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Old 04-22-2012, 6:33 PM   #1
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2013 RDX -- VCM, vibrations, oil consumption?

Hello All,

Test drove and loved the 2013 RDX so I started to do some research. I read a lot of complaints about oil consumption and engine vibration related to VCM in other Honda models. I also read about failing active motor mounts, but one source claims that the mounts have been redesigned. Most of those posts are from Odyssey and Accord forums, but it was hard to find complaints related to 2012 models.

Does anyone know if the V6 in the new RDX still suffers from oil consumption issues, if there have been any changes to the engine in recent history, etc?

Thanks
Stephen
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Old 04-22-2012, 7:00 PM   #2
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Hey Stephen....

Thanks for bringing this point to my attention as I am a prospective buyer of an RDX too. I am still awaiting the arrival of the RDX as its not even built yet so this will give me time to see what the consensus will be. I do have some faith the Honda/Acura that they would have taken previous problems and remedied the situation. Time will tell....

The Q5 is always in the back of my mind as a back up plan.
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Old 04-23-2012, 9:14 AM   #3
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From other postings in this forum it sounds like the new RDX is using a redesigned set of engine mounts to address the engine vibration problems. As for the oil consumption I will have to let someone else chime in.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:38 PM   #4
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I went on our first out of town drive in the RDX this weekend. A few things I noticed:

Set the cruise at 75mph and after 40 miles was averaging about 27 mpg. At the end of the trip I averaged 67 mph and 27mpg. Very little traffic but kind of hilly (for Iowa).

I had the MPG screen up and the only way I could tell VCM kicked in was by looking at the live MPG screen that went from the low 20's to about 30. Same for when it went out.

For the 500 miles that my wife drove before this trip she had an average speed of 28mph and 21.4 mpg.Can't really complain about the gas mileage when my G35x Sedan with just 20 horsepower more only averages 21mpg with an average speed of around 40mph.
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Old 04-23-2012, 2:14 PM   #5
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buzzdsm,

Thanks for reporting on the mileage. Your new RDX seems to be averaging what my 3G TL is getting in city driving. On long roadtrips with mostly highway travel, I get about 28-30 mpg, so, again, similar.
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Old 04-24-2012, 7:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzdsm View Post
I went on our first out of town drive in the RDX this weekend. A few things I noticed:

Set the cruise at 75mph and after 40 miles was averaging about 27 mpg. At the end of the trip I averaged 67 mph and 27mpg. Very little traffic but kind of hilly (for Iowa).

I had the MPG screen up and the only way I could tell VCM kicked in was by looking at the live MPG screen that went from the low 20's to about 30. Same for when it went out.

