Keyless Start System Problem Honda Pilot (Causes + Fixes)

keyless start system problem honda pilot

The keyless start system in Honda Pilot vehicles is a convenient feature that allows drivers to start their engines without using a physical key. However, many Honda Pilot owners have reported encountering issues with their keyless start system, resulting in a “Keyless Start System Problem” message on the dashboard.

In this article, we will explore the common causes of these problems and provide potential fixes to help you resolve them.

Causes of Keyless Start System Problems

1. Engine Start/Stop Switch

One of the main culprits behind keyless start system problems in Honda Pilot vehicles is a faulty engine start/stop switch.

This switch is responsible for automatically turning off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop and restarting it when the driver is ready to move again. However, in some cases, the switch can malfunction, leading to issues with the keyless start system.

2. Low Key Fob Battery Voltage

Another common cause of keyless start system problems is low voltage in the key fob battery. The key fob is the remote control device used to start the engine in Honda Pilot vehicles equipped with the keyless start system.

When the key fob battery voltage is low or depleted, the system may not be able to recognize the key fob, resulting in the “Keyless Start System Problem” message.

3. Low Car Battery Voltage

The car battery plays a crucial role in the functioning of the keyless start system. If the car battery voltage is low or the battery is nearing the end of its lifespan, it may not provide enough power for the keyless start system to operate correctly.

This can lead to issues with starting the engine and trigger the keyless start system problem message.

4. Faulty Key Fob

In some instances, the key fob itself may be the source of the keyless start system problem. Physical damage to the key fob, such as dropping it or exposing it to water, can interfere with its functionality and prevent it from communicating effectively with the vehicle’s keyless start system.

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Fixes for Keyless Start System Problems

Now that we have identified the common causes of keyless start system problems in Honda Pilot vehicles, let’s explore potential fixes for each issue.

1. Engine Start/Stop Switch Replacement

If the keyless start system problem is caused by a faulty engine start/stop switch, the switch will need to be replaced.

You can claim warranty coverage for this issue if your vehicle is still within the warranty period. Honda has acknowledged this problem and extended the warranty for the affected models.

If your vehicle is not covered by the warranty, it is recommended to have a qualified mechanic replace the switch for you.

2. Key Fob Battery Replacement

If the key fob battery is the culprit behind the keyless start system problem, replacing the battery should resolve the issue.

Ensure you purchase the correct battery size (CR2032) for your key fob model. To replace the battery, follow these steps:

  1. Slide the button on the key fob to release the physical key.
  2. Use a flathead screwdriver to carefully pry open the key fob case.
  3. Remove the old battery and dispose of it properly.
  4. Insert the new battery, ensuring the correct polarity.
  5. Close the key fob case by aligning the pieces and applying gentle pressure.

After replacing the battery, test the key fob to see if the keyless start system problem message disappears.

3. Car Battery Replacement

If the keyless start system problem is due to a low car battery voltage, it may be necessary to replace the car battery. Car batteries typically last around five years, and a failing or depleted battery can affect the performance of the keyless start system.

Consult a professional mechanic or refer to your vehicle’s owner manual for instructions on how to replace the car battery.

4. Key Fob Replacement

If physical damage or malfunctioning components are causing the keyless start system problem, you may need to replace the key fob. Contact a Honda dealership or a qualified locksmith to obtain a new key fob and have it programmed to your vehicle.

Additional Tips and Information

Here are some additional tips and information to keep in mind when dealing with keyless start system problems in your Honda Pilot:

  • If you experience the keyless start system problem message during cold weather, allow the engine to warm up for a short period before attempting to start the vehicle. Cold temperatures can affect the system’s performance, and giving it a few extra moments to adjust can help resolve the issue.
  • Regularly check the condition of your key fob and car battery to ensure they are functioning optimally. Replace the batteries in your key fob as needed and have your car battery tested regularly to avoid potential issues with the keyless start system.
  • If you are unsure about how to diagnose or fix a keyless start system problem, it is recommended to seek assistance from a certified Honda technician or a reputable mechanic. They will have the necessary expertise and tools to accurately diagnose and resolve the issue.
  • Keep your vehicle’s warranty status in mind when addressing keyless start system problems. If your Honda Pilot is still covered under warranty, reach out to a Honda dealership to inquire about warranty coverage for the specific issue you are experiencing.

Honda Pilot 2016 Keyless Start System Problem (The Fix) Code B12C5 Engine Start/Stop Switch Problems >> Check out the video below:


Keyless start system problems can be frustrating, but knowing the common causes and potential fixes can help you resolve the issue efficiently.

Whether it’s a faulty engine start/stop switch, low key fob battery voltage, low car battery voltage, or a malfunctioning key fob, there are steps you can take to address these problems and get your Honda Pilot’s keyless start system working smoothly again.

Steve P.

Steve is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Riviera. Steve is based in Boise, Idaho.

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