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I joined the forum in May when we purchased our Pilot, been lurking for a while. I have a question that I have seen on the forums but have yet to find the answer.

When our 2011 Pilot goes into "eco" mode it makes a horrible growling noise/vibration. It's been in the shop (Honda dealer) multiple times and they still haven't fixed it. After today's visit a technician rode with me and said we have the latest upload and it's some thing we have to deal with.

It's disappointing to purchase a $30k vehicle and have to "deal with" a noise/vibration. Anyone else have this problem??
 

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I'm with you. My 2012, had for 2 months, does it too. I am fixing to take it into the dealer so they can look at it. Really, that is the only thing I am disappointed in with the Pilot. I think I can actually live with the ECO/VCM vibration when it only reminds me of a stick shift tranny that is in slightly too high a gear for the speed. What I really don't like is when I accelerate and all cylinders kick back in with a sometimes very definitive shudder.
It is at its worst when I am going 45-55 in traffic and I am working the gas pedal. Lots of vibration and shudder when it kicks in and out. I have driven my mother-in-laws Silverado with VCM a few times and it never gave a hint of when the cylinders went in and out, with the exception of the read out on the instrument panel. I wish there was an option to turn the VCM off for good. :28:
Honda should be able to do better.
 

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I'm with you. My 2012, had for 2 months, does it too. I am fixing to take it into the dealer so they can look at it. Really, that is the only thing I am disappointed in with the Pilot. I think I can actually live with the ECO/VCM vibration when it only reminds me of a stick shift tranny that is in slightly too high a gear for the speed. What I really don't like is when I accelerate and all cylinders kick back in with a sometimes very definitive shudder.
It is at its worst when I am going 45-55 in traffic and I am working the gas pedal. Lots of vibration and shudder when it kicks in and out. I have driven my mother-in-laws Silverado with VCM a few times and it never gave a hint of when the cylinders went in and out, with the exception of the read out on the instrument panel. I wish there was an option to turn the VCM off for good. :28:
Honda should be able to do better.
Same problem with my 09. Hate that dam cylinder misfire..that's what I call it. They said it was the electronic motor mounts and added new software...didn't do a thing. If the check engine doesn't turn on..they won't do a thing. Hate it though, I let go of the pedal and then slowly accel and it feels like it's running out of gas. Driving me nuts!!!
 

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VCM Shutter

I recently got a 2012 and I have the same issue on the highway with the VCM kicking on and off with the shutter/vibration feel. I guess that I will take it to the dealer to look at, but I'm sure they will say that it is normal based on what I've read. Other than this, I like the Pilot.
 

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Not to hijack a thread, but I just bought an 09. I have not noticed anything when the vehicle shifts in and out of ECO mode, but should I periodically take the Pilot in and have it's 'firmware' upgraded?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We love our Pilot, this is the only thing that we don't like. I hope Honda steps up to fix the issue. I was hoping someone would post that they had a fix from Honda.
 

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I agree with many here who said 'I love my Pilot except for this one thing'. It just seems like the set point for downshifting or turning of ECO is at the wrong place or doesn't recognize you are pushing a little harder on the accelerator and is really stressing something in the drivetrain. I can't tell if it is switching in and out of something causing the vibration-rumble or if it is just like a car (or like my motorcycle) in too high a gear for conditions with a load and pushing the accelerator without downshifting. My concern is that the vibration will eventually tear something apart. Please, Honda, fix this! Shame to have a black cloud hanging over this great vehicle for one little thing.
 

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The service manager at Honda called last night, after talking to the Honda tech line he said it is a normal function of the vehicle. There isn't a service engine light on so Honda won't do anything about it. I guess it might be time to start car shopping again, we are bummed and VERY disappointed in Honda. We love our Pilot but can't deal with this on a daily basis.

Anyone have any vehicle suggestions?
 

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i traded the pilot in for a 2011 4Runner. i love it. there are some things the pilot had the 4Runner does not that i miss, but it also has the third row, which i like. you may want to check that out if you decide to shop around. the nissan pathfinder was also on my short list. BTW, i had the same problems you were having, among others.
 

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I joined the forum in May when we purchased our Pilot, been lurking for a while. I have a question that I have seen on the forums but have yet to find the answer.

When our 2011 Pilot goes into "eco" mode it makes a horrible growling noise/vibration. It's been in the shop (Honda dealer) multiple times and they still haven't fixed it. After today's visit a technician rode with me and said we have the latest upload and it's some thing we have to deal with.

It's disappointing to purchase a $30k vehicle and have to "deal with" a noise/vibration. Anyone else have this problem??
Is it like a knocking noise? I've heard it in my 2012 touring before and was also concerned.
 

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Ok, I was planning on buying a 2012 Pilot but after reading so many negative issues with VCM engines and technology, should I still invest in a Pilot? I really do love the Pilot and will be my first Honda. I love the spacious 3rd row seating and 4 wheel capability.

VCM readings:
http://community.cartalk.com/discussion/2187192/variable-cylinder-management-engine-honda-v6-vcm


http://accuratecars.com/blog/2008/11/26/excessive-engine-vibration-with-eco-on-the-honda-odyssey-ex-l-and-honda-odyssey-touring/


http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f1155f7/199
 

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Answer

Ok, I was planning on buying a 2012 Pilot but after reading so many negative issues with VCM engines and technology, should I still invest in a Pilot? I really do love the Pilot and will be my first Honda. I love the spacious 3rd row seating and 4 wheel capability.

