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TOV Forums > Pilot > > Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?

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JeffX
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Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 09-18-2018 15:47
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I'm curious to hear about towing experiences with the ZF 9AT found in Pilots and Odysseys, if anybody has anything to share on that.

My father is looking at updating his MDX and needs something that can easily tow a pair of waverunners as well as fit all of his model airplanes in the back. He loves his MDX but it's aging and he doesn't care to spend another $50K+ when he's just gonna be abusing the interior and exterior with all of his antics.

Mikeydred
Profile for Mikeydred
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 09-18-2018 17:09
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JeffX wrote:
I'm curious to hear about towing experiences with the ZF 9AT found in Pilots and Odysseys, if anybody has anything to share on that.

My father is looking at updating his MDX and needs something that can easily tow a pair of waverunners as well as fit all of his model airplanes in the back. He loves his MDX but it's aging and he doesn't care to spend another $50K+ when he's just gonna be abusing the interior and exterior with all of his antics.


Jeff, my opinion only but I would avoid adding towing package with intercooler to 9spd. I mentioned the clunk we have in our MDX at low speeds followed by a whine. I have not 100% confirmed but based on other forums I searched and dealer also somewhat confirmed the intercooler doesn't play nice with the ZF 9 speed, but of course there always the dealer response its normal. I am going to ask the dealer to remove or disable ours at our next service to see if problem disappears and will provide an update.

99SI
Profile for 99SI
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 09-18-2018 17:19
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Has he thought about a ridgeline?
gofast182
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Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 09-18-2018 17:48
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I met a guy at an all S2000 track day I attended earlier this year at New York Safety Track who was towing with a current gen. MDX. Of note, he had a steel trailer so I'd imagine with that, the S, and whatever else he was hauling he was pushing 5,500lbs. He said he had a transmission cooler installed and it tows fine. He had ~40,000 miles at the time but I don't know how much of that was spent towing.

A buddy of mine towed his S on an aluminum trailer with his new Ridgeline. That was a slick setup.

JeffX
Profile for JeffX
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 09-18-2018 17:57
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99SI wrote:
Has he thought about a ridgeline?


he'd love a Ridgeline but he needs a secure, enclosed cargo area. And it would help to be longer than the 5-foot box. He has some BIG planes.

HondaForever
Profile for HondaForever
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 09-18-2018 19:09
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From Piloteers.org...

https://www.piloteers.org/forums/114-2016-third-generation-pilot/106105-towing-2016-touring.html



Last edited by JeffX on 09-18-2018 20:21
Grace141
Profile for Grace141
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 09-18-2018 22:48
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I asked my Acura service guy about the MDX 9AT holding up to towing a trailer when I had the car in for service recently. I've thought of adding the hitch so I can use my bike rack on the car. He said they've seen zero problems with the 9AT other than the ones recalled for the warmer fix. Just looking at the service bay, they must be putting hitches on many of the MDXs they sell. Whether their customers are towing anything heavier than bike racks is anyone's guess.

gofast182
Profile for gofast182
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 09-19-2018 06:54
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Grace141 wrote:
...He said they've seen zero problems with the 9AT other than the ones recalled for the warmer fix...


Maybe with towing specifically. I understand they are much better now but 2015-2016 were disastrous years for Acura service departments vis 'a vis the 9HP according to the lead tech. at my dealer as they were replacing them left and right for recalls, shift quality, and other failures. At that time they were also having issues with 8 DCT tear-downs/replacements. He and his guys were beleaguered and seemed to have a resentment of Acura for bringing these new transmissions to market. Again, that's all history as the 9HP and the 8 DCT have been sorted and both seem to be solid units despite a few quirks.


Mikeydred
Profile for Mikeydred
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 09-19-2018 15:29
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Grace141 wrote:
I asked my Acura service guy about the MDX 9AT holding up to towing a trailer when I had the car in for service recently. I've thought of adding the hitch so I can use my bike rack on the car. He said they've seen zero problems with the 9AT other than the ones recalled for the warmer fix. Just looking at the service bay, they must be putting hitches on many of the MDXs they sell. Whether their customers are towing anything heavier than bike racks is anyone's guess.


