Internet Mechanic Explains Why a Used Honda Pilot Can Be a Good Buy

Second-gen Honda Pilot 9 photos
Photo: Honda | Edited
Scotty Kilmer Talking about a 2012 Honda PilotScotty Kilmer Talking about a 2012 Honda PilotScotty Kilmer Talking about a 2012 Honda PilotScotty Kilmer Talking about a 2012 Honda PilotScotty Kilmer Talking about a 2012 Honda PilotScotty Kilmer Talking about a 2012 Honda PilotScotty Kilmer Talking about a 2012 Honda PilotScotty Kilmer Talking about a 2012 Honda Pilot
In today's car market, high-riding vehicles are in high demand. Three-row SUVs like the Honda Pilot are even hotter because they can provide minivan practicality combined with a higher driving position and, let's be honest, the illusion of owning an off-roader. However, this mechanic-turned-YouTuber claims a used Pilot could be a great buy. Here's what you need to know.
Over 20 years ago, Honda brought forward the Canadian-made Pilot – an SUV suited for everybody. It had an automatic gearbox, a great V6 engine with VTEC, lots of windowed surfaces, and three rows of seats. It was a good proposition for Americans looking for reliable transportation.

The vehicle was quite popular in the US, so Honda moved production to Alabama. The Pilot is now on its fourth generation and looks better than ever.

However, this known mechanic isn't recommending the latest iteration of the SUV. He's talking about an older and used version of the Pilot. The unit he's reviewing has about 206,000 miles on the odometer.

The owner bought it used for around $12,000 and drove it for a little over 100,000 miles. Not too shabby! He installed a software change that disabled the variable cylinder deactivation system. The mechanic argues it was a great decision because it prevented the SUV from burning oil.

Scotty Kilmer says that the 3.5-liter V6 has a tight tolerance. Not putting every cylinder to work all the time can damage the pistons by reducing their sealing capacity because of the temperature difference. That translates into the engine consuming more oil than normal and running incorrectly after a while.

The 2012 Honda Pilot shown in the video below still has the original leather seats that are in good condition, the original DVD player, the standard navigation system, a backup camera, and, as expected, a couple of paint chips.

Overall, however, it looked in good condition even though it was used extensively during winter. The owner replaced a couple of suspension components because of that reason.

Scotty Kilmer Talking about a 2012 Honda Pilot
Photo: Scotty Kilmer on YouTube
Kilmer praised the ride comfort of this used Pilot, the engine, the transmission, and the "acceptable" fuel economy. He even called it the "perfect old running SUV."

The mechanic considers the 11-year-old Honda a great work SUV and underlined that disabling the cylinder deactivation system will prolong the engine's life and lead to fewer servicing needs.

Still, he pointed out that Honda refused to put a timing chain on the Pilot. It still has a timing belt that needs changing every 90 to 100,000 miles. It shouldn't be a problem if the owner takes care of it regularly.

Given the state of the used car market, buying something cheap and reliable is on many Americans' lists. Plus, you can never be satisfied with believing what one person has to say. So, we checked! There are many first- and second-generation Honda Pilots available for sale with prices ranging from $4,000 to $15,000. So, the price checks out. It can be affordable.

Besides that, we also looked at various owner or reliability reviews available online. Thankfully, most are positive. People and organizations like Consumer Reports say the Pilot is a good vehicle to own. It won't break the bank as long as you have it checked before buying it and service it regularly afterward.

Finally, it's worth noting that Honda officially called the Pilot a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), not a sport utility vehicle (SUV). It was spot on from the get-go. But marketing has the last word about promoting stuff to prospective customers, so it became known as a three-row SUV.

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About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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