Why Is the Drive Light Blinking On Honda Pilot?

In the states, the Honda Pilot is one of the most popular SUVs. The Pilot is popular because of its high practicality, economic efficiency, and excellent reliability.

The latter doesn’t mean that it is free from problems. Engine lights and error codes are a problem, and Pilot owners are familiar with them.

Honda Pilot

Reason Behind This

There is a fault with your transmission and the drive light will start blinking. The majority of the time, a low transmission fluid level is the cause of the fault.

You are going to have to get it looked at. If this is not the case, you will have to have your Honda Pilot’s codes diagnosed.

Is there anything else that could be causing the transmission fault? The fluid, shift solenoid, and clutch pressure sensor are some of the things that make up the vehicle.

In case of trouble, it is important to know the symptoms and the charges to expect. You can get an idea of what the problems will be with the following information.

Why Is the Drive Light Flashing on Your Honda Pilot?

If you own a Honda Pilot, you can diagnose other fault codes, like the Emissions System Problem or the Keyless Start System Problem, if you have a mechanic or an onboard diagnostic tool. 

There are some things you can do to identify yourself. You are likely to get charged if you diagnose your pilot correctly.

Low Transmission Fluid

If you ever get a drive light on your Honda Pilot, you better hope that the tranny fluid is low because it could be a sign of trouble.

This could be the easiest and cheapest problem one can encounter. This is fluid, but what is it? Almost all types of vehicles have transmission fluid in them.

It helps valves operate correctly, and behaves like a lubricant and coolant for the gearbox. The gears can rub against each other because of a lack of fluid in the gearbox.

This causes a lot of wear and eventually a transmission failure. There are a couple of reasons that the fluid can be low. It could be a leak in the transmission pan, for example.

When usage gets rough, the gearbox is also prone to cracking. The pan or the mechanism that converts it can also fail. A lack of maintenance is the reason why this happens.

Low Transmission Fluid Signs

You don’t need an engine code scanning device for this one. If you look below the Pilot for any fluid, you can see leaks in the pan.

A light indicator is also a sign of transmission overheating. Shifting may be more challenging, jerkier, or noisier. It is a sign that is higher than usual.

If you’ve been driving the car for a while, you need to know the usual RPM ranges.

A low transmission fluid level can be seen by the higher RPM. It won’t move when you put the car in D or R. It happens when the fluid level is very low.

Cost To Fix It

In case of low or no fluid, the solution is to replace it. According to RepairPal, you can top up the fluid for up to $68.

The extra costs will be based on the nature and intensity of the problem.

Failing Shift Solenoid

Control of the fluid flow is a function of a shift solenoid. It is controlled through the signals from the TCM.

The Honda Pilot is an example of an automatic vehicle that needs a solenoid. It helps shift your gears after you receive a signal. Is it possible that it becomes faulty or fails?

Bad Shift Solenoid Signs

The time delay will increase because the shifts will become slower. It might become stuck on something.

It might not shift, or it might even skip out on gear and shift directly to its next gear. It could shift to the other side of the road.

The specific engine code is what is referred to as a direct warning sign.

Cost To Fix It

If you have it, this will depend on how bad you are. Adding labor costs to the cost of a shift solenoid for the Pilot can set you back at least $150.

The cost to replace the entire shift solenoid pack is hundreds of dollars.

Failing Clutch Pressure Sensor

The clutch pressure sensor can go bad, which can cause the drive light in your Hondo Pilot to go off.

This sensor is used to measure the position of the Concentric Slave Cylinder. As far as driveability is concerned, it can be catastrophic if it fails.

Bad Clutch Pressure Sensor Signs

There are some similarities between the signs of a faulty transmission pressure sensor and the ones for the shift solenoid. The vehicle will either shift from neutral or not shift at all.

The Pilot’s fuel efficiency will go down the drain, and the rude will become a lot jerkier and choppier. The car is dangerous and can move unintentionally.

Cost to Fix It

Due to the limited variations of the problem, the price for fixing it is the same. The labor costs could be as much as $100, while the parts cost you $68-75.

Can You Drive If the Drive Light Is Blinking?

It’s not a good idea to drive with the D light flashing as it can cause damage to your transmission.

The blinking light on your dashboard tells you to pull over as soon as safe to do so and inspect your car.

If you’re near a mechanic or home, it’s best to drive the car slowly and try to get as many transmission shifts as possible.

If you’re not near your home, you may want to call for a tow truck. You might think of the extra costs, but a faulty transmission can cause bigger damage to your pocket.

What to Do If the Drive Light Comes on While Driving?

Pull over as soon as safe to do so if the D light starts flashing. The next step is to remove the engine from the car.

The main cause of shifting driving lights is leaking transmission oil, so you should check the engine bay and underneath the car.

If you can’t see what’s wrong, start the engine and see if the D light is still on. If that’s the case, you might want to call a recovery truck to get you to the repair garage.

It is possible to cause more damage to the automatic transmission if you drive for a long time. It’s possible that calling a tow truck is cheaper.

Honda Pilot


This was the reason for the drive light to show on your Honda Pilot. You should try to drive as little as you can after you notice this light.

When a vehicle begins shifting uncontrollably, it can become very dangerous. You should always have the transmission fixed before a failure.

It’s a good idea to always look for the nearest auto technician or mechanic. You should be able to identify the problem by yourself using the brief details given above.

The key to avoiding these transmission problems is regularly scheduled maintenance. As long as it is maintained, the Pilot will last as long as it needs to.

Similar Posts