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2000 honda cr-v valve job?

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.

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.

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.

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!)

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?

Also: any idea what a complete valve job should cost at a local shop in central California?


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.

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.

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.

Would have been great to know the TSB that you were using. I have the exact same issue with my 2000 CRV…garage says probably one burnt out valve…$2k to fix. Could not find the TSB you were talking about on the Honda TSB site.

I have read several threads concerning Honda’s & valve adjustment . I assume that these Honda’s have solid lifters . Is there a particular reason due to engine design or something that Honda is still using solid lifters ?

My Corolla uses solid lifters, and I check the valve clearances every 30-50K, in over 200K has never needed a valve adjusted. One is on the hairy edge of the spec though, a little loose. My old VW Rabbit never needed a valve adjusted either, in over 160K miles, solid lifters.

@Dhump, this is the bulletin for valve adjustment/valve failure;

You can expect the repair to cost what you were quoted. There is little chance of Honda to pay for this on a 17 year old vehicle, George had this repaired 7 years ago and warranty coverage at that age/mileage is had to believe.

I can only speak of older Hondas and my current '06 Corolla/Matrix.
The '75, '81, '85 and '88 Hondas used an adjusting screw and locknut on each rocker arm.
IIRC the '75 called for check/adjust every 15k miles, the others 30k.
It was a pretty easy DIY job and I found they were occasionally near the edge of spec at those intervals.
If I owned a newer Honda with this rocker arm arrangement I’d check the clearances at 30k if done myself, 60k if I were paying a shop, not 105k.

My Toyota has no rocker arms; cams directly over the valves.
This arrangement, being simpler, seems to hold it’s clearances better over time.
Clearance is easy to check, but adjustment involves cam removal and lifter changing.
Toyota recommends an audible check at 60k.
I did a feeler gauge measurement at 58k and 10 years (along with a bunch of other PM.
One intake is at the loose end of spec; I can live with that.

I have checked the valve adjustment on my 1999 Honda Civic EX every time I have changed the plugs - about every 30,000 miles. Every time several of the valves needed adjusting. The car just went over 170,000 miles and runs very well. Time for a new air filter, manual trans fluid and brake fluid.

Just curious how that engine is configured? Is the valve adjustment done by a simple adjustment of a screw somewhere? On my 70’s Rabbit & 90’s Corolla, to adjust the valves you have to push the lifter down a little to relieve the spring tension, then remove the existing shim and insert another of different thickness. The shim rests on top of the lifter, so to push the valve down you need a tool that only pushes on the edge of the lifter, otherwise you couldn’t remove the shim. So it’s somewhat involved and not something you’d do unless the valve clearance measurement was clearly out of spec. There’s no need to remove the camshaft to adjust the valves on either of those engines, so that’s a plus.

The reason I ask is b/c if the manufacturer knows adjusting the valve is a simple process of turning a screw, no big deal, so they spec tighter limits on the clearances; hence the need for more routine valve adjustments on that design than the Rabbit/Corolla.

2010 Insight currently 65K, screw adjusters, first check supposedly at 100K, have to remove the intake manifold to do it.


Only tools needed are a screwdriver, a small (10mm?) wrench, and feeler gauges. I use go-nogo feeler gauges. You have to turn the engine carefully. If I recall correctly I use a big socket on the nut that holds the harmonic balancer in place.

I have not had to replace the valve cover gasket ever: just clean the surfaces and torque it correctly.

Mechanical lash should be checked and adjusted as needed at least every 30k miles and preferably about a 1000 or so miles after new car break-in or after a valve job has been performed.

I don’t mean this in an arrogant way but I’ve probably checked and adjusted more valves than this collective board has (both screw and bucket/shim) and the ones I’ve run into that were dead on or acceptably close are in the very distinct minority. One or more almost always needs to be tweaked and especially so if the car has seen hard driving or chronic overheating.

It’s simply because most of what I’ve worked on over the years (be it cars, motorcycle, or aircraft) had solid lifter engines.
Just sheer weight of numbers.

On some Toyotas, I’ve removed those shims WITHOUT any special tools whatsoever

I carefully pushed the bucket down, and retrieved the shim with a magnet