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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I didn't know where to put this so I thought I'd start a new thread...

Dealing with the VCM and burning oil, or ring problems, misfire, basically problems dealing with oil...

1) What oil EXACTLY was being used (from the very beginning)? I'm talking about name brands and ingredients etc.
2) And what oil filter was being used (from the very beginning)? Again, I'm talking about name brands etc.
(just a side note, there was a website that were testing all kinds of oil filters and found one of the worse filters were FRAM filters. They had a tendency to collapse over time.)

So, I was wondering what was being used from the start and up to the VCM problems occurred.

PS: The reason I ask this is because it all MOSTLY deals with moving parts that doesn't come into play until the computer tells it to. Meaning some items in the engine are stowed until activated via the computer. Thus if the engine oil is cheap or not that great, it might be causing gunk/stickiness in these OIL port holes (cutting the flow) for the oil to keep these VCM parts slick and oiled up (that are not always activated). AGAIN, I'm just curious...
 

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Most of these vans use synthetic oil and have had their normal oil changes. The type of oil and filter is not the issue.

Cutting the flow has more of an affect on the cylinder heads and valve trains, especially the VCM activation and deactivation, than the lower end of the engine. I'm not sure where you're going with this but it's not the cause of the VCM issues. Dead cylinders during cylinder pause and oil seeping past the rings is the cause of the VCM issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
John, explain why there are many that do not have these (VCM failures) that are NOT using the VCM Muzzlers?
 

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There are so many other variables...how people drive, where they drive, how often VCM kicks in and out, etc.
 

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The problems aren't in the moving vtec/vcm parts in valve train that turn in and off. It's carbon'd up rings and fouled plugs that causes the vcm issues. If you're referring to vcm etc codes then that is another story and the oil and filter used used can have a big impact.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
John, just curious... Again, not all are having these problems... What's causing " It's carbon'd up rings and fouled plugs that causes the vcm issues.”?
 

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I believe the all have the problem, just to varying degrees. Again, it depends on how often vcm kicks on and off. That's why they came out with a pcm update that addresses that. It helped but problems still exist. Having cylinders moving but not firing means there is no combustion event to burn any traces of oil. Heat in the cylinders will cause the oil to foul the plugs and collect in the rings causing some compression loss because the rings stick. Again, there are so many variables between each engine, how and where it's driven, how long it's driven, how long vcm kicks on and off for, etc. How bad the rings stick will affect how much oil is burned.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
John, just curious... Is there a "ball park" estimate as to how long does it take for the VCM cylinders to cut in (using less pistons) AFTER the green ECO light comes on? (even an average time) I realize that might be impossible to acquire...
 

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John, just curious... Again, not all are having these problems... What's causing " It's carbon'd up rings and fouled plugs that causes the vcm issues.”?
You have this backwards; it's the VCM issues that cause stuck rings and fouled plugs. Non-VCM Honda J35 engines (and cylinders 5 & 6 within VCM2 engines) do not ever have these issues. Period - full stop. The cylinders that always stay on don't have this happen.

John is right when he says that there are a lot of variables involved in VCM operation. It's frustrating to have no satisfactory explanation for why some people seem to get lucky and avoid the whole mess and others don't. No one seems to have been able to pull all the different strands together into a cohesive understanding yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
CroMath, As to "No one seems to have been able to pull all the different strands together into a cohesive understanding yet." is because those like you constantly reject anything unless it goes your way. If you really want a "...cohesive understanding..." and "...why some people seem to get lucky and avoid the whole mess and others don't." then STOP rejecting and start NOTING what people are using in the way of Flash Point per Oil name brand, filters, DRIVING HABITS, mileage, or ANYTHING and so on. Nowhere have I seen anyone record/note this information other than rejecting and or masking the problem.
 

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CroMath, As to "No one seems to have been able to pull all the different strands together into a cohesive understanding yet." is because those like you constantly reject anything unless it goes your way. If you really want a "...cohesive understanding..." and "...why some people seem to get lucky and avoid the whole mess and others don't." then STOP rejecting and start NOTING what people are using in the way of Flash Point per Oil name brand, filters, DRIVING HABITS, mileage, or ANYTHING and so on. Nowhere have I seen anyone record/note this information other than rejecting and or masking the problem.
Dude, what's your deal? Troll much?

