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Honda Accord VCM



  • I've test driven the VCM-equipped Accord a couple of times and have not 'felt' or 'heard' anything close to what I'm reading in this forum. :confuse: I wasn't too surprised that neither the salesman or the service department manager admitted to any complaints, but I had nothing but this forum to refer to. Under what circumstances would I most likely experience the problem? How isolated is this issue?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I think we are attempting to determine how isolated this issue is, of course this is all through anecdotal reports.

    But these reports really do seem to indicate that some cars display the issues to varying degrees and perhaps some do not display them at all. So it's certainly plausible that the cars you test drove do not behave in the same way that some of the cars driven by the owners here do.

    Thanks for your report - if you have more experiences to contribute, please do so.
  • wardcowardco Posts: 27
    In my opinion, this has become a forum for a small handful of individuals who have had a problem with their 6 cylinder Accords. They continually post every nuance of their issues over and over again and have done so for months, making their problems seem much more common than they are. It's unclear what their motives are. None of the reviews I've read, including Consumer Reports, evens mentions this as an issue. Thus it is likely an uncommon NOT a common issue. I test drove one when they first came on the market last fall and again recently and noticed no hesitation. Test drive the car and buy if you like it. That's my opinion. (I'm sure this will generate a lot of flames, so be it.)
  • ljgbjgljgbjg Posts: 374
    No flame - but I will offer up what I think is a comprehensive list of reviews for everyone's easy reference.

    It is impossible to tell from this forum and its unrandom sampling of owners and thier experiences how "widespread" or "isolated" the problems they have experienced with VCM are. As I have said - I experienced them all too :sick: - up to about 2000 miles and then - POOF! Gone! :) :D Why they went away I do not know, but have previously speculated about. Now I have a wonderful car that with which I could not be happier - except maybe a bit better MPG.

    You say "None of the reviews I've read, including Consumer Reports, evens mentions this as an issue."

    Allow me to enlighten you with numerous reviews wherein comments are made, the VCM operation at the very least noticed, if not criticized:
    We'll see how effective it is as the miles pile on, but I observed the ECO light coming on quite a bit during routine driving. The switchover to and from ECO mode isn't quite imperceptible. It's certainly more noticeable than the last VCM-equipped Odyssey we tested.
    Cruising on the highway, I felt a minor shudder as the engine switched cylinders on and off. More time in a production model will give me a better sample of how smooth the cylinder shut-down works.

    Wall Street Journal 1/25/08 "... 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 ... only made this all the more annoying

    AutoWeek 8/21/07“When driving the multi-cylinder deactivation V6, we did detect a hybrid-like torque on/torque off feel when cruising at 60 or 70 mph when under slight throttle(at about 2000 to 2500 RPM). Because the green “ECO” indicator was illuminated, showing that the engine was running in fuel saving economy mode, we were no doubt picking up the engine cycling between four and three cylinder modes.”

    USA Today 8/24/07“If you step up too the V6 model, you’ll get blazing engine performance but rougher down shifting than in the 4 cylinder cars. Also a sensitive driver can feel the V6 go through its multi cylinder transitions.”
    Noise cancellation technology eliminates the odd noises produced by a V6 running on three or four cylinders. The transitions cannot be heard or felt--to know which mode the engine is in, it's generally necessary to rely on the "ECO" light.

    That said, early in my test drive of the V6 I did notice a low frequency thrumming when cruising around 60 miles per hour. And the sunroof was closed. At first I wondered if this might be a by-product of the noise cancellation. But the noise eventually faded away, so I now suspect the tires. If the noise was endemic to the design, many people would find it too irritating to live with.
    Like GM and Chrysler systems designed to save gas on big V8s, VCM changes the number of engine cylinders working at any given time and load to save fuel. The previous example switched off three cylinders (half the V6) when they weren't needed, but this new one changes between six, four, and three cylinders for more fuel-stretching choices. The system is completely automatic and unknown to the driver except for two things: The Eco light illuminates on the dash when the system is on, and there's a slight hunting sensation as it switches back-and-forth between four and three cylinders at certain speeds, but you'll need to be paying attention to notice that.

    Unless these testers all drove the same car (entirely possible), then it would seem that the experiences of those who have had (me - HAD being the operative word here :) ) or are continung to have these issues with VCM are not all that isolated, and some people notice its operation and some don't.

    I was ready to dump my car. The activity of the VCM was more than just annoying - it was physically nauseating and something neither my wife nor I could live with. I just wish Honda would own up to there being a problem with VCM and release some sort of statement - that it sometimes needs to be broken in more than just 500 miles, or that the Active Engine Mounts might need to be looked at if it persists in being noticeable or there are vibrations, etc. rather than sayting mum on it. I personally think that is a big marketing and customer loyalty mistake, but I don't run Honda.

