Blog Car Care Advice 5 Pressing AWD System Problems in Honda Pilot (+How To Fix)
Car Care Advice

5 Pressing AWD System Problems in Honda Pilot (+How To Fix)

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Experiencing AWD problems in your Honda Pilot?
You’re not alone. 

All-wheel drive system problems are relatively common in some Honda Pilot years and other Honda models like the Honda Civic, Honda Accord, and Honda CR V.  

So let’s address some of the AWD issues encountered by Honda Pilot owners, provide reliable solutions, repair costs, and identify model years to avoid.

This Article Contains: 

Let’s go!

5 Recurrent All-Wheel Drive System Problems in Honda Pilot 

Here are some of the AWD system issues Honda Pilots could face and their potential solutions:

1. Dash Displays AWD Warning Light  

The All-Wheel Drive (AWD) warning light on your Honda Pilot vehicle indicates issues with the AWD system. 

These include:

Now, to clear the warning light, you’ll need to find out its cause. But, this diagnosis can be tricky. Your best bet is to visit a mechanic.

Note: You can continue driving with the warning light, but timely repair is necessary. The AWD alert essentially deactivates your car’s AWD system, shifting your Honda Pilot into front-wheel drive mode. 

2. Honda Pilot Shows Emissions System Error along with AWD Light 

If you’re experiencing emissions system errors and an activated AWD light in your Honda Pilot, it’s recommended to visit a service center ASAP. 

The emissions system in modern vehicles is complex and tightly integrated with various components. When an error occurs, it may affect the overall performance of the vehicle, including the AWD system. 

Moreover, diagnosing emissions system errors often requires specialized tools and diagnostic equipment.

Here’s what your mechanic will do: 

3.  Honda Pilot Displays “AWD Warning — Cannot Transmit Power to the Rear Wheels” Message

Honda’s advanced VTM 4 system, called “intelligent variable torque management,” controls the torque distribution to your car’s rear wheels. This system is designed to enhance your vehicle’s traction and stability, especially while driving in challenging or off-road conditions.

But, if you haven’t gone off-road or had any collision, you may get this warning due to an electrical glitch — a faulty speed sensor or a circuit problem. Further diagnostics would be required to determine the cause.

The good news?
Driving with this warning doesn’t pose an immediate threat to your vehicle.

The Honda Pilot typically operates in the front-wheel drive (FWD) mode, with the rear wheels engaging only in adverse weather conditions when additional traction is required. So, you can drive with only the front wheels engaged until you address the issue. That said, you should be cautious while driving on snowy or slippery roads, as rear wheels will lack traction.

4. Transfer Case Is Leaking

The transfer case uses a fluid (a specific type of automatic transmission fluid) for proper functioning and lubrication.

The output shaft seals prevent this transmission fluid from leaking between the case, rear axle, and rear differential. If these seals wear out or break, lubrication can diminish, causing the transfer case to overheat.

The mechanic will inspect the transfer case, replace the old fluid, and test drive the vehicle to find the leak. If repairable, they’ll disassemble and reseal the case, whereas irreparable damage may require a complete replacement.

5. Check Engine Light On along with VTM 4 Light (Displays P0171/P0174 Code)

These trouble codes indicate your ECU (Engine Control Unit) has detected a lean fuel mixture in your vehicle, activating the check engine light

These codes can be triggered by:

However, you’ll need a mechanic to identify the exact cause for the VTM 4 system and the check engine light warning coming on.

Now that we’ve discussed common issues and solutions for the Honda Pilot, let’s check out the repair costs to fix them.

How Much Does Honda AWD System Diagnosis and Repair Cost?

Diagnosing the AWD system on a Honda vehicle generally ranges between $100 to $200. You may need to pay extra based on the replacement required.

Here are the estimated costs of some AWD replacements (excluding labor):

Honda is renowned for reliability and versatility. However, some Honda Pilot users have reported car performance issues from specific model years.
Let’s explore these in detail.

Which Honda Pilot Years Should I Avoid and Why?

While new Honda vehicles ensure a smooth driving experience, the older models may lead to a bumpy ride.

If you’re planning to get a pre-owned Honda Pilot, you should avoid model years: 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2016.

Here are a few reasons:

Resolving Honda Pilot AWD Problems 

While the Honda’s AWD system is thoughtfully designed to keep you worry-free and safe on the road, it’s not immune to its share of problems. This guide covers some of the issues you could potentially face in your Honda Pilot and offers solutions to resolve them.

But, if you’re unfamiliar with car parts and AWD components, it’s best to leave the job to professionals — like AutoNation Mobile Service.

We’re a mobile auto repair and maintenance service offering upfront pricing and stellar customer service.
Contact us and get AWD repairs done right in your driveway!