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Discussion Starter #1
I installed a newly delivered VCMuzzler II on our '13 EX-L today and took it for a spin. As advertised VCM is kaput and temp gauge runs a click lower on the gauge with the blue resistor. The cruise vibration is pretty much gone but at about 25-35 mph-ish a fine vibration seems evident. What are the odds that this is my imagination vs something else...like the prop shaft? The tires are brand new and were balanced with a roadforce machine.
 

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Have you noticed any performance changes when you installed it ?
 

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How many miles on your Pilot? There are many things on a car that can cause vibration... motor mounts, transmission mounts, imbalance in the wheels/tires, bad driveshaft/halfshafts, bad bearing, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Have you noticed any performance changes when you installed it ?
Since the car is almost exclusively driven by my daughter, I can't honestly speak to this. On my test spin, I will say that I found cruising at 60MPH to be a markedly less irritating experience.

How many miles on your Pilot? There are many things on a car that can cause vibration... motor mounts, transmission mounts, imbalance in the wheels/tires, bad driveshaft/halfshafts, bad bearing, etc.
It has just under 63K miles. While I can see how the items listed above could contribute to vibration, the small window experienced seems to suggest an imbalance (harmonics?) as opposed to wheel bearing deterioration, no?
 

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We have the same. It's the torque converter. We just live with it.
 

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A vibration that always/only happens at a certain engine RPM might be attributable to a torque converter problem. With the symptom described as speed-dependent, discussion moves to tires and wheels, then CV joints and half-shafts. AWD cars have an extra issue with the rear driveshaft and a failing center carrier bearing assembly. the rear shaft and bearing is subject to a silent recall. Honda will take care of it if you ask.

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Each time I 'fix' a particular noise or vibration, another seems to move closer to the top of the 'annoying' stack. It's an endless task, but the car is getting smoother and quieter. I just replaced the original tires, about 45k and not worn out. But noisy, like every wear strip on the road surface would announce itself. New more winter-oriented Michelins dramatically improve the noise and vibration levels, but add new steering feel and a firmer ride and handling sensation. Now with some winter road conditions, the choppy ice floes have started generating a rattle where the A-pillar trim (airbag cover next to the windshield) is vibrating against the glass. On both sides. Easy fix with a bit of foam tape I hope. But then the next item will need attention.

I had a Maybach sedan in the garage for a few months, and it was absolutely tomb-quiet inside. That's a plus, at least for me. The maintenance factors are off the deep end, particularly since the local dealer has nobody trained to do more than an oil and filter change on it. It's a great way to roll down the road though. Word is to not even consider one unless it's still under warranty. Quiet and smooth has its price. The Pilot is just fine, thorns and all.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I hope to drive it a bit this weekend. I'll pay attention to when and how the condition appears. If it occurs under acceleration then I'd suspect the torque converter. If it is constant at a constant speed and/or coasting along, that should be a different cause.

That said, I agree with dr bob's assertion too. The car won't ever be perfect but it also shouldn't shudder or vibrate at 63K miles. The VCMuzzler seems to have addressed the most glaring contributor to that experience!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update:
Drove the Pilot to work today (40 miles each way). Temp was about 30F and about 10 miles into the trip, CEL illuminates. Car was not running poorly and no strange noise. Completed my commute and connected to my Autel when I returned home. I'm not a mechanic but am tired of CELs on a couple of other cars so now I can atleast see what the issue might be. Anyway, these all showed up:

Engine PGM FI, P0303-00, P0128-00,

61-11 Modulator control unit power source circuit (IG) low voltage Possible failures: 1. Battery voltage down 2. Alternator 3. FSR +B fuse

83-11 PCM (PGM-FI) Malfunction

So, some research indicates that the #3 cylinder has misfired and is likely a plug problem. Not sure about the rest.

Anyone here an expert?

Good Times!!
 

