If you own a Honda Pilot, you may have noticed the VTM-4 light appearing on your dashboard. This light is an indication that something is wrong with the vehicle’s Variable Torque Management 4-Wheel Drive system.
In this article, I will provide information regarding the meaning behind the VTM-4 light, the possible causes of the issue, and the fixes that can be done to resolve the problem. So, if you’re experiencing this problem with your Honda Pilot, keep reading to find all the details about this warning sign.
How does the VTM-4 System work?
The VTM-4 system is an advanced all-wheel-drive configuration designed to work in numerous ways. When driving on normal roads, the system disengages on its own, and full engine power is routed to the front wheels while the rear wheels spin independently, creating a fuel-efficient ride. This mode is known as front-wheel-drive mode.
However, if the wheels start to spin at different rates or there is any slippage, the system works differently. In this case, the rear clutch packs a lock, so power is sent to the rear wheels for better traction. This mode is known as all-wheel-drive mode.
The VTM-4 system automatically engages when driving across snow, mud, or other slippery terrain. During this time, the all-wheel drive is activated, so fuel economy will drop slightly.
In addition to the automatic mode, the VTM-4 system can also be manually engaged by pressing the VTM-4 lock button. This is helpful when off-roading or driving in situations where extra traction is needed.
What Does the VTM-4 Light on My Honda Pilot Mean?
The VTM-4 light on a Honda Pilot indicates that the torque management system is active, allowing the vehicle to drive across difficult terrain. However, it could also indicate an issue with the VTM-4 system.
It’s important to note that if the VTM-4 light remains active while driving across normal roads, the VTM-4 system might be engaged when it’s not needed. This can cause abnormal wear on the rear differential, leading to unnecessary repairs.
Therefore, it’s crucial to pay attention to the VTM-4 light and take appropriate action if necessary. If the light remains on, it’s recommended to take your Honda Pilot to a certified mechanic to diagnose and fix the issue.
Causes of the Honda Pilot VTM-4 Light On
1. Faulty Engine Sensor
One of the causes of the VTM-4 light on a Honda Pilot could be a faulty engine sensor. Engine sensors work to maintain appropriate fuel consumption, horsepower, emissions, and more. If an engine sensor fails or malfunctions, it can send out the wrong information, causing the system to operate incorrectly. Depending on what engine sensors are going on, the VTM-4 light may turn on.
2. Defective Wiring
All the sensors and parts in the VTM-4 system are connected by wires. When wires degrade, it can cause trouble. Defective wiring can cause the VTM-4 to light to turn on. It’s important to examine the wiring and replace it if anything is broken, cracked, or worn.
3. Bad Rear Differential Clutch
The rear differential clutch is responsible for distributing power to the rear wheels. If the clutch fails, only one wheel will spin instead of both, and they will remain locked when they shouldn’t. If the rear differential clutch is bad, it can cause the VTM-4 light to turn on.
4. Failed Sensor or Transmission
If the VTM-4 light is on, but the system isn’t activated, it’s time to figure out why the light is on. A sensor or transmission issue could be to blame. It’s also possible that some wiring is defective, or you have a bad rear differential clutch.
5. Low Air Pressure in Tires
The speed of each wheel is measured by the VTM-4 system, and inaccurate air pressure can cause the VTM-4 to light to turn on. Checking and filling up the tires to the recommended PSI, as listed on the driver’s side door, can help resolve this issue.
How to fix the Honda pilot VTM-4 light?
If you have figured out the causes, you will probably need to fix them now. I would suggest you read the trouble codes using a compatible code scanner. If there is an issue with the sensors or systems, the computer will generate an onboard diagnostic trouble code. Once you have the code, reference it with a trouble code library to determine the problem.
However, to be more helpful, I will provide the steps you can follow to fix the issue:
- Check if the VTM-4 lock button is manually engaged. If it is, press the VTM-4 button to unlock it. If the light disappears, the system is back in automatic mode. If not, move on to the next step..
- Turn off the engine and let it cool down for a few minutes..
- Check the VTM-4 fluid level and make sure it is at the correct level. If it is low, add more fluid..
- If the fluid level is fine, disconnect the negative battery cable for a few minutes and then reconnect it. This will reset the system and may turn off the VTM-4 light..
- If the light is still on, take the vehicle to a mechanic or Honda dealership to have it diagnosed and repaired.
It is important to note that the VTM-4 light can indicate a variety of issues, so it is best to have it checked by a professional if the above steps do not resolve the problem.