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Honda Accord VCM



  • in response, i am a new poster.

    i did post a while back about problems with the VCM and I guess I just want to reiterate that I have all of the problems described herein, though perhaps not as bad as some. so yeah, the worst part of my VCM experience is doing about 45 coming up on a stop light, let go of the gas and coast, and suddenly its like the car has downshifted to first gear while i'm still going 40 miles and hour. its not like i'm gonna go flying through the windshield, but its not exactly smooth riding either.

    i suppose you could possibly videotape this, but what good would it do? so you get to see someone lean forward a few inches in their car when the 3cyl. mode kicks in. fantastic. great. then what?
  • parvizparviz Posts: 484
    Either watching video tape or discussions like this could help resolve or clarify issues. From what I understand what you have described has nothing to do with VCM. That is the downshift of the transmission which is inherent to most Hondas, including Accord.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Sounds like your issue is the transmission, rather than VCM. Did you get your dealer to look at it? Are they telling you that it's normal? Have they made a connection to your issue with cylinder activation or deactivation?

    A few posters most upset on Edmunds have written letters to Honda, the state's attorney general, Better Business Bureau, etc. Many are referring to Honda's false advertising, or quoting from magazine/newspaper articles. If I were them, I would include a video of my car's behavior to present as strong a case as I possibly can. Put it on You Tube! Having tens of thousands of people watch will make Honda uncomfortable. Whether they feel VCM is an issue or not, they will have to respond to the power of the Internet and video evidence that is presented for the world to see. Without the video (or something that allows the reader to understand the depth of their issue), I think these owners' cases are ultimately very weak and lacking substance. The articles they refernce are mostly positive, aside from a lukewarm comment about VCM. The car is getting overall positive press, so far. The VTEC article (linked by several on these boards) is also generally positive about the Accord. There are no references in that article about surging or abnormal engine behavior. Their only conclusion is that they are reserving judgment on the merits of VCM.

    March was a brutal month for car sales in the U.S. However, Honda's results were one of the very best. Sales of the Accord remain fairly strong, in spite of the economy. The other companies are seeing double digit declines, but Honda is currently holding its own with a net increase if you adjust for sales days, and overall they are down -3% on a year to year basis. So far, consumers are buying Accords in decent numbers. If VCM truly is a problem, Honda will have to face the music in the next 3-6 months once these drivers form their opinions based on extended ownership.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    the worst part of my VCM experience is doing about 45 coming up on a stop light, let go of the gas and coast, and suddenly its like the car has downshifted to first gear while i'm still going 40 miles and hour.

    This sounds like a "Grade Logic" problem. Unless you were going down a hill, the car should not down-shift like that. My 03 Accord actually did that once (hard down-shift) going down a bridge. I hit the brake pedal kind of quickly, and I suppose the computer took this as a panic situation, and down-shifted hard. Now when I go down and incline, I try not to hit the brakes, or at least try to apply them gently, and it hasn't happened again.
  • My 08 V6 has 7,000 miles and none of the problems described in this discussion. If you pay very close attention, you can feel the VCM kick in but in normal driving it is totally unnoticeable. The ECO light does have a tendency to cause you to drive more smoothly and anticipate slowing down. We are consistently getting 24 mpg driving around Phoenix. Haven't tried a road trip yet.
    This is the most refined Honda I have driven and I think it is an excellent car.
  • parvizparviz Posts: 484
    I don't mean to digress from the original intention of this thread. However, since this is being discussed I wanted to mention that my 08 V6 downshifts on the exact situation described in the OP when in an uphill grade when I let go of the gas but don't brake.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    08 V6 downshifts on the exact situation described in the OP when in an uphill grade when I let go of the gas but don't brake.

