hey Verbatim, i have 2012 Pilot EXL AWD/4WD ... recently i started feeling the shake ion the engine and i came to find out that Motor Mounts need to be changed and then i found out that thisis somehow linked to the VCM (ECO) issue?Pm sent.
I bought your device and installed (a simple install -good directions), it about a year ago and I now have 93000 miles on my 2013 Pilot that runs smooth as silk. No issues during cold or hot humid weather. A wonderful fix for VCM vibrations. Thank you for your design option.Solved!!!
Okay folks, my apologies for the delay, a bit busy lately and took some time off to fly to L.A., watch an awesome King's Hawks game. I've turned by thoughts back to this problem and done some more testing and I have the solution to your problems.
After spending a lot of time thinking about how I was going to do everything I posted in the OP above, I realized that it would be too complicated for most to implement and too hard to strip out when required, so I concentrated on simplifying and came up with a brilliant, but ridiculously obvious and simpler idea.
Rather than create a separate circuit that I would switch to when the engine is close to operating temperature, I spent some time using my OBD tool, determining the extra resistance needed in the ECT circuit to drop the temperature at the high end from 172-175 degrees F down to 162-165. The beauty of this new method is the following:
1. Pure plug and play solution, no switches necessary.
2. Temp gauge still works and shows engine temperature, the only difference is that it reads about half a mark less at operating temperature.
3. Warnings will still occur if the engine overheats.
4. The ECT sensor works on a logarithmic scale, which means that at colder engine temperatures, the temperature shift becomes virtually nothing as far as the PCM is concerned, so cold engine operation is unchanged.
5. Easy disconnect to revert back to OEM configuration if desired for EPA inspection, work at the dealership, or long trips in nice weather when VCM would be beneficial at high speeds and summer temps.
6. No CEL warnings that masks other warnings that come along.
7. No other systems disabled, like VTM when you pull the pressure sensor
I've been testing this new solution for a few days now and I can tell you with complete honesty that this is the ****! No warning lights, no disabling of VTM or other desirable functions. The vehicle thinks it hasn't quite reached operating temperature, so VCM never kicks in. It drives like it should, no vibration, no hesitations during VCM transitions, it's beautiful. The only thing that happens is that when you plug in or unplug the add-in harness, the PCM reads a shift in the ECT sensor reading and throws a code saying that ECT 1 appears faulty. After about three drives, the PCM is fooled into thinking that the new condition is the norm and the fault clears itself and no more errors.
I have not cut any wiring, I found the OEM female connector and created a harness. The male connector is much harder to get and although I've finally found it, it's going to require me to buy a large quantity of them from overseas. The harness I'm going to create is going to consist of the male and female connector, and the added resistance in between. Harness will consist of OEM male and female Connectors, properly sealed etc along with the resistance, also properly sealed with shrink tubing. The harness will appear OEM.
Because I have to buy large quantities of the male connector, I plan on making and selling the entire harness to everyone that wants one. I'll be setting myself up on ebay with my paypal account to make it easy for everyone to order one. The price will be about $30-35 Canadian (USD 24-28) plus shipping. I'm not sure how long it will take for the connectors to come once I order them, but it shouldn't be more than a month or so from overseas.
I am certain that this isn't having a detrimental effect on the engine or A/F ratios or anything of the sort. The difference is so small that the PCM doesn't even read it as an error once it recognizes the new range on the sensor. It drives like a dream, with no error codes and even though the one connector right now is just wrapped with tape with the wires poking into the female connector, I don't plan on undoing it while I wait for the male connectors to arrive.
For all of you that hate the VCM vibration issues, or just hate the fact that VCM is destroying your engine by fouling plugs, causing vibration, excessive oil consumption and the like, this is definitely for you. I've tried to keep the price reasonable considering the time and effort this is going to take on my part to get the parts, put them together and take orders, ship out etc. I hate the whole concept of VCM as stated in my OP and I'm so excited by these results. Even if a few of you would like to try it once it's available and report back to the others, that would be great. I'm not doing this to make tons of money, I just want to help everyone here.
