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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have not changed the differenical oil in a bit and the light came on. They are saying its the oil temp sensor AND the control module. Does that sound right? Should I get a used module? If so where is the best place. The dealer wanted $800+ for it. Also, am I in 2WD (front) while the light is on? I have a 2003 Pilot with 134,000 miles on it. They also wanted over $500 for the labor..this seems pretty hight to me.

Any advise on what to do? Where to get the module for cheaper? I would buy the oil sensor new..its only $54
 

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2016 CRV Touring AWD, 2005 Pilot RIP.
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If changing diff fluid is not something you want to do, have the dealer put fresh fluid in.
 

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Seems odd that both the temp sensor and module went out together.

I would find a new dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I am having the dealer put fluid in..is this the part number for the controler?

48310-PVH-013

Its about the right price. I just cannot find something called VTM Controler or module. This is it and they called it CONTROL UNIT, ELECTRONIC MOMENT..

Also..If I change the fluid..
1) is it ok to drive around for a bit until I get the parts?
2) do I have AWD or 2WD?
3) Should I try the oil sensor first and see if that does it?
 

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That all sounds very suspicious indeed. Sensor and control unit both failed?

I second N_Jay's opinion, ask a different dealer. Possibly just put a new sensor in first and see if that resolves the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
That all sounds very suspicious indeed. Sensor and control unit both failed?

I second N_Jay's opinion, ask a different dealer. Possibly just put a new sensor in first and see if that resolves the issue.
At $98 per inspection, it gets expensive to have that done. I might try just changing the temp sensor and reseting the control unit and see what that does. I just need to find a local guy to do that..or maybe just order the part and take it to a different dealer have them do it without them doing any diagnosis.

Does any one have the answers to my frist 2 questions?

BTW, the quote I got for the new vtm-4 control unit was for $670 for the part..which is over $100 over list price of $559. That should be a crime. I can get it on the web for less than $400. They also wanted $500 to do the work (replace both parts and change fluid).
 

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Changing the fluid is independent of replacing the sensor or the module.

If the fluid needs changing, then change it.
If it looks bad, change it twice.
 

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At $98 per inspection, it gets expensive to have that done. I might try just changing the temp sensor and reseting the control unit and see what that does. I just need to find a local guy to do that..or maybe just order the part and take it to a different dealer have them do it without them doing any diagnosis.

Does any one have the answers to my frist 2 questions?

BTW, the quote I got for the new vtm-4 control unit was for $670 for the part..which is over $100 over list price of $559. That should be a crime. I can get it on the web for less than $400. They also wanted $500 to do the work (replace both parts and change fluid).
Fair point about inspections getting expensive.

Assuming your first two question were 'does this sound right?' and 'should I get a used module', then my answers would be no and yes, respectively. I don't buy that they've both failed simultaneously, and a failure in either should have set the trouble light, so that sounds awfully coincidental to me. As regards a 2nd hand controller, then yes, absolutely. I don't believe we've seen a rash of VTM-4 controller failures over the years (some of the old-timers can probably confirm or deny that) so a 2nd hand module for a hundred bucks should be a good investment in a vehicle of this age.

If I were in what I understand your position to be, I'd do the following; (and I'd do it myself, because I'm tighter than a duck's arse, and I can)

Change the VTM-4 fluid. If it's ugly when it comes out, like N_Jay says, change it again. This won't fix the trouble light but it will give the mechanism a fighting chance going forward. You don't say how long "a bit" is, but if it's 60,000 miles, you might actually have done lasting damage to the system. We just don't know yet.

Familiarize yourself with Honda/Acura VTM-4 which includes some DIY controller reset instructions that you could try.
Then replace the temperature sensor. Reset the system. Drive until the light lights up again.

If the light doesn't light up again, you're done. If it does, depending on the trouble code you blink out, get on the hunt for the replacement controller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks..I think I am going to order the sensor and have it replaced...see if I can find a friend that can help. Is this easy with some jacks and simple tools? I can then reset the controller.

The dealer said fluid did look bad, so maybe I should do that after a few more miles are on it again. They looked at the system so you think they would have said something if it was damaged unless you cannot tell.

But the two questions I was refering too are am I damaging the car driving now, and am I stuck in 2WD until this is resolved?
 

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If the light is on, you are in 2WD (but don't worry.

If the fluid is clean you should be doing no additional damage.

The fluid should come out "looking" almost like new.

It might take more then one flush.
 

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Thanks..I think I am going to order the sensor and have it replaced...see if I can find a friend that can help. Is this easy with some jacks and simple tools? I can then reset the controller.

The dealer said fluid did look bad, so maybe I should do that after a few more miles are on it again. They looked at the system so you think they would have said something if it was damaged unless you cannot tell.

But the two questions I was refering too are am I damaging the car driving now, and am I stuck in 2WD until this is resolved?
What N_Jay said, if the light is on, you have to assume you're in 2WD. I'm not aware of any hard and fast rule that equates that 1 to 1 (if the light is on, VTM must be disabled) but if it's anything like an ABS system, that's how it's going to work.

Ditto on the damage. If the fluid is good, you're not doing any more mechanical damage.

I've never changed the sensor, obviously enough, but it shouldn't be too hard. Expect a single bolt holding it on, and an o-ring sealing the VTM fluid in, and expect some of those fluids to escape when you remove it. Don't run the car without adequate fluid level in the 'diff' or you likely will do damage.

As regards the dealer commentary, I don't believe I've ever met a dealer's mechanic who's liked a single fluid that he saw. I got a call today from the Acura dealership that's doing some warranty work on my wife's RDX, telling me among other things that the cabin air filter needed to be changed. Which is interesting considering I put a fresh one in it about 500 miles ago. They were going on at some length about some mythical 30,000 mile service that the computer said hadn't been performed. Ha!

Unfortunately, there really isn't any way of checking VTM system function short of the rather laborious tests described in the link in my last post. There's no way for the dealer to tell what, if anything is wrong with it mechanically without doing those, and I can about guarantee you that they didn't even think about pulling out a torque wrench. They just hooked up the diagnostic computer, saw something anomalous in the VTM controller to do with the temperature sensor and decided on a price to quote you. You might say that I'm not in love with Honda service departments though, so I'm probably biased.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Guys, thanks for all the help and quick replys. I too am not in love with MOST service departments from any dealer. They all just quote replace everything from end to end..this includes Bike dealers. My friends harley had a cruise control switch issue and they said replace everything including the wire harness for $600..I think the option when he bought the bike was only $300..crazy.

I did order the sensor and will be finding someone to do that. Like I said I think i will put some miles (few hundered) on the car and then take it in for sensor and tell them to flush it again..because it was a while and I just want to do that just in case. It has 134k and I want to keep it another 60k. The Pilot has just been great to me and there is no reason to trade it in..
 

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its possible

i have a 2003 pilot ex and not long ago my vtm-4 light came on , the only difference was that befor it did the engine at times would stumble abit eventually my engine light came on along with vtm-4 light. my problem was the egr valve. changed this for about 218$can and my problem was solved. oh yea, i called my local honda dealer and asked if the egr valve could effect the vtm and they said it had nothing to do with the vtm. again replaced egr valve and problem fixed instantly. it may not be the egr valve but a tube that leads to it, sorry so vauge but this wasnt my paticular problem but i also had engine code to rely on.
 

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We noticed early on the VTM error light is sensitive to misfires>
I am guessing it is picking up vibration in the drivetrain and being safe.

There was a recall for EGR valves on the 03, and maybe 04 pilots.
 
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