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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have only had our 2013 Honda Pilot for two months. It has 65000 miles on it. And looked in good shape. We thought we were getting a great deal. We have had it in the shop more than six times already because of the rear differential and alignment issues. We just replaced the rear differential 2 weeks ago. But ever since it was replaced the vtm - 4 light has been on and stays on. They even tried hooking it up to the computer and shutting it off and it will not shut off. A couple days ago I got stuck in the snow during a snowstorm. My 4 wheel drive would not engage. When we first bought the vehicle we checked to see if the 4-wheel drive worked and it did. So now after the rear was replaced it does not engage and the light will not shut off. It's very stressful considering we pay over 500 a month for it. It's our first car payment and car loan so the interest rate is 20%. I'm not sure what's happening or what our options are. Please help us!!!!
 

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Sounds like they have some ex-GM service techs working for them who are clueless at diagnosing something. I'd have to believe either they forgot to plug something in, a wiring harness was damaged, or the rear differential is defective. I'll admit I'm not familiar with what all goes on in the rear differential, but I can't believe Honda didn't provide some means of having the car report why the VTM-4 light is on. For sure, there's a solenoid to engage the clutch, and possibly a sensor or two in the rear differential, but I can't believe it's that hard to diagnose. If you're not getting other lights like ABS or check engine lights, then probably it's limited to the rear differential. The VTM-4 light is the "check the 4WD system" light, but some items, like wheel speed sensors, are shared by the antilock brakes and VTM-4, so problems with other systems can also trigger the light.

Ask me about the GM service tech who spent two days on my Chevrolet Traverse trying to figure out why the power mirrors didn't work, and was all set to charge me $1500 for a new body control module, but a quick look in the service manual told me the body control module was not connected to the power mirrors in any way, shape or form. I diagnosed it in 20 minutes: A bad $20 mirror switch.
 

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You mention that you have had it "in the shop:. Is this a Honda dealer or somewhere else? The HDS system (Honda's "Honda Diagnostic System") computer includes a diagnostic sequence that will quickly identify the cause of the symptom (light is on, no VTM). The system is well equipped with sensors, and a simple issue like not plugging one in securely will cause the symptom you are seeing.
 
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2008 Piot SE FWD, 2015 Pilot LX 4WD. 2005 GSX-R1000
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Wow, I do hope you can get it fixed soon.
When things settle down, try and re finance also. That interest rate hurts to even read it!

Agree with what has been offered already.
 

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Finding out what the problem is would be worth the diagnostic charge at a Honda dealership, as well as the estimate to fix it. Of course, once you know what the problem is you could go back to whomever installed and get it right without charge. There are always options such as a complaint with the Better Business Bureau/Chamber of Commerce/ASE, etc. Raise enough stink with the right people and someone at the original installer will make it right just to make it go away.

And get rid of that interest rate!!! Somehow try to get into the local credit union. Their interest rates are always lower, but you may need to deposit a paycheck into an account and they will automatically deduct the payment....but to save some mul-a would be worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the responses. It was not a Honda dealer. I did sit with the mechanic in the car as he connected the computer and it kept saying there were no issues. He had tried to shut off the light and it would not turn off. The closest honda dealership is over a hour away. Do they have a different type of diagnostic systems then most other places?
Finding out what the problem is would be worth the diagnostic charge at a Honda dealership, as well as the estimate to fix it. Of course, once you know what the problem is you could go back to whomever installed and get it right without charge. There are always options such as a complaint with the Better Business Bureau/Chamber of Commerce/ASE, etc. Raise enough stink with the right people and someone at the original installer will make it right just to make it go away.

And get rid of that interest rate!!! Somehow try to get into the local credit union. Their interest rates are always lower, but you may need to deposit a paycheck into an account and they will automatically deduct the payment....but to save some mul-a would be worth it.
Thank you. I made a appointment next week at the honda dealer. And its not a bad idea for us to contact the BBB. There has been other things that have happen also, and were pretty fed up. They knew we were naive and have definitely taking advantage of it. The car care place is associated with the dealership that we bought the car from. We 100% plan to refinance. They made it seem like we had no other choice because we had no credit and no other loans. We also were made to have the service warranty. So the car care part of the business has been handling all of the "problems." They told us the warranty most likely would not be accepted at any other mechanic. And we have no idea what they're charging or how much they've been paid for all the "work" they have done.
 

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If they sold you a warranty and they can't fix the car, I respectfully suggest that you consider getting your money back for all this (it's their warranty and their repair shop) and shop someplace else.

The interest rate you are paying is close to usery in some states, and is close to what you'd pay for unsecured credit (like a credit card). As others suggest, seek financing at your better bank or credit union. If nothing else, read your finance agreement carefully to make sure there are no penalties due for early buyout/payoff.

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To your question -- Yes, the dealer has a much more comprehensive diagnostic tool than most independents will have. The simple hand-held controllers generally read common trouble codes and can clear them, but the AWD VTM-4 system may easily be beyond their abilities. If you have lights on in the cluster and they can't see the code causing it, their tool is not up to the duty.

The VTM-4 controller sets and stores its own trouble codes, for instance, separate from the PCM codes that pocket scanners can get to. The VTM-4 controller communicates over both of the CANBUS digital networks in the car. Diagnosing simple communications failure with the control module, is part of the diagnosis. After that, the Honda Diagnostic System (HDS) is the weapon of choice, as it reads and can simulate conditions for each sensor and actuator in the VTM-4 system. I won't try and walk you through the whole diagnostic, just know that it's a test-and-response protocol in which the HDS tests three separate control modules, any of which can cause the indication you see.
 
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