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Thanks for the advice. I'm partial to the Pilots for a few reasons. First, the space. Move back and forth to college AND working at a farm will require her to move some bulky stuff.
Second, my previous experience with my Pilot. I know that may not make much sense since it will be another model year and individual attention to maintenance will differ but from reading all the posts on Pilots (regardless of year), most are very happy with their Pilot.

Again, my big question involves the engine and VCM. Most are saying its OK. I really do think my Vtec from the '03-'08 models is almost bulletproof and once they moved to the VCM engine, things changed as far as efficiency. I do not hear much about engines failing and/or excessive oil consumption so I guess the VCM engine is fine?
Filling up a tank will be pricey but I want safety, security, and reliability.
It sounds like whether you go with a 2nd or 3rd gen,. we'll be fine...we just need to do our due diligence in finding the used Pilot with right mileage, condition, and $$

any thoughts?
VCM really isn't OK. Just do a search on here. Countless people have had problems with misfires requiring a partial engine rebuild. It's so bad that Honda has been sued in a class action law suit. On top of that it damages other components because the engine is no longer producing steady consistent power. My 2013 gingerly driven needed CV axles at about 50k miles. No boot leaks, just worn out INNER axles. That's NOT normal for a car. It also to put it mildly causes the car to "drive like s4!t". Honestly... it's a terrible technology that even when it wasn't breaking my car made me complain to Honda. My new owner Honda survey to the question of "How likely are you to buy another Honda" was something along the lines of "I will never buy another car with VCM technology". This was when the car had 5k miles on it and the vibrations started coming... all 100% normal. Horrible throttle response too. Ever wondered what throttle response would feel like if your car was running on 1/2 the cylinders and then "magically" would turn them back on about 1/2 a second later? Well Honda answers that question for you daily everytime you drive at a steady speed and have to go up a slight hill. Am I running over rumble strips or is that just my VCM sucking? At the time there was no way to disable it. You just had to suck it up and hate the car - so that's what I did. I never really got over it.

It made me love our Honda so much that we just bought an Audi - though we do still own the Pilot for my wife. The goal was I'd never have to drive the Honda around taking her and the kids places. Instead it's looking like my wife can tell the difference between an Audi and a Honda too.... so my plan maybe backfiring. There is a strong chance I'll never buy another Honda automobile despite me being a long time Honda fan. Frankly they aren't making Integra's anymore. It's just not what it all once was. Boring soulless cars with average reliability with crazy high parts costs. What's not to love?



Things to think about with a 2nd gen Pilot:

1) VCM Sucks - Just buy a disabler and forget about it. It really is needed.

2) Brake rotors - I get 20k miles before they start shaking. It's just a thing no matter how easy I try to be on them.

3) ATF Fluid - Make sure you're changing the fluid very frequently. DW1 is really only good for about 30k miles. Valvoline MaxLife is probably better for longer.

4) Timing belt - The tensioner is a weak spot. Make sure you're doing this on time and using either all OEM components purchased from a dealer OR Aisin kit from a repubable source like Rock Auto.

Do the above and a 2nd gen Pilot should be plenty reliable. The 3rd gen? Probably significantly less reliable but no personal hands on experience with those... but Consumer Reports hasn't been impressed.
 

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Hello folks-
I have an '04 Pilot with 250K on it. Reliable, trusty, almost maintenance free (not pretty to look at)....I will not get rid of it.
Now, it's time to look for a used car for my daughter (college bound far away) and working on a farm so I would like to look for
a Pilot. First gens. are few and far between and I would like something newer as far as safety and tech in it.
It is the engine debate that is concerning me.....

