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Honda Accord VCM

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  • dinofldinofl Posts: 53
    I will only tell the truth of my experience. Its not smearing if its the truth. Honda knows how to make four cyl, but the 6 speed automatic with VCM, no way.

    Also, just google "Honda VCM problems" and you will get many blogs and forums complaining about it in the Accord, Pilot and Odysee. So I don't think its a one man smear campaign. Its the truth. Do you think everyone is lying just for the fun of it?
  • Part of the reason it rates good in CR is the way the surveys are categorized. The vibration would only be one area, typically thrown under brakes or tires, rather than drivetrain or engine.

    And mine hasn't broken down, or required other repairs. So the vibration is annoying, but not really considered a major problem.

    Compare that to some other cars I have owned, like the bmw with a t-stat recall (mine acted up - either too cold or almost too hot), and an electrical gremlin the dealer couldn't find.

    Or the chevy truck with a water leak the dealer couldn't seem to fix, and so on.

    Still, I would prefer not to buy this car again, but in comparison there are many cars that I wouldn't buy at all. And I find myself tending to compare this one against buying a Avalon, BMW, or Lexus - most of which are more money for a smaller car.
  • My 2009 V6 coupe didn't have any of the problems stated here, and I suspect the actual number of people with serious issues regarding this is less than 1% of all Accord's sold.
  • dinofldinofl Posts: 53
    edited November 2010
    That may be true. I'm not upset so much with the defect. That will happen to all manufacturers. I'm upset with the lying, ignoring, snowballing. Just like with the brakes where they won't admit fault. A good company will admit their mistake and fix it. Especially if its only one percent. Apparently Honda only responds to class action suits.
  • The desire to sweep defects & problems under the rug is NOT unique to Honda. This behavior is used by most other Asian auto makers and even some US automakers. I can't say how the europeans handle it, as I've never owned a european car.

    I had a real bad experience with a new Toyota Tacoma pickup in 1995. After multiple trips to the dealer with NO fixes to multiple problems, Toyota simply gave me a new T100 truck rather than admit the Tacoma was a problem-ridden piece of junk. The T100 was much better.
  • dinofldinofl Posts: 53
    I totally agree. I just expected a higher standard from Honda. Honda was always my favorite brand. My 1987 CRX Si was my favorite car ever. I never had a problem with any of my Hondas.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,914
    So I really don't have any "skin in the game" so you can choose to believe me or not...I really don't care.

    Seriously, I NEVER ONCE heard of this from anyone in our store nor had our Service Dept. I drove at least six V -6 Accords and I tried to replicate this situation but I never felt a thing.

    I don't doubt that a few people are feeling "something" but I sure don't know what that may be.

    It's just too bad that somone may read these comments and cross a great car off of their list and end up buying something inferior.

    I always thought the 4 cyl Accords had more than enough power and that's what I bought for my wife.
  • My personal opinion on these VCM "problems" is that I'm sure some exist, and I have no doubt whatsoever that the folks that have been complaining actually do have a vehicle that does NOT perform/behave as it was designed to. I also firmly believe that these vehicles should either be fixed by Honda, or replaced. After all, we're talking about mass-production machines primarily built/assembled by people on an assembly line, and mistakes CAN be made. It is truly unfortunate that Honda insists that there is no problem. That isn't the way to win the hearts & minds of their customers.

    All that being said, there really aren't very many different people actually making these complaints. Yes, I have googled VCM and other derivatives several times and have found some, but really not many complaints CONSIDERING the number of vehicles we are talking about.

