Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Honda Accord VCM



  • As you may have seen from my posts - our car went completely bonkers - driving along normally at about 50 MPH on highway and all of a sudden the transmission downshifted two gears, the VSA and Check Engine lights came on - bought new and with only 28K. Stopped and read manual and thought maybe the gas station attendant in NJ had not replaced the gas cap correctly. Turned car off - removec and replaced cap - restarted - nothing. OK - resumed trip - about a mile later? Same thing all over again except this time the D light on the transmission started flashing and the speedometer stopped working. The dealer replaced transmission input and output modules ( whatever they are) and proclaimed it fixed. Drive the car - when slowing for a turn and then accelerating through it the transmission would not downshift and came out of a 20 MPH corner in overdrive lugging the car at less than 1000 RPM - had to step on the gas to get it to downshift. Took it back - they insisted it was fine. I told them I had driven it 28K since new and this was NOT fine or how it had driven before. SOLD it immediately - my experience with new cars is that they give you trouble early - they are always trouble. Bought used 2008 Acura RL with 18K for $25K from AZ - with Tech pkg. LOVE IT - have had it 9 months and it is a dream. I used to dismiss it as an overpriced Honda - but made in Japan and with MANY more features - and for $25k?? Less than a new Honda! Strongly advise anyone looking at Honda with VCM to stay away. THis was our 15th Honda/Acura since 1981 - and the last Honda. Never again VCM.
  • I'm climbing into your boat--sorta. Today we bought a lightly used 2008 Lexus ES250 with most of the factory bells & whistles. Gas mileage ought to be about the same as the Accord.

    Although we haven't experienced some of the disasters some VCM-equipped Accord owners have suffered through, we are tired of all the road noise, the overly harsh ride and the clunky poor-shifting transmission. Unless Honda makes some major improvements in their vehicles, we are likely finished with Honda. Too bad, as they once made competitive vehicles--I could go on-and-on, but why bother.
  • Wish you luck with the Lexus. I agree about Honda - the Accord and Civic have been flops and their sales are way off - not just because of Thailand and the Tsunami. Honda quality in engineering and attention to aesthetics and ergonomics have been matched by their competitors and in other respects exceeded - and at better prices. The Acura RL has also been extensively faulted for not having a V-8 and a 6 speed transmission - though driving it I find it lacks neither - everything I demand of it as a driver it delivers - along with 29-30 MPG at 75-80 MPH. Used to be you needed more gears to make up for lack of torque - thus 6 speed manuals - that lack a torque converter - though big block Corvettes hardly need a 6 speed - 4 would do fine - Ferraris?? No torque - small V-.8 - need the gears. I know - I drove a "65 396 - 425 HP - you could start up in 3rd without problem - massive torque. The Acura might be considered bland by some but drive it HARD and its sporting character comes out - and the AWD is phenomenal. What started out as a luxurious Honda in 1987 has become MUCH more than that. With EPA mileage requirements going up the future for gas powered cars that provide this kind of performance looks bleak. Like what you have - you may be keeping it a LONG time! Good luck.
  • tmk53tmk53 Posts: 2
    I am sorry to hear about so many VCM problems. I wish people that have had positive experiences would comment to balance things out a bit. I purchased a EXL-V6 coupe earlier this month and so far so good. When switching into ECO mode I occasionally can detect a slight vibration which is no more discernable than a transmission shift, so it could be a shift instead. Bottom line is that if I didnt know the car had a VCM system, I would never notice a thing.
    I traded in Genesis Coupe V6 for the Honda as I was tired of worrying about the NJ winter snows which rendered my Genesis useless when the snow would fall. It seems like a lot of people have been bashing Honda quality, well I can say that so far the Accord Coupe far surpasses the quality, finish and fit levels of Hyundai. Also the Accord feels better planted on the road vs. the Genesis, and as a highway cruiser, there is no comparison. My first tank of gas showed 22 MPG, my second tank of gas 26MPG, my third tank of gas 27MPG. So the mileage is moving into a very good territory. I do drive about 50% highway driving, but have a heavy foot to negate that. As I get used to the weight and added heft of this car, I am begining to see little performance difference between the Accord and Genesis. Anyway, hopefully the VCM experience remains positive, and hopefully people that have had a positive experince will tend to write too.
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    edited December 2011
    Our 2011 EXL-V6 sedan purchased in March is doing just fine with 7,000 miles. After reading about all the oil consumption issues and receiving the stern warning from the dealer at delivery NOT to change the factory fill oil until the MM hit 15%, I, for the first time in my life, allowed the FF to go 6300 miles (I changed my Mazdaspeed3's FF at 1250, e.g.). This car is my daughter's DD. She drives like a grandma and 95% of miles were stop and go city driving (that could be important regarding oil burning issues with VCMs).

