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Monday, September 22, 2008

Honda Balance Shaft Seal Pop Out

Popped Out Balance Shaft Seal

New Balance Shaft Seal With Retainer In Place


Honda recalled their 1994-1997 Honda Accords for the balance shaft seal popping out, and flooding oil into the front timing case area. I realized for years after installing the balance shaft seal retainer on Honda Accords even up to 2002, Honda still hadn’t incorporated their own fix from the factory: a small retainer plate costing between two and three dollars. Each time I’ve done one of these timing belt and balance shaft belt jobs, I install all Honda parts, including the add-on retainer plate. If Honda already acknowledges a problem with this, I can’t understand why the retainer plate was not installed from the factory.
A new customer came in last week with oil pouring out of the front case. It was a 2001 Honda Accord with 2.3 Liter V-Tech engine. It had nearly 180,000 miles on it, but had been well cared for at another shop. The customer showed me the invoice for changing the timing belt and balance shaft belt at 90,000 miles, asking me of course if this were related. In a way it was. I believe Honda continues sending these out without a retaining plate over the balance shaft seal; because they know it will last for at least 90,000 miles, and then they’ll install the retainer when servicing the timing and balance shaft belts. If an unsuspecting independent shop services the customer’s car, unaware Honda still has the balance shaft seal pop out problem, it could end tragically for the customer. I know people are still picking up this very nice Accord used from the years 1994 – 2002 with either the 2.2 or 2.3 liter engines. The balance shaft seal problem should be investigated when buying one of these, or getting your timing and balance shaft belts replaced. The balance shaft retainer plate should be in place or if missing, it should be installed. Also change the water pump whenever doing the timing belt no matter what. Use Honda parts only in this vital area. 

That’s all for this update, but if you’re appreciative of the information, here is a link to my new novel COLD BLOODED for Nook and Kindle. If you’re kind enough to read it and like it, please review it on the site you purchase it from. Thank You! Every little bit helps my writing gig. :)

155 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

You know now I'm gonna ask you next time I go to buy a car.

BernardL said...

I'd be happy to advise you, Charles. :) I know down in your area, you really have to be careful of cleaned up swamp cars.

raine said...

Sux. :(
Thanks, Bernard. I'd been eyeing a used Accord or two. :-/

BernardL said...

They're good cars, Raine; but like in the post I did with the list of things to check out, ask to see the owner's records. If they've had a timing belt/balance shaft belt job done, look for the balance shaft retainer plate in the list of parts on the invoice. Used car shopping is not my favorite gig either. :(

Virginia Lady said...

Nice. Something your average used car shopper would never know about or look for or even know what they were looking at. This is one of the places the internet comes in handy. A search on recalls and on any forums discussing the car in question often turns up odd things like this. Then at least you have some idea what's likely to be wrong, but not always. Thanks for enlightening the masses on this one, Bernard. I know a couple of people with Accords, I'll pass the info along.

BernardL said...

Thanks, VL, from 2003 on, Honda switched to the 2.4 liter engine, which is chain driven instead of belt driven on their Accords. I wanted to post this because the 94 through 2002's are still popular used car buys out here in the West.

HeLeena said...

The balance shaft seal just went out in my 99 accord (109k miles). The shop says the engine is fine yet they quoted me just over a $1000 to do the repair. Does this sound excessive to you?

BernardL said...

That price is in the ballpark, Heleena. There are many peripheral things which have to be done when doing the balance shaft seal. The valve cover has to be taken off, so I always check valve adjustment, and replace the gasket. Check with the garage, and make sure they're replacing the water pump, timing belt, balance shaft belt, balance shaft seal (and adding the balance shaft seal retainer as in the picture). If the drive belt or belts have not been replaced, they also should be replaced. I use only Honda parts on this job, and so should they. If they are only doing all of these things, then the price is in the acceptable range. They may be doing an oil and filter change and coolant flush at the same time if you haven't had those done in a while. Did they give you a detailed parts and labor estimate?

HeLeena said...

No I haven't gotten an itemized estimate. Hopefully they can email me that today. They quoted me $1230 if they replaced the timing belt and water pump. I'll post again when I know more. Thanks for your help.

HeLeena said...

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l224/m0lliee/carrepair.png

With the water pump it is $994. Seems like a lot in labor. What's your opinion?

BernardL said...

Heleena, the one thing that bothers me on their estimate the most is they haven't listed the Honda Balance Shaft Seal Retainer. That is what keeps the Balance Shaft Seal from ever popping out again, like in the lower blog picture. I would advise making sure they install the retainer.

I did the 1997 Honda Accord job highlighted on my blog for under $800; but I own a one man repair shop, I've had paid off since 1998, so my overhead is low. It permits me to charge a bit less.

The most important thing about the repair is that it's done right. A couple hundred dollars savings is meaningless if the job fails and ruins the engine.

HeLeena said...

I mentioned the retainer to them and said the new balance shaft seals now include it. How can I be sure though?

HeLeena said...

and they said*

BernardL said...

Honda out here sells the retainer and balance shaft seal separately. I'm afraid you'll have to trust them on it, Heleena. There's no upside to them making it up. It's only a three dollar part. I hope it works out well for you.

Gilbs said...

Hi, my seal just sprung a leak at 157,xxx miles, and I was wondering if there are any special installation procedures for the retainer plate, or is it a direct retrofit?

Thanks

BernardL said...

Gilbs, the Honda retainer is a direct retrofit. The job itself is not to be taken on lightly though.

Kendra said...

Nice Pictures. This recently happened to me and I did the whole timing / balancer belt replacement myself. When I started the car, though, I noticed a very small leak from the timing case -- about 1 drop every 20 seconds. When I reopened the cover I saw a small puddle under the balance shaft seal, so I'm guessing I didn't put the seal back in correctly. I did install the retainer and the seal appears to be in place correctly. Do you have any advice? Do I need to coat the seal before pushing it back in, or perhaps push it back in farther (I'd only used my fingers to push it back in place)?

Thanks!

BernardL said...

Kendra, Are you sure the fresh oil trail is coming down from the balance shaft? If so, can you tell if the oil is coming out from around the shaft, or from around the outside of the seal? Did you use Honda parts or aftermarket parts?

The balance shaft seal should be flush with the case. The only reasons I can think of for why your seal leaks, if indeed the fresh trail comes from the balance shaft area, are: you damaged the seal putting it in, you installed it backwards, you put it in crooked, it’s the wrong seal, or an aftermarket seal which doesn’t seal correctly. You can put sealer on the outside edge of the seal, but never on the actual lip seal around the shaft. If you’re leaking a drop every twenty seconds, that’s a lot of oil, in which case I would guess it is one of the above reasons. I would recommend finding out exactly where the fresh oil trail is coming from before diving into it again.

Anonymous said...

Say Bernard, is it necessary to have the No. 1 piston at TDC when only servicing the balancer belt?

Thanks!

BernardL said...

'Say Bernard, is it necessary to have the No. 1 piston at TDC when only servicing the balancer belt?'

There is a lot more to it than that, Anon. It is extremely easy to mistime this job. You will have to have detailed instructions to attempt this, and more than a little expertise.

