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Honda Accord VCM

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  • Although I appreciate your advice to eliminate some of the many small annoyances some people are having.......please keep in mind in Canada the 08 EX-L V6 w/ Navi version ran $38,000. It was/is currently the most expensive CAR that Honda offers in Canada, it's premier model so to speak and I'd prefer not to have to undo nuts and stuff paper into corners to get it to operate/perform/sound as it should.

    Last week my dealer replaced the spark plug on number three cylinder for a second time, the coil pack for a third time and in total over the last ten months the vehicle has been to the dealer seven times for the same problem. Now they want me to bring it back in to have plugs checked on one through four, replaced as necessary and computer program update. That's eight visits for the same problem.

    Like many, one of the reasons I lease and replace every few years is because I don't have either the time of desire to spend working on a car or dropping it off for repair. I'm willing to pay to have a vehicle that is reliable and ALWAYS takes me from point A to B. Clearly my options no longer involve Honda.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,865
    edited December 2010
    OKAY...Didn't mean to send you "over the edge"

    And in case you missed it, I retired last May and I have ZERO reason to make anything up not that I ever have in any of these forums.

    Here is what brought me here...

    About a year or so ago, I had a customer whose family I had sold several cars to that was interested in a V-6 Accord.

    Personally, I have never seen the "need" for a V-6 but that is besides the point.

    My customer called me and said they would probably switch to a 4 cylinder because of the VCM "problems" with the V-6's.

    I was like..." Huh". My customer said.." It's all over the internet, don't you know?"

    He then directed me to this forum.

    After reading everything, I asked my fellow salespeople if they had ever felt this problem or if they had ever heard about it. Blank looks.

    I then went into our shop and asked the Service Advisors and the Service Manager and a couple of key technicians. More blank looks.

    So, I took THREE v-6 Accords out on the freeway on my day off and tried hard to replicate this problem...nothing.

    "Blatantly obvious"? In the months that followed, I rode in and drove, literally dozens of V-6 Accords and felt nothing nor did any of my customers mention anything.

    So, I don't know...obviously some people are feeling "something"?

    I suppose what bothers some people is not noticible to others?

    Believe me or not..I have no dog in the fight. Just my stand on this.
  • wayne21wayne21 Posts: 230
    I believe you. This past week I was traveling and I stopped at two honda dealerships I had never been to. I spoke with salesmen about the VCM and nobody had any idea what I was talking about. At one dealership, I drove a new 6 cyl accord and felt the on/off sensation, but the salesman could not when he drove the car back. The salesman and (I assume) his boss told me they had never heard of such a thing. At the second dealership, I drove a 6 cyl without a salesman and felt the VCM on/off. I then went to the service departments of both dealerships and told them that I owned a 6 cyl accord with the VCM and described the on/off sensation. Each service department was very well aware of what I was talking about and said that there was no fix for it, but that people usually just get used to it.
  • isellhondas: Thanks for your insight..it is appreciated. Still I have to say Honda's VCM and lack of a 6 speed automatic pushed me to another brand. (Not a Hyundia, !After 5 previous Accords). The Accord has become generic in nature. Removal of many great features such as the LED tail lights on the 2007 and the interior rear seat fold down locks told me to move on, as well.

    No one will get burned buying an Accord..They just won't be excited anymore.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,865
    Ok, I have to ask...Why would a six speed transmission be important when the current five spped seems so well matched to the engine?

    I mean, I suppose Honda could make a ten speed transmission if the wanted to but I don't think it would make it any "better".

    I'm just curious, that's all. Heck, my old Chevy Impala had a TWO speed Powerglide and it worked just fine!

    The rear seats still fold down on the new Accords.

    I'm not sure why they elminated the LED tailights but never once, did I have even one customer seem to care whether they had them or not.

    I guess all of this go's to show that what is important to one person is unimportant to another and what one person can feel, another can't.

    Case in point...A family member is passing on to her son, the 2003 CRV that I sold her. It's been near flawless and it now has 190,000 miles.

    She will be buying another CRV, a 2011. In our discussions, she let me know that she never used her current sunroof so I suggested an SE which is basically an LX with the EX wheels, CD changer etc.

    Now the SE's have a fixed varible wiper system which causes the wipers to take a swipe every five seconds but on the EX, it's user variable.

