Does The Honda Pilot Have A Heated Steering Wheel?

The Honda Pilot is one of the best-selling mid-size crossover SUVs in the U.S. because of its reliability, resale value, passenger comfort, and convenience features. If you live in a cold region and consider purchasing a Honda Pilot, you may be wondering if it has a heated steering wheel. We've compiled our research about Pilot comfort options for your reading pleasure.

The 2022 Honda Pilot offers the heated steering wheel function on its range-topping Elite, and Black Edition trim levels. In previous model years, only the Elite trim level provides this feature.

Would you like to know more about the benefits and uses of the Pilot's heated steering wheel? Then you are in the right place. Do read on, and we will also discuss other convenient features of this popular vehicle.

Car seat and steering wheel heating control panel, Does The Honda Pilot Have A Heated Steering Wheel?

Which Honda Pilot Has A Heated Steering Wheel?

Honda U.S.A. currently offers the heated steering wheel feature in select trims of several models, but the Pilot was the first Honda model to have this convenient feature.

As of May 2022, only the two highest Pilot trim levels come with heated steering wheels. These are the Pilot Elite and the Pilot Black Edition.

How Do I Turn On My Honda Heated Steering Wheel?

Before you turn on your Honda Pilot's heated steering wheel, your vehicle's engine must be running, or the power must be in the "on" position.

The heated steering wheel's control button is located near the Bluetooth HandsFree Link on the right side of the steering wheel itself. Press the button once to start heating the steering wheel's outer grip to a comfortable temperature.

View of the steering wheel and dashboard of a Honda Civic

Additionally, the heated steering wheel feature will activate when you start your Pilot's engine remotely on cold days when the ambient temperature is below 40º F. If you start your car manually, however, you will need to press the designated button to activate the heating function.

Once you feel that the steering wheel is warm enough, you may press the same button again to turn the heating function off. The heating function will also stop when you turn your vehicle's power off.  

You should not use the heated steering wheel feature for prolonged periods when the engine is off because doing so can drain the vehicle's battery quite fast.

Why Do I Need A Heated Steering Wheel?

Man in down jacket tries to keep warm and not freeze in his stalled car in winter

During the 1960s, an inventor named Richard D. Miller started developing a solution for the discomfort of grasping extremely cold steering wheels during winter seasons. The U.S. Patent Office granted Miller's application for the heated steering wheel's patent in 1965.

Although the technology has been around for decades, heated steering wheels are still not among the common features in most cars. Even today, only luxury models and top trims of mass-market models offer this feature.

Aside from luxury marketing strategies, car manufacturers also consider the sentiments of many drivers. Some car owners believe that heated steering wheels were unnecessary because the driver can just use gloves or mitts. 

Alternatively, the drivers can wait several minutes for the heater to bring the car's cabin temperature up to a comfortable level.

Nowadays, however, not all people can afford to wait that long before driving out. Many drivers appreciate it if they can hop in their cars and drive off immediately. For these time-conscious people, the heated steering wheel is a great solution.

  1. The heated steering wheel only needs several seconds to a few minutes to warm up the outer grip of the steering wheel.
  2. If the weather is so cold that your unprotected hands feel numb, then you can soothe them by grasping your heated steering wheel.
  3. It is safer and easier to drive with your bare hands firmly on a heated steering wheel rather than using thick winter gloves to grip a cold steering wheel.

To summarize, the heating function of the steering wheel allows a driver to grip and turn the steering wheel comfortably even during frigid weather. Because both your hands can maneuver the steering wheel properly, you can drive more safely on snowy or slippery roads.

How Does A Heated Steering Wheel Work?

One hand in female beige glove on steering wheel

Heated steering wheels function similarly to electric blankets. A heating element or heating pad lies in the middle of the steering wheel rim's base material and its exterior wrapping. The heating element is often composed of electrically-resistant metal alloys.

When the steering wheel's heating function activates, electricity passes through the resistant alloy. As the metal resists the electricity flow, the electrical energy converts into heat energy. The heat eventually radiates through the rim's outer wrapping, thus warming the steering wheel to the driver's touch.

Can You Add A Heated Steering Wheel To A Honda Pilot?

If you purchased a lower trim level of the Honda Pilot, then you may be considering adding an aftermarket heated steering wheel. This is a feasible idea, especially if you live in cold regions.

However, if you are going to replace your steering wheel, then you should be prepared for quite an expensive and laborious job. The Honda Pilot's steering wheel has many integrated electronics that you will need to configure properly. You may want to seek an expert's assistance.