What it comes down to is that the VCM system is flawed, plain and simple. Yes it affects some and it doesn't affect others, basically at random. The people here have given you sufficient, logical reasoning as to why the VCM causes engine issues. YOU are the one doing the rejecting of their opinions based on experience. If you want to get into someone's ass about the problem, try the engineers at Honda. Otherwise have a great day.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
silverctr, what a moron, I started this thread... You're the one trolling, troll!

I know its "...flawed, plain and simple", but if others are having good results, than it time to start checking out why others are doing well with it and not playing dumb. silverctr, the world is not flat like experts claim centuries ago.
As to YOU wanting the truth, YOU can get into someone's ass about the problem and try the engineers at Honda... Goodluck with that communicating with Honda...
 

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CroMath, As to "No one seems to have been able to pull all the different strands together into a cohesive understanding yet." is because those like you constantly reject anything unless it goes your way. If you really want a "...cohesive understanding..." and "...why some people seem to get lucky and avoid the whole mess and others don't." then STOP rejecting and start NOTING what people are using in the way of Flash Point per Oil name brand, filters, DRIVING HABITS, mileage, or ANYTHING and so on. Nowhere have I seen anyone record/note this information other than rejecting and or masking the problem.
You're absolutely right that there is no unified database that records all of the maintenance procedures, products and intervals that various owners have used. But your accusation of bias is inappropriate.

I am simply following the evidence available to me, and that evidence says that of those owners who do have problems with stuck piston rings and fouled spark plugs, the level of maintenance seems to be completely irrelevant to the fact that cylinders 5 & 6 are never part of the problem. Even Honda corporate confirms this. Cylinders 5 & 6 are getting the same oil passed through the same filter as cylinders 1, 2, 3, 4 so why don't they get gummed up? Ever. What sets cylinders 1 through 4 apart from cylinders 5 & 6 within the same engine? I'll leave you to cogitate on that for a while but I've got my own working theory on what the difference is, and I'll tell you it has nothing to do with Brand X vs Brand Y down at the auto parts store.

I have no trouble believing that driving habits and typical traffic patterns encountered are highly influential factors in the likelihood of running into VCM trouble, and that's because those things are highly influential in how often VCM is activated. If you are regularly in heavy urban traffic, if your trips are overwhelmingly of the short variety, if you have a lead foot, you are unlikely to get VCM shutting down cylinders as much as you would be if your trips were mostly on the highways with long and flat topographies between destinations or if you tend to drive conservatively and give it only as much gas as it needs and no more. But if the number of activations determines (or is even related to) the likelihood of problems, then the logical extension of the premise would be that if the system never activates then there are never any problems. I'm happy to take those odds.

If VCM is disabled, you have the freedom to drive wherever you need to and however you want to with complete impunity. Heavy foot, light foot, empty highways, crammed downtown avenues, mountains, prairies... doesn't matter. Live your life and don't think about what is happening with the van. And my experience is that our fuel economy did not suffer. So knowing that now, in retrospect, we probably would have been OK doing nothing. But "probably" isn't the same as "definitely".

Look, I'm a cheap ba**ard and when we first got our van, I took great pleasure in seeing how long I could keep the "ECO" light lit because I'd see the instantaneous fuel economy shoot upwards whenever I did. I loved the idea that I was saving gas, and therefore money - it was like a video game I could play while I drove. But I value reliability over a little gas money. My family life is such that taking our van out of service for a single day to get a recall done is a big deal. To lose access to the van for multiple days or even a week would be horrible. And to have that happen for something that I could have foreseen and easily prevented borders on irresponsible. I can't permit that in my house.

So I am really not biased against anything or anyone. I choose to eliminate the risk without bothering to ascertain its actual magnitude first - that information, for me and my family, falls into the category of "nice to have but don't really need it". I think I have been open about that mindset for quite some time around here. YMMV - literally and figuratively.
 

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silverctr, what a moron, I started this thread... You're the one trolling, troll!

I know its "...flawed, plain and simple", but if others are having good results, than it time to start checking out why others are doing well with it and not playing dumb. silverctr, the world is not flat like experts claim centuries ago.
As to YOU wanting the truth, YOU can get into someone's ass about the problem and try the engineers at Honda... Goodluck with that communicating with Honda...
Trolls can start threads, but I digress.

