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The Expected Mileage Of A Honda Pilot (Analyzed)

The Expected Mileage Of A Honda Pilot (Analyzed)

How many miles can a Honda Pilot last?

When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand Pilot, that’s, of course, a very reasonable question to ask. After all, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck. In this blog, we’ll look at this question in great detail but first, let’s start with a quick answer:

Based on our own analysis of available data, a Honda Pilot lasts between 230.000 – 250.000 miles. A Pilot needs to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs about 0.51 times per year, with a 13% chance of severe problems. Furthermore, Accord owners spend an average of $542 per year on repair costs.

We’re certainly not done there and we’ll dive much deeper into everything you need to know along with a quick (but very interesting) statistical analysis of AutoTrader data. But if you’d prefer to just hear from a happy Pilot owner, check out this video of a driver breaking down the reliability of 280k mile Honda Pilot:

How Many Miles Can A Honda Pilot Last

Our statistical analysis of the probability of a vehicle being reliable is quite challenging.

We subject all the cars to our rigorous tests to determine if it’s worth your hard-earned money. The first test that will give us the larger picture is the real-life mileage data. Simply, we will look at hundreds of Honda Pilots and analyze how many miles they have traveled before eventually becoming a money pit. 

We calculated all the data and gave it in the form of percentages to simplify things. From the years of experience that we have accumulated, we know that if more than 3% of the total number of vehicles analyzed crosses the 150k mile barrier, it means that it’s reliable. 

However, in the case of SUVs, the percentage has been more than 5% for those that are reliable. So let’s look at the data presented by the Honda Pilot. 

Amount Of MilesPercentage Of Cars
Cars With 150.000+7.74%
Cars With 100.000 – 149.00010.89%
Cars With 45.000 – 99.99928.24%
Cars With 0 – 44.99953.13%

We divided the percentages into four different mileage categories, the most important being the 150k+ mile. After observing the mileage data of eleven thousand seven hundred and twenty-five Honda Pilots, 7.74% of them were able to go above 150k miles, and the rest are on their way. 

Since the percentage achieved is greater than 5, the American-made Honda Pilot has passed the first reliability test. However, it is not enough to convince us of its reliability. We have plenty of other tests up our sleeves to which we will subject the Honda Pilot. In this way, we will be certain that the Honda Pilot is worth your money- despite its fuel requirements.

How Reliable Is A Honda Pilot Compared To Its Competitors?

Even if the achieved percentage is greater than 5, it will not mean anything if the competitors can show more numbers crossing the 150k mile mark. In the case of the Honda Pilot, we had 7.74% crossing the 150k mile mark, so let’s see how the competitors perform when subjected to the same test. 

On top of the percentage, we will also be looking at the highest mileage achieved on average. We have given all the data in the following table to simplify it. 

ModelSample SizeCars With 150.000+ Miles% Percentage Of Cars With 150.000+Highest Mileage
Honda Pilot11,7259077.74%300,000
Chevy Traverse108765645.18%360000
Acura MDX50673687.26%290000
Ford Explorer2287611585.06%397000

From the given table, we see that the Honda Pilot has dominated the full-size crossover SUV segment by being one of the most reliable. But when we looked at the highest mileage achieved, the winner was the Ford Explorer. People have been exploring more with the Explorer rather than the Honda Pilot. 

The Explorer achieved higher mileage because of the sample size. The number of Ford Explorers listed for sale is almost double the number of Honda Pilots. It’s also a given that some have higher mileage out of so many Ford Explorers. 

So, it turns out that we couldn’t prove it unreliable as it has been one of the most reliable SUVs out of all the others we compared it to. But we will not give up just yet. We are going to put it to the ultimate test. And if it comes out victorious in all those tests, then, and only then, we will say it’s reliable.  

How Reliable Is A Honda Pilot Compared To Other Hondas?

The next test on our list is rather unusual. Now, instead of putting it up against the competition, we will put it against its brethren, meaning we will compare the mileage data of the Honda Pilot with other Hondas. If most Hondas cannot cross the 150k mile barrier, it would suggest that the Honda Pilot is just a fluke. 

