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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure if I understand what VCM is and what the Eco mode button on my dash is. I mean, I have a vague understanding of ECO mode. The engine is firing on 4 cylinders instead of 6, right? Are they one in the same. Does my 2017 EX-L have VCM. When I am Not in ECO is that the same as disabling the VCM, and how do I know when the VCM is active? Someone distill it for me please. Thanks
 

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The Eco button (Eco mode shows on dash) just dampens the throttle response. It is completely disconnected from the cylinder deactivation system (VCM). Yes your car has VCM, as do all Honda V-6 engines in the last 10 years. When you press the Eco button it does not turn on/off VCM.

VCM causes various problems in different Honda vehicles. Most common problems for current gen Pilots are slipping torque convertor and broken engine mounts. The system can be easily defeated by installing a device that tells the engine computer that the coolant temp is too low to activate VCM (the system only turns on when the car is warmed up). I use the VCM Tuner II device, but there are several others of varying complexity out there, SVCM being the other most common highly capable device.

 

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As was previously mentioned, ECON mode is activated by pressing the button on the dash and the green leaf icon lights up. VCM is completely independent of that and when it activates, the rear bank of cylinders is shut down turning your smooth V6 into a three cylinder out of balance engine in an effort to increase gas mileage by maybe 1mpg. To reduce vibrations in the driveline, the torque converter slips a bit more and the active motor mounts are energized so that hopefully you don't notice it. This slippage in the torque converter puts added stress on the transmission and torque converter and breaks down the fluid faster. Some have no problems with VCM but quite a few here including myself have disabled the VCM and have noticed that the car performs much better and is smoother. It is an easy DIY mod and well worth the slight loss of fuel economy.
 

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The Eco button (Eco mode shows on dash) just dampens the throttle response. It is completely disconnected from the cylinder deactivation system (VCM). Yes your car has VCM, as do all Honda V-6 engines in the last 10 years. When you press the Eco button it does not turn on/off VCM.

VCM causes various problems in different Honda vehicles. Most common problems for current gen Pilots are slipping torque convertor and broken engine mounts. The system can be easily defeated by installing a device that tells the engine computer that the coolant temp is too low to activate VCM (the system only turns on when the car is warmed up). I use the VCM Tuner II device, but there are several others of varying complexity out there, SVCM being the other most common highly capable device.

After watching that video, it's hard to believe they put so much technology into such a system that in all actuality is really ends up being BS system. Yes it works, and the system works well- THAT's the problem!!
 
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After watching that video, it's hard to believe they put so much technology into such a system that in all actuality is really ends up being BS system. Yes it works, and the system works well- THAT's the problem!!
It gets the fuel economy numbers that Honda and the EPA wants. Long term reliability is not a concern.
 

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Glad I got the SVCM in mine after watching this... I only have 35K on my 2018, so with bypassing the VCM, it will stop the other 100 problems this "high tech fuel saving" technology causes. Awesome video.
 

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Glad I got the SVCM in mine after watching this... I only have 35K on my 2018, so with bypassing the VCM, it will stop the other 100 problems this "high tech fuel saving" technology causes. Awesome video.
same here. the more i read about vcm, the better i feel about installing svcm. my 17 has 37k on it now. i didnt know that eco didnt work with vcm, now i can go back to using eco. i turned it off thinking it was tied to vcm.
 

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Why just this morning, after installing the SVCM on out 08 after 185K miles on it how much smoother it really does run now. It's been on there about 4K miles now. The difference was so subtle with the VCM working, I thought it was the norm.
Now with it not working via the SVCN disabling it - :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As was previously mentioned, ECON mode is activated by pressing the button on the dash and the green leaf icon lights up. VCM is completely independent of that and when it activates, the rear bank of cylinders is shut down turning your smooth V6 into a three cylinder out of balance engine in an effort to increase gas mileage by maybe 1mpg. To reduce vibrations in the driveline, the torque converter slips a bit more and the active motor mounts are energized so that hopefully you don't notice it. This slippage in the torque converter puts added stress on the transmission and torque converter and breaks down the fluid faster. Some have no problems with VCM but quite a few here including myself have disabled the VCM and have noticed that the car performs much better and is smoother. It is an easy DIY mod and well worth the slight loss of fuel economy.
How do I know if it is activated? Will something light up on the dash? I never see anything unless I put it into ECO mode.
 