    Perhaps if you lived at a high(er) altitude as we do, you might have a different opinion about 4 cylinder Accords, or 4 cylinder anything for that matter. Altitude changes everything, and 4 cylinders are dogs at altitude. Not completely terrible mind you, but driving at 8000-10,000 ft on the drive to Denver, 4 cylinders have to stay in the slow lane and get along as best they can, which isn't too good.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,914
    Living in the Seattle area at near sea level, I hadn't thought about the people in areas such as yours. I've always said that I didn't think anyone actually "needed" a V-6 in an Accord but I can see now that I was wrong.
  • Same here. I wished I had seen these postings. If I had, I definitely would've gone with a different car. I bought my accord in July and it took four visits to the dealership before they agreed that, yes, the car does shake. But it took another visit in order to learn that according to a Honda rep., the shaking is normal and there's nothing they can do and that most people don't feel the shake or don't mind the shake and it only affects a few "sensitive" people like me.

    I'm done with Honda. And I will never recommend Hondas to anyone ever again.

    Not to mention shady car salesmen who talk big but never back up what they say. The dealership where I got my car actually suggested that I upgrade to a V6 to get rid of the vibration. But I see from this forum that the V6 appears to have the same issue.
  • The V6 is the ONLY engine in Accords that has VCM and consequently has the majority of the issues that are discussed in this thread. However, if you bought a V6 Accord coupe with the six-speed manual transmission, that V6 doesn't have VCM.

    Your car (assuming it is a 4 cylinder) is the first 4 cylinder that I have heard having a vibration problem.

    Agree that today's Honda is sure NOT the Honda we have come to love. In fact, the "new" Honda seems to be much more like a typical US "big-3" manufacturer than not. Sad.
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    I have not heard of the four cylinder having a vibration issue. The V-6 has a reputation for this when it is going from six cylinders to four, but the four does not have it.
  • dpsportsdpsports Posts: 23
    edited December 2010
    Sadly still on this thread as I've been unable to bite the bullet and trade. I've had recent developments and wonder if anyone here is having the same issues and if it's somehow VCM related.

    This past Spring (April) car began to 'miss' along with the mandatory warning lights, check engine, VSA etc. Car feels like it wants to stall, very rough operation, increased RPM (roughly 10%) and increased fuel consumption (+30%). The first error codes stored were not helpful in finding the fault but eventually (think it was the third visit) they traced the problem and replaced the coil pack on #3 cylinder. That lasted one week. Coil was gone again and with the help of techline they again replaced the coil pack and also replaced the spark plug - again, only #3 cylinder.

    Car operated 'normally' until last week when the same condition came back. Today service identified the problem as .... wait for it ..... coil pack and plug replacement needed on cylinder #3. Wow. Eight months.

    Does anyone know if VCM shuts down specific cylinders and in a specific order? For giggles I checked another forum today looking for engine related issues. There are some reports of identical situations and they all identified #3 cylinder.

    I'll keep you posted and would appreciate your insight.
  • dinofldinofl Posts: 53
    Recently my car has developed a new problem. Sometimes when I step on the gas it feels like the gears don't quite "catch" at first. Like it's looking for the gear or that the gear is slipping. It's only happened a few times and very briefly but when it happens it's like "what the heck was that?" Also my vibrations and lurching has become much more pronounced lately. To make the situation worse, I just came back from a business trip where I was given an Altima 2.5S for a week and it drove like a dream compared to my $30k coupe. The ride was smooth, solid, no road or wind noise. It was no where near as fast or as nice looking, but felt so much better. When I started driving my car again it made me extremely upset again. I am going to see if there are good year end deals and try and get out of this thing. I have decided I am willing to lose up to $2k to get rid of this piece of garbage.
  • Hey Guys, I'm back.

    I'm headed to arbitration tomorrow. I'm sure it will be a joke because its paid for by the dealerships, but we will see.

    I've had my car since October. It is the worst highway driving vehicle I have ever owned, and its my third Honda Accord.

    The shaking and surging is getting worse and the car only has 5K miles on it. I tried to meet with the dealership and they left me sitting for an hour. So I left. I WILL NEVER OWN ANOTHER HONDA.

    I have a friend who has a 2009 Honda Accord V6 with the VCM. He said he never had a problem. I drove his car on the highway and it did the exact same thing. I think some people just don't know that its not normal for your car to shake and surge on the highway.

