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Discussion Starter #1
Honda calls it Variable Cylinder Management. The service rep here at the local dealer tells me that all of these 3.5's have it. They switch from 2 to 4 to 6 back to 4 to 2 - many times during each trip. I thought this feature was not present, and still can't find any proof that it is present, except for one thing.

One of my motor mounts was leaking, which means it had liquid of some sort in it. To me, having faced this issue with a 2013 Honda Pilot, a liquid filled motor mount is prima facie evidence of the presence of variable firing. The engines jerk so badly when deleting or adding cylinders, a special motor mount was required to absorb the blow.

See the sticker for the vehicle attached. I see no mention of this feature, unless it is camouflaged by some creative reference I don't understand.

You would guess correctly that I despise these schemes.

So, is the 3.5 afflicted with this feature? I don't think so.
 

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For what it's worth, those terms are not mentioned in the Engine Control System section of the Pathfinder service manual.
 

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Yeah I think that service rep isn't firing on all cylinders. No VQ35 has active cylinder management that I've ever seen or heard of. Variable intake runners yes.

He is most certainly confusing this engine with the Honda V6s.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
He seems to be a good guy. He certainly helped me out on more than a few things that I wouldn't have picked up on. I've got two new lower control arms, new radiator fans, and a new motor mount because of him. The fact he says these engines have variable firing when they don't isn't something I am going to hold against him. I am too glad they don't have this BS feature that I easily can let this go.

There are far more people that are 100% certain than are correct. It's a nasty byproduct of the internet.

When you are green you are growing. When you are ripe, you rot.
 

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You can't expect a service adviser to know everything. That's a bit beyond their pay grade IMO I'm not knocking the guy, just attempting to be funny.

I had one recently tell me the Nissan Frontier and Titan used CVTs when I know they do not. I just let'em talk.

The only problem with misinformation in this realm is when they (mistakenly) use that to sell products/services to customers.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My 2013 Honda Pilot has the letter "VCM" molded into the cover on top of the motor. Checking in at the Piloteers forum (yes, - Piloteers) it turns out that VCM stands for Variable Cylinder Management. It is one of the major topics of the forum. The great news is that more than a few of the entrepreneurially motivated participants have developed actual workarounds to defeat the system. The one I installed involves inserting a a designed for this purpose solenoid which prevents the engine from ever deciding it has hit 170 degrees, which is the point that the VCM system kicks in. Take that Honda.

It works like a Singer Sewing Machine.

I am relieved to know that Nissan hasn't yet devoted the resources to force this POS system into the Pathfinder. I for now can just wonder how my lower control arms failed after only 99,500 miles and wonder if this CVT Transmission is going to get me to the grocery store and back.

You can't expect a service adviser to know everything. That's a bit beyond their pay grade IMO I'm not knocking the guy, just attempting to be funny.

I had one recently tell me the Nissan Frontier and Titan used CVTs when I know they do not. I just let'em talk.

The only problem with misinformation in this realm is when they (mistakenly) use that to sell products/services to customers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I do. They are a necessary component of today's high volume get them in and get them out mega dealer. Gone are the days when you would pull up and the mechanic would look up form under the hood and exclaim "Hey man, what's the problem?". Getting something fixed was more likely to happen, in my opinion, when you could talk directly to the person that was going to fix it.

I actually told my service advisor this when checking in the Pathfinder. I think it went something like this, "Look, I am telling you this list of things that I want done, and you are going to tell the Senior Tech to "Just check it out". Note that the word mechanic is no longer used. They are all now "Techs". The pay is the same, but it sounds better - I guess.

I go over today to have the Tech address how he did the spark plug job without leaving a fingerprint in the totally undisturbed and quite dusty engine compartment. That should be an experience.

I have no intention of burning any bridges. I do intend to hold the fellow accountable. Frankly, I think they didn't intentionally omit the task - I think they just forgot to do it. Interestingly, I laid off this job on them because I was told you have to pull the intake to change the plugs. Everything under the hood I can see had to come out. I got charged for an intake gasket. Yet, not one sign of access.

We will see.
 

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It will be interesting to find out if they really did the spark plug replacement and how they heck they did it with the engine bay as you describe.

The front lower control arm thing is frustrating, but you got more mileage out of them than you would a typical domestic vehicle. I assume the rubber was starting to tear at the joints on yours and they pointed it out because it's easy money. Many times you could drive them another 20-30K miles before you'd get any clunking or driveability concerns.

I hear you on the VCM. Very glad the VQ35's don't have it. I haven't come to grips with the direct injection my 2019's has yet and the problems that can arise with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am back from the dealer with assurances in the strongest of terms that the spark plug job was done. I didn't make them pull a plug. I will do that this weekend. I talked face to face with the mechanic (he prefers "tech") and I told him that if he says he did it, then I would take his word for it. In explaining why there was zero sign of access on an otherwise dirty and dusty engine compartment, he explained that as a technician he is highly trained to leave the engine compartment as he found it. I responded by saying why don't you just touch everything and get a **** rag and wipe the f&%*ing dirt off? He said that he just can't do that. It was a real mystical moment.

I did get some substantial help from Nissan on replacing the sub-performing right bank cat. In the process of replacing the cat, a bolt was sheared off the exhaust manifold, so I ended up with a new exhaust manifold on that side of the engine. Good times.

It was overall a good exercise. The bottom line prices on all the work performed came out ot just under $6,000, of which I had to foot around $1,450. I am hoping I can get this 2015 Pathfinder with 99,500 miles on up to around 200,000 miles. It is one **** nice vehicle.
 
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