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About three weeks ago, the VTM-4 instrument panel light came on while on the highway. I pulled over and read the instruction manual where it said it was safe to proceed as long as the light didn't start flashing. I got home and the light was still on. I made an appointment with my dealer for some five days later. The next morning the light was off and stayed off. I cancelled the appointmment; then the light came on a couple of days later. I got another dealer appointment for the following Wednesday. The service department couldn't determine the problem. Based on what I had read here about an owner with a somewhat similar problem in Kitchener, Ontario, I asked the parts department to order a temperature sensor for the rear differential. I had paid a $1000 deposit on a vacation in the next week and wasn't too thrilled about paying a $250 penallty to re-schedule. Another service appointment was scheduled for the following Friday just before I was to leave. The service department determined that it was a faulty temperature sensor. The electrical connector had corroded probably due to road salt in southern Ontario where I live. This time the connector was coated liberally with grease to prevent a future problem. By the way, this is a 2003 built in Canada. You think Honda would have considered road salt as a problem when designing this vehicle.
The dealer charged me for two hours diagnosis time plus a $65 part; $242 with taxes. I argued that since I diagnosed the problem, the time should be one hour only; but I lost that one. As well, I have an extended warranty on the powertrain to 160,000 km, but it does not cover sensors.
If I wasn't pressed for time, I would have ordered the part on-line for $35 and had my non-honda mechanic replace it at $45 per hour...oh well, c'est la vie!!!!
Now if I can only determine what makes the tic-tic-tic enging noise at idle before the warranty expires...the dealer says that is normal!!!!! A new 2007 vehicle has a very similar, but much fainter clicking noise at idle. I think I will go for a second opinion.
 

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bobcca,

If you were to look back to my posting in Feb/March you'll read I had the identical problem while on vacation at Disney World. The dealer in Orlando could find nothing wrong(and the vtm4 light had not turned on when I took it). Since then I've driven another 5-6,000 miles and periodically the light comes on. However, turning off and restarting finds the light gone. I've had no light on for the past month. Since the weather is now warmer I'm guessing my problem isn't one with a heat sensor or it should be on more frequently rather than less/none. Nevertheless, it's something I'll commit to memory should I end up at a later date at the dealer.

Thanks for the posting.
 

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bobcca,

OK. My vtm-4 light is now on 95% of the time. started last week when I made a long drive in hot weather. It seems to come on now after the car reaches operating temp. So, maybe I too have a heat sensor that needs replacing.

1. could you look up the part number and post it please.

2. do you think my local "does everything well" mechanic can install it? does he need written instructions?

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Looking at the rear differential from the rear, slightly left of centre, there are the fill and drain plugs. To the right of that, there is a stamped sheet metal wire harness cover with a bulge out at the bottom, held in place by three machine screws.
Remove the wire harness cover.
Disconnect the differential oil temperature sensor 2 wire connector.
Remove the old sensor.
Install everything in reverse order with a new O-ring on the sensor and some kind of sealant on the connector to keep out the corrosion. Connector may require cleaning.
Clear the computer code.

Part number is 48160-PGJ-003. $30.76 plus shipping at www.collegehillshondaparts.com.

I would have had my local mechanic do it except we had to leave next day on a non-refundable vacation deal.

:2:
 

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bobcca,

Thanks for the info. From your response you sound more than able to have done the repair yourself. Do you know everything you stated because you watched the mechanic?

I'll let you know how it all turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

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Forgot to add....drawing is front view....3 is the sensor and 33 is the wiring harness cover.
 

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bobcca,

Again, thanks.

When I go to the parts web site you list and type in the part number, then start the search the part comes up. When I click on "sensor" the next page has the words, "installation instructions". When I click on that I'm sent to a page for accessory installation.

How did you get to the page with the diagram?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Instead of typing in the part number, I selected "chassis" as the system and the "rear differential" section from the list. At the top of that page is the diagram of the rear differential which has an "enlarge" feature. This only works on the www.hondapartsdeals.com website. The College Hills Honda site does not have diagrams. I can't recall ever seeing instructions online for parts, just accessories.
 

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bobcca,

I forgot to ask you: when the vtm-4 light is on I am unable to engage the vtm-4 lock(on the dash). Was your situation the same?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes....the VTM-4 module de-activates 4 wheel lock when the warning light is on steady or blinking. If blinking, park it right away per owner's manual.
 

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bobcca,

I received the part from collegehillshonda. Yesterday my mechanic installed it. Today I took a 350 mile trip and the light DID NOT come on. It appears my vtm-4 light problem is solved. Total cost under $75.

