Are the VCM problems corrected in Generation 9 V6 EX-L Sedans? - Drive Accord Honda Forums | radio-pro.ru
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post #1 of 74 Old 11-09-2015, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Are the VCM problems corrected in Generation 9 V6 EX-L Sedans?

Have owners of the 2013 and newer V6 EX-L sedans seen better results from the new Variable Cylinder Management system in the Earth Dreams engine?

I was looking at 2012s but decided against one because of the oil burn, fouled plugs and ring replacement issues on the gen. 8. I'm hoping the issues were fixed on the gen. 9 accords, so i can get a reliable V6 accord.

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post #2 of 74 Old 11-09-2015, 07:37 AM
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I'm not sure but would like to know as well.

I do know that you can shut off VCM if you buy the VC Muzzler. There was a guy on here selling it awhile back. It works but then you have slightly worse gas mileage so you have to be willing to pay for that extra, but it might be a good tradeoff if it reduces some of those VCM risks over time

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post #3 of 74 Old 11-09-2015, 07:45 AM
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Yes, they are fixed.
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post #4 of 74 Old 11-09-2015, 08:14 AM
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They are fixed, but some people (I'm one of them) still find the characteristics of VCM to be annoying. I turned it off using KTuner, and my mileage was hardly affected.
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post #5 of 74 Old 11-09-2015, 08:21 AM
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I don't notice my VCM at all.
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post #6 of 74 Old 11-09-2015, 08:24 AM
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I also have a hard feeling the VCM working. As far I know, it's a non issue for me.

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post #7 of 74 Old 11-09-2015, 08:30 AM
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I haven't explicitly noticed it as yet. Then again, I'm having some trouble finding hard info on precisely what conditions trigger it or what to look/listen for.
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post #8 of 74 Old 11-09-2015, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickBlaine View Post
Yes, they are fixed.
Can you add a little detail for my comfort and understanding? I have a 2008-2010 Odyssey and I know there are "issues" possible with that VCM system (the plug fouling and also potential replacement of the active motor mounts).

What is different about our 2014 VCM system vs the 2008-2010? (i.e. what did they change to make ours a more reliable and less problem-causing system?) I'd still assume that the engine mounts issue is a potential, although our cars are still too new to have any view there. Probably in 2017 or 2018 we'll find out if a bunch of us need to spend the cash to replace the mounts.

I'm trying to decide if it makes sense to kill my VCM through that VCMuzzler product or something similar.

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Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
I haven't explicitly noticed it as yet. Then again, I'm having some trouble finding hard info on precisely what conditions trigger it or what to look/listen for.
You should be able to notice especially cruising around 45mph or so. Listen and feel as you ease off the gas from acceleration to that speed. You'll feel a small lurch (small) and then you'll feel a little more vibration and hear a little more "growling" sound. If you push VERY LIGHTLY on the gas at that point you'll probably get even more of that growl. My theory is that while the engine is operating in 3cyl mode if you just touch the accel the car may try to accelerate a little bit in 3cyl mode which really pushes the engine to vibrate.

Again these are all small feeling items and honestly it doesn't bother me. However if I can avoid replacing engine mounts and de-risk other VCM-related things, and get a 100% smooth operation at all times eliminating the above growling, I'm considering doing that. The trade-off is probably 2+ mpg losses so there is a real financial cost to going this route.

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post #9 of 74 Old 11-09-2015, 07:59 PM
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marty: As usual- you are detailed. I may not be able to provide as good of an answer as you deserve on this.

I attended a Honda event this Spring and talked to marketing types and Honda engineers. I asked about the VCM, and they gave me the standard run-down:

This is the newest generation of VCM tech which improves upon the shortcomings that version #1 and version #2 had.

The motor mounts are longer lasting- so the vibration issue won't shorten its lifespan. The piston rings were improved to prevent oil from getting into the combustion chamber, the ECU turns the VCM on/off more frequently- I was told that extra cylinders come on at least every 90 seconds, reducing the heat/cool cycles of piston temps, and of course the old technology of either all 6 cylinders working or only 3 cylinders working was done away with.

There is more....I can't confirm but I wonder what the spark plug change interval is on the non-manual transmission 9th Gen 6 cylinder engines?

