2011 Pilot Vibration/Rattle at Idle for a short period

Edward Instructor Jacksonville, Florida Posted   Latest  
Discussion
Drivetrain
2011 Honda Pilot Touring 3.5L (J35Z4) 5-spd (PN3A)
Vibration At Idle/ Dash Rattle For 5-10 Mins At First Start Up Of The Day

Hi guys, Im looking into a Pilot for an issue that only occurs when the vehicle is first started each day. It only becomes noticeable when vehicle is in Drive or Reverse and once the vehicle has driven for 5-10 mins the issue is gone. Few facts about the vehicle: 126k miles, had a gates timing belt kit done at 108k, no valve adjustment yet, front and rear engine mount are original neither is broken, timing belt tensioner is not loud when vehicle is power braked when checking for noise. I know engine mounts can cause a vibration and once warmed up the vibration gets noticeably better. My gut is telling me its not the mounts, I'm leaning towards the tensioner but its not making the noise they normally make. My question for the guys that see these vehicles often is have you seen or heard about this before? TIA!

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Harm Technician
Fergus, Ontario
Harm Default
 

I have had lots of aftermarket belt tensioners causing issues with noises. Also I believe that on some that you have to trim where the tensioner bolts into.

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Hubert Diagnostician
Lawndale, California
Hubert Default
 

We check the spark plugs for oil fouling. Honda has piston rings problems with the 3.5L. I believe it may be a recall. However Honda never sent recall to customers.

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Edward Instructor
Jacksonville, Florida
Edward Default
 

Spark plugs were replaced about 10-15k miles ago, no fouling was present at that time.

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Edward Instructor
Jacksonville, Florida
Edward Default
 

The concern I want to address is the vibration/rattle that happens when putting the vehicle in drive. I have seen a lot of things online about the tensioner being noisy but no one has mentioned the vibration that seems like bad mounts. Is this also a characteristic of a bad tensioner?

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Edward Instructor
Jacksonville, Florida
Edward Default
 

I have seen a lot of things online about the tensioner being noisy but no one has mentioned the vibration that seems like bad mounts. Is this also a characteristic of a bad tensioner?

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Tyler Technician
Olathe, Kansas
Tyler Default
 

I've seen that several times. The hydraulic tensioner for the timing belt is weak and chatters when cold. You can get a stethoscope in the RF wheel well and listen to it on cold start.

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Edward Instructor
Jacksonville, Florida
Edward Default
 

Does it also cause the vibration inside the cabin? Feels like worn out mounts for 5-10 mins.

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Tyler Technician
Olathe, Kansas
Tyler Default
 

Not necessarily. Any miss counts? Mounts are also common. Aftermarket are garbage.

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Edward Instructor
Jacksonville, Florida
Edward Default
 

No miss counts, not familiar if Honda's display a mode 6. Haven't replaced mounts yet, If I do ill stick to oem.

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Ray Diagnostician
North York, Ontario
Ray Default
 

Before the cold start, remove the belt tensioner.

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Edward Instructor
Jacksonville, Florida
Edward Default
   

Do serpentine belt tensioners cause that vibration/rattle for 5-10 mins? I've never seen a tensioner just make noise for a short while, I do believe they can cause vibrations. I will try taking the belt off next cold start. Thank You.

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Elias Owner/Technician
Poway, California
Elias Default
 

If you can actually feel the vibration its usually the side engine mount. The front can be weak and not broken as well attributing.

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Dwight Owner/Technician
Oceanside, California
Dwight Default
 

A carefully placed floor jack under the oil pan, with light tension will tell you if it's the motor mounts or not.

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Agree
Benjamin Owner/Technician
Woodstock, Georgia
Benjamin Default
 

Pull the five 10mm upper timing cover bolts off the bank # 1 by firewall. Feel for loose tbelt tension. You can have that upper cover off in just a couple minutes. another thing is maybe the high pressure power steering hose is missing or has a loose bracket that mounts to the bank 1 valve cover. Also check cat heat shield bolts. Also check the plastic cover over the plenum for missing rubber…

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Edward Instructor
Jacksonville, Florida
Edward Default
 

I’ll go ahead and pull that cover and check. I know the grommets are present for the plenum cover. Have you seen timing belt tension cause a vibration similar to a bad engine mount?

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Mark Diagnostician
Taylors, South Carolina
Mark Default
 

Considering its more noticeable in drive and reverse, this means the engine mounts are being stressed due to the engine wanting to rotate. The fact you are also feeling it in the cabin indicates engine vibrations are being transferred into the body. I've replaced quite a few mounts for this exact issue. I will usually have someone sit in the car and hold the engine in gear, then I will use a pry…

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Scott Technician
Chico, California
Scott Default
 

I have had these cause noise and vibrations from aftermarket timing belt tensioner s only on first startup. they started including a note to let them fully expand in a vise before install as they get air trapped inside somehow. pulled top cover and started next day while watching and can see the timing tensioner jumping rapidly. also take off main belt and see if that stops first.

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Matthew Service Manager
Omaha, Nebraska
Matthew Default
 

Typically we see engine mounts go bad. The "VCM" engines are the worst for that. Supporting the engine was noted above and is a great way to determine that. They also need to be pretty bad to create a rattle sound. I've seen the thin converter shields rust away and make contact on parts in the engine bay when cold. This will create a vibration and rattle as well when cold. The shields can be…

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