    First, the good news. The engine burned only about 1/3 qt during this time. I did a UOA just out of curiosity to see what's up with this 'super' oil loaded in the Honda factory. I discovered what I believe to be confirmation of my prior practice of changing the oil early in a new engine. This oil was loaded with engine metals--much higher than I see during breakin on other tests run at BITOG. AL = 17; FE = 49; CU = 256 (!); PB = 6; Si = 94. The only noteworthy add-pack ingredient was Moly = 359. This could well be cast off the new moly impregnated piston skirts announced as a 2011 engine mod (along with new oil control rings). The used viscosity was on the low side, indicating this started out as a xW-20 oil, perhaps helped by the 0.8% fuel contamination which lowered flash point to 350F. The TBN was 2.0 which indicates there was still some life left in the oil (1.0 is considered low).

    These oil analyses can't tell you everything about the oil, so perhaps there is some secret ingredient I can't see but, the bottom line for me is that there is NO DOWNSIDE and ONLY UPSIDE to getting that factory fill out of there after a thousand miles or so, followed up by a couple of 3000 mile OCIs to get all the breakin crap out of there.

    If you're not a DIY'er, I will tell you that this is one of the easier cars to do an oil and filter change on. All you need are some wheel ramps, a filter socket that fits Honda OE, a 6" extention for your rachet and the right wrench for the oil drain plug (I forgot already what that is). Don't forget to change the oil plug metal gasket each time. FWIW, I went back with Honda Genuine Full Synthetic 0W-20 and an OE filter.
  • jmillerjmillerjmillerjmiller Posts: 113
    edited December 2011
    Never had an oil analysis done, but I can tell you that it doesn't take many miles for the oil on the dipstick to reek of gasoline on my 08 Accord Sedan EX-L V6 Navi. So I'm interested to hear that it isn't just mine.

    Only have about 35k miles on this car, luckily oil consumption has been low. I have been going 1yr/10k miles between the last few oil changes, getting them done when the minder gives the warning it's needed. Typically about 3/4 quart is how much the oil is down from full at that time.

    I use a lot of throttle at times, and at those times let it wind up till it decides to shift - so this is not a pampered low rpm runner. Though I did try to respect the first few thousand miles and kept the factory fill in.