    But, rest assured with these links and reviews - there are issues lurking out there with some cars. Guess the best advice for somone who has not bought one yet? Drive the one you want to buy - not a preselected demo - and assure yourself that the VCM in THAT car is operating according to Honda's claims - "seamlessly and unnoticeably" - and the don't let it out of your sight!

    Good luck - I hope you find a good one, and can join parviz, viet, hank119, and others, now inculding myself[ :) ] in enjoying a very nice ride.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    I drove 2 different 2008 Accord EX L V6 sedans spaced several months apart (the second test drive performed last week) for a time interval of around 20 minutes each-both tests involved city and highway driving-I detected nothing unusual. I did find the "eco" light constantly going on and off rather annoying. If I bought one, I would probably cover it with a piece of medical tape.

    Because of the serious issues experienced with the VCM by some posters here, I would make sure the dealer allowed me to drive the EX L V6 sedan intended for me to purchase, EXTENSIVELY before buying it.
  • abeebabeeb Posts: 25
    I'm not sure exactly why you made this post. This is a forum about VCM issues. Even if only two people have this problem, this is a valid forum for expressing their concerns and looking to find others who are experiencing similar problems and might have some answers. The reason for these "few" individuals continually posting every nuance of a problem is because they continually are having to restate their case for those of you on the forum who are doubting the severity of their issue.
  • ljgbjgljgbjg Posts: 374
    Very good post and very appropriate. I consider my self very fortunate re. VCM - I had a car with major issues just as described by the reviewers. Then all of a sudden - it all disappeared :confuse: I surely am a believer of the issues people have had, having had them myself, but then too, would not have doubted them if my car had been fine from the get go. After all - these are imperfect mechanical objects that vary in quality and consistency with design specs, regardless of whether it is Honda or not building it, where some will be different, and in some cases, "better" than others. Thankfully mine has cured itself and I SO wish for everyone else to have that happen to them. golfrski seems to have had some of the most severe problems and I suggested a dynomometer test for him. Trust me my VCM problem friends, once the issues you have are resolved, or resolve themselves like mine miraculously did, you will find yourself with the Honda you thought you were buying.
  • yrmacyrmac Posts: 134
    Here is a VCM video showing when, where and what situation the 3, 4 and 6 cyl. modes occurs.
    Click here: - rd/features/engineering/accord+-+features+-+engineering

    Lucky Australians, their Accords are equipped with paddle shifters!
  • ljgbjgljgbjg Posts: 374
    5 Speed Automatic with Paddle Shift???? :surprise:
    What website IS this yrmac? Australia?
  • yrmacyrmac Posts: 134
    Honda Australia
  • yrmacyrmac Posts: 134
    Not only that but their top of the line Accords have mirrors with integrated indicators and also HIDs.
  • ljgbjgljgbjg Posts: 374
    We can only wish. :)
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I think the Accord (Inspire) is considered a Luxury car in some countries. Much like Acura is here. I have no need for paddle shifters myself. If I wanted to do the shifting myself, I'd get a manual. I can easily get my automatic to downshift one, or two gears with the accelerator pedal. If I really wanted to shift myself, I can do it with the shift lever. The same way I did in my 72 Chevelle. I guess some people like gadgets a lot more than I do. :confuse:
  • yrmacyrmac Posts: 134
    However, if you have the VCM, no need to get your accelerator to downshift one or two gears. Once activated, the VCM will shift your tranny from 5th to 2nd ;) .
  • ljgbjgljgbjg Posts: 374

    I don't think anyone has ever suggested that! Now the grade logic transmission when you are on cruise WILL downshift if necessary to maintain a steady speed.

    As for the paddle shifters - those among us with spouses who do not drive manual would love to have that option of a manual override of the auto tranny like BMW, Subaru or many others :) offer.
  • gregy21agregy21a Posts: 1
    I have the Australian Accord (made in Thailand) with paddles, vcm, v6, mirror indicators, etc.

    I dont need the paddles but they're there and I might use them sometime as a novelty..

