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Discussion Starter #1
Dear fellow Piloteers:

I am confused and need some expert guidance.

I have a Honda Pilot 2011 Touring FWD with about 59.3k miles on it. About 10 days or so ago, the Maintenance Minder system showed an error: "Check Emission System". It had popped up a few minutes after I had filled in the gas. I did a quick search and found 2 possible commonly known issues that would have caused it:
1. A loose fuel tank cap (it had happened once before)
2. Dirty cabin air filter

I opened and tightened the fuel cap multiple times (up to 3 clicks) and it didn't change the error. I knew my cabin air filter was dirty, so I ordered and replaced that about 3 days back. That didn't change the error either. I finally went to a local auto parts store and had them check the code my hooking up the cable and here is what they reported:

DTC P3400: VPS Stuck Off Bank 1

After having not found a decent description of it, I finally took the vehicle to the dealer. Here is what they found (not much different) and the suggested solution:

CEL ON caused by Found Code P3400 Valve Pause System Stuck Off Rec
Suggested solution: Replacing VPS Sensor (Cost: $450 P/T)

I then took it to another auto place on my way back and here is what they reported:
P3400: Cylinder Deactivation System Bank 1

Questions:
1. Are all of errors pointing to the same problem?
2. Is the suggested remedy (replacing VPS sensor) sound like a true solution? (it comes as a surprise since I have never had such an issue with Hondas before, and the cost is quite steep)
3. Should I try something else (like changing the fuel cap, or waiting on the fresh cabin air filter to "kick in") before I take it back to the dealer for the VPS sensor replacement?
4. The error is not showing after the dealer looked at it. Does it mean that it is just suspended and the problem definitely still exists or should I wait for the error to come back on?

If this issue is truly a serious one, I really don't want to keep driving the Pilot without getting it promptly fixed.

Any guidance would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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I had the same issue on a 2011 Odyssey a few months ago.

First, check your oil level and make sure its correct. Low oil level can cause this P3400 code to set. A loose gas cap and/or dirty cabin air filter WILL NOT cause this P3400 code to set.

The most obvious symptom was that the Odyssey was operating in 3 cylinder mode nearly ALL the time. There was a significant drop in power.

Heres why…….

There is a small oil pressure switch mounted on each VCM solenoid, one on the passenger side of the front cylinder head near the end of the valve cover, one on the driver side of the rear cylinder head. In my case, the oil pressure switch on the rear cylinder head went bad, and caused the engine to run in "ECO" mode ALL the time. P3400 relates to bank 1, which is the rear cylinder head VCM solenoid.

As a test, I unplugged the oil pressure sensor, and the Odyssey now ran in 6 cylinder mode ALL the time. No more "ECO" mode.

I replaced the switch, cleared the code, and all was well again. Costs about $60 for the switch.
 

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I had the same issue about a year ago. The error flipped when coming off the Kansas Thruway in Emporia KS and the Pilot went in to limp home mode. The rear oil pressure sensor was bad. I had just changed oil prior to the trip so my levels were fine.

Happened on a Saturday and everything was closed (small town, big homecoming game, no tools). Sensor replaced late Monday and was back on the road Tuesday. Had I known that I could have just unplugged the pressure sensor and kept going would have been great. Switch was 45, labor was 250, extended stay in hotel plus meals was $700.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the response. I have also experiences the drop in power. It does look like exactly the same issue that is being described here describing. I found the following on Advanced Auto: BWD Engine Oil Pressure Switch S4325: Advance Auto Parts Does that sound the correct one? From the discussion here it seems that the switch is fairly easy to replace as a DIY, but I might try using a local mechanic. I am assuming this is not covered by the 60k Powertrain warranty. Thanks again.
 

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Not sure about being covered by the warranty.

A blind monkey could replace the switch in about 15 minutes. Don't pay a mechanic, unless you don't have the correct size socket/wrench.

I bought mine from Honda. Not sure if the part number you posted is correct.
 

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Seems like a programming error too…..if the switch fails, the engine really should not go into 3 cylinder mode. It just leaves you stranded. They really should have programmed it to remain in 6 cylinder mode with a failed switch, you would be able to still drive it and not be faced with the inconvenience of interrupting your trip.

Wound up costing Johnjk an additional $950 and 2 days time
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I agree; it should go to 6-cylinder mode. $950 in Johnjk's case sis too much for what seems to be a problem with a relative easy fix. Any ideas on from where should I get the part from? The Honda eStore says to contact the local dealer, but that local dealer is the one that wants to get this to fix themselves (for $450). If someone has the part number for the oil pressure switch on the rear cylinder, I can search for it on the web. Thanks again.
 

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Easy fix, yes but if you have no way of reading the error code or checking for oil pressure on either of the banks, it is a safer bet to set the engine to limp home. There would need to be a redundant pressure sensor on each bank to verify oil pressure to disable the VCM and run all 6 cyls. If both sensors detect a loss of oil pressure, then it should definitely go to limp home or shut down. In my case the 900+ was still cheaper than having to put in a new engine in the event that I did not have oil pressure. Plus I found a great brew pub in Emporia KS that I have stopped at on subsequent trips....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's nice! As the wise man said, everything happens for good...

Is the "VPS sensor" as suggested by the dealer same as the gas sensor being referred here?
 

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That's nice! As the wise man said, everything happens for good...

Is the "VPS sensor" as suggested by the dealer same as the gas sensor being referred here?
I don't think so. VPS seems to be a "vapor pressure sensor" and is most likely mounted on the fuel tank.

