What Does Check Engine and Vtm-4 Light Mean?

If you’re like most car owners, you probably get a little worried when the error light on your dashboard turns on. Much to the dismay of drivers everywhere, the check engine light and VTM-4 light can appear on your car’s dashboard with little to no warning. 

While these lights can sometimes be benign, they often indicate that something is wrong with your vehicle. In this post, we’ll explore what these lights mean and how you can troubleshoot them. So, let’s get right to the point.

What Does Check Engine and Vtm-4 Light Mean

What Does Check Engine Light Mean?

The “Check Engine” light is one of the most important indicators on a vehicle. A warning light comes on when the vehicle’s computer detects an issue with the engine or emissions control system. 

When this light comes on, it is essential to have the vehicle checked by a qualified technician as soon as possible. In some cases, the “Check Engine” light may come on due to a simple problem. Sometimes, engine code may turn itself off as well.

What does VTM-4 Mean on Dashboard?

The VTM-4 light on the dashboard indicates that the vehicle’s traction control system is active. This system is designed to help improve traction and stability while driving on slippery or uneven surfaces. 

When the VTM-4 light is illuminated, the system is working to keep the vehicle stable and prevent it from slipping or sliding. In some cases, it may also indicate a problem with the traction control system. 

It’s to be noted that the VTM-4 system was introduced by Honda, which is why it’s found only on Honda vehicles.

What Causes Check Engine Light and VTM-4 Light to Turn On?

The following are some of the probable causes behind turning the “Check Engine” and VTM-4 lights on.

Low Engine Oil

Low engine oil level or quality can trigger both the lights at once. This is the first issue we recommend checking as it’s found commonly. 

The engine oil dipstick is usually located near the front of the engine, and it has a circular loop at the end. For checking your car’s oil level, remove the dipstick and wipe the oil off with a rag.  Next, put it back into the dipstick tube and remove it again. 

If it’s below the “low” mark, you’ll need to add more oil. It’s also important to check the quality of the oil. If it’s dark and dirty, it’s time to have it changed. 

Gasket Problem

An oil pan gasket is a seal that sits between the oil pan and the engine block. It keeps oil from leaking out of the oil pan and leaking into other components. Over time, the oil pan gasket can wear out and cause oil to leak. 

If you have an oil leak, you may see the VTM-4 light on. You may also see oil on the ground where you park your car. You may also find smoke coming out of the oil compartment if your vehicle has a bad oil pan gasket. 

Oil Pressure Sensors

When an oil sensor malfunctions, it can trigger a VTM-4 light and a check engine light. This can happen when the oil level is low or when the oil pressure is too high. 

Oil sensor malfunctions can be avoided by regularly checking the oil level and oil pressure. The easiest way of checking an oil sensor malfunction is by scanning the DTC. This issue triggers the P3400 light, thus it’s easily identifiable. 

Rocker Arm Oil Pressure Switch

A rocker arm oil pressure switch is a switch that is located on the rocker arms of some engines. This switch is used to monitor the oil pressure in the engine. 

If the oil pressure falls below a certain level, the rocker arm oil pressure switch will activate and turn on the engine’s VTM-4 light. 

Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve Problem

EGR, or exhaust gas recirculation, valves help cuttimg down the NOx emissions by recirculating a portion of the exhaust gas back into the engine. 

However, if the EGR valve becomes clogged or otherwise malfunctions, it can cause the VTM-4 to light to turn on. In some cases, a malfunctioning EGR valve can also cause reduced engine power and decreased fuel economy.

How to Diagnose the Check Engine and VTM-4 Light Issue?

How to Diagnose the Check Engine and VTM-4 Light Issue

The best way would be to check for each of the causes mentioned above. We’ve listed them serially in terms of ease, so follow them serially. 

Cross-check what you’re facing with the symptoms mentioned. Once you figure out the potential problem, replace the damaged component either by yourself or via a mechanic. 

Although seeing a mechanic can be more expensive, we wouldn’t recommend tinkering by yourself unless you have prior experience. 

Repairing Cost

Depending on the extent of the damage, repair costs for a VTM-4 light can vary widely. Usually, it ranges from $200-$350 if you’re getting it fixed by a professional. You could cut the cost down to around $100 by DIY methods. 

If only a few components need to be replaced, the repair cost may be relatively low. However, if the entire light needs to be replaced, the cost can be high. In some cases, it may even be more cost-effective to purchase a new light than to repair the old one. 

Therefore, it is important to assess the damage before deciding whether or not to repair the light. With proper care and maintenance, a VTM-4 light can last for many years; however, repair costs can add up over time, so it is important to weigh all options before deciding.

Can You Drive the Honda Pilot with the VTM-4 Light On?

The VTM-4 light is a Honda Pilot warning light that comes on when the vehicle’s all-wheel-drive system is engaged. While it’s perfectly safe to drive with the VTM-4 light on, it’s important to be aware of what it means. 

VTM-4 stands for Vehicle Traction Management and is a system that helps to improve traction and stability on slippery roads. When the VTM-4 light is on, the system is engaged and working to keep the vehicle stable. 

However, if you’re driving in dry conditions, you may not need the VTM-4 system and can safely turn it off. To do so, simply press the VTM-4 button on the dash.

Then again, certain issues can trigger the VTM-4 light and can prevent you from turning it off. In these cases, you’ll have to follow the aforementioned steps to troubleshoot the system. 

You can drive with the light on in this case too, but we recommend checking the issue as it can cause some long-term problems or damage components permanently.

How to Reset VTM-4 on a Honda Pilot?

If the VTM-4 light comes on accidentally, it indicates that the system is not working properly and needs to be reset. In order to reset the VTM-4 system, follow these steps:

  • Park the vehicle on a level surface and turn off the engine.
  • Remove the VTM-4 fuse from the fuse box.
  • Wait for 30 seconds before replacing the fuse.
  • Start the engine and check if the VTM-4 light is still on. If it is, repeat steps 2-4. Otherwise, the system has been reset and is now working properly.


So, what does this all mean for car owners? If your dashboard lights up with a VTM-4 warning, don’t panic just quite yet. There are a few things you can do to try and diagnose the issue before taking your vehicle into the shop. 

Hopefully, these tips have helped shed some light on what causes VTM-4 and how to deal with it. Stay safe out there on the roads!

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