Honda Odyssey Forum banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 271K mile muzzled 2011 Ody Touring Elite scared the crap out of me driving to my grand daughter's wedding. In 75 MPG traffic on I49 on a hot afternoon the indicated temperature on the UltraGauge got up to 168.8 and the ECO light came on. I slowed a bit and the temperature dropped back under 167 and the ECO light went off, but the engine was lacking power to climb a slight grade on the freeway and when I tried to press the accelerator to kick down into a lower gear the car bucked several times and I backed off. When it tried again to speed up it kicked down and bucked again so I backed off again. At some time in this sequence the check engine light began flashing and there was also very loud tire noise that made me think I might have a tire problem as well as an engine or transmission problem, but there was no TPMS fault. The average MPG on the message center had been around 28 MPG and it began dropping, the engine seemed weak, there was vibration, and the loud tire noise continued. 10 miles later I got off the freeway at the exit the GPS indicated and got on a series of gravel roads and very slow going until we finally got to the remote wedding venue in a converted barn. I checked for codes on my UltraGauge with the engine off/key on and had P3497 set and P0304 and P3497 pending. I erased the codes and turned off the CEL with the UG and went to the wedding.
Afterward I went out and started the engine and it seemed to start and idle OK with no CEL or fault messages and I went back to the reception. When we left later the temperature was cooler, around 75 F, and I decided to take two lane 71 most of the way home rather than get into the I49 freeway’s 75 MPH traffic. For a time I was driving at 40 MPH with the tach at 2000 RPM and the MPG display continued to drop from 25.x down to 23.x. Then as I was able to drive faster at 50 to 60, the tach went to 1500 RPM and the average MPG began to climb again. There was no heavy tire noise on the drive home and at home, after a little 70 MPH freeway driving thrown in, the average MPG was up to 25.9 and the average speed for the whole 181 mile trip was 48 MPH, no codes were set, but P3400 was pending, and I erased the P3400.
It appears that the VCM must have gotten stuck in the activated mode and we were driving on three cylinders and the tire noise may have been the audio system trying to cover up the vibration. I removed the 82 ohm resistor from the VCMuzzler and inserted the 120 ohm resistor so the reported temperature to the PCM will be lower to keep the VCM from engaging.

Today I drove to town and the indicated temperature with the 120 ohm resistor was 158 to 159.8 (it had averaged 165 with the 82 ohm) and there were no error messages nor any codes set on the drive. This info from Wikipedia says “Honda's cylinder deactivation technology closes the valves on one bank of (3) cylinders during light load and low speed (below 50 mph) operation” so it may have still been in three cylinder operation on old 71 until I got up above 50 even though the ECO light was not on.
Has anyone else had their VCM stay on even though the ECO light was off?
 

·
Registered
2016 Touring Elite
Joined
·
1,864 Posts
Maybe the VCM system has a problem that has been masked by the fact that it has been deactivated all this time.

P3497 is a front bank VCM issue, which would also explain the P0304, which is cylinder 4 misfire. Sounds like the front bank VCM system is unhappy. The VCM-II system on the gen4 Odyssey engine can run in 3-cylinder (front bank only) or V4 (cylinders 3/4 off), which means that there are VCM components on both banks of the engine. On the front, only cylinder 4 can get turned off. On the rear, either all 3 or just cylinder 3 gets turned off.

In this case, I'd suggest a quick test with the VCMuzzler removed to 'exercise' the VCM system and check its operation. Fix any problems that arise (it may just be sticky and exercising it a bit before defeating it again) and muzzle the VCM again. Drive happy...

-Charlie
 
  • Like
Reactions: WiiMaster

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I recently muzzled my '14 with 90k miles on it and had been wondering about potential side effects of defeating the system for a period of time and what could happen should VCM become active again after a period of dormancy - this potentially answers that question.

@philwarner42! Please report back if you're able to experiment to see if the system truly is faulty, it could potentially help others prevent problems with periodic re-activation of the system. I may pull the fuse on my VCMTuner II on a monthly basis for a shakedown run using VCM.
 

·
Registered
2006 Honda Odyssey (EX)
Joined
·
2,595 Posts
FWIW if the check engine light is on and VCM really is engaged, it almost certainly has to be due to a VCM component being stuck on, as the CEL should prevent VCM from engaging.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks, Charlie, I was not aware of the V4 operation, so that perhaps explains the P0304 and maybe how it was able to drive the back roads at slow speeds and less vibration if it was stuck in V4 operation. Might also explain the loss of economy at 40 MPH until the apparent revert to 6 cylinder operation.
This Ody did have a code P3400 when I bought it and that codes comes up now and then as pending, so it may have an intermittent oil pressure switch on the rear bank. TSB 13-031 says the 3400 and 3497 codes are for "VPS stuck off", not for it stuck on, but sometimes the code descriptions are not totally accurate so maybe they just mean the computert is not happy with the info received from the switch or switches.
If the ECO light is controlled by the computer and the computer turns it off when it tells the VCM system to turn off, but one or more of the little pins in the rockers is stuck in disabling position, the ECO light could be off and still have disabled valves in one or more cylinders. I am guessing that is what happened, but I am still curious about that very loud noise I thought was tire noise. However, I am not curious enough to drive all the way down I49 to where it was so loud to see if it was actually tire noise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I bought this Ody because our 2010 Touring chose the exact time of its test drive for a starter failure and I had just 15 minutes to find another car to get my wife to several important doctor appointments. Two days later, after the appointments, I got the 2010 started by banging on the starter with a stick and mallet many times until it caught and was able to get both of them home. On that drive, the 2011 did throw a "Check Emission System" message that turned on the CEL and it did not go into VCM mode on the 100 mile trip home..
 

