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Old 11-02-2005, 11:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2WD Variable Cylinder Management

For better fuel economy I am considering purchasing a 2WD 2006 Pilot EX-L for my wife. However I noticed that only the 2WD, not the 4WD uses the Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) and the Active Control Engine Mount System (ACM) and the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)?

From the information available, the 2WD VCM provides some increase in MPG and the ACM and ANC technology is used to reduce or mask engine vibration in the VCM mode. To me any engine vibration is not desirable and may result in premature failure of engine components.

The following is a statement about the Honda VCM development.
“Since VTEC kicks in at high rpms and VCM at the lower end, Honda had to design a new hydraulic circuit with a three-way solenoid spool valve that could move the synchronizing pin in two directions. And to deal with the increased engine vibration that results from running on only one bank of cylinders, Honda fits the VCM engines with an active-control engine mount system whose actuators move in synch with the vibration to keep it from being transmitted into the passenger cabin. For the booming noise that does make it into the cabin, there's an active noise control system that analyzes the incoming sound waves and transmits an opposite sound wave through the audio system to cancel it.”

Would appreciate any comments especially from anyone that has a Honda Odyssey or 2006 Pilot with VCM. Is there any vibration and is noticable?

JAGNMG
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2WD Variable Cylinder Management

Quote:
Originally posted by jagnmg
For better fuel economy I am considering purchasing a 2WD 2006 Pilot EX-L for my wife. However I noticed that only the 2WD, not the 4WD uses the Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) and the Active Control Engine Mount System (ACM) and the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)?

From the information available, the 2WD VCM provides some increase in MPG and the ACM and ANC technology is used to reduce or mask engine vibration in the VCM mode. To me any engine vibration is not desirable and may result in premature failure of engine components.

The following is a statement about the Honda VCM development.
“Since VTEC kicks in at high rpms and VCM at the lower end, Honda had to design a new hydraulic circuit with a three-way solenoid spool valve that could move the synchronizing pin in two directions. And to deal with the increased engine vibration that results from running on only one bank of cylinders, Honda fits the VCM engines with an active-control engine mount system whose actuators move in synch with the vibration to keep it from being transmitted into the passenger cabin. For the booming noise that does make it into the cabin, there's an active noise control system that analyzes the incoming sound waves and transmits an opposite sound wave through the audio system to cancel it.”

Would appreciate any comments especially from anyone that has a Honda Odyssey or 2006 Pilot with VCM. Is there any vibration and is noticable?

JAGNMG
We have an '05 Oddy EX-L, and I can tell when the engine goes in 3 cylinder mode. Kinda feels like an engine lugging, and a bit of exhaust note change. Nothing really obnoxious, and not noticeable at highway speeds (60-70 MPH).

Frankly, driving the Oddy is more pleasant than the Pilot in rolling country. The Pilot downshifts at most hills, while the Oddy with the VCM is able to stay in top gear. We've had the Oddy since June, so we haven't taken any extended trips yet, but everyday driving and a bit of short-haul (< 100 mile) trips, the Oddy is averaging 21 MPG. Our 03 Pilot is averaging 19 in everyday suburban commuting.
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Re: 2WD Variable Cylinder Management

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We have an '05 Oddy EX-L, and I can tell when the engine goes in 3 cylinder mode. Kinda feels like an engine lugging, and a bit of exhaust note change. Nothing really obnoxious, and not noticeable at highway speeds (60-70 MPH).

I test drove an '06 Pilot 2WD today and I felt that exact same thing. I was wondering what it was, now I know.

It wasn't terrible, but I definitely could feel the change.
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Old 11-17-2005, 08:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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IHMO the 2 MPG you get from VCM isn't worth it, you could also say that since the same bank gets shut down one will be worn unevenly then then other and so on.
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Old 11-17-2005, 08:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by bigdave
IHMO the 2 MPG you get from VCM isn't worth it, you could also say that since the same bank gets shut down one will be worn unevenly then then other and so on.
There is no difference in estimated MPG on the 4WD model. I'm citing the window sticker on the '06 I saw at Costco the other day.
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally posted by cwa107


There is no difference in estimated MPG on the 4WD model. I'm citing the window sticker on the '06 I saw at Costco the other day.
The window sticker on the 2WD EXL I drove today had 18 city and 24 highway. It had just been delivered to the dealer. I wonder why the Costco vehicle said differently.
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Heifzilla


The window sticker on the 2WD EXL I drove today had 18 city and 24 highway. It had just been delivered to the dealer. I wonder why the Costco vehicle said differently.
I'm guessing it's the 4WD with its added weight and additional load on the drivetrain.
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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According to Honda:
2wd = 18/24 mpg
4wd = 17/22 mpg
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I gotta agree with bigdave. Save a mile or two a gallon and then get all these ridiculous added electronics, etc. that have the potential to fail (probably expensively)?

I passed and went for 4wd..
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Singing Pig
I gotta agree with bigdave. Save a mile or two a gallon and then get all these ridiculous added electronics, etc. that have the potential to fail (probably expensively)?

I passed and went for 4wd..
We have an 05 Oddy and a 03 Pilot. The Oddy has VCM, very similar in implementation to the 06 Pilot 2wd. The van gets consistently better mileage than the Pilot, and feels livelier, despite being 200 or so pounds heavier. The issue is that VCM helps only if you drive at light load; if you're a 'leadfoot', it's irrelevant, as you won't spend enough time in the 3-banger mode to notice.

For the most part, VCM is transparent in the Odyssey. There is a light 'rumble', and a very slight vibration in the steering wheel when the engine is under load at lower revs. Switchover is seamless; the design of the system is similar to the VTEC that all Hondas of the last 10 years have used. Anticipated points of weakness include the active Noise Cancellation system (problem if you 'upgrade' the stereo, especially with massive subs; you will create a boomy, annoying monster.

The big advantage I see in the VCM Odyssey is the slightly lower gearing for 4th and 5th; this reduces considerably the down-shifts when going over mild hills at highway speed; the Pilot drops to 4th or unlocks on most hills or even overpasses. That gets a bit annoying...

As to how important 8-10% reduction in fuel consumption is - depends on how far you drive, and how much you pay for gas. It's not going to pay for your retirement, but may pay for a lunch or 2 every month if you drive a lot.

The big advantage the Pilot AWD has is that you just stand on it, and it goes; the Oddy will light up the tires with heavy throttle applications, and Stability control will intervene. VTM-4 just moves the power to the wheels in traction, and you move instead of having a power reduction to contend with when pulling out on the highway.
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Old 11-18-2005, 12:24 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Singing Pig
I gotta agree with bigdave. Save a mile or two a gallon and then get all these ridiculous added electronics, etc. that have the potential to fail (probably expensively)?

I passed and went for 4wd..
Haven't most of the things the 2WD uses been proven on their other vehicles like the Odyssey?

Considering how reliable Honda is, wouldn't it be dumb for them to blow it by using unreliable parts (especially such major components)?

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Old 11-18-2005, 01:04 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Heifzilla


Haven't most of the things the 2WD uses been proven on their other vehicles like the Odyssey?

Considering how reliable Honda is, wouldn't it be dumb for them to blow it by using unreliable parts (especially such major components)?

Well Honda's VCM was first introduced on the Accord Hybrid (I think) then moved to the Odyssey. I am not doubting Honda's ability to create this there just hasn't been enough "real world" time on these for us to see what, if any, long term effects there are.
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