for 200,000-plus miles, it’s only going to be a matter of time before some of these problems start to present themselves. You’ll need to make the necessary repairs to continue driving a Honda Pilot.

Tips to Help Make Honda Pilots Last Longer

If you’re planning on trying to keep a Honda Pilot around until the wheels fall off of it, it’s possible for you to do it. You will, however, need to be fully prepared to do the proper maintenance on your Honda Pilot to keep it around for a long, long time. 

The first thing that you’ll need to do is change the oil in your Honda Pilot on a regular basis. You should read through the owner’s manual for your Honda Pilot and see how often Honda suggests that you change your oil. You should also think about changing it even more frequently than they say you should.

Outside of changing your oil to ensure that your engine always has the oil it needs, you should also pay close to your transmission and get into the habit of doing transmission fluid flushes every so often. Generally speaking, you’re going to need to change your transmission fluid about once every 3 years or whenever you hit the 36,000-mile mark. It’ll keep your transmission humming along.

Once your Honda Pilot gets up over the 100,000-mile mark, there are also going to be some preventative maintenance steps that you’ll want to take. For instance, it would be a good idea to swap out your timing chain and your water pump as they’re both known to fail around this time. Doing this could help you avoid doing damage to your engine.

Tune-ups are also going to turn into your best friend as you climb higher and higher into the triple digits as far as mileage is concerned. You should have your mechanic perform tune-ups for you to keep everything in your Pilot operating as it should.

When It’s Time to Part Ways With Honda Pilots

In a perfect world, your Honda Pilot will be able to soar past the 300,000-mile mark without you having to break a sweat. You’ll be able to continue driving a Honda Pilot for as long as you want to without spending an arm and a leg on repairs for it.

But there is, of course, going to come a time when you’ll have to part ways with your Pilot for good. And it’s important for you to recognize when you reach that point and act accordingly.

You don’t necessarily need to get rid of a Honda Pilot when it hits 100,000 or 200,000 miles just because it needs to have a few repairs done. That’s normal and shouldn’t scare you off from keeping your car.

But you might want to consider saying goodbye to your Honda Pilot if:

  • You’re making repairs to it every few months and having a tough time keeping up with all of them
  • You’re finding it hard to get it to start up every day and can’t rely on it to get you to and from work
  • You’re starting to see signs of rust on the exterior of it and worried about how it would hold up in a crash

You should keep a Honda Pilot around for as long as you can. But you shouldn’t allow it to overstay its welcome. If you spot any of the signs we just listed, it’s probably best for you and your pilot to go your separate ways.

What You Can Do With Old Honda Pilots

Do you have a Honda Pilot that you don’t want anymore? Regardless of whether it has 100,000 miles on it or 350,000 miles, there are going to be a few options that you’ll have when it comes to getting rid of it.

First and foremost, you can attempt to sell your Honda Pilot as part of a private sale. When doing this, you can:

  • Stick a “For Sale” sign on it and park it outside of your home
  • List it for sale in the classifieds section of your local newspaper
  • Put it up for sale on a site like Craigslist or eBay

But this isn’t the only way to sell an old Honda Pilot that you don’t want to keep. You can also call on a junk car buyer to take your Honda Pilot off your hands.

To do this, all you’ll need to do is Google something like “junk car buyers near me” and then call one of the best junk car buyers in your area and say, “I want to sell my car.” They’ll typically make you an offer for your Honda Pilot right on the spot and agree to give you cash for it. It’s the simplest way to sell a car in this day and age.

Interested in Getting Rid of a Used Honda Pilot? We’ll Buy It From You!

If selling your old Honda Pilot to a junk car buyer sounds like a good idea to you, we would love to make you an offer. We specialize in buying used Honda Pilots, including both those that are on the newer side and those that are almost 20 years old now.

All you need to do is share some basic information about your Honda Pilot with us to get an offer. More often than not, we’ll get back to you within just 90 seconds with an online offer, and if you agree to it, we can arrange to come and pick your car up from you and leave you with cash.

Contact us today if you’re interested in selling a Honda Pilot.

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About the Author


Marc is the Co-Founder of Cash Auto Salvage and Director of daily operations. He retired from a leading Internet Marketing company in 2013 and has been involved in the automotive industry ever since.

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