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I have a 2000 Honda CR-V with 140,000 miles. About a year ago, the check engine light started to come on from time to time. I took it to a shop which replaced the plugs and wires, and gave it a SMOG II test which it passed. Everything was fine for a while.
<br/> About five months ago the CEL starting coming on again. I checked the plugs and they looked fine. I had my hands full with other matters so didn't follow up.
<br/> About a two months ago, the car developed a rough idle and would occasionally stall at low speed. I've taken it to a reputable independent shop. They found codes for misfiring in cylinder #3 and in all cylinders. They've changed the plugs and checked the rest of the ignition system and the fuel injectors. The misfiring continues. The shop owner is recommending pulling off the valve cover and checking for damaged valves.
<br/> In parallel, I've found out that many Honda owners have experienced valve damage by following the recommended valve adjustment interval of 105,000 miles. As my car is out of warranty, I don't expect any help from Honda. (This is the last time I buy a Honda!)
<br/> My question is this: if one or two valves are damaged, what should I do? Just replace those valves? Or go for a complete valve job? Or get a remanufactured head? I was planning to keep the car for another two years, but not much longer. Advice?
<br/> Also: any idea what a complete valve job should cost at a local shop in central California?
<br/> Thanks!


  • edited September 2008
    First of all, has ALL required maintenance been done according to the Honda schedule? This would include valve adjustment, spark plugs, timing belt (if necessary), etc.

    I don't understand removing the valve cover to check for damaged valved. You can't see the business end of the valve unless you pull the head.

    Has anyone done a compression test and a leak-down test? This should tell you the condition of the valves without removing anything but the spark plugs.
  • edited September 2008
    It never turns out good when you drive 3 months with warning light on!!
    Crv exhaust values tighten up and need adjusted every 30000 or so this is pretty common and most shops have heard of this.
    You can have them adjusted and it may take care of it but if not you will have to pay to have alot of the same work to rebuild head.
  • Thanks for the replies. I thought it would be useful to let everyone know what eventually happened.

    I had the shop adjust the valves. When I picked up the car, the engine ran fine, but the shop advised me that if there had been valve damage, that the performance would deteriorate over time, and that the head would need to be rebuilt. They quoted me something like $1400 for the head rebuild.

    The engine ran well for about a month, but then started to run rough again. I did more digging and found a copy of a technical service bulletin regarding valve problems on my vehicle. I went to the Honda dealer in Tracy, CA and spoke with the service manager. I explained the problem and showed him the TSB. He had a mechanic look at the engine. The mechanic reported that the valves had been misadjusted - the intake valves were too loose, and the exhaust valves were too tight (or vice versa - I don't remember). He recommended that the valves be readjusted. The service manager also contacted Honda Corp. and they agreed to cover the cost of any further repairs, should they be necessary.

    I had them adjust the valves. The engine has been running great since then and is now at 156,000 miles with no problems.

    This is one time where the dealer's service department proved better and cost me less than the independent shop. Kudos to Honda of Tracy, CA!

  • The factory recommendations (Honda is not the only guilty one) about valve lash inspection intervals are totally bogus and this should be done every 30k miles.
    Even worse, and downright laughable, is the stated method of "audibly" inspecting lash.
    That statement is embarassingly incorrect and 110% dead wrong as there is not a mechanic on the face of the Earth who can determine lash with their ears, especially ones that are too tight.

    The problem you have right now is that once an engine has been run with tight valves (especially true of the exhaust valves) it's likely that in the future you will have problems with the cylinder head. It only takes a few miles of tight valves to create microscopic damage on the valve seats and valve faces. Readjusting the valves properly often turns out to be a crutch that will not last over the long term. How long that term is going to be is debateable.

    I do think the shop was going about this the wrong way. With a poorly running engine one should always run a compression test as a first step. This would have shown any tight valves at the start and one does not have to pull the head to check for this condition.
  • edited May 2011
    So I take it you will consider a Honda in your next purchase?

    The manual for my 2011 CRV calls for listening to the valves and decide if it needs adjustment. In recent history I have not needed valve adjustment for any other brand of car I have had, so is this a Honda thing and also how accurate could "listening" be, very subjective IMO.

    Apparently me and OK were typing at the same time, so seems like my thought that listening is BS has been validated.
  • Think non-new vehicle purchase...when you buy, you are buying the previous owner's ( cumulative) oil change intervals and policies with hyd lifters.

    With a Honda,to me, that 100K or so valve adjustment is a VERY small price to pay. If you do it when the TB/WP is changed, the added labor is minimal.

    BTW, 6 Civics (from a '76), and happily counting.
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