For the 500 miles that my wife drove before this trip she had an average speed of 28mph and 21.4 mpg.Can't really complain about the gas mileage when my G35x Sedan with just 20 horsepower more only averages 21mpg with an average speed of around 40mph.
Encouraging. AWD or FWD?
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Old 04-24-2012, 7:34 AM   #7
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Awd
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Old 04-26-2012, 1:47 AM   #8
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Moved thread to the new 2nd gen RDX forum.
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Old 05-15-2012, 7:46 AM   #9
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Got the new 13 RDX and I recently filled her up with premium and after 80 miles of 85 hwy % and rest city I got 27.4 MPG on average....Its not an AWD
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Old 07-29-2012, 5:49 PM   #10
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Looks like oil consumption may still be an issue. Wife's rdx just turned 4k miles and it needed about 3/4 quart.
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Old 07-29-2012, 6:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzdsm View Post
Looks like oil consumption may still be an issue. Wife's rdx just turned 4k miles and it needed about 3/4 quart.
They'll probably tell you that is completely normal. I have to add 1/2 to 1 qt to my Subaru between oil changes (7,500 mi interval), and that is not at all unusual for their boxer engines. Our Q5 hasn't used a drop, but there are plenty of documented cases where oil consumption is an issue for Audi's 2.0T engine. Audi service advisers have been instructed to tell customers that anything up to and including one quart every 1,000 miles is considered acceptable(!). Yikes!!!
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Old 07-29-2012, 7:05 PM   #12
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They'll probably tell you that is completely normal. I have to add 1/2 to 1 qt to my Subaru between oil changes (7,500 mi interval), and that is not at all unusual for their boxer engines. Our Q5 hasn't used a drop, but there are plenty of documented cases where oil consumption is an issue for Audi's 2.0T engine. Audi service advisers have been instructed to tell customers that anything up to and including one quart every 1,000 miles is considered acceptable(!). Yikes!!!
As you mentioned, it is normal for boxer engines to burn some oil. A friend has a 2009 911 and it burns some oil between services. I have a BMW R1200R motorcycle which is a twin boxer and it also burns a little oil. My buddy and I did a 2200 mile trip through Ontario Canada and my bike used 250ml of oil. Not too bad at all.
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Old 07-29-2012, 7:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Looks like oil consumption may still be an issue. Wife's rdx just turned 4k miles and it needed about 3/4 quart.
Do you manually take out the oil stick to check your oil level or does it tell you on the MID (Oil life)? Just curious cuz I NEVER added oil to ANY of my prior cars since I've been driving (outside of scheduled oil changes).
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:27 PM   #14
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Any of you guys running m1?
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:55 AM   #15
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Is the oil consumption caused by VCM technology? Because a NA V6 shouldn't use any noticable oil when new.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:05 AM   #16
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I did quite a bit of internet research on the vibration and oil consumption issue before purchasing my RDX. As others have said, Honda addressed the vibration issue with revised motor mounts. (BTW - the vibration and motor mount problems were typically in the 70k mile plus range) The oil consumption issues were apparently solved in 2012 by going to the tri-mode cylinder mgmt (3, 4 and 6 cyl operation), engine management software revisions and changes to the rings and piston coatings. As a result of the later change, Honda advises that the factory fill oil should not be changed until the MID shows remaining oil life at 10 to 15%. It is hard to say from internet postings how prevalent the problem was but it clearly was an issue for some owners. I personally think the problem is fixed, hence my purchase. As for buzzdsm observed oil consumption, there are several posts on various forums where oddy owners saw similar consumption on the factory fill that ended after their first oil change. May very well just be initial break-in rather than VCM. Lets hope
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Old 07-30-2012, 2:29 PM   #17
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It seems like you can go to any carmaker's forum and see posts about oil consumption. I think it's just the luck of the draw.

Also manufacturers don't build cars to burn oil, so it's not "normal" in my opinion. I also realize they can't replace 500 engines a quarter because of a 0.5 quart per 3000 miles either.
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Old 07-30-2012, 3:35 PM   #18
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I have the '12 Acccord V6. No issues. No oil consumption....but, just to cover all doubts and questions. Oil consumption, in itself, is NOT the end of the world. Often, it is based on the manufacturer of a certain engine and some actually will tell you during break in that there will be some consumption.
The "industry standard" has been, for a long time, any consumption....up to 1 quart in 1,000 miles is acceptable and doesn't necessarily mean there is anything wrong. My Ford Mustang V8's would use some oil especially when breaking in. No big deal.

For the most part, Honda engines are not known to burn much oil. It's all by design. Again, it's in the engineering by a certain engine manufacturer on how tight they set the piston rings, what type of liners, or liner materials...or coating that are used....compresssion ratio....the list goes on.

My '12 Accord V6 is still at the full mark at close to 1,000 miles.
And to the person asking IF they should pull their oil dipstick out and check it......uhhhhhh.........YEAH. Do NOT depend on the MID for that. That's not what it's for. The dipstick is there for a reason. Check it once a month or more. Not hard to do. Tells you exactly how in your Manual.
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Old 07-30-2012, 6:27 PM   #19
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Dorsey and Colorado Guy -- Good insights, here, thanks! So as to the original oil fill and changing it at the 10-15% mark. In asking someone at the service dept, they are saying there is no such thing as break-in oil, and the recommendation to change the oil at 10-15% sounds more like that's when all oil changes should be done? Or is there some value to leaving it in? Hear people talking of seating the rings and all, but wouldn't any oil do this, including the replacement oil?

I'm trying to find out whether it makes sense to change oil at the 1000 mile mark or so and go to a full synthetic. Some folks swear you need to do this to get rid of metal shavings and all, think this is likely more an old wives tale that isn't relevant with more modern engines and finer build tolerences.

