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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2003 Honda Pilot
130,000 Miles
All Maintenance performed on schedule
New timing belt & spark plugs

ENGINE INDICATION LIGHT and VTM-4 light come on simultaneously - both are SOLID lights (freeway @ 60 Mph)

VTM-4 Light will go off when engine is restarted & come back on about 10 minutes into driving it.

I had to wait a week to get it in to the mechanic. During the week, the Engine light went off on it's own ... hmmm

Went to mechanic to find the codes were cleared

Today, Engine indication light started flashing and the VTM-4 light came on SOLID. (traveling on freeway at 60Mph)

Stopped the car, turned it off ... felt abandoned ... waited 10 minutes, restarted the car:
ENGINE LIGHT: SOLID
VTM-4: OFF

What is going on????? Dealer said I have to wait a week to get it in ~ they don't seem concerned ... perhaps they're hoping it'll breakdown & I'll by a new car??????

Any ideas????
 

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Mine did that

Mine did that, when a RAT made a nest under the intake manifold. Apparently the anti-knock sensor is right in the middle of Mr. Rat's nest, so he chewed it off.

The dealer told me this was not uncommon for Pilots and Odysseys.

I think it was close to $400 to fix.

Jeff
 

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Run to your auto parts store and get a OBD II code scanner. I hemmed and hawed about those lights coming on and borrowed a code scanner. It turned out to be the EGR valve in my case but it could be something as simple as a tired gas cap seal. Get the code and you'll know if it's major/minor consider that the code reader paid for itself when it's something simple like the gas cap.
I ended up buying what I borrowed. A scangauge II. It's a real nice toy to tweak your driving habits into getting better mileage.
 

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I also had this same problem, but in my case it happened on a road trip, 300 miles from home. I had just fueled up at a gas station where the mid-grade was cheaper than the regular, so I used it. It must have been cheaper because it was so old they were trying to get rid of it. The lights came on less than 5 minutes later. Some normal gasoline and they eventually cleared themselves.

I'm not saying this is the only possible cause - only that those two lights coming on SEEM really serious, and they may not be. My guess is something emissions-related, but the possibilities are many.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, reading the code is important to diagnose these problems

The problem was resolved when I took my Honda to a local mechanic. He read the code generated when both lights came on:

>>> MISFIRE in TWO CYLINDERS <<<

The misfire caused a "cascading fault" resulting in the VTM4 light coming on.

A "cascading fault" is when something goes wrong in one systems and causes another system that is not 'broken' to malfunction. For instance: You notice the light in your living room won't go on, you (naturally) change the light bulb, it still doesn't go on, you then notice that a couple other electrical things aren't working ~ you go to your fuse box to find that a fuse had been tripped. Repair: Reset the fuse ... Problem: Fuse ... cascading fault: Lamp didn't work

The VTM4 light is associated with rear differential and came on because of power not being properly transferred.

When the mechanic examined the cylinders they were the ONLY two cylinders NOT totally plugged up with gunk.

He cleaned up everything (this was a month ago) and the cars been running smoothly ever since. REPAIR: LABOR ONLY $120.00

My pilot has over 133,000 miles on it (I drive a lot)

The mechanic said that it's been well maintained and should easily get well over 300,000 miles!
 

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I had a very similar problem with my car with a 100,000 miles on it. I would get a rough idle on cold mornings. I would also get the multiple misfire codes/ VTM light. I tried fuel injectors (which did make it run better), spark plugs and even cleaned the EGR. My problem turned out to be the intake vlaves which were running way too tight.
 

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This is the best website! I had my check engine and VTM-4 lights come on but my car was still running "normal". I read over these posts and I found a RAT'S NEST in my intake manifold too! I ordered the wire harness and also the sensor (we broke it off by mistake when we were vacuuming out the stored dogfood!) from the dealer and it was $50. A bit tricky to do ourselves but we got it. The VTM-4 light turned off instantly and the check engine light went off after 2 or 3 drives.
Thanks for the help everybody!
 

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I have a 2003 Pilot with 246,000 km with this problem just starting for me. In my case, the VTM-4 light never comes on from cold and does not usually come on until the engine is warm. It does come on when the engine is warm but the transmission is cold (e.g. remote start in driveway, warming up but not driven… not even shifted out of park). Once the engine is warm the light is much more likely to come on. Turning off and restarting will solve the problem, but in some cases the light immediately comes back on, or very quickly thereafter. In some cases, the light does not come back on. The light appears to come on more often when the engine is idling or not under load. The light appears to come on when the engine revolutions are declining, e.g. coasting to a stop, or when transmission shifts up and revolutions drop, or when coming up behind a slower moving vehicle and letting up on the gas. The light comes on whether the gas tank is full or near empty. The farther you drive (… warmer vehicle gets?) the more likely the light is to come on. That said, there are often periods of several days where the vehicle is driven and the light does not come on. The vehicle starts perfectly (even from very cold) and the engine runs smoothly, pulls strongly and does not hesitate or misfire at any time. There is no apparent correlation between the engine performance and when the light comes on… other than it appears to occur more often when engine is coming OFF load. The light has never come on when accelerating or driving at higher RPMs (e.g. on the 401). I have relaced the EGFR valve and cleaned that system out as much as possible, but I am now exploring other options... I had the transmission rebuilt about 20,000 km ago but I need to confirm that they changed the "differential" oil at that time, otherwise, I am looking for any help or suggestions. Thanks.
 

