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2018 EX
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi team,

It's been about two weeks since my Honda dealer updated my 9-speed software. I just wanted to report that the shifting is much better. There is still a slight hesitation when accelerating for the first time after a cold start but not as bad as before. The shifting within the dog clutches is barely noticeable. Another thing I noticed was with the Cruise Control on, there seems to be less "runaway" on large hills. I had the chance to negotiate some pretty steep downhill parts of the highway last night. The speed only crept up about 5 kph (about 3 mph). That's the same as any car I've ever owned. The down-shifting for long uphill grades is very smooth too. I can't comment on longevity because I only have about 22,500 km (about 14,000 miles) on the car.

So, if you have that recall notice or are wondering if you should get the recall done, I'd go for it.
 

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2018 EX
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I forget the recall number but I received it in the mail a while back. I never kept the paperwork because my dealer has it on file as being done. Sorry I couldn't be more specific. If you wish, I can try calling my dealer to get a recall number. Then again, I'm in Canada. The recall and its number may mean nothing in the U.S. It should though!
 

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2023 Honda Odyssey Sport - Black/Black
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Hi team,

It's been about two weeks since my Honda dealer updated my 9-speed software. I just wanted to report that the shifting is much better. There is still a slight hesitation when accelerating for the first time after a cold start but not as bad as before. The shifting within the dog clutches is barely noticeable. Another thing I noticed was with the Cruise Control on, there seems to be less "runaway" on large hills. I had the chance to negotiate some pretty steep downhill parts of the highway last night. The speed only crept up about 5 kph (about 3 mph). That's the same as any car I've ever owned. The down-shifting for long uphill grades is very smooth too. I can't comment on longevity because I only have about 22,500 km (about 14,000 miles) on the car.

So, if you have that recall notice or are wondering if you should get the recall done, I'd go for it.
Thank you for the report! Wonder if they went with the same transmission "tuning" fix as Chrysler with their 9 speed ZF transmission and just made the van start in second gear now, effectively turning it into an 8 speed. I know there's aftermarket tuning for some performance car automatic transmissions to make use of the extra power that the engine is now producing, so it is possible to make the transmission shift better with tune alone, provided that nothing mechanical is broken. When I read that chrysler basically rendered first gear useless I thought it was more a bandaid than an actual fix. ?‍♂
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the report! Wonder if they went with the same transmission "tuning" fix as Chrysler with their 9 speed ZF transmission and just made the van start in second gear now, effectively turning it into an 8 speed. I know there's aftermarket tuning for some performance car automatic transmissions to make use of the extra power that the engine is now producing, so it is possible to make the transmission shift better with tune alone, provided that nothing mechanical is broken. When I read that Chrysler basically rendered first gear useless I thought it was more a bandaid than an actual fix. ?‍♂
You're welcome, serega12. I suppose it's possible they bypassed first gear because the engine has a ton of horsepower. It's kind of like a transport truck manual transmission. Don't the drivers often start off in third or fourth gear if they have a smaller load on board?
 

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Hi team,

It's been about two weeks since my Honda dealer updated my 9-speed software. I just wanted to report that the shifting is much better. There is still a slight hesitation when accelerating for the first time after a cold start but not as bad as before. The shifting within the dog clutches is barely noticeable. Another thing I noticed was with the Cruise Control on, there seems to be less "runaway" on large hills. I had the chance to negotiate some pretty steep downhill parts of the highway last night. The speed only crept up about 5 kph (about 3 mph). That's the same as any car I've ever owned. The down-shifting for long uphill grades is very smooth too. I can't comment on longevity because I only have about 22,500 km (about 14,000 miles) on the car.

So, if you have that recall notice or are wondering if you should get the recall done, I'd go for it.
Hi Hodna,

How many km (or mi) have you driven since the update? I'd like to hear another update after you've driven more than 800km. Thanks for sharing your experience.
 

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2018 EX
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It may be, gsba. I don't have the details of the recall. It arrived by mail. I just took it to the dealer and they said they would do the recall while they did the sliding door latch recall. There was also an audio system recall that fixed the date on my screen. From Day 1, the date has always shown as April 12, 2000.

So much for quality control. I really wish all companies would ditch this annoying policy of, "Let's get it out the door so we can start selling it to make back our investment, even though we know damn well the product has a boatload of design and build problems and is not even close to being ready to sell." That seldom happened before the U.S. took over the Ody reins. They should have left it all in Japan!! I would love to drive that Ody built in Japan for the Japanese :)! Someone posted a picture about a year ago.
 

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2019 EX-L
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Got the update done. No issues pre/post the TSB update. I'm at ~8k on my 19' exl.
All this about the ZF9 has got me worried. Honda is using this transmission in all there suv's atm. So you'd think they would have figured this thing out by now. For a while I thought the zf9 was meant for awd vehicles, like Pilot, Passport, MDX. So they made a lighter 10 speed for non-awd vehicles.

