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Honda Accord VCM



  • Yes, highway miles seem to be a bigger problem for VCM. This was noted in the service bulletin. If you want some more ammo on this topic, try googling "Odyssey oil consumption". All of these vehicles have VCM V6s which is why I bought a Toyota minivan this year.
  • Dealership got response from technical advisor @ Honda, they agree that lower engine block needs replacement, also need to fix rings ( which are in upper block?). (I am not technically savvy re: engines.)They think lower block problem allowing oil to leak and foul plugs. Estimated cost of repair =$6,000. Honda will cover all but $200-300, which i am reasonably happy with given car has 75,000 mi on it. Worry though that this may happen again. I kept my prior 2003 v-6 accord till 200,000mi, not sure if i will get that from this car with VCM.
    I have heard honda hopes software updates will solve this problem but i am not sure if this is proven over time.
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    edited October 2012
    Obviously, any Honda owner would be disappointed with an engine that only lasted 75,000 miles. Can you imagine the new car showroom with a big promotion: "Step right up and get your 75,000 mile Hondas!".

    It is good to see Honda stepping up on a car that is well beyond the warranty period. I think you should be happy with this action. I'd be thinking about trading it though soon after it is repaired.

    'Rings' refers to piston rings that seal the cylinder walls during piston movement keeping combustion elements out of the crankcase and crankcase oil out of the combustion chamber. Note that piston rings were "upgraded" for MY 2011.

    All said, I still believe that these "fixes" are merely bandaids on a bad technology. GM learned it's lesson the hard way but Honda seems intent on betting the ranch on cylinder deactivation. It's a cheap route to gain a little CAFE fleet average bump but the problems created by temperature and pressure differentials and who knows what else empirically reduce life expectancy of this engine. Honda began by stonewalling all their loyal customers and have lost many for good. It appears now they are quietly fixing these engines as they fail. They will never know how many people like me never even considered their product when shopping for minivans earlier this year.
  • The engine mounts were OK - A National Rep came in and found cylinder 5 valves tight - causing misfires.. He also replaced the Torque Converter and Front Drive shafts. This is the Thirds set of drive shafts on this car.

    The vibration is better at 22mph - but worse at 71-72mph.

    Not good for a @$34,000 2010 Honda Crosstour..
  • Just dropped off my 2009 Honda Accord V6 with 70K miles at the dealer after it started running very rough with CEL flashing. I am guessing it's misfiring again. About this time last year, the same thing happened at 80+ mph on the highway but it was a lot worse. Whole car was bucking, CEL flashing, and caution light flashing. At that time, I got it to the dealer 3 miles away and they diagnosed misfire on all cylinders. The spark plugs were trashed! They upgraded the software like the service bulletin suggested and said it wasn't going to happen again. Well - I think it happened again tonight and not long after the CEL came on 2 weeks ago for low oil due to VCM as well. I am fed up with VCM and even more so with Honda not taking responsibility for the issue. When this happened last year, I opened a case with Honda and demanded them to pay for all repairs (~$600 worth). They were only willing to take partial responsibility at ~$200 which I refused to take. This time, I am not letting it go that easy. Any tips on taking this issue back to Honda? Especially now that it hit me twice in just one year.
  • Document everything and go through Honda's process. As we are seeing, they seem to be more willing to step up. Let us know how it turns out. Good luck.
  • Update. My local dealer who got the pleasure of dealing with me this time diagnosed a misfire on one cylinder and a fouled spark plug. They recommended I replace all spark plugs (as I did last year at roughly 50K). After all, the car has 70K miles on it. :) The PCM software, however, is up to date this time.

    After I kindly explained the history and similar diagnosis from the other dealer last year, I asked them to dig deeper and call me back with a root cause or they could keep my car. They called back many hours later and after spending some time on the Honda tech line. Apparently, they took some things apart and sent photos to Honda who in turn recommended a short block and rings free of charge. When asked why, they explained that there are issues with the VCM getting oil to specific cylinders which is causing misfires and fouled plugs. Who knows what else could be affected. Their fix seems a little more permanent than replacing plugs every few months but I am not keeping my hopes up. I am re-opening my original case with Honda from last year and going after a full reimbursement on the original PCM software upgrade and spark plug job.

    I am now worried of new issues down the road, which may not have manifest yet, due to the oil not getting everywhere it should for over 70K miles. Any ideas about what they could be? Part of me wants to keep the car in hopes that the next repair will be the last related to this. Another part of me wants to give this lemon back to Honda and get my money back to buy a more reliable car.