Not sure if it's the crappy trans but I know there have been reports of the same issue I'm experiencing, there was a whole thread over at AZ. It has something to do with the oil with the intercooler picking up the sounds of the clutch disengaging from the ZF but compared to the loaners I've had our 17 is definetly sluggish. Time will tell as my wife is fed up with these nagging issues coming from a CRV where she never had to do anything other than regular maintenance. When temperatures start to drop the noise will get even louder as well as the trans will start exhibiting weird behaviours such as stalling/hesitating acceleration when cold. Dealer had our car for two plus days last winter confirmed the noise but did not address as they couldn't duplicate the sound on the lift WTF. If I'm not mistaking the last MDX included the intercooler as standard to allow the 5000lb rating, it sounds like Honda didn't validate the compatibility with the ZF 9, I would be interested to know how the 14 and 15 models with the 6 AT are with towing. Either way dealers charge so much for these products they are just accessories and shouldn't be inconveniences. I opted for the tow as an option because with a large family and side projects pulling a trailer may be necessary at some point, so far in almost two years haven't used yet so if removing ours ends these annoyances all for it.

Mikeydred
Profile for Mikeydred
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-08-2018 18:57
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Mikeydred wrote:
Grace141 wrote:
I asked my Acura service guy about the MDX 9AT holding up to towing a trailer when I had the car in for service recently. I've thought of adding the hitch so I can use my bike rack on the car. He said they've seen zero problems with the 9AT other than the ones recalled for the warmer fix. Just looking at the service bay, they must be putting hitches on many of the MDXs they sell. Whether their customers are towing anything heavier than bike racks is anyone's guess.


Not sure if it's the crappy trans but I know there have been reports of the same issue I'm experiencing, there was a whole thread over at AZ. It has something to do with the oil with the intercooler picking up the sounds of the clutch disengaging from the ZF but compared to the loaners I've had our 17 is definetly sluggish. Time will tell as my wife is fed up with these nagging issues coming from a CRV where she never had to do anything other than regular maintenance. When temperatures start to drop the noise will get even louder as well as the trans will start exhibiting weird behaviours such as stalling/hesitating acceleration when cold. Dealer had our car for two plus days last winter confirmed the noise but did not address as they couldn't duplicate the sound on the lift WTF. If I'm not mistaking the last MDX included the intercooler as standard to allow the 5000lb rating, it sounds like Honda didn't validate the compatibility with the ZF 9, I would be interested to know how the 14 and 15 models with the 6 AT are with towing. Either way dealers charge so much for these products they are just accessories and shouldn't be inconveniences. I opted for the tow as an option because with a large family and side projects pulling a trailer may be necessary at some point, so far in almost two years haven't used yet so if removing ours ends these annoyances all for it.


Wanted to give everyone an update on my suspicion on the tow package. Took the MDX in this past Tuesday for a B1 B2 service and while I was there mentioned that I wanted the transmission knock noise looked into to. I went for a ride with the service manager and he was not able to duplicate the knock noise but heard plenty of whinning noise and continued to respond that this was normal.
The service manager stated if I didn't like the noise he could remove the transmission cooler, but it would be a charge. After he seen how upset I was and the fact that I just spent thousands of dollars on the tow package he stated he would contact Acura. I also told him although annoying I could live with the whine but the knock was unacceptable as it felt like something was going to drop off car, you could actually feel it sometimes in passenger seat. I was actually surprise it didn't occur in our drive together because on my way to dealer which is about a 40 min drive it was knocking like crazy.

The next day we received a call from the service manager that they were able to duplicate the noise and they sent a video to Acura tech support who acknowledged that was one on the worst they had ever heard. The dealer removed the transmission cooler and now the whine and knocking noise is completely gone. My wife drove the car on Thursday and told me now it feels like she is driving a new car, she said she didn't realize how loud and rough the car was before. Not sure what it is but the transmission cooler was bogging the car down, low gears were rough, rpm took forever to climb and of course the weird whine and knocking noise and start stop now seems to be a lot smoother and we are in the low 30s the past few days where typically the vehicle was its roughest. Acura and Honda needs to let their clients know of the disadvantages of adding these tow packages as it is clear they are aware. For us it doesn't matter, we probably didn't need the 5000lb package just was thinking for the future as adding accessories at new car purchase is best time and dealer wasn't budging on price of vehicle but we saved quite a bit on accessories. Also the ZF trans is clearly not compatible with the transmission cooler. If I am not mistaking the last MDX AWD came with the transmision cooler standard. I am not an isolated case either as I was able to narrow the issue down by searching the internet found several threads with owners having similar expiriences. My wife is now happy car doesn't feel like it fighting itself anymore and now drives like an MDX.

