Dear Tom & Ray,
I have a 2004 Honda Pilot that I bought new in Colorado to get me around the mountains. It has been great! Several years later I moved to Rhode Island and since that time the car has started to “judder”.
Description of the problem; The car makes a vibrating noise while driving that is a combination of a shudder and a jitter. When I take my foot off the accelerator the sound stops and then does not always start again when I put my foot back on the gas pedal. The temperature outside has no effect on when the judder occurs. HOWEVER, it only happens after the car has warmed up. It happens at any speed but is most noticeable at lower speeds because there isn’t as much background noise so I hear it. The problem appeared three years ago and is getting progressively worse. No warning lights appear on the dashboard and nothing has shown up when I’ve taken the car for regular maintenance.
If cars were sentient as has been portrayed on TV in My Mother the Car or on the big screen in The Love Bug then I would assume that the car judders in horror at the drivers in Rhode Island. However, since this doesn’t seem to be the likely explanation, I took the car to the local Honda dealership to have them diagnose the car’s problem. The first time I asked the mechanic to look for a cause of the problem during a routine oil change. They found nothing but were happy to charge me $100.00 for the effort.
Six months later I went for regular service and asked the mechanic to take a drive with me but unfortunately, the judder did not appear since it is intermittent in nature. Again the dealership was happy to charge me extra for the little drive with no resolution. I provided disappointed feedback in the dealership’s follow-up call with no positive result. At this point, I think I was being written off as one of “those crazy ladies” but I persisted and six months later (at the same dealership) the mechanic finally heard the judder – and had NO explanation for its cause. Again they were happy to charge me for hearing the judder. I was told to buy new tires that were all of the same quality and that might solve the problem. In the meantime, the car is safe to drive. I bought the tires and it didn’t stop the judder
So here I am – a couple years and hundreds of dollars later and still with a judder in my car that is now happening every time I drive. I have exhausted the local expertise (at least at the Honda dealership) and am turning to you for help with my judder and what to do about it.