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Old 05-01-2013, 04:37 AM   #1
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Flat Towing a Honda Pilot

I know questions about towing Honda Pilots have been asked in some form or fashion before but what I would like to know are there people towing newer Honda Pilots (2010, 2011, 2012) that are 4wd (vs. 2wd). I have a 2012 4wd Pilot and I've read people have had success towing Pilots but I'm not sure if they're 2wd or 4wd.

Also, I do know that flat towing is not approved by Honda for the Pilots and that the warranty would be void if something happened to the trans, but people have been towing Pilots and other non-approved Honda's for years without any problems. But, as I mentioned, I'm not sure if people are towing 4wd Pilots.

Thanks,
Michael
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:51 PM   #2
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Are the Honda Pilots AWD (All Wheel Drive) or 4WD (4 wheel drive) ? I understood that our 2005 is AWD. It's a great toad.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimkate View Post
Are the Honda Pilots AWD (All Wheel Drive) or 4WD (4 wheel drive) ? I understood that our 2005 is AWD. It's a great toad.
My 2005 Acura MDX is rated for 4 down towing. Other years of CRV, Pilot, MDX and TL-AWD may or may not be. I would stick with the factory recommendation, which is found in the owner's manual for the particular model. Honda customer relations in CA can also give you the info.


Actually, Honda/Acura use a proprietary system called VTM-4. It is one of many versions of All Wheel Drive available in the marketplace. It actually combines the advantages of old-style 4WD with a manual transfer case, and the more modern designs of AWD that "cut in" as needed.


This article covers the new electronically controlled limited/locking axle found in the Honda Pilot and Acura MDX termed as the Variable Torque Management (VTM-4) system. The VTM-4 system contains a control module, which controls current to two electro-magnetic coils that act on a mechanical wet-clutch. The system can operate from 0 percent torque delivery up to 53 percent of torque delivery, based on conditions and preemptive strategies. One of the great benefits of the VTM-4 is the ability to initiate a variety of operational strategies, including delivering torque to the rear wheels before wheel slip even occurs. The following defines the operating modes of the VTM4.
Operation:
Acceleration: Based on a variety of inputs, such as engine load and speed, the VTM-4's control module pulse-width-modulates (PWM) the coils in the axle assembly to control amount of torque transfer to the rear wheels. This is a proactive measure to prevent the wheels from loosing traction on acceleration.
Cruise or Coast: When in cruise or coast mode, the VTM-4 reduces the torque transfer to the rear wheels to zero in order to improve fuel efficiency and driveability.
Limited Slip: In the event of a loss of traction, the VTM-4 control module has the ability to control each coil in the rear axle in order to deliver torque to the wheel with the most traction.

Locking: When the vehicle is placed in Manual 1st or 2nd and the VTM-4 button is pressed, the differential initiates full lock (5 amps to the coils) until the vehicle reaches 6mph. At that point, the control module decreases current flow to the coils until the vehicle reaches 18mph, where the current flow is decreased to zero amps.
How does it work?
About the only thing that the VTM-4 has in common with a conventional rear axle assembly is a drive pinion and ring gear. Upon disassembly, you will find an oil pump incorporated within the carrier and two multiple disc clutch assemblies on each end of the rear axle housing.
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:29 AM   #4
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Flat Towing Honda Pilot

Bluepil --thanks for the detail info. The official wording on the "window sticker" is VTM-4 4-Wheel Drive System. Does your 2005 have this system?

It is my understanding that around 2004/2005, Honda pretty much quit approving their cars for flat towing except for the CR-V and now the Fit. I have a 2004 Accord and it is approved for flat towing but later models aren't.

So is the question is did Honda start changing their transmissions which could make flat towing cause trans damage or did Honda decide they just didn't want to deal with the liability (warranty) issue for people who did not following the proper flat towing procedures.

-Michael
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkwarlick View Post
Bluepil --thanks for the detail info. The official wording on the "window sticker" is VTM-4 4-Wheel Drive System. Does your 2005 have this system?

It is my understanding that around 2004/2005, Honda pretty much quit approving their cars for flat towing except for the CR-V and now the Fit. I have a 2004 Accord and it is approved for flat towing but later models aren't.

So is the question is did Honda start changing their transmissions which could make flat towing cause trans damage or did Honda decide they just didn't want to deal with the liability (warranty) issue for people who did not following the proper flat towing procedures.

-Michael
Our 2005 Pilot has the VTM-4 system. There are detailed instructions in the owner's manual for towing the vehicle. So my 2005 was approved for towing.

There have been other threads on this, also in the Monacoers forum. There are people towing every year of Honda Pilot. It is generally regarded that Honda decided they no longer wanted to be responsible for people who didn't want to follow the required transmission set up procedures for towing.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimkate View Post
Our 2005 Pilot has the VTM-4 system. There are detailed instructions in the owner's manual for towing the vehicle. So my 2005 was approved for towing.
When we were dealing with Honda legal dept. over towing our '05 Ody they flatly stated that a few Pilot manuals were printed that contained info on recreational towing and they were misprints and the '05 Pilots were NOT approved for flat towing behind a motorhome.
The same for our '05 Odyssey, but luckily we had a letter on Honda letterhead issued to us that stated the '05 Ody's were approved for four down towing using the same procedure as the CR-V.
They paid for our four down setup and we bought a dolly.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:23 AM   #7
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What fuse needs to be pulled to tow a 2013 pilot? We didn't need to pull fuses for our 2003 or 2007 Pilot
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:49 PM   #8
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Not to hijack thread, but does 2013 or 2014 Pilot and Mdx have same powertrain. Would love to have a 6-7 passanger to flat tow. MDX would be first choice.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:52 PM   #9
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What fuse needs to be pulled to tow a 2013 pilot? We didn't need to pull fuses for our 2003 or 2007 Pilot
Good luck with that. None of the Pilots since 2004 has been towable four down according to Honda so they don't have info on towing either.
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