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Transmission Cooler Installation - 2016 Honda Pilot

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How to Install a Transmission Cooler on a 2016 Honda Pilot

Today on our 2016 Honda Pilot we're going to show you how to install the Derale Series 8000 plate-fin transmission cooler. Offering barbed inlets. This is a Class III efficient cooler. Part #D13503. To access our transmission lines we're going to be removing this black, plastic panel here, it's got some push-pin fasteners, a couple of Phillips head fasteners and also four 10 millimeter bolts that go right across the front here. We'll hang on to all of our hardware because we'll want to put this panel back in place once we have it down. We can work on removing the push pin fasteners.

The center of that's going to come out, then the outer part will come with it for you. We'll also take the bolts off the outer edge on both sides. We have a couple of Philips heads screws in there, should be in the very back corner on each side. We'll just set that aside, put it back in place once we've got our cooler in. With our hood open we want to lift off this top cover here.

Just going to have some little pressure clips in there. We're going to work that toward the middle from each side. We can set that aside. Once we have that panel off, we've got four black screws right here across the front. We're going to pull these out.

They're going to be the ones kind of holding onto those chrome tabs. We're going to pull out slightly on that. We want to release the clips that run behind that longer piece. Like that. Same thing for the other side.

Set that aside. Let's take out the four fasteners holding in the layer scoop there. We'll get out of the way. Gonna give us a little bit of room so we can get in there and work. We can also just kind of lift up and back and this will slip out of that rubber tube there; set it aside. Let's remove the four bolts on the main cross support. The one that's on each corner right here at the headlight, also the one located right here in the middle. One each fender well there are going to be three screws. We got one, two and three. Just a Philip screwdriver. We'll need to take those out. We want to pull out on the trim around the outside edge and also remove the screw that's located right there. We can head over to the passenger's side and do that same thing there. Now we'll come underneath, take out our last two push pin fasteners. We'll have one on each side in the same place and also the last 10mm headed bolt here on the outside. Now we'll work out from the outside edge here. Just kind of pulling; just release our clips as we go, there. It's important to disconnect ant electrical connections that might be attached between the fascia and the vehicle as well while you're doing this. We'll set this aside somewhere safe after we have all of our connections unhooked. As far as identifying which of the two hoses here on the transmission we're going to be using, we need to determine which one is the cooler of the two when the transmission under load. What you'll do, get in, start the vehicle, firmly press the brake, throw it in reverse or drive and then just give it a little gas while you're holding the brake. Have your parking brake engaged, have your foot brake on. One of them is going to get warmer than the other one. In our case, this is our warmer line so as soon as it comes out of the transmission, then it goes up through the cooler, then it comes back in this line. The line that we're going to be using is the one that comes off of the right side. It's going to run up into a small filter. There's a hose clamp there and also one above it. We're going to be taking those two off and we'll be using the barbs that come off to make our connection. Now that we've determined what line that we need to use, let's go ahead and get our cooler mounted. What we're going to do is just pull off the bumper. That's going to give us great access to back side where we'll be taking care of it. We're going to remove three bolts. We've got the three here on our driver's side. We're going to have three located on the same spot over on the passenger's side. We'll just let that one stay in there for just a second while we take the other side out. That way it won't fall down on us. This is what the back of the bumper is going to look like. This is the top of the bumper. What' we're going to do is use the lower portion of the bumper here, upper portion to mount our transmission cooler directly to. Just want to position it so it's even, then we'll need to mark the transmission cooler where we intend to drill a hole through. That's just going to make it easier for self tappers to get started into the bumper. Just a regular drill, drill bit, whatever size you're going to need and then we're using four self tapping screws. We place our bumper back up into place. We can place our bolts back in both sides and get them torqued down to specification. We're going to get our lines ran. We want to pull the caps off of the inlet and outlet of our cooler there. It doesn't matter, they are interchangeable. We're going to take a little bit of our transmission fluid, lubricate the end of our hose. Get it slid up on there. We can slide our hose clamp right up and over and go ahead and get it secured. In your instructions it's going to tell you just to loops this around and then trim as necessary but as you can see, we don't have the length that we're going to need to get back to that line so we're going to use an additional length of hose from Derale. This is part #D13003. It's going to be a second hose of the same length of what comes with the kit. It will allow us to make our connections without any issue. We'll get that one put on our bottom side. That will give us enough room to get our clamp behind it. We just want to make sure that it's behind that barb that's in the outlet or inlet. Just get it back behind there. I'm going to run my lines right now through the small, oval shaped hole down here at the corner of this air dam and then I'm going to turn them and run them right in that gap which will lead right back to where our transmission lines are. You want to keep a slight bend to them. We don't want them to be pinched in half or anything where it will cut off the flow of the fluid. I'm just going to gather my hoses up here, use a small zip tie to go around both of them loosely just to keep them held in position there where we like them. We're not going to pinch the hose or anything, we don't want to restrict it. Trim that off and then I'll use one a little bit longer, go right through the hole in the bumper here; just to offer them a little bit of support. Here's a good look at our two clamps. The one on the from marked in red is going to be the one we'll use that comes right off the filter. The one behind it on that hose is the one that we're going to use for our other connection point. We're going to take one of our hoses, we'll place it up where we intend to mount it. We can leave ourselves a little bit of extra in case we ever need to make any changes and we can trim that off. You can see we've only got about a foot or so left so you're definitely going to need the extra hose for your installation. Do the same thing for our other hose. We'll take the hose that we've cut to go to the top, we're going to pull the top hose off and slide our new hose right on. We'll slide our hose clamp, again we want it to be up past the barb on the metal fitting. Then we can use our quarter inch socket to tighten it on down. We're going to get that one nice and secure. We can move on down here and remove the one on top of the filter where we'll place our other line on. Now it's time to start up the vehicle. We're going to let it run for a few minutes, let the transmission fluid go ahead and cycle through the cooler here. Then we want to check each of our connection points, the two here on the cooler itself and the two where we tied into the vehicle's transmission lines. Just make sure we don't have any leaks. Do kind of the same thing we did before, foot on the brake, parking brake engaged shifted into gear. Keep the brakes applied and give it a little bit of gas to get that cycling. As you can see, nice and dry. We just want to check the other three and make sure they're the exact same way. With no leaks detected, we're ready to get our fascia put back on. Of course you're going to want to top off the fluid to make up the difference that we've now got in the cooler itself and the additional lines that we've ran. Then just check it periodically. Make sure we don't have any leaks and make sure our fluid level is good. With everything back in place that completes today's installation of the Derale series 8000 plate-fin transmission cooler kit. Part #D13503 on our 2016 Honda Pilot.

