(Solved) Honda Pilot Keyless Start System Problem

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keyless start system problem

Having a car is a great advantage in terms of transportation. However, unexpected troubles are inevitable, and it isn’t pleasant by the time they occur, especially when you’re in a rush. You’re keyless entry system works, but your keyless start doesn’t! An occurrence of a car not starting due to a Keyless Start System failure. Sounds frustrating, right?

The Honda Pilot keyless start mechanism is sensitive to failure and a recognized flaw, particularly in the 2016-2017 variants. After the malfunction of its keyless start mechanism, the car won’t start when you press the “Engine Start” button for the first time.

And the trouble notification “Keyless Start System Error” pops on the dashboard’s Information Display. Also, the car saves this failure-specific error notice in its database. In this article, we’ll deal with the Honda Pilot Keyless Start System Problem. What causes this issue, and how to address it. Read on to learn more!

Has Honda Corrected Their Push Button Start Issue With Honda Pilot?

The Honda Motor Company has issued a service advisory for the 2016-2017 Honda Pilot keyless start issue, a widespread production fault that impacts the majority of Honda Pilots, in response to a growing number of complaints of faulty keyless start systems. The American Honda has expanded the guarantee on the keyless start system to nine years from the day of acquisition or 125,000 miles.

Possible Causes For Honda Pilot Push Button Start Issue

Suppose you’ve encountered this kind of trouble with your Honda Pilot SUV or suspecting of experiencing one at any moment. Any of the factors listed below probably causes it. Also, some of the issues below might trigger your check engine light and affect your car’s auto-lock feature.

Malfunctioning Engine Push Button

The Start/Stop button is the most prevalent cause of malfunction in the Honda Pilot keyless start feature. Honda has established that a faulty switch is the source of the early switch failure and, as a result, is giving free switch replacements for 2016-2017 models.

Key Fob’s Dead Battery

Dead batteries might also trigger the problem in the key fob. However, an empty battery is substantially less prone to happen in the first four to five years of vehicle purchase. If the problem persists after replacing the Start/Stop button, you may change the key fob batteries, which is easy and inexpensive.

Brake Pedal Issues

The keyless start mechanism only operates while your brake pedal is depressed. However, it might be challenging to exert sufficient force while pushing the button occasionally. Try applying a little more foot force and starting the vehicle again.

Blown Keyless Start System Fuse

The keyless start device requires electricity to work; thus, it’s included with a fuse to safeguard its electronic ignition mechanism. However, if the electronic ignition gets too much voltage than required, the fuse will burst to protect the system from excessive voltage.

Faulty Keyless Start System Sensor

As you’re likely aware, your vehicle’s sensor collects signals from your key fob and transmits them to the control unit. If sensor malfunctions, there are two possible causes. First, accidents might render them inoperable, or they might be covered in dirt and unable to receive fob signals.

If your car’s keyless start system is malfunctioning, its sensor is possibly at fault. If covered with dust, you can wipe it clean with a towel, and it’ll likely function normally again. However, if it’s broken, it can’t be repaired; you’ll have to purchase a new one.

Bad Car Battery

Your keyless start device requires enough electricity to function. It might not work if your car battery is defective. Fortunately, you could use a multimeter to determine if the battery’s voltage is sufficient.

If it’s below 12V, you have a faulty battery and must replace it soon, so other electrically-powered engine components aren’t in danger.

Malfunctioning Starter

If your keyless start malfunctions and only works occasionally, the fault is likely with your starter. You can directly jump-start it to determine if your keyless ignition system is at fault. If your keyless still fails to start the engine, one of the starter’s components is likely defective.

Numerous components inside starters lead to their deterioration. For instance, once your ignition switch breaks out, it could stop transmitting power properly, resulting in less contact with your starter.

Software Problems

When a software error creates an issue with your keyless start system, you can reset it using your key fob. By re-entering and exiting the automobile with the remote, it allows your vehicle receive new signals from it, resolving the problem.

Faulty Wires

Suppose there’s a problem with the keyless start system, and when you press the start button, the engine does not turn over. Typically, this happens due to wires that have degraded over time, decreasing voltage and consequently impacting the system.

If you believe that anything is incorrect with your key, use a multimeter to determine whether or not the wire still has sufficient voltage. If it doesn’t, there’s no power flowing; you should get it fixed quickly since the problem will grow each time you restart your car.

What To Do When You Encounter This Error?

After learning the possible causes that trigger this problem, you should now be able to make the appropriate approaches to address the issue. Below are a few methods how.

