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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just bought a 2016 AWD Pilot, and I've never had an AWD car before. Is it as easy as hitting the "D4" button on the stick shift??? I know this sounds so stupid, but I can't find it anywhere in the manual. Thanks!
 

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The AWD system is automatic. If wheelspin is detected or if the vehicle is in Snow, Mud, or Sand modes (accessed using the button behind the shifter with a vehicle on it) it will send power to the rear wheels, but it is predominantly FWD. The D4 button essentially just turns off overdrive, and doesn’t affect the AWD as far as I know.
 

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AWD is always on. You won't notice it really unless you are driving in bad weather. The computer manages which wheels get the power and when based on performance and conditions.

4WD is totally different and is a separate driving "mode" primarily found on trucks and suv's to allow extra power in special situations. For example if you're going off-road or are backing a trailer down a ramp or similar. You don't want to drive down the expressway with it on or you could cook your trans and/or diffs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The AWD system is automatic. If wheelspin is detected or if the vehicle is in Snow, Mud, or Sand modes (accessed using the button behind the shifter with a vehicle on it) it will send power to the rear wheels, but it is predominantly FWD. The D4 button essentially just turns off overdrive, and doesn’t affect the AWD as far as I know.
Good info - thanks! So, I have never seen a button behind the shifter. Is that on the console lying flat, or on the shifter itself? I had no idea the AWD is automatic. I couldn't find anything telling me that until now, but maybe I just missed it. Also, one more STUPID QUESTION: what's overdrive? Is that just something that helps you get up a hill?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
AWD is always on. You won't notice it really unless you are driving in bad weather. The computer manages which wheels get the power and when based on performance and conditions.

4WD is totally different and is a separate driving "mode" primarily found on trucks and suv's to allow extra power in special situations. For example if you're going off-road or are backing a trailer down a ramp or similar. You don't want to drive down the expressway with it on or you could cook your trans and/or diffs.
Got it! So, I'm looking to eventually buy a very small trailer. Because it's AWD, the tow capacity is rated at 5000 lbs (of course I'd get something much smaller). I'm still good, right? I'm going to be getting a weight distribution hitch, an electric brake controller, and a transmission cooler with the package.
 

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Got it! So, I'm looking to eventually buy a very small trailer. Because it's AWD, the tow capacity is rated at 5000 lbs (of course I'd get something much smaller). I'm still good, right? I'm going to be getting a weight distribution hitch, an electric brake controller, and a transmission cooler with the package.
Please make posts when you add those items. It would be interesting to see.
 

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Good info - thanks! So, I have never seen a button behind the shifter. Is that on the console lying flat, or on the shifter itself? I had no idea the AWD is automatic. I couldn't find anything telling me that until now, but maybe I just missed it. Also, one more STUPID QUESTION: what's overdrive? Is that just something that helps you get up a hill?
Overdrive is just the last gear (or two*) in the transmission. Really only used when highway cruising.

* i mentioned two bc I believe I read somewhere in some of the new 9/10 speed transmissions the last 2 were overdrive.

Typically when towing, hauling, wanting to pass in the mountains you would want to turn off Overdrive, so you let the motor do the work and not the transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Spec sheet shows 5th gear is 1:1 and 6 through 9 are overdrive.
Overdrive is just the last gear (or two*) in the transmission. Really only used when highway cruising.

* i mentioned two bc I believe I read somewhere in some of the new 9/10 speed transmissions the last 2 were overdrive.

Typically when towing, hauling, wanting to pass in the mountains you would want to turn off Overdrive, so you let the motor do the work and not the transmission.
Okay, sorry, but you are opening the door to more stupid questions of mine, because this is brand new territory. I apologize in advance. 😂
1. How do I know whether my pilot is six speed or nine speed? The gear shifter only has one speed after “D” and that is “L”. What does that stand for? There’s also the “D4” button on the side of the shifter (which I’m now understand is overdrive, which is only used while cruising on the highway.
2. which leads me to this: what exactly is overdrive, and why is it used while cruising on the highway?
 

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Okay, sorry, but you are opening the door to more stupid questions of mine, because this is brand new territory. I apologize in advance. 😂
1. How do I know whether my pilot is six speed or nine speed? The gear shifter only has one speed after “D” and that is “L”. What does that stand for? There’s also the “D4” button on the side of the shifter (which I’m now understand is overdrive, which is only used while cruising on the highway.
2. which leads me to this: what exactly is overdrive, and why is it used while cruising on the highway?
In 2016 only the highest trims had the 9 speed. If you have an LX, EX, or EX-L you have the 6 speed. Drive is your standard mode that allows the transmission to use all forward gears as the car sees fit. L will hold it in a low gear (usually first but not sure on the Pilots). D4 lets the car use the first four gears, but locks out 5 and 6. It can be helpful for towing. Overdrive refers to your gear ratios - any gears that have a greater than 1 to 1 ratio are referred to as overdrive gears. For instance on the 9 speed Pilots, 5th gear is 1:1, gears 6-9 are overdrive. That allows you to run at a lower RPMs at cruising speed to help fuel economy. There are a million Youtube videos on how transmission gearing work that can explain it better than us as well.
 

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In overdrive, the trans want to select the highest gear to get the best mileage based upon how hard the engine is working. If your towing something, the engine has to work harder. The trans will keep trying to find the high gear in overdrive causing potential trans overheating. In Florida it's fairly flat so it's not a big problem. In the mountains, the trans will keep shifting which may become problematic depending on the load
 

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.... There’s also the “D4” button on the side of the shifter (which I’m now understand is overdrive....

I believe the D4 button, when engaged locks out overdrive.

I had a similar button on my grand Cherokee and I referred to it as "Torque On-Demand"... I rarely used it unless I wanted to quickly pass someone on the highway without waiting for the transmission to figure out which gear i wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
In 2016 only the highest trims had the 9 speed. If you have an LX, EX, or EX-L you have the 6 speed. Drive is your standard mode that allows the transmission to use all forward gears as the car sees fit. L will hold it in a low gear (usually first but not sure on the Pilots). D4 lets the car use the first four gears, but locks out 5 and 6. It can be helpful for towing. Overdrive refers to your gear ratios - any gears that have a greater than 1 to 1 ratio are referred to as overdrive gears. For instance on the 9 speed Pilots, 5th gear is 1:1, gears 6-9 are overdrive. That allows you to run at a lower RPMs at cruising speed to help fuel economy. There are a million Youtube videos on how transmission gearing work that can explain it better than us as well.
SUPER helpful. Thank you! One more: If "L" can be helpful for towing, is it needed if the car automatically switches to AWD if I'm towing something? I guess it's not possible to know when AWD is kicked in? Should "L" be used regardless to help out the AWD?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
In overdrive, the trans want to select the highest gear to get the best mileage based upon how hard the engine is working. If your towing something, the engine has to work harder. The trans will keep trying to find the high gear in overdrive causing potential trans overheating. In Florida it's fairly flat so it's not a big problem. In the mountains, the trans will keep shifting which may become problematic depending on the load
Aaaahhhhhhh, got it. So, best to switch to "L" when towing? Is it possible to be in "L" and "D4" at the same time? Lowest gear and D4 to lock out overdrive?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I believe the D4 button, when engaged locks out overdrive.

I had a similar button on my grand Cherokee and I referred to it as "Torque On-Demand"... I rarely used it unless I wanted to quickly pass someone on the highway without waiting for the transmission to figure out which gear i wanted.
So helpful. Thank you!
 
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