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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Honda 3.5L Engines Need Valve Adjustments

I didn’t have time on Friday to write up these characters with a 2005 Honda Odyssey, 3.5L engine. The Honda stopped in on Thursday afternoon, arriving in the shop running very rough. As I walked toward the vehicle, a guy in his thirties, pot belly, about six feet tall, in cutoffs and ratty looking gray tank top, with long stringy brown hair, and a Fu Manchu beard gets out of the driver’s side with a big smile. I’m thinking blog time for sure already until a woman exits the passenger side. She sported cutoffs, a faded yellow sleeveless top, reddish hair cut short, thin to the point of emaciation, and a few inches shorter than the driver. Both wore those strapped on open toed sandal shoes. Now I know it’s going to be blog time. I just didn’t know why yet. They’ll be known as Tina and Timmy Odyssey for our adventure into automotive repair land at Nilson Brothers Garage.

“Hi can I help you?”

The guy peered at my nametag for a second. “You sure can, Bennie. Our Honda’s runnin’ terrible.”
I glanced down at my name tag and sure enough, a smear had made my r into an n. So, now I’m Bennie. Immediately that old Elton John song ‘Bennie and the Jets’ starts playing in my head. Great. “I did notice it running badly when you drove in. Would you like to make an appointment to have it checked?”

“Could we just leave it now, Bennie?” Tina asks me.

“Sure.” I told them the diagnostic price, and they took it in stride. I’m nearly fifty dollars less than the dealer so they knew it was a bargain. I wrote them up an invoice. First, let me say I had both my big doors open in the shop with a nice March breeze blowing through. Then let me explain I had to duck into the driver’s side to get the mileage for the estimate. I nearly passed out. I stumbled back out of the Honda and pretended I was checking out the vehicle’s license while gulping fresh air. Returning to the driver’s side with my breath held for dear life, I quickly got the mileage and shut the driver’s door. I figured I’d have to look around carefully when T&T left, so I’d have something to show the police when they arrived with the coroner. I knew there had to have been a dead body hidden within the Honda’s interior. Timmy signed the estimate and walked out with Tina, hand in hand. They only lived six blocks away. It was now time to find out if even my apples and cinnamon Fabreeze could make it so I could get from the doorway to my diagnostic bay without fainting dead away from the smell.

A second scenario hit my writer’s mind as I hunted my emergency Fabreeze down: zombies. No, that couldn’t be it. They make too much noise. I found my Fabreeze and opened up all the doors of the Odyssey, an appropriate name all things considered: no zombies or decaying flesh. I Fabreezed the hell out of the interior, trying to ignore the refuse piled up inside. Pinching my nostrils, I turned the key to on and rolled all available windows down. I let my apples and cinnamon forces of good battle for five minutes with the stink of evil before hopping inside, holding my breath anyway, and driving it into my diagnostic stall. I made it without incident, or fainting spell.

My software took a deep reading of the computer including mode 6 which will even herald possible problem areas that have not set a code. The poor Odyssey had a random misfire code which I suspected, having read up on my service bulletins and facing this in the past with the 3.5L engine. At around 80,000 miles and up the exhaust valves tighten up just enough to cause the computer to see the misfire. Then it shuts down a whole bank. I took a quick look in the engine compartment for anything out of the ordinary… like a dead, mangled skunk, but it was far cleaner than the interior. I figured out the estimate and called the Stinkies… I mean the Odyssey’s. They were very happy it wasn’t a blown engine and gave me the go ahead.

“Just call us when it’s done, Bennie.”

Bennie is on the case. “I sure will.”

The exhaust valves proved to be only a couple thousandths of an inch tight, and adjusting them made all the difference. The air blowing through the shop mixed with my Fabreeze Force had worked magic to the point I could actually take a breath inside the vehicle as I test drove it. Tina and Timmy turned up at the appointed time to pay their bill, and I quickly found out in my small office what had contaminated the Honda. Even with propping the door open, and going through the quickest customer charge transaction in Nilson Brothers Garage history, my eyes watered, my nose ran, and for the first time ever I considered pepper spraying a couple of customers – not because they were unruly, but because the smell would have been an improvement. After they left, I thought of pepper spraying the office as an experiment, but decided on leaving both doors open and launching my Fabreeze Force into every corner.

Back to the purpose of this post - if any of you own a Honda with the 3.5L engine, they do need valve adjustments. As to the rest of my adventure I will leave it in each person’s best judgment. Yes, Fabreeze works! Bennie, over and out.  :)

Remember to buy COLD BLOODED if you like hardcore adventure. Thought promotion ended, huh? I think not.  :)


raine said...

You do meet the most interesting people, Bennie. :)

BernardL said...

I don't know how those two do it, Raine. Their sense of smell has to be dead. I can't remember ever smelling anything like that Honda. Bennie and the Jets to the rescue! :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Egads, man. See what a sense of smell will get you?

BernardL said...

I definitely see what a lack of one gets you, Charles. :)