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Valve Check

As the owner of a 2006 Honda Civic, I’m instructed by my manual to have a valve check done on my car at around 150,000 KM’s. As this is a bit pricey, I’m wondering as to the ncecessity of this procedure. Please discuss upside and downside to not complying with this instruction.

This is a one time “requirement” only.

You ought to do it. The more slop that you have in the valve train, the more accelerated valve train wear will be.

I find it interesting that Honda requires this. People would scoff if this was required on a Focus.

You need it. Even if you don’t hear clicking (loose valves) the valves could be too tight (no clearance), which could hold them open slightly when the valve should be closed, burning the valve and seat.

It is still cheaper than not doing it.

This car is only 3 years old. Are you at 150,000 KMs already?

If you’re referring to a valve lash inspection/adjustment it’s only a “one time” deal if you believe the factory tripe and feel pretty lucky.

Valve lash should be inspected every 30k miles at the latest. You do not have to do this if you feel the stars are always aligned correctly.

Valve lash that is too loose can cause excessive wear on the cam lobes, adjusters, and can cause valve stem mushrooming and valve face dishing due to the beating the stems take.
Valve lash that is too tight can not only cause loss of power but can quickly burn out exhaust valves and cylinder head valve seats.

Yes, I’m in sales and put 52,000 kms per year on my vehicles. I have a 1998 Honda Civic with 465,000 km. Other than routine maintenence (which includes an oil change every 6,000 km) the engine and standard transmission have never been touched.

Quote: “If you’re referring to a valve lash inspection/adjustment it’s only a “one time” deal if you believe the factory tripe and feel pretty lucky.”

Refer to my comment in the previous posting. I only had the one valve inspection on that car. I was told by the dealer that the fact that it was manufacured in Japan (luck of the draw) and shipped over is a big factor in it’s longevity.
I, however, feel that I will get equal performance from this one.

As the valve wears into the valve seat on the head, the valve stem gets pushed up, reducing the tappet clearance. The valve will someday (maybe, not always) stop sealing effectively. The hot gases start to leak around the valve seat, acting like a cutting torch, burning a slot in the valve. If you get that one adjustment, it’s usually good because the valve doesn’t wear as fast after the initial wear. It is a job that takes a while to do.

The dealer is still feeding you garbage by the statement that it being manufactured in Japan is a contributor to longevity.

Inspection and adjustment of a valve lash on a mechanical lifter engine is a regular requirement unless you’re not concerned with the health of the engine.
The majority of people luck out by ignoring this process; the few that don’t luck out are the ones sitting there contemplating whether to spend a small fortune rebuilding a cylinder head or not.

This is true of any engine; auto, motorcycle, aircraft, or what have you.
The reason why Honda, and many other car makers, choose to make a stupid recommendation like this? Easy. It’s done for the sole purpose of making their cars appear to be more maintenance free; nothing more.
I’ve related the story on here of a guy with a Subaru who had to have not one, but both, cylinder heads replaced on a near new car that only had 7k miles on it. This was caused by either failure to recheck the valve lash or improper adjustment of the lash; and Subaru would not pay one dime of this bill.

Checking the valve clearance isn’t that tough of a job . . . and I don’t believe it should be pricey. I do it about every 25,000 miles . . . and I got a lot of miles on my Honda. Valves either too loose or too tight are a bad thing and will lead to engine failure. Anyone who has ever owned an air-cooled VW or Porsche can attest to this . . . probably why I believe that it is just another maintenance item which MUST be done. How much was the quote, if you don’t mind my asking? Rocketman

For my Honda my dealer would inspect/adjust it free during a ($400) timing belt change. I guess the motor is opened up at the time and it is quick to run a feeler through.

Thank you for asking. I just called over and discovered that it will only cost $75.00. I suspect that the last time (as noted in post below) I had it done, on my previous car, it was as part of a package.

Thank’s for replying (see post above). How many KM’s on your car when belt changed? Did you have your water pump changed at the time?

Cars were junked in Japan at 100,000Km in 1970. And, at that time, American products, including cars, were sold only on a pre-paid cash-in-advance basis with a substantial import duty and a 4 figure “government inspection” pre-delivery. Needless to say, there were very few American products. A few wealthy kids sported Mustangs and Harleys, but very few. The market there was virtually CLOSED to U.S. imports. And they drove cars that required pouring an oil mixture into the gas, burning rags to heat glow plugs, and hand cranking some. There was/is nothing mystical about Jap cars. Their government has made efforts to capitalize on the American market and have had quite a bit of success.

Do what Arnold said in Predator I . . . . DO IT! C’MON and JUST DO IT!Seriously . . . $75 is cheap . . . get your oil changed while he’s doing the valve adjustment, buy a new valve cover gasket for him. Rocketman

There have been issues about Honda’s overly-long valve adjustment interval on some of their CR-V models:

I wouldn’t go past 30K miles on any solid-lifter engine. I once had an '81 Accord with a high performance cam and I did the adjustment every 10K miles, and it needed it.

Oh I’m getting it done. It was always my intention. I just wanted to be well informed when I talk to my dealer. I get my oil changed as per car’s automatic reminder. Turns out it’s pretty constant at 10,000 km. I do 90% highway driving (1000 kms per week) so oil changes are pretty constant at 10 weeks. I’ve always considered clean oil to be the life blod of my engine
I must say that this site is just great. We all get the benefit of group knowledge and of course “knowledge is power.”

Good job Bobby . . stop back anytime. Rocketman

The Focus probably has hydraulic lash adjusters.