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2003 Honda Pilot EX. (Honda/Wieck)
2003 Honda Pilot EX. (Honda/Wieck)

You & Your Car

New tranny the start of woes with 10-year-old SUV Add to ...

I have a 2003 Honda Pilot. I just had the transmission replaced, then I noticed something else right after the transmission change. While accelerating, once you step on the gas, it bogs down and you can hear the intake sucking. If you hold your foot down, it will backfire (pop) a few times through the intake and then it revs normally. If you touch the pedal lightly, it will rev normally. When coming to a hard stop, the motor will stall. Got my mechanic to increase the rpm a bit and, at 3,000 rpm, the car drives fine. I took it back to the mechanic to replace the fuel pump and filter, and yet it still reoccurs. I also have my VTM and check engine lights on. Any suggestions as to what I can do? – Ashinze

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Modern engines and transmissions are intricately linked electronically. This precise interaction controls transmission shift points and throttle openings. While it is common for an improperly running engine to cause the transmission to misbehave, that would be too much of a coincidence in this case.

It sounds to me like this relationship between engine and transmission was altered when the transmission was replaced.

The check engine light is not restricted to the engine, it can also indicate transmission problems. The first indication that the interaction between engine and transmission is at fault is the lack of response to throttle inputs. I suspect this work was not done by a Honda dealer or certified shop or technician with the proper equipment or training. Get the vehicle to a shop with the proper equipment to do a full diagnosis of the electronics.

Odometer

I have a ’96 Ford Ranger six-cylinder XLT extended-cab truck. It’s in good shape because I lived in Boston for several years and didn’t put many miles on it. A few months ago, the odometer stopped working (130,000 miles) and the Ford dealership could not figure it out. I have typically always brought it to Ford dealerships. They said that if they replaced the component ($450) that they can’t guarantee that would fix it. Baffling! Can you offer any advice? Everything else is running great (except the cruise control stopped working a few years ago). – Gil

My first thought would be to try another dealer; perhaps the one you talked to simply didn’t want to be bothered.

There is also the possibility that, depending on where you live, there is legislation preventing the dealer from making alterations to an odometer without a lot of paperwork. Which would take me back to my first observation.

The problem might lie with the small motor that runs the odometer and related trip odometer. This unit uses gears made of urethane. Over time, they and the grease used for lubrication harden and the result is small pieces breaking off and fouling the mechanism.

Replacements for the worn gear involved, attached to the bottom of the little motor, are available from a number of sources. Depending on where you live, there are probably instrument repair shops that can handle this work.

The trickiest part is removing the instrument cluster from the dash in order to get at the odometer motor. Since the vehicle is off warranty, you might also consider finding a replacement instrument cluster online. But beware of the mileage on that unit or you may be right back in the same boat.

Please send your automotive maintenance and repair questions to globedrive@globeandmail.com

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