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Honda Piliots with VCM oil consumption thread (All Honda Pilots 2009+) . [UPDATE 2/NEW CLASS ACTION SUIT 11/6/13.. 8 year warranty or paid repairs! (see post #26)]

boltman2007 7,354 2,746 August 15, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Hi all,

Seems I'm the latest to get bit by the VCM bug (oil eating/plug fouling) in Honda engines. Seems Honda knows about problems with the V6- VCM system and are remaining tight lipped at the moment. The more complaints the better. In my case I have the dreaded P0303 code...misfire on cylinder 3 at 55K miles. Lots of oil used.




Here is Honda's official statement....

The Regional Case Manager at American Honda today. He again confirmed the Honda position that "... it's normal to use up to one quart of oil every 1000 miles", and stated that Honda does not intend to change this stance unless there are more complaints. So please, if you are experiencing this problem with your Pilot (or other Honda V6-VCM engine vehicle) using up oil let them know by calling, sending a fax or a letter. I received a quick, personal response but nothing will be done unless we flood them with complaints. Thanks.

http://automobiles.honda.com/info...tions.aspx

Contact Us
For further assistance, feel free to contact Honda Automobile Customer Service. Business hours are Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time.

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"We do not *think* it has anything to do with the VCM, but Honda is tight-lipped right now. As was stated, VCM has been around since the 2005 Accord Hybrid and Touring Odyssey. The newer model Accords ('08-up) suck a little bit of oil during VCM mode, but all this has been causing is fouled plugs (usually #2 or #3), and probable misfires. The oil that is sucked through the valve stem seals is enough to foul the plugs, but is not noticeable on the dipstick.

So far, Honda themselves have kept their mouths shut about this issue, but we have seen (and confirmed by an American Honda employee I choose to leave un-named for his sake) that the new Pilots may burn as much as a quart every 800 miles!!! Check your oil!"

MY own vehicle was down over 2 quarts after just changing the oil 3 months ago.

Important: If you own a Pilot 2009+ CHECK YOUR OIL EVERY MONTH! USE 5w-20 only!

There is a TSB out also TSB 10-063 applies to all 2009/2010 Pilots and many 2011

And another TSB....

in July of 2011 Honda quietly acknowledged the problem in the form of a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB #11-033). The TSB says the probable cause of the problem is "the VCM (variable cylinder management) may be repeatedly switching on and off during light throttle operation, at cruising speeds, on flat roads."

PDFs of TSBs

TSB #10-063
http://www.piloteers.org/forums/a...edplug.pdf

TSB #11-033
http://www.piloteers.org/forums/a...on2011.pdf

Some dealers are doing goodwill "fixes" up to 75K miles and replacing engines for $500 in some extreme cases.

BEWARE VCM Honda's...the technology stinks and uses up oil. BE AWARE.

Class action suit also sign-up here on multiple Honda models....

http://www.berklawdc.com/current-...ption-form

BERK LAW PLLC: Honda Oil Consumption and Engine Misfire Survey

Vehicle Details


Vehicle Model *
What model vehicle do you own?
Honda Accord
Honda Odyssey
Honda (Accord) Crosstour
Honda Pilot
Honda CR-V
Acura TSX

46 Comments

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#2
This effects more than just Pilots. It's pretty much any Honda V6 with VCM. I have a 2011 Crosstour with VCM and I was aware of this when I bought it. It's a CPO car and has only 15k on it. I have been watching pretty close. Some of the forums suggest at least on the CT they made some ring changes in 2011 to help the problem. At least on my CT I get a shutter at certain speeds that seem to be related to this VCM engauge disengauge.
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#3
I think Pilots are most susceptible due to being a bigger vehicle.... but you are right ANY Honda V6 with VCM is at risk. I think this needs to be addressed and all Honda V6 VCM owners should check their oil regularly and not just wait for the Maintenance Minder to remind you.

My saving grace likely will be I only use Mobil 1 in all my cars.

VCM Honda/Acura owners need to be vocal.... this is a widespread issue. Let Honda know they need to step up to the plate and help consumers.
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Last edited by boltman2007 August 17, 2013 at 11:00 PM.
#4
CR-V's are listed they only have 4 cylinder engines no VCM not sure why they are listed on the legal site. They are not listed on the TSB. Just in case anyone reads this and things their CR-V may have problems with oil consumption.
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#5
My update... I took it to another service department with a better rating online from customers further away....

They started by charging me for a check engine diagnostic and then finished covering the repair under warranty.

Spark plugs #2 and #3 were fouled out and they also pulled code P0303.

They fully serviced the vehicle in full accordance with the TSB 10-063 posted earlier.... that included the new updated software for the PCM.

Even washed the Pilot all for free

What a difference the right service department makes.

