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


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.

51 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.

43 out of 43 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!!!!!!

41 out of 41 people think this is helpful.

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

24 out of 24 people think this is helpful.

^^sounds like that guy works for honda

18 out of 18 people think this is helpful.

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.

9 out of 9 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

12 out of 12 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

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.

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.

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.

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

24 out of 24 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...

21 out of 21 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?

29 out of 29 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

25 out of 25 people think this is helpful.

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

6 out of 6 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....

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

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

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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.

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.

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.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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

3 out of 3 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.

5 out of 5 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!

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

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.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

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.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

My wife had this problem this morning and I just got back from the mechanic. When getting your fluids checked during an oil change, make sure the car is cool when the mechanic checks the transmission fluid. You will get a false "full" reading otherwise. He topped it off just now and the problem stopped.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

i got a 2003 crv with blinking D light. i noticed that it starts to blink only if i make a sudden acceleration. checked the ATF level, reads full, but anyway i added about 6 ounces of ATF. got that blinking D light again after well over a year of driving.


I have a 2004 pilot. Mine comes on while driving on the highway but not local streets. Mechanic thinks its a sensor indication transmission is overheating. We're installing an external air cooled component to see if that cools the fluid down and see if that solves it.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

This not an answer. I drive for lyft. While in philly last night. D light started flashing. Gave it a "oh oh". Drove slowly back to jersey. Stopped shut car off now back to normal all day today. Of course paranoid bout the tranny..gonna ck tran fluid hopefully that's all. Got over 200,000 miles on my baby. Anyone know EXACTLY wat problem is? Drives like a dream and no shifting problems.any help will help

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Re: 2004 Honda CRV Drive light flashing My mechanic checked the car's computer with no success. Got an answer involving the check engine light. Hmmm. Dealer is 90 minutes away so trying other solutions first. I had the transmission fluid drained and refilled with Honda's fluid (vs. generic). This was only a week ago, but so far no more flashing, and that week included a 700 mile trip. For Frank, this car has 170,000 miles.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

My 2007 Pilot had this happen yesterday and again today. I always run the A/C (summer in the south) and I also had my transmission fluid replaced at my last oil change. Pretty sure it was not Honda brand. Does using Honda ATF really make that much difference? Has anyone actually had to have Honda "fix" the problem?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Hi there is have the same problem flashing lights D4 that .code is 70- 03 Honda permanent. 1.A/T System malfunction 2 .shift solenoid valve A stuck off .3.shift solenoid valve "A"stuck off and change the green switch transmission oil pressure and that going to be fixed my name is Raymond


You have to change the solenoid valve A single liners

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

2011 Honda Accord ExL V6 78500miles on it. Driving down the interstate and the D light flashes .. I took it to Honda they looked at the ATF and saw it was black so they drained and filled it again 100 bucks is their fav price right. Well that fixed the prob for another 2 hour so driving on the interstate and it does it again. The car is shifting perfectly no slip or grinding. This morning the D light didnt blink at all on my way back to honda. They agree with me its probably a glitch because i dont feel anything wrong with the performance. I will go to them in 2 days and hopefully they reset my cars computer to get rid of glitches. Will update but if someone can think of anything else let me know. Thanks


I have the same problem before. On my Honda Accord. You have to change the solenoid valve single liner. And. Solenoid valve shifting. And the censor. Transmission oil switch pressure all of the censor are located in the transmission. That. Is the problem. Cause I know when you drive the car after some miles the D4 start flashing but is not a problem because the car shifting is perfect every Honda. Have the same problem .just change this.censor. I fix my Honda Accord one year ago and I don't have any problems with.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

have a 2005 pilot 205000 miles D4 light started to blink. shut down and restarted. everything's fine. I will check the transmission fluid. and that sensor. no grinds or slips. I wish car companies would get together with computer companies. and send out computer updates. so if this is a phantom glitch it would be corrected

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

My honda fit 2002 had an accident last month, broke some parts, i replaced them, now when starting it flashes D/ drive light, what could be the problem?

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

I have the same problem if the flashing d keep coming back check the 3rd pressure swutch with the black plastic cover. I replaced them and never had a problem again

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

SO... I have read through hundreds of comments of people who have encountered the blinking D, so far my conclusion is that it is nothing serious! You could drive it normally for years probably with absolutely no problems! But the things possibly causing the blinking D is; Temperate sensor in transmission Pressure sensor on transmission Solution: replace pressure sensor, or/ add transmission cooler. I also have the vsc 4 lock warning light come on while idling for a while, caused by idling rpm being abnormal, most common cause; IAC valve.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

2005 Honda piolet - whenever I get around 40mph my car will kinds shake. What is this from? I really hope not tranny.


1996 Ek honda civic the D light in the dash board start blinking as soon as i drive off then the check light comes in i pull off the road shut the vehicle down start again check light doesn't come back on but the D keeps blinking, whats wrong

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

The D light blinking is a transmission error code. For my 04 pilot, I had to replace a pressure switch. I did this at the dealer for about $185. It's not the end of the world. These are well built and well designed vehicles.


@Jazmin99 If your car is shaking at a certain MPH generally it has to do with the wheels, commonly a bent rim or Tire bulge

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have a honda airwave, i change the front bearings left and right, when I go over a bump on drive D starts blinking. I switch off and restart, going again same thing happen.


@Seiza if the blinking D stays on constantly even after restarting it every time either you may have come in contact with one of the sensors and damaged it on accident causing it to constantly tell the computer theirs something wrong or there's a genuine transmission problem, but that's just my guess. Does it drive normal?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.



I have a 2005 Honda pilot with a flashing D and the check engine lights on .do I need to change the 3 and 4 pressure switches

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Well had to follow this page, the D light is a bitch. I bought the 2002 CRV used i notice the D light blinking and i did the search it told me about tranny issue....urrggg i change the tranny oil using Chevron it the blinking light stopped but this is an next issue...urrrggg WHEN I TURN THE KEY to Initiate a start the D light comes up with the check light but once the check light goes off the D goes off as well.??????

2007 Honda Pilot. I had this happen several years ago. I ignored it and it went away. It happened again today so I called my dealer. One service rep said to bring it in because it is probably just a faulty sensor if it seems to be running fine otherwise. I realized I couldn't make it in today and I called back and ended up speaking to another guy who said it was a "float switch" that would require replacement and would require about 2 hours for about $340 for parts and labour. Yup, a mystery problem to me and the service guys. I think I'll just wait and see if it goes away. That's the cheapest and easiest option unless something catastrophic actually does happen.

2005 Honda Pilot EX with 150K miles. Drive light blinks extremely intermittently. Goes away for a month or more then starts blinking again. No other light is on. Turn off the ignition and then turn back on and blinking goes away. Transmission shop could not get an error code. Transmission seems to shift fine.Fluids fine. Solenoids, switches maybe a loose wire? Problem is so intermittent it is tough to diagnose exactly.

disconnect battery.say alacazamm hook battery up problem solved

I put a new transmission in my 2003 Pilot in Sept 2015 at 185,000 miles. It currently has 193,000 miles on it and I began hearing what I believe to be the bands vibrating. It comes and goes depending on speed. Tonight the D indicator started flashing. I turned it off, let it sit for 10 min and started it again driving away and the light has not flashed again. I am going to pull the warranty paperwork on the transmission and if still within the warranty get the issue recorded and checked.

Did the battery disconnect on my 2014 Pilot and it solved engine lite and flashing "D." Trains fluid was checked and it was fine. Car has 42k miles.

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