Category Archives: Automotive Repair

2009-2014 Honda Pilot Brake Light Replacement

2009-2014 Honda Pilot Brake Light Replacement

2009 Honda Pilot Brake Light was out when I took it in for an oil change. They asked me if I wanted them to change the brake light and I said sure. After waiting a while they came back and said they couldn’t figure out how to change the brake light.

After looking around online for a while it looked simple enough to do the trick comes down to prying the brake light assembly out.

Here are instructions on how to change the Brake light on a 2009 and later Honda Pilot.

Use a phillips head screw driver or a 5/16 inch socket and undo the two mounting screws foundin the spots indicated on the tail light assembly.

Honda Pilot 2009 Brake Light Replacement

That wasn’t so hard… But in order to get the honda pilot brake light assembly out you have to pop out the outer clasps. Which is easier said than done.  You need to wedge a butter knife, or putty knife or other shimming kind of obejct in between the brake light assembly and the body. I used a putty knife and then got a little separation and put to butter knifes in.


Honda Pilot Brake Light Removal

Then with the butter knives or similar in place, you will use one hand to pull straight out with these, and one hand to stabilize and pull out the other surface. You’ll need to pull pretty hard to pop this free. I recommend not levering with the butter knives, but just pulling straight out. Get ready because  when it gives you’ll be pulling way to hard.


(Note the clasps as they will need to be lined up when replacing)

A counter clockwise motion will unlock the the bulb portion. The old bulb can be removed and the new bulb can be inserted. I recommend not touching the bulb with your bare hands. Use a paper towel or something.

Honda Pilot Brake Light

Place it back into the housing and give it a clockwise turn to snap it back into place. The Honda Pilot Brake Light assembly then needs to be placed back into position. Note the clips underneath that need to be caught in order to hold the brake light tightly. I can’t really get a picture of how it needs to fit back in, but hopefully this picture helps.

Honda Pilot 2009 Brake Light

Also the pointed clasps demonstrated above need to be lined up with their sockets and it needs to be pressed into place until it snaps. The screws need to be replaced. Then test your lights to ensure they work and then you are done.

Check out these other Honda Pilot related fixes:


This post should be relatable to the:
2009 Honda Pilot
2010 Honda Pilot
2011 Honda Pilot
2012 Honda Pilot
2013 Honda Pilot
2014 Honda Pilot

Recharge Air Conditioning Honda Pilot

Recharge the A/C on a Honda Pilot

Recharging the A/C on a Honda Pilot

My Air Conditioning on my Honda Pilot began to have problems about 2 years ago. Initially I noticed that the driver side a/c wasn’t as cold as the other A/C’s. I ran multiple diagnostic tests and thought that due to it’s intermittent nature that it was a sticky air mix control door. However in really hot weather the whole system didn’t get cold so I decided to recharge the A/C on a Honda Pilot.Recharge Air Conditionin<a href=

This is a relatively painless process and can easily be done in under a half hour. First you will need some refrigerant and any standard R134a will do. I used some from A/C Pro. The instructions on the bottle were pretty straight forward. It’s pretty simple:

  • Turn your car on with A/C on max
  • Find Low Pressure port
  • Attach the device to the low pressure port and measure while the compressor is engaged.(You will adjust the dial to the current exterior temperature to ensure more accurate pressure measurement.)
  • If low, screw the canister into the device and pull the trigger to add refrigerant.

The low pressure port can be found here on the left side of the engine compartment:Recharging AC on a Honda Pilot

The supplied device would not fit on the high pressure port so it is somewhat dummy proof.

If you are not sure the compressor is engaged it can be seen at the bottom of the serpentine belt:Honda Pilot Air Conditioner compressor

If your pressures are low. Pull the trigger and shake the canister and fill to a normal pressure.

Then test your car and hopefully it’s colder than it was before, and the oil is helping protect against leaks and removing moisture from your system.

Check out these other Honda Pilot related fixes:

Changing a Honda Pilot Air Filter 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Changing a Honda Pilot Air Filter 2009, 2010,2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Factory recommends Changing a Honda Pilot Air Filter every 15000 miles(also the same frequency as the Cabin Air Filter Replacement Tutorial). This is a quick project that can easily be performed and is frequently offered with other car services.

Items Needed:
Hastings Filters AF1440 Panel Air Filter Element

Tools Needed:
Screw Driver

The air filter on the Honda Pilot is located on the driver side of the vehicle, near the firewall. you should be able to easily recognize it from the picture below.

Honda Pilot Air Intake Filter 2009-2014

Using a Phillips head screw driver remove the 4 anchoring screws. The washers will not come off so don’t worry about dropping them.

After removing the screws, lift the box from left to right. Remove the Air Filter  taking note of the orientation and replace it. with the new on in the same orientation.

