Car Doctor Q&A: Sometimes A Honda Pilot Needs A Reboot

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When your Honda Pilot operates via computers, sometimes the old computer tricks work to fix them.

Q. I have a 2004 Honda Pilot and the weirdest thing happened lately. All of a sudden, the speedometer doesn’t go back to zero but instead starts at 25 miles per hour.

I asked my local shop and he thinks it is the speedometer or maybe the car’s computer. He told me that the repairs will be expensive and maybe at 14 years old, it may be just easier to live with it.

So far, I have been pretty good at doing the math and so far, no speeding tickets. Any thoughts on this weird problem?

A. Like all vehicles, it needs to be first checked for trouble codes. Your repair shop is correct, the issue could be a faulty speed sensor, speedometer or the car’s computer, either of which should be verified by a trouble code.

One question: Did this problem happen after the Pilot was jump-started, or had some other electrical issue? If so, you might want to try this:

WARNING: Before you start this procedure, you need to know that you’ll lose all your stored settings for memory seats, radio, etc. Your radio will also set to security mode, so be sure that you have the security codes (in your owner’s manual) before you start. If you don’t, we’ve also written about how to reset those codes.

Disconnect BOTH battery cables (only do this if you know how) at the battery. Once BOTH cables are disconnected from the battery, touch the terminal ends of the battery cables together for 30 seconds. This will completely drain any stand-by voltage from the computer system. Then connect the cables back to the battery.

RELATED: Reset Honda and Acura Radio Security Codes

A lot of times, this kind of “hard reboot” can solve the problem.

But again only do this if you are comfortable, have the proper tools and know that any stored setting radio, seat memory, power window, etc. will be erased and need to be reset.

I have used this simple and free, method to reset many weird electrical glitches with a pretty good success rate. That way you can avoid using a calculator to estimate your speed.

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John Paul

John Paul

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