    Whatever, I'm going to try and make them buy mine back. I'll let you know how it goes.
  • 38003800 Posts: 9
    If someone saved what I wrote, could you reply to this post and paste it to the thread.
  • In addition to the vibration from the VCM, we are getting vibration from the transmission. The Accord (V6 NAV) vibrates and lurches, feeling as if the transmission is slipping, particularly at low speeds and when traveling on the highway. The dealer is putting in a new transmission next week (31,000 miles).

    The run-around from the dealer and factory rep has been incredibly bad. There are always going to be a certain percentage of mass produced cars that have problems. The real test of the manufacturer's commitment to the customer and quality, however, is how the company deals with customers when problems occur. On this, Honda fails miserably.

    I do not understand why a company would intentionally treat loyal customers so badly.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,914
    You know, you just said something that struck a chord.

    You have a friend who has a 2009 Accord V-6 who told you he has "never had a problem". So, in other words, his car drives just fine FOR HIM.

    Yet, you drove his car and it "did the exact same thing"?

    Apparantly what he can't feel and what isn't a problem is something you can feel and something you deem to be a problem!

    Something tells me that if I were to drive his car, I wouldn't feel anything either.

    Who knows?
  • Some people only care that they get from point A to point B, and that the stereo works.

    I've driven a co-workers company van, and the moment I started to brake from high speed, the thing shook horribly from the warped rotors. I mentioned it to him, and he confirmed the issue, but said he usually doesn't brake hard enough for it to be really annoying, so hadn't put it in for repair yet.

    The point is that some of us are much more attuned to what is going on, while others would ignore square wheels, as long as it got from point A to point B.

    If the poster is in auto sales, then i would say the likely outcome is he would tell the person test driving that its just tire balance causing the steering wheel shimmy, and they will have the service dept balance the wheels before delivery (heard that one myself, didn't fix the issue, then later I discovered this forum).
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,914
    I retired in May. I really don't care. I'm just being totally objective.

    But, you are right. What bothers one person won't bother someone else.

    But your example of warped rotors is pretty extreme compared to the VCM situation.

    I honestly think it would take a VERY sensitive person to detect the operation of the VCM, UNLESS the car in question really did have a problem.
  • dpmeersmandpmeersman Posts: 274
    edited December 2010
    Some people are very much in-tune to the driving experience and others are totally numb to it. To complicate matters there are people that are in between the two extremes. An example of just how numb some are is start to take notice of the tires on the vehicles you share the road with. I've seen tires so grossly under-inflated as to be damn near flat, and the driver of the vehicle goes about his/her daily activities with no knowledge that they are driving a potentially dangerous vehicle as well as getting poor fuel economy.
    Recently I had my 2010 V6 Sedan in for a low groan-hum-whirring sound from somewhere forward of the driving position. Service attendant said they drove another V6 and that they all sound like that. A younger service tech went for a test drive with me and confirmed the sound, suspecting a wheel bearing which was replaced 3 weeks later with me fuming every time I got behind the wheel.
    I don't consider myself overly sensitive or numb, but the 2 VCM V6's I've owned had VCM activity that could be easily felt in both cars with the 2008 more noticeable the 2010. I can feel it, but I just don't find it that objectionable, it really doesn't bother me that much.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,914
    O.K..."feeling" something and labeling that feeling as a "problem" is more than likely the crux of this whole matter.

    I think the vast majority of drivers fall into the middle catagory that you described. That would be me too.

    It has to be remembered that forums like this tend to attact the few that may feel something or be bothered by it. then people read this stuff and wonder..."Gee, I wondr if my V-6 Accord has this same problem?"

    So they take the Accord out on the road, switch off the radio can ever so carefully feel for the "problem". and, maybe (unlike me), they are able to detect something!

    " Oh, my car does this too!"

    Back in the "old days" when I mamaged a large Auto Center for Sears, once in awhile (not often) we would get a customer who was overally sensitive about wheel balance. We would dismount the tires, and rebalance them making sure they were perfectly balanced.

