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Honda Accord VCM

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  • After 28 years of Honda ownership, I am ready to leave. We bought our 2008 EXL V6 with VCM with faith in Honda Engineering based on our previous 15 Hondas. Well, three years down the road , front and rear brake problems, the incessant in/out of the VCM with meager gas mileage improvment if any, we have come to the end of the road. TOday the car went crazy as we were leaving NYC to go out to NJ - the check engine light came on on Rt. 3, the VSA light came on, the car downshifted from OD to 3 rd and the D light began flashing on the dash - all this after 3 years and only 28,000 miles. WTH??? I stopped and turned the car off. Restarted and only the malfunction light remained on. Reading the owner's manual, the last time we had driven the car, we had it filled with gas. So I turned the car off, removed the gas cap, and replaced it, turning it so it clicked more than three times. Restarted the car but the light remained on - the owner's manual saying it might take a few days to go away. About a mile down the road, all hell broke loose again - D flashing, tranny downshifting, VSA light coming on, and NOW, the speedometer dropping to O despite our clearly moving at 50 MPH. I stop again and turn off the car - restart and go through the same routine , but this time, it doesn't want to shift out of 1st. Try again and get it to run reasonably and limp back to the city - lights all over the place on the dash, 2500 RPM and no idea how fast I was going and cetainly NO ECO light on!!!! Anyone know what the deal is??? SOunds like the ECM to me, but who knows? One thing I know - it damn near left me sranded - I have NEVER had any Honda/Acura leave me stranded. I have a couple of cars strand me - '86 BMW 5 Series, '93 Dodge Intrepid. Got rid of both. Once I cannot trust a car, that's it for me. I now feel that I cannot trust this car.
  • rcummelinrcummelin Posts: 176
    I think it's broken--Possibly not real bad broken, but broken.

    Hopefully what you have encountered is NOT a portent of things to come for the rest of us.
  • PS - Going to trade on - '08 Acura RL w/17,000 miles on it. Certified used car - $8,000 and mine. Done. No more of this VCM BS.
  • Sorry to hear you too are getting the Honda run around. If you read my posts you'll see what our V6 VCM equipped just did. Maybe it is the torque converter as elliott2 had. All I know is that after 15 years of owning Hondas I am done. Once a car starts going downhill, it doesn't stop.
    I will never again own a Honda V6 unless they drop the VCM, nor can I recommend anyone buy one. It has been annoying, showed no significant improvement in gas mileage, the engine was a slug compared to Toyota and Nissan V6s ( never drove a Hyundai). Fortuntely I have the wherewithal to do what I did and moved up to Acura with its normal V6. Yes it uses premium gas, but I drive 7,000 miles a year - what to I care? Will be good to have a normal V6 again. Cadihonda and it V6-4-3 can take a flying leap as far as I am concerned
  • jmillerjmillerjmillerjmiller Posts: 113
    edited March 2011
    Since Acura is Honda's upmarket brand, it looks like you aren't holding too big of a grudge against Honda.

    I drive low mileage too, and have an 08 Accord EV-L V6 Navi that was bought new. It has suffered from a bit of a shimmy in the steering wheel, and a lot of the jerkiness as vcm goes in and out on the highway since day one. Just ignoring it - as it's been proven by others in this forum and elsewhere that unless it is so severe as to be undrivable, they will call it normal

    Need to get the package shelf rattle fixed - probably that tsd on the trunk spring rods rattling.

    Wish you well on your Acura. You don't say what year it is to only have 7k on it. Most of my cars that I traded with that low a mileage were REAL lemons (rain water leaks, issue after issue that dealers couldn't fix, some horrible design flaw that is only noticed after driving it awhile).
  • jmiller - We have had several Acuras and know them well and that they are Honda's high end cars. I can not own a V6 HONDA - will have nothing to do with ANY engine that has VCM. The Acura has a clean Carfax, is an '08 with 18,000 on it, bought and traded at same dealership by a middle aged woman. Our son bought a 2005 with 28K on it last year so low anual mileage is not out of the question - driven by woman, who most often rode with her husband in his MDX - a cream puff. My experience with low mileage used cars has been very good - many people trade for all kinds of reasons - not just the lemon issue you mention. I am confident the car is going to be a good one - like the 5 others our family has owned. The VCM has been a pain since day one. Otherwise the car is great - no rattles ( despite NYC streets) and every feature you could want. The engine sucks. The RL is manufactured in Japan, and the '08 a totaly favorable CR report. I also had the car inspected - and am getting a 5yr/80K bumper to bumper warranty from Acura. Since it has 18k on it, it is 5 yr/62,0000 but we only drive about 7k a year so I will be good until 2016.
  • I see, after reviewing an earlier post again, that it was 08 / 17K on it for the Acura. That does make it much less likely to be someone dumping a car they hate - but our 08 Accords are about that age now.