So what is the concensus on doing an early oil change in advance of the MID alert? Note I do pretty low miles, maybe 7500 a year. want to keep this one a long time, but also don't want to screw it up.
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Old 07-30-2012, 6:32 PM   #20
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Nevermind...seeing an answer in another thread...
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Old 07-30-2012, 8:05 PM   #21
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Nevermind...seeing an answer in another thread...
Just to follow up in case anyone else is interested, I see 2 similar, but slightly different claims in the numerous threads I have examined. One is that the new coating on the pistons is a moly coating and the other is that the oil itself contains moly. In both cases, the claim is that the moly is important in helping to seat the rings and that is why they want the factory fill oil circulating for an extended period.
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Old 07-30-2012, 8:34 PM   #22
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Good thoughts all. I had talked to a Regional Service Tech and an engine expert who had talked to the Honda Motor Corp. engine engineers. He was responding to my questions back when I was buying Hondas...starting in 2007. The Honda engines...and that includes Acuras....have very close tolerances now. Thus the lower viscosity oils being used. And that they do call the oil put in at the factory a "break in oil" due to those tight tolerances. And to leave them, as stated before until the MID's tell you it's time.

IF you change early...you technically could be going against what the engine design engineers know better than we do about what's needed........and the somewhat minor issue....is that the MID on some Hondas and maybe some Acuras...not sure on the Acuras....will be "off" due to the early resetting on the oil change....for some other maintenance issues.

One time when I changed early on a Honda CRV...we didn't reset the MID....and waited to set it the next change which came early...so then, the two times equalled approx. what the mileage would have been at 15%.

But, the basic guidance on the 15% MID oil change is the same for Honda vehicles and Acura vehicles.
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Old 07-31-2012, 1:45 PM   #23
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To be honest, when I added 3/4 of a quart it was the first time I had checked the oil. I was filling the wiper fluid and thought to myself "May as well check the oil". I was a little surprised to see it low but not real worried. I believe I used 0w-20 or whatever the manual said. With 4K miles miles the oil thing-a-magig says 50%. I'll probably wait until 5K or so and than take it in for an oil change.

Just an update on gas mileage. After driving 4K miles it has averaged a little over 23mpg. This is nearly as good as her old Nissan Rogue with 120 less horsepower, a CVT trans, and a lot smaller.
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Old 07-31-2012, 4:17 PM   #24
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Just thinking out loud - without VCM even when you coast or idle the spark and fuel are always there doing a combustion with pressure in the cylinder.

What happens when the cylinder is completely off, I wonder if without cylinder pressure would some oil gets drawn into the cylinder.

It's good they changed the piston and rings design to counter this, but it seems that the oil was escaping through the rings to begin with.

It's not a bad idea to check the oil level every thousand mile or so, on any car really..
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Old 07-31-2012, 6:31 PM   #25
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The combustion chamber does remain pressurized because the valves are closed in the deactivated cylinders (however, that pressure is not needed to seal the rings as they rely on side pressure). It seems odd that Honda would want the valves closed as that means they are meeting resistance as they compress air above the piston. However, they get most of that energy back on the downstroke as the compressed air pushes the piston down. Anyway, here is a good explanation from Honda on how it works

http://world.honda.com/automobile-technology/VCM/

Last edited by Dorsey; 07-31-2012 at 6:33 PM.
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Old 07-31-2012, 6:36 PM   #26
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How do they stop the valves completely like that..
normally it is controlled by lobes of the camshaft.
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Old 07-31-2012, 6:46 PM   #27
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How do they stop the valves completely like that..
normally it is controlled by lobes of the camshaft.
There is a moveable pin that joins the two piece rocker arm together. It is hydraulically activated. When the pin is in place the cam lobe moves the valves, when the pin is withdrawn the cam only moves one piece of the rocker arm and does not move the valves. They remain closed due to the valve springs.