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How do I know if it is activated? Will something light up on the dash? I never see anything unless I put it into ECO mode.
OK Alex, you have a newer Gen Pilot with an ECO button. Really has little to nothing to do with the VCM.

Are you asking how you will know if your VCM deleting device is active? Other than it keeping the VCM from engaging and turning on the ECO light, you won't.

Alex, I re read your OP here.
You could do a quick search and quickly see/learn what the VCM does.

ON my Gen 1 andGen 2 Pilot, there is no button for ECO. IIRC, the Gen 3's have this.
 
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Just seems like such an extreme tech with all kinds of extreme mitigating interdependencies just to meet some CAFE target. You'd figure that there are enough smart Honda engineers who could come up with a more simpler approach. I guess for the marketers, it sells more vehicles when you can claim that you're at the forefront of the technology curve LOL.
 

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How do I know if it is activated? Will something light up on the dash? I never see anything unless I put it into ECO mode.
You wont see anything but as long as the engine is up to normal operating temp the VCM will activate when you are cruising along at a steady speed or coasting. If you listen carefully under those conditions you will hear a change in the engine sound and you will notice slight rpm fluctuations on the tach. Also when coasting down to stop you will feel excess engine braking and it will seem that the car is slowing down faster than it should without applying the brakes. You will also have a slight hesitation when accelerating to pass due to the slight lag going from 3 cylinders back to 6. Some have much more severe symptoms and I would recommend disabling the VCM as soon as you can and you will have a better running car.
 

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I hate to necromance a two month old thread, but I'm a brand new Pilot owner (2018 LX AWD) and I'm trying to learn here.

Looking at the S-VCM and VCMTUNER/ VCMTUNER II websites, it looks like they achieve VCM disable by deliberately mis-representing engine temperature input to the ECM. This seems like a really bad idea to me... you're not going to have an accurate engine temperature readback at the ECM, or on the gauge on the dashboard. So you're not going to know the true temp of your engine and if you're on the verge of overheating. Likewise, the ECM doesn't use engine temp only for VCM function, but engine temp is also a critical input to the tuning tables to determine fueling and spark advance. There's the very real possibility of running too lean, or too much spark advance, because the ECM thinks the temperature is cooler than it actually is.

At 7:39 in the video posted above, the video maker shows us the solenoid that is responsible for activating VCM. Am I wrong in thinking that it makes much more sense to disable this solenoid, rather than fooling with the engine temperature readback?
 

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I hate to necromance a two month old thread, but I'm a brand new Pilot owner (2018 LX AWD) and I'm trying to learn here.

Looking at the S-VCM and VCMTUNER/ VCMTUNER II websites, it looks like they achieve VCM disable by deliberately mis-representing engine temperature input to the ECM. This seems like a really bad idea to me... you're not going to have an accurate engine temperature readback at the ECM, or on the gauge on the dashboard. So you're not going to know the true temp of your engine and if you're on the verge of overheating. Likewise, the ECM doesn't use engine temp only for VCM function, but engine temp is also a critical input to the tuning tables to determine fueling and spark advance. There's the very real possibility of running too lean, or too much spark advance, because the ECM thinks the temperature is cooler than it actually is.

At 7:39 in the video posted above, the video maker shows us the solenoid that is responsible for activating VCM. Am I wrong in thinking that it makes much more sense to disable this solenoid, rather than fooling with the engine temperature readback?
The VCM is linked with the VTEC system and disabling that solenoid would have an effect on that and would throw a fault code. Fooling the ECT1 signal is the simplest way to keep the VCM disabled and does not have an effect on anything else other than a slight reduction in fuel economy.
 

