How To Disable Honda VCM: Easiest and Most Effective Way

If you’re wondering how to disable Honda VCM, the easiest way is with a disabler kit, which is affordable and straightforward to install. You can use a simple resistor or OBDII plug-and-play kit with simple installation instructions on the packaging.

How To Disable Honda VCM

And before we end our guide, we will also tell you how to tell whether your kit is working after installation Please catch the full details below. .

How To Deactivate the VCM on Your Honda?

To deactivate the VCM on your Honda, you need an OBDII plug or a resistor. Both are plug-and-play tools. The former makes the ECU think that the engine is running at a higher RPM than it actually is, while the latter reduces the voltage going to the VCM solenoid.

VCM stands for Variable Cylinder Management. According to Honda, VCM is a fuel-saving feature available on some Honda vehicles. The technology improves fuel efficiency by deactivating one-third or half of the cylinders based on your driving conditions.

In other words, the system shuts off some cylinders temporarily when your vehicle can maintain speed using just a few. For example, that could be when driving on the highway. In addition to saving fuel, the VCM reduces emissions.

As mentioned, this technology is only found on select Honda models, specifically those with V-type engines. They include Honda Odyssey, Pilot, Crosstour, and Acura vehicles. The VCM is also available on Honda Ridgeline.

It’s easy to find out if a Honda vehicle is equipped with the system as vehicles with it usually have a badge on the rear that reads “VCM.” If you don’t see the badge on the back of the vehicle, you should find it on the engine cover. You can also consult the user manual to be sure.

Besides its advantages, some drivers find the VCM noisy and intrusive. Fortunately, you can disable it using a suitable VCM disabler. Take note that only Honda models manufactured from 2013 and later have a switch to deactivate VCM. For prior models, you must use a disabler and as mentioned, there are two types of disablers, including:

  • OBDII Plug and Play

The OBDII plug is one of the popular ways to disable VCM. It’s a plug-and-play kit. Once you buy and plug it in, the kit fools the engine control unit (ECU) into thinking that the engine is operating at a lower RPM than it really is. That causes the ECU to deactivate the VCM.

Plugging and Playing OBDII

You can try the VCM tuner 2 kits, readily available in most auto parts stores. Additionally, the kit is user-friendly, and, as mentioned, you’ll find installation instructions on the packaging. You can also purchase a VCM Muzzler harness (VCMuzzler II) for the Honda 3.5L V6 engine to counter the effects of disabling the VCM. The tool is compatible with the Honda Acura 2014 and later, Pilot 2010 and later, Accord 2009 and later, Ridgeline 2008 and later, and Odyssey 2008 and later.

According to the manufacturer, the kit helps to prevent some Honda Pilot VCM problems associated with disabling VCM. These include driveline vibration due to the unbalanced engine running, excessive fuel consumption, engine misfire, plug scaling, and engine bracket wear.

  • A Resistor Kit

Another Honda VCM disable tool is a simple resistor kit. Most people install these resistors themselves. And for anyone wondering how to turn off VCM on Honda Accord cheaply, using a resistor is the way.
A resistor kit lowers the voltage that goes to the VCM solenoid. That causes the ECU to disable the VCM.

Using Resistor Kit

Before buying any VCM disabling kit, ensure that local laws and regulations allow such modification. Additionally, it would help if you consulted your Honda dealer to determine if they have a specific kit they recommend.

As mentioned, you should follow the instructions that come with your best VCM disabler to install it on your vehicle. Once installed, you may notice a difference in your vehicle’s operation, such as increased engine vibration and noise. That’s normal and won’t harm your engine in any way. You may also realize a rise in fuel consumption.

Since VCM systems help improve your fuel economy, disabling it will sacrifice some of that. However, you can re-enable the system (in the future) by removing the kit. Note that deactivating your VCM will probably void your warranty. So, disable it at your own risk.

How To Know if a Newly Installed Honda VCM Disabler Works?

To know if a newly installed Honda VCM disabler works, pay attention to what often follows after the modification. You should notice an increased engine noise and vibration, especially when you start the engine. A ruined fuel economy is another obvious sign that your disabler kit works.

  • Increased Engine Noise and Vibration

One way to tell if your newly installed VCM deactivator works is to pay attention to how the engine runs. As mentioned, you should notice increased noise and vibration if the component works. That indicates the VCM system is turned off, and all the cylinders are firing simultaneously instead of only some.

Identifying Engine Noise and Vibration

The noises and vibrations will be noticeable, mostly when starting the engine after disabling the VCM. You may notice a sound that’s a little rough with unusually high vibrations, which disappears once the engine has warmed up.

  • Compromised Fuel Economy

If your VCM system disabler works fine, you’ll notice an increased fuel consumption. As explained, the system improves your fuel economy by temporarily deactivating cylinders when your vehicle doesn’t need them.

Calculating Fuel Economy

That’s a disadvantage because you’ll need to pay more at the fuel pump as the engine will unnecessarily burn a lot of gas. But on the bright side, disabling the VCM can reduce wear and tear by extending your engine’s life.


– Why Would It Be Illegal To Disable the Honda VCM?

It would be illegal to disable the Honda VCM because the system helps to reduce emissions by cutting down fuel consumption. When the system is inactive, your vehicle will probably consume more fuel and increase its carbon footprint, causing more harm to the environment.

Does Cylinder Deactivation Really Save Fuel?

The cylinder deactivation really saves fuel, and sometimes in large amounts, if your driving conditions are favorable. This fuel efficiency improvement stems from a reduction in pumping work due to reduced airflow through the engine. You can expect 17 to 40 percent fuel savings.

– Why Does VCM Cause Engine Misfire?

The VCM causes an engine misfire when it disengages as the engine tries to clear the cylinder of oil. This problem has caused premature failure of spark plugs, engine mounts, catalytic converters, and other essential components. Fortunately, the misfiring issue on the newer Honda models is rare.

– Can Disabling Your VCM Help To Fix Honda V6 Engine Problems?

Disabling your VCM may help to fix Honda V6 engine problems, especially on some older models. These include misfires, premature failure of spark plugs and engine mounts, and torque converter issues. You can also resolve some of these problems by installing aftermarket parts.

Is There an Easy Way to Disable the VCM on a Honda?

If you are wondering whether there is an easy way to disable the VCM on a Honda, you may come across advice on how to disable Toyota Highlander alarm, which is unrelated. However, finding an easy method to disable the Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system in a Honda vehicle requires specific knowledge and expertise.


You now know how to disable your Honda VCM, and it’s easy, as discussed in our guide above.

We will leave you with a summary:

  • To disable a Honda’s VCM, you’ll require an ideal disabler kit.
  • There are two types of kits in the market: an OBD II plug and a resistor kit.
  • The OBD II plug fools the ECM into thinking that the engine is running at a lower RPM than it is.
  • A resistor does the trick by cutting down the voltage sent to the VCM solenoid, which causes the ECU to disable the system.
  • When you install the kit, you may notice increased fuel consumption, engine noise, and vibrations.

You’ve discovered how to disable VCM on Honda Pilot, Odyssey, and other models equipped with the technology. Now choose one of the above methods and execute it on your vehicle.

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