Honda Pilot Air Intake Filter Location 2009-2014


Put the box back down on top of the new air filter. Make sure your box is on straight and then replace the screws. Make sure it’s tight all the way around. Wait 15,000 miles and repeat.

Check out these other Honda Pilot related fixes:


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Honda Pilot Trailer Wiring 2009-2011 Part 2

Honda Pilot Trailer Wiring 2009, 2010, 2011 Part 2

If you missed part 1 of this post you can find it here: Honda Pilot Trailer Wiring Part 1
Get the Honda Pilot Trailer Wiring Harness Kit.

Trailer Wiring for Honda Pilot: Front Fuse Box

As in the Honda Pilot Battery Change Walk Through, pop out the little locking rivets:


wiring a trailer hitch main fuse box exposure Honda Pilot

Remove the air intake, to expose the battery and fuse box underneath.

wiring a trailer hitch main fuse box part 2 Honda Pilot

Unlock the 3 clasps holding the cover on the fusebox:

wiring a trailer hitch main fuse box location Honda Pilot

Then we will add 2 fuses and 1 relay(Mine already had a 20amp fuse in one):

trailer wiring harness main fuse box fuses Honda Pilot

It should look like this when done:

Honda Pilot main fuse box for trailer wiring

Close everything back up as we are done with this portion.

Trailer Wiring for a Honda Pilot: Mounting bracket and plug assembly

Now we move to the underneath the vehicle portion. But first you have to pry the plastic cover out of the plug site which I did before taking a picture:

Honda Pilot trailer wiring plug location
You’ll need to cut the plastic piece out on the yellow lines:

Honda Pilot Wiring a Trailer Plug Cut outOnce you have this cut out, you need to get under the vehicle. Release the bumper may not be required but it gives you more play, There are clasps on either side that can be released to get markedly more mobility:

Honda Pilot Rear Bumpter Skirt release

Place the Mounting bracket so that it will be visible through the window you’ve made in the bumper skirt, it will need to be bent to angle out this window, but you can do that after it is placed. Although the screws are self drilling and tapping, I pre-drilled my first hole with a 9/64″ drill bit so the screw could be easily placed and the bracket held better in place for the second screw. The screws will require a 10mm socket, you may need a longer socket to get the distance you need to get the driver up there:

Honda Pilot mounting bracket placement

Then place the plug from the outside through the mounting brack and place the screws through, and screw the nuts on from the back.Honda Pilot Trailer Wiring 7 Way Connector or Pin Connector

Now take the main connector:

Honda Pilot wiring a trailer main connector


After placing some dielectric grease on both ends plug it into the back of the 7 way connector you just mounted and then find the other end of the connector.

Honda Pilot wiring a trailer other part of connector

This was very difficult to release as the release is on the far side aiming up under the bumper. I don’t have any good advice on how to get this off, but you can just break the plastic and worry about how you’ll reattach it later. Here is what the clasp looks like once you release it.

Honda Pilot wiring a trailer difficult to release clasp


Connect this to the corresponding piece:

Honda Pilot Wiring a trailer final connection

Use the zip ties to keeps the wiring from sagging down:
Honda Pilot Trailer Wiring Harness Honda Pilot Trailer Wiring Harness second spot to attachNow test your trailer and if it works, pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

If you missed part 1 of this post you can find it here: Honda Pilot Trailer Wiring Part 1



Honda Pilot Trailer Wiring 2009, 2010, 2011

Honda Pilot Trailer Wiring 2009, 2010, 2011

Trailer Wiring a Honda Pilot may not be something you expect to have to do with the included “Tow Package”, I didn’t realize the trailer wiring wasn’t finished until about 5 days before I was expecting to use the trailer hitch, and pull my sedan across the country behind my pilot. Don’t sweat this project as it can be completed in a few hours if you have all the necessary parts.

What you will need to wire a trailer on a Honda Pilot

You will need a Honda Pilot Trailer Wiring Harness Kit. I recommend a 7 pin connector for the wiring as it is easier to convert a 7pin connector with a good mounting plate to a 4pin connector than it is to do the opposite. The parts you will need are:

Tools required:

Gather your tools and parts:
trailer wiring harness parts honda pilotHere are the Contents of trailer wiring kit Curt part #56097:

Contents of trailer wiring harness Curt part number 56097


Trailer Wiring: Connection box installation

Identify the storage panel on the driver rear of the Honda Pilot, and open it.

driver rear storage door honda pilot trailer wiring


Once open, identify the secondary access panel and open it.

trailer wiring harness honda pilot access panel


Here is what that looks like open:

trailer wiring harness connection honda pilot


Identify the connection for the connection box and release the tape affixing it in place:

trailer wiring harness connection honda pilot 2009-2014


Make the connection to the connection box harness:

trailer wiring making the connection

Next we need to place the ground screw, the yellow arrow marks my chosen location, drill a 3/32″ hole here, then place the provided screw through the eyelet of the ground wire and place this here:

trailer wiring ground screw placement

Here is what that should look like, the yellow arrow marks where we will affix the connection box with double sided tape:

trailer wiring ground screw and connector box placement

Here’s what it should look like when complete:

trailer wiring connection box placement

Close everything up and we’ll move to the fuse and relay portion of the assembly.


