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The Pilot is one of the most dependable three-row midsize crossovers. However, this family SUV isn’t perfect. Let’s dig into the most common Honda Pilot problems owners have reported.

The 3 most common Honda Pilot problems

A light blue Honda Pilot driving in a wooded area on a dirt road.
2023 Honda Pilot | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

This midsize SUV’s latest model takes things to a new level with the off-road TrailSport version. But if you’re considering a previous Pilot model year, you might want to know the issues you might face with this Honda three-row SUV.

Here are the three most common Honda Pilot problems owners have reported on the auto repair and maintenance site RepairPal:

  • Warped front brake rotors might cause a vibration when braking — reported by 529 owners
  • Overheated wire harness may cause low-beams to fail — reported by 187 owners
  • Map light does not turn on when opening the door — reported by 125 owners

The Pilot’s popularity should put these issues into perspective. Overall, the Honda Pilot reliability scores should be fairly high, but we’ll get into that later.

Here’s the fix for vibrating brakes

A silver 2018 Honda Pilot Elite parked overlooking a river, bridge, and high-rises
2018 Honda Pilot Elite | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

If the front brakes on your Honda Pilot vibrate, the rotors could be warped. When this happens, the brake rotors must be machined or replaced to correct the issue. Typically, when the brake rotors are replaced, the brake pads also need replacing. This problem typically occurs after 47,000 miles.

Low-beam headlight failure is one of the most common Honda Pilot problems

Malfunctioning low-beam headlights pose a severe safety risk. An overheated wire in the headlight harness can cause this problem. When this happens, owners must replace the combination light/turn signal switch connector. This issue typically appears after 137,000 miles.

Why won’t the map light come on?

If the map light doesn’t turn on when the Honda Pilot’s door is opened, your Pilot might have a faulty door switch. Replacing it will fix the problem. This issue usually surfaces after 97,000 miles.

Is the Honda Pilot a reliable midsize SUV?

The Honda Pilot received a 3.5 out of 5.0 reliability score from RepairPal. That places the Pilot 13th out of 26 midsize SUVs. This ranking is based on three factors:

  • Cost: The Honda Pilot’s average annual repair and maintenance costs are $542, compared to $573 for midsize SUVs.
  • Frequency: Pilot owners bring their vehicles to the repair shop for unscheduled repairs 0.51 times per year, compared to 0.4 for the class.
  • Severity: The probability of severe repairs for the Honda Pilot is 13%, compared to 12% for midsize SUVs.

Is the Honda Pilot a good midsize SUV?

The redesigned 2023 Pilot ushers in a new generation of this Honda midsize SUV. It touts a refined powertrain, impressive off-road TrailSport trim, and a potent powertrain. These improvements make the new Pilot more rugged and desirable than previous models.

The drawbacks to the latest Pilot include subpar city fuel-economy estimates and a small entry-level infotainment display. This vehicle lands in the middle of the class in RepairPal rankings, which could turn some consumers toward higher-ranked midsize SUVs.