I asked the service advisor about the issue.... he just sort of shook his head a bit. He said the update should take care of the plugs fouling out, however he also said to keep and eye on the dipstick for oil use. He himself said you cannot rely on that maintenance minder system and that he has been told from Honda using a quart every 1200-1300 miles is normal... II knew full well he was told one quart every 1000 but he himself said more (1200-1300) because he knew that sounded ridiculous even to him.

I said that's a lot... he agreed. He said check it every 1000 miles and document usage then he can push it up the ladder if oil continues to be used up. I got the distinct feeling this is a well known issue with all 2009-10 VCM Pilots.

Moral of the story.....

VCM V6 engines are very hard on oil... you MUST use synthetic or risk damage later on.
Check your oil level manually every 1000 miles
Change your oil every 5000-7500 miles even with synthetic.
Let Honda know .... complain! Sign up for the legal survey also.
Search service departments for a good one who will stand behind you as a consumer.

I must say this one service department gave me faith in some of Honda. Its ridiculous though that Honda doesn't just do a recall for EVERYONE and update the software and educate the public to not rely on that Maintenance minder system at all.

You have all been warned if you own a VCM V6 Honda be on top of oil levels and watch for check engine lights use synthetic oil.
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Last edited by boltman2007 August 18, 2013 at 10:38 AM.
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#6
1Q every 1k miles? Holy shit that's a lot oil.
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#7
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
1Q every 1k miles? Holy shit that's a lot oil.
This is Honda's standard bullshit line. We had a brand new CR-V in 1997 that drank oil like a drunk sailor and they said this exact thing.
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#8
Quote from redmaxx View Post :
This is Honda's standard bullshit line. We had a brand new CR-V in 1997 that drank oil like a drunk sailor and they said this exact thing.

Wife has an 09 CRV and no general oil issues.... maybe 1Q every 10k miles...

We were actually looking at upgrading to a Pilot due to a family upgrade which is why this thread caught my eye.
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#9
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
Wife has an 09 CRV and no general oil issues.... maybe 1Q every 10k miles...

We were actually looking at upgrading to a Pilot due to a family upgrade which is why this thread caught my eye.
Honestly the Pilot is a decent vehicle with some major "Hmm that should have been done better" issues.

Starting with the VCM system... why Honda thought that was a good idea is beyond me. The problem now is it is so prevalent in their line and they put all their eggs in that basket that is why they are trying to keep the wraps on all of this. Originally I thought it was a "neat" feature and would save gas , NOW I see it as a ridiculous entry of complexity into something that should be left alone. They need a VCM off switch.

Also other annoyances... bubbling on center armrest, Tan interior that will not remain clean, Paint that will not hold a wax job, cross-arm bushings shot at 55K miles. In general its a great concept just the implementation questionable. I love the room for 8 but for a vehicle north of $33000 you'd expect more.

I own a 2006 Hyundai Sonata and it has 30,000 more miles and no major issues. In fact I forgot to change the synthetic oil for over 20,000 miles and the thing still runs fine. Only complaint I never get 20/30 MPG like they claim. Otherwise all expectations have been met and exceeded.

I think Honda is relying on their past "Quality" and that today's Honda is falling behind. I really will think twice about spending north of $30K on a Honda again based on the fairly obvious major design flaws with something like VCM and then remaining very tight lipped over it.... takes lots of research to get at the truth.

Even my wife wants to trade it now... don't blame her. Hopefully the software fix does the job keeping a close eye on it.

I'd recommend a 4-cylinder PIlot over a 6-cylinder with VCM.
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Last edited by boltman2007 August 17, 2013 at 11:23 PM.
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Quote from boltman2007 View Post :
Tan interior that will not remain clean
Isn't this a fact of having a tan interior? I don't think I've seen a car with a tan interior that will stay clean. I have a 2012 Chrysler 300 that has a tan, now dirty grey tan interior that won't stay clean. It's from all the road film on people's shoes. Seats are good though.
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#11
Quote from redmaxx View Post :
Isn't this a fact of having a tan interior? I don't think I've seen a car with a tan interior that will stay clean. I have a 2012 Chrysler 300 that has a tan, now dirty grey tan interior that won't stay clean. It's from all the road film on people's shoes. Seats are good though.
Its more than just a tan interior and shoe grime... seriously we can have the seats detailed and within a week there are a multitude of stains including sweat after my wife's workout. Again you spend north of $30,000 you expect interiors that clean up well and can stay relatively clean for a while. Again I point to other cars I don't see the same concern with interiors or the fact the paint cannot hold a wax job. Sure its a lesson learned tan is not that great for keeping it looking good.

I can look past the interior and paint issues... however when a car company thinks its normal for a vehicle to use up a quart of oil every 1000 miles and alludes to the fact tthat the electronic maintenance minder system should be relied on is doing the public a vast disservice.