You may in fact have a problem with your VPS, but that would not set a P3400 code. It would set something in the P04xx range, as it deals with the EVAP system.
 

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Hello, I'm new to this forum. When we got our 2013 Pilot Touring brand new, at 4,000 ml rocker arms were replaced. Yesterday "check emission system" sign and check engine symbol came on. They are still on today. The engine runs normal, but ECO sign doesn't come on at all. I guess all 6 cylinders are activated all the time. I took it to autozone to read the code. It showed "P3400 VALVE PAUSE SYSTEM (VPS) STUCK OFF BANK 1". It's 4 years old with 56,000 mls. Is it covered by the powertrain warranty, or is there any honda issued extended warranty on this?
 

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I would take it in and see if they can do anything under "goodwill" warranty. Otherwise, you'll need to troubleshoot it and determine the problem.

One sidenote...While you'll still need to get the above repair done, it is highly recommended to install a device called VCMuzzler to disable the ECO system pretty much completely. The cylinder deactivation system causes fouled plugs, stuck/dirty piston rings, and misfire codes on the rear bank of cylinders. Here's some more info:

http://www.piloteers.org/forums/70-2009-2011-pilot/106481-vcmuzzler-ii-disabling-vcm-faq-s.html
 

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https://youtu.be/GlorN9b4D9Y

This is a little basic video i made on p3400. There is a troubleshooting guide in the honda service manual, but an oem rocker arm oil pressure switch and oring is only about $27. Takes a couple minutes and is worth a try.

Highly recommend a vcm muzzler my mpg went up 1mpg. But you will still get a p3400 code even with a muzzler unfortunately.
 

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There is a TSB on this issue, TSB 11-033. Basically the dealer can do a firmware update.

Sometimes the P3400 can be a "false positive" in the sense that it is indicating the sensor is bad (or oil pressure is actually low) when in actuality, the computer is not managing the VCM properly.

Also what ends up happening is excessive oil consumption at lower speeds (~40 MPH). Thoughts?
 

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Blown engine due to excessive oil consumption

There is a TSB on this issue, TSB 11-033. Basically the dealer can do a firmware update.

Sometimes the P3400 can be a "false positive" in the sense that it is indicating the sensor is bad (or oil pressure is actually low) when in actuality, the computer is not managing the VCM properly.

Also what ends up happening is excessive oil consumption at lower speeds (~40 MPH). Thoughts?
So what happens when we discover this too late, my wife not knowing, just followed the maintenance minder for service and oil changes, now the engine is buggered and the extended warranty from the class action suit is over. The dealership never acted on TSB 11-033 or even told her that her oil consumption was high, or even that we had an extended warranty on it when we bought it. We got the error P3400 on July8th when we did an oil change at 3rd party place, who then told us consumption was high and to keep track and engine died a few days later. I filed a complaint with Honda but they basically told me to stuff myself. Has anyone else had this happen and any recourse they can suggest? Really frustrated Pilot owner.
 

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There is a TSB on this issue, TSB 11-033. Basically the dealer can do a firmware update.

Sometimes the P3400 can be a "false positive" in the sense that it is indicating the sensor is bad (or oil pressure is actually low) when in actuality, the computer is not managing the VCM properly.

Also what ends up happening is excessive oil consumption at lower speeds (~40 MPH). Thoughts?
So what happens when we discover this too late, my wife not knowing, just followed the maintenance minder for service and oil changes, now the engine is buggered and the extended warranty from the class action suit is over. The dealership never acted on TSB 11-033 or even told her that her oil consumption was high, or even that we had an extended warranty on it when we bought it. We got the error P3400 on July8th when we did an oil change at 3rd party place, who then told us consumption was high and to keep track and engine died a few days later. I filed a complaint with Honda but they basically told me to stuff myself. Has anyone else had this happen and any recourse they can suggest? Really frustrated Pilot owner.
Did you get both codes? Can you elaborate on the engine dying?
 

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I was under the impression that the class action VCM warranty extension covered 8 years and unlimited mileage? You said you have a 2013, therefore, it should still be covered?

Or am I off on the length of time the extension covers?
 

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jochute, Thanks for your video.

I got the P3400 on my 2011 Honda Pilot today, the engine was running very rough, I drove it for another 5 minutes then let it sit for about 2 hours, still go the check engine emissions but the engine was running fine took it to a local garage and they gave me the P3400 diagnostic. Just wondering after watching your video to stop the VCM if I get the CEL and my Pilot is running rough can I just unplug the switch that you replaced or the rear switch or both switches so I can get to a service center running on all 6 cylinders?

Thanks

Joe
 

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I can't seem to find a wire diagram but i believe if you unplug one sensor it should disable the vcm. Please let us know if that works.
 

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Hello all. On month three of ownership of 2014 Pilot with 81k miles. CEL came on and code reads P 3400. Car is in limp mode. I have read very helpful threads on here and have a way ahead, but had a couple of clarifying questions if anyone would be so gracious.

1. Oil level seems fine but I am due for an oil change -- will changing the oil potentially fix this or is it an issue with the sensor?
2. I have read some threads that suggest just cleaning the pressure switches might do it as opposed to replacing. Can anyone speak to this, or is it better to just go ahead and switch? And if switch, should it be one or both of them?
3. It seems like the VCM is the real culprit here and after reading up it would be nice to disable it -- my question is, with this code, do I need to fix the oil pressure sensors anyways to not keep popping the code, or if I get a VCM muzzler will it stop this issue from happening?

Appreciate any pointers! Thanks.
 
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