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Old 12-19-2010, 01:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default VCM resonance issues - what's normal?

Not sure if this is normal for low temperatures, but my Pilot has started to exhibit some strange resonance issues from time to time at certain RPMs. I'm certain it's the VCM system doing its thing, but I've never noticed it until just recently (and that seems to coincide with some pretty low temps, between 19-23 degrees Farenheit).

Basically, the problem becomes evident at very low throttle conditions at a variety of different speeds. It's a low "thrumming" noise, coupled with a rumbling sensation (kind of like the feeling of a cell phone on vibrate). It's pretty subtle, but annoying.

Last night, I was driving home in a 25mph zone, doing exactly 25 with very light throttle application. It did not seem to always coincide with the Eco light appearing (which I thought was indicative of the VCM system being engaged, but now I'm not so sure). Apply a bit of throttle and the sensation goes away instantly - the transmission doesn't even need to downshift.

Once I got out of the zone and was doing 40-45mph, I didn't notice it at all. But later, after getting on the highway and being in cruise at 70MPH, the noise returned intermittently with different degrees of severity.

My vehicle is due for inspection, so we'll be visiting the dealer soon. If past experience with them is any indicator, I'm sure they'll be dismissive of it, but I do think that something isn't quite right. Not sure if it's a motor mount or an exhaust hanger (which I've read a bit about related to the Odyssey and VCM). The vehicle has about 7700 miles on it and it's been through its first oil change already. Oil level seems good (right between the high and low indicators) and the only other change I've noticed recently is a 1-2MPG loss in mileage, but I've chalked that up to the lower temps and the vehicle taking longer to get to efficient operating temps.

Would love to hear your thoughts.
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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my 09 does this as well.....
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Honda claims that the VCM system is independent of the ECO light and ECO is not an indication that VCM has engaged.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My vehicle with 5k miles has exhibited the exact same thing. Like you said, more noticeable in the temps we have had here lately (15-25 degrees for almost three weeks).
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Same thing just started on my 2011 EXL. Around 70mph and the drumming starts as the ECO light comes on. Give it a bit of gas and the drumming stops as the ECO light goes out and everything is smooth. I can reproduce it at will and also at lower speeds around 50mph but not so pronounced. I thought that the noise canceling system was supposed to erase the noise cause by the inactive cylinders pumping when in the ECO mode. Does seem funny that it has started during the very cold weather but I can't quite get the connection. It will go back to the dealer in the New Year.

Be interesting to hear from anyone who has already been back to the dealer with this problem.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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the only other change I've noticed recently is a 1-2MPG loss in mileage, but I've chalked that up to the lower temps and the vehicle taking longer to get to efficient operating temps.
Also, we are now on winter fuel around the country... higher % of ethanol and other minor changes (equals lower MPG). From my experience the combination of colder weather and winter fuel cuts my mileage about 10%.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sdg319 View Post
Also, we are now on winter fuel around the country... higher % of ethanol and other minor changes (equals lower MPG). From my experience the combination of colder weather and winter fuel cuts my mileage about 10%.
Around here, most stations are using 10% ethanol year round. In fact, if you want anything less, there's only one station I know of that advertises "does not contain ethanol" and they're usually about $0.30 more than everyone else.

It really does seem like this is normal, given the wide variety of "me too" comments. I'll mention it to the dealer and let you know what I find out. Should be in just a couple of weeks.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So I have been in a Crosstour for several months and loosing my patients with the VIBRATION. I am ready to trade it in at a $5k hit, so I figured like a good little consumer that I would see what is being said about the car I want to buy. Just so you all know there are several others out there who are dealing with this issue. Check the CT link Question:Vibration? - Honda Crosstour Forums
Think that I'm going to go for a used FX35 or the MDX as it runs a VTEC not a VCM.

Honda should be ashamed for denying this problem...
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It's also happening to my 2010 as well whatever the temp hot or cold outside. It usually occurs to me before the Eco light lit on with a light throttle. It's a bit louder with the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) disabled. It's been disabled in my Pilot for a while because I have aftermarket audio system and got use to that sound.
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Old 12-21-2010, 06:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Noticing EXACTLY what you wrote in my '11

I've taken it on a few 500 mile drives and just started to notice it. I don't know if the weather has much to do with it, but its been below freezing the last few weeks and I didn't hear/feel it in the fall. I was going to take it into the dealer and ask if something was wrong with my ANC system or one of my tires. My wife heard it, sort of, when I pointed it out and replied "yeah, sounds like a car running"...got to love that simplistic point of view I'm just expecting the dealer to say they "couldn't reproduce the problem."
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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<Snip>
It really does seem like this is normal, given the wide variety of "me too" comments. I'll mention it to the dealer and let you know what I find out. Should be in just a couple of weeks.
I spoke with a Honda Tech from my dealer last night (at a local watering hole) and he confirmed "yep, they all do it."
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:40 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I spoke with a Honda Tech from my dealer last night (at a local watering hole) and he confirmed "yep, they all do it."
Really? No fix for this? I've read similar posts with the pre-09 models. I would think Honda would resolve something like this over the years. Perhaps only people that are fanatical enough to visit forums notice this stuff??
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Really? No fix for this? I've read similar posts with the pre-09 models. I would think Honda would resolve something like this over the years. Perhaps only people that are fanatical enough to visit forums notice this stuff??
Honda never seems to fix things they know about - look at the issue of the paint chipping off around the headlights. That has been an issue since the 2009 Pilot model and continues through the 2011 - and they know the fix - so why don't they fix it on the new models before you get it rather than have you bring it back for body work?
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