They should put a maintenance schedule in the manual with mileage/time listings... they should in BOLD put a warning to check your dipstick manually EVERY 1000 miles.

Instead they don't and then force a customer to find this important information out on their own.

Seriously is it ok to literally run out of oil in 5000 miles? With the maintenance minder not warning you?

By the time the oil light comes on you are sucking air though that engine.
If you are using regular oil sludge develops due to the VCM system along with oil starvation piston damage occurs thus the reason Honda in some cases authorizes lower and upper engine blocks. However this shows on any vehicle record and lowers the trade in value so the cure is worse than the harm.

Its a mess and Honda needs to step up to the plate and educate the consumer about the hard nature of their VCM system on all oil and its tendency to suck up oil and to not rely on some "Maintenance Minder" that is basically worthless.

Its craziness Honda so far has gotten away without a MAJOR RECALL of half of their fleet. Buyer beware VCM is no bueno. If you own a 2009 or 2010 Honda Pilot V6 and have not had the software update its a issue waiting to happen. Worse yet there is no guarantee the software update will solve .For 2011 they changed the piston rings and cylinder walls starting in 2011... again another band-aid to try to milk along VCM. They need to ditch VCM entirely.

It all comes down to Honda putting all their eggs into the VCM basket and trying to band-aid a failed technology to meet CAFE standards. Other car manufactures find legitimate ways to meet CAFE standards not a technology that requires SPECIAL treatment of only sythetic oil and frequent dipstick checks after a software update just to keep your engine from failing prior to 100000 miles
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Last edited by boltman2007 August 18, 2013 at 09:50 AM.
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#12
Quote from boltman2007 View Post :
Its more than just a tan interior and shoe grime... seriously we can have the seats detailed and within a week there are a multitude of stains including sweat after my wife's workout. Again you spend north of 30,000 you expect interiors that clean up well and can stay relatively clean for a while. Again I point to other cars I don't see the same concern with interiors or the fact the paint cannot hold a wax job.
Oh that's awful. My car doesn't have that problem, so I can see what you're saying.
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Quote from boltman2007 View Post :
Honestly the Pilot is a decent vehicle with some major "Hmm that should have been done better" issues.

Starting with the VCM system... why Honda thought that was a good idea is beyond me. The problem now is it is so prevalent in their line and they put all their eggs in that basket that is why they are trying to keep the wraps on all of this. Originally I thought it was a "neat" feature and would save gas , NOW I see it as a ridiculous entry of complexity into something that should be left alone. They need a VCM off switch.

Also other annoyances... bubbling on center armrest, Tan interior that will not remain clean, Paint that will not hold a wax job, cross-arm bushings shot at 55K miles. In general its a great concept just the implementation questionable. I love the room for 8 but for a vehicle north of $33000 you'd expect more.

I own a 2006 Hyundai Sonata and it has 30,000 more miles and no major issues. In fact I forgot to change the synthetic oil for over 20,000 miles and the thing still runs fine. Only complaint I never get 20/30 MPG like they claim. Otherwise all expectations have been met and exceeded.

I think Honda is relying on their past "Quality" and that today's Honda is falling behind. I really will think twice about spending north of $30K on a Honda again based on the fairly obvious major design flaws with something like VCM and then remaining very tight lipped over it.... takes lots of research to get at the truth.

Even my wife wants to trade it now... don't blame her. Hopefully the software fix does the job keeping a close eye on it.

I'd recommend a 4-cylinder PIlot over a 6-cylinder with VCM.

The $30k+ tag is scary and for that amount of money one would expect a very good vehicle.

Your 4/6 cyl is in jest, correct - Honda doesn't sell a Pilot with 4C?
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#14
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
The $30k+ tag is scary and for that amount of money one would expect a very good vehicle.

Your 4/6 cyl is in jest, correct - Honda doesn't sell a Pilot with 4C?
Its a good vehicle with some flaws. You can say that about most vehicles. Where I take exception though is in Honda trying to keep this all going without a FULL FLEDGED RECALL and a change to the owner manual on basic maintenance. Honda refuses to acknowledge that their Maintenance Minder system is basically worthless when their own service advisers say check the oil manually every 1000 miles. The maintenance minder would let you go on long drain intervals on regular oil producing sludge due to the nature of an overactive VCM system and fouling out plugs #2 and #3 at half their expected life.

http://www.carsreviews2014.com/2014-honda-pilot/
According to other sources, the 2014 Honda Pilot will be a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with CVT. In European countries, Honda will provide their vehicles to fit over the end customer. Meanwhile, in the United States, will be published this edition hybrid cars.
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Last edited by boltman2007 August 18, 2013 at 08:42 PM.
#15
Do these really burn a quart every 1000 miles? That is an awful lot of oil.
I almost bought a new Pilot a couple months ago. Would this have affected a 2013 model?
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