    Sometimes that worked and other times not. Cadillac people were the worst. I remember once after four attempts to make a Cadillac customer happy, I took the Caddy out on the So. Calif freeway with him riding alongside me.

    I got it up to legal freeway speeds and higher and felt nothing.

    FEEL THAT??he yelled!

    Nope, it was as smooth as glass.

    I told him to buy a set of tires elsewhere...ANYWHERE, and bring back his slightly used tires for a full refund which he did.

    We resold the tires to another customer with a Cadillac for a great price after telling him the story.

    He called me a couple of weeks later after taking a long trip and said they were perfect.

    Go figure...
  • 38003800 Posts: 9
    keep an eye on your tach when driving on the highway between 60-65mph. Try and hold the car at a steady 62mph while driving up a moderate incline. This is when the "problem" is most noticeable and annoying. The first sensation you feel is the shift between cylinder banks operating(hunting but not settling). The active motor mount system is supposed to make this unnoticeable, but it doesn't. The second sensation felt is that of the torque converter cycling in/out/into overdrive. This can be confirmed by watching the tach momentarily rise 150-200 rpm and then quickly drop back down. The second sensation is the most annoying of the two. On a 1 1/2 mile stretch of roadway (moderate incline), my vehicle went through this double sensation process THREE times today. For me this is a real problem, not imagined or exaggerated in anyway. The dealers know this problem exists and is real. Its most likely rooted in a software glitch that causes the torque converter to judder. The same problem affects the Odyssey. VCM, grade logic, shift management is all tied together. When one system is not operating properly it will affect another. I also get this "judder" in my vehicle while cruising on the boulevard and it happens at approx 42mph (I can verify the occurrence because the tach will momentarily rise up and then drop). At this speed however, the activity is not really noticeable or annoying. Why this is the case I don't know. But I suspect as my vehicle accumulates more mileage, the 42 mph judder may become "annoying".
  • Our 2010 Accord is our 2nd Honda with VCM. Our first was a 2008 Odyssey, which we no longer have--replaced it with a Ridgeline. To this day, while I can also see the VCM transitions by focusing on the tachometer (which I don't bother doing), neither my wife nor I can "feel" anything. To me, to "feel" the transitions would mean that vibrations, etc. have to be transmitted to the body structure when the transitions occur. I will state with certainty that this doesn't happen with our Accord, nor did it happen with our Odyssey. Therefore, we are quite content and happy with our Accord.

    That being said, I truly feel sorry for those people whose Accords drive differently than ours. Unfortunately, you folks don't have many options. Basically live with it, or get rid of the car. Yes, I know you will take a beating financially if you dump your Accord, but life is WAY too short to live with something every day that upsets you.

    It's painfully apparent that Honda Corp. is NOT your friend if you don't like VCM. They have determined a corporate position regarding complaints and aren't changing that position.

    It's only a car. Please take care of yourselves and don't let it drive you crazy. It's not worth it.
  • Honda appears committed to VCM perhaps thru the Gen 8 life cycle. When you look at how much fuel is actually being saved and the complexity of Honda's system compared to GM's it's really puzzling. An overhead cam design such as Honda's V6 adds cost and mfg expenses to VCM that a pushrod 8 cyl with cyl deactivation such as GM's won't have. Has it become a matter of pride for Honda? To change now would be an admission that perhaps this wasn't the best route to go. Ill' be shocked if they continue VCM production on the Gen 9 Accord.
  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 231
    I honestly think it would take a VERY sensitive person to detect the operation of the VCM, UNLESS the car in question really did have a problem.