To my dealers credit they took care of the removal of transmission cooler. replaced defective trim pieces, replaced rear tail latch (TSB doesn't open when cold) B1B2 service and exterior wash/wax and interior full detail about $700 value all at no charge to us. On a side note the ZF 9 may not be a drivers trans but if you leave the paddles alone the shifts are excellent especially in the MDX, I actually think it shifts better than the 8 DCT.

Grace141
Profile for Grace141
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-09-2018 09:15
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I've noticed our MDX has driven differently after a couple of services during the past year or so. I don't know this for a fact because I decided not to ask but I assume the service techs did the reboot/idle relearn process each of those times. Maybe that's the case with your car too?

One question I've had is how much extra trans fluid is required for when the cooler is installed. No doubt Honda has a spec amount to add but I haven't found the amount anywhere online and there is no way I've found to check the fluid level.

I still think the 9AT does its job very well once you are underway and you leave it to its work. Including the paddle shifters and Sport Mode in the 9AT MDX was a mistake, in my opinion. The TLX V6 9AT I had as a loaner a few months ago drove like a very different car but it might have been down to the gear+final drive ratios for that 9AT. It felt like it did start in 2nd gear all the time and it worked very well. Sport Mode was even nice.

And the B12 service is the whopper. Nicely done Honda for covering it for you.

Mikeydred
Profile for Mikeydred
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-09-2018 11:36
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Grace141 wrote:
I've noticed our MDX has driven differently after a couple of services during the past year or so. I don't know this for a fact because I decided not to ask but I assume the service techs did the reboot/idle relearn process each of those times. Maybe that's the case with your car too?

One question I've had is how much extra trans fluid is required for when the cooler is installed. No doubt Honda has a spec amount to add but I haven't found the amount anywhere online and there is no way I've found to check the fluid level.

I still think the 9AT does its job very well once you are underway and you leave it to its work. Including the paddle shifters and Sport Mode in the 9AT MDX was a mistake, in my opinion. The TLX V6 9AT I had as a loaner a few months ago drove like a very different car but it might have been down to the gear+final drive ratios for that 9AT. It felt like it did start in 2nd gear all the time and it worked very well. Sport Mode was even nice.

And the B12 service is the whopper. Nicely done Honda for covering it for you.


We have been complaining for well over a year our dealer checked oil levels in past and updates on transmission and all was normal. Do you have the tow package Grace?

Grace141
Profile for Grace141
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-09-2018 17:07
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Mikeydred wrote:
Grace141 wrote:
I've noticed our MDX has driven differently after a couple of services during the past year or so. I don't know this for a fact because I decided not to ask but I assume the service techs did the reboot/idle relearn process each of those times. Maybe that's the case with your car too?

One question I've had is how much extra trans fluid is required for when the cooler is installed. No doubt Honda has a spec amount to add but I haven't found the amount anywhere online and there is no way I've found to check the fluid level.

I still think the 9AT does its job very well once you are underway and you leave it to its work. Including the paddle shifters and Sport Mode in the 9AT MDX was a mistake, in my opinion. The TLX V6 9AT I had as a loaner a few months ago drove like a very different car but it might have been down to the gear+final drive ratios for that 9AT. It felt like it did start in 2nd gear all the time and it worked very well. Sport Mode was even nice.

And the B12 service is the whopper. Nicely done Honda for covering it for you.


We have been complaining for well over a year our dealer checked oil levels in past and updates on transmission and all was normal. Do you have the tow package Grace?


No, I don't. I'd like to have the receiver and the harness but I haven't taken the time to install them yet. I saw the trans cooler kit was an accessory when we bought the car but I'm glad I decided against it based on your comments here.

sadlerau
Profile for sadlerau
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-09-2018 18:41
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I can't believe any manufacturer, let alone Honda, would develop for sale an oil cooler option that was so obviously un-fit for purpose!!
Mikeydred
Profile for Mikeydred
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-09-2018 19:25
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sadlerau wrote:
I can't believe any manufacturer, let alone Honda, would develop for sale an oil cooler option that was so obviously un-fit for purpose!!

