Monday, September 22, 2008
Honda Balance Shaft Seal Pop Out
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.