Honda dealership wont do valve adjustment on 2009 honda cr v

Hello, I just got off the phone with the honda dealership regarding the recommended valve adjustment. My car has 91,000 miles on it and they said they would do the valves, timing belt and other things in 10,000 miles. I asked if they would just do the valves now (I saw an article in the paper from “car talk” about doing it at 90k) and they said "no, they would not do any of it until they do it all at 100k. They also want $1,400 to do the full service. Anyone else run into this situation? I am just worried about getting the valves done before something bad happens. Any help greatly appreciated!
Thanks, Robert

huh? they won’t do the 100k service at 91k? a few miles early? That is strange. But I can see them wanting to lump the valve adjustment in with the timing belt. But they should be willing to do them at 91k.

Try a different dealer, or a good independent that is familiar with Honda’s.

You are out of warranty so there is no reason to go to the dealer. Find a good independent garage and just have all of that done and have peace of mind. Doing that full service 10,000 miles early is no big deal.

They won’t do only the valve service without also doing the timing belt. They’d probably do the full service now if OP wanted them to. They’re probably worried OP will neglect to do the timing belt at all and then come after them when it breaks and his valves are destroyed.

I skipped the valve job part of the 100k mile service. If they aren’t making noise or throwing a check-engine light, they don’t really need to be done. That trims a few hundred off of the service. I figure if they start making noise in the future I’ll just take a Saturday and do them myself. They’re easy once you drill down to them. They’re even easier on your car since you have an inline 4 and not a V6.

Meredith, there’s nothing magic about the 90K recommendation you came across for valve adjustment. It’s fine to wait and do it with everything else at 100K. You can look for a good independent shop that specializes in Hondas. Click on “Mechanics Files” above, click on the “Advanced” tab, fill out the information, including make, and see if there are some good shops near you.

Replacing the timing belt is critical. Adjusting the valves isn’t. I am very curious as to why you would want to get the valves adjusted immediately, @rmeredith.

The problem with waiting for valve train noise before bothering to adjust the valves is that the valve misadjustment that results in damage to valves and/or seats is a decrease in gap - which does not make noise. Valves with too much gap make a light ticking noise, which draws the attention of the attentive.

Others here have pointed out that Honda’s recommendation not to adjust valves unless they are noisy flies is at odds with reality.

I have adjusted the valves a few times on my 1999 Honda Civic - probably each time I’ve changed plugs. Every time I have found that several valve clearances had changed in the interim. I can’t say the adjustments helped my car run better or get to its present 170,000+ miles, but I do consider it worth doing at least for peace of mind.

Whether I would trust this task to someone else is a another matter.

Adjusting valves is critical; very critical. Odds are it will be fine until 100k as more are but waiting is a gamble. Mechanical lifters should have the valve lash inspected and adjusted if needed every 30k miles.

I understand that my opinion is at odds with the majority but it’s based on many decades of mechanical valve lash inspections on multiple lines of so-called foreign branded makes of cars, motorcycles, and aircraft engines. It’s also based on cylinder head repairs of those engines which did suffer a problem including the actual valve and seat grinding of affected heads.

A story to illustrate the point in regards to a Subaru which uses the same lash adjusters.
The reason why is very murky due to the customer not talking but it’s believed that he adjusted the lash on them to near zero to quieten down the subtle valve tapping.
The car came into the shop barely wheezing with engine compression near gone.

Inspection showed all valves tight. Readjustment and a followup compression test improved nothing. With the engine out and both cylinder heads removed I discovered the exhaust valves and seats were so badly burned due to tight lash they were nowhere near repairable. New heads were required at a large expense after warranty was denied of course.
That car had 7k (not a typo) miles on it from new. That’s how fast things went downhill.

Granted that example is extreme but it illustrates my position about critical lash adjustment and the speed at which mechanical damage can occur. With tight lash there are no audible warnings or driveability symptoms until it’s too late.

As to the dealer, you were likely conversing with a service advisor and anything said by them are to be taken with a grain so salt as very, very few really know much about cars.
Again, odds are you will be fine. I’m just pointing out the not so pleasant downside to ignoring, delaying, or not being aware of valve lash inspections.

Your dealer is not being honest with you. The Honda 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine uses a timing chain, not a timing belt and it does not get changed at 100k miles. It should last the life of the vehicle.

So you need to get several quotes for a valve adjustment from different shops. I would normally say that you should include the dealer, but since you dealer has already shown either lack of knowledge or lack of honesty, I will not in this case. If there is another Honda dealer nearby, you might try them though.

Ask friends and coworkers for recommendations for mechanics in your area. In addition to the valve adjustment, you will need a new valve cover gasket kit or else your engine will leak oil after the adjustment. The 90k mile service should also include spark plugs, oil change, new air filter, new cabin filter and a transmission fluid change. These can be done all at once or piecemeal over a couple of months.