    Checking forums looks to be something I will start doing before buying new cars in the future, not just looking at ratings, reviews, and taking test drives. Sometimes they give one an idea where to look.

    Sounds good, with a long warranty. Not to mention the insurance is likely much lower for a 08 versus new one, and the savings on depreciation. Sometimes I think I should have looked at the TSX instead of the Accord, but it is a smaller car.

    It's been quite awhile since I have kept any car longer than three years, regardless of mileage or issues. My last - 06 Subaru - got traded on the 08 Honda shortly after the 'tumbler motors' in the turbo fours air intake needed replaced to fix an error code.

    As I said before, hope all goes well with the Acura.
  • rcummelinrcummelin Posts: 176
    Good luck with your Acura. We don't have an Acura dealer here (nor a Lexus or Infiniti dealer), so buying one of those brands becomes a real gamble as the nearest dealer is 250 miles away. Although, I sure would prefer a Lexus or Acura over a Honda. Oh well, we would rather live here than those places where the dealers are (Denver or SLC).
  • Thanks for the good wishes - have my fingers crossed. Had a 1990 Legend with 180,000 on it and NEVER had a problem, before donating it and buyuing this Accord. BIG mistake - have a good car - keep it! The Accord is roomier inside than the RL but usually only the two of us in the car, so no problem. Lack of legroom in the rear is not an issue with us. I would buy a Honda again in a minute - with a regular V6. Honda's choices? Regular gas VCM, or premium fuel Acura. :( But not ready to jump ship completely. Toyotas do nothing for me, and not ready for a Hyundai yet. :D
  • Clearly a problem - though Honda can do most servicing on an Acura and vice versa. They cannot do warranty work though. Our NYC Manhattan Honda dealer closed, so had some work done at the Manhattan Acura dealer - nearest Honda dealer in Queens, about an hour train ride for me back from the dealership, and another hour out to pick up the car. No word on what is wrong with the Honda at this point, but I don't care. My experiences with cars is that once they let you down you don't trust them and they usually do let you down again. What happened to us last Sunday is inexcusable on a 3 year old well maintained garaged car with 28K on it
    I will sell it.
  • dinofldinofl Posts: 53
    I'm paying $370 per month and $1000 down on a three year lease for a 2010 accord coupe v6 piece of vibrating vcm junk. I spoke to a guy yesterday leasing a Hyundai Genesis coupe, turbo, loaded and loves it. He's paying only $280 per month and zero down! I feel totally ripped off. I will never buy another Honda.
  • rcummelinrcummelin Posts: 176
    Yep! The issue is warranty work. When we first moved here, we owned a Mazda MPV minivan that we loved. But, it developed some intermittent engine problems and would have had to be trucked all the way to Denver to be fixed under warranty. Not one garage in GJ was certified to work on it. The real kicker was that Mazda would NOT pay to return the van to us. We had to find a way to get over to Denver & pick it up at our expense. A very nasty conversation took place between me & Mazda to no avail.

    Thank goodness the engine problem abated long enough for us to trade it in on our first Honda Odyssey--a 2005. Yet another first year of a new generation (like your 2008 Accord) that was chock-full of problems and recalls. Sure, Honda eventually fixed everything, but what a pain to take it to the dealer every week or two.
  • elliott2elliott2 Posts: 64
    When the Honda dealership replaced the torque converter on our 2008 Accord VCM, we ended up taking it back a few more times to get it repaired. The first was the transmission sensor for when the car is in "Park" was messed up so that the ignition would not allow the key to be removed from the ignition switch. The second, and bigger problem, was that the bolts in the steering column were loose and caused the steering to rattle and to feel as if it were disconnected (very loose steering). Not that all of these have been repaired, the car is better. HOWEVER, I would still not recommend a Honda with VCM to anyone. (Of the three repairs, Honda did not once send a questionaire on service quality. They apparently know that customers are unhappy and do not wish to hear about it.)