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I hate to necromance a two month old thread, but I'm a brand new Pilot owner (2018 LX AWD) and I'm trying to learn here.

Looking at the S-VCM and VCMTUNER/ VCMTUNER II websites, it looks like they achieve VCM disable by deliberately mis-representing engine temperature input to the ECM. This seems like a really bad idea to me... you're not going to have an accurate engine temperature readback at the ECM, or on the gauge on the dashboard. So you're not going to know the true temp of your engine and if you're on the verge of overheating. Likewise, the ECM doesn't use engine temp only for VCM function, but engine temp is also a critical input to the tuning tables to determine fueling and spark advance. There's the very real possibility of running too lean, or too much spark advance, because the ECM thinks the temperature is cooler than it actually is.

At 7:39 in the video posted above, the video maker shows us the solenoid that is responsible for activating VCM. Am I wrong in thinking that it makes much more sense to disable this solenoid, rather than fooling with the engine temperature readback?
There are two IAT (Intake Air Temp) sensors that are used for fuel/air ratio and spark advance. Nothing to do with ECT1 which these disablers override. Besides, the latest disablers disable themselves if the engine temp gets too high. You are doing far more damage to your engine by allowing VCM to operate.


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The VCM is linked with the VTEC system and disabling that solenoid would have an effect on that and would throw a fault code. Fooling the ECT1 signal is the simplest way to keep the VCM disabled and does not have an effect on anything else other than a slight reduction in fuel economy.
There are two IAT (Intake Air Temp) sensors that are used for fuel/air ratio and spark advance. Nothing to do with ECT1 which these disablers override. Besides, the latest disablers disable themselves if the engine temp gets too high. You are doing far more damage to your engine by allowing VCM to operate.


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Thanks for the feedback guys. Just trying to understand everything before installing one.
 

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Thanks for the feedback guys. Just trying to understand everything before installing one.
There was a TSB for a torque converter clutch lock issue on 2016-2017 6-speeds Pilots. The fix was 3 drain and fills of the ATF and software update. A 2018 model would have rolled off the line with software that takes care of this issue. Just know that the forces/vibration that cause the torque converter clutch lock issue still rages in your drive train. Honda has done a great job masking off these vibrations with some high tech engine mounts, so when your V6 begins running on 3 cylinders, you dont feel it. I never got the software update on my 2017 Pilot. I drain and filled the ATF many times. But when I disabled the VCM, the vibrations ended, and my torque converter clutch lock problem was gone. In my case, this device is a must have or a trip to the dealership is needed.
A VCM disabling device will not cause an overheating issue or any engine problem that I am aware of. The only negative I've experienced with the device is that it makes diagnosing an overheating problem more difficult. If you want to run live data to see if your cooling fans are coming on and going off at the right temperature, it is necessary to disconnect the device 1st. This must be done when the vehicle has cooled below 165°F or you can trigger a CEL. Even then the CEL will resolve itself eventually. If you do not DIY, your mechanic needs to know about the device, especially if he is trying to solve an overheating issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the explanations but I have to tell ya, and maybe its smoke and mirrors, but my Pilot runs like a dream. Smooth as silk and since I'm not able to do this myself, I'll just live with it. I mean, it's not exactly like I can roll into the dealership and ask them to install this, right? Again, thanks. I have a better understanding of the VCM now
 

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Thanks for the explanations but I have to tell ya, and maybe its smoke and mirrors, but my Pilot runs like a dream. Smooth as silk and since I'm not able to do this myself, I'll just live with it. I mean, it's not exactly like I can roll into the dealership and ask them to install this, right? Again, thanks. I have a better understanding of the VCM now
I thought my Pilot was really smooth too until I installed an SVCM disabler and all I can say now is that I should have done it sooner. Now if Honda can just figure out the direct injection issues, it may improve reliability and customer satisfaction.
 
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