File A Warranty Claim

Verify if an extended warranty supports your 2016 to 2017 Honda Pilot for keyless start issues from your authorized Honda dealership before seeking diagnostic or repair services from a local specialist. If your Honda dealer verifies that your vehicle is under warranty, you can have the issue fixed by filing a warranty claim.

Replace Engine Start/Stop Button

Suppose, for any case; your Pilot isn’t longer under warranty. You’ll need to remedy the issue yourself or contact a technician. A defective Start/Stop Switch most likely causes this issue. This component carries a Part number: 35-881-TG7-A03, which you must replace. The replacement process is straightforward and takes only a screwdriver.

  1. Strip the side panel from your dashboard on the passenger side.
  2. Uninstall the passenger’s dash trim plate.
  3. Unplug the connection after detaching the center panel from your dashboard.
  4. Gently strip down the bottom covering on the far-right side of the driver’s dashboard to expose the bolts for your dashboard centre middle trim. Disconnect the temperature and humidity sensor.
  5. Before dismantling the dashboard centre middle trim, unscrew the screws holding it in position.
  6. Disconnect your Engine Start button assembly from your dashboard’s centre middle trim.
  7. Unplug every connection on the harness.
  8. Attach your new Engine Start button assembly.
  9. Replace each removed component in reverse order of how you removed them.
  10. Remove all Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) using an on-board diagnostic reader.
  11. Ensure that your Engine Start button is functional and that any dashboard error message and warning lights have completely disappeared.

Replace Key Fob Battery

The batteries of your Key Fob may have emptied if you drive often or if it has been powering your key fob for a couple of years. You’re going to need a new CR2032 battery to fix the problem. It takes about 10 minutes and requires just a small screwdriver and your owner’s manual to change your key fob’s batteries.

  1. Remove the steel key assembly from your Key Fob by pushing the button.
  2. Open your key Fob from the inside by using a piece of prying equipment or a little push.
  3. Replace its battery and rebuild the device, ensuring that each clip is firmly linked.

Tighten Your Brake Pedal Cable

Suppose applying extra pressure to your brake pedal doesn’t give the desired effect. You must adjust your brake cables using an Allen wrench to enhance your brake cables and make your keyless start work again.

Visit Your Honda Dealership

Apart from visiting the internet for car blogs and consulting an independent Honda enthusiast website or forums, it’d be best to bring your Honda Pilot to your trusted technician or Honda dealership to address the issues stated above that you can’t handle alone.

How does Honda Remote Starter Function?

A keyless starter is a transmitter instrument. It’s programmed to communicate with your car and start your engine from a distance. During the 1980s, years before computers and electronics took over automobile systems, the automobile industry launched its first two-way remote start mechanisms.

The transition from key to keyless start has rendered it simpler to incorporate unlock and lock, temperature control, and trunk opening on a long-range control. Starting the engine is a useful addition to a keyless start remote.

A push-button engine start, for example, lacks the mechanical components of a key-operated ignition. This makes it easier for sensors to guide its operation. This has enabled the sophistication of remote auto-starts to increase. You can chill your cabin on sweltering summer days or heat it if you’ve traveled to the north.

Can You Get an Aftermarket Keyless Starter?

You can! However, a keyless starter must be able to circumvent your vehicle’s anti-theft equipment. Therefore, it’s always best to get a genuine Honda keyless starter from your Honda dealer. Due to the risk of damage to Honda vehicles, the company opposes the use of aftermarket keyless start systems.


As simple and handy as keyless start technology may be, it can occasionally encounter unforeseen difficulties. To be prepared for an issue with your keyless start system, it’s essential to recognize the potential causes and solutions.

The most frequent cause of issues with the keyless device is a faulty key fob battery, a computer glitch, and a faulty vehicle battery. By inspecting, fixing, or replacing components, you can address the issue with your keyless start system and maintain your coolness while driving.


Is keyless start better?

A keyless start feature is a good option for people who want a more uncomplicated and more comfortable experience. You don’t need your keys as long as you don’t forget to take them with you as you exit your car; otherwise, you risk finding yourself locked out!

After replacing my keyless start assembly, do I need to reprogram my key fob?

No, your key fob doesn’t need reprogramming to function with your new keyless start switch assembly since your new keyless start assembly doesn’t store the communication data between your key fob and keyless unit.

Is it possible to manually start a car with a keyless start?

Most car manufacturers incorporate a physical key inside your key fob if you need to start your vehicle manually. Since there’s no standard placement for the alternative key slot in your car, you must check your owner’s manual before doing so.

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