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I have a 2003 Honda Pilot
130,000 Miles
All Maintenance performed on schedule
New timing belt & spark plugs

ENGINE INDICATION LIGHT and VTM-4 light come on simultaneously - both are SOLID lights (freeway @ 60 Mph)

VTM-4 Light will go off when engine is restarted & come back on about 10 minutes into driving it.

I had to wait a week to get it in to the mechanic. During the week, the Engine light went off on it's own ... hmmm

Went to mechanic to find the codes were cleared

Today, Engine indication light started flashing and the VTM-4 light came on SOLID. (traveling on freeway at 60Mph)

Stopped the car, turned it off ... felt abandoned ... waited 10 minutes, restarted the car:
ENGINE LIGHT: SOLID
VTM-4: OFF

What is going on????? Dealer said I have to wait a week to get it in ~ they don't seem concerned ... perhaps they're hoping it'll breakdown & I'll by a new car??????

Any ideas????
I have the same problem under most of the same circumstances? my Pilot has 206,000 miles.
 

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It's the EGR unit.
 

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Had the same problem yesterday. Check Engine and VTM-4 light. Mechanic pulled the code and said EGR. He didn't have time to dig deeper right then since I just called to get a quick check and he was booked up. He said there was a loose connection and fixed that. Wondering if that was ERG Harness. He must have reset something and said if it comes back on, he will dig into it. 25 miles later down the road, both lights came back on. Will have him check intake mainfold and EGR valves.
Is there a recommended OBD II code scanner people recommend? Will that help with SRS codes too?

208,000 miles. Has been a workhorse and great vehicle.
 

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Had the same problem yesterday. Check Engine and VTM-4 light. Mechanic pulled the code and said EGR. He didn't have time to dig deeper right then since I just called to get a quick check and he was booked up. He said there was a loose connection and fixed that. Wondering if that was ERG Harness. He must have reset something and said if it comes back on, he will dig into it. 25 miles later down the road, both lights came back on. Will have him check intake mainfold and EGR valves.
Is there a recommended OBD II code scanner people recommend? Will that help with SRS codes too?

208,000 miles. Has been a workhorse and great vehicle.
BigbarkingDog did you fix the problem? I'm having the same issues. 2008 Pilot, 207k, blinking engine light at idle, VTM-4 light on.
 

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First thing if you just got it, check the service records if you have them for the last time the VTM-4 fluid was changed. If not recently, ever, or you have no record, change it with Honda OEM fluid only.
 

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Yes, reading the code is important to diagnose these problems

The problem was resolved when I took my Honda to a local mechanic. He read the code generated when both lights came on:

>>> MISFIRE in TWO CYLINDERS <<<

The misfire caused a "cascading fault" resulting in the VTM4 light coming on.

A "cascading fault" is when something goes wrong in one systems and causes another system that is not 'broken' to malfunction. For instance: You notice the light in your living room won't go on, you (naturally) change the light bulb, it still doesn't go on, you then notice that a couple other electrical things aren't working ~ you go to your fuse box to find that a fuse had been tripped. Repair: Reset the fuse ... Problem: Fuse ... cascading fault: Lamp didn't work

The VTM4 light is associated with rear differential and came on because of power not being properly transferred.

When the mechanic examined the cylinders they were the ONLY two cylinders NOT totally plugged up with gunk.

He cleaned up everything (this was a month ago) and the cars been running smoothly ever since. REPAIR: LABOR ONLY $120.00

My pilot has over 133,000 miles on it (I drive a lot)

The mechanic said that it's been well maintained and should easily get well over 300,000 miles!
Listen to PilotMom55 first sentence in red.

VTM-4 light is reporting VTM-4 control system issue. There are 400 occurrences in service manual, listing so many different codes.
 

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Check engine light + VTM4 light at same time is often due to clogged EGR passages. You need to realize that there are engine fault codes that will automatically shut down the VTM4 system, even though there is no VTM4 fault. VTM4 light all by itself may indicate high temperatures in the rear differential (VTM4 unit). The rear differential is often ignored by owners. Fluid becomes dirty or low, and the diff overheats, triggering the light. Then it's time for fresh fluid. Use only Honda VTM4 fluid.
 
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