Why Won’t My Honda Pilot Start?

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If you are looking for a good midsize SUV, I can assure you that no vehicle is better than the Honda Pilot.

It is comfortable, has an amazing ride, and is powerful too, all of which are traits of a great vehicle.

Often, people face the problem of it not turning on and ask, why won’t my Honda Pilot start?

If you are one of those facing this issue while reading this article, you don’t need to worry about clicking on many links. Everything you need to know is covered here.

The most common reasons are:

  1. A Dead Battery
  2. Corroded Terminals
  3. Dead Key Fob Battery
  4. Worn-Out Spark Plugs
  5. Blown Fuse
  6. Fault In The Starter Motor
  7. Failing Alternator
  8. Failing Fuel Pump
  9. Dirty Fuel Filter

Don’t you worry. All of the nine issues that have been listed above will be discussed in detail below. I request that you don’t skip through anything, as the information is vital.

Let’s get started!

What Would Cause A Honda Pilot To Not Start?

Learn the issues of not starting your Honda Pilot through my guide

If you are not in too much of a hurry, you may have noticed the possible reasons why your Honda Pilot is not starting.

Those nine problems will be the focus of this section.

1: A Dead Battery

If your Honda Pilot doesn’t start, it could be because the battery is dead.

The most common reason for a dead battery is leaving lights on or the engine running while you’re parked.

This is perhaps the most common reason for the SUV not starting in the first place.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you have jumper cables in the car, connect them to another car’s battery (or even something else that has a good amount of power—a lawnmower works well) and let them sit for about 15 minutes. Then try starting your Honda Pilot again.
  • If that doesn’t work, try charging the battery with a charger. Make sure to use a compatible one.

2: Corroded Terminals

A corroded terminal can make it difficult for your Honda Pilot to start.

Corrosion happens when electrical current meets water, and that’s exactly what happens with your Honda Pilot’s battery.

When you’re charging your battery, the terminals are exposed to water from the electrolyte inside the battery.

Over time, this could cause corrosion to build up on the terminals, making them less conductive and less able to deliver electricity to your starter motor.

What Should You Do About It?

If you notice corrosion at any point in time, there are a few things you can do:

  • Clean off corrosion with a wire brush or sandpaper, then apply dielectric grease (available at most auto parts stores).
  • Use a power drill with a wire brush attachment to remove any rust from deep within the terminal post holes before re-installing new batteries or starter motors (this will also help prevent future corrosion).
  • The same can be done using a toothbrush, but the first method is much more effective.

3: Dead Key Fob Battery

The key fob with your Honda Pilot is a battery-powered device that allows you to unlock the doors, start the car, and even open the trunk.

If this battery has died, your Honda Pilot won’t start.

What Should You Do About It?

If you find that your key fob battery has died and you don’t have another one, you can easily replace it yourself!

You can find replacement batteries for most Honda vehicles at any auto parts store.

The typical way of doing this is:

  • Use a small flat-head screwdriver to open the key fob case and remove the battery cover.
  • Remove the old battery by sliding it out of its holder and replacing it with a new lithium coin cell battery, which should be available at most hardware stores and auto parts retailers.

4: Worn Out Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are a small but important part of your Honda Pilot’s engine. They’re responsible for igniting the fuel that goes into your engine, so they’re a big deal!

If you notice that your Honda Pilot won’t start, and you’ve ruled out any other potential causes (such as a dirty fuel filter or a dead battery), it might be time to get new spark plugs.

What Should You Do About It?

Spark plugs are pretty easy to change yourself, but if you don’t feel confident doing this yourself, there are always mechanics who can help you out.

  • If you do it yourself, make sure you have the right tools on hand and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for changing them out carefully.
  • To replace your spark plugs, disconnect the battery from its terminals (you’ll want to do this so you don’t damage any electrical components).
  • Then use a socket wrench set to remove each plug from its cylinder head.
  • Afterward, insert new plugs into each cylinder head by hand until they lock into place.
  • And you are finished.

5: Blown Fuse

If your Honda Pilot won’t start, the fuse may have blown. Fuses can be found in the engine bay or your glove box.

They look like a little metal box with two metal pins sticking out. Fuses, when blown, prevent current from being transferred, so no damage is incurred to the electrical system.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Got a blown a fuse? It’s a pretty easy fix. Find the fuse, pop open the cover, and take out the old one.
  • If it looks like it’s been burnt out, you can replace it with one with a higher amperage rating than what you’re currently using.
  • Lastly if it looks fine, put in a new one with the same amperage rating as before. Close up your fuse box, turn on your Honda Pilot and see if it starts up.

6: Fault In The Starter Motor

If the starter motor has a fault, it will not be able to rotate the crankshaft. This will prevent your Honda Pilot from starting.

If you hear a clicking sound when you try to start your Honda Pilot, this could indicate a problem with the starter motor.

What Should You Do About It?