    The VCM though is being quite noticeable when trying to drive around 65. I guess the lower engine rpm's (and lower in the powerband) make it shudder in and out more often than if driven in the mid 70's (don't need another ticket for that in a 55).
  • tmk53tmk53 Posts: 2
    I am now a month in my Accord Coupe EXL-V6, and things have been great. After careful attention I can say that there is no vibration or any change in car dynamics when it shifts in and out of ECO. There is a bit of transmission jerk when shifting gears, but nothing out of the ordinary. My last car had a ZF 6 speed automatic transmission which was the smoothest shifting tranny I have ever experienced, so the Honda has stiff competion in that regard. With 2000 miles on the odometer, there has been virtualluy no oil burn. My readout still has me at 90% of oil life. At this rate I will be well over 10,000 miles when an oil change is indicated, and I was wondering when most people are doing their first oil change? I am also averaging about 26 MPG with combined driving and a heavy foot, so no complaints there either. The car is rock solid at 110 MPH!
  • I wish you the best of luck. Our 2008 Accord EXL V6 smoothed out after about 3000 miles. I was never impressed with the VCM V6 for power, but accepted the car for what it was - until at 28K all hell broke loose one day while cruiing at about 50 MPH - car downshifted 2 gears, VSA light came on and D light started flashing. Stopped - read manual about gas cap after refilling possibly being the cause, turned the car off, got out - removed and replaced gas cap properly - resumed trip - about 5 more miles - same thing again bu this time the speedometer also stopped working. Limped back into NYC and took the car to the local dealer - Paragon Honda. They were stumped - had regional rep in - they replaced the tranny inlut and output sensors and pronounced the car fixed. Drove it on a trip and the car would not down shift when slowing for a corner, coming out in 5th. Downshifted when goosed, but othersie no. Honda insisted the car was "normal" - look, I had driven the car 28,000 miles and owned 12 other Honda/Acura products - it was NOT normal. I said screw it - sold it for wholesale on ebay to TX Honda dealer - bought 2008 Acura RL with 18K on it for less than the Honda had been new and LOVE IT. 29-30 MPG HWY at 75-80, AWD, a VERY underappreciated car. Good for me - got it for a song and am VERY happy. Never again ANY car with VCM.
  • I'd love to be giving you a positive but sorry, no. I have been a very loyal Honda owner for about 20 years, Accords, a Ridgeline, CRVs and two Crosstours. My first Crosstour with VCM was exceptional. So good, in fact, that I replaced it with another. My mpg went from nearly 22 mpg to 15.7 mpg. The ECO light is rarely on in my second car. It is noisier. It is faster. Here is my real beef. Honda appears to be ready to do NOTHING about the reduction in mpg. Nothing. Dealer says there is nothing that can be done. Honda customer relations has no email or on line link. You have to use Twitter. You have to use Twitter. Twitter, for crying out loud. I am very discouraged and for the first time in two decades am shopping outside the Honda brand. I never thought that would happen.
  • Sorry to hear that and very disappointing. Honda is losing market share and this may be part of the reason - abandoning loyal customers. I got the shaft with the Accord EXL V6 - supposedly repaired to "normal". Got the RL and love it bur what's next? Hyundai? Perhaps...
  • Same here. After Honda's for 20 years, we're now Honda free after putting up with the 2008 Accord with VCM. Great looking car, ran like a piece of crap.
  • What are you driving now? The RL is fantastic - cannot wait to see the new one at the NY auto show - V6 with 4 electric motors - power of a V8 with economy of a 4?? Have to drive that to believe it. BUT VCM - crap
  • I mentioned in an earlier post that we had traded our 2010 Accord EXL V6(VCM) for a 2008 Lexus ES350 with 41K miles on it. We could NOT be more pleased with the swap. The Lexus is a "dream car" compared to the Accord. We drove the Lexus R/T to Las Vegas last month and both of us felt much more relaxed & less fatigued after the 500+ mile drive that we had in the Accord. Plus, gas mileage was almost identical, WITHOUT VCM and in a car weighing 500 lbs. more than the Accord. We are now looking forward to more highway drives in the Lexus--it is also fantastic!

    We still have a 2010 Honda Ridgeline but it does NOT have VCM. The engine runs like it should and although the gas mileage is dismal/awful (18-19 mpg), we will likely keep it for awhile. About $150 worth of Dynamat reduced the road noise in the Ridgeline to a tolerable level. I still wonder why Honda apparently refuses to grasp the concept of a quiet vehicle. ALL Hondas are excessively noisy--why is that? Makes no sense at all.