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Old 08-02-2012, 5:25 PM   #28
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I just checked my oil at 1500 miles and it is full. However, I noticed something interesting about checking the oil. The end of the dipstick has a weighted projection with cross hatching between a circular ridge at the bottom and another at the top. Because the 0-20w oil flows so easily, the oil "pools" on the bottom ridge and creates a visible line at the 3/4 quart low point. However, if you look closely at the cross hatching you can see the oil actually extends much higher up the cross hatched area and is not low. My oil was so clean I had to hold the dipstick parallel to a light to see it was actually full. I am sure we all know how to check oil but the low viscosity oil and design of the dipstick means you need to look twice.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:46 PM   #29
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The combustion chamber does remain pressurized because the valves are closed in the deactivated cylinders (however, that pressure is not needed to seal the rings as they rely on side pressure). It seems odd that Honda would want the valves closed as that means they are meeting resistance as they compress air above the piston. However, they get most of that energy back on the downstroke as the compressed air pushes the piston down. Anyway, here is a good explanation from Honda on how it works

http://world.honda.com/automobile-technology/VCM/
Fascinating technology! If you look at the animation, the valves deactivate at the top of the exhaust stroke. So, there should be very little pressure in the cylinder at the top of the next "compression" stroke. Therefore, the deactivated cylinders are just "idling" at low pressure.

Regards, Jim
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:49 AM   #30
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I noticed something interesting about checking the oil. The end of the dipstick has a weighted projection with cross hatching between a circular ridge at the bottom and another at the top. Because the 0-20w oil flows so easily, the oil "pools" on the bottom ridge and creates a visible line at the 3/4 quart low point. However, if you look closely at the cross hatching you can see the oil actually extends much higher up the cross hatched area and is not low. My oil was so clean I had to hold the dipstick parallel to a light to see it was actually full. I am sure we all know how to check oil but the low viscosity oil and design of the dipstick means you need to look twice.
That's a great tip. It's pretty easy to misread a dipstick in a virgin engine. (I would never call it a virgin engine within earshot of my RDX, of course.)
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Old 08-03-2012, 1:55 PM   #31
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That's a great tip. It's pretty easy to misread a dipstick in a virgin engine. (I would never call it a virgin engine within earshot of my RDX, of course.)
Once it has the dipstick in, is not virgin anymore!
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Old 08-03-2012, 2:09 PM   #32
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Once it has the dipstick in, is not virgin anymore!
I couldn't have said it better myself! *LMAO*
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Old 08-04-2012, 12:23 AM   #33
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Once it has the dipstick in, is not virgin anymore!
A valid point. I stand corrected!
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:42 PM   #34
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2013 RDX Engin Shutter

I just leased an 2013 RDX and have been experiencing a very annoying engine shutter. Basically once you are going a steady spead (anywhere between 40 and70Km/hr) the VCM kicks in and you get a free massage (The vibration can be very strong). I only have 600 Kilometers on the RDX and have told my dealer they can take it back, Who in there right mind would think that spending $45,000 on a SUV that vibrates would be acceptable. This is my first Acura and more then likly my last, very, very disapointed. Now the fight begins for them to take it back. wish me luck.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:48 PM   #35
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do not buy an RDX you will be very disapointed with the engin shutter
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Old 02-23-2013, 1:33 PM   #36
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Dea...While I can appreciate your frustration, don't give up hope. Acura will likely do a TSB to deal with this problem and if not, while frustrating, it is not a reliability issue that will leave you stranded. People have been using the sport mode to minimize this shutter issue at that narrow speed band that causes the situation. I see you are also from Canada...I noticed its worse with colder temperatures so it will not be noticeable, or very minimal, once the warmer weather returns...
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Old 02-23-2013, 4:54 PM   #37
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Important to put things in perspective...this is NOT a universal issue, trust me. I have never felt any vibration, and in fact have never even been able to tell when the VCM is kicking in/out.
Dealer needs to determine cause, and then fix, period.
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Old 02-23-2013, 6:22 PM   #38
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^^^ For me, it seems to happen when its really cold and a very narrow speed band, almost like the rpm is too low (between 60-70 Km/h) then all I do is just tap the gas a bit more and its gone. Again, the VCM at highway speed is not an issue at all....it is just is I am driving at a that steady speed of 60-70 so again, not even a concern for me.
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Old 02-23-2013, 9:08 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Stump View Post
Important to put things in perspective...this is NOT a universal issue, trust me. I have never felt any vibration, and in fact have never even been able to tell when the VCM is kicking in/out.
Dealer needs to determine cause, and then fix, period.
Exactly my experience.

Regards, Jim
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Old 02-23-2013, 9:08 PM
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