I would have had to make two trips of 120 miles round trip to the nearest dealer (one to diagnose, then order the part and the second trip to install it) had you not posted your problem, the solution and the additional answers to my questions.

Thank you so very much.

Love this web page and the forums.
 

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If you are having the problem described in this thread, I have a new differential temperature sensor (48160-PGJ-003) for sale. $25 shipped. Send me a message if you are interested.
 

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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 2012 Honda Pilot and my VTM-4 light came on while I was sitting idle in park with the engine running. The battery indicator light also came on at this time. As I began to drive away i noticed that there was a minimum torque with the transmission so it took a little while before the normal torque would engage. This happened every time when I had to stop at a traffic light or stop sign. Once I got to a minor incline or small hill and had to stop the car would not engage or move forward and the dash board lit up like a Christmas tree. I had to roll back (reverse would not engage either) off of the hill and take a lower incline route to my home. Once I arrived home and parked on a corner and turned the car off. I tried to start the car right back up with no success, it just kept clicking like the battery was totally dead. Is this a sign that it is a battery issue or could it be something worse?
 

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Start with the easy stuff. Verify the connections at the battery posts are good. Measure battery voltage. Charge it up if necessary. After it starts up check alternator output voltage. If the battery won’t hold a charge replace it.
 

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Start with the easy stuff. Verify the connections at the battery posts are good. Measure battery voltage. Charge it up if necessary. After it starts up check alternator output voltage. If the battery won’t hold a charge replace it.
I have the same problem with my 2012 honda pilot. Over the last few months I have had an error on the dash that switches between Check VSA system and I think check engine or charging with a picture of the engine and VTM-4. There have been a few days my engine would not start and only clicked. My mechanic has changed the battery under warranty since we changed it within the last 2 years. It stopped showing these errors for a few weeks but they are displaying again. Does this sound like the sensor issue?
I have a 2012 Honda Pilot and my VTM-4 light came on while I was sitting idle in park with the engine running. The battery indicator light also came on at this time. As I began to drive away i noticed that there was a minimum torque with the transmission so it took a little while before the normal torque would engage. This happened every time when I had to stop at a traffic light or stop sign. Once I got to a minor incline or small hill and had to stop the car would not engage or move forward and the dash board lit up like a Christmas tree. I had to roll back (reverse would not engage either) off of the hill and take a lower incline route to my home. Once I arrived home and parked on a corner and turned the car off. I tried to start the car right back up with no success, it just kept clicking like the battery was totally dead. Is this a sign that it is a battery issue or could it be something worse?
 

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Does your mechanic have access to a Honda specific code reader? Perhaps have the codes read to help pinpoint the problem.
Also did your mechanic test the alternator output?
If battery and alternator both test good, but the battery is draining then check for parasitic draws.
 

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About three weeks ago, the VTM-4 instrument panel light came on while on the highway. I pulled over and read the instruction manual where it said it was safe to proceed as long as the light didn't start flashing. I got home and the light was still on. I made an appointment with my dealer for some five days later. The next morning the light was off and stayed off. I cancelled the appointmment; then the light came on a couple of days later. I got another dealer appointment for the following Wednesday. The service department couldn't determine the problem. Based on what I had read here about an owner with a somewhat similar problem in Kitchener, Ontario, I asked the parts department to order a temperature sensor for the rear differential. I had paid a $1000 deposit on a vacation in the next week and wasn't too thrilled about paying a $250 penallty to re-schedule. Another service appointment was scheduled for the following Friday just before I was to leave. The service department determined that it was a faulty temperature sensor. The electrical connector had corroded probably due to road salt in southern Ontario where I live. This time the connector was coated liberally with grease to prevent a future problem. By the way, this is a 2003 built in Canada. You think Honda would have considered road salt as a problem when designing this vehicle.
The dealer charged me for two hours diagnosis time plus a $65 part; $242 with taxes. I argued that since I diagnosed the problem, the time should be one hour only; but I lost that one. As well, I have an extended warranty on the powertrain to 160,000 km, but it does not cover sensors.
If I wasn't pressed for time, I would have ordered the part on-line for $35 and had my non-honda mechanic replace it at $45 per hour...oh well, c'est la vie!!!!
Now if I can only determine what makes the tic-tic-tic enging noise at idle before the warranty expires...the dealer says that is normal!!!!! A new 2007 vehicle has a very similar, but much fainter clicking noise at idle. I think I will go for a second opinion.
What was the part number for temperature sensor
 
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