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2007 Honda Odyssey Touring-Variable Cylinder Mgmt

pcrucianipcruciani Posts: 15
edited March 27 in Honda
I recently purchased a new 2007 Odyssey Touring. When the Variable Cylinder Managment system engages (from 6 to 3 cylinders) there is a very noticeable hesitation/bucking. According to the owner's manual and Odyssey video, the driver will "not notice" VCM being engaged. I test drove two other Odysseys equipped with VCM and didn't notice any hesitation/bucking.


  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Some claim they can feel it engage and some (myself included) never have felt anything.

    What you are describing, however, is something out of the ordinary. Sounds like it's time for a trip back to the dealer.
  • I notice the VCM on our '06 EXL/NAV/RES...probably because of my mechanical background. The engine will vibrate slightly & there is a suttle noise pulsation in the cabin.

    Hesitation & bucking is definitely not normal. Have the dealer look at it & keep us posted.
  • Thanks for the feedback. The hesitation/bucking is definitely more noticeable at slow speeds, particularly when decelerating. I have also noticed vibration through the gas pedal, which is odd because I believe the odyssey is throttle by wire. I have an appt. with the dealer tomorrow morning.
  • pcrucianipcruciani Posts: 15
    I had a rather disappointing experience with the dealer. I took the technician for a test drive and although he could feel the hesitation/bucking, the dealer claims that is "normal" and a result of the VCM system engaging/disengaging. I find it hard to believe that a vehicle that constantly hesitates, enough that the driver and passenger(s) can notice, is normal, especially for a vehicle with a $39690 MSRP. Who would buy an Odyssey if they all hesitated/bucked every time the VCM system engaged/disengaged The other frustrating thing is that if the dealer doesn't get a "code" to indicate there is a problem, they assume there isn't one. A car is still a machine and not every piece of the machine has a sensor that provides feedback or a "code" to a computer. It could be a loose or bad plug wire, a bad spark plug, bad sensor or something else fairly minor. I doubt any of basics were checked. I am taking it to a different dealer.
    Do any fellow VCM equipped owners feel anything when the system engages/disengages?
  • odymikeodymike Posts: 23
    In my 05' Touring, the only indication that VCM has engaged is the light on the dashboard. I don't hear/feel anything. When it turns disengages, occasionally you can feel a minor jerk - like a downshift as all six cylinders fire - again, it really isn't noticeable (to me anyway).
  • pcrucianipcruciani Posts: 15
    Thanks for the reply. The video that came with the van states that the switch between 3 and 6 cylinders "is seamless to the driver and passangers," and for a $40K vehicle, it ought to be.
  • chirpchirp Posts: 194
    I have an '06 Touring and the VCM system is totally unnoticeable as advertised. The eco light is all I ever see. Someone said that the eco light and the VCM are not necessarily always connected. In other words, you can be in a gas-saving mode (i.e. coasting) with the eco light on and the engine not necessarily in VCM mode. That doesn't really have anything to do with your situation, unfortunately. The bucking sounds like a transmission issue to me.
  • exb0exb0 Posts: 539
    The hesitation/bucking is definitely more noticeable at slow speeds, particularly when decelerating.

    My wife drives an 07 EX-L with same problem. At first, I also thought it was the VCM, but then I took it for an extended test drive. I noticed that when it does hesitate on deceleration the RPM goes up from 1000 to 1500. To me it seems that the transmission is downshifting whenever the van is coasting.

