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16 of 16 people found this review helpful
VCM (variable cylinder managment) misfire, engine light flashing
By jarred on
Vehicle
2009 Honda Accord EX V-6 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
Review
I'm posting this review for those who had problems with the VCM/engine misfire. It happened to us last week. Without a warning the car started stuttering and the flashing engine light came on. It sounded to me like a timing/sparkplugs problem. We found some scary info about class action suit against Honda due to the engine design problem. Took it to Honda dealer. They replaced 4 out of 6 sparkplugs and updated the car software. I talked to the shop foreman (yes, you have to insist on it, though the reception girl will first tell you that mechanics don't talk to customers, WHY??). This is what the foreman told me:
Favorite Features
1. this happens when you do a lot of highway driving (true, we recently came from 1000 mile road trip through MT, ID and BC). As you drive on a highway (as opposed to city) the car stays in ECO mode a lot. That is "unbalanced stress on the cylinders" (my wording) when 4 cylinders do all the work and 2 are resting. Yes ECO is 4, not 3 cylinders he told me. 2. The updated software takes care of that by periodically turning on all of the cylinders (even if they don't have to work) to keep things balanced, or as he put it: to give the cylinders a chance to clear. BTW, there is no problem with VSA. it's just when engine misfires VSA cannot work. so the VSA sign flashes on dashboard too.
Suggested Improvements
3. sparkplugs in 2009 accord V6 need to be changed every 100,000 miles anyways, we were coming on to 70,000 miles. So our sparkplugs failed a little early, due to the extra stress of the ECO mode. 4. Coils were fine. I'm considering carrying and couple of sparkplugs with us on long trips, since once the flashing engine light comes on you shouldn't drive or the catalytic convertor could get damaged-although I trust that the software updated takes care of the issue. However I'm also intending on "helping the engine" by putting occasional stepping on the gas and then breaking, to take it out of the ECO mode on long highway stretches. ok, I hope this helps somebody.
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By jedi84
on 10/24/14 07:49 AM (PDT)

Jarred- thanks for the info- could you tell me if the dealer charged you anything for this repair?? thanks

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