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Honda Accord VCM



  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Although your Honda ownership experiences and loyalty are impressive, and your dissatisfaction is certainly warranted, that doesn't mean every VCM equipped car has these problems. And not one of the 40 owners who wrote a review (that I read) think VCM was the "mistake" you claim it is. One bad apple don't spoil the hole bunch, so to speak.
  • golfrskigolfrski Posts: 262
    many more apples out there Elroy5.......
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    I was just trying to brighten your mood. I don't think you can do better than Honda if you do have a problem. They seem to stand behind their products and I hope they take care of you guys.
  • I'm terribly sorry to disappoint you, but the earlier V6 Accord had, was a 3.0L engine, but the new VCM V6 is 3.5L hence you have been proving a point:
    If they achieved 23mpg for 3.0L engine, for 3.5L engine (without VCM) they should have achieved only 19.7mpg (calculations below), but they've acheived 21mpg, which is improving their own efficiency by 7%. So now you have even more power with greater efficiency. Thank GOD for Honda!

    (23x3) / 3.5 = 19.7
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    It really isn't necessary for those who do not own this particular vehicle to continue to insist that what some owners are experiencing is no big deal. We have a few, some, several, a lot (who knows how many are lurking; it's a whole lot more than those posting) of members who have issues with this technology. Let's let them discuss it without repeatedly telling them their experiences are nothing to be concerned about.

  • phantomvphantomv Posts: 101
    Appreciate your math efforts but there is much more to MPG than your simple calculation - transmission and final drive gearing, lbs./hp, coefficient of drag at highway speeds, being among them.

    One of big "problem" with the new Accord V-6 when it comes to fuel economy? Needs to on a major diet - 3600 pound Honda? Our 1990 Legend Sedan was 3100 pounds, the 2007 V-6 Sedan 3344 pounds. Odd thing? Honda used to actually get MORE mpg than EPA advertised - example? The Legend? EPA rated 19/22 for the auto. We regularly got 20+ all around and 26 on the highway. Why did it get less MPG than today's cars? Well, only had 161 HP V-6 so lbs/ hp were high, and final gearing was higher so engine revved higher at highway speeds, so engine worked harder. I got 28 MPG with a Pontiac Trans Am on the highway - 2000 RPM at 80!!!!!!!!! Talk about overdrive! And Corvettes get in the high 20's also for the same reason.
  • golfrskigolfrski Posts: 262
    Once again, thats for keeping the train on the tracks Pat :-)
  • sunnfunsunnfun Posts: 168
    I have 70 miles on my car (all highway) and was "suprised" by the annoinance of the VCM "feature". This is my 4th accord and the VCM on the new one is very noticable. I still have my 2001 EXL V6 and there is no comparison in terms of engine feel. The only way I can describe it and compare it to the older models is that it feels like the transmission goes in and out of overdrive on the highway. It seems like the engine and transmission are constantly shifting and moving, rather than getting in overdrive and staying there.(I hope there are no more trans recalls!) This concerns me from the standpoint that there seems to be alot of things moving, which in my mind means more parts that can break. I also agree that the seats are very stiff compared to the older models. Hopefully after the "break-in" period they will soften up a bit. That said, I love everything else about the car. I just hope there is no major issue down the road with the VCM/tranny.
  • parvizparviz Posts: 484
    "...I just hope there is no major issue down the road with the VCM/tranny...."

    The fear factor! Unfortunately that is why I decided to spend another $1000 to get the extended warranty. My main concern in getting the warranty was with the electronics and new gadgets, but now that we keep talking about it I am glad it covers VCM too!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Are you guys checking out the Odyssey boards? The 2008 Odyssey utilizes the same VCM technology as the new Accords (the 6-4-3 type). It might be worth checking out to see if they are having the same issues, and if they are, if they are finding a fix for it.

    Just thought it might help!

    Have a great day.

  • phantomvphantomv Posts: 101
    I know the prior years' Odysseys had tranny problems and they had the VCM too - before the Accord.
  • I have 600 miles on my V6 Exl and I'm yet too experience any of the problems with the VCM that is being talked about on this forum. I love the car and think the engine is extremely smooth, much quieter than the 4 cyl model.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    You ignored the part that mentioned this type of VCM program (6-4-3). New on 2008 Odyssey.