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P0128 is your temp is reading too low caused by your vcm disable. You need to go up a resistor.
P0303 is the spark plug misfire. How long since you changed plugs? This might be a stored code and not firing enough to set the CEL. You should change resistors, clear codes, and see if it comes back.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Have owned the car for about 1.5 months and was unsuccessful in getting any maintenance history for it (bought from a private party and that local dealer said "We can't give you that information--it's like HIPPA") :rolleyes: so I don't know anything about how long the plugs have been in there. I'll change out the blue resistor tomorrow. CEL has been cleared. Still may pull the #3 plug out of curiosity.
 

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I would pull the plugs. Very common to see cracked insulators from detonations from carbon buildup on #1 through #4. Use NGK plugs. Not from amazon or eBay.
 

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Have owned the car for about 1.5 months and was unsuccessful in getting any maintenance history for it (bought from a private party and that local dealer said "We can't give you that information--it's like HIPPA") :rolleyes: so I don't know anything about how long the plugs have been in there. I'll change out the blue resistor tomorrow. CEL has been cleared. Still may pull the #3 plug out of curiosity.
get yourself an account with carfax.com under maintenance tab its free. Punch in your VIN and any work done since delivery at any shop will be reported there. IF anything comes back on what was replaced / repaired this would give you an Idea on the history of your ride .
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Tahoefever. I was not aware of that free feature.

I pulled the cylinder #3 plug. It's an NGK 1R, not coated, oil soaked or damaged. It does have a pretty heavy brown ring on the coil insulator near the hex nut/shell. A google search shows this to be termed a "corona stain". The NGK site indicated that this is a normal thing caused by static electricity generated by plugs attracting debris. I did not know this so I learned something beyond cyl. #3 spark plug is not much fun to extract.

So, with the new VCMuzzler resistor installed (as per the manufacturer instructions), we'll see what happens.
 

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For comparison, here were mine at 99k







Installed VCMTuner and changed plugs that day, using NGK 7751 (ILZKR7B11). 11k miles since. Never threw a misfire code before or since..... but you can see #3 takes a beating.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ya. If the spark plug is getting hammered, everything in and connected to that cylinder is too. I don't mind having to swap out a resistor to address an issue. Like everyone else, I just want the thing to be reliable and function in a way so as to not self-destruct like some sort of rolling paint can shaker.
 

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Oil on the plug is a telltale of broken ring(s) and detonation. It's a known issue with a dealer TSB and warranty extension. Typically he issue hits at least 1-3, and sometimes 4. You'll like the VCMuzzler as it reduces the stress on the VCM'd cylinders and rings on restore to normal mode. But the damage may already have been done. IIRC the extended warranty from Honda transfers with the car, so you should be eligible. Honda will remove the affected pistons, clean the bores as needed, and reassemble. Have them do water pump and belts/tensioner etc, as these should be parts cost only while it's apart.

If you can, do a compression test on the engine and see if there are other cylinders that are already weak.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I hope to avoid the issue. The plug looked reasonable and I don't have a cylinder pressure tester and my threshold for having a dealer look at it is a bit higher than many...I'm sure there are some good people who work in dealerships but anytime I visit one, I feel like I need a shower.
 

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Most local parts stores will free-rent a compression tester. You leave a deposit on your credit card, charge is waived when you bring it back.

Is the car using any oil? That's another a telltale of piston ring damage and cylinder leak-by.

"The plug looked reasonable"... From the broken insulator, cylinder three has definitely been suffering from detonation. Plus there's oil on the plug threads at the chamber end. Similar oil on numbers one and two, although the insulators appear to still be intact. Check the compression.

You can buy a pretty inexpensive ((under $30) mini inspection camera with a wifi connection. Then watch the image on your phone-tablet-PC after logging into the camera host page. Detonation causes a very specific and telltale "bloom" pattern in the piston top deposits. Broken rings often scratch the cylinder walls, although you may need to carefully manually rotate the crankshaft to expose them for the camera. Clockwise rotation from the crank nose.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Those are good suggestions dr bob. Thank you.

For the sake of clarity, the plugs imaged are not mine. My #3 plug was not damaged and only had a very small amount of black carbon scale I carefully removed. I've been checking the oil level each week and so far, it seems to not be using any. However, my daughter also isn't putting all that many miles on it using a tank of fuel every 2 weeks or so.
 
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