Kendra said...

Ah, I hadn't put a new seal in -- I had instead pushed the old one back into place, but it was deformed from being in the wrong position and so continued to leak. Once I put a new seal in, the leak stopped.

Thanks,

Kendra

BernardL said...

Thanks for the follow-up, Kendra, I'm glad you were able to get it fixed.

Anonymous said...

Mine popped out before i could get it installed. Luckily I was near a honda dealer and they installed one and replaced the T-belts and balance belts free of charge. I still have the car and now it has over 321,000 miles on it! the slow limp into the dealer (after dumping 5 qts of oil into it in a wal-mart parking lot) didn't harm it, but I recommend not doing that. That was when the car had about 120K miles

BernardL said...

Yeah, Anon, that'll get your blood pumping. I'm glad you were near a dealer where you could get it serviced. The dealer doing the job under warranty was exceptional considering the car had a 120,000 miles on it.

Anonymous said...

I found the same problem with the Prelude sr 1993. It's a 2.3 no vtec. the new oem seal was very thight fit. No retainer use. 133 000 km. All that oil leak for that little seal. Lucky on that one, intake cam sprocket sliped one tooth!!!!

BernardL said...

You were very lucky, Anon. You're right, you can lose a lot of oil from there in a very short time.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernard
Great site. I am going to do this job on a 2002 2.3L Accord. To avoid a mess when changing the water pump I was wondering if there is a coolant drain on the block?
Thanks

BernardL said...

Thanks Anon. The block drain is on the back of the engine near the oil filter. There really isn't much chance of avoiding a mess other than putting a drain pan under the water pump. Loosen the water pump bolts and pull it away from the housing enough to allow flow into your drain pan. Buy a can of quick dry brake cleaner to spray away dirt, coolant, or oil before reassembly. Good luck.

arnel said...

Bernard,

The balance shaft seal on my 2001 Honda Accord just popped out on me - oil drained out almost completely. I took it to the Honda dealer to get fixed and the rep explained to me that this is not an isolated issue. He stated that Honda has reingeered the seal to include a retatiner. But too late for me. My question to you is, since Honda is/was aware of the deficiency, but did not issue a recall, do you know of any instances where they have they offered to help to pick up the tab? I've read in forums where they have done this for people who experienced problems with their transmissions, but no longer under warranty. Arnel

arnel said...

Bernard,

The balance shaft seal on my 2001 Honda Accord just popped out on me - oil drained out almost completely. I took it to the Honda dealer to get fixed and the rep explained to me that this is not an isolated issue. He stated that Honda has reingeered the seal to include a retatiner. But too late for me. My question to you is, since Honda is/was aware of the deficiency, but did not issue a recall, do you know of any instances where they have they offered to help to pick up the tab? I've read in forums where they have done this for people who experienced problems with their transmissions, but no longer under warranty. Arnel

BernardL said...

I don't think they will, Arnel. They did make repairs under warranty for quite a while, depending on mileage and age of the car. They gambled you would need a timing belt replacement before the balance shaft seal popped out so they could install the new seal and retainer then. It is a good time to get all the maintenance items done like water pump, hoses, and belts along with the seal. I hope you caught it in time. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

bernard, i have a question for you if you dont mind. I have a 91 accord and i am changing the cam seal, and both balance shaft seals. I was wondering about the rear balance shaft gear case assembly. I took the old one out and it has a little over 1/8" of play when you move the belt sprocket up and down. Is this allowable? Also, i have the oring gasket that goes between the case and the oil pump housing but some people are saying that there is another gasket or o ring in the case somewherE? if you could help that would be great! thanks, dan

BernardL said...

I'm not sure exactly what you're trying to do anon. It's not necessary to remove the balance shaft or the oil pump to replace the belts and seals. I advise you to get an actual shop manual before you go any further. They have the older manuals on sale on E-Bay. For the information you're looking for I would advise getting a real Honda Manual.

JoeBull said...

How can you remove the balance shaft seal to replace it if it hasn't popped out yet? (how) I just got a retainer and might as well replace the seal too.I wish I knew about this before I changed my timing belt/water pump last month. Also you don't need to set TDC or set balance shaft with special tool, just paint lines from pulley over belts to block, transfer lines to new belts and install. (saves alot of time)

Anonymous said...

I have a 1999 honda accord lx vtec 4 cyl with 105K on it in. Time for its first timing belt change. I also want to get the water pump done at the same time. Does honda have a part number for the balance shaft retainer or is this included with the balance shaft seal? Should I get the crank seal replaced? Should I get the timing belt tensioner and or the balance shaft tensioner replaced?

Thanks

BernardL said...

Anon - The Balance Shaft Seal and Retainer kit number from the early nineties through into the 2000's is:
06923-POA-306

I change the cam and crank seals if there is any hint of leakage around them. I always change the tensioner spring.

BernardL said...

I'm sorry, JoeBull, I didn't see your question. If there's no leakage you could just install the retainer. Replacing the seal as you know will require taking the timing and balance shaft belts off again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernard,

I found this link:

http://www.autosafety.org/HondaOilSealParts.pdf

It says for 94-97 Accords. Does Honda install the balance shaft retainer for the 1999 Accord? At aprx how many km should the tensioners, springs, and seals be replaced? I am going to take my accord to a honda dealer and its kind of stressing me out cause I dont know what all to get replaced an I am working on a limited budget. Thanks

BernardL said...

'It says for 94-97 Accords. Does Honda install the balance shaft retainer for the 1999 Accord?'

A woman from Canada said they don't. The one that popped out in my post is from a 2001 Honda Accord so if you don't want trouble make sure they install the retainer.

At aprx how many km should the tensioners, springs, and seals be replaced? I am going to take my accord to a honda dealer and its kind of stressing me out cause I dont know what all to get replaced an I am working on a limited budget.'

I change the water pump, timing belt, balance shaft belt, crank seal, cam seal, balance shaft seal (and install retainer), and tensioner spring. 90,000 miles is the interval recommended by Honda.

JoeBull said...

I just got the seal retainer 06923-P0A-306 it doesn't come with the seal just a dipstick tube O-ring.If this is a recall why was I charged for it?

BernardL said...

Honda used to sell only the retainer and the dipstick tube o-ring in that kit for the 1994-97 models. Out here now when I order that part number I get the seal and retainer.

The recall on the 1994-97 models has been over for quite some time. Honda doesn't even acknowledge they still have the problem on their later engines, JoeBull.

rjkrichierich said...

so... my 95 accprd has about 182k miles and something just happened within the engine.. oil went everywhere and i have to fix the car myself. i have no money to get a mechanic to fix it so i will be doin some stuff today on it.. does anyone know how i could go about this>?

BernardL said...

I'm sorry, rjkrichierich, but if your Honda does have a balance shaft seal pop out problem, this job is not for beginners. Even experienced mechanics have messed up doing this job because of missing a step. You need to first confirm it's the balance shaft seal actually throwing the oil out, and then save up the money to get it done right.

Ben said...

