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VCM disable - a new and better way

583776 Views 1481 Replies 384 Participants Last post by  verbatim
relatively new to this forum, but not new to reading the threads here. I have read almost all the posts on the VCM vibration issue and for those that aren't familiar with it, please do a search and do some reading as I don't plan to recap everything.

My opinions and experience are this: I don't like VCM at all. I am one of those that are experiencing vibrations and that's why I came to this forum in the first place. I have always been of the opinion that equipment is meant to be run, and when it's not, bad things happen. Cylinders in an engine are meant to be firing at all times and when they're not, you get oil bypassing, plug fouling, misfiring, vibration, and all the bad things that each of these conditions leads to. Adding active engine mounts and noise cancelling technology is just adding more crap to try and hide a bad condition. It is an initiative to help save 1 mpg and is more of a gimmick to satisfy EPA regulations etc. It's bad for engines as can be seen by all the complaints here and with every automaker that tries this.

My original intent was to try everything people here do to get rid of the vibration, pcm updates, engine mounts, spark plugs, etc etc... then I realized I needed to focus on disabling this B.S. system instead.

I tried disconnecting the rear bank oil pressure switch as is recommended by many. It did indeed disable VCM, however it was accompanied by the CEL indications, DTC's. As well, I live in a cold, snowy, icy climate and when I did this, after a short time of driving, the VTM-4 light came on in the dash and I noticed immediately that I had much less traction. The vehicle became a 2wd vehicle. At every start from a stop on a slippery surface, the front end slid to the side and there was not the usual amount of traction. It was painfully obvious that VTM-4 was also disabled. this was unacceptable to me. I need 4wd and I couldn't live with the CEL codes. If you like a 2WD vehicle and warnings all over your dash, by all means use this method. If you want something better, read on.

As most of you know, VCM doesn't engage until the engine is up to operating temperature. According to my OBD II device, it kicks in at around 167 degrees. This is where I decided to focus my attention. After doing some research on the ECT sensor, I went out and bought a 1K potentiometer. I drove my pilot until it was at operating temp and then I stopped and pulled ECT 1 sensor wire. I put the pot inline with the sensor, then started the engine and using the OBD II reader, I dialed the pot until the engine temp read 165 degrees. I went for a test drive and there were no CEL lights and the VCM never engaged. It was heavenly to drive the vehicle with VTM working, no CEL codes, and no VCM. It was how this vehicle should drive.

Now know what some of you are thinking. What if the engine overheats? I'll never know. Well, my plan is this. I'm going to install a switch and an aftermarket digital coolant gauge with audible alarm. So, what I'll do is run the vehicle up to operating temperature in the normal position so that if the engine needs the ECT reading to adjust anything, it can. then \I'll flick the switch and VCM will be off and the potentiometer will be sending a signal that the engine is at 165F to the PCM. that's less than ten degrees below operating temp and shouldn't cause any problems. I certainly didn't see any when I was driving. I also will have the aftermarket sensor monitoring engine temp, and giving an alarm if it overheats.

The only thing I'm unsure of at this point is whether the radiator fans will come on in hot weather as usual. I believe they will because I'm pretty sure they use ECT 2 as the input for this. I'll find out I guess.

I plan on making it look like a very professional installation, using one of the blank spots next to the DTS switch to install my switch. Not sure exactly where the aftermarket gauge will go yet. I've ordered the OEM female connector to make a harness so that I don't have to cut any wires and I can put it back to original with no evidence. The male half of the connector is going to be a bit more difficult as it isn't sold individually and so I'm going to try to hack apart an IAT sensor to make one.

For those that are interested in this, I will post updates of my progress with pictures. I just thought I'd share what I found so far.

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I have the same story as the last message, new on the forum so it won't let me PM,
just got a 2012 Pilot 4wd, please advise on shipping to Vernon BC
Disconnecting the temp sensor was nasty, partly because the access for either hand is wicked, but the 9 years of road crust also made the release tab rather immobile.
Fortunately I had some tiny magnets, put one on one side of the jaws of small pliers, and that extra projection was able to depress the release tab - then it simply slides off.
Great how the vehicle rides now; over a section of low rolling hills, on cruise control, now there is no downshifting and in/out of ECO mode, there used to be 4 or 5 motor setting adjustments in as little as 20 seconds, what nonsense that was ...
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