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I have a 2015 Honda Pilot (126,000 miles- yes I drive a lot- that is why I bought a Honda)- I have had the above problem 3 times (check engine light flashing, VTM-4, traction lights all on) since the first of Oct 2018. Oct 1 Spark plug replaced, Nov 1 ignition coil replaced and same spark plug replaced, Nov 21-same problem- towed to Honda dealership. Saying that there is a problem with oil leaking through piston rings and corroding the spark plug. Needs re-ring the cylinder on 1-3 with related hardware-$2400). I did some research - class action lawsuit (Soto etal) affecting Pilot 2009-2013- resulting in Extention of warranty for 8 yrs with no mileage limitations. I have seen other people with 2014,1015 models that seem to have had same problem. Called Honda Customer service- they say they can do nothing to help me. Any one else with newer models having this problem? My mechanic friend said something about VCM muzzled possibly helping? Not sure I under stand that. Really prefer to do this right! Was hoping Honda would stand by their product- especially since this has been a know problem. They can't even tell me that something was specifically done in newer models that would fix the problem identified in2009-2013. I was told "I assume it was fixed". I asked how are you sure it won't happen again if I do repair? "I assume we are using upgraded parts".

Suggestions? anyone else having this problem with 2014 or newer?
 

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Believe it or not, I bet your engine is fine. How's the battery testing? Signs of a bad battery, or a battery on the way out, are flashing dash lamps.

You can easily have anyone pull the plugs to confirm they are in fact fouling.
 

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Hi,

Why do you think the misfire has something to do with the bad battery?

I had the same exact problem with my 2013 Pilot EX with extra low 31,000 miles. I really doubted it could be the faulty spark plug or coil. The error code is P0304. Flashing amber engine light with steady amber VTM-4 and traction light on. Idle is very rough and rocky.
 

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Having same problem with '14 EX 4WD 65k miles

My P0303 just came on this weekend, VTM lights as well, engine flashing.

Mechanic pulled plugs and they're completely fouled. I thought this was fixed after the '09-'13 settlement!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update. I had battery replaced as well as new spark plug on 11/28/18 (after third episode of misfire and damaged spark plug). I had VC Muzzler applied 12/7/18. No issues since- fingers crossed.
 

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New post for me but had this happen last night. 2012 pilot 66,430 miles. Code p0303. Took it in to dealer and warranty is covering piston rings 1-4.
 

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Dealer called me today. They want to do the same piston ring replacement as the '09-'13 settlement. He contacted Honda USA who is offering to pay for half my cylinder replacement. I'm rather upset, given that the '14's aren't supposed to be affected, but the service rep did state that indeed it is the same engine.

Anyone else have assistance for the next steps?

I need the vehicle, so I'm shelling out $1100 (50% of the piston replacement), plus spark plugs (Honda refuses to pay for that), and we decided to do the timing belt as well since I'm 20k away from the timing belt needing to be done, and since they have engine apart. In total, likely $2,000 of repairs for a vehicle that shouldn't have needed it.

Honda is losing me as a customer. This is a horrible way to treat customers.
 

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Appeal the issue up through Honda. Be courteous but firm. Have the dealer supply a loaner while they all think about it. It’s a known issue, there just haven’t been enough 14-15 claims yet to force a settlement.
 

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Honda USA responded to my warranty claim and has stated they will offer no compensation for this issue. The warranty case manager denied that the P0303 misfire I experienced is related to the Soto settlement. In her words, "there are a hundred reasons why an engine could misfire". I politely stated that the service manager at my local dealer confirmed that the piston rings were to blame for the oil blowby and it was burning oil.

I asked what my recourse is at this point - could I escalate to another manager. She stated that there was no one else to contact - her decision is final. I asked what would happen if a recall was issued in the future, or a settlement. She stated that I would receive compensation at that time.

I countered that this is horrible customer service. They are asking me to front money on a known issue that will eventually come to a recall or a settlement similar to the Soto settlement, and that they are essentially telling me my only recourse is litigation.

In either case, Honda has lost me as a customer. This is outrageous and a horrible way to treat a customer. Even if compensation was offered at this point, I won't deal with this company who won't stand behind a defective product.
 

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Question: I've had the repairs done (replace piston rings on cylinders 1-3). Does that fix the issue, or should I still look for a VCM muzzler?

Considering getting rid of this vehicle once I'm no longer underwater from the repair...
 

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You absolutely need the VCM Disable, for long term ownership. I went VCMTuner.

If you are going to sell it quickly, it won't matter much... but the problem will continue. It seems almost random.... some people get 150k before being impacted, and some are impacted within 30k. Monitoring your oil consumption seems to be the key for how bad yours is.
 

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You absolutely need the VCM Disable, for long term ownership. I went VCMTuner.

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But do you? Where's the proof? 127K miles here, no VCM issues, no plug fouling, no cylinder issues...no tuner or muzzler installed.

There have been 789K Pilots sold from 2009 - 2015 with VCM. So for all those Pilots, is a VCM override is completely necessary to have a reliable, long term ownership? Probably not. The truth is the VCM issues only impact a small number of J series equipped Honda/Acuras.
2015 136,212
2014 108,857
2013 126,678
2012 114,848
2011 116,297
2010 102,323
2009 83,901
Total 789,116
 

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But do you? Where's the proof? 127K miles here, no VCM issues, no plug fouling, no cylinder issues...no tuner or muzzler installed.

There have been 789K Pilots sold from 2009 - 2015 with VCM. So for all those Pilots, is a VCM override is completely necessary to have a reliable, long term ownership? Probably not. The truth is the VCM issues only impact a small number of J series equipped Honda/Acuras.
2015 136,212
2014 108,857
2013 126,678
2012 114,848
2011 116,297
2010 102,323
2009 83,901
Total 789,116
I have never seen or heard of any of these engines with NO plug fouling on the VCM cylinders. Technically, that's impossible. When you shut a cylinder down, you will get more fouling. Fouling enough to set a code is different. I'd have to see detailed pictures of your plugs with 127k miles on them to believe your statement. I'd also want to see the results of your cylinder compression tests.

My 2011 Pilot with 100k miles never threw a code, so the "average consumer" would never see an issue. There was no appreciable oil consumption between changes. However, the plugs told a different story. The VCM cylinders were obviously damaging the plugs (cracked insulators, much more carbon and oil fouling) just not enough to misfire.

My father's 2012 Odyssey with 120k just threw the code, and Honda immediately replaced the piston rings.

So my family is 2 for 2 with this engine.

There is a REASON that there was a class action lawsuit, Honda is replacing rings like crazy, and the fact that VCM tuners exist. The reality is - most people don't/won't take the time to understand the issue when they eventually do get the misfire... they will just change the plugs, or sell the car if it annoys them enough.

It is entirely possible I could drive ours another 100k miles without disabling the VCM, and still been ok. But given what my plugs looked like, I doubt it. That problem will only get worse as the engine wears.

So yes, in my opinion, the VCM disable is required to ensure reliable long term ownership. You *might* get by without doing it... I am sure there are examples of 200k+ engines that never threw a cylinder 3 misfire code.
 

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That's impressive. You most definitely have "more" fouling on three of the plugs, but yours look WAY better than mine did.... and mine were not throwing any misfire codes.






 

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That's impressive. You most definitely have "more" fouling on three of the plugs, but yours look WAY better than mine did.... and mine were not throwing any misfire codes.
There's zero fouling on my plugs, they are 100% normal wear (minimal at that). This is fouling.



Wow, part of your electrode broke off too. What mileage was that again?
 
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