I was driving yesterday and my oil light came on. I drove about 5 miles home and I noticed a oil leak from the side of the timing cover. I'm assuming the balance shaft seal popped out or came louse. I was planning on driving my car 24 miles to my mechanic but I want to know if that was safe to do in my car's condition. Car: 2000 Honda Accord LX 2DR 4 cyl Vtec Automatic.

Ben said...

I forgot to say that my car has 180K miles.

BernardL said...

Ben, you may have done significant damage just driving the five miles with the oil light on. It is NOT safe to drive any distance. Have your car towed.

Ben said...

Ok, I'm buying the parts from Honda and getting the car towed to my mechanic. I'm getting the timing belt, balance shaft belt, power steering belt, compressor belt, water pump, camshaft seal, crankshaft seal, balance shaft seal, balance shaft retainer, timing belt adjuster spring, timing balancer belt adjuster spring, and head cover gasket. Do you also recommend replacing (both tensioners) the timing belt adjuster and the timing balancer belt adjuster? Is there anything I forgot? btw, thanks for the help.

Ben said...

^...and do you know (roughly) how long it should take to replace all those parts.

BernardL said...

Does your mechanic repair cars using customer bought parts, Ben? Many don't. You can specify you want all Honda OEM parts which is definitely a good idea on this job. Since you've been happy with your mechanic's work in the past let him give you a run down on what you need and an estimate for the job, including the time. Let him know you drove it for five miles with the oil light on. You have the list of parts right. I don't replace the tensioners unless they are damaged.

Ben said...

BernardL, I just wanted to say thanks for the blog post. Anyways here is a follow up: I took the car to the mechanic and the balance shaft seal did indeed pop out. I ended up just getting a Timing Belt Kit (aftermarket parts) for $120, which included the Timing belt, Timing Balancer belt, the timing belt tensor, the timing balancer belt tensor, water pump, and the Balance shaft seal with the retainer. My uncle owns the auto shop, so I made a deal with him and I ended up not paying for the labor.

Ben said...

..oh and the whole job took about 3-4hrs to complete.

BernardL said...

I'm glad it worked out for you, Ben. I hope your Honda doesn't show any other signs of engine damage. Check your fluid levels religiously and keep an eye on your dash while driving for lights or temperature spikes. Thanks for the update.

Payson said...

Hey Bernard. I have a 99 accord with a blown head gasket. I have removed the head and I'm sending it out to get checked for cracks and resurfaced if not cracked the car only has 82,000 miles on it and runs great no smoke. I have done a lot of timing belt but never one with a balancer shaft. So my question to you is that I did'nt mark the timing alightment marks up with anything other than top dead center on the crankshaft. when I get my head back I dont want to be 180 so what postion should the number one valve be in I assume closed but what cylinder valves should be open and what valves should be closed i want to make sure nothing goes wrong like being 180 and killing the engine?
And the number 2 question is after i get everything lined up on the timing belt. Will I only have to line up the balancer shaft timing mark?

Payson said...

Sorry i should of told you it is a 2.3 althought I am pretty sure 2.2 is the same.

Payson said...

Sorry for this but i just noticed it is a 2.2 single cam Its late here I need to go to sleep.

BernardL said...

Payson, you need detailed instructions to do the timing belt job as I've mentioned in several earlier comments. Even professional mechanics have mistimed the balance shaft and ended up with a vibration. I sent you a link to an On-line PDF file. Use it along with a 1999 Honda manual or equivalent to help you get your Honda back together.

george said...

Bernard, I have the same problem as Payson - I just marked the crankshaft but didn't note anything on the balancer. Could you send me that link to the PDF as well? I have a 95 Accord 4cyl. thanks!

BernardL said...

Here it is, George. Good luck.

https://cid-0ffd20f2cada43e7.office.live.com/self.aspx/%5BBernard%5E4s%20Blog%5D%20New%20comment%20on%20Honda%20Balance%20Shaft%20Seal%20Pop%20Out/Honda%20Timing%20Belt.pdf?Bsrc=Docmail&Bpub=SDX.Docs&sa=62561681

george said...

Bernard, Thank you for the link! Unfortunately it looks like you may need to change permissions on WindowsLive. I keep getting the message "This folder might not be shared with you." Thanks!

BernardL said...

Try it now, George.

Kateri said...

Hi Bernard,
Your blog is great!! thank you so much for taking time to help all of us.
I have a 91 Honda Accord LX 4S OHC engine over 218K miles. When I had my car in for major service, the mechanic said: "Engine is seeping oil into spark plug tubes from lower tube seals especially on number 4 cylinder. balance shaft seal retainer has not been installed per Honda bulletin. Without seal retainer, it is possible for seal to fall out and a major oil leak."

Have you seen this happen with the 91 Accords?

I am due for a timing belt and am very concerned because I am noticing an oil leak
but am not sure of the source. could it be from the balance shaft seal retainer? Also we have a 1997 CIVIC HX could the shaft seal retainer be something to check in this engine.

THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR REPLY YOU PROVIDE A GREAT SERVICE
Kateri
/

BernardL said...

Kateri, yes the seal and retainer should be installed on your 91 Honda. It's very common as your mechanic points out that oil can get into the spark plug tubes when the valve cover gasket and tube seals need replaced. All that can be done when your timing belt job is done, including valve adjustment.

Your Civic has a 1.6L engine and is not the same thing.

kateri said...

i Bernard

Thank you for your answer. I did not expect such a quick answer from you!!
I have a couple of other questions to post soon. I am elated that I found you!! The pictures and information you posted about the balance shaft seal retainer are very helpful. I want to make sure I go to someone who knows about this. I found out that many o the mechanics I spoke to were not aware of it..including the shop where I last had my timing belt replaced at!! You are doing a great service sharing your knowledge with all of us out here!! Thanks again....
Kateri

BernardL said...

No problem, Kateri. When you do have your timing belt job done. Make sure they install the balance shaft seal and retainer. The Honda seal and retainer kit number is 06923-POA-306.

Kateri said...

Because of a suspected oil leak and approaching time for a timing belt I had different mechanics do an inspection of my 1991 Honda Accord LX with 218K miles and the combined recommendations they made were:
FRONT BRAKES
Pads $79.95
2 Rotors $164
Labor $140

REAR BRAKES $147.30

Flush Systems $99.95

TIMING BELT KIT $551

2 NEW FRONT AXLES $390

NEW OIL PAN $206

TUNE Up $105.02 .

REAR MAIN SEAL $556.80


TOTAL $2561.42

In addition to the maintenance items the paint on the roof is peeling quite bad and needs to be re-painted. Sort of an estimate of about $500

My questions are, do you think these prices are reasonable and would you recommend getting the work done putting approximately $3000 in this 20year old car or start looking for a nice well maintained newer Used Car.

Thanks

BernardL said...

I have a rule of thumb regarding old cars - if you can't sell it for the cost of the repairs the day after you get the repairs, I advise looking for another vehicle.

The prices are in the ball park but twenty year old cars leak a little oil and if the engine is worn it may be forcing oil out (blow-by) when you're at freeway speeds. That would mean no matter what you fixed regarding oil leaks it will probably still leak.