    Any ideas what else I could expect down the road related to this issue? I drive about 20-24K miles every year. I need reliability above all else. That's why I bought this car in the first place and so far, the plan has backfired.
  • I've been having multiple VCM-related issues (fouled plugs, low oil, etc). I drive almost entirely highway. My 2009 Accord currently has over 70K miles on it. Honda just recommended a short block and rings. I am worried there is more wrong with the engine and seriously considering a different car. Here are the details -
  • Unfortunately, there is really only one long term solution for you or anyone with recurring problems due to faulty technology: get rid of it. Move on.
  • I got my car back yesterday. i paid $250, Honda paid for rest. The dealership gave me loaner for free for 5 days. they replaced small or lower engine block, ring seals, 3 plugs, etc. I asked them if they think this will happen again, they seemed confident that with software update that it would not. I was wondering if any one after the software change, (2011 or newer) has had this problem.So far it seems to be only in cars prior to this update, such as mine and ioreper.
    Right now the car is smooth, i never noticed significant hesitation from VCM either now or previously.
  • The only hope I can give you is that our 2011 with 13,000 miles has been flawless. However, it is driven 95% city, so it is rarely exposed to the conditions that create problems (long stretches of 3 cylinder operation, i.e., highway cruising). The 2011's also have the piston ring mod and extra moly when delivered. Since the moly eventually washes away, I am going to a high moly oil.
  • robtroxelrobtroxel Posts: 103
    edited October 2012
    In essence, Honda created needless complexity by adapting VCM, when in fact a 6 or 7 speed transmission would have done the job! We left Honda Accords after our fantastic running 2007 V6 EXL was worn out. That combined with the sneaky de contenting on the bloated 2008+made it an easy decision to go elsewhere. I am not surprised about the reliability issues posted here. on the v6 VCM models.
  • I don't know about "needless". Blame your government for the pressure of CAFE. In the minivan world, Honda has a 15% fuel mileage advantage because of VCM and that is huge. It's also why I bought a Sienna. But how many of those buyers even know about VCM? They trust Honda to be reliable.
  • robtroxelrobtroxel Posts: 103
    CAFE was the motivation for VCM, but ...they needed the 6 or 7 speed auto first and I believe they would get the same results without VCM's..unneeded complexity. Understand my context with the 4 door sedans as the bench mark. Toyota did just that and have an engine that runs smoothly at all speeds. That minivan "advantage" shows on paper but I'll bet the real world mileage is closer on both and you won't be sucking oil @ 80,000 miles like many of the Honda's seem to be.
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    True. It's better to let all the cylinders work, on a higher gear. Low noise, low wear, no vibrations.
  • Guess what - Our 2013 EX-L V6 AWD now has the same problem - if not worse than our 2010 Honda Crosstour. Severe floorboard shake at 22mph - 28 - then again in the 40mph range then again around 72-78mph. It's not as bad in S mode - using the paddle shifters.

    Honda - Please get a clue - I'm also seeing people complaining with the Acura RDX - which just received the new VCM. :sick:
  • Having owned Honda Accords since 1981, and most receently a 1997 Accord V6, a 2000 Accord V6, and a 2004 V6 Coupe, we bought a 2008 V6 with VCM with great confidence in December 2007. In early 2011, with only 28,000 miles on it, all hell broke loose on a trip from NYC to our son's house in NJ. first the check engine light came on - I stopped and checked to see that the gas cap was on correctly as we had gotten gas. Followed manual and restarted the car - everything seemed fine, then all of a sudden the check engine light came on , the VSA lights, and the transmission downshifted two gears by itself. I tried restarting the car again, but each time, after about 30 seconds of operation, the same thing happened. We limped back into NYC - took the car to Paragon Honda in Queens - the result after several days of examination with the Regional Manager involved - something about transmission input and output modules replaced and the car pronounced "fine". Yeah, drove it home and it was not downshifting slowing down going into corners - came out of a slow turn in 5th , the transmission/engine lugging. I wasted no time - sold it immediately to a dealer in Texas on ebay and bought a used 2008 Acura RL with 18K on it for LESS than the Accord cost new. My highway mileage IMPROVED on the same trips from about 27 to 29-30 with the RL, and NO MORE VCM!!! That thing drove me nuts - seamless changing from 6-4-3 and back??? No way - I felt every change of cylinder management. Now I see that the Accord V6 has lost its recommended status as a used car by Consumer Reports. It is no wonder. Honda has lost me as a customer since 1981 since the new RL has VCM also. I will not own a Honda product with VCM. IF I need another car - my RL has 34,000 miles on it now - I am looking very seriously at the 2015 Hyundai Genesis with 8 speed transmission.
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    edited December 2013
    See thread "class action" or go to

    Bottom line, you can submit related out of pocket expenses for reimbursement and everyone gets an 8 year warranty against this problem.
  • dinofldinofl Posts: 53
    I received the class action letter as well. I would love to shove it in the face of all the Honda reps that basically ignored all my claims of problems and kept giving me the run around with the high speed forced wheel balancing line of crap! I traded it in 2011 for a VW CC and the VW is such a superior car and drives like a dream in comparison. Never again a VCM engine for me. Also hate the BMW engine off when stopped. That's another pile of crap!!
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    edited December 2013
    Glad you're happy with your Vdub. You should write a letter to the court. I am sure there are many owners who traded their VCM in exasperation and lost money on the trade value. This type of financial loss is not addressed by the settlement. Obviously, if you had actual out of pocket expenses, you should submit them.

    Of course, Honda is hoping very few people bother so that their expense and damage to their reputation is minimized.
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