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I know this is a controversial topic but I felt I should relay my experience with the VCM defeating devices.

I have a 2019 RTL-E I bought new in February of this year. I found this forum and soon decided that I would rather have the VCM disabled rather than receive the benefits for which Honda intended.

I ordered the VCM Muzzler and while waiting for it to arrive discovered the S-VCM Controller. The S-VCM is more "complex" internally however if it delivers what it promised it sounded like the best solution in my eyes - I ordered one.

The Muzzler arrived and I put it on the shelf. Then the S-VCM Controller arrived. I installed the S-VCM Controller at about 2,000 miles. Gas mileage may have suffered almost 1mpg but I'm not entirely sure as I also began to drive the truck a little more aggressively as it became "less new".

Fast forward to today, with 7,000 miles on the odometer. I started up and headed for work. About 2 miles into the trip I experienced a long hesitation leaving a traffic light - I would call it a stumble but it was such a smooth loss and restoration of power it didn't feel like a gas or spark stumble. I shrugged it off and it happened again another mile in. This time it was accompanied by a couple of warning messages on the dash about the ACC experiencing a problem. (I do not drive with the ACC engaged and it was not engaged) Then more messages on the dash about other "systems" experiencing problems - hill parking assist, trailing something, lane mitigation, steering, etc - SO many messages.

I turned around and headed back home - the truck seemed to drive okay but all those messages I assumed it was about to not drive okay. I got home and removed the S-VCM - I didn't think this was the issue but I was going to drive to Honda and didn't want it present - I almost didn't remove it as I though "how could that be it".

The codes continued on the way to Honda.

Ultimately I am glad I did. Honda found the ECT (engine coolant temp) sensor giving incorrect voltages. They replaced it - all okay now.

I'm not exactly sure what happened - it could be that the S-VCM wasn't a factor. In my work I tend to find more causal than coincidental relationships but I don't know. I do know that for me personally, I am going to no longer run the VCM defeating devices.

If you're interested I have several pictures of the dahs as well as a video when I am at a traffic light on the way home where you see the truck idling and the various message passing by every few seconds. I have also pasted the Honda service ticket too.

I like the idea of not having VCM on the truck. I don't want to use the fixed resistor model due to it's possible shortcomings. I also acknowledge that regardless of how inventive or clever the S-VCM designer is, it's unlikely they can produce an electronic product with similar reliability to that of a mass-produced and large-scale tested item that a Honda, Ford, or other large company has resources to produce.

So this isn't a knock on either of them but I am no longer confident in them for my own vehicle as much as I want to be.

Here's the pics and video
 

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I'm not exactly sure what happened - it could be that the S-VCM wasn't a factor. In my work I tend to find more causal than coincidental relationships but I don't know.
Well, if nothing else, thanks for an apparently rigorously objective sharing of your episode. (y)

I do know that for me personally, I am going to no longer run the VCM defeating devices.
I can't / won't fault your personal decision. Wondering, since you're not going to continue to use it, would you consider returning the unit with your original post text to S-VCM just to see if they (he) offers any comment on the proper functioning of your particular unit?

Not sure what, if any, meaningful conclusion can be drawn for other owners, but I'm sure some will reach ....
 
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Discussion Starter #3
I can't / won't fault your personal decision. Wondering, since you're not going to continue to use it, would you consider returning the unit with your original post text to S-VCM just to see if they (he) offers any comment on the proper functioning of your particular unit?

Not sure what, if any, meaningful conclusion can be drawn for other owners, but I'm sure some will reach ....
I plan on contacting the S-VCM producer and had planned on doing just that - offering to send my unit back for his comment. I don’t even want it replaced but would like to hear what he concludes after testing it.



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Don't these VCM defeat devices trick the ECU to think the engine is running cooler than it actually is? Then you have a temp sensor failure. Don't know how it can be proven that the defeat device caused the sensor failure so I'm sure everyone will have an opinion but we'll never know in this instance.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes they do work like that. The Muzzler is a simple resistor where the S-VCM is a powered device.
 

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The s-vcm will turn off automatically once it senses something is out of normal working temperatures. Basically when honda will throw a code, it bypasses the svcm.
 

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Thank you for that objective post. With researching about Honda's VCM myself, it appears that Honda has refined the system to a point where it is no longer the "trouble maker" it used to be in the past, where bypassing it today no longer has the benefits it used to. As long as the VCM does not create any problems in our Ridgeline, we will be leaving the system to work as designed. In other words, we are not going to fix something that apparently is no longer broken.