Kateri said...

Hi Benard,

Thank you for your opinion on my 91 Honda Accord decision. I value your opinion, experience and the time you take to share your knowledge with those who come to you for help.

BernardL said...

Good luck with your car search, Kateri. Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Thanks for the good info here. Glad I googled you up.

I just had something dump about a quart of oil on the ground from under my timing belt cover on my 93 Accord (175,000) yesterday. I started the engine and let it idle to warm up a bit. Fortunately, I got back out of the car and stepped right into the huge puddle of crude. I shut the car off and cleaned up the oil.

I always like to go to mechanics knowing what is wrong so I want to ask;

If I remove the upper timing belt cover will I likely be able to see exactly where the oil blew out?

If it requires removing the lower cover, is that doable without putting the car on jackstands?

The timing and balance belts have less than 10,000 miles on them. Are those belts likely to have been damaged beyond further use by this mess? I looked at my receipt from that job and the mechanic lists "Front Cam Seal, "Front Crank Seal," and "Seal Kit" as things replaced along with the belts. Is the Balance Seal likely to be included in that kit? These were supposedly "quality" aftermarket parts.

I will have to have the car towed but where it is parked might force towing it from the rear. I assume the transmission in neutral means the engine will not turn while the front wheels turn so I shouldn't have any more oil come out during towing?

I guess my 93 needs the seal retainer, too?

Thanks so much for the great source of information about this problem.

BernardL said...

Anon, yes you'll need the balance shaft seal retainer. From what you've stated it definitely seems the balance shaft seal has popped out. I wish I could tell you why they didn't put a retainer in. Getting the lower cover off will require taking everything off you see there. I doubt you can see the popped out seal with just the upper cover removed. I advise against partial tear down. Tow it in. They won't know about belt condition until they get a look inside. The balance shaft seal and retainer is a separate kit.

The oil will not pour out again unless you start the engine so let the tow truck driver decide the best way to take your vehicle in.

I'm sorry this happened to you, especially since it was easily avoidable.

The

Paul K (UK) said...

Plead for help from the UK. ?? I have Honda Prelude 1994 2.0i BB3(UK model)that has popped out the balance shaft oil seal together with about 3 litres of oil. I have everything necessary to fix it but cannot locate anybody in the UK that still stocks the seal retainer - Honda UK say its now discontinued in UK - Have sourced it in various places in USA but nobody ships to UK !!! Is there anyway you could obtain and post item to UK ?

BernardL said...

Paul, the 2.0 doesn't have a balance shaft and was not in the 1994 Prelude. If you mean a 2.2 then here's a company through Amazon that sells the retainer for a 1994 Prelude that ships to Europe.

http://www.amazon.com/Engine-Balance-Shaft-Seal-Retainer/dp/B0044AHKFA/ref=au_pf_pfg_s?ie=UTF8&Model=Prelude|759&n=15684181&s=automotive&Make=Honda|59&Year=1994|1994&carId=005

Paul K (UK) said...

Hi Bernard, Thanks for your quick response..... appreciate the link which was really helpful but it is not economical to purchase via Amazon as they want £50 GBP shipping costs to deliver an item that costs less than £2 GBP. really dont know what to do now --- think I may have to make one ?? --- sorry to disagree with you regarding the 2.0 engine. the UK/European version of the Prelude has both a 2.0 and 2.2 liter version both of which have a balance shaft. I have the engine stripped down so can actually see the shaft with the seal popped out along the shaft (just as in your picture) and have completely oil soaked drive and timing belts and oil everywhere under the bonnet.

BernardL said...

Here's another link to try, Paul. I don't make the parts and I'm not in the shipping business. I hope this other link is cheaper for you.

http://www.thepartsbin.com/repsite/honda~bal-dot-_shaft_seal_retainer~reparts.html

Paul K (UK) said...

Thanks Bernard, already been to parts bin, unfortunately, they dont post to UK.
unless i can just get one put in a padded envelope to UK via airmail think I'm just going to have to make my own version . thanks for all your help

Anonymous said...

Thanks. It was indeed the balance seal. No retainer was in place. I had to have it put on a rollback and taken to the last shop that did my belt. He swears that the information he has did not call for that retainer for 1993 Accord and there wasn't one on the engine when he got the car. Best I could get him to do was cut me some slack on the labor, but I had to pay to get him to put in the retainer. Maybe it would have been worth it to let the dealer do that last timing belt. Almost certainly they would have put that retainer on there.

BernardL said...

Not all the dealers put them in, Anon. If the vehicle is not in the recall parameters Honda singled out back in the nineties some of them don't put the retainer in either. It's ridiculous not to and as I mentioned in the original post Honda should have begun installing them at the factory when they first noticed the problem. One other precaution to take, Anon - make sure your PCV (crankcase ventilation valve) and the vacuum hose going to it are clear and working. Excess pressure building up in the crankcase can force oil out too. Thanks for the update on your experience.

Nathan said...

Bernard-

It seems that the balance shaft seal on my 05 Accord has popped out. As this is quite a heft repair, I'm curious as to what the cause could be so I can instruct my mechanic to check that out as well. The last thing I did with the car likely caused it. It was sitting in the snow for 2 weeks and had gotten boxed in by snowploughs. When I was getting it out, I had to rev the engine up pretty high. There were also some snow chunks under the car that I could have hit.

Would a balance shaft seal pop out because the engine came down on a chuck of ice, or could only high oil pressure cause that? I know I should have the PCV checked out. What else could be the cause?

Thanks in advance.

BernardL said...

Revving may have been the cause, Nathan, but the ones I've done came out with no help from any outside sources. That's why there is a retainer now to make sure it doesn't happen. Make certain your mechanic installs the retainer kit. Making sure the PCV system is clear always helps but on a 2005 unless you've been neglecting oil changes, I doubt the PCV is clogged.

KJK said...

Bernard;
1996 Accord, I am replacing my daughters balance shaft seal. Problem is can't get crank pulley nut loose. question is, is it right or left handed? Thanks in advance, KJK

BernardL said...

KJK, put it back together and take it in to a shop. On many of those crank bolts nothing short of heating them until they glow red with an Acetylene torch enables you to use an air wrench to take them off.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post, i just took of the timing belt and saw that the balance shaft seal was leaking, I didnt know about the retainer clip, thanks.

BernardL said...

You're welcome, Anon. Please make sure you follow whatever shop manual instructions you have to the letter when you put things back together. It's real easy to get the balance shaft out of time.

JoshInDC said...

Hi Bernard,

I am going in for Timing Belt Service on my ’97 Honda Accord. The mechanic will let me provide my own parts so I figure I can order them and save a little bit of money. I plan on ordering OEM parts. I want to ensure I order all the right parts and there doesn’t seem to be a full kit (unless you’re getting aftermarket parts) and sometimes it seems different terms are used.