    If anyone from Honda bothers to read the posts in all the various online forums, they would no longer wonder why they are losing market share. Insanity!
  • Glad you are happy - RL has some road noise too - endemic to Honda products - they do not want to insulate you as much as Lexus does. Going to try the Bridgestone Serenity tires - reading very good reviews - much quiter than the Michelins without any sacrifice in performance. Putting VCM way in the distance in that rear view mirror of life mistakes!!
  • Well, I've had this 08 Accord EX-L V6 Navi a bit longer than most cars (got in Sept 08, have about 36K miles on it). It fits me well, and overall runs good. The VCM is a 'live with it' type of thing. The new rear brake pads the dealer installed squeal under breaking - i complained and they turned the rotors again - no effect. The TSD for the package shelf never fixed that rattle either. I fixed my own glove box door rattle shortly after purchase.

    It just feels cheaper than the older accords (early nineties, for me). If I was buying a new sedan, Honda isn't it right now. Maybe they will get their act together again - and realize that sticker price isn't the only sell point.

    Ordered a new 2012 F150 a couple weeks ago. When it arrives, the Accord is gone. Trade in was lower than expected, but the only way to get top dollar is to trade a Honda in at a Honda dealer, or sell it yourself. But there are a lot of these for sale, and I looked at how much Honda dealers were asking for certified ones of similar year equip and mileage.
  • robtroxelrobtroxel Posts: 103

    When people like us leave the fold, Honda has a problem. Too hell with VCM and the Honda it is attached to! Fortunately there are great alternatives. Good luck on the Ford
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    I was just reading about the "all new" 2013 Accord and they are sticking with the VCM V6. It was noted that Car & Driver's 'Ten Best' Accord last year was only for the 4cyl.

    In all fairness, I will say my daughter loves her 2011 Accord EX-L VCM V6 and that it has burned no oil in 8,000 miles. She either doesn't notice or doesn't mind the VCM operation.
  • I sold my 2008 Accord EXL V6 to a Honda Dealer in Texas that certified it and resold it immediately. Hey - not my headache any more!
  • I hear you - we have had MANY Honda/Acura products over the years - Accords - sedans '81,83,'97,'00,'04 coupe, and then the '08 sedan. Interspersed along the way? '88 Legend, '88 Legend LS, '90 Legend L, '94 Legend L 6 Speed coupe, '04 S2000 and now the '08 RL. The Legends were indeed just that - Legendary - awesome cars - the 1990 with 161 HP??? Puulleease...that car would do 135MPH and accelerate from 80-100 in a heartbeat. Just such a well balanced car. 185,000 miles with no problem and still used no oil, and still would hit 135. The RL is a whole different world from the Accord - solid, quiet, SH-AWD is phenomenal plus all the other bells and whistles and BETTER mileage than the Accord - 29-30 MPG on the hwy. at 75-80. Yeah, Honda really shot themselves in the foot with the '08 VCM. Good luck with the Ford - they are making some great cars.
  • mike331mike331 Posts: 6
    35800 miles clocked on my 2010 EXL. Overall so far so good. I agree the forum has a lot of redundant posters that would make the problems posted here seem to be more numerous than defects that actually exist. Please no more used RL references. No business like the car business defines the old saying "if your are happy with a product or service you tell one person, unhappy and you tell TEN!" My observations are this is a good car a bit over priced due to high demand, positive Honda history and competition heating up this catagory and price range. (thank you Ford) We have owned an Odysee since 2002. 120,000 miles and it had some problems, power side doors and rear water leaks into 3rd row seat that turned into a mountain of mold due to seat being folded down for a long time. Overall a sturdy van with nothing more than regular maintenance items...front end stuff, water pump, timing belt etc. The Odysee is what prompted me to go for an Accord and I bought my daughter a 2010 Civic at the same dealer...but thats another story. I do notice VCM but not that bad. Coming from a 745LI (bad economy and repair bills beyond belief at 130,000 miles had too part with it) I am sensitive to the VCM kick in and out...but again not that bad. No shimmey front end, no front brake or rotor problems or really anything else. Rear deck does vibrate with loud bassy music and the car is road noisey. Paint job is so, sound system is just OK. Getting 20-22mpg combined. Mostly 40-50 mph zones stop and go.