On the 8th Gen forum, there are a few members who had problems with their older VCM technology. The work around advice we give new owners of 8th Gen Accords is to change the plugs every 2 years instead of waiting 100,000 miles.

There are lots of articles on the improvements, but I could not find one from Honda. But I did talk to their engineers about it- and that is what they told me. I hope member "HondaTechAV6" will be along to school me on this.....



I want to add that the most important thing owners can do is to check their oil level frequently. The VCM issue reminds me of Honda's V6 automatic transmissions. Long after the transmission problem was fixed by Honda, it kept resurfacing as "new" owners bought used 1999-2003 Accords with V6 engines and automatic transmissions. Some had failures, some did not. I think the VCM thing stays in the news because of the first generation VCM- now ten years old, they are still out there. "New" owners buy them, don't check oil or spark plugs, and get failures.
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post #10 of 74 Old 11-09-2015, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickBlaine View Post
marty: As usual- you are detailed. I may not be able to provide as good of an answer as you deserve on this.

I attended a Honda event this Spring and talked to marketing types and Honda engineers. I asked about the VCM, and they gave me the standard run-down:

This is the newest generation of VCM tech which improves upon the shortcomings that version #1 and version #2 had.

The motor mounts are longer lasting- so the vibration issue won't shorten its lifespan. The piston rings were improved to prevent oil from getting into the combustion chamber, the ECU turns the VCM on/off more frequently- I was told that extra cylinders come on at least every 90 seconds, reducing the heat/cool cycles of piston temps, and of course the old technology of either all 6 cylinders working or only 3 cylinders working was done away with.

There is more....I can't confirm but I wonder what the spark plug change interval is on the non-manual transmission 9th Gen 6 cylinder engines?

On the 8th Gen forum, there are a few members who had problems with their older VCM technology. The work around advice we give new owners of 8th Gen Accords is to change the plugs every 2 years instead of waiting 100,000 miles.

There are lots of articles on the improvements, but I could not find one from Honda. But I did talk to their engineers about it- and that is what they told me. I hope member "HondaTechAV6" will be along to school me on this.....



I want to add that the most important thing owners can do is to check their oil level frequently. The VCM issue reminds me of Honda's V6 automatic transmissions. Long after the transmission problem was fixed by Honda, it kept resurfacing as "new" owners bought used 1999-2003 Accords with V6 engines and automatic transmissions. Some had failures, some did not. I think the VCM thing stays in the news because of the first generation VCM- now ten years old, they are still out there. "New" owners buy them, don't check oil or spark plugs, and get failures.
I thought the current VCM is 3 Cylinders only when activated, you sure about this part?

VCM continues to be mostly a dead issue on the 9th gen forum. It's there for sure, and you know that the engine is doing something but it is subtle and when I see my MPG's pinned on 60 the instant that I take my foot off the gas I'm good with that. When and if gas prices go back up, you will be glad to have VCM.

My car is low mileage about 8k and for the first oil change it used a little oil, not enough to add or anything like that but numerous forum posts indicated this was normal. Have about 4,500 miles on 1st oil change at 50% the stick shows full. I think the Earth Dreams engines have refined VCM enough that it's not an issue anymore, the new piston rings solved the oil burning.

Looking at the Honda Pilot forum for the new DI earth dreams V6 I don't find much about VCM complaints for the current Pilot.

To me, the biggest problem with the V6 is the throttle response and it's inconsistent. Some days the car feels like it can hold gears before downshifting better than others. I get gas from the same place (Gulf) so it may be temp related. Seems to be the best at 60 degrees. A bit of a mystery on this one. The V6 is one hell of an engine, it is so smooth and it eats hills and closes gaps quite easily. I love having the extra ponies on the highway and it sounds pretty good too.

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post #11 of 74 Old 11-10-2015, 05:34 AM
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Marty- I would not worry about engine mounts too much. How long do you plan on keeping the car? I think of it as an item that has to be handled way down the road, much like the timing belt. Even then, I believe it's the rear active engine mount that takes the bulk of the punishment and that is the only one you'd probably ever have to replace.