Being a member of this forum. I have seen that the 2nd gens. (09-11) have had some issues with the VCM and some people think the 3rd gens.
are better. I have no intention of disabling the VCM but I'm also looking for the reliability that my Pilot has given me. Obviously price is another issue
and I know used car $ are premium now....
So what is the deal here with the engines.....and which generation should I focus on: 2nd or 3rd...
Thanks
Very seriously…whichever you select disable that VCM….my son-in-laws’ 2008 Accord V-6 with 60K+ miles just had a VCM induced fouled plug, chugging and carboned up cylinder…dealer diagnosed the fouled plug. Of course no mention of the real culprit! Just that they recommend a $6K overhaul. Well they put in new plug and we installed the VCM tuner..it may be too late. Time will tell. I warned him a few months back.
Unless you’re heavy on the accelerator which will fire up that plug that always turning off with the VCM it’s just a question of not if but when that plug will foil.
Put the tuner in our 2014 Pilot and it runs fine. Some tankfuls same gas mileage , some a couple mpg less.
You know Toyota just uses a higher overdrive ratio….much simpler!
Best wishes with your next car!
 

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I thought VCM was a means by which auto manufacturers are able to slightly increase mpg numbers, no? So, if VCM is disabled, how can mpg go up?🤷‍♂️
Well, I like to think of it like this:
Are you going to be more tired after running 100 meters, or hopping same distance on one foot?
I mean, you are not moving one of your legs, so hopping ought to be more efficient, no?
Honda Pilot engine was designed to work best with all cylinders working, just as humans are designed to run on two feet.
VCM = hopping on one foot.

To poster above though: MPG over like 30-40 miles with like 60mph speed average? That's definitely too small a sample and NOT regular 'town' driving.
A reading like this is a bit more useful.

149551


And yeah, that is with VCM Tuner II. With VCM still on, my average over similar distance was more in 17's.
For highway - I fairly often make a trip from NJ to VA, and it uses up roughly half a tank (10gal) for a 250-mile drive.
 

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Well, I like to think of it like this:
Are you going to be more tired after running 100 meters, or hopping same distance on one foot?
I mean, you are not moving one of your legs, so hopping ought to be more efficient, no?
Honda Pilot engine was designed to work best with all cylinders working, just as humans are designed to run on two feet.
VCM = hopping on one foot.
Best analogy ever. Very good way of describing what VCM does.
 

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and the OP has left the forum never to be seen or heard from ever again :ROFLMAO:
Their probably waiting for the new VCM disabling device. I'm confident they will soon let us know how things are going.
 

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apparently you all need to go back to school, the OP FIRST POST clearly said....

I have no intention of disabling the VCM but I'm also looking for the reliability that my Pilot has given me.
so looks like he needs a brand new 2020 Pilot with zero miles :unsure:
 

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I think we were trying to influence his "intention". No harm - no foul if he chooses not to reconsider the VCM-defeat option. Truth is that there are hundreds of thousands of these VCM engines out in the wild that have not had issues. To me it's a bit like driving without insurance -- There's the cost savings on one side, and of course we are all well-above-average drivers. But there's still the wildcard chance that another driver who has moved the average down to where is will find and meet me. Or I will meet him/her/she/them/whatever.

Honda thinks it's worth the risk to continue to make the engines with VCM, although admittedly their risk ends at the end of their warranty period. Right about the same time mine snaps more clearly into focus. The 2012-15 cars are statistically out of VCM warranty by mileage and almost all by age anyway. We have no data on how many, percentage-wise anyway, have been repaired under warranty and therefore never feel the need to share that with our group. At one point that class was large enough to get an extended warranty for VCM-specific damage though, so it was undoubtedly more than three or four vocal owners in an online forum like ours. Just sayin'.
 

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I think we were trying to influence his "intention". No harm - no foul if he chooses not to reconsider the VCM-defeat option. Truth is that there are hundreds of thousands of these VCM engines out in the wild that have not had issues. To me it's a bit like driving without insurance -- There's the cost savings on one side, and of course we are all well-above-average drivers. But there's still the wildcard chance that another driver who has moved the average down to where is will find and meet me. Or I will meet him/her/she/them/whatever.

