The Honda Pilot is generally a robust car, but there are some complaints from owners. We researched every complaint and, in certain cases, it was just two people per year complaining about sunroof, moonroof, and driver's seat problems. The latter was a complaint about an uncomfortable seat, which is an extremely subjective thing. It would not be fair to Honda to call these common flaws, but we put them here anyway so you have a full list of things to look out for. A rare engine problem is the loosening of the bridge bolts holding down the rocker arms, which will develop play and may emit a ticking or chattering sound. They have to be retorqued to the correct value. Wheel bearings can also sometimes wear out, causing a humming sound. These can cost as much as $380 per bearing to replace.
While it's not a typical flaw, at least five people per year complained about air-conditioning - or AC - problems. It seems the AC is not powerful enough for such a big car, but the problem was solved when Honda introduced tri-zone climate control in 2012. Look out for batteries draining too quickly, which is sometimes caused by a sticking AC relay - and is cheap and easy to fix. The odd AC compressor failed beyond 100,000 miles and that costs $1,500 to replace. Owners also reported electric problems. These problems range from rats chewing through the soy-based wiring to door lock problems because of a key fob battery or a blown fuse.
Some 2009-2015 Pilots experience failure of the low-beam headlights, often in short succession of each other. The problem is with the wiring harness connection at the headlight stalk where the lights are switched on and off. This connection overheats and can even melt, causing the headlights to fail. Sometimes, sunroofs just won't open and it's usually the control module powering the sunroof that is at fault. In fact, software reprogramming most often fixes the problem without the module having to be replaced.
Some owners even complained about suspension problems, calling the Honda unwieldy. Since it's a crossover, we don't expect it to handle like an S2000. The handling is also not so bad that it ever feels like it's going to topple over. However, there was an issue with the lower control arms according to TSB 15-045 and Honda extended the warranty of affected Pilot models. These control-arm bushes cost around $600-$700 to replace. The 2nd generation Pilot never had the best infotainment system, so owners complained about the backup camera, radio, and Bluetooth problems. There are also a few tailgate problems. We can't blame Honda for this one, as it's a common problem with almost every used SUV and minivan. The tailgate struts eventually start leaking and then fail. You can buy a set of durable replacement struts for $25. Lastly, the interior trim does not always hold up well and there were several reports of the seat trim and leather upholstery wearing out prematurely and looking shabby.