Of course after reading your blog I know I need to order a balancer shaft seal retainer on it’s own. Need the timing and balancer belts and adjusters. Which seem to also be called tensioners. Looks like you suggest replacing both springs. And three seals – camshaft, crankshaft, and timing belt I think (don’t have the sheet in front of me). The seals are what I’m most confused about. The names vary on the parts website. Can you tell me what seals I need as read from a parts diagram? Anything else you suggest replacing while they’re in there, like the timing belt pulley?

Also, a year ago another mechanic told me the engine mount is weak. Is this a job that makes sense to do while they’re in doing the timing belt? Figure I should wait for my new mechanic to take a look to let me know if they think I need the work as well.

JoshInDC said...

And the Water Pump of course. And water pump gasket and seal?

BernardL said...

The seals are the crankshaft seal, camshaft seal, and balance shaft seal, Josh. You have the rest of the parts listed, and definitely the water pump and seal.

JoshInDC said...

Thanks for the 'unsurprisingly' quick response. What I'm confused about is translating 'crankshaft seal, camshaft seal, and balance shaft seal' to what I'm seeing on Honda Parts websites. They don't seem to be labeled as such.

What it looks like to me is:

Camshaft Seal = Oil Seal, Part # 91213-PT0-003.

Balance Shaft Seal maybe = Timing Belt Adjuster Rubber = 90401-PT0-000

Crankshaft seal I cannot figure out.

BernardL said...

If you go to the Honda dealer, Josh, they will know what those parts are.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernard, I'm installing a front balance shaft seal on my 93 honda accord. In the mitchell technical service bulletin, it states that you must use a special tool to install this seal, and then you must push the seal into its full depth in the oil pump housing.

Is this true? Does it matter if you push the oil seal until it bottoms out on the oil pump housing? From the picture, it looks like you only have the front of the oil seal mate with front of the oil pump housing.

BernardL said...

Anon, it just has to be a little past flush with the retainer in place like the picture. You can push the seal in with your thumbs or use anything that doesn't damage the seal while keeping it from angling crookedly.

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BernardL said...

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BernardL said...

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Anonymous said...

Hi Bernard,
I have a '98 Accord LX 2.3L VTEC. Doing a timing belt and balancer belt change out. Amazingly enough, the original timing belt looks BRAND NEW - with 232,000 miles on it!! This is no joke. I bought the car with 55K miles from the original owner in 2004 and I have all the maintenance records tracked since it was originally purchased...so the mileage is accurate and no timing belt replacement has ever been performed until now. I haven't had the funds to do it until now so that's why it has that many miles on this belt. But...looking at it (inverted and folded back to expose any cracks) there simply are none there. Anyway, I was writing you after reading all these entries concerning the balance shaft seal retainer - the service techs at Honda told me they don't bother adding the retainer on the Accords unless they are 1997 or older. They were saying that Honda modified the seal cavity on '98 and newer models such that the retainer isn't neccessary. I must say, the seal went in very tight and with a bit of effort even with silcone grease on the inner lip and a little silicone spray on the outer lip as recommended. But...I started reading on your blog about several cases where post '97 Accords lost their balance shaft seal. So, now I don't know what to think except I guess it certainly wouldn't hurt to add it. When I did originally attach it however (this was before I talked to the Honda service techs about it), it didn't lay down right so as to contact the actual seal. When I went to tighten the attachment bolt (that sits on the outboard side of the timing belt cover sealing lip), the end of the retainer that's supposed to make contact with the seal pitched up several mm's so as to no longer actually make contact. It looks like the bend that folds over the cast sealing lip is not clearing the lip exactly as it should and this is causing the open end of the retainer to "pitch up". I guess I'll have to make a slight adjustment to it / reform it slightly to make it fit properly? What do you say to this? Have you experienced this before with this particular retainer installation?

The main thing I really wanted to ask you was concerning instructions I retrieved from an all data system which talk about securing the "rear" balancer shaft with a 6mm X 100mm bolt. It says to install this bolt to hold the rear balancer shaft in place before aligning the front balancer shaft mark with that on the engine block when installing the balancer belt. That seems to indicate that there are 2 disticnt and seperate balancer shafts? Is this the case? If not, how can you secure the "rear" shaft and then align the "front" shaft if they are the same shaft. I am a little confused about this configuration and hope you can clarify this. I actually purchased a video online that a mechanic sells to show step by step on how to do this whole procedure ...and I thought it was done very well...very detailed. No where in the video does he mention installing this 6mm X 100mm bolt in a "maintenance hole" toward the rear of the engine to lock in the "rear" balancer shaft. Please help if you can. I was hoping to finish the job this evening when I get off work, so if you're still updating this blog, I would be most grateful if you have any input for me.
Thanks for you help,
Kenneth

BernardL said...

Kenneth, I don't care what the Honda mechanics say. The Honda I used for this blog is a 2001. As to the retainer not fitting, you've either bought an aftermarket one that doesn't fit or you're installing it wrong. Click the lower picture in the post for a blow up of the retainer in place. It should fit perfectly or something's wrong with the retainer or your installation.

You should not be doing this job without an OEM manual or a VERY good aftermarket one. Follow the directions for locking the balance shaft in position or you will be doing the job again.

BernardL said...

Here's the link to access a PDF File with illustrations for doing a timing belt on a 1994 Honda. It takes a moment to load so be patient. It is very similar to the procedure right up through 2002, although anyone doing this job should have an OEM Manual!

https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=0ffd20f2cada43e7#cid=0FFD20F2CADA43E7&id=FFD20F2CADA43E7!207

Anonymous said...

How reliable are the 2.4's chain driven balance shaft?

BernardL said...

Pretty reliable, Anon, if the oil and filter changes are done regularly.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernard,

I am doing a timing belt job on my 93 Honda Accord SE. I plan on changing the Timing Belt, Balance Shaft Belt, Timing Belt Tensioner, Balance Shaft Tensioner, Water Pump, and all seals (camshaft, crankshaft, and balance shaft).

What is your opinion on Gates Brand? I ordered Gates Brand for both timing and balance shaft belts, both tensioners, and water pump. Are Gates Water pumps any good? Do you have any recommendations on what brands to use for each part (especially the water pump), besides OEM Honda? I am very grateful for your website and advice.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernard,

I wanted to add one more question to my above comment. What do you think of Bosch and Aisin brand water pumps for my 93 Honda Accord SE? Thank you. I am very grateful for your website and advice.

BernardL said...

I have a simple answer to both questions, Anon. I use only Honda OEM parts for the entire job. That is the only way I do the job.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernard,

I have a 93 honda accord se with 150k miles on it. I believe that the owners manual says use 5W-30 motor oil. I have heard that you should use 10w-30 on higher mileage cars. May I please ask for your opinion on this? What oil do you recommend I use on this car. I live in Missouri and most of my driving is in the city (the coldest it gets in the winter is around 0 degrees and the hottest it gets in the summer is around 105 degrees). Thank you. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

BernardL said...