    Something I could care less about BUT, she's going to spend the extra money for this ONE feature she feels she can't live without!
  • 38003800 Posts: 9
    "isellhondas

    Ok, I have to ask...Why would a six speed transmission be important when the current five spped seems so well matched to the engine? "

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

    The small percentage increase in gas mileage achieved via the complex VCM system could have been achieved by simply upgrading the 5 speed to a new 6 speed transmission.

    Hope that answers your question.
  • rcummelinrcummelin Posts: 184
    edited December 2010
    FWIW, I totally agree, and also wish we had six-speed transmissions in our Accords. Yes, the 5-speeds work, but for some people, VCM obviously does not.

    BTW- I have seen it written, both here on Edmunds and on other Honda/Accord forums that the general opinion is that the 2007 Accord was the pinnacle year for the Accord. The 8th generation (2008-2011+) has definitiely proven to be a step down--maybe more than one step down. This is something else I agree with, and as Honda keeps de-contenting the Accord, the steps downward continue. Really a shame, IMHO.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,865
    You are assuming that. By that assumption, again, why not just have a eight or a ten speed transmission? Lugging an engine in too high of a gear isn't good either!

    I can't ever remember a time EVER, when the fact the V-6 had VCM pushed a customer over the edge to buy a car so yeah, why bother.

    Same thing with the LED tailights.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,865
    Oh, there are lots of opinions over which series of Accords or any other model for that matter were the "best".

    As far as decontenting, yeah, that's a tough call as buyers want all of the extras but " don't raise the price".

    So they leave things out. Things that 90% of the people don't care about or in the case of LED tailights, probably 99%.

    All car manufactures do this as they juggle to keep their customers happy and their cars affordable.
  • So we wind up with VCM instead of a six-speed transmission. Sad, IMHO.

    Decontenting? Yeah, remove the "extras" and STILL raise the price. That works much better for Honda than it does for their customers.
  • After dealing with problems with VCM and having the rear brakes wear out prematurely, the torque converter is being replaced on our 2008 Accord EX-L-NAV (28,000 miles). Didn't realize that Honda has had so many transmission problems for the last 10 years until looking at their statistics on problems/repairs.

    Also noticed that a study was just released that shows that Ford and Honda customers are the most loyal. The surprising aspect was that Ford customers are loyal because the Ford vehicles are fun to drive whereas Honda's customers were most loyal because the car held its resale value. If Honda doesn't address its quality issues, the later may not continue to be the case.
  • Just picked up the Accord from the dealership last night. A new torque converter was installed, the transmission fluid replaced, and new software installed. It drives like a totally different car; there is far less vibration from the torque converter locking up at inappropriate speeds and the transmission now shifts when it should so that the engine isn't pushing against the transmission trying to up or down shift. It only took 3 years to get the blasted thing fixed.
  • 38003800 Posts: 9
    edited December 2010
    Lets hope the fix lasts, best of luck with it- I mean this sincerely. I have a dealer appointment next week for the "software update". Hopefully this will fix my problem. I have read that the software update alone (without a new torque converter) can sometimes make the problem worse. But I have to follow the "official procedures". First the software update, if all is well case closed. If worse, then the second step is replace torque converter and "re-install" software update again. I"ll keep this board updated on my "problem" car.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,865
    edited February 2011
    Coming in late here...sorry.

    Adding another speed to the transmission may not do much for gas mileage and it may increase gear "hunting" as the transmission shifts back and forth trying to eliminate "lugging".

    Then some people wojld complain about that too.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,865
    It's a balance and all car manufactures have the same thing to deal with.

    One person out of 100 (if that) will care about LCD tailights so I agree, that was a good place to cut costs.
  • 3800 - any luck with getting your car fixed? My car is running better but I've had to take it back a couple of times to fix new problems that resulted from the installation of a new torque converter. The gear shift sensor got messed up so that it didn't recognize when the car was in park and wouldn't allow the key to come out of the ignition. When that got fixed, it wouldn't allow the steering to lock and the steering began to rattle.

    Best of luck.
  • 38003800 Posts: 9
    edited February 2011
    I went to the dealer for the "update". They hooked the car up to the computer and test drove it. To my amazement, (after discussing the problem with them several times in advance) nothing was done to the vehicle. They offered for me to come back and go on a test drive with the "Honda Rep". I never went back, nor do I plan on doing so as it will evidently be a total waste of time.

    I'm sorry that you are now experiencing additional problems related to the torque converter replacement.
  • My Fusion has a 6 speed and it does not "hunt" at all. Thats ok Honda you keep building the VCM :lemon:
  • 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.
  • 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: 184
    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: 184
    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.
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