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Honda Pilot VTM-4 Problems (How to Fix/Reset)

The Variable Torque Management System (VTM-4) is an important safety feature of the Honda Pilot. But at times, the system can malfunction and need immediate repairs. 

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Surprisingly, the Honda Pilot VTM-4 is an automatic system that does not need much interaction with the driver. However, you may have to fix or reset the system should it unexpectedly freeze and become temporarily unavailable. 

The VTM-4 system is designed to automatically add engine torque to the rear wheels when more traction is needed. It will make traveling in rough conditions a smoother ride. If the driver needs more traction, you can press the VTM-4 button on the dashboard to increase the torque level on the Pilot’s back wheels. Immediately, you should feel the system’s ability to stabilize the vehicle on the road. 

However, the VTM-4 system can freeze, which locks it in place. The system’s dashboard lights will stay on until the VTM-4 is reset. The repairs are complicated, so it is wise to bring your Pilot to a local Honda dealership. One of their qualified service technicians can diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs.

What is The Honda Pilot VTM-4 Light For?

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New Honda Pilot owners are confused about the purpose of the VTM-4 light. They’re unsure as to why the dashboard light comes on. 

The Honda Pilot is equipped with a Variable Torque Management System (VTM-4) that provides added traction for adverse road conditions. The dashboard light has no specific definition. The VTM-4 system turns on and off automatically.

The Honda Pilot VTM-4 dashboard light is designed to turn on as a reminder to the driver that the system is in use. However, the dashboard light will remain on if the VTM-4 system has frozen and locked up.

Thus, the light will stay on until the VTM-4 system has been reset. It is not a dashboard light reminder to ignore and continue to drive without having the system looked at by a service technician. It is smart to bring your Pilot to the local Honda dealership for an inspection. The service department can diagnose the cause as to why the VTM-4 dashboard light will not turn off. And the staff has the experience to make the necessary repairs. 

How Does The Honda Pilot VTM-4 Work?

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One of the most asked questions from new Honda Pilot owners is how the Pilot’s VTM-4 works. And why does the system provide better traction on slippery road surfaces? 

Most Honda Pilot owners love trying to push their vehicles to the limit on the road. However, driving over rough terrain is best executed with the assistance of the VTM-4. The system is designed to preserve your rear wheel axles. 

The Honda Pilot VTM-4 is an automatic torque management system that senses the amount of pressure needed on the back wheel axles. The program readings will send additional engine power to each axle if you’re driving on hazardous roads. The distribution of power can go to either the left, right or both wheels. It all depends on the condition of the road. The automatic system should detect the level of traction needed by the back wheels. When this occurs, the VTM-4 will divert power to the rear wheels to maintain proper steering control of the Honda Pilot. 

What Does it Mean When The VTM-4 Light For The Honda Pilot Comes On?

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If you recently purchased a Honda Pilot, you might wonder about the meaning of the VTM-4 light coming on your vehicle’s dashboard. 

Often, various lights will come on your Honda Pilot dashboard. All are indicators of what is taking place inside the car. Usually, it may take a full year of ownership before learning the true meaning of the VTM-4 light. 

The VTM-4 is a variable torque management system for all four tires. The system’s main job is to distribute the level of torque to the back wheels when traction is required to combat poor driving conditions. Keep in mind that the VTM-4 is continuously on. The dashboard light is a reminder to the driver that the system is in use. However, the VTM-4 system can lock or freeze in place after driving over rough terrain. Thus, the dashboard light will remain on until the VTM-4 is reset. 

But, do not use the VTM-4 system on dry, paved roads as it may damage the rear differentials on your back wheel axles after making sharp turns. If left untreated, you will hear strange noises and vibrations coming from the Honda Pilot’s transmission. Suddenly, you are looking at an expensive repair.

Why My Honda Pilot VTM-4 Light Stays On

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Sometimes, the VTM-4 light will stay on the dashboard of your Honda Pilot for no apparent reason. If asked, most car owners won’t know why the VTM-4 light stays on while the vehicle is moving. 

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Too many Honda Pilot owners fail to realize that the VTM-4 system turns on and off automatically. The light is an indicator to the driver that the system is on. It depends on the degree of traction needed to navigate through questionable road conditions. 

The Honda Pilot’s VTM-4 is a four-wheel drive system that distributes engine torque to the rear wheel axles. The system is active and does not require much interaction with the driver. The VTM-4 will activate itself depending on the need for traction over rough terrain. 

However, the VTM-4 system can lock and freeze without much notice. The dashboard light will stay on unexpectedly. Usually, the course to fix the problem is resetting the VTM-4 system. It might be wise to take your Honda Pilot to a local dealership. A service department technician can diagnose and make the necessary repairs to get your vehicle back on the road.

How to Reset VTM-4 Light on Honda Pilot

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Honda Pilot owners have trouble resetting the VTM-4 light after the system has frozen and the dashboard icon remains lit. However, removing the fault is not as easy if the reset process is done incorrectly.

If you recently completed repair work on your Honda Pilot’s VTM-4 by yourself, the dashboard light will remain on if you fail to reset the system. The reset process is very simple to follow. 

Some Honda Pilot owners feel uncomfortable about resetting the VTM-4 light by themselves. Instead, they will go to their local Honda dealership to have a service technician reset the VTM-4 system. 

Here are the steps to reset the VTM-4 light:

First, keep the Honda Pilot running while pressing the VTM-4 dashboard button (usually it is located near the car radio). Shift the vehicle’s gear to drive (D), then park (P) before shifting back to drive. Keep your foot on the brake all the time. Turn the ignition switch to the lock position, then wait a few seconds before restarting the car.

Hopefully, the VTM-4 light has been turned off. But if the dashboard light stays on, you may have mechanical issues with the four-wheel drive transfer system. 

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