ModelSample SizeCars With 150.000+ Miles% Percentage Of Cars With 150.000+Highest Mileage
Honda Pilot11,7259077.74%300,000
Honda Accord2510913795.49%450,000
Honda CR-V2698910733.97%450,000
Honda Passport 1919100.52%250,000

The above data suggests the Honda Pilot and the Honda itself is reliable. Except for the Honda Passport, which is not. The Honda Passport is the fluke here. All the other Hondas that we analyzed were able to show good reliability ratings, which means that no matter what Honda it is, it must be able to cross 150k miles without a hitch.

One must also note that any vehicle can give hundreds of thousands of miles without breaking down if regular maintenance is done regularly. Also, any vehicle can give hundreds of thousands of miles without breaking down if regular maintenance is done. 

However, the maintenance cost should be lower for a vehicle to be deemed reliable. In the next reliability test, we will see how much you would have to spend on the Honda Pilot to keep it alive and running.

How Much Does Maintenance Cost Per Year?

We looked at several Honda Pilot model years and compared their maintenance costs. The average annual maintenance cost came in at $542, which is reasonable compared to the average maintenance cost in the full-size crossover SUV segment.

Model YearAnnual Maintenance Cost

It is clear from the calculated data that the older the model year, the higher the maintenance cost. It is a known fact that a newer vehicle costs you much less on maintenance compared to an older cheap vehicle, which costs you hundreds and thousands for maintenance and repair. 

The amount you save on buying the vehicle will eventually go into the repair bills and high mileage maintenance of the wear and tear items that older ones have. 

Overall, the average maintenance cost will give the Honda Pilot a win in this segment, especially compared to the cost of maintaining other Honda vehicles. After this test, we must get into the technical aspects of maintenance costs. We will see these common problems that cause the upkeep cost to increase. After knowing all the common issues, you will be able to steer clear of money pit Honda Pilots from the used market. 

Honda Pilot Common Problems

A vehicle is not reliable unless it shows that everyday problems are minimal or nonexistent. If numerous issues haunt the owners, it can not be considered reliable. Below, we´ve created a summary of the problems of the Pilot but you can also read this article to learn all of the most common issues reported by Pilot owners.

NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the vehicle isn´t having any problems that you should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.

Honda Pilot Low Beams Not Working 

This occurs when the wires overheat, which is not normal. The culprit is the poor insulation and assembly from the manufacturer. The turn signal/low beam light switch must be replaced. If replacing only the bulb does not solve the problem, it has to be the switch that malfunctioned and caused the lights to stop working.

The replacement of this combination light switch will cost you about $150. If you are looking for a Honda Pilot in the used market, check if the lights are working when you put them on low beams. If the high beams are working, but the low ones are not working, that is $150 extra that you’ll have to spend. 

Honda Pilot Steering Vibrates When Braking At High Speeds

The vibration at high speeds happens in so many Honda models that we have lost count. It occurs in the Honda Odyssey and Honda Accord, just to name two. The rotor itself is the culprit, but Honda fails to admit that the rotors are defective. 

So many Honda owners have complained about the rotors, but all in vain. The warranty will not cover the cost of repair, which is a whopping $300+.

Interior Light/Map/Dome Lights Are Not Working In Honda Pilot

The interior lights, also known as map/dome lights, have this known issue, especially in the older model years. A faulty door switch causes this, resulting in repairs that cost $30. In the case of a switch failure, the lights work when you turn them on manually. If the switch fails, the lights work when you turn them on manually.

Water Is Getting In On The Floorboards Of Honda Pilot

Many Honda Pilot owners have reported this water issue. The culprit here is the improper sealing of the wheel wells. The factory does not correctly seal the seams, so when the water gets trapped under the wheel well area, it will eventually make its way into the cabin, and you will have a lot of water at your feet. 

You can have this issue fixed by applying the sealant to the area where the water is entrapped. Ensure to seal the whole seam, and once you have used the sealant, this issue will not occur again. 

