Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums banner

How bad is this engine ring/VCM/lawsuit issue, really?

66772 Views 111 Replies 39 Participants Last post by  jkkobie
2011 Pilot. 99,000 miles. Recently installed VMTuner.

My father with a 2012 Odyssey and 120k just threw a code, Dealer says needs new rings.


Got me to thinking - how do I know how much damage my engine has? My 8 year extended warranty per the lawsuit is up in April 2019. Should I ditch this car after that? Or is this not that big of a deal?

I change the oil per the MM, which ends up being every 8000 miles give or take. Use Mobil 1 EP, at least since we bought it with 50k miles. We consume around 1/2 quart in between oil changes (8k miles) before the VCMTuner.


My question really is - is there any way I can evaluate how much damage is done to this engine, or premature wear? Will a simple compression test show it? Will a dealer do the ring repair based on their own testing, or do they need the codes thrown before they will consider it?
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
I am in your same exact shoes. Has your car ever fouled a plug to the point you lost the use of that cylinder? Have ever you changed the plugs?

Can someone chime in and offer advice on whether a leak down test would help us evaluate the amount of ring wear. I am fairly sure that is what that test is designed to do, but I am not certain.


My lengthy story is here, feel free to skip reading this, but I thought it might help a little to include it - I have a 2011 am at 127k and my 8 year mark expires in April. The cyl #1 plug fouled on my at about 90k (I had changed the plugs at 60k per the Honda schedule). At the time I did not know about the ECM suit, so I simply threw in a new plug and went about my business. When the car was at ~115k, #1 fouled again. At this point I learned about the ECM recall/lawsuit. I took the car to Honda and asked them if my car was a candidate for the ring replacement. They said it is a two step process and performed step 1 (replaced the #1-4 plugs and reflashed the ECM with the new program for cylinder deactivation). They said they only do step 2 (replace the rings) IF the car fouls plugs again. Fortunately (or more like unfortunately) it hasn't happened again yet. So now I am left thinking that I have 115k miles on my engine where excessive wear was occurring, but now it is band-aided enough to not foul a plug or throw a code and my motor will now not last as long as I had hoped and Honda will not remedy the situation if/WHEN it occurs again in a short while AND I am quickly running out of time (sorry about the run on).

I pulled the #1 plug two days ago and it is crusted in white, which in my experience is a sign of oil leakage into the cylinder. I also pulled #6 as a comparison (and since that cylinder doesn't deactivate) and it was much less crusted, but still slightly more then what I would call 'normal'. But since I haven't thrown a code yet, I Honda won't do anything. Super frustrating.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
My plugs, after swapping them today.

Is this worth taking to the dealer and trying to get a re-ring job over? Will they even consider my old plugs as evidence for the warranty work?

They won't do anything unless your car throws a CEL related to a misfire in cylinders 1-4. BUT, I feel it is worth reaching out to your local Honda service dept and talking to someone about the condition of your plugs. If nothing else, just develop a rapport with them. They may have some good advice for you, like just throw the old plugs back in until one fails and then you can get the ball rolling on step 1 of the process.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
I hope that answers some questions

Wow. Amave17, this is invaluable info. Thanks a ton for the pics. It is great to see what the pistons look like on the cylinders that have prematurely worn rings.

Let me ask you this, (I hope this isn't thread jacking...I think this info could help a number of owners)... I had step 1 performed around 105k miles (approx) and am at 129k now, BUT my 8 year mark is coming up in April '19 (or around there). So does the warranty period for the repairs expire at the 8 year mark even though I had Step 1 done already? Maybe I need to clarify my question. If in August of 2019, CEL P0301 pops us AND I am clearly past the 8 year since delivery mark, would Honda still repair my motor SINCE I already had Step 1 performed and showed that the issue was prevalent beforehand? Or is 8 years the drop-dead date no matter the situation.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Just wanted to drop a quick update to my saga (Post #2 in this thread). My Pilot is at 143k now, I installed a VCM muzzler around 130k, my car uses about 1.5 quarts of oil in between oil changes, I had the first step of the warranty (ECM flash and new plugs) done at 115k, no fouling since then. I have been doing the Blackstone oil analysis to monitor my oil condition for the last three changes. The first two came back as "all looks ok", this last one came back with what looks like increased engine wear. I am well past the 8 year mark, BUT since I did have the first step of the warranty work done already, I am hoping that Honda steps up to the plate if/when I foul again. We shall see.