    The transmission problems were seen back in the 99 models.
  • phantomvphantomv Posts: 101
    2005 and newer EXL and Touring models had VCM - and tranny problems. Perhaps not the identical system as 2008 - I am not sure - but perhaps the shifintg into and out of ECO is driving the transmissions crazy? Al I know about my car is
    1 - it is noticeable and annoying unlike any other car I have ever driven 2 - you can see the RPMs change with every move into and out of VCM - so the transmission MUST be shifting also - 3,4,6 should not change RPMs regardless of how many cylinders are firing 3 - fuel economy? Ehhh... I would give up 2-3 mpg in exchange for getting rid of the annoyance and discomfort - my wife notices it and wonders what I am doing!!! :confuse: I am a very good driver, can keep a very steady speed myself, and can shift a manual so you never feel a shft, even able to match engine speed with proper gear and shift without a clutch - this car is herky jerky and nothing I can do seems to change it. Like I originally said - Honda's New Coke - why did they have to mess with a perfectly fine V-6 and instead simply go toa 6 speed auto with a tall overdirve for the economy??? The engine has enough torque not to be concerned about low RPMs at cruising speeds!
  • stevecarstevecar Posts: 148
    You may also want to follow the new Pilot coming out this Spring that will have the same technology. This could affect three different models.
  • tc99mtc99m Posts: 11
    Here is the update of the appointment at the dealership. My wife took the car in for an hour and it was done. The service manager said that the dealership which got the car originally did not complete the "opening" of a new car (e.g. there is a list of things the dealership should do when they receive a new car). What is that about? Does anyone knows what the service manager meant by that?

    Here is the report from the invoice after the test:

    "A advice for RPM surge between 20 to 30 MPH
    Tech did see idle fluctuation at 30 MPH, spoke with tech line, they recommended a two person test drive with HDs to monitor RPM's, tech reset ECM and performed idle learn, then ran the car at 30 MPH and found no fluctuation. test drove good."

    What are HDs (or HDS), ECM reset, and idle learn? Why didn't the other dealership perform whatever they needed to perform before sending it to my dealership? Why didn't our dealership check before selling it to us?

    My wife drove the car around town after the appointment and she said that it seemed to be working fine. I will drive it tomorrow and see it myself.

    She told the dealership about the rattling noise around the glove box area but they could not find any.

    According to my wife, the service manager was nice and he told us to call to schedule another appointment if there is any problem. Although I am not completely convinced by the explanation, I am satisfied with the good service that Honda has provided.

    Maybe case closed for now...
  • phantomvphantomv Posts: 101
    Do not know what HD's ae but ECM is the Engine Control Module - the "brains" of the car - tells the VCM when and how to work, the transmission to shift, etc.
    Interesting that there could be an adjustment that would address your problem. Glad it worked for you - may have to try that myself with my local dealer
  • sunnfunsunnfun Posts: 168
    I saw this in the front of one of the manuals that came with the car. There is a 3 or 4 page check list in mine that had all of the items checked off and it covered various items. I have no way of verifying what they did, except on ones like "clean outside of car", "remove seat covers", etc..
  • stevecarstevecar Posts: 148
    In today's Wall Street Journal, page w-10, they compare the new accord with the new malibu. He specifically mentions the VCM and its shortcomings. Maybe Honda's dirty little secret will get out to the rest of the world.
  • golfrskigolfrski Posts: 262
    I am glad you posted. I will tell you Honda is aware of this concern. I have spoken to Honda Customer Care and my Service Mgr. The more people that contact Honda the better for all..... if people dont share this with them they wont know and cant resolve.

  • golfrskigolfrski Posts: 262
    I am honestly sick about is, in that this is a real issue and I am so dissapinted after 20 years of owning this great model to see it hit the streets like this. I get the "new design" dealio but cmon this is HONDA!! They do IRL, They are like Engineering Rainmen.. They gotta do something... its simply not right.
  • golfrskigolfrski Posts: 262
    Same operation/fix was conducted on my car and DID NOT solve the Herky Jerky surging and or vibration issues.,, been ther done that. Glad yours worked though.
  • phantomvphantomv Posts: 101
    You definitely have to experience the VCM. If you are a sensitve driver you WILL feel its constant switching from one mode to the other - even at highway speeds with the cruise control on as the engine is called upon to maintain a steady speed despite coming to an incline, and I have to say conversely my experience with the "grade logic" in this car is also unsettling, with cruise on, downshifting the automatic transmission to maintain a steady speed on a down slope. I NEVER noticed this before in our most recent Honda products - 2000 EX V6 Sedan, 2004 EXL V-6 Coupe. Caused me to turn it off altogether on curvy hilly 4 lane highway. :sick:

    Just advising prospective buyers to be careful out there - this is a VERY different Honda from what many Honda owners may have in mind from past experiences. It is HUGE, it is HEAVY, and with the automatic, there is a lot of computer input from the Engine Control Module (ECM) in how it drives, shifts, and runs over which you, as the DRIVER, have little or NO control - to the point of its being unpleasant.
    I would have liked to have kept our 1990 Acura Legend with 180K on it, but my wife insisted we get a new car. It drove and handled much better than our new Accord EXL V-6 sedan. Since we live in Manhattan and only drive about 5000 miles a year, I will have to learn to simply live with it. But if I had to drive this every day????? NO WAY!!!!! I COULD NEVER DRIVE THIS CAR EVERY DAY - IT WOULD DRIVE(NO PUN INTENDED) ME CRAZY! I would be angry :mad: with Honda for having ruined a previously very nice car - the 2007 model. AND for betraying the trust of its loyal customers to produce a car that is SO annoying to drive. This whole line of 2008 V-6 VCM Accords may end up with a very big black circle in Consumer Reports as a year to avoid( :lemon: ), and when Honda fully realizes the impact of its folly on its loyal coustomers and new sales, I believe it will reverse itself, and we'll see some sort of retrofitting (new ECMs) available to customers to eliminate the VCM in this engine.
    I am not kidding - it is THAT annoying. I will be figuring out mileage with our second tank of all around driving - city/highway, and this weekend report on a highway only trip of about 120 miles and how we did on that, keeping in mind the car has about 700 miles on it. My suspicions are that all the shifting, VCM, etc gong on will result in little savings in fuel - certainly not worth the aggravation, complicated engineering, and machinations needed to obtain it, if there is ANY. :confuse:
  • stevecarstevecar Posts: 148
    I'm a Honda owner for 27 years, the latest being a 2007CRV. I was going to buy a 2009 Accord. Now we won't. If enough people get the word out, Honda will have to do something. Keep bringing it in for complaints and document it and maybe see a lemon law attorney to make sure you do it correctly. The idea is to get them to recall the entire run of V6's.
  • phantomvphantomv Posts: 101
    I would be careful about jumping to conclusions about "Accord" haters! I have owned various Honda/Acura vehicles sicne 1981. Have you? 14 altogether from an 81 Accord to a 2004 S2000, with various other V-6's thrown in, auto and manual, and now this '08 - and I am NOT happy. Worst Honda we have ever owned. Why - because the others neer gave us ANY trouble - ran flawlessly and economically. This car is herky - jerky and annoying. Lots of luxury items and features and nicely finished, but the engine/transmission? Driving myself, as drive, and my wife aspassenger, nuts. When it goes into and out of ECO she asks ME what I am doing!!!??? SHE as passenger can feel it too.

    So, hold your opinions about "Accord haters" until you know the facts. Facts are that my son bought his 2007 Accord because we are a Honda family and have been since he and his brother were born. He too has driven our new Accord and is happy he got an '07 V6. 27 years of Honda ownership and now this? So much for payback for our loyalty. Mark my words - the '08 VCM WILL be fixed by Honda OR Consumer Reports will have a big black circle in the engine/transmission, and whole car, for the 2008 Accord V6.
  • donegaldonegal Posts: 49

    Could you outline for us the shortcomings mentioned in the Wall Street Journal article about the VCM? Thanks
  • phantomvphantomv Posts: 101
    Which is better, a very good GM car or a mediocre one from Honda? That's the question I keep coming back to while contemplating the new Chevrolet Malibu and Honda Accord, both completely redesigned for 2008.

    In a quantitative comparison the two sedans are as similar as their corporate parents aren't, with comparable prices and powertrains, features and fuel economy. But when you look beyond the specs and start analyzing the design and product planning that went into these two models, the Malibu becomes much more compelling. It represents an upward trajectory for Chevrolet, a triumph of good decision-making that stands in marked opposition to Honda's misguided new model.

    Chevrolet Malibu
    But before we get into all that, let's consider what you're actually spending your money on when you drive one off the dealer lot -- other than the depreciation. Both the Malibu and Accord are marketed as midsize sedans, although the latter has actually outgrown the category. This is the first strike against the Accord, which is now considered a "large car" in the EPA classification system. Yes, right there on the same list with the big Buick Lucerne, Mercury Grand Marquis and Toyota Avalon.

    While the mathematical difference between the Accord and Malibu isn't extreme, the profile they cut couldn't be more so: The taller, wider and longer Accord looks like it could swallow the Malibu whole. The design of the Honda screams for attention in the same way the first and worst Korean cars did, with a wild combination of elements including bulging headlamps, a squarish grille fit for a truck, and a crease along the car's sides that looks like the result of an accident involving a guardrail.

    The Malibu, however, is rather understated. Its longer wheelbase makes the car look sleeker and lower than it really is, and by virtue of this illusion it also seems sportier than the Accord. The simple design of the Malibu is classic Chevrolet, using chamfers, smoothed edges and sparse bits of what these days passes for chrome to create a staid but attractive package.

    Inside the tables are turned. The Accord plays it safe with as conventional an interior as in any car on the road. GM's designers, on the other hand, have done a bang-up job in obscuring the inferior quality of some of the Malibu's materials, primarily by using color in an optional two-tone scheme. You will realize the brilliance of GM's smoke and mirrors when you feel just how deficient the Malibu's two major touchpoints -- its steering wheel and seats -- are compared to those in the Honda.

