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Discussion Starter #1
New to the forums, I find a lot of excellent discussions going on, on a number of subjects and some excellent comments and replies from fellow members.

Here's me, new to the forums with a question about our 2006 Pilot EX. We recently purchased it previously adult owned and extremely well cared-for with only 102,000 locally driven miles on it. It's a beauty on so many levels and we love it. Getting used to it as each day goes by.

We live in a mountainous, rural area where winters can be ex
tremely varied with snow and ice. Many of our local roads are secondary--gravel and not high traffic on them. Packed snow and only fair maintenance gives us some "interesting" driving experiences. One I'm noticing is the VTM feature. From a stop, on a snow-packed incline, I've noticed the triangle light flicks on and I hear a noticeable sound of meshing gears and a "clunk" sound. It's only momentary and once the car is moving, the sound stops and the light goes out. I attribute that to the engagement of the 4-wheel traction and haven't seen or heard any other obvious noises.

Is this a normal way for the VTM to react to the rear wheels being engaged? We've had Subarus and a new Kia AWD Sportage but they're AWD, not 4WD, so I'm just curious about this with the Pilot. In other conditions, is the transfer to the rear wheels seamless and not very noticeable?
 

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I live in Colorado and chase powder skiing when I can. I've never experienced what you've described, and don't think that is normal. Granted mine is a 2005, and I know there is some difference between the two model years (06 has a transfer case),.

--Chris N.
 

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What you're hearing is likely the brakes being selectively applied by the VSA stability assist system.
Try turning off the VSA temporarily and see if you still hear the noises.

If you regularly drive on gravel and packed snow - and depending upon what tires you presently have - you might benefit from using an A/T type tire with the 3PMS winter qualification.
GEOLANDAR A/T G015 | Yokohama Tire Corporation
https://www.falkentire.com/tires/light-truck-suv-cuv-tires/wildpeaka/t3w-tire

Also, check to see when - if ever - your timing belt has been replaced.
It's typically due every 7 years or 105K miles, which ever comes first.
 

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We recently purchased it previously adult owned and extremely well cared-for with only 102,000 locally driven miles on it.

And to the point, do you know when the VTM-4 fluid was last changed? Even some adults can overlook this regular maintenance item. :)

Normally, you shouldn't be disengaging VSA; otherwise, your Pilot will have a tendency to slide out more than if you just leave it alone when just driving, especially on snow or gravel. That's what it's for, to provide more stability under those conditions. Disengage it when you're stuck, and along with VTM engaged (and good tires), that will help you get unstuck.
 

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VTM 4 should be quiet and automatic. The only thing that you should notice is how much better the traction is compared to your old 2 wheel drive vehicle. Plplplpl makes a good suggestion--have the fluid changed. The VTM 4 unit uses only Honda VTM 4 fluid. It takes about 3 or 3 1/2 quarts to drain it and fill it up again with fresh fluid.
 

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Welcome to the forums ! We have a lot of great people here with the 06 including myself hell some of us is rolling towards 300k key is maintenance . I’m also in the snow belt watch the rust and also keep common sense in the back pocket. You will be tempted to go through that 3 foot snow drift . Don’t ??
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I live in Colorado and chase powder skiing when I can. I've never experienced what you've described, and don't think that is normal. Granted mine is a 2005, and I know there is some difference between the two model years (06 has a transfer case),.

--Chris N.
Thanks, Chris. As a former Coloradoan, I can appreciate the need for all wheel drive in our rides. I'm just trying to gather a consensus, as to whether I need to have a reliable mechanic take a look at that. The former owner told me the car didn't have any mechanical issues when he traded it (for a Subie Crosstek). And I had the timing belt kit replaced right after we got it, just to ensure that had been addressed. I have almost all of the service records on the car.
VTM 4 should be quiet and automatic. The only thing that you should notice is how much better the traction is compared to your old 2 wheel drive vehicle. Plplplpl makes a good suggestion--have the fluid changed. The VTM 4 unit uses only Honda VTM 4 fluid. It takes about 3 or 3 1/2 quarts to drain it and fill it up again with fresh fluid.
The original owner did have Honda service it for a period of time and then took it to a franchised service shop for more routine service. My follow up on the service records didn't show recent transmission or rear differential drain & flush being done, so that's going to be my next service on it.

Best to be safe on this instead of risking a failure. So far, I'm 100% happy with the car and I intend to maintain it faithfully.

Many thanks to ALL who've been so helpful. A very fine forum, glad to be a part of it.
 

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The original owner did have Honda service it for a period of time and then took it to a franchised service shop for more routine service. My follow up on the service records didn't show recent transmission or rear differential drain & flush being done, so that's going to be my next service on it.
Transmission, rear differential and transfer case (adjacent to the transmission) fluid changes are typically due about every 30K miles, so you might have to go back at least that far in the service records.
Also, drain and refill only - no flushing.

Something else important to verify is that your Pilot is current on recalls.
Check your VIN here: Recall Information for Safety & Defects | Honda Owners Site
There was a second round of airbag replacement recalls announced in mid-2019.
If any are still open, go to a Honda dealer and get them done soon.
 
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