Anon, unless your Honda is burning oil, I would go with 5w-30. I drive a 1999 Toyota Corolla with over 150,000 miles on it. I still use the recommended 5w-30 in it. Because I'm obsessive about caring for it, I use 5w-30 Motorcraft Full Synthetic and I change it every 3,000 to 3,500 miles. Yes, I know what everyone says about you not needing to change it that often. I do it anyway because I've had motors apart where the customers were going 5,000 to 7,500 between changes. They are always sludged. The reason being most people, including me, get stuck in traffic jams every day, and do short trip driving. Besides, the used oil is always recycled.

crissy said...

i have a 2000 honda prelude. i broke down last week, oil completely gone. Towed car to my mechanic and he told me there was no retainer plate installed and he fixed my car, did all the belts, water pump, everything that you had suggested to other people here.it cost me almost $900. I am writing to Honda Company to complain, as i bought my car new from the dealership in 2000, then in 2006 for some reason they put in new belts, water pump, everything that i just had done last friday, that bill was $1,000 and they didnt install the retainer plate at that time, of course i didnt know anything about that then. Do you think i can get reimbursed my money, seeing as the dealership didnt put the retainer plate on. I have the receipt as proof, and my mechanic has put it in writing that it wasnt in place and that is why i had all this problem. I feel let down, yet again, as my transmission went a couple of years ago and i never received a recall notice informing me of a problem, the dealership here in Wilmington, NC didnt care to help me then, but the Honda Company sent me a check for $1,300 towards the cost of my new transmission, because i wrote directly to them. I am disgusted at Honda as this is the second time they have been negletful. What do you think of my chances of getting reimbursed? Thanks, crissy

BernardL said...

Crissy, on a twelve year old car, I don't like your chances. I hope no engine damage results from the loss of oil. If everything is okay, count your blessings and move on. You could write Honda as you did with the transmission bill, but if you're thinking lawyers or courts, forget it. It would cost you more than you can ever win.

crissy said...

thank you for your reply, i wasnt planning on getting a lawyer, can't afford it, so i will just have to trust that Honda will help me as a goodwill gesture! It still isnt fair that these dealerships/auto companies get away with neglect is it? Thanks again for your input, crissy

BernardL said...

Yes, it was wrong of Honda not to issue a Technical Service Bulletin for the balance shaft seal retainer to be installed on every timing belt job all the way up until they started using the 2.4L chain driven engine in 2003.

peja95 said...

Hi Bernard,

I have a 93 honda accord se with 150k miles on it. I was driving on the highway when the engine suddenly shut off. I tried to start the car right when I pulled off of the highway, but it wouldn't start. After waiting for about 30-45 minutes, the car starts and I drove it on the highway again, but once again the engine would suddenly shut off (I also noticed, oddly, that the RPM meter jumps erratically before the engine shuts off).

Do you know what the problem may be? I believe it may be an ignition problem. When the car wouldn't start (right after the engine suddenly shut off) I pulled a spark plug and had someone try to start the car and I didn't see any spark. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

BernardL said...

Peja, best guess from here on the Internet would be a bad Igniter or faulty Main Relay. If it's the Main Relay, and you're a novice, you'll have a hell of a time finding it. I'm sorry, but I don't have a picture of its location. Here's one from the web - http://techauto.awardspace.com/mainrelaydefine.html

peja95 said...

Hi Bernard,

As a follow up to your reply, I had it towed to my house. I took off the distributor cap and rotor and everything just fell apart. The metal piece inside of the rotor (that creates contact to the distributor shaft) fell out, along with the rotor itself. The rotor also looked scratched up. The distributor cap was full of charcoal dust and had a bunch of engravings in it. The "center contact thingy" in the middle of the distributor cap was also completely worn off.

Could the distributor cap and rotor be the problem? It seems as if the engine only shuts off when you drive it on the highway for a long time (that is, when the engine is at a high rpm for a long time). I've also read (as you have stated) that it could be the ignition control module.

BernardL said...

Peja, you may have multiple problems. Since you've decided to work on it yourself, checking for excessive Distributor shaft play; and if that's fine, then replacing the cap and rotor which are obviously bad is logical. From here I can't tell you much more, but the main relay and ignitor are the two most common problems with those for intermittent shutoffs.

Make sure your power and ground leads are clean and tight too. There is a ground lead on the thermostat housing that gets corroded over time and causes problems too. I can only assume you've made sure you have no timing belt issues.

peja95 said...

May I ask, how do you check if the distributor shaft play is "excessive?" I am also very sure that the timing belt has no issues because when the car runs, it drives very smooth. Or did you mean that the timing belt may be going out?

BernardL said...

Peja, you grasp the top of the dist. shaft and try moving it side to side in different directions. For me at the shop, if I suspect a bad dist., I take it off car for testing, but if you had to ask about play in the shaft I'd advise you not to take it out.

As to the timing belt, I only asked about it because I'm confused as to what it is you are complaining about now. If you had to have it towed to your house, that would mean to me everything is suspect and I would start checking basics: timing belt and timing, compression, fuel, and ignition. Plus, I asked about the timing belt because if it goes out on you while on the freeway in a Honda, it's an interference fit and will take out the engine with it.

peja95 said...

Oh, I understand now. Thank you. I believe you may be right because the distributor cap and rotor were replaced new and only have 20k miles on them. It makes sense that the distributor housing bearing may be going out and it is causing the rotor to spin erratically at high speeds.

I just don't understand why the car ran so good and even now, still runs good with the bad distributor cap and rotor still on it, but at high speeds the car just shuts off.

I am going to check the distributor shaft. I can't express how much I appreciate you giving me advice on this. Thank you.

BernardL said...

Peja. I'm really confused now. Is the Honda running or not with the bad cap and rotor? If it is running, why would you have it towed? If there's no excessive play in the dist. shaft, and you replace the rotor and cap, and it starts, that's a good sign if it wasn't running before. If it still doesn't start, then you're back to checking basics.

As mentioned before, the ignitor and main relay are the most probable causes of intermittent stall outs.

peja95 said...

I am sorry for the confusion. I was driving on the highway and the car suddenly shut off. I tried to start the car immediately after I pulled over to the shoulder and it wouldn't start. I waited about 30 minutes and the car started. I drove for about 10 more miles, and the car shutoff again. At that point, it wasn't safe for me to keep driving the car on the highway when it kept shutting off randomly, so I had it towed.

The car itself still starts and runs good with the bad distributor cap and rotor in it, but when you drive it for a long distance (like around 50 miles), the engine randomly shut off. But before it gets to that point, the car starts and runs smoothly (however, I did have an occurrence where the car had to be cranked six or seven times before it started, usually the car starts after one crank).

I apologize for the confusion.

BernardL said...

Peja, in that case my guess would be the Main Relay or the Igniter.

peja95 said...

Hi Bernard,

I wanted to adjust the ignition timing on my 93 accord 4dr se with a timing light. In the manual it says you must put a jumper wire on the "service check connector." Do you know where on the car this service check connector is? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

BernardL said...

Peja, the blue 2 wire service check connector is under the glove box and may be in a 'holder' of some kind.

peja95 said...

Thank you. By the way, I replaced the ignitor and that fixed the problem I was having with the car. I can't express how much I appreciate your help and advice. Thank you.

BernardL said...