Anyways, I thought everyone might find the oil reports interesting so I wanted to post the last two hear. LMK if you have any questions. Also, I follow the Maintenance Minder as for when to change the oil, not paying attention to the actual mileage. In anyone's experience, does this interval fluctuate? I ask because (if you notice the mileage on the reports) it looks like the interval between the first and second was ~6k, but the interval between 2 and 3 was ~10k (i did go 450 miles over the MM though, so it asked for the change at ~9.5k miles on the oil). Leaves me perplexed. I'll be changing at 5k go forward.
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Guy at dealer said this was first step and if it's the rings we'll get a misfire again in a month or so.
Sorry for the position you are in. I am in a very similar spot with my 2011 (albeit much higher mileage) and my issues have been minimized drastically by the PCM reflash and the installation of the VCM Muzzler (posts #2, #51 sort of tell my story). I'm at 155k right now, I need to pull the plugs and post an update. Will try to do that this weekend.

Long story short:
  • New plugs at 60k per the Maintenence Minder
  • First P0301 was at @ ~90k miles. Threw in new plugs and ran fine. In general, it was burning about 1 qt every 5k miles (you may or may not consider this oil consumption 'fine', but at the time I knew nothing about the VCM issues and I was ok with burning oil if I didn't have to rebuild the engine on my dime at that time).
  • Second P0301 was at ~115k. At this point, I knew about the VCM suit and had Honda kickoff the first step of the ring replacement program (PCM reflash and new plugs in 1, 2, and 3).
  • I installed the VCM Muzzler II @ ~130k. Kind of counterproductive IF my goal was to get Honda to redo the rings, because it should slow any ring wear caused by the VCM system, but I figured I would see if it would help at all. Also started doing oil changes at 4-6k miles, opposed to the typical 9-10k-ish miles that the Maintenence Minder says to do it.
  • Currently at 155k, have not fouled a plug since the reflash and new plugs at 115K. And now I am way past the 8 year mile mark. My Blackstone oil analysis shows that less metal from the rings is in the oil sample than prior to the reflash & VCM install (I know UOA's aren't the end-all-be-all determination of engine wear, but it is more than I know than without it. I attached my last 2 reports that describe the improvement I mentioned). Oil top-off is maybe .5-.75qt every oil change, so it is burning less oil now too.
So what I am trying to get it is that there is a good chance your engine is still in good shape. But I fully understand your pain of just having purchased a Pilot expecting "Honda reliability" and now you are dealing with this crap. Maybe find a shop to do a leakdown test to confirm if #3 is indeed more worn than the others? I asked Honda to do it and they said no (unless I wanted to pay for it).

142493


142492
 

· Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Sorry for the position you are in. I am in a very similar spot with my 2011 (albeit much higher mileage) and my issues have been minimized drastically by the PCM reflash and the installation of the VCM Muzzler (posts #2, #51 sort of tell my story). I'm at 155k right now, I need to pull the plugs and post an update. Will try to do that this weekend.

