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Just a question----according to the honda web site under the severe condition operation, one is supposed to replace the rear diff fluid at 7500 miles. (Necessary for proper break-in of the VTM-4 rear differential.) Since I drive short trips to work etc I consider my operation under the severe category.
I just had the oil changed at the dealer at 7580 miles since I was going out of town, and they did not ask me if I wanted the rear fluids changed. Is this the correct time for this service???
Has any one else had their fluid changed yet with this mileage??
Thanks and maybe we should start a poll to see what mileage to do this at??
Bob (sandman)
 

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I follow the severe schedule also. When I asked my dealer about the VTM-4 service, my service writer (who was a tech and since returned to the service bay as a tech) told me the normal schedule was fine for the VTM-4 service.

Since I don't off-road or tow anything, I think I'll do the severe schedule except for VTM-4 and transmission service. For VTM-4, that means a first service at 15k, then at 30 and every 30k miles thereafter.
 

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stop and go or short trip consider severe condition for engine since there is a lot of idle and little oil circulation. Heat accumulated but poor ventilation from radiator. On the other hand, gear or diff is just a passive device, little or no heat generated if you stop and go or doing many short trip.
 

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Oh, BTW. part of reason for servere condition applied also due to engine idle or use lower gears. Which means lots engine turns, but very low mileage. Maybe you meter only turns 4000 miles yet your engine cranks more turns than another engine does highway driving with 8000miles.
Of cource if you drive 70mph but only use 3rd gear also consider servere to engine....... not for diff gear; still doing just 70mph.
 

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timchen said:
stop and go or short trip consider severe condition for engine since there is a lot of idle and little oil circulation. Heat accumulated but poor ventilation from radiator. On the other hand, gear or diff is just a passive device, little or no heat generated if you stop and go or doing many short trip.
The "diff" aka VTM4 on the Pilot is active. The clutch pack is engaged and torque sent to the rear whenever you step on the gas. Stop-n-go is putting it through more cycles than steady-state highway driving. Also, keep in mind the VTM4 fluid is dual purpose: it's lube, but it's also hydraulic. It's also cheap to replace.

I'd severe schedule the VTM4 if that's the schedule I'm following for everything else.

That said, there have been precious few problems with the VTM4 unit since it was introduced on the 01 MDX, and most of us have reported clean fluid and few/no shavings on changes. So I wouldn't lose sleep over not changing it at 7500. But the unit is, afterall, the "least proven" component in the car with only 2.5 years of history ;)

There was a thread with additional discussion a few days ago - I believe it was in either the 7500 or 15000 maintenance thread, but since the search feature is being worked on I can't track it down.
 

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TheWorm said:

The "diff" aka VTM4 on the Pilot is active. The clutch pack is engaged and torque sent to the rear whenever you step on the gas. Stop-n-go is putting it through more cycles than steady-state highway driving. Also, keep in mind the VTM4 fluid is dual purpose: it's lube, but it's also hydraulic. It's also cheap to replace.

It maybe severe to the clutch servo accurator, yet unless you keep turning, there is no speed difference between front and rear axles since no heat or wear will be introduced. However, changing VTM4 oil can't help accurator.
Though I have no evidence yet, I will bet my dollars on 90% of VTM4 malfunction will be caused by accurater.
 
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