VTM 4 Light On Honda Pilot: 6 Proven Reasons And Solutions

Many warning lights on Honda Pilot may make you feel bewildered, including the VTM 4 light on Honda Pilot. Typically, it is a reminder for periodic maintenance and oil changes.

It can also signal that there is other trouble with your car model. Should you be worried about this? Our sharing will go into more detail about this integral part.

Let us get you covered!

What Is VTM 4 Light On Honda Pilot?

VTM 4 Light On Honda Pilot

When the VTM-4 (Variable Torque Management 4WD System) light turns on, it indicates your car needs more traction to drive on that current terrain.

Honda first launched the VTM-4 automatic torque control technology.

To acquire the best road grip on slick or snowy roads, the applied torque to the rear axle modifies based on the road traction conditions.

It functions right after you turn on the engine automatically and without the driver’s input.

You can manually engage the VTM-4 by pressing its lock button up front while your car gets stuck in deep snow or mud. The rear wheels receive the maximum torque from it.

Before pushing the lock button, the Honda must be in first, second, or reverse gear, and the speed should be under 17 to 19 mph.

Adopting the VTM-4 lock on smooth surfaces or highways risks damaging the rear differential when the car turns.

Strong vibration and noise are also audible due to the locked axle. Use the function only when needed, and let the automatic mechanism regulate the torque to the axles.

Why Is The Check Engine And VTM-4 Light On Honda Pilot?

Why Is The Check Engine And VTM-4 Light On Honda Pilot?

Have a glimpse of some primary reasons for the Honda Pilot VTM-4 light on, as follows:

Front Oxygen Sensor

The check engine and VTM-4 lights may illuminate owing to the front oxygen sensors.

The following signs could point to a bad oxygen sensor:

  • Poor MPG
  • Engine misfiring
  • Rough idling
  • Stalling

But, if your car has accumulated less than 100,000 miles, the error might not stem from your oxygen sensor.

With a multimeter, checking an oxygen sensor may be pretty straightforward. By doing so, you can verify whether the heating element is still functional.

The cost may be prohibitive if you hire a professional to change the oxygen sensor. We thus suggest doing this yourself to cut down on costs.

Looking up pertinent information about your vehicle, you can find the location of the front oxygen sensor.

Drivers can continue to drive the car with a defective oxygen sensor, yet the engine will eventually stall.

Tire Pressure Is Not Even On All The Tires

When both your VTM4 light Honda Pilot and check engine light are on simultaneously, check your tire pressure. Low pressure will impair the tires’ traction on the ground and cause them to lose grip.

The tires should be inflated correctly to turn off the warning lights. Look for the sticker inside the driver’s door, and you can pinpoint the proper tire pressure.

As usual, tire pressure between 30 PSI and 35 PSI is preferable.

Stale Transmission Fluid

A VTM-4 system and the transmission system work together closely. Faulty transmission may therefore induce a VTM 4 light Honda Pilot problem.

Consequently, it is crucial to check the transmission fluid’s level. If it is insufficient, add liquids until it reaches the suggested amount.

Also, set your eyes on the fluid’s quality via its color and scent. Refrain from using expired or unsatisfactory products for your engine.

Old transmission fluid will have a hazy look and a burnt smell. Drain the wrong fluid (if any) and go for fresh fluid from an approved brand.

Faulty IAC – Idle Air Control Valve

Investigate and clean the idle air control valve (if needed) when you notice rough idling with the check engine and VTM-4 Honda Pilot light on.

What’s more, you may experience extreme vibration or stalling when driving.

The control valve is typically situated on the intake manifold or throttle body.

Low Oil In The Engine

Once the VTM-4 light Honda Pilot is illuminated, it could be due to the low engine oil. Check the oil level inside your vehicle. A lower level than usual requires an oil refill with the automaker’s oil suggested.

You can also change the optimal oil type for your vehicle. Changing the oil is great to last your Honda Pilot longer, too.

In case you see a suitable oil level inside, examine the oil’s quality. The oil with many dark particles inside or having dark color needs draining and changing soon.

Make sure there isn’t a leak causing low oil levels. Before adding more oil, stop any leaks, if any. Fixing the leakeage could cost you a few hundred dollars.

While you need to top off your engine oil, it is a simple DIY task with no more than $50. 

Blown/Loosened Gasket

Low oil levels may also result from a bad gasket. The gasket’s oil pan will hinder the oil leak, so a poor-fitting gasket will surely trigger problems.

This could happen when the gasket becomes loose due to debris buildup. Smoke from your engine can be a sure sign of a faulty gasket.

In either case, routine maintenance should include checking the oil pan gasket to stop oil leaking.

You can do it independently, but a proper inspection may require bringing your car to a repair facility, as they have elevators that simplify access.

Can I Turn i-VTM4 Off And On?


Like its predecessor, the i-VTM4 system is completely automated and always on. It doesn’t, however, feature a “VTM-4 Lock” button as the earlier systems had.

Instead, it collaborates with other onboard technologies like Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) on both Honda Odyssey and Honda Pilot to create a clever AWD system.

The i-VTM4 system still offers the driver high control over the AWD system.

Four AWD modes—”Normal,” “Snow,” “Mud,” and “Sand”—can be selected by the driver using the Intelligent Traction Management button.

These settings are ranked according to how strongly the iVTM-4 system reacts to road settings.

While Sand mode tunes the system for the most challenging terrains, Normal mode facilitates stable vehicle handling at high speeds on paved highways.

How Can I Diagnose The Check Engine & Honda Pilot VTM 4 Light Problems?

A VTM-4 control unit maintains a log of the last 7-8 errors or trouble codes. They can be scanned or read with an OBD-I or II scanner or diagnostic equipment.

These codes streamline diagnostics and identify problematic parts. Expert technicians can fix a problem by recalling earlier error codes or symptoms.

Moreover, self-diagnosis is possible on VTM-4.

The Bottom Line

VTM 4 light on Honda Pilot is a top-notch driver-aid feature. As with most car systems, errors can influence the system’s operation.

When this happens, the warning light turns on beside the check engine light.

In such cases, using a scanner to diagnose the issue is your best bet. You could also check the engine oil, transmission fluid, gaskets, etc., in your car to tackle the light.

Share the post with other Honda car owners if they get into dilemmas with the VTM-4 feature.

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