Peja, I'm glad you got it fixed. Thanks for the update.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernard,

I have a 93 accord, with 150k miles on it. I am doing a complete timing job on the car and this includes changing the water pump. I've heard that if you use non-honda coolant, it can damage the seals on the new water pump. Is this true? If I use for example, Prestone coolant, will it damage the seals on the new water pump? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

BernardL said...

Anon, I use Prestone all season, all color, long life coolant. There may be an issue with the newest Hondas but definitely not with a 1993.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernard,on my 93 honda accord SE, I am trying to connect an R12 A/C manifold guage to both the high side and low side lines so I can read their respective pressures. The low side valve fitting screws on fine to the manifold guage however, the stock high side pressure fitting on the car is smaller than the fitting on the manifold guage.

Do you know what are the standard R12 fitting sizes for the low and high side lines? Do you know what type of adapter, if any, I would need to get so I can connect to the high side fitting of the car? Everything on the car is still the original R12 with no R134a fittings or accessories.

Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

BernardL said...

Anon, here's your best chance on the web if your local Autozone or other auto parts house doesn't have one. You'll probably have to call the number on the site to actually speak to a person in order to get the right adapter. http://www.acsource.com/

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernard,

I am changing the front and rear brake pads, and front brake rotors on my 93 accord. Is there anything special you have to do to "break in" the new pads and rotors? Do you need to add some special compund material to the new pads or any grease to the shims? Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Anon, I'm sorry but I don't give out brake tips because I believe that is one area where experimenting DIY'ers can kill themselves, their families, or someone else on the road. If you insist on doing them get a factory Honda manual and follow the instructions to the letter, including testing the calipers and hydraulic system.

abduL said...

good info there..I own a 91 accord but using an H22 engine..

thanks..

Mary said...

Bernard,
I used the info and advise I found on here and figured out it was the retainer plate on my 95 Honda accord that caused my massive oil leak... My problem now is that today I was driving my car and I got a 1/2 mile from my house and heard a loud squeal and then some grinding and I looked out the side mirror and saw my power steering belt fall from the car and roll down the road and then I couldn't turn my car but I did get it home a few minutes later and turned it off .

Mary said...

Sorry I forgot to mention that I replaced the timing belt, power steering belt , water pump and changed the oil and all the seals and there was still a whistle sound but today is when the power steering belt popped off ... Any advice would be greatly appreciated .

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I wish I could help from here, Mary, but it's not possible for me to know why your Power Steering belt came off. My guess would be you may have gotten the Power Steering out of alignment when you put the pump back into place, or didn't get the proper tension on it, or didn't tighten something that allowed looseness. This is only a guess though.

Anonymous said...

Bernard, pretty amazing all of the people you have been able to help here. Good for you.

My 93 accord developed a substantial oil leak from the lower timing belt cover. So I popped off the upper timing belt cover, and sure enough the front balance shaft seal had worked itself loose. Exactly like in your picture above.

I am waiting on some tools/parts before moving ahead. But I ordered a seal/retainer similar to this one here:

http://www.carpartsdiscount.com/auto/parts/93/honda/accord/balance_shaft/counterbalance_shaft_seal_retainer_kit.html?3593=44083

My questions are what is the O-ring for, and where does it go? Also, should I put any sort of grease or sealant on the seal when I install it?

Thanks.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Anon, that's the oil dipstick tube o-ring seal, because you have to remove the dipstick tube for access. Here's a link to the PDF with pictures.

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=FFD20F2CADA43E7!231

Unknown said...

Hi Bernard,
Great blog! I have a 1999 Honda Accord (4-cyl) with 140K miles and an oil leak. The Honda dealer has indicated replacing the rear balancer shaft case set. Is this the same as the balance shaft seal? I'm a little disturbed with this oil leak after having the timing belt, water pump, etc. replaced at 95K miles when perhaps the balance shaft seal and retainer should have replaced as well. Can you advise? The repair cost is $1300 to replace both rear balancer case set and timing belt, etc.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

You are exactly right Unknown. They didn't install the retainer when they did the timing belt job. Now, the balance shaft oil seal popped out, causing the oil leak. Go to this address which will show you the retainer they should have installed when they did the timing belt. Print the article to show them. I have no idea if they'll take responsibility for leaving the retainer out. Although the Tech Service Bulletin does not include your year vehicle, it should have, and they should have known it. The one that popped out in this post I wrote about is from a 2001 Accord. Good luck.

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=FFD20F2CADA43E7!231

Kendrick Downs said...

My 1999 Honda Accord 4 cylinder 210,000 preventative maintenance was due. Honda Service replaced timing belt, drive belts, water pump, coolant and set timing. Three (3) months later on my way to work the oil light came on and then another light came that I had never seen. I was a half mile from my job. When I got there I parked and after I got off I checked the oil stick--no oil! My car was towed back to Honda Service Center the same day (Sunday) after Service Center was closed. I called Monday and the Adviser said my car was ready--no charge! The invoice states that the balancer shaft seal "popped" out, replaced seal, installed retainer, replaced timing and balancer belt at no charge. One day after I had changed the oil my grandson wanted to see the engine. I noticed crankshaft wobbling. Could the popped out balancer shaft seal have caused the damaged crankshaft? If not, what could have caused crankshaft to wobble? I purchased my Honda new at this Service Center. For 12 years all of my preventative maintenance has been done at this Honda Service Center. They did my 105,000 miles and 210,000 miles timing belt, water pump service.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Yes, Kendrick, running it with that kind of sudden loss of oil can cause main bearing failure that the crankshaft runs on. Yes, they should have installed the retainer when they did the timing belt job. No, I don't know why they didn't. The Honda in my post here is a 2001 Accord.

The only thing I have a question about is if there is wobble in the crankshaft, there should also be noise. You didn't mention it having any other symptoms.

Kendrick Downs said...

Thank you for responding quickly. So the main bearing could have damaged the crankshaft? Any other ways crankshaft could be damaged while doing stated service? Once I knew the crankshaft was wobbling I could feel it a little but there was no noise. The pulley also wobbles. No other symptoms.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

No, I can't guess from here, Kendrick. Take it somewhere and find out why the crankshaft pulley wobbles. That is the only logical first step.

Bob Winchester said...

I have a '99 Accord 4 cylinder. I got a sudden oil leak and investigated it's source and found a mist coming out of the driver's side of the engine below the midpoint of the engine. It looks to be about the same area as the oil pump/balance shaft location. If the front balance shaft seal had popped out would the oil leak be from the back side of the motor or is this more likely to be the o-ring seal at the rear balance shaft area?

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

A popped out balance shaft seal leaks a lot of oil and will blow back on everything around the driver's side rear of the engine, Bob. Don't guess. Have someone take a peek inside the timing case cover. You can lose enough oil in a very short time and ruin the engine. The oil will get all over the timing belt too.

DaveC said...

BernardL,

I hope your good karma bucket is flowing over. Thanks for the information AND patience! I just had the balance shaft seal blow out on my 2001 Accord, and am in the process of replacing.