    The van has a little over 1000 miles on it now, and seems like it doesn’t do it as much anymore, or if it does, it does it much smother now.
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    Are you sure it isn't the transmission working to slow the van down? These vans don't coast down hills like older vehicles do and the transmission works more to slow the van down so you're not using your brakes as much and wearing them out. My EX does this and it took a while to get used to, but I like it now. I don't have to hit the brakes as quickly or as hard to slow down.
  • pcrucianipcruciani Posts: 15
    When slowing down, I can definitely feel the transmission downshifting, but it is rather harsh/abrupt (rocks you forward in your seat). Is the downshifting in your's harsh (very pronounced/noticeable) or smooth (slightly pronounced/noticeable)?
  • deewofdeewof Posts: 11
    Harsh might be too strong a word in my case, but I have a similar downshifting problem in my '06 Accord EX w/6 cyl. engine, with 7300 miles. It's making a huge dent in my mpg, due to the numerous times a day I need to press the accelerator just to maintain normal speed, which would not be needed were it not for the frequent downshifts on perfectly level terrain anytime I slow down even slightly. After observing the frustrating comments of other Honda owners on these forums, the cause appears to be what Honda engineers call " Grade Logic Control ". It's supposedly hi tech stuff more advanced than curved hockey sticks when all the right signals are emitted. But when there's gremlins & glitches, we pay a pretty hefty price for faulty technology.
  • ml111ml111 Posts: 2
    I just bought a new 2007 Odyssey EX and have the same issue, but do not (should not) have VCM. As you mention in later posts, it is very noticeable at lower speeds while decelerating. I actually move forward at each downshift. I do not feel anything in the gas pedal. I am getting ready to call the dealer for an appointment, any suggestions?
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    My 2006 Ody Touring is very smooth shifting. My friend has a 2007 and she has complained of the roughness of the tranny in her 2007 as well. She also complained of a buzzing that occured about 30 mph. In the end, the dealer replaced the transmission and it has improved.

    The tranny was redesigned in 2007 to be sturdier but it seems smoothness has suffered.
  • pcrucianipcruciani Posts: 15
    Did your friend with the 2007 experience any "transmission slipping" sensation and/or harsh/abrupt downshifting as well? How many visits to the dealer before they agreed to replace the transmission?
  • pcrucianipcruciani Posts: 15
    Definitely take it in. I can't believe that is "normal" performance for any car, especially a Honda.
  • dougpdougp Posts: 5
    My wife and I just bought a 2007. I drove it for the first time today since the test drive.

    I'm noticing the exact same issues, at lower speeds. Seems somewhat to happen at the same time as the VCM engaging and disengaging. But have also noticed the RPM slight jump and drop also. It's annoying as heck to me at slower speeds. That said, my wife doesn't notice it and she drives it 95% of the time. Might watch it for a bit as the car has 800 miles now.

    Would love to hear if someone else discovers a definite problem or solution.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    I am not sure how many times my friend took her '07 in before they replaced the tranny.

    She did say the ECO light flashed so much that she finally put a black piece of tape over that part of the dash display.

    The ECO light in our '06 comes on every so often but not in a "strobing fashion" as she described. I just assumed she was overly sensitive to it.

    My Accord Hybrid also has a (well behaved) ECO light as well.

    I would have to have some experience in an 07 Ody to tell you if behaves differently than our 06.
  • andmoonandmoon Posts: 320
    And I have not experienced the symptoms.

    I read that 2000 rpms translate to 60mph but mine does 1800rpms at 60. Did they change gearing for 07?

    Why are the valves closed when the cylinder is deactivated? Wouldn't open valves cause less resistance since there is no compression or vac? Or does air drag cause more friction than comp. & vac? Just curious.

  • ml111ml111 Posts: 2
    This is an update from my first post #13. I took the van back to the dealership and said "harsh movement" at each downshift while decelerating/coasting especially at lower speeds (40mph and down). The technicians did a diagnostic test and test drove it as well. They came back with "everything is normal". I can't believe that this is normal. I have never driven a car like this including all the rentals I've had on business trips. To continue, I also test drove another van, the same model, from the lot and it was much smoother. I ran out of time at the dealer so my next step is to go with a technician in my van to demonstrate what I'm talking about. (In hindsight I should have done that the first time.)
  • pcrucianipcruciani Posts: 15
    Took the vehicle to the dealer for a third time for the hesitation/bucking, harsh downshifting, and Navigation system issues. Nothing was fixed.
This discussion has been closed.