    Honda Accord
    My Malibu test car was powered by a 252-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6, while the Accord was fitted with a 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 with what Honda calls Variable Cylinder Management. This technology is designed to boost fuel economy by allowing the six-cylinder engine to run on just three or four cylinders when full power isn't needed. It works almost seamlessly, but in this case, "almost" isn't good enough. During highway driving with the cruise control on I could feel a slight vibration when the engine switched from three- to four- to six-cylinder mode, which it does often, a downright maddening behavior. That the Accord managed only 22 miles per gallon during my testing, a single mile per gallon better than the Malibu, only made this all the more annoying.
    Speaking of which, the Chevy's six-speed automatic transmission isn't without its own shortcomings, principally its reluctance to downshift and the rudeness with which it finally executes. At least once you coax either engine into full acceleration you'll be treated to a more-than-adequate display of power, rendering the Honda's 16 extra horses something of a moot point. As anyone who has spent much time around high-performance cars can tell you, there are limits to how much power you want to be routing through the front wheels of a family sedan.

    That said, for cars likely destined for commuter duty, both handle well. The Accord has long courted the sportier part of the midsize market, eschewing the floaty, "comfortable" ride of the Toyota Camry and its ilk. Clearly GM wants the Malibu to be similarly regarded. To that end both the Accord and Malibu have suspensions that do a nice job of controlling body roll without being harsh.


    Discuss: Which do you think is a better car? A very good Chevrolet or a mediocre Honda.2The steering on the Accord has a lighter touch that will feel familiar to Honda owners, while the Malibu has enough feedback through its wheel to make you forget the decades of numb-steering GM cars that came before it. Both the Accord and Malibu have good brakes with a firm and responsive pedal feel. Without putting the pair on a race track together there's no declaring either the true handling champ, a point which comes off as a win for Chevy. After all, who has any expectation that GM could or would actually design and build a car that's as enjoyable to drive as a Honda? Not to mention one that looks better and is competitive on price.

    I'm going to hit you over the head with a bunch of sales numbers now, so bear with me, but they're important to understand just how ludicrous the notion of a competitive Malibu is. GM sold 128,312 Malibus in 2007, while Honda sold 392,231 Accords. (Neither company had its redesigned 2008 model on sale for more than the last few months of the year.) By contrast, the all-new Toyota Camry annihilated all comers, racking up 473,108 sales in its first full year on the market. Furthermore, the Nissan Altima (284,762) more than doubled Malibu's sales, while Hyundai's Sonata (145,568) and Ford's Fusion (149,552) also outsold the Chevy.

    No matter how GM might spin this model's positioning within the company's bloated division and brand structure, there's no one working for the General who doesn't wish it could sell hundreds of thousands of Malibus annually. But the old model was just so bad, so cheaply made and unrefined, it's questionable whether GM could have given that many away.

    The Accord couldn't present a more stark contrast, serving as it does as the "bedrock of the company," as Honda puts it. The Accord is the company's best seller. Indeed, the last time Honda sold as few Accords as GM sold Malibus last year was in 1978.

    What all of this means is that the Malibu hasn't got a chance of overtaking the Accord in sales any time soon, no matter if GM dipped the Chevy in gold and Honda fitted the Accord with square tires. This makes it even more impressive that the Malibu has literally come out of nowhere to challenge the best of the competition.

    But then again, Honda's reputation has been slipping lately. The company has thrust a number of ill-conceived models on the public, from the ugly Element SUV to the poor-selling Ridgeline pickup truck to the now-discontinued hybrid Accord coupe. These products all reek of too-clever marketers backed by the disto
  • carzzzcarzzz Posts: 282
    I own an 07 Accord V6, but i no experience with VCM. I found it interest to see some people notice it while some don't. This suitation is like when i rev the engine above 5k rpm, i can feel the kick. I am neutral about this because this is how the V-TEC work. I also notice some "power shift"/rough shift on transmission. What can i do, other than think the car shifts up to save fuel? Simply you can think your car going to "Eco-TEC" mode. Live with it! :P
  • abeebabeeb Posts: 25
    I just bought 2008 V-6 back in Nov-07. I have about 5000 miles on it and overall am very impressed with all aspects of the car and love driving it! However, I also notice some irregularities and hypersensitivy with shifting which may or may not be related to VCM, but I would say that my problems are not very pronounced compared to what some others are here are indicating. For example, with cruise control on at 65-70 mph, the car runs like a dream with no irregularities all. What is interesting is that there seems to be a range of degrees of this problem indicated here - from none to extreme. I talked to the service manager at the dealership and he said that they have not had any complaints about this at all. I really suspect we need to continue to get the word out and Honda will come out with a bug fix for the ECM.
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