I expect they’ll happily adjust the valves for you any time you like. You put your cash on their table, they’re be adjusting your valves in no time. If you’d like the valves adjusted every 5,000 miles, they’ll do that for you. As long as your money is good I mean. I think they’re saying that they recommend you wait, in order to save you a little money.

One compromise, if you want something done now about the valves, ask them if they’ll measure your valve clearances. That’s a simple and relatively inexpensive procedure. The parts cost is just the price of a new valve cover gasket. There’s a good chance they’ll all measure within specs and no valve adjustment will be required anyway. I’ve measured the valve clearances on my Corolla 4afe engine every 60K miles for 20+ years and never have they needed adjustment. Likewise with my prior car, a VW Rabbit which I owned for 10 years. Never needed a valve adjustment, the clearances were always within spec. Right now one of the valves on my Corolla is right at the margin, on the loose side, but still within specs. And that’s at over 200 K miles.

As mentioned above this engine does not have a timing belt, I only hope they wanted to change your serpentine belt. If that is the case, I will do it now with the valve adjustment.

I had the 2011 and at 10K miles the valves were noisy. From what has been mentioned above, the noise is not a good indicator at least for this engine design, so better safe than sorry.

And the car has a chain but the dealerships service writer was clueless as he discussed replacing the timing belt. That’s rich.

As for the need for valve adjustment, my history with solid lifter engines is that the water cooled models accumulate wear slowly in the valve train resulting in excess clearence while the air cooled models some what rapidly wear at the valve/seat resulting in loss of clearence and often burned valves.

My 1999 Honda Civic has its original valve cover gasket, after 4 or 5 valve adjustments I did myself. It does not leak. I removed the cover carefully and cleaned the gasket and its mating surface, then reinstalled the cover with the correct torque on its fasteners.

“The service writer was clueless”

This was a phone call and the service writer may have misheard the caller or may have thought Mr Johnson was calling about his 2005 Civic (some customers have two or three cars).

Water cooled engines may be less prone than air cools to lash issues but not by much. I’ve done probably thousands of lash checks over the years and my rough unscientific estimate (i never kept count of course…) is that around 80+% of them needed one or more valves adjusted.

Some engines were off a lot, some were off a little, and a very few were dead on correct. Some of them ended up with their cylinder heads off for valve work and I’ve personally done the valve work on damaged engines that only had 50 or 60k miles on the clock.

I’ve owned 3 Subarus in the past (along with other solid lifter engines) and I used to check the lash on the Subarus every 30k miles. Not once was there ever an occasion where at least one valve did not need adjustment.

The valves on my 71 VW Bus needed adjusting so often that I started doing it every 3000 miles when I changed the oil. I left the bus in high gear and had a mark at Bottom dead center so I could see it while I was under the thing. I could then roll the van forward or back on the garage floor to adjust all the valves without getting out from under it. I could do it all with the screwdriver and 8 X 10 mm wrench that came with it.

@shanonia … Good idea. I use the same frugal-gasket-saving method w/my Corolla’s valve cover gasket; i.e. after checking the valves, just reinstall install the old gasket. I doubt shops would do this b/c if it leaks they have to replace it and won’t get paid for the time to do that. Why take the risk when the customer is paying for the gasket anyway?

But reusing the gasket can indeed save some $$ for diy’er’s. I replace my valve cover gasket every 3-4 times I take it off, but in between, as long as it looks like it is still sealing, I just re-use it. On the toyota 4afe engine it’s required per the fsm as part of the valve cover installation procedure to apply some rtv sealant at a couple of places near the cam shaft bearings in order to get an oil tight seal, so I always do that too. And I strictly follow the recommended torque settings for the bolts that hold the valve cover on. I expect over-tightening those bolts are what causes most valve cover leaks among diy’ers.

I believe this should go without saying . . .

If the valve cover gasket has obviously flattened, and/or is hard as a rock, I wouldn’t count on it properly sealing again

oldtimer 11, checking the valve adjustment every 3k miles certainly did no harm although if properly done they should easily go 6k which was the recommended interval.

The problem with the air cools is that the cylinder heads and valves run at higher temps. The exhaust valves especially were prone to stem stretch. This could be detected during the lash inspection and if any exhaust valves were excessively tight that’s a sign of trouble brewing.

When valves got to this point what could happen (and did with some regularity) is that the exhaust valve would stretch and stretch and eventually the head would pop off of the valve and drop down into the cylinder. That of course led to a huge bang and trashed engine.

The exhaust valve problem could be made worse by chronic overheating due to excessive ignition advance, a slipping or broken generator belt, or a stuck thermostat which controls the shroud flaps.