    My 03 has Grade Logic, but it doesn't do that. I think VCM operation is affecting the Grade logic. When the transmission downshifts in 3 cylinder mode, it makes a big difference from an engine downshifting to the same gear, running on all 6 cylinders. IMO, you should have to give the computer an indication you are trying to slow down (push the brake pedal) before it decides to downshift. That would be "Logical".
  • abeebabeeb Posts: 25

    I don't understand why VCM would make a difference in grade logic the way you describe. If downshifting to a given gear in 3 cylinder mode would be more extreme than in 6 cylinder mode, this would mean that there is somehow more engine resistance when in 3 cylinder than in 6. This makes no sense. This is not the way VCM works. Perhaps, the grade logic in the 2008s is just a different design completely or not working correctly in some vehicles.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I was just thinking that the engine, running on only 3 cylinders, would be turning more rpm to make the same hp as when running on all 6 cylinders. That would make the downshift more of a drastic change in rpm, and more of a jolt to the driver. Maybe that has something to do with it, and maybe not.
  • bj02176bj02176 Posts: 115
    I had a 2003 Honda Accord 4 cyl, there was nothing wrong with the auto trans, other than me wanting a suv. Shifted great and accelerated as fast as a 2005 6 cyl Ford Escape. Yes that's what I traded it on.
  • cody3764cody3764 Posts: 18
    Man what a difference a day makes. I have posted in here a few times about my VCM problems and what actions I took with Honda and service techs. Luckily when I met with the GM at Midlands Honda in Columbia, SC he didn't hesitate to say I want you to be happy with your experience here as a customer. I had a 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V-6 Coupe A/T with VCM problems and as of today when I traded her in she had 2732 Miles on her odo. My dealer took pitty on me and let me trade it on a new 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V-6 Coupe 6-Spd Black on Black that they did a dealer trade for me to get it delivered to my dealership. He gave me in trade exactly what I paid originally for my A/T so no money lost on the trade value at all. Truly amazing of course for the GM to do that for me and he sold me the 6-Spd for the same price I had paid for the A/T which was about $200 over invoice. As we all know the A/T and the Manual versions list for the same price. The 6-spd just came in today and as anyone who knows 6-spds are very rare to get and I just got home driving her from the dealership. I found the 6-spd very easy to shift and the clutch was no problem at all. Man what a difference and no more VCM problems for me. I would recommended having now owned both an A/T and now a Manual that if you are able to make a choice get the 6-spd as it in my opinion is a much better performing car regardless if you luck up and get an A/T without VCM problems. Can't wait to install the under body kit on her next month. I now can smile while I drive my Coupe. I hope all of you with VCM problems get something resolved. If I had not had such a great GM at my dealership I still wouldn't be smiling. Now I can relax and finally enjoy the car. All the best to everyone.
  • chazbo3chazbo3 Posts: 1
    PLEASE send me the Honda 3-state GM's contact information who helped you!!! I'm getting no where with Honda regarding the same VCM problem!!!

    THANK YOU!!!
  • golfrskigolfrski Posts: 262
    same here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • cody3764cody3764 Posts: 18
    Was that question for me?
  • gleen6191gleen6191 Posts: 80
    I still toss and turn at night trying to figure out if its the 4 or the 6 with the issues.

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731

    The 4-cylinder doesn't have the VCM system. The V6 with the automatic transmission does, and is the system with which some owners are having problems.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    4 cylinder owners have been complaining about flickering headlights. They say every time the A/C compressor kicks on, there is a very noticeable dimming of the headlights.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    But being that we're in the VCM forum I assumed the poster I replied to was referring to the VCM issues.
  • jam1000jam1000 Posts: 182
    Did you ever get a response from Honda in response to the letter or email you sent?
  • gleen6191gleen6191 Posts: 80
    I meant do i get the 4 or go with the v6 since the v6 has most of the issues.

  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    since the v6 has most of the issues.

    That depends on what forum you happen to be on. On some other forums flickering headlights are a major irritation, and VCM is not even mentioned.
  • ljgbjgljgbjg Posts: 374
    I have to admit - I have had my 2008 EXL V6 for about 3 1/2 months and just passed the 2000 mile mark. After having read all these posts and gotten caught up, I too have been among those with the problems - surging, jerkiness, moving into and out of 3 or 4 cylinder operation on the highway, and general unhappiness with the operation of the VCM - to the point I was considering selling the car. However, something seems to have happened to it - like it has goten broken in or something. Just took a 250 mile trip in it and it was like a different car - sure ehte ECO light was going on and off but I no longer sensed the changes in the engine cylinder operation. Then again, all highway driving 70-75 - rolling - not entirely flat - got 24.5 MPG. Maybe it was operating on 6 cylinders all;the time? :confuse: :) All I know is that it was smooth as silk like those here who say it is unnoticeable, yet before this trip I was absolutely in the problem corner. Mayeb the Active Engine Mounts had to get broken in? Perhaps they were too stiff before and not moving to compensate for the vibrations? All I know is that I can sympathize with those with the vibrations, etc. I agree with you 1000% It absolutel DOES exist in these cars - mine seems to have fixed itself! :) Lord knows how but I can actually enjoy the car and now understand the other side of the coin and those who have reported no problems. I suspect, based on my experience that the issues have to do with the AEMs and not the VCM itself. Those having problems? Ask to have your AEMs checked out and make sure they are moving as they should or should be able to.

