flashing shift (D) indicator *** anyone have the same problem??? ****

Ethan Terry

Asked by Feb 27, 2009 at 10:07 PM about the Honda Pilot

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

*** anyone have the same problem??? ****
out of nowhere the D/drive light started flashing. Took it out of gear to neutral, the nuetral light comes on but the D light is still flashing.
Turned the engine off, started it back up and everything is back to normal.
Normal for a month, then it happened again.
Turned off the engine off, restarted and everything is back to normal.
The car shifts / drives like normal all the time.
Nonetheless too it to a shop, and they tried to pull the codes, but got nothing. Advised me to go to HONDA as they may be about to pull the code using the HONDA's computer reader.

23 Answers


The flashing light indicates a transmission problem. I think it has to go to the Honda dealer to read the code. I had the same thing happen. I decided to check my fluid level first, sure enough it didn't even register on the stick. I just needed fluid. I don't think I would have gotten off that cheap if I had taken it to the dealer.

30 out of 30 people think this is helpful.

I experienced the same light illumination. Shifted to neutral, or any other gear, and light still kept blinking. Pulled off the road and turned off the engine. Restarted engine, blinking light was gone. Didn't reappear as I drove on to the destination. Checked the display at lunch, no blinking light present. Also checked the transmission fluid level, no problems there. It sounds like it may be another one of Honda's infamous phantom faults that they want to charge about a hundred bucks to say they don't know why, and that they reset all the codes so it shouldn't be a problem, Perhaps they believe they should get a hundred dollars from every Honda owner periodically, so they just program the codes to come on randomly, and not show up in the history, so nobody else can find them. Yes, I am more than somewhat skeptical of the major auto industry these days, this isn't the first instance of phantom codes, but they still charge you for their poor design and poor information. If they really cared about owners, they would leave some of the usless info out of the owners guide and put in a table of all the codes and light illuminations, with the radio or dash readout connected so the codes could be displayed for the owner. Then we would know if it is a critical thing, or simply a friendly reminder that an oil change is needed, or something of that sort. Why all the mistery? A HUNDRED BUCKS, OF COURSE!!!!!!

36 out of 36 people think this is helpful.
Charlie Lakes

change the trainee fluid...with original honda brand.

18 out of 18 people think this is helpful.
Jonathan Ford

^^sounds like that guy works for honda

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.
David Smith

Same problem on my 2007 Pilot LX. Changed fluid (never get this transmission or any transmission flushed!) - takes 3 cycles to get transmission fluid completed. Only one done so far. Light still comes on and will not register a transmission code. Mechanic tells me not to worry unless you sense there is a genuine problem with shifting. Light may have to be on for a very long time for a code to register.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

I had the same problem on my 2005 Pilot. The code read "4th gear clutch pressure sensor". My son is a mechanic and I told him that it shifted fine and he said that if the pressure is not right on the 4th gear band in the transmission, it could wears uneven or even out and that could mean alot more money fixing the transmission

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.

also, it is recommended to use Honda tranmission fluid because it has whale blubber in it and it makes it easier to shift - more slippery

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
Visian Phonesoukseum

I had Honda Odyssey 03 I had the same problem for two years. I already change transmission fluid from Honda's Dealer but it won't stop flashing. I bother me when I see the flashing light on. So far, nothing wrong with my transmission. It could be sensor something that Honda dealer need to be reset.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
Gary Larsen

Had same problem, it was a shift solenoid that wasn't working due to a broken connector for the wires. Replaced in about 60 seconds and works fine. Cost 25 bucks. On 05 pilot located next to the trans drain plug

19 out of 19 people think this is helpful.

FYI... I own a 2004 honda pilot for 6 years now and this has happened periodically to me... Honestly... I have always ignored it and my car is still fine 200,000 miles and counting... So I'm calling BS here... Phantom troubles...

14 out of 14 people think this is helpful.

The same thing just happened to me this morning. I was quite scared because the engine light came on as well. My car is still under warranty. Should I take it to Honda?

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2005 Honda accord and the same thing happened to me this morning. I googled it and found this page. First thing I read was transmission...I freaked. Then I read more and it said to pull over and shut down engine and restart so I did and the light stopped blinking..has anyone figured out what this really means? My car is up to date on maintenance and just hoping this isn't something major...thanks for the help

14 out of 14 people think this is helpful.
Jillian Williams

I have a 05 pilot and I just read this, shut my car off and back on and now it's fine , no warning light flashing

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

I just bought a 2004 Pilot from a used car dealership with a very questionable reputation. Mine has 126000 miles on it. I noticed that it came on periodically and I hear a slight squeal around 45MPH, but it goes away once i decelarate to about 20 MPH, doesn;t come back until I exceed 45MPH. Weird thing is that I can't get the flashing D light unless I am using the AC. The flashing light came up every time, once i stopped using the AC it stopped. My extended warranty kicks in after I drive 1000 miles, so i will get it checked once I am covered, but the car runs great. Very weird....

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Jillian Williams

Yeah I think mine may be AC related as well. It seems like its happening more and more often but im goign to try that 25$ part near the drain plug and see if thats the issues, it doesn appear to have any problems shifting

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Valerie Washeck

The same thing is happening with my 2009 Accord. Is the Pilot created on the same footprint as the Accord?


My '03 Pilot started with the drive light flashing this morning. Took it to my mechanic and it didn't read for any problems. Called Honda and they said it means Don't Drive that something is wrong with the transmission. Taking it back to my mechanic to see the if he can figure it out.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
Pat Kilmain

Happened on my 2004 CRV today. I suspect it will be gone tomorrow based on this page. Honda dealer is more than an hour away. If happens again I'll ask my mechanic. A new transmission would make me sell the car - 165K miles.

Daniel Sanqunetti

My pilot just did it trying to pass a car. Check fluid is good, disconnected both battery posts for 5 minutes to reset computer and it's doing fine no more problems

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Same problem here, I took of one battery cables for a few minutes put it back on car is fine now, I guess it reset all the codes.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

thanks, very helpful, just experience this with my Honda Pilot 2011. The check engine light is on as well. I will check the transmission fluid, disconnect battery and will reappraise. Thanks!

Joyelle Broderick

Thank you all. Very helpful. This is a very, very old problem. I own a 1994 Acura Legenda, made by Honda with all the phantom bugs. When the D light started flashing, I freaked a little. Being a 39 year old single mom, I need that old boat to survive and my mechanical knowledge ends at filling up the fluids. So thanks for the suggestion to do that before dumping more money into my car.


Did anyone who had the flashing "D" light issues with the A/C running ever have their problems resolved? What was the outcome? Just curious because I think I may be in the same situation with my 07 Honda Pilot. I've had this problem for months and the mechanic ran some codes leading to errors in the 3rd/4th gear pressure clutch sensors, however I can only get the flashing "D" light it seems when I have the A/C running.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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