Since you don't seem to have any VCM related issues, tear down your motor and tell us why you're doing so great. Be sure to give serial numbers on every part so we can figure out if you got a Monday motor or a Friday motor, or whatever the case may be.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
You're absolutely right that there is no unified database that records all of the maintenance procedures, products and intervals that various owners have used. But your accusation of bias is inappropriate.

I am simply following the evidence available to me, and that evidence says that of those owners who do have problems with stuck piston rings and fouled spark plugs, the level of maintenance seems to be completely irrelevant to the fact that cylinders 5 & 6 are never part of the problem. Even Honda corporate confirms this. Cylinders 5 & 6 are getting the same oil passed through the same filter as cylinders 1, 2, 3, 4 so why don't they get gummed up? Ever. What sets cylinders 1 through 4 apart from cylinders 5 & 6 within the same engine? I'll leave you to cogitate on that for a while but I've got my own working theory on what the difference is, and I'll tell you it has nothing to do with Brand X vs Brand Y down at the auto parts store.

I have no trouble believing that driving habits and typical traffic patterns encountered are highly influential factors in the likelihood of running into VCM trouble, and that's because those things are highly influential in how often VCM is activated. If you are regularly in heavy urban traffic, if your trips are overwhelmingly of the short variety, if you have a lead foot, you are unlikely to get VCM shutting down cylinders as much as you would be if your trips were mostly on the highways with long and flat topographies between destinations or if you tend to drive conservatively and give it only as much gas as it needs and no more. But if the number of activations determines (or is even related to) the likelihood of problems, then the logical extension of the premise would be that if the system never activates then there are never any problems. I'm happy to take those odds.

If VCM is disabled, you have the freedom to drive wherever you need to and however you want to with complete impunity. Heavy foot, light foot, empty highways, crammed downtown avenues, mountains, prairies... doesn't matter. Live your life and don't think about what is happening with the van. And my experience is that our fuel economy did not suffer. So knowing that now, in retrospect, we probably would have been OK doing nothing. But "probably" isn't the same as "definitely".

Look, I'm a cheap ba**ard and when we first got our van, I took great pleasure in seeing how long I could keep the "ECO" light lit because I'd see the instantaneous fuel economy shoot upwards whenever I did. I loved the idea that I was saving gas, and therefore money - it was like a video game I could play while I drove. But I value reliability over a little gas money. My family life is such that taking our van out of service for a single day to get a recall done is a big deal. To lose access to the van for multiple days or even a week would be horrible. And to have that happen for something that I could have foreseen and easily prevented borders on irresponsible. So I choose to eliminate the risk without bothering to ascertain its actual magnitude first - that information, for me and my family, falls into the category of "nice to have but don't really need it". YMMV - literally and figuratively.
As to the part about being cheap, you're not alone... I use to try to keep the green ECO lit up too, but after hearing about others that had problems as to the shutting down of cylinders, oil build up, fouling of spark plugs... I stopped doing that (keeping the GREEN going). I now drive normal and sometimes keep the green ECO from staying on too long. (basically like the Muzzler but without the mod... Meaning, I will slightly give it gas depending). I have a 2012 but only 30,600 miles on it for which is not enough time to know about any of the good/bad results to come. I use Mobil 1 fully-syn and change every 6,000 miles (Old School). I first changed my AFT with Honda ATF Synthetic, DW-1 and filter @ 12,700 miles... Plus I pull a very small camper now and then (not a lot).
 

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As to the part about being cheap, you're not alone... I use to try to keep the green ECO lit up too, but after hearing about others that had problems as to the shutting down of cylinders, oil build up, fouling of spark plugs... I stopped doing that (keeping the GREEN going). I now drive normal and sometimes keep the green ECO from staying on too long. (basically like the Muzzler but without the mod... Meaning, I will slightly give it gas depending). I have a 2012 but only 30,600 miles on it for which is not enough time to know about any of the good/bad results to come. I use Mobil 1 fully-syn and change every 6,000 miles (Old School). I first changed my AFT with Honda ATF Synthetic, DW-1 and filter @ 12,700 miles... Plus I pull a very small camper now and then (not a lot).
You are basically doing for yourself what VCM disable devices do automatically for folks like me, and I totally get that. You understand the potential for problems and are handling the risks and benefits of VCM in a way that you are comfortable with. Cool! There's nothing wrong with that because you possess the awareness of what is going on.