Bill
 

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Thank you for that objective post. With researching about Honda's VCM myself, it appears that Honda has refined the system to a point where it is no longer the "trouble maker" it used to be in the past, where bypassing it today no longer has the benefits it used to. As long as the VCM does not create any problems in our Ridgeline, we will be leaving the system to work as designed. In other words, we are not going to fix something that apparently is no longer broken.

Bill
Sorry to disagree with you, Bill, but my RL uses oil when I allow VCM to work as designed. Even though the oil usage is very slight, it is still happening. IMO, there's no way a "free-floating" piston, with no combustion occurring, is a good idea. Eventually, oil is going to get past the rings and carbonize, especially with the "low-tension" rings used in today's vehicles. For the extremely minimal benefit in mileage, weighed against the possible long-term damage VCM may cause, I'm opting to always deactivate VCM on my vehicle. I see too many Honda V6 engines disassembled in my dealer's shop. I'm not even addressing the issues with active motor mounts, performance problems, and vibration problems directly associated with VCM.
 

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Well, thank you for your input, but I have been reading reports of owners exceeding 300,000 miles without complaint, and with our extended warranty we have eight years before this could actually become a financial issue for us, surely any problems are going to surface within that time. I think we will just allow the system to work as designed to test whether it is actually detrimental to our engine, or not. On further contemplation, getting the engine overhauled shortly before the warranty expires could be a beneficial thing? (y)

Bill
 

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On further contemplation, getting the engine overhauled shortly before the warranty expires could be a beneficial thing?
Bill: If thinking that an adverse consequence of normal VCM operation would be covered under your ESP, IMO that's likely wishful thinking.

Read your ESP contract carefully and see if you can reasonably construe that sort of thing meets the criteria for 'mechanical breakdown' or whatever term your ESP defines for invoking a repair covered by the ESP. IF you have HondaCare, and probably most other ESP contracts, IMO that's unlikely. Noting that an intentional design or mode of operation, even IF it proves to be ill-considered, is not the same as a failure to perform due defect in materials or workmanship ("workmanship" being the activity of fabricating and assembling, not the activity of design).

Please understand I'm not commenting about the pros / cons / potential or speculated risks or consequences of VCM operation - just suggesting that IF there's a bad consequence of long-term VCM operation I doubt that those consequences would qualify for mitigation under an ESP.

Just one man's opinion about 'what an ESP covers'.

IF those consequences occurred AND Honda were to acknowledge and address that by issuing some sort of VCM-related special warranty amendment coverage, that would of course be a different ball-game entirely.
 

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I'll tell you what CentexG2, IF our Ridgeline ceases to operate normaly due to issues created by the VCM, and IF Honda declines to pay for the damage with the vehicle still under warranty, I will come right back here and share the experience so you all can have the satisfaction of telling me "I told you so! :D "

Now, with that said, in the mean time, can, or will, any of you promoting VCM disabling devices absolutely guarantee that the VCM will never create their own issues over time?

Bill
 

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I will come right back here and share the experience so you all can have the satisfaction of telling me "I told you so!
Not my style nor would it yield any satisfaction whatsoever.

FWIW I, too, have no intention of messing with the as-designed VCM system on my RL and I, too, have a HondaCare ESP in anticipation of long-term ownership of this vehicle through the entire period of the 8-year ESP (I just don't think it'll apply IF there's a VCM issue which I don't anticipate). IF that occurs I'm accepting I'll be at the mercy of Honda's good will, that's a risk I'm willing to accept though it's not anything I can take to the bank.
 

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There is a class-action lawsuit against Honda for internal engine issues caused by the previous version of VCM. Honda was allowed to escape publicly admitting fault, but everyone knows what is causing the problems. They were required by the court to extend the powertrain warranty on the vehicles that were part of the "class". Perhaps the manner in which the VCM is accomplished has been changed in the latest version, but the cause of the problem is still there: a piston is being pushed up and down in the cylinder with no combustion occurring to burn off any oil that may get by the oil scraper ring. I have no faith that the oil isn't going to get past the rings in these vehicles with VCM a lot sooner than it would in the absence of VCM. I plan to keep my RL for a long time, so engine longevity is important. My own experience demonstrates that my engine uses oil when VCM is operational. That simple fact is enough to convince me that nothing has really changed with the new VCM system.
 