VCM- On the 8th Gen Accords, VCM was tri-mode, 3-4-6 cylinders. 9th Gen is dual mode 3-6 because the engine was upgraded and given more low end torque, thus allowing 3 or 6 cylinders and cutting out 4-cyl mode. In 2011, the VCM software was altered to prevent the VCM from cycling off/on constantly on flat roads. The software change also kept the spark plugs in the inactive cylinders firing to keep the temperature up. It was believed that the inactive cylinders would get cold after long periods of VCM engagement, contributing to the oil consumption issue. Rick is correct about the piston rings, which also played a part. It is my understanding that Honda moved to a different type of piston rings in the 8th gen which affected V6 models but also 4-cyl as well. Pilots and Odysseys were also oil burners for the same reasons. I have not seen any reports of oil burning in either engine in the 9th Gen. My oil level was approx 8 oz off the full line at 6,500 miles. It wasn't low but I topped it off anyways, and it has not budged off the full line since (26k miles on the car now). I did notice that VCM is more subtle north of 15k miles. It is only really noticeable at very specific RPMs. There is light coarseness in the 1600-1800 RPM range when VCM is engaged, which translates to speeds around 38 mph in 5th gear (it shifts to 6th gear at 40 mph and RPM drops to around 1200 RPM and it is smooth). Also in the 50 mph range in 6th gear puts it in that 1600-1800 RPM range and it seems a bit boggy. I don't have problem with VCM on the highway but it can be annoying in stop and go city driving bc it is quick to engage and is cycling off/on constantly, it almost seems pointless. I hadn't heard about VCM disengaging at least every 90 seconds, that is probably to keep temperature up in the inactive cylinders as well. Honda seems to have figured VCM out, to the point that it is in all Acura V6 models as well. It's not perfect, but it does boost the efficiency of the engine if you're cruising a decent amount.

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post #12 of 74 Old 11-10-2015, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickBlaine View Post
marty: As usual- you are detailed. I may not be able to provide as good of an answer as you deserve on this.

I attended a Honda event this Spring and talked to marketing types and Honda engineers. I asked about the VCM, and they gave me the standard run-down:

This is the newest generation of VCM tech which improves upon the shortcomings that version #1 and version #2 had.

The motor mounts are longer lasting- so the vibration issue won't shorten its lifespan. The piston rings were improved to prevent oil from getting into the combustion chamber, the ECU turns the VCM on/off more frequently- I was told that extra cylinders come on at least every 90 seconds, reducing the heat/cool cycles of piston temps, and of course the old technology of either all 6 cylinders working or only 3 cylinders working was done away with.

There is more....I can't confirm but I wonder what the spark plug change interval is on the non-manual transmission 9th Gen 6 cylinder engines?

On the 8th Gen forum, there are a few members who had problems with their older VCM technology. The work around advice we give new owners of 8th Gen Accords is to change the plugs every 2 years instead of waiting 100,000 miles.

There are lots of articles on the improvements, but I could not find one from Honda. But I did talk to their engineers about it- and that is what they told me. I hope member "HondaTechAV6" will be along to school me on this.....



I want to add that the most important thing owners can do is to check their oil level frequently. The VCM issue reminds me of Honda's V6 automatic transmissions. Long after the transmission problem was fixed by Honda, it kept resurfacing as "new" owners bought used 1999-2003 Accords with V6 engines and automatic transmissions. Some had failures, some did not. I think the VCM thing stays in the news because of the first generation VCM- now ten years old, they are still out there. "New" owners buy them, don't check oil or spark plugs, and get failures.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HondaGuy2 View Post
Marty- I would not worry about engine mounts too much. How long do you plan on keeping the car? I think of it as an item that has to be handled way down the road, much like the timing belt. Even then, I believe it's the rear active engine mount that takes the bulk of the punishment and that is the only one you'd probably ever have to replace.