I want to say thanks to you and all the people asked questions that made you convince me to wait on the whole kit w/retainer. You also 'scared' me into replacing the water pump. Well, that and the detailed instructions for the nightmarish timing steps. :-)

Thanks, and be well.
Dave

jeebs said...

i have just had this happen to me at 190.000 km , i hope its that, i fill the engine with 4.5l of oil start the car 30 seconds later its emptied it all over the floor. nice.
good write up thanks.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

It will dump oil out at a very fast rate, Jeebs. It seems like that's your problem, especially if it's pooling under the timing case cover.

Travis Wright said...

I was wondering how many quarts of oil my 94 accord with the vtech 2.2 takes to do a oil change

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Four quarts with filter.

Piero said...

Hi Bernard, I have a question regarding an engine/mechanical type noise that I have noticed coming from my 2002 Honda Accord Coupe 4Cyl (VTech) 5 Speed.

My guess so far, is that it could simply be the normal sound of a "big block" 4cyl, which is what the 2.3L in essence is, and that my ears were simply "tuned out" of that sound when I test drove it. Although I do remember saying to the salesman that the car was very quiet, but this was on the highway and the sound of the highway does drown out many sounds.

So here are some facts about the status of the car:

- bought it when it had 116,000Kms, it now has 120,000kms

- had the timing belts changed, and the valves adjusted pretty much right after, if it was anything to do with the timing belts, you would notice it all the time correct, plus the power would lag?

- the oil was recently changed when I purchased it, but I changed it to 100% synthetic around the 118,000km mark, and I will always use synthetic from now on.

- the synthetic oil used is the exact same weight & API regulations of the recommended oil from the factory (5W-20)

- the original catalytic converter had to be changed as a chunk of the inner honeycomb structure broke off and the rattling was driving me nuts, I decided at that point as the bolts were all rusted/seized to change the whole exhaust from the cat - back.

- the aftermarket catalytic converter & exhaust system installed is from Walker, I can see that there may be a difference in tone from the exhaust sound compared to the original, which brings me to this question:

- Is the sound from the exhaust different (in tone/resonance) from driving normal compared to nominal/moderate acceleration?

- the exhaust is all sealed and sounds tight

- I have checked the oil and so far no problem, still at the same level as before. Still nice and golden, no darkness to it.

Ok, so now on the subject of describing the sound that I hear (only when accelerating).

1) It sounds like a "Popcorn/faint helicopter/growling/throaty" sound, sometimes like a Subaru boxer engine, I thought maybe there was something wrong with the air intake, it all checks out, the air filter was replaced too.

2) The sound does oscillate.

3) The sound of the engine idling is super quiet and normal.

4) When you rev the engine (at a stand still), there is no abnormal sound at all

5) The sound only happens when accelerating in gear

6) I have checked for exhaust/intake/vacuum leaks, so far nothing noticeable - no smells

7) I wonder if a semi-clogged VTC strainer could cause this

8) Power in the vehicle is normal, very peppy!

9) maybe EGR valve?

10) Could the VTech make this sound if not working properly, and if so, I would of noticed the engine light go on? -maybe?

Ok, well that's about all I can think of, I have done tons of reading in the forums for both Honda & Acura, and have also pretty much ruled out detonation as the car has adequate fresh fuel higher than the recommend rate (89) and the coolant (the blue good stuff from Honda) temp is always low (40-45%).

Maybe the sound of the exhaust traveling down the manifold to the down pipe is different when the engine is under load?

Or could a semi-faulty knock sensor enhance the engine growling sound?

I was told if the timing belt was rattling, it would sound much different, although the sound could be also similar to like someone gurgling, kind of. Any advice/help will be greatly appreciated! Would really like to know what this sound is. I did talk one Honda mechanics, and he said that's the characteristic of the engine for all Accords 1998 to 2002, and that's it's totally normal! I hope he's right!

- Erwin

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Erwin, my guess is when you changed the exhaust system, it changed the sound. You would notice it more on acceleration.

Roger Sahi said...

Thank you for making others aware of this issue. I have a 2000 Honda Prelude w/ 148k mi where the balancer shaft seal popped out on the other week. I lost all my oil in a matter of 1 mile but luckily it appears no engine damage after my new mechanic fixed it all up. He is a former Honda tech and was well aware of the retainer clip issue.

The Honda dealership that did my timing belt service at 100k did not install the retainer clip. I am hoping to get some of the repair reimbursed by them or American Honda. It is unacceptable that the TSB 00-073 only applied to particular older Hondas but mine still failed without the clip. I am writing to them now.

Roger Sahi said...

Thank you for making others aware of this issue. I have a 2000 Honda Prelude w/ 148k mi where the balancer shaft seal popped out on the other week. I lost all my oil in a matter of 1 mile but luckily it appears no engine damage after my new mechanic fixed it all up. He is a former Honda tech and was well aware of the retainer clip issue.

The Honda dealership that did my timing belt service at 100k did not install the retainer clip. I am hoping to get some of the repair reimbursed by them or American Honda. It is unacceptable that the TSB 00-073 only applied to particular older Hondas but mine still failed without the clip. I am writing to them now.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

You're absolutely right, Roger. A woman won her case against Honda of Canada using this blog. The pictures on the post are from a 2001 Honda Accord of a customer's car in my own shop. Good luck. I'm glad your engine wasn't damaged.

Jim Ribero said...

Hi Bernard,
I (like many others) think I have a seal pop-out issue. 2001 accord v-tec, lost all oil, timing cover case, same deal.
Made appointment with a mechanic on Thursday.
Was wondering if I should put in 5 quarts and drive it there (15 min) or have it towed.
Also, I am no trained mechanic, but I have done lots of repairs on vehicles over the years. How strongly do you advise against people doing this job themselves?
Don't have an acetylene torch, but have a propane topper.
I have seen videos to take the covers off, jack the engine + remove motor mount, mark gears and case for timing placement, etc..
I do not have an extra 1,200 laying around to spend on a 13 year old car. What do you think my chances are to do this job right (all parts you suggest replacing)?
I assume this work can all be done without pulling the motor out of the car?
Thanks for your great help to all us folks in need.
Jim

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

You might make it over there and you might not, Jim. It leaks oil very fast through there. This is not a job for a novice. If you plan on attempting it, you will need the shop manual, and if the crank bolt is on there like the others I've run across, only making the bolt cherry red will get it out of there. That can only be done with a very hot torch.

Jim Ribero said...

OK, so my story so far is:
Had car towed to mechanic, cost me $32.00.
Mechanic had the car all day, from 9am to 4:45, calls me and says that the leak is coming from under the timing cover.
Tells me it will cost me $300 to find out what is wrong (2 hours labor to take the covers off, and 2 hours to put them back on if I decide against the work).
I feel I am being ripped off. Like if the job is too hard, they can just quote me $3,000 to do the work. If I say yes, I pay that, if I say no, they make $300 off of me. I won't go into all the things wrong with this, but I tell them never mind, and pay another $32.00 to have it towed back home. What a great waste of time and money.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Jim. I can't understand why they're approaching it like it's a mystery. If the oil is pouring out of the timing case, it's the balance shaft seal. You could print the pictures off my post, and go down and show them. The one in the post is a 2001 Honda Accord.