    Honda on Grand in Elmhurst Illinois. Had trouble with their sales staff years ago but convenient location and a decent salesman Carl brought me back twice. If only the sales guys had any influence over service they would retain more return customers. The service department there is bad. Arrogant and condescending. Simplest questions get you that's normal, can't reproduce yada yada yada. Unfortunalely for Honda, their Honda Care rep that called me back supported this dealerships position. That's a shame because a 20 (per service bulletin)minute reprogram, plug check and replace a faulty $5 window switch would've sent me on my way a happy camper.
    Daughters civic gets 22 mpg and that's normal too.

    REAR BRAKE PREMATURE WEAR Now why that had to go to class action is beyond me AND why I didn't receive something alerting me to this problem before nearly grinding the rears down to the rivets is baffling. If not for the common sense, but the LIABILTY. My mechanic (trusted Midas franchise) found it during regular maintenance. I had to [non-permissible content removed] a bit but Honda sent me a check for the repair.

    OIL now I was suprised this car came out of the factory with 6,000 or so mile oil change intervals on dino oil. Would have thought synthetic for that duration. Manual says "check oil at every gas fill up" RIGHT! I have found myself adding oil to this car more than my last 5 cars incl the Odysee. Hence the reprogram/plug check I asked for and was refused. Motor seems to have settled into itself and oil consumption reduced last couple thousand miles. My advice...CHECK THE OIL REGULARLY DURING FIRST YEAR and change the oil every 3-5k (after manufacturers first fill and check that regular too) unless you switch to synthetic and then monitor.

    It's a good looking car, nice and easy voice recognition navi, somewhat sporty feel for a sedan, a strong v6 and i find it reasonably comfortable. i expect to drive this car for another 70-100k.
  • robtroxelrobtroxel Posts: 103
    Your message and experience was appreciated! Your story is precisely why I did not buy the latest Accord! My 2007 Accord V6 EXL Nav was flawless in all regards. When I saw how they decontented the 2008 by removing the LED lights, sear seat locks, there was a dissappointment. When I drove the VCM Accord, that disappointment turned to disgust! What a hog>> actually getting worse mileage than my 2007! My neighbors Camery V6 gets 5 more mpg without the VCM mess! Honda, where is your 6 speed auto?

    The good news is we all have great options..I upgraded to a Maxima getting 29 MPG on the road all off a 290 HP engine and yes I only use regular! We are done with Honda!. Good thing you got a 2010 Civic. The 2012 is a train wreck, so much so, Honda is back to the drawing boards to try to regain traction that is being lost to other brands!
  • elliott2elliott2 Posts: 64
    Good luck, Mike. After the brake problem, replacing the torque converter, replacing the coil (and a plug), and putting up with the vibration and road noise, I have never been so happy to get rid of my 2008 Accord V6 NAV. Honda has some how lost its connection with quality and engineering (witness that the company has a re-do mid generation of the new Civic to address the problems identified by Consumer Reports and others).

    I will consider a Honda sometime in the future only if Honda drops the VCM and addresses the road noise issue.
  • Thanks - I felt the same way when I dumped my 2008 EXL V6 after many years of very satisfactory Honda experiences. It was a piece of junk by comparison - I put some very hard miles on a 2000 V6 without ANY problems - this was my first Accord since our 2004 coupe - and I agree with you - never again will I even LOOK at a Honda V6 unless they dump the VCM.
  • rcummelinrcummelin Posts: 184
    I totally agree with Rob, Elliott & the two Mikes--I will NEVER buy another Honda with VCM. There are many rumors afoot that Honda will add VCM to the "new" 2013 Ridgeline to increase gas mileage. If so, our 2010 Ridgeline will be our last Honda. Too bad, as Honda used to make a decent product.

    Other rumors from inside Honda indicate that a 6-speed tranny many be 3-4 years away for Honda vehicles, while Acura may see a new 6-speed in 2013.