VCM- On the 8th Gen Accords, VCM was tri-mode, 3-4-6 cylinders. 9th Gen is dual mode 3-6 because the engine was upgraded and given more low end torque, thus allowing 3 or 6 cylinders and cutting out 4-cyl mode. In 2011, the VCM software was altered to prevent the VCM from cycling off/on constantly on flat roads. The software change also kept the spark plugs in the inactive cylinders firing to keep the temperature up. It was believed that the inactive cylinders would get cold after long periods of VCM engagement, contributing to the oil consumption issue. Rick is correct about the piston rings, which also played a part. It is my understanding that Honda moved to a different type of piston rings in the 8th gen which affected V6 models but also 4-cyl as well. Pilots and Odysseys were also oil burners for the same reasons. I have not seen any reports of oil burning in either engine in the 9th Gen. My oil level was approx 8 oz off the full line at 6,500 miles. It wasn't low but I topped it off anyways, and it has not budged off the full line since (26k miles on the car now). I did notice that VCM is more subtle north of 15k miles. It is only really noticeable at very specific RPMs. There is light coarseness in the 1600-1800 RPM range when VCM is engaged, which translates to speeds around 38 mph in 5th gear (it shifts to 6th gear at 40 mph and RPM drops to around 1200 RPM and it is smooth). Also in the 50 mph range in 6th gear puts it in that 1600-1800 RPM range and it seems a bit boggy. I don't have problem with VCM on the highway but it can be annoying in stop and go city driving bc it is quick to engage and is cycling off/on constantly, it almost seems pointless. I hadn't heard about VCM disengaging at least every 90 seconds, that is probably to keep temperature up in the inactive cylinders as well. Honda seems to have figured VCM out, to the point that it is in all Acura V6 models as well. It's not perfect, but it does boost the efficiency of the engine if you're cruising a decent amount.
You guys have made me feel better and at this point I think I will leave it alone and not spend another 70 bucks on a Muzzler (plus the extra fuel cost over time).

I TOTALLY agree that VCM especially on my 2014 Accord is very hard to detect. As you said HondaGuy....the time I feel it most is around 40-45mph (which unfortunately is where I do a lot of driving here in the burbs with their 35mph limit). On the highway I feel nothing at all.

If Honda has made some better design changes between my 2010 Odyssey and my 2014 Accord then I will go ahead and trust it. And yes I also agree that there is very little talk about VCM hell here on radio-pro.ru 9th Gen. If they changed the components and beefed up the mount and changed the software logic then it sounds like they are trying to fix the problems.

My Accord burns very little oil but I've only got 13.5K on it.

To be fair I also haven't had any issues with my Odyssey burning oil or having excessive vibration, and I know Honda extended the warranty for the fouled plug issues too. I was curious to try turning off the VCM there and I do enjoy the driving dynamics on the Odyssey, and now that I've paid the money for the Muzzler I'll leave it on and pay the extra few coins for gas mileage. On the Odyssey people are finding VERY LITTLE difference in real world mileage with VCM turned off. On the Accord, I'm suspecting the difference might be a bit more meaningful. No way my Odyssey gets anywhere close to 35mpg highway.....

All very interesting stuff and thanks for the answers. I'm not trying to be a pain with asking for "details" but I also never just take things for granted like "VCM is fixed now" just because I haven't seen as many complaints here as on the Odyssey forum. I wanted to understand why it might be a better system now and it sounds like they made some real changes.

Thanks guys
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post #13 of 74 Old 11-10-2015, 09:45 AM
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I just went through an entire tank of fuel without VCM and I still got 29.74 MPG. The tank before with VCM was 29.66 MPG. There's probably some loss of mileage without VCM, but it doesn't seem to matter in my driving routine. I love the way the car drives without VCM. Throttle response while cruising is instantaneous, with none of that slight hesitation caused by VCM disengaging.

And maybe there's something wrong with my car, but during the winter months VCM gets much more noticeable. On a 90 degree day, I could hardly tell it was working most of the time, but on a cold day it would vibrate my rearview mirror whenever it was engaged. Thank goodness for KTuner. I won't dread driving my car when it's cold anymore.

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post #14 of 74 Old 11-10-2015, 09:57 AM
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My '15 MDX VCM is flawless and I get up to 32 MPG freeway. Over 500 miles across the mountains of WV I averaged 28 MPG at 70 MPH.

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post #15 of 74 Old 11-10-2015, 12:20 PM
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Mine continues to operate flawlessly now after 2yrs, I'm still hard pressed to feel it actuate when getting up to speed on the turnpikes.


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