It's probably the same cooler they have been using for years and likely is not and issue on the 14-15 MDX with the 6AT. I think the cooler just doesn't play nice with the ZF 9AT ,so it's not necessarily a faulty product more so a compatibility issue. It still stinks though that they continue to to sell it without trying to fix the issues.

sadlerau
Profile for sadlerau
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-09-2018 21:07
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Mikeydred wrote:
........,so it's not necessarily a faulty product more so a compatibility issue.


Yep, that's my point. They are selling a product that doesn't work will in the application, how could it get passed their product development checks?? Did they say "this is a carryover product, that worked so well with the 6-speed, so no need to check if it works with the 9-speed"??

Grace141
Profile for Grace141
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-10-2018 07:17
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It does look like the cooler for the Pilot 6AT and 9AT are the same if the instruction illustrations are accurate:

Pilot 6AT:

https://www.collegehillshonda.com/instructions/pilot/2016/rlxcooler.pdf

Pilot 9AT:

https://www.collegehillshonda.com/instructions/pilot/2019/5ezcooler.pdf

I haven't found the instructions for the MDX coolers. My take is the difference is in how the Pilot coolers work. The 6AT install is in series in the circuit while the 9AT is in parallel and I don't see a way of knowing if the warmer has a thermostatic valve/bypass or that the cooler doesn't. The Honda illustrations are usually accurate. If the warmer and cooler are both passive then, yeah, it would make sense the fluid could be below the correct temp range during winter weather.

I'd still think the problem would be the fluid level being low or incorrect flow.

Mikeydred
Profile for Mikeydred
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-10-2018 17:36
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Grace141 wrote:
It does look like the cooler for the Pilot 6AT and 9AT are the same if the instruction illustrations are accurate:

Pilot 6AT:

https://www.collegehillshonda.com/instructions/pilot/2016/rlxcooler.pdf

Pilot 9AT:

https://www.collegehillshonda.com/instructions/pilot/2019/5ezcooler.pdf

I haven't found the instructions for the MDX coolers. My take is the difference is in how the Pilot coolers work. The 6AT install is in series in the circuit while the 9AT is in parallel and I don't see a way of knowing if the warmer has a thermostatic valve/bypass or that the cooler doesn't. The Honda illustrations are usually accurate. If the warmer and cooler are both passive then, yeah, it would make sense the fluid could be below the correct temp range during winter weather.

I'd still think the problem would be the fluid level being low or incorrect flow.


I read the noises are caused as the oil passes through the cooler line, but I am not buying that theory because if these are normal noises the ZF makes this transmission will not last 5 years. Also to be clear the knock was heard year round, colder weather is worse but also low speeds use to duplicate the knock easily. There have been times also where we would be cruising on highway and then whine noise would happen for a few exists like trans was stuck, first time it happen I couldn't believe it was our vehicle thought it was a semi or something.

TonyEX
Profile for TonyEX
Re: Anybody towing with 9AT Pilot or Odysseys?    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-18-2018 17:55
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Mikeydred wrote:
sadlerau wrote:
I can't believe any manufacturer, let alone Honda, would develop for sale an oil cooler option that was so obviously un-fit for purpose!!

It's probably the same cooler they have been using for years and likely is not and issue on the 14-15 MDX with the 6AT. I think the cooler just doesn't play nice with the ZF 9AT ,so it's not necessarily a faulty product more so a compatibility issue. It still stinks though that they continue to to sell it without trying to fix the issues.



We had the towing package installed in our 00, 02, 05 and 07 Odysseys. That included oil and transmission coolers. Other than the 5AT in the 02 had to be replaced at 27K miles (!!!) everything else worked fine. We never towed anything but it was reassuring to have all those coolers when driving at 80 mph across the Mohave Desert in 120F with both ACs (*) blasting the interior to 74F. Engine temps never wavered.

IMHO, this is all related to the 9AT.

(*) Those vans were equipped with the rear AC unit. I don't know if they do that nowadays.



 
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