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New Honda Pilot Fluid Leak

I purchased a 2008 Honda Pilot, and noticed on the 5th day of ownership copius amounts of fluid splashed along the right side and in the front right wheel well. We checked fluid levels, and found nothing wrong. The rear right tire had none of the fluid on it. The dealership service first said there was a defect in the brake assembly, then when I insisted on a replacement car recanted and said I must have run through something, that they had cleaned it up and driven it and there was no leak. I am now in a battle with the dealership to take back this facotry defect. My husband actually thinks he leak was transmission fluid. Any advice here?

It makes advising you on the mechanical aspects of this vehicle difficult, because it’s quite clear that you have a strong dislike for this vehicle. Howsoever, that may be, check, and mark, the various fluid levels. Take note of the surface where you park the vehicle, that you won’t confuse a puddle, or stain, with one that was there when you parked.

It is possible that you did drive through something. I though my Ranger had developed a leak, but the fluids didn’t seem to come from it. I agree that marking the fluid levels is the best way to go. If the vehicle was “topped off” before you got it, it’s possible that the trans was filled cold to the mark which could cause fluid to be expelled through the breather tube.

Thanks to you both for responding. I am meeting with the dealer general manager tomorrow, and was going to insist on a replacement. Maybe I should give this car another shot? 5 days in I was enraged at having to go back with a problem. Still - nothing on the rear tire??!?!

Give your car a shot. I think you probably drove through a puddle of something and found it on the car. If all fluid levels were fine you have no leg to stand here with Honda.

Let us summarize. From your own original post we note that this Pilot is running perfectly, no current leaks and no defects. The mystery fluid (rain water?) has never been identified nor explained, and it is not recurring. From your follow-up post you admit that your beef is not with the vehicle itself but simply the fact that you chose to report a problem after five days of ownership and got emotional over it.

A replacement? You are asking too much. It should be clear you have absolutely no grounds to have it your way. Even Honda’s goodwill policy is being stretched beyond reasonable limits. Maybe you can bully the manager into a replacement. If you succeed, congratulations.


Please try to take a step backward, and ask yourself if you are being totally rational in this situation. You state that all fluid levels are normal. If that continues to be the case, then that clearly rules out a leak of fluid (brake, transmission, etc.) from your car. If nothing is leaking, then there is no defect. If there is no defect, why would Honda give you a new vehicle?

I would suggest that you read the terms of the Lemon Law for your state. These statutes, which give consumers rights that they never previously had, usually call for replacement of a vehicle or a refund if the same defect cannot be fixed within three attempts or if the vehicle has been out of service for X (typically 20 or more) days.

Since your vehicle does not currently appear to have a defect, and since you don’t state that it has been out of service for any appreciable amount of time, then you would not be entitled to relief under the terms of any Lemon Law with which I am familiar. Ergo–Honda is not legally compelled to replace this vehicle, and, in fact, there would not be any apparent reason for them to do so even under a “good will” policy. Any company that replaced a vehicle under these circumstances would not be in business for very long.

Please try to remember that you will need to deal with this dealership, and with Honda of America, for any legitimate warranty claims in the future. If you act in an irrational manner at this point, you are likely to get less cooperation from the dealership even when you do have a legitimate complaint. You know–“The boy who cried wolf” syndrome.

I’m sorry, but there is nothing in your post indicating that Honda has any unfulfilled responsibility to you at this point. Continue to monitor fluid levels, just in case something changes in that regard, retain all documentation of your visit(s) to the dealer’s service department, and try to enjoy your new vehicle.

I guess that the OP did not like the responses that she received.

No, I appeciate the responses, just working and not on the computer. Thanks to all who responded. I’ll give the car a shot.