2019 Honda Pilot - Squeeks - and keeps on squeeking

I bought by 2019 Honda Touring end of April. Shortly after driving the car I noticed a squeak in engine compartment when I let up on gas or brakes applied. Mileage was less than 1,600. I took it into the Dealer in June. Dealer said it was transmission (FIRST REPAIR ATTEMPT) and ordered new transmission. Early July brought in the car to have transmission replaced. Honda Technical Rep said it wasn’t the transmission. Recommended to replace engine mounts (SECOND REPAIR ATTEMPT). Engine mounts were replaced. Squeak was still present. After extensive test drive, Honda said it was from A/C and Honda Tech said to perform deep A/C vacuum/drying (THIRD REPAIR ATTEMPT). After A/C vacuum/drying the squeak was still there. Honda Tech then said it was A/C expansion valve. But, Honda refused to replace the valve. They stated it “IS A NORMAL CHARACTERISTIC OF THE VEHICLE”.

I was told by Dealer that three other customers had complained about same squeak and they also found a new car on lot with same issue.

In July I contacted Honda Customer Care. In August Honda Customer Care told me my claim was denied and that the squeak in the engine – A/C - was a normal characteristic. Customer Care Rep indicated that they were handling other customer complainants with the same issue. My complaint was closed.

Since when is a squeak in a brand-new car a normal characteristic? If Honda really thought it was a normal characteristic why did they continue to try to fix my car. It wasn’t until they couldn’t fix it after three attempts and Honda refused to replace the A/C expansion valve that they decided it was a normal characteristic. I am assuming not all 2019 Honda Pilot Touring cars have this issue.

It is clear that many 2019 Honda Pilots have this noise issue that Honda refuses to acknowledge as a problem to the customer.

I am now going to arbitration.

What fixes this problem? Any suggestions?

Wrong question. It clearly IS normal for this vehicle. You don’t like it (nor would I) but since they ALL squeak, it is normal for the vehicle, but, in our eyes, a defect. A defect that does not affect the operation of the vehicle but annoying nonetheless.

Good luck with your arbitration.

Not all cars have this noise issue. Many but not all.

That is very frustrating. I can understand the “They all do that” excuse by a dealer/Mfg. However, that works best on the first visit, not the fourth. This sounds to my ears a lot like “We know that defect exists, we just can’t fix it.” I have a 2019 Passport media vehicle in my driveway today (Shares engine and AC with Pilot). No squeak at all. Though I will admit to having poor hearing compared to some. I hope you will circle back and tell us how arbitration goes. I have no experience with that and would like to learn more about it. Best of luck from a Honda fan.

I hope you don’t get dinged on a technicality during arbitration. What you call the first repair attempt wasn’t really an attempt. They may have proclaimed it was the transmission and even ordered one but they did not actually perform any repairs to the transmission. Rather, they switched paths and then proclaimed it was engine mounts, which they did the work on. That was technically the first attempt. At least according to how I read it above.

Also, a squeak may not qualify as a lemon because it is not affecting the function of the vehicle.

I wouldn’t like it either and would use my mechanics ears to better isolate where the squeak was coming from to see if I could verify their conclusion. Good luck in your arbitration case. Will be very interested in the outcome…

The fine print of most Lemon Laws includes the proviso that the defect “must materially affect the safety or driveability” of the vehicle. Something can be incredibly annoying, but it may not qualify for “lemon” status if the car can be driven safely, despite the annoyance.

Have you driven other Pilots on the lot that have the squeak?

The Dealer and Honda America tell me they have received other complaints for the same issue.

But have you observed it? If ‘they all’ or ‘most of them’ do that, there should be plenty on the lot that do it. If there isn’t, that makes their comments an excuse, not a reason.

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The car I test drove did not exhibit the sound. I was hoping to find others with a similar problem and how the problem was solved. Both the Dealer and Honda America said there were similar complaints. If Honda knew about this problem and continued to sell, isn’t that somewhat deceptive?

Yes. It will be interesting if the arbitrator considers the lemon law.

Have you checked Honda Pilot forums?

That’s a tough one. All cars make one annoying sound or another at various times. But when is a sound so annoying that the car becomes a lemon, too unpleasant to drive? Like I say, that’s a tough question. This is not likely to be determined on an internet forum. Years ago my parents owned a Ford Galaxy that made a really loud squealing sound after it warmed up, which they just ignored. I wasn’t able to ignore it, so I started taking things apart to find the cause. Turned out to be the valve cover gasket.


Air was apparently moving past the valve cover gasket due to a small leak (presumably being sucked into that area) and was making something vibrate, creating a squeal, sort of like playing the kazoo.

I guess its hard to make a diagnosis from a distance, but it seems strange to me that a squeak you hear when you brake or take your foot off the gas, becomes a transmission, or motor mount replacement. I would think its closer to being linked to the AC, and specifically to the serpentine belt, and one of its pulleys or the tensioner. Otherwise my guess is a bad suspension bushing. Still I am not sure what you should do. Maybe you could pay an independent mechanic to do an inspection, and see what he/she finds. Then bring that to Honda. At the moment it sounds like you might have a bit of difficulty describing what is actually occurring, and the dealer techs cannot replicate it. Good luck getting it resolved to your satisfaction.

Let me tell you a story of my coworker’s 2018 Honda Accord, so you get the idea that Honda does not give a …

He complained that as he drives, “something dangles in the dash”.
I drove with him, and yes, it is something extremely annoyingly rattles as he goes over bumps, sounds like a HVAC mix door flaps with every bump.
I asked him if he complained to the dealer and he told they tell “they all do that”, does it ring the bell ? :slight_smile:
They repeatedly refused repair.

So, I went on YouTube and found a lot of videos where people complain about it, few of them mentioned “fix”, so I’ve got interested in what they do, and apparently all it takes is to remove the left/driver strut tower rubber cover, which apparently is too tall in 2018 and it lifts the hood hinge the way creating some lash, so hood bounces up and down and transmits this motion to the plastic piece under the windshield, which makes this annoying sound.

We removed that freaking plug, it took us literally 15 seconds and rattle was gone, same as it stays out for a year.

As I mentioned above, Honda did not care, although solution was there in the open.

The 2019 Accord I have apparently uses smaller cap there, no rattle.

Michael - thanks for the additional ideas!

I am not that computer literate. Still looking for them.

google ‘Honda Pilot forum’