    Good luck everyone. We've starting shopping for a new car to replace the Accord.
  • robtroxelrobtroxel Posts: 103
    I also left the Honda fold rather than buy a VCM Accord. Perhaps they paid for this VCM "improvement" by chopping the LEDs. Our 2007 Accord had the LED tail lights and they are brighter, quicker to illuminate, and therefore safer especially when the trunk mounted LED brake lamps are also in the mix. So Honda did go upscale on some things then went downscale on the latest toadmobile. If you did not have a 2006/2007 Accord, you would not know what you are missing. All other upscale cars have moved to this. We went with a Maxima for very little more money than the Accord. There are some great deals to be had. Good luck to those of you who are trying to get away from VCM. Meanwhile Honda is still clueless.
  • Dealership has replaced the input shaft and output shaft sensors and says everything is fine??? They are SENSORS - if they went bad it is because they "sensed"something and set off the warning lights!!! Aren't they kind of like the canary in the coal mine? By replacing the sensors isn't that like replacing the dead canary? Doesn't the root problem still exist? Trying to get straight answer from American Honda with whom I have a case opened.
  • Last week while driving our 2008 Accord V6 at about 50 MPH, the engine malfunction light came on, then the VSA light, then the D on the transimssion indicator started flashing and then the speedometer began alternating between 30-50, AND the transmission downshifted two gears.
    After several efforts to address it by stopping the car and restarting it, all of them merely temporary "fixes", we limped back home at 2500 RPM in 3 rd gear( I think) at what speed I did not know, the dash ablaze in warning lights.

    After much analysis and diagnosis they have replaced the input shaft and output shaft sensors. HUH? Don't sensors cause the warning lights to go off when something is wrong? Isn't this kind of like replacing the dead canary in the coal mine? The gas is still there - just may take some time for the warning to go off (die) again. Am I going to be driving this car another 100 miles and have the same thing happen again? Cannot get a straight answer from anyone. Opened a case with Honda last week - have heard nothing from anyone.
  • michael0137michael0137 Posts: 58
    edited April 2011
    My advice for a "new" car to replace the Accord? Take a close look at low mileage used Acura RLs on the market. I just bought a 2008 with 18K on it for $26,000. Immaculate. This car is head and shoulders better than a new EXL V6 Accord, and 18K? Practically brand new. AWD, voice activated Navigation, back up camera, Bose 5.1 stereo, rear AC vents, manual rear side window sun curtains power rear window curtain, memory seats, and best of all - NO VCM!!! It cruises at lower RPMs and is SO much quieter than the EXL V6 Accord.

    Re the Honda's transmission? Dealer says it is now functioning normally. BS - hunting is normal? Failing to downshift as you brake and go around a corner normal? Failing to upshift from 2nd gear to 3rd until about 3000 RPMs normal??? BS BS BS Now I just have to find someone to buy it :(
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    edited April 2011
    I just "helped" my daughter buy her first car, a new 2011 EX-L V6 Accord. Love the new Orchid Pearl paint over tan leather, really a beautiful car and it drives great. I was very curious about the salesman's insistance NOT to come in early for her first oil change. In searching this whole topic about when and with what to replace the factory fill, I've discovered all the oil consumption and VCM complaint threads. Of course, this car is brand new and it drives beautifully. I will certainly be keeping an eye on the oil level while pondering whether or not I can stand to let this "wonder engine" go to 7 or 8,000 miles for its first OC. [I've always done the first change around 1,000 miles].
  • Honda uses a special "break-in" engine oil and it should be left in the car for a minimum of 5,000 miles.

    I have had 2 Accords, and a CRZ since Honda started using this and I've changed the oil on all of them around the 5,000 mark. No problems.
  • rcummelinrcummelin Posts: 176
    FWIW, it seems most new V6/VCM Accords drive great initially. It seems to be after a few thousand miles that the VCM starts acting up, if it is going to at all. At least that's the general indication form the majority of the posts in this thread. One poster had troubles from the get-go though.

    OTOH, our 2010 has right about 10K miles on it now, and (keeping my fingers crossed & knocking on wood) we haven't experienced any problems with the VCM. Ours still runs great & we still like it.
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