I'm back to loving my Pilot again and I'm so happy to be VCM free, I hate that ****.
Let me know your feedback and interest in having one made.
Update......Nearly six years later and my Honda Pilot has 230,000 miles on it with the VCMuzzler installed. I've done all my scheduled maintenance, tires and brakes, and that's it! Just returned from a 700 mile round trip and the Pilot runs smooth as silk with the VCMuzzler.Just went for a short drive and my Honda Pilot seems like a new vehicle!!! I love it.
I'm driving over 300 miles tomorrow so I will do a good MPG test.
Let me add a little perspective.
I own all three of the top selling VCM disabling devices. More out of curiosity than any one or more of them failing and forcing me to buy another type. They all work, and work well. So which one is best?
I'll get to that in a minute, but first let me let you know, that as far as I can tell, when the ECO light comes on, that does not necessarily mean VCM is engaged. When I monitor power to the actual solenoid controlling the valve that opens oil pressure to the pins that engage the VCM in the rear bank, it is not a one to one correlation to the ECO light on the dash. The ECO light comes on sooner and more often than the solenoid powers up VCM which cannot work without power to that solenoid. I use an led back pinned to the connector to that solenoid and a ScanGauge to monitor VCM.
With that out of the way, speaking with some working knowledge of electronics, software, and unverified failures of simple and complex systems, simpler is always better, and simplest is always the best ... providing it achieves the desired result. For those of you who own or have owned both older and newer Pilots, you know the more complex this machine has become, the more trips you're making to the dealer to test the warranty and the more you're spending when it fails that test.
The desired result of a VCM disabler is obvious so I won't insult you by stating it. What its primary job is NOT, is not to keep the ECO light from coming on. Let's put a pin in that controversial statement for a minute and talk about reliability.
I'm sure you like not having to walk around your car and lock and then unlock all the doors individually every time you park the car. But I'm also pretty sure it annoys the hell out of you when parts of the power door lock system fail and it costs you an arm and a leg to get it fixed ... or you just don't get it fixed and start walking around your car a lot more for the exercise.
Reliability in a VCM disabler is very, very important. It could cost you two arms, two legs, and maybe your life's savings, if it fails. Your car could overheat, or VCM could continue unabated unknown to you. It's an existential threat to your car (compared to failed door lock actuators) from a reliability perspective.
Since installing the S-VCM on my car, I actually miss the ECO light coming on occasionally at long red lights or stop and go traffic in hot weather. Why? Two reasons. One, it's a loud and clear, well bright and attention getting, signal that the engine is warmer than normal. Not overheating, just above normal. So it warns me to pay attention. And it also tells me the cooling system is working when the ECO light goes out seconds later.
With devices that lock down the virtual temperature to 165F, there is no early warning things are getting warmer than usual or at the upper end of the operating range. And two, the occasional ECO light tells me the ECT sensor, ECU, and associated systems are working, as well as the VCM disabler. And if VCM does actually engage for a few seconds or minutes at low rpm, that's fine. At least I know oil pressure is good enough to prevent a DTC. When nothing ever changes, you can't tell the difference between, "gee, this works great no ECO light EVER," and not working at all. There's no detectable difference from where you sit in the driver's seat. A few seconds or even minutes of actual VCM engagement at idle will not damage anything.
If you don't really trust all the ECUs in your Pilot, and your cell phone has never needed rebooting, be aware that the "smart" VCM disablers are just mini-me's of ECUs, cell phones, and computers. Size doesn't mean anything with electronics. As a matter of fact, smaller is more complex. An Apple watch does as much as an iPhone.
All "smart" electronic devices contain heat sensitive components, code, memory and dependence on power. And we all know how reliable Pilot battery power, connections, harnesses, and grounds are. All elements "smart" VCM disablers depend on. Yeah, but the "smart" VCM disablers drop out of the circuit if power, ground or something inside fails. Yeah, that's right, as long as that feature doesn't fail and the code running them isn't scrambled by your last jump start or a shorted diode in the alternator sending current spikes down the line.