Clunks From The Front Side Of Honda Pilot

For some Hondas, it’s the front compliance bushings; for the Honda Pilot, it’s the sway bar links. The front suspension components are known to have greater than average wear and tear. Honda Pilot owners have reported clunks coming from the front side of the vehicle. Our research shows that the issue is likely to be the front sway bar links.

If you hear it clunks from the front of a Honda Pilot and the body roll is a little more than average, you have worn out sway bar links that need replacement. The cost of replacement is about $150. 

Groaning/Rumbling/Judder Noise From The Rear Of Honda Pilot

A noticeable number of reports have been against the noise coming from the rear side of the Honda Pilot. The dealerships often have no clue what might be causing this issue if the problem is in its early stages. If the issue is left unchecked, you might have to replace the whole differential, but it can usually be solved by replacing the rear differential fluid.

The rear axle fluid replacement is going to cost you about $250. If you are a prospective buyer and you are searching for a Honda Pilot in the used market, and you notice this issue, you have to consider the cost of fluid replacement. If the case has aggravated to an extent where a mere fluid replacement will not solve the problem, you would have to replace the whole rear differential.  

Is A Honda Pilot A Smart Buy?

After subjecting the Honda Pilot to our rigorous testing, it’s safe to say that it is a reliable full-size crossover SUV. Its unibody chassis with independent suspension gives you the feeling that you are driving a car instead of a big SUV. We give it an 8 out of 10 for its reliability.

If we look at the depreciation data, it’s good to know that the Honda Pilot only depreciated about 40% in the first five years of its road journey. Before we leave it with a good review, we will also provide you with a maintenance schedule, which will help keep your Honda Pilot in pristine condition. 

Moreover, we will give you the secret of keeping your Honda Pilot healthy for a very long time. So let’s get into the world of maintenance, shall we? 

Honda Pilot Maintenance Schedule

After we looked at all the expected problems that a Honda Pilot might pose, it’s time to see the maintenance items one must pay attention to. As you might have already noticed, apart from the brake rotors, the biggest issue is the rear differential which can be avoided by timely replacement of the rear differential fluid.  

Before/On Every 7,500 Miles

The most crucial maintenance check is the convenient replacement of engine oil and oil filter. Honda recommends changing the engine oil every 7500 miles. However, it’s better to change it earlier, and 7500 miles is the limit that you must not exceed.

Before/On Every 20,000 Miles

The following needs to be taken care of every 20,000 miles.

  • Cabin air filter replacement
  • Scanning with an OBD tool and updating the software if available
  • Checking all the fluid levels and replacing the ones that require replacement
  • Inspecting the suspension components and lubricating the ones that need lubrication
  • Electronics inspection
  • Tire inspection and replacement if required
  • Check the water well area and apply a sealant to the seams 

Before/On Every 40,000 Miles

The following needs to be taken care of every 40,000 miles.

  • Transmission fluid replacement to keep the reliable transmission running.
  • Brake rotor replacement
  • Rear differential fluid replacement
  • Inspecting the spark and replacing if necessary
  • Wheel alignment and balancing

Before/On Every 60,000 Miles

The following needs to be taken care of every 60,000 miles.

  • Replace spark plugs
  • Examine the fuel pump and replace if necessary
  • Examine the timing belt and replace if required
  • Throttle body and fuel injector cleaning
  • Valve adjustment 
  • Brake fluid replacement

Other Maintenance Tips

To have your Honda Pilot last several miles, it’s essential to keep it clean. You might be wondering how keeping your Honda clean helps it last hundreds of thousands of miles. It’s a fact that if you can keep your car clean, you will also be able to keep it maintained.  

Closing Thoughts

If you’re considering a Honda Pilot, it’s clear that these vehicles offer considerable longevity, averaging between 230,000 to 250,000 miles.

While the occasional visit to the garage might be necessary, with most repairs being minor, your investment is likely to pay off in terms of durability. If you consider yourself a novice mechanic, you might even be able to handle most of these issues on your own.


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