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There is a class-action lawsuit against Honda for internal engine issues caused by the previous version of VCM. Honda was allowed to escape publicly admitting fault, but everyone knows what is causing the problems. They were required by the court to extend the powertrain warranty on the vehicles that were part of the "class". Perhaps the manner in which the VCM is accomplished has been changed in the latest version, but the cause of the problem is still there: a piston is being pushed up and down in the cylinder with no combustion occurring to burn off any oil that may get by the oil scraper ring. I have no faith that the oil isn't going to get past the rings in these vehicles with VCM a lot sooner than it would in the absence of VCM. I plan to keep my RL for a long time, so engine longevity is important. My own experience demonstrates that my engine uses oil when VCM is operational. That simple fact is enough to convince me that nothing has really changed with the new VCM system.
I wish I could find it but with the 13 Accord press kit it went over the VCM revisions. IIRC, it went from a 6-4-3 to a 6-3 and piston ring revisions and something different when the valves are opened and closed for the bank that's inoperative during VCM engagement. Obviously, you have made your own determination with actual data (for oil level only) but in all fairness, it's a basic, 101 level approach. What you have in place works for you for the oil parameter only. Personally, I'd be wary of installing an aftermarket defeat device that's not part of the billions spent on powertrain development but that's just me.
 

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I wish I could find it but with the 13 Accord press kit it went over the VCM revisions. IIRC, it went from a 6-4-3 to a 6-3 and piston ring revisions and something different when the valves are opened and closed for the bank that's inoperative during VCM engagement. Obviously, you have made your own determination with actual data (for oil level only) but in all fairness, it's a basic, 101 level approach. What you have in place works for you for the oil parameter only. Personally, I'd be wary of installing an aftermarket defeat device that's not part of the billions spent on powertrain development but that's just me.
The oil bypassing the rings was the culprit for engine damage. The oil loss in my engine only occurs when VCM is operational. It may only be one parameter concerning longevity, but, in my opinion, the most important by far. As I wrote previously, all cylinder deactivation works by eliminating combustion in the cylinder, which allows oil to bypass the low-tension rings. Direct injection design is another issue that needs to be addressed, because the valves aren't being cleaned as well by the fuel detergents.
 

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The oil bypassing the rings was the culprit for engine damage. The oil loss in my engine only occurs when VCM is operational. It may only be one parameter concerning longevity, but, in my opinion, the most important by far. As I wrote previously, all cylinder deactivation works by eliminating combustion in the cylinder, which allows oil to bypass the low-tension rings. Direct injection design is another issue that needs to be addressed, because the valves aren't being cleaned as well by the fuel detergents.
I'm no engineer and it's way above my pay grade but when the car is moving and I take my foot off the gas don't all injectors stop fuel delivery thus eliminating combustion in the cylinder and the subsequent chain of events that you describe VCM or not? I'll trust Honda on this one and I am very critical of Honda.
 

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I'm no engineer and it's way above my pay grade but when the car is moving and I take my foot off the gas don't all injectors stop fuel delivery thus eliminating combustion in the cylinder and the subsequent chain of events that you describe VCM or not? I'll trust Honda on this one and I am very critical of Honda.
Maybe I'm not understanding what you are saying. Without VCM, when you have the engine running and let off the gas, all cylinders continue to receive, compress, and ignite fuel. With VCM, in the right circumstances, certain cylinders will not receive fuel, so the engine is essentially dragging a couple cylinders along for the ride.

ALL vehicles with cylinder deactivation systems have some degree of oil consumption, plug fouling, and premature ring and motor mount deterioration.

Maybe the new Honda system has reduced these issues to be minimal so that few owners will ever have a known issue, but they can't eliminate the issues completely, they can't change physics.
 

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Maybe I'm not understanding what you are saying. Without VCM, when you have the engine running and let off the gas, all cylinders continue to receive, compress, and ignite fuel. With VCM, in the right circumstances, certain cylinders will not receive fuel, so the engine is essentially dragging a couple cylinders along for the ride.

ALL vehicles with cylinder deactivation systems have some degree of oil consumption, plug fouling, and premature ring and motor mount deterioration.

Maybe the new Honda system has reduced these issues to be minimal so that few owners will ever have a known issue, but they can't eliminate the issues completely, they can't change physics.
Apologies, I'm not articulating correctly. Forget about VCM for a second. Remember all of the discussions about how coasting in neutral used more gas than by letting off the gas and keeping the car in gear? From there it was explained that when you let off the gas (when moving) the injectors turn off and the engagement of the drivetrain keeps the pistons moving, not combustion. The injectors only turn on again right before the car stops to enable an idle. So now back to VCM. When VCM is engaged, the front bank of cylinders by the firewall continue to go up and down with no fuel being injected into the cylinder. What is the difference to the cylinder itself bewteen this and coasting (for all cylinders)? The way I see it, nothing. But this would have been the case with the last gen Pilot (with all its VCM issues) as well so my point is there's more going on that's engineering related and way above my paygrade. It's just like carbon and DI. I don't think the DI 2.4's which have been around now since 2013 have carbon issues so once again there some slick engineering going on.
 
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