Wiring a Trailer for the Honda Pilot: Fuses and Relays

The Auxiliary fuse box is just in front of the previous panel. I already took the case before I started taking pictures.

trailer wiring fuses and relays honda pilot

Here is a picture with the cover in case you can’t find it 😉

trailer hitch wiring auxillary fuse box honda pilotThe Fuse box can be opened buy pushing down on the innermost tab while pulling down and back. This can be a little tricky, push down really hard where the yellow arrow is.
wiring a trailer hitch auxillary fuse box unlocking releasing Honda PilotHere is what the auxillary fuse box on a 2009 Honda Pilot looks like before fuses. Put two 7.5a on the left hand spots. Put a 20a fuse on the right. Followed by the two relays on the bottom.
wiring a trailer hitch auxillary fuse box layout Honda Pilot

This is what it should look like:
Honda Pilot Auxillary Fuse box layout for trailer wiringHere is the map of the fuses in case somebody ever needs it FR points to the front of the vehicle:
Honda Pilot Auxillary Fuse box layout FR points front

Now close everything back up and move on to Part 2 of the Honda Pilot Trailer Wiring.

Check out these other Honda Pilot related fixes:



Cabin Air Filter Change on Honda Pilot 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Cabin Air Filter Change on Honda Pilot 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

The Cabin Air Filter(also known as the dust and pollen filter) on the Honda Pilot should be changed at least every 15,000 miles as recommended in the honda pilot owners manual.

dust and pollen cabin air filter recommendations honda pilot 2009-2014

Failure to change the filter can result in reduction in the air flow through your air conditioner or heating system, and can actually stress the system to failure. Unlike previous Honda Pilot models this filter is very easy to change. The filter that you need is the FRAM CF10134 Fresh Breeze Cabin Air Filter

Honda Pilot Cabin Air Filter Removal

First thing you need to do is open you glove box and remove all contents.
Honda Pilot Glove box access to Cabin Dust and Pollen Filter

You will then need to release the glove box and let it flip down. This can be done by simultaneously pushing in on the tabs on the upper outer edge of both sides of the glove box to stop it from catching the glove box.

Behind this you will find the Honda Pilot cabin air filter. Push in on the two tabs to release the filter.
Access to Honda Pilot Cabin Dust and Pollen Filter

Pull the Cabin Air Filter out:

Honda Pilot Cabin Dust and Pollen Filter Removal 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Remove the cabin pollen and dust filter and replace the new one.

Changing Honda Pilot Cabin Dust and Pollen Filter 2009,2010,2011,2012,2013

Then just slide it back in until it snaps, close the glove box by pushing in the tabs. Test your blower and notice the increase in power and a fresh smell.

You can get the filter here:

Check out these other Honda Pilot related fixes:


How to Replace the Battery on a Honda Pilot 2009-2014

How to Replace the Battery on a Honda Pilot 2009-2014

I recently had a problem with my 2009 Honda Pilot where overnight my battery would die, and  wouldn’t start the next morning. However after a jump start and a quick drive, it would start back up again fine through out that day, but be dead the next morning. Of course at first I was worried it was a problem with the charging system, but it shouldn’t have started again later that day if that were the case, it wouldn’t have charged at all and I would have been unable to start it that same day. For future reference I highly recommend a jump starter pack as it saves you the time of positioning a car next to yours to jump your Pilot.

Next I was worried that some piece of electrical equipment was bad or shorted out that was draining the battery out overnight. Disconnecting the battery overnight and reconnecting it in the morning ruled this out, as the battery was still dead the next morning despite being unhooked from the car.

This left only the battery to be the source of problems. A quick trip to autozone and car actually passed the battery test, but I decided to replace it anyway as this was much cheaper than a further diagnostic workup. I took pictures of the batter exchange on the off chance someone might be curious as to how this is done, although it is very straightforward.

First, Pop the hood from the inside.
Opening the hood on this car always throws me off as every other car I have interacted with you push the lever up, but this Honda Pilot you push the lever side to side:

How to open the hood on a Honda Pilot

You’ll notice the battery on the right side of the engine compartment towards the front. You’ll also notice it is covered by the air intake.

Location of the Battery on a 2009 Honda Pilot

The air intake must be removed in order to remove the battery. Don’t Stress…. This is easy, just pry up the center portion of these plastic bolts and then wiggle and spin them for removal.

How to remove the air intake on a 2009 Honda Pilot

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