·
Registered
2016 Touring Elite
Joined
·
1,864 Posts
but I am still curious about that very loud noise I thought was tire noise
Ever driven a V6 engine down a cylinder? Likely cylinder 4 was off, so it would have significant vibrations - and be low on power!

-Charlie
 

·
Registered
2020 Honda Odyssey EX
Joined
·
239 Posts
Once confirmed that your problem only occurs with VCM enabled, you should consider getting the VCMTuner 2.
 
  • Like
Reactions: WiiMaster

·
Registered
2007 Odyssey EX-L
Joined
·
1,701 Posts
Maybe the VCM system has a problem that has been masked by the fact that it has been deactivated all this time.

P3497 is a front bank VCM issue, which would also explain the P0304, which is cylinder 4 misfire. Sounds like the front bank VCM system is unhappy. The VCM-II system on the gen4 Odyssey engine can run in 3-cylinder (front bank only) or V4 (cylinders 3/4 off), which means that there are VCM components on both banks of the engine. On the front, only cylinder 4 can get turned off. On the rear, either all 3 or just cylinder 3 gets turned off.

In this case, I'd suggest a quick test with the VCMuzzler removed to 'exercise' the VCM system and check its operation. Fix any problems that arise (it may just be sticky and exercising it a bit before defeating it again) and muzzle the VCM again. Drive happy...

-Charlie
I just want to point something out... I think when running in V4 mode, cylinders #1 and #4 are the ones that get shut off (the two on the left side of the engine). The engine is then running on cylinders 2, 3, 5, and 6. Someone please correct me if I have this wrong.
 

·
Registered
2006 Honda Odyssey (EX)
Joined
·
2,595 Posts
I just want to point something out... I think when running in V4 mode, cylinders #1 and #4 are the ones that get shut off (the two on the left side of the engine). The engine is then running on cylinders 2, 3, 5, and 6. Someone please correct me if I have this wrong.
No, it is indeed #3 and #4.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
718 Posts
I just want to point something out... I think when running in V4 mode, cylinders #1 and #4 are the ones that get shut off (the two on the left side of the engine). The engine is then running on cylinders 2, 3, 5, and 6. Someone please correct me if I have this wrong.
Are there differences in the VCM systems?
Yes. As of June 2021, there are 3 different revisions of VCM:

VCM-1: The initial revision of VCM. It is capable of shutting off the rear bank of cylinders (cylinders 1-3).

VCM-2: The second and most problematic revision of VCM. It is capable of shutting off the rear bank of cylinders (cylinders 1-3) just like VCM-1, and it is also capable of shutting off one cylinder (cylinder 3) in the rear bank and one cylinder in the front bank (cylinder 4) at the same time, which means that VCM-2 affects an extra cylinder compared to VCM-1.

VCM-3: The third and newest revision. It is similar to VCM-1 in that it is only capable of shutting off cylinders 1-3.

Different Odysseys are equipped with different VCM revisions:

2005-2007 Odysseys that are VCM equipped (see the last section to find out if yours is equipped with VCM) have VCM-1

2008-2010 Odysseys that are VCM equipped (see the last section to find out if yours is equipped with VCM) have VCM-2

All 2011-2017 Odysseys have VCM-2

All 2018+ Odysseys have VCM-3
 

·
Registered
2007 Odyssey EX-L
Joined
·
1,701 Posts
Hmmm. I wonder if I'm picturing this completely wrong in my head.

When in 6 cylinder mode, the cylinders firing are:
1 2 3
4 5 6

When in 3 cylinder mode, the cylinders firing are:
x x x
4 5 6

When in 4 cylinder mode, the cylinders firing are:
x 2 3
x 5 6

If cylinders 3 and 4 shut off, then wouldn't the engine look like:
1 2 x
x 5 6
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
718 Posts
Hmmm. I wonder if I'm picturing this completely wrong in my head.