    BTW- our Ridgeline is going back to the dealer today to fix several problems. Sheesh.
  • The real shame of it is that they have treated long term loyal Honda customers like you , Rob , Elliott and me the way they have - they don't give a sh**. With that attitude, they'll go the route of Studebaker, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, etc. If I get the same treatment from Acura? Will have to look elsewhere.
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    This spring was time to finally retire the wife's 12 yo Dodge minivan. Try as I might to get her into something else (our kids are grown and gone), her comfort level was with the minivan and that's where she wanted to stay. Normally, Honda would have been at the top of our list but because the Odyssey comes only with the VCM V-6, we went with Toyota.
  • rcummelinrcummelin Posts: 184
    edited April 2012
    You are most lucky that you chose the Toyota van over the Honda.

    There were several links (on the Ridgeline Owners Club forums) to several threads on Odyssey forums where Ody owners are having lots of problems with the transmissions misbehaving. Now get THIS--several of the problems have been linked to the VCM systems in the Ody. Surprise, surprise!

    In addition, I met an ex-neighbor at the Honda dealer today. His 2011 Ody (with less than 20K miles) was having ALL FOUR brake rotors and all brake pads replaced as all four rotors had warped due to overheating. Honda was attempting to claim he didn't know how to drive in the mountains, after he had been doing so for 40 years. Really? What a stupid excuse. They finally relented and fixed the brakes under warranty. BTW- Not the first case of warped rotors on both Accords & Odysseys I have read/heard about. Sounds like rotors that are too small or too thin to do the job adequately.

    Didn't get our Ridgeline back today as the dealer's service dept was totally overwhelmed with other repairs. Well, I DID tell them to keep it as long as they needed, just give it back to us fixed. Keeping my fingers crossed--again.
  • dpmeersmandpmeersman Posts: 275
    edited April 2012
    I never thought that Honda would spread it's VCM technology to the Accura line, but they have. The 2013 RDX has dropped the turbo 4 for the 3.5 six yup with VCM. And Edmunds testers have proclaimed something Honda has even shyed away from, they say it's seamless. For your browsing pleasure:
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    edited April 2012
    Honda obviously believes they have the VCM technology conquered. Maybe the 2011 tweaks worked? It just seems to me that changing the oil control ring and impregnating the piston skirts with moly is a bandaid, not a long term fix. Oh well, we will find out with our 2011 Accord.

    I must say, I drove this car for the first time in a while over the Easter weekend (it's my daughter's DD). It is now a year old with 9500 miles and has operated flawlessly. It used 1/3 qt of oil in 6300 miles on the FF before I changed it. I did a UOA on that oil just because of all the controversy, not to mention creating some proof of proper maintenance if there is a problem. The oil was loaded with break in metals as one might expect, although I've never seen 250+ppm CU in checking lots of UOAs on BITOG.

    During my 45 mi drive, which was a mix of highway and rural driving, i was watching the eco light closely. While I could detect the VCM engaging I can also see where the typical Accord owner (my daughter) wouldn't notice it.

    I will also add one more observation that I think may be key: our Accord has been driven 95% city miles where the VCM gets exercised frequently but for only short durations.. From what I've read by owner's with problems, they have driven more highway miles where presumably, a long deactivation of cylinders could create a cooling differential that sends oil out the tailpipe. Anyone else see this correlation with highway miles?
  • I honestly can say I never bothered to check the oil so I don't know if there was a useage problem or not. I simply changed it every 7000 miles with synthetic. Your analysis is logical - our car was pretty much 50/50 hwy and city. But what us amazing to me is that our gas mileage was WORSE with the Accord and VCM in ALL cases than what we now get with our RL. 28 tops on the hwy with the Accord, 29-30 with the RL on the SAME roads, and about 20-21 in the city versus 21-22 with the RL - and the RL has 290 HP and 4400 lbs to pull around. I just don't get it with VCM - the techology and complexity of it to accomplish what? Seems to me they just don't want to pul back from it - an admission if its being a mistake in the first place. All I know is I will if at all possible, never own one again. SInce we only put 6000 miles on our Acura in one year and I am 64, I may never need another car! Fine with me - timeless design and every luxury I could want.
Sign In or Register to comment.