A resistor is not a solid state device. It contains no silicone, no heat and current sensitive PNP gates, no memory, and best of all, no code created by a human. There is no such thing as perfect code. Just code that hasn't been revised enough to fix all the problems it creates and as well as the additional problems the fixes create.
Now that I've dragged you this far, or maybe not, but if you're still with me here ... I would say which VCM disabler is "best" .... for you .... depends on what is most important to you. Is it reliability, cost, or convenience? Only you can decide that. I will let you know, that while I own all three top VCM disablers, since cost isn't an issue in this case, and I never did change out resistors on the Muzzler and like the ECO light coming on occasionally, that convenience isn't an issue, so that leaves reliability and being an existential feature, I'll probably put the Muzzler back in next time I'm under the hood.
I am in no way affiliated, paid by, or personally invested in any one VCM disabler company, owner or stock. I have done prototype engineering work all my life managing simple and extremely large and complex systems including projects operating in outer space which is a much more demanding environment than a car engine bay, so I appreciate how these devices are more an inexpensive insurance policy for your car than a way for anyone to get very rich. While there may only be a few dollars worth of parts in these devices, between research and development, sourcing, cost of inventory, cost of money, assembling, testing, packaging, shipping, returns, repairs, and customer service ... it probably pays around $20/hr if that.
The thread is in the 2012-2015 section so that was what my comments were limited to. I'm sorry I didn't explicitly say so, since I thought that was the purpose of sections by generation to avoid this problem. If it doesn't and I've made that mistake mymelf, I'll go edit in something on my original message making it clear I'm only discussing my 2012 Pilot and possibly other 2nd gen Pilots.JIm, Whoa There!
I couldn't even read ALL of that, b/c I was having MAJOR problems with some of the things you posted!
WHAT GEN/year Pilot are you talking about anyway? You can't lump the Gens and the way the ECO light works together, and you CAN'T use the ECO light like a temperature gauge!! Hello!
AND, on my GEN 2, the VCM- hence ECO light- NEVER comes on when going slow or idling. EVER! (Yes, this was before I even installed the SVCM)
How does yours come on sitting at a long red light? What Gen does this?
And when it goes off, you KNOW your cooling system is working right? BS. The light simply went off b/c the VCM is NOT working, hence using all cylinders. Nothing to do with the coolant system- but you know this, right?
While most all of what you said tis true, some of it is __- sorry.
OK, if you're looking at it like that, OK.The thread is in the 2012-2015 section so that was what my comments were limited to. Sorry I didn't explicitly say so, I'll go edit it in.
I have seen comments from others here that the reason they switched from the VCMuzzler to another "smart" VCM disabler is because they were annoyed by the ECO light coming on in stop and go traffic and took it to mean VCM was enabled and didn't want to bother changing resistors.. My ECO light comes occasionally on under those circumstances, so I didn't think that was unique to my car.
If the ECO light comes on with a VCMuzzler installed and working, it means the ECT1 is sending a signal that represents a temperature higher than the installed resistor can compensate down below the trigger temperature. With the lowest blue resistor, that delta is fairly small and is still in the normal operating range although it is in the upper range of it. When traffic starts moving and more air gets through the radiator and the water pump is moving more water due to higher rpms (than idle), and the ECO light goes out, to me that means the water pump is working, the thermostat is open, the coolant hasn't leaked out, and the temperature sensor is working, or at least responding to all of the above. It doesn't necessarily prove the fans are working, but if that were the case I'd have other indicators. One, the AC wouldn't be working to well and the ECO light probably wouldn't go out in a few seconds once traffic started moving and things would get considerably hotter at a standstill at the next light and I would see that on the gauge if not as steam. So if I have confidence the fans are coming on as they should, and the other elements are working, it seems reasonable to me to conclude the cooling system is functioning, else the ECO light would stay on or stay on much longer.