Variable cylinder management engine- Honda V6 (VCM)



How good are these engines and how do they work. Anyone out there own one or have any good or bad info on them?


My wifes 4 cyl has oil consumption issues. While talking to the dealer they told my wife that they were aware of an issue on the v6 for consumption but not mine. Something to do with the VCM. The fix was to disable or “reprogram” that feature. That’s the only knowledge I have. Take it with a grain of salt.


VCM is mostly availible on Hondas with the J35Z engine. The only 4 cylinder that has it is the one in the newer hybrid Civics. From what I’ve heard Honda’s VCM doesn’t have any long standing problems, it’s just that it’s not really effective in saving a meaningful amount of fuel. I do know that the radios in vehicles with VCM will pump in white noise to try to drown out the strange/uneven noises that the engine makes when running on 3 cylinders.


Thank you for your comments. I have been looking to purchase a 09-10 Odyssey But am just not sure about these vcm engines. Tough I have driven one at low speeds I did not notice any engine noise. Any other comments might be helpful please.


Don’t be afraid of a Honda motor with VCM. Don’t be afraid of Honda motors in general, arguably the largest manufacturer of motors (4stroke) and among the most reliable, in the entire world. Though I have my doubts about the effectiveness of VCM over other technologies, I would not let that be a factor in deciding whether to buy a Honda or not.


I am going to try to say this without sounding like I am a total shill for Honda.

Honda tends to be on the front lines where innovations like this are concerned, and VCM has been around a lot longer than you think. I would not worry about it. Honda usually tests new innovations in non-U.S. markets before they bring them here.


well people I have been doing a lot of checking about the VCM Honda Odyssey Van and It seems that they have been having many Problems with vibrations and a Shudder at certain speeds and at certain RPM. The following website has 37 pages of comments on among others a rear engine motor mount which appears to be poorly designed and collapses.
The website is . I was completely surprised at the amount of purchasers of this Van who would never buy another Honda product. Many were just plain disgusted with Honda and the way they were told that this vibration was normal, when it fact it was not. Some people spent literally thousands of dollars trying to isolate and correct this problem.

a Different site a clearly shows the rear motor mount, one bad one good and explains how to check for a bad one. I don’t know what to do now. I still would like a Odyssey, but I do not want half the problems some of these purchasers have encountered. Anyone else who want to add anything please do, but at this point I am blown away that a full scale recall has not been called for on these vans and the resulting problems with the VCM engines.


I generally agree with everyone here. From my understanding, Honda is the largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines. They have a strong reputation for reliability. We own a 2006 Odyssey with the VCM feature (this was the first year this feature was an option). Since 2006 they have improved VCM considerably by making it operate on 6,4, or 3 cylinders as opposed to just the 3 or 6 cylinder operation the older engines (including ours) had. It operates seamlessly, with no other way to tell that its operating other than a little “eco” light on the dashboard. The van has performed flawlessly so far, and it does exactly what you’d expect 100% of the time. I wouldn’t worry about it.


Thank you for your kind words. You can see i am hesitant to spend good money after reading so many horror stories. I have never owned a Honda, but have talked with many who have. all recommended them. I was mortified to read all the complaints on the Edmund’s site which I posted above. I (of Course) do not want to fall victim to the vibration which might not be there when I test drive the Odyssey, but may develop sometime in the near future. It is great to hear that yours has performed well for you, But after 37 pages of complaints about the same vibration, I must admit I am not sure if I am willing to take the chance on a unit which will develop this problem. Ant Ody owners out there want to convince me, i might be wrong?


It sounds to me like you have your mind made up. If I were in your shoes, I might stay away from the new Odyssey. However, I might consider a used one if it checks out and doesn’t have any of the issues sited by the folks you mention.

It’s quite possible the source of the vibration is something other than VCM. Honda owners can have unrealistic expectations. Many of us love our Hondas so much, we boast about them, and Honda has cultivated its reputation based on reliability and longevity, rather than managing expectations. Also, many disgruntled Honda owners are quick to blame Honda for behavior of dealership personnel.


That’s the problem I have not made up my mind yet. I think for my money the odyssey is the best van that meets my needs. I just want to make sure that I am not a sadomasochist.One thing I do know If I purchase one I will be getting the extended Warranty which was also recommended by many. I also think if you have time stop in at the Edmond’s site I posted and just read some of the comments. You might be surprised as
I at what you will read?


Will an extended warranty protect you from something Honda says is “normal?” I am not so sure it will. Make sure you read the fine print.


Since I started this post I have learned that the question I should of asked was How are the Honda Odyssey and Not how is the VCM engine. It appears from everything I researched the engines are OK it’s the Torque Converter and trannys attached to those engine’s that are in need of some redesign. a simple google of Odyssey transmission problem, revealed many more problems with the Honda Odyssey. From Everything I have read and posted the Honda Odyssey is just a problem waiting to be purchased. I will fall back on my 2nd choice which will be the Toyota Sienna. Not what I want but I can not see in buying a vehicle that comes with many problems. What say you?


I have a 2005 Odyssey with 82k miles and VCM. The dealer says to eliminate vibration problems I need to replace the rear motor mount ($855 plus tax) and he is also recommending replacement of the right motor mount ($199 plus tax). Honda service bulletin 06-083 explains the problem with the rear mount.

In my 45+ years of driving I have never had a motor mount go bad and Honda’s charges are absurd. The small amount of money I have saved on gas will never cover the costs of this repair. The zone office refused to help. I will never own another Honda.


And there it is. Thank you for your reply but understand that if the problem is not fixed by the motor mount then they will start looking at software updates then torque converters and transmissions, Oh MY.

I have posted sites above where hundreds and hundreds of Owners have expressed their dissatisfaction with Honda. I suspect that there are Thousands and Thousands of Odyssey owners out there trying to figure out a fix. I sent a letter to Honda’s Vice president asking for a explanation of these defects. Haven’t heard back from him yet. Next letter to Consumer Reports, How did they get this all wrong?
Good Luck please let me know how it all turns out.


I have had Honda motorcycles (including several of the turbocharged '82 models) and Honda leads the way in engine design. Variable valves were developed and popularized by Honda as were many engine refinements.

Now onto the Odyssey. This isn’t Honda’s best product IMO. In fact, the Civic has been the most reliable bullet proof model in Honda’s lineup. Still compared to other vans the Odyessy is a good van. I wouldn’t worry about the VCM motor. You are likely to feel a shutter now and again, but that’s about all. The motor mount is a separate issue and is likely a bad design that Honda either has fixed or will address. I think the weakest component on the Odyssey is the transmission which is simply overworked as the Odyessy is a big heavy vehicle pushing a lot of air at 70 mph.

Of the vans the Sienna might be the most trouble free, but the AWD version is to be avoided. The Odyssey is next in reliability, but I’d make sure to have the trans serviced every 30K miles.