When in 6 cylinder mode, the cylinders firing are:
1 2 3
4 5 6

When in 3 cylinder mode, the cylinders firing are:
x x x
4 5 6

When in 4 cylinder mode, the cylinders firing are:
x 2 3
x 5 6

If cylinders 3 and 4 shut off, then wouldn't the engine look like:
1 2 x
x 5 6
I believe you have this wrong:
When in 4 cylinder mode, the cylinders firing are:
x 2 3
x 5 6
Maybe this video will clear it up:
Variable Cylinder Management System Information - YouTube
 

·
Registered
2015 Odyssey EX
Joined
·
2,543 Posts
4-cylinder mode in a VCM2 engine shuts down cylinders 3 and 4 so that cylinders 1, 2, 5 and 6 are left firing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: WiiMaster

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I believe you have this wrong:
When in 4 cylinder mode, the cylinders firing are:
x 2 3
x 5 6
Maybe this video will clear it up:
Variable Cylinder Management System Information - YouTube
Good video explanation, Thanks
One more thought on my particular 2011 Touring Elite. When replacing the timing belt I inadvertently (and stupidly) turned the crank about 120 degrees not realizing the key had come out of the cam sprocket and the cams were not moving. I then turned the cams to re-align and replace the key and was sure I had ruined the engine, but once the timing belt was replaced it seemed to run OK, although it does have a little more valve noise than I remembered. Perhaps I had some valve/piston contact that did not bend a valve but damaged the little moving pins that disengage the valves when VCM mode kicks in and those pins did not immediately re- engage the valves? I do plan to check/adjust the valve clearances, and I wonder if there is a good way to tell if there is any pin damage. In the meantime I plan to leave the 120 ohm resistor in the VCMuzzler to avoid another VCM activation.

BTW, I read one thread in which a fellow disconnected the bank 1 oil pressure sensor to disable VCM but I assume there would be an error message and/or a code set and maybe the CEL on with that sensor disconnected.
 

·
Registered
2006 Honda Odyssey (EX)
Joined
·
2,595 Posts
You can see ETCG struggle through a VCM oil pressure switch problem here, albeit on a VCM-1 Odyssey:

When in 4 cylinder mode, the cylinders firing are:
x 2 3
x 5 6
I'm guessing the reason why Honda disables 3 and 4 rather than 1 and 4 is that 1 and 4 would be a lot more imbalanced than 3 and 4.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CroMath

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You can see ETCG struggle through a VCM oil pressure switch problem here, albeit on a VCM-1 Odyssey:


I'm guessing the reason why Honda disables 3 and 4 rather than 1 and 4 is that 1 and 4 would be a lot more imbalanced than 3 and 4.

I watched the video (I do like Eric the car guy) and was struck by the fact that with the muzzler he tried he was seeing a temp reading of 180F at the 82 ohm setting. He never tried a setting that lowered the indicated temperature below the 167 F VCM kick in point, so he concluded that a muzzler does not work. My VCMuzzler gives an average temp of 165F with the 82 ohm resister and 159F with the 120 ohm resistor, but the temp will go above those averages in stop and go traffic in 90 to 100 degree weather..

The P0118 code he got is what you get if the computer thinks the engine temp is below -4 degrees F, and in the case of no temp sensor connection it thinks it is -40 degrees F. I experienced that when my VCMuzzler had a wire pull loose and had no continuity and My UltraGauge said -40F; the engine would start but it ran like crap.
 

·
Registered
2006 Honda Odyssey (EX)
Joined
·
2,595 Posts
I watched the video (I do like Eric the car guy) and was struck by the fact that with the muzzler he tried he was seeing a temp reading of 180F at the 82 ohm setting. He never tried a setting that lowered the indicated temperature below the 167 F VCM kick in point, so he concluded that a muzzler does not work. My VCMuzzler gives an average temp of 165F with the 82 ohm resister and 159F with the 120 ohm resistor, but the temp will go above those averages in stop and go traffic in 90 to 100 degree weather..

The P0118 code he got is what you get if the computer thinks the engine temp is below -4 degrees F, and in the case of no temp sensor connection it thinks it is -40 degrees F. I experienced that when my VCMuzzler had a wire pull loose and had no continuity and My UltraGauge said -40F; the engine would start but it ran like crap.
Yes and he did learn this in a later video where he installed the VCMTuner II instead:

But really simply disabling VCM is not what I'd call a true fix to the problem: the oil pressure switch. More of a workaround.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes and he did learn this in a later video where he installed the VCMTuner II instead:

But really simply disabling VCM is not what I'd call a true fix to the problem: the oil pressure switch. More of a workaround.
Thanks, I'll keep watching Eric's on-going issues and see how it goes, but I do have a question.

What kind of gas mileage could I expect on my 2011 if I let the VCM operate as it was intended? Could I save enough on regular gas to offset the possible cost of new motor mounts or future engine work. I have some carfax history of tire and oil changes, but no knowledge of previous timing belt changes, motor mount replacement, or engine work in its 269,025 miles before I bought it and replaced the timing belt because of a noisy tensioner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,937 Posts
What kind of gas mileage could I expect on my 2011 if I let the VCM operate as it was intended? Could I save enough on regular gas to offset the possible cost of new motor mounts or future engine work. I have some carfax history of tire and oil changes, but no knowledge of previous timing belt changes, motor mount replacement, or engine work in its 269,025 miles before I bought it and replaced the timing belt because of a noisy tensioner.
I've heard 0-3 mpg. Worst case of not muzzling your VCM would be the Honda stealership quoting you several thousand for a ring job to fix things.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top