An OEM Honda heated steering wheel can cost between $370 to $550. If you add the necessary attachment kit and labor cost, then you can expect to spend approximately $700 to $1,000 for the whole replacement job.

If you are not willing to fork out too much money for this feature, then you still have another aftermarket option:  a heated steering wheel cover. These covers are much cheaper to buy and easier to install. You only need to plug the heated covers into the standard 12-volt cigarette lighter port.

The 2017 to 2022 Honda Pilots' steering wheels have a 15-inch diameter and a 4.25-inch grip circumference. Many heated steering wheel covers can fit into this steering wheel.

Check out this universal heated steering wheel cover on Amazon.

How Do I Remote Start My Honda Pilot Using The Key Fob?

As we mentioned earlier, the Honda Pilot's heated steering wheel automatically activates after you remote start the vehicle. So how does the remote engine start function work?

To start your vehicle's engine remotely with the key fob, you should be within 100 feet of your Pilot. If there are trees, cars, or other objects obstructing your line of sight to your vehicle, you may need to get closer.

Additionally, the interference from laptops, cellphones, laptops, and other electrical devices may also decrease the effective remote starting range.

How To Remote Start The Honda Pilot With A Key Fob

Young handsome man with smartphone and car keys

  1. Press the key fob's "lock" button once.
  2. Within five seconds, press and hold the remote start button. On Honda key fobs, this start button has a semi-circular, clockwise arrow.
  3. Keep holding the remote start button until the engine starts.
  4. If successful, the Pilot's turning lights will blink six times. You can check if they do blink in case you are too far to hear the engine.

As a reminder, the engine will not start remotely if your spare key fob is inside the Pilot.

What Happens After My Honda Pilot Starts Remotely?

After a successful remote start, the Pilot's engine will run for ten minutes before automatically shutting off. If you want to extend this duration for another ten minutes, then you should repeat the remote start process while the engine is still running.

During this time, the vehicle's climate control system will try to reach and maintain a 72-degree Fahrenheit cabin temperature.

  • On warm days, the air conditioning system will cool the cabin down.
  • On cold days below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the heated steering wheel, cabin heater, defrosters, and seat heaters will activate.

How Do I Start My Honda Pilot Remotely With HondaLink?

Man using smart phone to check status and control his new car

You may also try the HondaLink app to remotely start your Pilot with your phone.

HondaLink is a technology that connects a Honda vehicle to a smartphone. HondaLink's basic features are free, but some advanced features require an annual paid subscription to HondaLink Services.

If you want to start your car remotely using HondaLink, then you need to subscribe to the HondaLink Remote Services package. Some of the Honda Pilot's higher trims come with a free three-month trial subscription to Remote Services. However, after the trial period, you can expect to pay $110 annually.

You will need to download and configure the HondaLink app, which is available from Google Play or Apple App Store. Afterward, you need to subscribe to the HondaLink Remote Services package. Once all of these are done, you can follow the steps below.

  1. Open the HondaLink app on your smartphone.
  2. Choose "Remote Commands."
  3. Tap "Start."

If you and your Honda Pilot can both send and receive a cellular signal stably, then the remote engine start function should activate. As with the key fob remote start, the Pilot's climate control system will also adjust the cabin temperature accordingly.

To keep the engine running for more than ten minutes, you only need to open the HondaLink app and select the "extend" key.  You can also shut the engine off by tapping the "stop" key.

How Much Is A Honda Pilot?

 The U.S.spec Honda Pilot's prices range from $38,080 up to $51,870 as of May 2022.

  • Sport - $38,080
  • EX-L - $40,310
  • Special Edition - $40,910
  • TrailSport - $44,810
  • Touring - $44,870
  • Elite - $50,370
  • Black Edition - $51,870

Wrapping Up

The 2022 Honda Pilot's Elite and Black Edition trims come with the heated steering wheel feature. However, older model years offer the heated steering wheel only on the Elite trim. Even though the heated steering wheel provides comfort and safety to drivers, you should be careful not to overuse it to prevent injuries or accidents.

Thank you very much for reading. We hope that we were able to help you understand more about the Honda Pilot's heated steering wheel and other features. If you would like to read up on more interesting automotive topics, then please check out these great articles:

Does Toyota Highlander Have Heated Steering Wheel?

How Much Can A Toyota Highlander Tow?

Can You Put Chains On A Subaru Forester?

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