Can I rebuild engine by following service manual?

My car just reaches 200,000 miles and it’s still in great shape. Recently, it burns oil 1qt/1000 miles. The oil turns black quickly and has a gasoline smell. I consider replacing piston rings. Is it possible to follow the service manual to do it? What parts do I need to replace when tearing the engine apart at this mileage?
It’s 09 Honda Accord 3.5

You first need to know the make, model, year of a vehicle to determine if the engine is worth rebuilding.


Just replacing the piston rings will not solve anything. This kind of work is best done with the engine out of the vehicle . Plus do you even have the tools to do this and the room to keep all the parts you have to remove is an orderly fashion so you can find them . From your other threads I think maybe this might be out of your skill level.
You should get some ball park estimates on a professional engine rebuild with warranty .

I’d try and find a use low mileage engine first, it would be cheaper.

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Yes, it’s possible. And it is possible to only replace the piston rings and nothing else. I did that on a lawnmower engine once, did wonders for the ease of starting. Not sure if this can be done on your car w/the engine installed though. If it can be done w/the engine installed you’d have to disconnect the piston rods from the crankshaft (remove the oil pan) , remove the cylinder head, then push the rods & pistons out the top of the engine. If the cylinder head remains in good shape, no valve work needed, bores are in good shape, and everything that is supposed to be flat is flat you just put it all together and back on the road. That’s a lot of “if’s”, but such a thing is possible.

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Rebuilding a late model front wheel drive engine is WAAAAAY beyond beginner DIY work. Just removing and re-installing such an engine requires a great deal of training, experience and equipment and virtually nothing worthwhile can be accomplished with the engine in the car.

I would suggest that you closely inspect, clean and repair the crankcase vent system as needed and change the oil immediately and change it more often while continuing to drive while looking for a low mileage used engine and a shop to install it.

If you had a 1964 Nova with a 6 cylinder engine that you could do without for a few weeks tackling it could be quite rewarding.


I was going to say something similar, that your first engine rebuild should be done under close supervision by someone who has done one before. A shop manual wouldn’t provide nearly enough guidance.

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How good of shape is that car in? ATK makes really good reman engines that would probably go another 100k. You’re looking at more than $5000.00 for engine though (all that VTEC stuff ain’t cheap). All that is out the window though of tranny is questionable (has the fluid been changed regularly?) or there is rust…

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At 200k miles you can safely bet the crank journals, cylinder bores, and so on are out of spec.

New round rings in an excessively tapered and egged cylinder bore means they won’t last as long. Same for tapered and egged crank journals.

If you have never done engine work before you will probably end up disappointed with the results. A proper build means a lot of specialty tools and $$$$$.

With oil that smells like gasoline you should consider a faulty fuel pressure regulator as the cause. In some cases low compression and/or ignition misses can cause this.


As the saying goes, if you have to ask…


One more thing-what if you go through all this work, and the the tranny dies a day or a month later?

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You folks seem to be on the Doubting Thomas side of things today :wink:

Nah, I’m on the “no effin’ way” side…


Can you pull your motor, take it apart and repair it by following the factory service manual? Of course, assuming you have the necessary tools and equipment. I am actually doing such a project myself, when time permits.

However, I would not go through all that time and effort for an engine which runs fine, other than burning a quart of oil every 1000 miles. I would check the PCV valve, replace if necessary, and check and top off my oil frequently. I would also consider using “Restore Engine Treatment”, it has been known to help with excessive oil consumption due to worn rings/cylinder bores.

My rule has been and also told by other folks, to never open up a high mileage engine. Just leave it alone. There are too many issues as previously discussed that need to be dealt with. Live with the oil or drop a different engine in.

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It is theoretically possible, just like a monkey accidentally typing War and Peace.

Hi Noonamee:
Many of the cautious replies you’re getting are from folks who have rebuilt engines in our past with varying amounts of experience, guidance, and training. And I’m sure all of us have made mistakes. I know I sure have.

I can only envision the number of mistakes when doing this by just following the service manual.

If it were me, I’d live with the 1qt/1000 miles, maybe try a thicker oil.
Heck, even some new cars burn that much and the manufacturers say it’s acceptable (it’s only acceptable to them due to $$$ reasons).

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Yeah, the service manual will be very helpful, but you need machinery - the type found in machine shops - and like Rod said: It’s way beyond a beginner project.

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I have owned cars where I would be delighted if the oil consumption was only one quart every 1000 miles. The owners manual for my Toyota Sienna specifies that one quart per 600 miles is not out of line.
I don’t understand the paranoia about having to add oil to an engine. My recommendation is to use a full synthetic of the proper viscosity and drive on.

The OP says the oil smells like gasoline. Maybe it’s diluted because of a faulty fuel pressure regulator. Diluted oii can lead to oil consumption. IF the problem is the FPR then maybe replacing it and changing the oil would cure or at least knock down the rate of consumption.

Either way, diluted oil will ruin at engine at some point.