How to Fill the Transmission in a 2003 Honda Pilot


The 2002 model year brought with it the end of the aged Passport, as Honda introduced it's replacement, the Pilot, for 2003. Your 2003 Pilot has four-wheel drive and a 240-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6. Honda recommends changing the automatic transmission fluid every 30,000 miles.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Safety glasses
  • 3/8-inch-drive ratchet
  • 3/8-inch-drive torque wrench
  • Socket extensions
  • Metric sockets
  • Catch pan
  • 4 quarts Honda ATF DW-1 transmission oil
  • Drive the Pilot around until the engine reaches normal operating temperature. Park it on a flat, hard surface. Apply the parking brake. Turn the engine off and remove the keys from the ignition. Lift the front of the vehicle one side at a time by placing the floor jack under the frame about 18 inches behind the front wheels. Place the jack stand under the body pinch weld directly behind the front wheels. Low the vehicle onto the jack stands.

  • Place the catch pan under the vehicle. Put on your safety glasses. Locate the transmission drain plug at the bottom of the transmission. The drain plug does not have a normal bolt head, but is rounded and has a square opening for your ratchet. Remove the drain plug in a counterclockwise rotation. Allow the transmission to drain for about 15 minutes.

  • Thread the transmission drain plug by hand to prevent it from cross-threading. Torque the drain plug to 36 foot-pounds with the torque wrench. Lower the vehicle to the ground. Open the hood. Locate the oil fill plug on the top of the transmission. Remove the fill plug with the appropriate ratchet and socket. Add 3 quarts of Honda transmission fluid. Thread the fill plug by hand. Start the engine and check the fluid level on the dipstick. If it is low then turn the vehicle off and fill as needed, just a little at a time -- don't overfill. If the transmission is in the full range, torque the fill plug to 33 foot-pounds. Check for leaks.

Tips & Warnings

  • Only use Honda approved transmission fluid in this vehicle.

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  • Photo Credit Bill Pugliano/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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