    That said,the mileage was disappointing. Nowhere hear what we would get with our 2004 Accord V6 Coupe AT - closer to 30 over the same road and distance. But that is what happens when you gain weight - this car is 300 pounds heavier and I suspect its CD is greater than the '04 Coupe.
  • That depends on what forum you happen to be on. On some other forums flickering headlights are a major irritation, and VCM is not even mentioned.

    Flickering headlights = 4 cylinder Accords which has no VCM

    That's why VCM not mentioned.


    My question: Why are professional car reviewers not scoring negative points on Accord's VCM idiocyncrasies?

    Are they letting it slide because Eco designed cars have these behaviors and hence they maybe classify it as 'normal' (similar to battery assist Eco cars?). If that is the case, their ratings are not objective (comparing to non-Eco cars), especially from someone like Consumer Reports. Is the Accord's green eco light a placebo effect strategy to enhance the driver's acceptance of the VCM quirk, so car owners think they are contributing to the Enviro-friendly cause? Just playing 'Devil's Advocate'.

    I test drove Malibu & Camry at dealers. They are all verrry nice :) . Just getting a sense how these brand new cars feel. Accord may be the very last ones to test drive and then I can compare with others.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Flickering headlights = 4 cylinder Accords which has no VCM

    That's why VCM not mentioned.

    The thread I am referring to is titled "08 Accord problems", which in my mind means ANY problems. The majority of the complaints are about the 4 cylinder Accord's flickering headlights. There is a sperate thread titled "08 Accord flickering headlights", and it is about as lengthy as the VCM thread here. This forum (Edmunds) seams to be the only forum where VCM is the MAJOR issue. Birds of a feather, flock together I suppose. If someone does an Internet search for VCM problems, they will most likely end up here on Edmunds. If they do a search on flickering headlights, other forums will likely be the result.
  • parvizparviz Posts: 484
    " 24.5 MPG. Maybe it was operating on 6 cylinders all;the time?..."

    I don't know if your car was operating all on V6 or not, but take a look at the MPG thread. Most posts are better than what you experienced. Myself, have been getting around 30 mpg on FWY trips (and higher on straight flat runs, up to 36). I did notice the mpg got better over time. I've had mine for about 4 months with a little over 4000 miles on it. Also, check under the hood, I noticed about a month ago that the air intake hose was not placed on top of the intake opening (I don't know how much effect, if any, that would have), but apparently it was overlooked by the dealer during PDI.
  • ljgbjgljgbjg Posts: 374
    Thanks - I will check out the hose - as for the mileage? I agree - I expect it wil get better too since the car seems to be taking awhile to break in. Just reporting in with my experiences.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You can continue this in the Accord I4 vs V6 discussion. This one is exclusively for VCM concerns.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    This is not the right thread to debate your choices. As you know, we're talking about VCM concerns here. Please check the list in the Accord group for a more appropriate discussion. Thanks!
  • ljgbjgljgbjg Posts: 374
    Read through the thread - there are cites to the Wall Street Journal, Auto Week, and other reviewers who experienced the sensations many here described and that I too experienced with the VCM. Thankfully mine have stopped but I don't think it can be said that the reviewers have been hodiing back.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    The Wall Street Journal was the only review that had a real negative remark about the VCM operation (said it was "maddening behavior"). The other two reviews only mentioned that they noticed something, and didn't say it was particularly objectionable. I am very interested in what the Edmunds long term test update will have to say about VCM. I sent Edmunds an e-mail asking when the update will be available.
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