I'm generally happy with my van, but seeing all this makes me question my purchase, granted there was no 10 speed option in my trim and $ at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Fuego, I have noticed a sizeable improvement in the ZF when I don't use ECON mode. I question the overall benefit of ECON anyway. I wonder if it could even do damage to the engine over time. Since the ZF software update and ditching the ECON mode, the power distribution is pretty good - still nowhere as good as my 2002 6-speed and the wife's 2012 CRV!!
 

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The 9-speed ZF never bothered me - yes, some shifts are very firm and far from GM buttery smooth but I'm still fine with them.

I did however have a chance to talk with Honda Cares today on the engine knocking issue and all they would say was that they're working on it. However, based on the conversation, I very much doubt that we'll ever see a fix for this issue given the potential complexity / cost of the fix

In fact, I ended the conversation stating that I didn't even want the issue fixed necessarily - I just wanted to know what the probable cause was (at least to the extent of their investigation) so I could allay my fears as to whether this had any long-term durability concerns. But they wouldn't share any further info so I think this is a done deal at this point. Between the Honda dealership visits and Honda Cares - I don't see a path forward. As I stated elsewhere - this is certainly my last Odyssey and Honda. I can only hope this one will last all the way.
 

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Got the update done. No issues pre/post the TSB update. I'm at ~8k on my 19' exl.
All this about the ZF9 has got me worried. Honda is using this transmission in all there suv's atm. So you'd think they would have figured this thing out by now. For a while I thought the zf9 was meant for awd vehicles, like Pilot, Passport, MDX. So they made a lighter 10 speed for non-awd vehicles.

I'm generally happy with my van, but seeing all this makes me question my purchase, granted there was no 10 speed option in my trim and $ at the time.
No idea if it's accurate, but I remember reading somewhere that they intended to put the 10 speed into all the 3rd gen odysseys, but due to contractual obligations with ZF Friedrichshafen, they had to find more vehicles to outfit to fulfill their order before moving on.
 

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Fuego, I have noticed a sizeable improvement in the ZF when I don't use ECON mode. I question the overall benefit of ECON anyway. I wonder if it could even do damage to the engine over time. Since the ZF software update and ditching the ECON mode, the power distribution is pretty good - still nowhere as good as my 2002 6-speed and the wife's 2012 CRV!!
If you never use econ mode, can you avoid having the VCM ever activate?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I did however have a chance to talk with Honda Cares today on the engine knocking issue and all they would say was that they're working on it.
Thanks for the info, rosskoss. This is the same answer they gave me in July 2017. I accepted it then because the car was just out for about a month and it made sense that they would need time to come up with a solution. I have since spoken with Honda Canada four times and received the same pack of lies. There is no way in hell they are "still working on it." If this were so, then the 2020 and later Odys would also have knocking engines. Correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I know, no one who drives a 2020 has ever reported a knocking engine on this forum. If that is so, Honda has fixed the problem and to fix it, they would have to know the cause. Plain and simple, it's not in their financial interest to fix the issue.

If you never use econ mode, can you avoid having the VCM ever activate?
Some users have disabled the VCM with the VCM Muzzler. There are a few threads about this.

ECON and VCM are two separate systems. My service manager told me the ECON mode reduces power for in town driving, so that if you have a slightly heavy foot, you burn less fuel. At highway speeds, the ECON mode cuts out. He didn't say what the cut off speed was but I assume it's well below where the VCM would cut in, otherwise you'd have a double power loss. He also said that while driving at the slower in town speeds with ECON mode on, if you tramp the pedal because you need a sudden burst of power, ECON mode is temporarily disabled.
 

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At highway speeds, the ECON mode cuts out. He didn't say what the cut off speed was but I assume it's well below where the VCM would cut in, otherwise you'd have a double power loss. He also said that while driving at the slower in town speeds with ECON mode on, if you tramp the pedal because you need a sudden burst of power, ECON mode is temporarily disabled.
I think it is incorrect.
When ECON mode is set to ON on highway it increases MPG. For me I drove with and without and difference is from 25 to 27MPG.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think it is incorrect.
When ECON mode is set to ON on highway it increases MPG. For me I drove with and without and difference is from 25 to 27MPG.
You may be right, pulseps. I'm just going by what my service manager told me. Your difference of 2 MPG is insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Based on the questionable accuracy of the MPG software some forum members have raised, I wonder how accurate your figures really are. Maybe you're getting more than 2 extra MPGs with ECON :)!

I still question the long term effects of deliberate power loss on these Earth Dream engines. It certainly is not smooth power distribution with the ZF.
 
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