  • To diagnose and repair a faulty starter motor, take your vehicle to an auto repair shop or mechanic.
  • The mechanic will test your starter motor and replace it if needed.
  • Replacing a faulty starter motor is the only way to ensure your Honda Pilot can return to the road again.

7: Failing Alternator

If your Honda Pilot doesn’t start, it may be because of a failing alternator.

Alternators are responsible for providing electrical power to your vehicle’s electrical system, and if it is not working properly, then the vehicle will not be able to run.

What Should You Do About It?

The best way to determine if this is the problem is to have a qualified mechanic inspect the vehicle. However, there are some things you can do on your own before taking it in for repairs.

  • First, check the battery connections and tighten any loose ones.
  • Next, check all fuses located in or near the battery area and ensure none are blown out or broken.
  • Finally, check all the wirings under the hood for damage or corrosion and replace any damaged parts as needed.

8: Failing Fuel Pump

The fuel pump is one of the last things to check if your vehicle won’t turn over.

If you hear the fuel pump turn on when you try to start the car, likely, that the fuel pump is not working properly.

It may produce a whining noise, which can be recognized easily. Check for signs of leaking fuel or any other problems with the engine to confirm this issue.

What Should You Do About It?

  • You can fix this problem by replacing the fuel pump or taking your vehicle to a mechanic for repair.
  • You can also have an expert examine your vehicle to see if any other problems might be causing the failure of your fuel pump.

9: Dirty Fuel Filter

This is probably the most common reason for your Honda Pilot not to start.

The fuel filter is located just under the fuel tank, so if it gets clogged up, your car won’t be able to get any fuel from it.

If this happens, there will be a drop in power, and your engine might stall.

What Should You Do About It?

  • The best thing to do is to replace the filter altogether. It does not cost a lot and will work for the next two to three years.
  • But if you are stranded on the side of the road due to your Honda Pilot stalling or not starting, you can take out the filter and try to clean it.
  • Clean it to the point that fuel can pass through easily. Of course, this is a temporary fix.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Honda Pilot Start With New Battery?

The reason your Honda Pilot won’t start with a new battery is because of a bad starter.

The starter is an essential part of the car that turns over the engine and gets it running.

If the starter isn’t working, then you’ll have to replace it before you can get your car started again.

Q2. Why Won’t My Honda Pilot Start Even With A Jump?

You’re probably experiencing a dead battery. The Honda Pilot has a lot of electrical components, so it’s possible that your battery is just drained from running all of those things.

Other possible reasons can be low-quality jumper cables, which are not thick enough to carry the required amount of current. This has a low chance of happening but is definitely possible.

Q3. Why Won’t My Honda Pilot Start But Lights Work?

If your Honda Pilot won’t start, but the lights work, and you hear a clicking noise when you turn the key, it’s likely that the problem is with your starter.

The starter is responsible for turning the engine over so that it can start, and if it breaks, you may not be able to get your car started.

Q4. Why Won’t My Honda Pilot Start But Cranks?

If your Honda Pilot is cranking but not starting, it’s important to make sure that the engine isn’t getting sparked.

If you can’t get a spark, you may need to replace the ignition coils or the spark plugs. Generally, both of them are replaced together.

The spark ignites the fuel, which creates heat and combustion.

If there is no spark, then there will be no combustion and no heat, which means there will be no way for your engine to start up.

Q5. Why Won’t My Honda Pilot Start Just Clicks?

If your Honda Pilot won’t start but is clicking, it’s likely that you have a dead battery. You can jump-start the vehicle with another car by connecting the jumper cables in reverse order.

Be sure to check all of your connections and make sure that the other car is running before connecting the cables or touching any metal parts.

Q6. Why Won’t My Honda Pilot Start In The Cold Weather?

This is because low temperatures affect the working of a battery. The chemicals cannot work at their normal rate, which results in them not being sufficient to start a car.

That is why, if a person lives in cold conditions, they should opt for a battery that offers higher cranking amperes.

Q7. Why Won’t My Honda Pilot Start After I Get Gas?

If your Honda Pilot refuses to start after being filled with gas, there can be many reasons for it. The most common one is that the EVAP purge valve is open and cannot close.

Another plausible scenario is if the fuel filter is clogged to the point that it cannot let any fuel through. Without fuel, the vehicle cannot start, and you cannot go anywhere.

Q8. Why Won’t My Honda Pilot Start But Radio Works?

If the radio is functional, chances are the lights are too. This rule out any issues with the battery. Now, if there is a clicking sound, then it could be the starter.

The alternator could also be the source of the problem. But the functioning of the radio proves that the battery is still in working condition.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Honda Pilot?


If you’ve been having trouble with your Honda Pilot, don’t worry—you’re not alone.

You can fix your car in no time with a few simple steps. The most common issues and solutions have been discussed here.

So, if you experience this issue one more time, you will not have to think, “Why won’t my Honda Pilot start?”. There are several causes for this vehicle not to start.

You should be able to identify the issue before moving on to the next step. If you have read this article, then worrying about this is a thing of the past.