I too change my oil every 10,000 km (about 6,200 miles) - Castrol Edge Extended Performance or Mobil 1, depending on what's on sale. Oil filters have been either OEM Honda or Bosch. My oil comes out pretty clean and I get all of it; I know this because I use the same 4.4L container the new oil came in to recycle the old oil. The levels in the jug are pretty much the same coming out and going in. Our van has about 68,000 km on it (a little over 42,000 miles)

The engine in our Ody purrs like a kitten and hasn't given us a single moment's trouble. I hope the same happens for you. :)


*** Edit: I should also note here that I installed a VCM disable device at around the 12,000 km mark (about 7,500 miles).
 

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[FONT=&quot]I have gotten on your website to look at cars, it will [/FONT][FONT=&quot]not load the photos. It says LOADING but never does. Can you please tell me [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]if there is a problem or glitch on your site? I have never had this problem [/FONT][FONT=&quot]before.[/FONT]
 

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As to the part about being cheap, you're not alone... I use to try to keep the green ECO lit up too, but after hearing about others that had problems as to the shutting down of cylinders, oil build up, fouling of spark plugs... I stopped doing that (keeping the GREEN going). I now drive normal and sometimes keep the green ECO from staying on too long. (basically like the Muzzler but without the mod... Meaning, I will slightly give it gas depending). I have a 2012 but only 30,600 miles on it for which is not enough time to know about any of the good/bad results to come. I use Mobil 1 fully-syn and change every 6,000 miles (Old School). I first changed my AFT with Honda ATF Synthetic, DW-1 and filter @ 12,700 miles... Plus I pull a very small camper now and then (not a lot).
There are plenty out there using Mobile 1 who have the problem. If you're implying that using a different oil would help with this, I don't think that's the case. The synthetic oils are just not that different. The problem is that of those who say "I've had no problem" do they know how much oil they use between oil changes? Of those that aren't even aware of the problem, do they know how much oil is used between oil changes? Most people go get their oil changed and the tech just drains it and puts in the right amount of fresh oil, nobody ever knowing it was low to begin with. Maybe the problem never gets to the point of a misfire because new plugs were put in at the 105K mark but before things got to the misfire point. Maybe they drive more city miles, maybe they have a lead foot. When my wife drives our van it gets considerably lower fuel economy and it's due to how she drives...she's an on/off the gas driver. I know because I've ridden with her. I drive with a more steady and smooth foot and when I drive it it gets better mileage but I'll bet the ECO light would come on more when I drive it than when she drives it. These types of differences will be all over the board when it comes to the entire fleet of these vehicles out there.

Disable VCM and you'll never have the problem. Leave it enabled and you might or might not have the problem. Personally, I prefer the former. The info is out there, everyone can make their own decisions. In my opinion, it's inexpensive prevention. We all change our oil, trans fluid, brake fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, etc. to prevent future problems. Can you prove to me that changing your coolant will make your radiator last longer? Many radiators fail prematurely and many don't (I have 203K on my original radiator.) Can you tell me why? Is it because I've change the coolant? I've seen radiators fail that have had coolant changes. There are just so many variables for everything.
 

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As informative as a large-scale database of maintenance information would be, it's unrealistic to think one could ever be successfully built because it would require an unreasonable amount of discipline on the part of the participants to provide reliable or useable information.

Just as a single example, if we're ever to form a general conclusion about how much oil is lost over a certain interval in our engines, knowing the amount of oil drained during an oil change would be a critical piece of data to have. But getting just that one measurement is already asking more than most will do. If you have your oil changed at a shop, they absolutely won't do that for you, so those Ody owners would be no help at all.

All right then - so if we want that information, we can only ask people who do their own oil changes and then also require them to take the extra step of measuring how much oil is in the drain pan (because not everyone does that as a normal part of an oil change).

But if we exclude people who do not do their own auto maintenance, I'll bet we wind up with a very small (and probably non-representative) sample of the general ownership population. It just wouldn't work.
 
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