Paul S.


Thanks for the helpful videos. It seems like by installing the cooler behind the bumper you are restricting airflow to half of the cooler. Wouldn't the cooler work more efficiently if installed higher up in front of the radiator in order to get more airflow through the fins?

Etrailer Expert

Mike L.


Our installer installed the cooler where he did in order to securely mount the cooler to the impact bar. Even though a portion of the cooler is obstructed, there still should be plenty of airflow in the area.

John R.


I have a 2015 Honda Pilot EX FWD. The current tow capacity is approximately 3k pounds. If I were to install a transmission cooler, would it improve my towing capacity?

Victoria B.


A transmission cooler would not increase your towing capacity. There is typically nothing that can be done to allow your vehicle to safely tow more weight. Adding things like a transmission cooler help your vehicle tow with more ease and help decrease the wear and tear on your vehicle from towing.

Clayton B.


Great video on the installation of the 2016 Honda Pilot transmission cooler. I need one installed for a new camper trailer I have on order, but Honda dealer has exorbitant prices :(. I wish you folks were closer to me. Thanks, C.

Etrailer Expert

Jon G.


You should be able to have any local shop install an auxiliary transmission cooler fairly easily. Otherwise if you ever plan on traveling through the Wentzville, Missouri area hit us up beforehand (800-298-8924) and we can see about scheduling an installation with you!

Derios T.


What is the best match for atf cooler for honda pilot 2016 part number 60255rlx306??

Etrailer Expert

Chris R.


The Derale Series 8000 Transmission Cooler # D13503 shown in the video above is perfect for your Honda Pilot.



Is there a diagram showing the installation of hoses?

Etrailer Expert

Rachael H.


I have included a link to the installation instructions that does show a general diagram for how to route the hoses, but there is not a diagram specific to this vehicle installation.

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