    OKAY! I read a lot on edmunds, but do my best not to reply. THIS, however, took me over the edge. When car shopping, my wife and I test drove several V6 hondas with VCM at two different dealerships. Neither salesman had ever experienced any issues with VCM or ever even heard about it. To us, it was blatantly obvious - much like the a/c kicking off and on, but the a/c was not on. My daughter-in-law owns a 2010 6 cyl accord and both she and her husband (my son) are fully aware of the VCM constant on and off, but it doesn't bother them. I've drive several other 6 cyl accords that belong to friends of mine and can say that EVERY one of them experienced the same thing - you could feel the cylinder activation/deactivation. They were fully aware of it and it just doesn't bother them. It doesn't bother my daughter-in-law at all. In fact, having two sets of brakes put on in less than 25k miles doesn't bother her either.
  • I've owned a 2009 Accord EX-L V6 since Nov. 2009. The things I've noticed are:
    1. VCM activation/deactivation (most noticeable for me during low speeds and stop-and-go expressway traffic; least noticeable for me while cruising on road trips.)
    2. Premature rear brake pad wear; problem fixed with replacement part and $150 reimbursement. See http://www.girardgibbs.com/hondabrakes.asp
    3. Wind noise;
    4. The A/C kicking-on-and-off sensation even when the AC is off and the heater is on;
    5. Rear interior panel deck rattles during loud music or very bumpy roadway, depending on the temperature of the day. (hope to correct that soon)

    I've basically deduced that the VCM sensation I'm feeling is pretty much the "normal" operations of the system that I can live with until I trade-in the car. Not sure what this "surging" issue that people are talking about. As far as I'm aware, my car does not surge. Would I purchase another Honda with VCM in it? I doubt it. I still like my car, so it's a keeper for me. I probably won't keep it as long as my previous 98 Honda Accord V6, which I kept for 11 years (and 199,000 miles) before getting this current one. Will I get another Honda Accord? Maybe, if they "perfectify" (is that a word?) the VCM or get rid of it altogether.
  • 38003800 Posts: 9
    4. The A/C kicking-on-and-off sensation even when the AC is off and the heater is on;
    5. Rear interior panel deck rattles during loud music or very bumpy roadway, depending on the temperature of the day. (hope to correct that soon)

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    #4: The AC sensation is most likely due to the AC being on. You have to press the AC button and have AC Off light up in the display. If the display says AC on, the AC is on. If the display says nothing then the AC IS ON. There is a glitch in the Auto AC control that allows this to happen. Always push the AC button in these EXL vehicles until the display says AC Off. Otherwise the AC compressor with click on and off.

    #5 The rear shelf deck creak can be silenced by spraying Dupont Teflon Mult-Use dry wax lubricant on all the welded seams and bolts from inside the trunk. The spray can be found at Lowe's - * Item #: 213197
    * Model #: D00110101

    http://www.lowes.com/SearchCatalogDisplay?storeId=10151&langId=-1&catalogId=1005- 1&N=0&newSearch=true&Ntt=lubricants

    If your vehicle has a creaking noise from the console area. That can be silenced by removing the plastic trim around the shift lever and stuffing foam padding in the empty space. You may also want to remove one of the plastic side panels flanking the console and stuff that empty space as well.

    The creaking glove box can be addressed by loosening the hinge screws, shimming the side with folded paper that is touching to make space. Re-tighten the screws and remove the paper shim.
  • Thank You! I've been procrastinating about tackling the reck deck panel rattling issue because it's periodic, not a huge annoyance, so I haven't made the time yet. But, I will try your suggestion.

    Another thing I noticed was oil usage during the first 3 months after buying the car. Now, after 34,000 miles and 13 months of ownership, the car doesn't burn much oil at all. I'm attributing the initial oil usage to "new-ness."
  • 38003800 Posts: 9
    edited December 2010
    Honda has released a TSB that pinpoints a plastic clip under the rear deck lid that affects '08-'09 Accords- IIRC. I own a 2010, my Accord already has this clip. However, all 8th Gen Accords are also prone to body flex creaking noise. The noise has been pinpointed to be emanating from the welds/bolts under the rear deck and surrounding rear seat back/quater panel area.

    Oil consumption was an issue for my vehicle within the first 5,000 miles. After discovering this, a bit of hard acceleration over a few 100 miles "seated" the valves. Hasn't used a drop of oil since.
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