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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am brand new to the MDX world. I have always wanted one, and took a chance. I bought a 2005 MDX touring with nav. with 144,000 miles on it with the VTM-4 code on it. I have read LOTS in the forums. I already replaced the oil temperature sensor in the differential hoping that would fix it. The rear differential fluid looks very good. It didnt, and I took to the shop. They said it was throwing a code of 52-1 They said something about the COILS in the differential. THe previous owner said he had ALOT of diagnostic work and AMCO said it was the VTM4 module. He said there was no metal shavings when he had the differntial fluid changed at amco. I was thinking about checking the Pins and the connector on that. What would you guys do next? I was able to find a used differential with only 54k on it for $150.

THanks for your help
 

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See attached diagnostic. Check resistance of coil. If open or dead short, replacement is necessary. Simple diagnostic so likely coil is bad and owner opted to pass the problem on rather than fix. I hope you got a good deal.

good luck
 

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If you are new to MDX, you might not know how the AWD functions in these vehicles. Power to the rear wheels is delivered through a set of electromagnetically actuated clutches. If the clutches or the electromagnetic coils that engage them aren't working it's a front wheel drive vehicle with a uselessly spinning driveshaft going back to the rear "differential". It may drive OK but no AWD. $150 for a used diff sounds like a bargain if it works and you can get it installed without spending a fortune. Probably gonna be some labor to swap that diff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Does anyone know how many hours it takes to change the differential? How many hours to replace by the shop manual? Also the previous owner said that Amco said it was the PCM module, which I thought I could do myself. But it isnt currently throwing the codes.
 

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It could be PCM (less likely), wiring, or coil. Diagnostics req'd to find out which component is at fault. You have the info.

good luck
 

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What TexasHonda said. He sent out the diagnostic info. Beyond that we can all only take wild guesses and potentially send mrrrkva down the wrong track. The diagnostics aren't difficult.

Or, he (or she) can just buy the differential, spend the money to swap it out, and hope for the best (not what I'd do, given how easy it is to figure out what the REAL problem is, of course).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you guys for such Valuable info. Especially the awesome replies from TexasHonda. Aamco did do and determined that it was a bad control unit they are encouraging me to bring that back to Acura as they say if they install the unit it will probably have to be reflashed and I would have to tow it there anyways they are quoting me $1,150 tax installed. I thought I read somewhere on the forum where I could get this much cheaper and do it myself but will I have to get it reflashed at the dealer? Will it really not run if I get a new module?
 

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My fuzzy understanding is not all "code readers" dig as deep on Hondas as Honda's proprietary readers. Honda has a proprietary protocol, Honda Diagnostic System ( HDS ). I would take it to a dealer before I would even think about messing with the control computers. The PCM controls the engine and the entire drivetrain, not just the AWD system. If you really, really hate the dealer, or they are a gizzilion miles away, at least go to a shop that specializes in Hondas.

Full disclosure: I literally just opened the wrapper on my very first OBD code reader, so if the above is complete nonsense, someone please set me straight!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You guys are awesome. We used the diagnostic information. I bought a used PCM and had the acura dealer install it. It works great. No more codes. Now I have a awesome used rear Differential . Never took it off the pallet.
 

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diagnosis

See attached diagnostic. Check resistance of coil. If open or dead short, replacement is necessary. Simple diagnostic so likely coil is bad and owner opted to pass the problem on rather than fix. I hope you got a good deal.

good luck

Does anyone have the steps to diagnose what is causing the vtm4 code 52 the link no longer works


Thanks
 

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Hope maybe this helps someone with the VTM4 52-1 code (2005 MDX) ... 52-1 is for the left electromagnetic clutch circuit. As mentioned previously above,...after a complete diagnosis,...it appeared to be a control unit problem. Ordered a used unit off Ebay,..put it in,...same code. Couple hours later, checking wiring and clutch operation, and more diagnosis,...decided it still seemed like a control unit....ordered a second unit from Ebay,..and all is well. The conclusion is that false 52-1 codes, and faulty control units, definitely exist in these model year MDX's....
 
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