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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've dug around on the boards here and seen a number of different topics with similar titles and issues, and after reading through the majority of them (as well as few others on sites for MDX and Ridgeline owners) I feel like I'm no closer to finding any solid answers than I was when it happened, so I figured I'd ask about it.

Here's a few quick background points, although I don't know how many are valid to the issue at hand.

• Roughly 3 weeks ago, I accelerated quickly after shifting into drive (train had just passed) and CEL came on solid. Stopped at AutoZone and had the code pulled (P0301: Cylinder 1 - Misfire Detected). Vehicle seemed to run fine as I drove home, and CEL cleared on it's own the next day.
• This past week the vehicle began having some strange wobbling when braking at highway speeds (50+ mph), but no other issues/warnings presented. Side note, brakes and rotors were replaced a few months ago and don't show signs of any issues, and tires will need replaced soon, but not there yet.
• Oil was changed a few days ago. No visible leaks, issues, or misplaced caps or parts. Transmission fluid flush was recommended, but not completed at the time.
• Full tank of gas had recently been filled after driving with the gas light on for a few miles.
• While the wife was going through a roundabout in the neighborhood last night, the VSA and VTM lights came on, but cleared after parking and turning the vehicle off.
• Sitting idle in highway deadlock this morning when all VTM, CEL, /!\ & VSA lights all came on solid. There was nowhere to pull over, and the vehicle seemed to run fine, so I kept driving in to work. About 5-10 minutes after lights came on, the vehicle accelerated roughly if I didn't let it creep for a few seconds first; if I did, acceleration seemed fine.

I've seen answers from all across the board. Everything from fuses or relays to battery replacement; wheel speed sensors to vehicle software updates; fouled spark plugs to blown head gaskets.

I know each vehicle and situation is going to be different, but I'd love a little advice on where to go from here, since I'm at a bit of a loss.
 

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A few questions to start:
1. Do you use a VCM disable device? I would assume not since you don't mention it.
2. When were the plugs last changed?
3. Has the vehicle had any prior work done under the TSB for VCM issues? Again, I would assume none since you didn't mention it.

Based on what you've experienced, I would look into misfires first. The previous code and the rough acceleration sound like we saw when our 2010 started misfiring at about 135k with plugs that were only 30k miles in service. I would avoid driving it while it is misfiring to avoid downstream damage.

First, I would check (or have someone check) the plugs, especially along the rear bank, and look for fouling from oil. If fouled then replace fouled plugs and get a VCM disable device unless you want misfires again. Also see if any oil is getting past the tube seals onto the upper portion of the plug or coil. If so, then get your tube seals (and gasket) replaced. Let us know what you find.
 

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With high miles like you have, two other possibilities to check:

Have you ever cleaned the EGR passages in the intake manifold? This area becomes clogged with soot after many miles, and random misfires can result. The inspection plate on top center of the manifold allows inspection/cleaning.

Have you ever replaced the PCV valve? If not, this is easy and cheap to replace.
 

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Good advice above. Also get the Honda specific codes read as they may help point to the source of the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So as a quick follow-up, I did have to drive the vehicle home last night, with all the lights on. Not ideal, but I tried to keep speeds below 40, and took as many back roads as I possibly could. I ended up back at an AutoZone to have them pull the code, and sure enough, it was another P0301. This time, in addition to the "Replace spark plugs" recommendation from their system, it also recommended having the ECM updated.

Do you use a VCM disable device? Has the vehicle had any prior work done under the TSB for VCM issues?
I'd never heard of a VCM disable device until reading your response. We bought the vehicle used in 2014 or 2015, and were told that all recalls, TSBs, etc. had been checked and performed as necessary. We bought it at a dealership that has always had a decent reputation in the past, so I had no reason to assume anything to the contrary.

When were the plugs last changed?
I usually do this type of work on my own, since it's something I'm comfortable with, and I know that I've personally never changed them in this vehicle. I know we've also had some other larger services done on it, and I don't recall whether or not they were replaced during those services, and I couldn't find the maintenance records when looking for them quickly last night. I ended up getting some plugs while at AutoZone, and will be replacing them within the next day or so, while using another family member's car to get to and from work for the time being.

Have you ever cleaned the EGR passages in the intake manifold? Have you ever replaced the PCV valve?
I haven't ever cleaned the EGR passages, and honestly wasn't aware that it was something I should do. I've changed PCV valves plenty of times, just not on this specific vehicle, and it wasn't even something that crossed my mind. I'll definitely look into both the EGR passage cleaning and the PCV valve when I get everything going with replacing the plugs.

I'm likely going to be reaching out to one of my local dealerships to ask about the ECM update as well, since it seems to be listed under a TSB (at least from what I've read on similar topics), and I may look into a VCM disable device as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As an update, I replaced the plugs this past weekend, and the CEL seems to have cleared. We drove the vehicle around quite a bit this weekend, and never saw any issues. I also drove it in to work this morning with no apparent/visible issues. My plan is to monitor the vehicle throughout the week and see if anything else happens or comes up that would require further work to resolve the issue.

Thanks for the great help and suggest from everyone. It's been greatly appreciated.
 
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