Honda thinks it's worth the risk to continue to make the engines with VCM, although admittedly their risk ends at the end of their warranty period. Right about the same time mine snaps more clearly into focus. The 2012-15 cars are statistically out of VCM warranty by mileage and almost all by age anyway. We have no data on how many, percentage-wise anyway, have been repaired under warranty and therefore never feel the need to share that with our group. At one point that class was large enough to get an extended warranty for VCM-specific damage though, so it was undoubtedly more than three or four vocal owners in an online forum like ours. Just sayin'.
Respectfully, I don’t think Honda considers VCM a “risk”. Perhaps it really is a means to demonstrate added fuel economy and EPA compliance. Fuel economy has alway also been a significant competitive factor in this SUV category.

Warranty repairs are just a collateral cost of this system.

Plain and simple.
 

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I think we were trying to influence his "intention". No harm - no foul if he chooses not to reconsider the VCM-defeat option. Truth is that there are hundreds of thousands of these VCM engines out in the wild that have not had issues. To me it's a bit like driving without insurance -- There's the cost savings on one side, and of course we are all well-above-average drivers. But there's still the wildcard chance that another driver who has moved the average down to where is will find and meet me. Or I will meet him/her/she/them/whatever.

Honda thinks it's worth the risk to continue to make the engines with VCM, although admittedly their risk ends at the end of their warranty period. Right about the same time mine snaps more clearly into focus. The 2012-15 cars are statistically out of VCM warranty by mileage and almost all by age anyway. We have no data on how many, percentage-wise anyway, have been repaired under warranty and therefore never feel the need to share that with our group. At one point that class was large enough to get an extended warranty for VCM-specific damage though, so it was undoubtedly more than three or four vocal owners in an online forum like ours. Just sayin'.
Yep, but given how many we see come here with problems directly caused by it I think issues are pretty common. Even early on when our 2013 was new and I complained to my dealer, they said they had lots of complaints about it and wished they had a way to disable it. Ultimately I think the verdict is in on the 2009-2015 VCM and it’s a fail.
 

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My point on Honda accepting the risk was lost somehow. In spite of however many VCM issues present for fixing, VCM is still a “feature”. So bad enough to deserve an extended warranty but only on certain years, not bad enough to actually work to solve the problem. Some risk, but in their eyes it’s not too much. Or they’d do something about it.
 
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if the VCM system was such a disaster they would discontinue it. Honda probably makes so much money from selling the Pilot that it's worth it to shell it a bit here and there to fit potential warranty claim issues that arise. same could be said for the issue of fuel dilution in the oil when they first started pushing direct injection turbo in the CRV and Civics. is it an issue, absolutely. will it affect everyone the same, no. how long until you see the consequences of the issue, ymmv, roll the dice
 

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All I can say is Honda has gone to far that I will never buy a new V6 Honda.
I was willing to accept the 100k timing belt job because of their reliability. Add on VCM + Direct injection + Idle stop/start, why even pay to have the timing belt water pump job done if your not going to defeat the VCM and idle stop/start? The DI carbon buildup is bad enough with additional injector replacements.
 
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All I can say is Honda has gone to far that I will never buy a new V6 Honda.
I was willing to accept the 100k timing belt job because of their reliability. Add on VCM + Direct injection + Idle stop/start, why even pay to have the timing belt water pump job done if your not going to defeat the VCM and idle stop/start? The DI carbon buildup is bad enough with additional injector replacements.
BAM!!! THE reason I went with a Highlander, it only has one of the three annoyances, idle stop/start. While it is DI, it is also Port injection. Time will tell, a buddy of mine has a CarbonTek distributorship and they actually come to you for the service. I'll probably do it around 75K miles(which will be quite a while from now) and may do it on the Pilot at 100-125k miles, both of which get a steady diet of TopTier fuel.
 

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So......what does port injection do that a carburetor didn't do, regarding washing the intake valves with fuel?🤷‍♂️
 
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