    As for VCM, i dont even notice it except fot the eco light which I sometimes try to keep on by careful driving.
  • packer3packer3 Posts: 277
    What does grade logic transmission system mean.
  • ljgbjgljgbjg Posts: 374
    From Honda's Website:
    "The Accord automatic transmission features Honda's Grade Logic Control system. This system differs from other computer-controlled shift programming because it can detect vehicle driving situations and then set appropriate shift points for the car. This feature avoids gear hunting on climbs and descents, and downshifts when appropriate for added engine braking." The surprise comes when you are cruising on cruise control and begin to descend a hill - the car will downshift all by itself into a lower gear, perhaps even two lower gears depending on the steepness of the grade, to maintain the speed set on cruise - the severity of it can be startling the first time, and it will also do it when decelerating for a traffic light - again with much more pronouncement than I have expierenced with other ATs.
  • yrmacyrmac Posts: 134
    How much (in AU$) are the sill plates (non-illuminated) for your Accord (4 door?)? I think they are dealer installed option if I am not mistaken
  • jam1000jam1000 Posts: 182
    Sunnfun -- did you ever get a response from Honda to your emails to the top executives? If so, what was the response?
  • jebinc1jebinc1 Posts: 198
    +1 I totally agree with your assessment of the situation.
  • sunnfunsunnfun Posts: 168
    Have not heard a word and I am extremely disappointed to this point. I thought at the very least they would have pushed it down and I would hear from my case mgr or the like. Nothing. Can't say I'm suprised, just extremely disappointed.

    On a seperate note, I am now having a problem with one of the rear speakers vibrating when music plays so there will have to be another trip to the dealer. It can be easily reproduced so I am not worried about getting it fixed. It's just that I have to spend more time on this car. I have read about others with the same issue so someone missed the QA boat on these.
  • rbbrickrbbrick Posts: 37
    I have a 2008 Accord EX-L V6 Coupe, 2200 miles, at 1936 miles the engine light started flashing while driving at about 70 mph it continued to flash and the ECO light would not come on. After I left the freeway and stopped the engine ran very rough I suspect it was trapped in 3or4 cylinder mode, got home very concerned. Turned off the engine and restarted the engine light disappeared and everything was back to normal for a VCM system. Went directly to the dealer to get any codes NONE recorded!?? This happened a second time driving down the freeway had to pull off and restart the engine - cleared the issue. Took the vehicle to another dealer for a code check Nothing Recorded, dealer said best to bring in while the engine light is on! So do I drive only between the hours of 8am to 5pm so I can bring it in? What a farse! Anyone have these symptoms?? I live in San Jose CA area thanks in advance.
  • ljgbjgljgbjg Posts: 374
    The more I read these posts the more fearful I become. My car having "cured" itself of the VCM surging and vibrations, I wonder - what next? Are these cars too complicated? Did they heit the streets too soon before all the bugs were worked out? Excessive road noise, higher fuel consumption, compasses that do not work, navi systems all messed up, check engine light coming on with the engine seemingly "stuck" in 3 or 4 cylinder operation but then never recording a hard code, seemingly incurable vibrations, oil leaks with less than 100 miles on the car - these are simply things that, in my experience with Hondas over many years, just simply do not happen.
  • ljgbjgljgbjg Posts: 374
    sunnfunn -

    Before my car fixed itself, I had written to American Honda Customer Service and the president of American Honda, with copies to the New York State Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission outlining my problems, referencing others on this website with problems, and the quotes from American Honda's webpage about the VCM being seamless and unnoticeable, along with all the references to all the raod tests where it had been noticed as NOT seamless and unnoticeable. I got their attention - I have a phone call to return about the car. I will let you know what I am told sunnfun - and everyone else.
  • ljgbjgljgbjg Posts: 374
    See post #1 in 2008 Honda Accord Repair and Maintenance - someone else had the same problem diagnosed as the fuel pump. Hope that helps you.
  • ljgbjgljgbjg Posts: 374
    Here you go -

    #2 of 285 2008 Accord Sedan V6 Engine Problem by burningedge Oct 25, 2007 (7:03 pm) Save | Reply
    I bought a new Accord on Fri. 10/19. When I was driving to work on Mon. 10/22 the car started sputtering and lurching. It had 50 something miles on it. When I turned the car off and restarted it, the engine check light came on and the ECO light would no longer come on, though the car was driveable at that point. Brought the car in and they are working on it.

    Update: the problem has been diagnosed as a defective fuel pump. I have to wait a week for a new fuel pump.
  • ljgbjgljgbjg Posts: 374
    #11 of 285 Re: 2008 Accord Sedan V6 Engine Problem [burningedge] by burningedge Oct 27, 2007 (9:19 am) Save | Reply
    Replying to: burningedge (Oct 25, 2007 7:03 pm)

    Oops. I meant defective OIL pump. Seems too much oil was being pumped into the engine causing valves to remain open when they shouldn't be.

    Replies to this message:
    aviboy97 (Oct 29, 2007 12:09 pm)
    burningedge (Oct 31, 2007 9:44 pm)
    bug4 (Nov 01, 2007 8:29 am)
  • sunnfunsunnfun Posts: 168
    Thanks for the info.
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