Honda Pilot White Paint Problems: Explained

Honda introduced the Honda Pilot in 2002 as a full-size crossover SUV. The Pilot is Honda’s largest SUV, with three rows of seating, and is particularly targeted at the North American market.

They’re thought to be solid and dependable SUVs. Unfortunately, owners of Honda Pilots have observed paint issues. The Honda Pilot White Paint problems will be discussed in this post.


Why does my Honda Pilot white paint peel off?

The actual cause of the Honda Pilot’s white paint peeling off is yet unknown, but it appears to be a widespread issue among white Honda Pilot SUVs, leading some to believe it is a manufacturer issue.

Honda Pilot paint is acrylic polyurethane with a colored basecoat and a clear topcoat. The paint is applied over a priming foundation, which acts as a leveler and helps the paint adhere to the base metal.

Although there is no conclusive reason as to what is causing the problem, Honda’s use of substandard primer and paint is commonly accused. Many Honda fans have labeled it “cutting corners and using cheap paint.”

How quickly will the paint start peeling away?

There’s no time frame to start seeing your Honda start peeling off. However, a large number of Honda owners stressed that they began to notice the fault in the Honda Pilot within a year of purchase.

Usually, it begins as discoloration and then progresses to whole sheets of clear coat peeling off.

Are all years and generations affected?

Generally, Honda has paint issues. But some model years and colors are more prone to peeling. While all Honda Pilots painted white are said to be more affected, those from the 2009–2015 generations are said to be the most affected.

The biggest complaints are from those who have black and white Hondas. It thus allowed Honda Pilot owners of certain model years to seek free repairs for flaking paint.

Where is the paint code on a Honda Pilot?

The service tag on the driver’s side door jamb contains the Honda paint code. The VIN and color code appear on the service tag. You will locate this sticker by opening the driver’s door on your Honda. The string of characters in the middle of the sticker’s bottom is your paint code.

The easiest way to figure out the exterior body paint code is to look it up on the door frame sticker. If you can’t find the tag, look in the engine bay and the firewall.

Does Honda have a paint warranty?

Yes. Honda provides a paint warranty. Honda vehicles have a three-year paint warranty. It’s covered by their “Surface Corrosion” part guarantee, which is stated under “Specific parts and their warranties.”

The most likely source of the peeling has been identified as issues with the metal’s preparation before painting. The warranty covers all visible painting services as long as the corrosion was not a result of the owner’s carelessness.

It’s helpful to know what repairs the Honda guarantee covers and for how long.

How long does the warranty last?

Honda’s paint warranty is valid for three years from the moment you take possession of the car as new, rather than from the time it was built.

The warranty year has been extended for some models. In 2019, it became a 7-year warranty in an attempt to assist customers whose model years were affected by the peeling white paint issue.

What does Honda cover and what doesn’t?

If the peeling paint on your Honda Pilot is caused by something other than rock chips, bird droppings, or your neglect, Honda will replace it.

According to Honda, no other external force at work must cause a reasonable irritant or pollutant to the paint.

Even if the issue is caused by UV exposure weakening the link between the paint and the metal surface, it is still deemed a manufacturer’s error because the paint should be able to tolerate it.

When it comes to rock chips,bird droppings, and other debris, the owner will take responsibility for that. It also only covered “refinishing and cleaning the tailgate,” which is where the majority of the damage was reportedly done.

Has Honda issued a Recall for paint problems?

There is no information regarding Honda recalls due to paint problems. Despite issuing many service bulletins aimed to prolong the warranties of customers who own impacted vehicles, Honda manufacturers are yet to issue an official recall.

How long does Honda warranty the paint?

Even though Honda has not issued an official recall as a result of the extensive paint problems, the company has acknowledged the problem and provided a solution.

Honda, for example, has extended the existing paint guarantee on its vehicles to seven years from the date of purchase, regardless of mileage.

In this vein, many Honda Pilot owners were encouraged to have their tailgate and/or roof restored and polished.

Are the recalls free of charge?

Honda owners who had their roof repainted received it for free under the updated warranty terms. If the peeling occurred in an area not indicated in the service advisory, it may be refused or require approval before any warranty-covered maintenance may be performed.

Honda, in particular, has extended the existing paint guarantee on its vehicles to seven years, regardless of mileage, from the date of purchase.

It means that if you drive a Honda with known paint problems, you may be eligible to have your car repainted for free, either partially or completely.

Are other Honda colors prone to peeling?

Virtually all Honda colors have paint problems. However, the Honda Pilot 2009-2011 and 2013-2015 were identified as the models with color problems on the Honda Pilot.

Blue, black, grey, and three shades of red are among Honda vehicles with paint problems.

Can I paint my car by myself?

With the right tools and experience, you can paint your car by yourself. The cost of repainting a car depends on whether you hire a professional or do it yourself.

A professional paint job will cost more. You might want to attempt to paint the vehicle yourself in these situations. The required materials are easily accessible for as low as $300 at automotive stores. These are the items you’ll need to paint your car by yourself.

  • Gloss paint
  • A Primer
  • Brushes made of foam.
  • Trays for painting
  • Tape for masking.
  • Sandpaper
  • Spray guns

After masking off the sections you don’t want to paint, combine the primer and thinners in a mixing bowl. For the right proportions, you’ll need to read the instructions.

Can paint peeling on a car be prevented?

When one of the three layers that coat the car’s bodywork is damaged, the paint peels and flakes. Peeling paint may spread if left untreated, exposing the bare metal bodywork to moisture, corrosion, and ordinary wear and strain, so it’s critical to address it as soon as possible.

You can reduce the amount of paint peeling off your car to the barest minimum. To prevent the paint on your car from peeling, there are some helpful tips to apply. Take these precautionary measures listed below.

  • Keep your car in the shade.

Sunlight is the number one culprit that affects car paint. A combination of ultraviolet light and accumulating heat breaks down the paint over time.

As paint breaks down, it won’t be able to protect the underlying metal as it should. This can lead to corrosion issues and peeling.

  • Clean/wash correctly

Never use a harsh abrasive to remove stubborn dirt from a car. Using steel wool on a vehicle will significantly harm the paint finish by removing many layers. When cleaning, the same might be said if you use the wrong kind of substance or a hard towel.

  • Don’t wash the car as often.

Washing your car too often can make the paint peel fast. Instead, clean your car. If you commute daily on a rough road, it makes no sense to wash your car every day. It is recommended to wash your car once a week rather than every day.

  • Wax when needed.

Waxing a car is also important to reduce paint flaking. Car waxing can be done every 3 months. It helps in protecting the paint and keeps your car paint shining.

  • Keep away from bird poop

Dirt, debris, and stains like bird poop are amongst the things that cause car paint to peel off. Such things are avoidable. Park your car in the shade. Perhaps a car cover could serve.

However, do not cover it and park it in an area where there is no shade. Exposure to sunlight and rainfall can also waken the car cover, and with time, the paint will start to peel off.


There is no conclusive answer as to what is causing Honda pilot white problems. At the moment, no formal recall on Honda paint jobs has been issued.

Although it is frequently blamed on Honda’s use of inferior primer and paint, Honda owners can reduce the amount of paint peeling by taking some precautionary measures like avoiding using strong chemicals when washing their car and also avoiding constant exposure to sunlight.

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