VCM readings:
http://community.cartalk.com/discussion/2187192/variable-cylinder-management-engine-honda-v6-vcm


http://accuratecars.com/blog/2008/11/26/excessive-engine-vibration-with-eco-on-the-honda-odyssey-ex-l-and-honda-odyssey-touring/


http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f1155f7/199
Ok guys, I read enough..and it's a definitive answer. There is a problem with vibration. Can we somehow get Honda Corporate involved, can we talk to the head staff about this? Local dealers won't do a dam thing and it looks like they don't want to get their hands dirty and really find the problem. When I took in my 09 Pilot for this problem to be fixed..I saw a bunch of young mechanics that frankly looked like they were not experienced enough. Sure they might be able to change oil, but I'm wondering if they are hesitant to take an engine apart. They all rely on computers and the "Check Engine Light". So what can we do????
 

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Ok, I was planning on buying a 2012 Pilot but after reading so many negative issues with VCM engines and technology, should I still invest in a Pilot? I really do love the Pilot and will be my first Honda. I love the spacious 3rd row seating and 4 wheel capability.

VCM readings:
http://community.cartalk.com/discussion/2187192/variable-cylinder-management-engine-honda-v6-vcm


http://accuratecars.com/blog/2008/11/26/excessive-engine-vibration-with-eco-on-the-honda-odyssey-ex-l-and-honda-odyssey-touring/


http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f1155f7/199

+1 :headshak:
 

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Daneo--you are right. I had the same experiences. "well, check engine light is not on, and its not throwing any codes, so it must be ok". So, I demanded to drive EVERY BRAND NEW PILOT on the lot (which was only 3), and none of them did the same thing. (my pilot was almost brand new with under 1500 miles). same response: "we can't do anything until it throws a code or the light comes on". very frustrating. I took the pilot back to them at least 5 times in a 4 week period. spoke to the service manager, dealer GM, regional service manager, and even dealer owner. They kept telling me "nothing is wrong, but bring it in every time you have a problem with it", which was every time i drove the car. I asked for a replacement. they laughed, but said I could trade it in and take a $7k loss. filed a complaint with American Honda and was on the verge of making a BBB claim and lemon law claim. On a whim, I called a Toyota dealer and told them I was not happy with my pilot and told them the issues I was having. They offered me $500 less on a trade than what I originally paid to put me in a brand new 4runner, so I jumped on it. (they did not care about the mechanical issues because it would be sold as certified used with the warranties in check, probably back to a honda dealer). three weeks later, Honda called and I told them the issues, but since I did not have the car anymore, they did not process my claim. not bashing honda, infact we may look at an accord, but I will NEVER consider a pilot again. its a shame, because there were things about that truck that I really liked.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The Pilot goes in to Honda today for one last try. They want a tech to drive it with a computer recording the shift point and eco mode. I'm not holding my breath but we will see what happens. We took a 400 mile trip over the weekend and it drove us NUTS. It felt like a tire was out of balance every time the eco mode kicked in. This Sucks!!
 

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The Pilot goes in to Honda today for one last try. They want a tech to drive it with a computer recording the shift point and eco mode. I'm not holding my breath but we will see what happens. We took a 400 mile trip over the weekend and it drove us NUTS. It felt like a tire was out of balance every time the eco mode kicked in. This Sucks!!
Good luck...keep us posted!
 

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I have noticed it as well but it is not terribly bad, IMO. It is especially noticeable when going 40-45 and slightly stepping on the gas to accelerate. The vehicle shudders and stumbles slightly and then gains composure. Sure wish Honda could just program mine to NOT kick in to ECO, ever. Yeah, I would only get 20.1 MPG instead of 20.2 MPG but I could live with that. :D

Honda, you listening? Lots of "Guinea pig" owners out here! ;)
 

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UPDATE: I talked to the service manager today, they changed the wheels and tires and drive line today and still felt the vibration. The "snapshot" they took of the computer while driving shows everything is normal. They do acknowledge that the car has a vibration. Now they are waiting for the Honda tech line to tell them what to do next. He said they put our original parts back on the vehicle and are at a dead end.

I called American Honda and told them what is going on, they started a claim and want daily updates. I'm not sure what this will accomplish but at least they are listening. More to follow........
 

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I called American Honda and told them what is going on, they started a claim and want daily updates. I'm not sure what this will accomplish but at least they are listening. More to follow........
Good job, ch308. I have a feeling that Honda HQ has a pretty good idea of what is wrong but are sticking their heads in the sand. Understandable as it costs a good deal of money to dig into these issues. However, I am hoping they will see us as a good test bed to validate and sort out their design hiccups.
 

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Good job, ch308. I have a feeling that Honda HQ has a pretty good idea of what is wrong but are sticking their heads in the sand. Understandable as it costs a good deal of money to dig into these issues. However, I am hoping they will see us as a good test bed to validate and sort out their design hiccups.
I agree. I'm hoping they figure it out. I don't like that they are "trying" new parts and then removing them, I hope this doesn't cause any issues down the road.
 
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