Long story short:
  • New plugs at 60k per the Maintenence Minder
  • First P0301 was at @ ~90k miles. Threw in new plugs and ran fine. In general, it was burning about 1 qt every 5k miles (you may or may not consider this oil consumption 'fine', but at the time I knew nothing about the VCM issues and I was ok with burning oil if I didn't have to rebuild the engine on my dime at that time).
  • Second P0301 was at ~115k. At this point, I knew about the VCM suit and had Honda kickoff the first step of the ring replacement program (PCM reflash and new plugs in 1, 2, and 3).
  • I installed the VCM Muzzler II @ ~130k. Kind of counterproductive IF my goal was to get Honda to redo the rings, because it should slow any ring wear caused by the VCM system, but I figured I would see if it would help at all. Also started doing oil changes at 4-6k miles, opposed to the typical 9-10k-ish miles that the Maintenence Minder says to do it.
  • Currently at 155k, have not fouled a plug since the reflash and new plugs at 115K. And now I am way past the 8 year mile mark. My Blackstone oil analysis shows that less metal from the rings is in the oil sample than prior to the reflash & VCM install (I know UOA's aren't the end-all-be-all determination of engine wear, but it is more than I know than without it. I attached my last 2 reports that describe the improvement I mentioned). Oil top-off is maybe .5-.75qt every oil change, so it is burning less oil now too.
So what I am trying to get it is that there is a good chance your engine is still in good shape. But I fully understand your pain of just having purchased a Pilot expecting "Honda reliability" and now you are dealing with this crap. Maybe find a shop to do a leakdown test to confirm if #3 is indeed more worn than the others? I asked Honda to do it and they said no (unless I wanted to pay for it).

View attachment 142493

View attachment 142492
Another oil analysis to update this thread. Sorry, but I still haven't pulled my plugs as I promised. Will do soon though.

This analysis came back good as far as ring metal in the oil (and I even took it 1000 miles further than I planned to). Something to note is that I went through lots of oil this time. I added ~1.2 quarts halfway through the usage period, and when I drained it, only about 3.6 qt came out. Yikes. I guess I need to check more often. I am going to switch to a high mileage full syn just for fun.

146142
 

· Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Sorry for the position you are in. I am in a very similar spot with my 2011 (albeit much higher mileage) and my issues have been minimized drastically by the PCM reflash and the installation of the VCM Muzzler (posts #2, #51 sort of tell my story). I'm at 155k right now, I need to pull the plugs and post an update. Will try to do that this weekend.

Long story short:
  • New plugs at 60k per the Maintenence Minder
  • First P0301 was at @ ~90k miles. Threw in new plugs and ran fine. In general, it was burning about 1 qt every 5k miles (you may or may not consider this oil consumption 'fine', but at the time I knew nothing about the VCM issues and I was ok with burning oil if I didn't have to rebuild the engine on my dime at that time).
  • Second P0301 was at ~115k. At this point, I knew about the VCM suit and had Honda kickoff the first step of the ring replacement program (PCM reflash and new plugs in 1, 2, 3, & 4).
  • I installed the VCM Muzzler II @ ~130k. Kind of counterproductive IF my goal was to get Honda to redo the rings, because it should slow any ring wear caused by the VCM system, but I figured I would see if it would help at all. Also started doing oil changes at 4-6k miles, opposed to the typical 9-10k-ish miles that the Maintenence Minder says to do it.
  • Currently at 155k, have not fouled a plug since the reflash and new plugs at 115K. And now I am way past the 8 year mile mark. My Blackstone oil analysis shows that less metal from the rings is in the oil sample than prior to the reflash & VCM install (I know UOA's aren't the end-all-be-all determination of engine wear, but it is more than I know than without it. I attached my last 2 reports that describe the improvement I mentioned). Oil top-off is maybe .5-.75qt every oil change, so it is burning less oil now too.
Finally pulled my plugs. I guess they look "ok". Love to hear other people's opinions. So these have been in for 55k mi. Muzzler for the last 40k. Oil changes were done between 4-6k miles each time. Oil consumption is between .75 and 1.25qts between each change. Not sure if the engine is getting any healthier, but it's not getting worse! That's a win!

Also, zero oil in the plug tubes, but a little bit on the #1 threads it looks like to me. Close up is #1.
Liquid Glass bottle Fluid Drinkware Cosmetics

Automotive tire Tread Tire Wood Suspension
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top