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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
I have a 2013 Honda Odyssey EXL and I'm having some issues with it. I've had to replace the spark plugs FOUR TIMES (yes you read that right) in the last 18 months. Ready to throw this thing out the window. I've spent hundreds of $ on spark plugs alone.
Maintenance is up to par, I have never skipped on anything.
Currently mileage 117K.
Just had spark plugs replaced for a fourth time last week.
I am scared to drive my vehicle now.
I cannot afford a new car.
Thank you for any and all help
 

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Hey all,
I have a 2013 Honda Odyssey EXL and I'm having some issues with it. I've had to replace the spark plugs FOUR TIMES (yes you read that right) in the last 18 months. Ready to throw this thing out the window. I've spent hundreds of $ on spark plugs alone.
Maintenance is up to par, I have never skipped on anything.
Currently mileage 117K.
Just had spark plugs replaced for a fourth time last week.
I am scared to drive my vehicle now.
I cannot afford a new car.
Thank you for any and all help
Welcome to the forum and welcome to the world of VCM design flaws

one of the good lads here put this thread together.
suggest you read it.
 

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Welcome to the forum and welcome to the world of VCM design flaws

one of the good lads here put this thread together.
suggest you read it.
and why the hell can I not make a post to a thread without replying directly, this is something new.
 

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2013 Odyssey Touring, 2018 Volvo V60
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154 Posts
What's going on with the spark plugs? Are you getting an error code? Is one of more of your plugs covered in oil? Where are you getting them changed? Dealership?

More information would be useful for a better response. Could very well be what 2011.2017 odyssey is suggesting about the variable cylinder management (ie eco light)
 

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adding on to @gobluetwo 's question list:

What kind of plugs are you replacing them with?
brand (Autolite/Denso/Champion/NGK/Bosch/etc.) and material (copper/platinum/double-platinum/iridium/ruthenium)

Does your engine run hot?

Do you have any kind of smoke coming out of the tailpipe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What's going on with the spark plugs? Are you getting an error code? Is one of more of your plugs covered in oil? Where are you getting them changed? Dealership?

More information would be useful for a better response. Could very well be what 2011.2017 odyssey is suggesting about the variable cylinder management (ie eco light)
I don't know about any error codes, I just take it to my mechanic and they fix it. The first time it happened I went to Pep Boys, then they replaced them for free the second time (3 months later). The third time, I had moved so I went to a different mechanic. He said the spark plugs weren't the right kind for my car so he replaced them with NGK plugs. I got a year out of those, then last week it happened again while I was out of town and had to go elsewhere. That mechanic just replaced 1 plug that said had gone bad. I did not ask for codes or which plug it was and I do not know if they were covered in oil, none of the mechanics have told me any of that.
I've been towed so many times, I'm getting so frustated
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't know about any error codes, I just take it to my mechanic and they fix it. The first time it happened I went to Pep Boys, then they replaced them for free the second time (3 months later). The third time, I had moved so I went to a different mechanic. He said the spark plugs weren't the right kind for my car so he replaced them with NGK plugs. I got a year out of those, then last week it happened again while I was out of town and had to go elsewhere. That mechanic just replaced 1 plug that said had gone bad. I did not ask for codes or which plug it was and I do not know if they were covered in oil, none of the mechanics have told me any of that.
I've been towed so many times, I'm getting so frustated
I forgot to add, never been to the dealership. Only time I contacted them was to have my timing belt replaced but they wanted double what my normal mechanic does so I didn't go there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
adding on to @gobluetwo 's question list:

What kind of plugs are you replacing them with?
brand (Autolite/Denso/Champion/NGK/Bosch/etc.) and material (copper/platinum/double-platinum/iridium/ruthenium)

Does your engine run hot?

Do you have any kind of smoke coming out of the tailpipe?
The first 2 times I had them replaced was with Pep Boys and I do not know which plugs they used. The third time they were replaced with NGK plugs. My engine does not run hot. The lever always stays in the middle or closer to the C side.
I do not have smoke coming from the tail pipe as far as i know.
My mechanic said everything else is up to par on my car
 

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2006 Honda Odyssey (EX)
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Spark plugs failing after some time.

Definitely VCM. Disable it and drive away.
 

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2013 Odyssey Touring, 2018 Volvo V60
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Before you had to get the spark plugs replaced, did your car throw all sorts of lights and codes (LDW, Traction Control, etc.) in the cluster and start running very rough, like a tractor?

Based on what the mechanic said about only needing to replace one plug, that suggests to me that it is quite possibly an issue with your ECO mode.

Long story short, when ECO mode is active with the green ECO light on the dash, it shuts off some of the cylinders so the spark plugs are not firing. This is ostensibly to help with emissions and fuel economy. In Honda parlance, this is called Variable Cylinder Management, or VCM. Due to a design flaw, this can allow oil to get into the cylinders which can foul the spark plugs. When this happens, your dash will light up like a Christmas tree and you'll feel like you're driving an old tractor with how loud and rough it gets.

The short term solution is to replace the spark plug in question, but it will inevitably come back.

The long term solutions are two-fold.

The official solution is to replace your piston rings (basically, the leaky things that cause the cylinder oil leak). It costs several thousand dollars, but there was also a class action lawsuit which covered 2011-2013 Odysseys for 8 years from the time of purchase. If you are still in that window, you could have the piston ring job done at a dealership at no cost. If you are outside the window, you'd have to pay dearly and I would recommend NOT getting them replaced. It costs too much when you could spend much less and get a permanent solution, which is...

The second option - which is one I would suggest doing whether or not you qualify for the extended warranty - is to purchase something called a VCM Muzzler or disabling device. This is a plug-and-play device which costs up to about $125 and which basically turns off VCM or ECO mode. Because the cylinders are no longer shutting off, it obviates the oil leakage issue.

This is something you could do if you're somewhat handy, or any mechanic could install in 5 minutes. If you have a mechanically inclined significant other/child/friend/neighbor/etc, they could do it also.

I strongly suggest buying one of these and installing it. It should address your issues for the long term.

I had this issue when my 2013 hit around 95k miles. Found out my 2013 didn't qualify for the warranty (lame), dealership replaced all the plugs since I was about due. It happened again about 8k miles later, did my research here, installed the muzzler device, and have been trouble free for the last 25k miles or so. I've also installed the device on two other Odysseys owned by friends.
 

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2012 EX-L, >125k miles, VCM Tuner, Honda tow pkg.
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@heartsonfire22 the posts above provide lots of very important and useful advice, and I second the suggestion to get a VCM disabler. My 2012 runs very smooth even after 126k miles, and I doubt it would run this well if I hadn't disabled the VCM a long time ago.

Also, I suggest that you add your location (at least the state) to your profile. This way, others may be able to steer you toward a trustworthy shop in your area or away from a shady one.
 
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