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I have an 03 ody that has 155,000 miles on it and it started idling very rough all of the sudden.
Someone told me that the valves needed adjusting and someone else told me it could be the timing belt.
Is there some way to know for sure? If it it the timing belt I was told that the engine is toast...
 

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Has the timing belt been replaced or the valves adjusted? It's due at 105K miles or every 7 years regardless.

Typically valves don't cause sudden problems like you are describing. How does it run at higher RPMs? How does it drive? Is the check engine light on? Have you checked for codes?
 

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Has the timing belt been replaced or the valves adjusted? It's due at 105K miles or every 7 years regardless.

Typically valves don't cause sudden problems like you are describing. How does it run at higher RPMs? How does it drive? Is the check engine light on? Have you checked for codes?
timing belt has not been changed, runs better at higher RPM's and drives ok. Check engine light came on and the codes were for misfires
 

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timing belt has not been changed, runs better at higher RPM's and drives ok. Check engine light came on and the codes were for misfires
valves have not been adjusted which is what one person told me needed to be done. I just thought that it happened pretty quickly that it might not be that, but i am not a mechanic..
 

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Do you know the Specific codes? Valves are typical of an idle issue and the car running better at higher RPMs. When was the last time the plugs where changed?
 

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Valves shouldn't be off enough after 155K miles to cause misfires.

It sure sounds like the timing belt. Replacement is definitely due. If it jumped by one tooth, it could cause misfires but not damage the engine. However, if it did jump by one tooth, another jump is inevitable. That one could damage the engine.

The engine TB covers have ports through which the valve timing can be checked.

Dave
 

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If the EGR ports haven't been cleaned and this was my car I would do the timing belt, water pump, and tensioner pulley along with a valve adjustment. While doing the valve adjustment you can also clean the EGR passages and check the plugs. A coil is also possible though they typically also cause issues at higher RPMs as well as at idle.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the posts. I'm not sure the car is worth doing all of this work. Since I have to have someone to do the work it would probably cost a couple thousand dollars to do this and the van is only worth about 1500. I put over $1200 in it in the last year for alternator, tires, exhaust system, battery air conditioner fixed. Don't know if I should cut my loses or not.
I do have a local vocational school that might take it in to let the students work on it which would be free labor... but no guarantees.
 

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Your codes indicate a misfire.

I fully agree with the comment above that a valve adjustment issue would not appear suddenly. The valves go out of adjustment a teeny bit at a time (roughly a millionth of a millimeter per mile = slow, not sudden), over 150k miles. BTW, I do mine at the same 105k timing belt interval for various reasons including not wanting to wonder if my valves may be out of adjustment when something else goes wrong, like this.

Good idea to consider any repair or diagnosis from a financial standpoint here. Depending on what is wrong, needed, or suggested for repair and diagnosis, it may not be worth doing by your mechanic. (but may be for someone you could sell the car to).

The easiest thing could be a soft failing ignition coil. Common problem on these cars. A ~$60 fix (cost of the coil, trivial to replace - only tool needed is a 6mm Allen wrench) if that's what it is. Search on here for debugging procedure, "coil drop test."

EGR is another usual suspect, but I have no direct experience on my Odysseys with that since I pre-emptively cleaned mine out.

Another candidate not mentioned yet is the idle air control valve (IACV). Also problematic on these cars. Search on here for info on troubleshooting and cleaning / replacing that. Easy test that will give you some info is if you get the car idling roughly at idle, and then very lightly step on the gas pedal. Up to 1000-1500 RPM or so. If it immediately smooths out once you step on the gas (doing that bypasses the IACV), that's an important clue.

I doubt the timing belt is off. I actually made an error when doing the TB the first time on my '99, and was one tooth off on the front cam, due to my misunderstanding the ambiguous drawings and instructions in the manual (crystal clear now, BTW - there are two sets of marks). In that state the car ran terribly. Would barely idle, misfire codes on all cylinders, and even at high RPM, it was not strong and did not run well. So I expect if you were off a tooth, it would be far worse than your description.
 

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Someone else mentioned it above — sounds like a coil pack to me too. You can pick up a couple of used ones from a junkyard for next to nothing and swap one at a time to see if there is a difference. Or buy one, or borrow one from someone with a 2nd gen Ody.
 

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First thing I would do is throw a bottle of Seafoam into the gas tank. Here in SoCal the fog can sometimes add a little moisture to the gas. Give it a shot.
 

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I have an 03 ody that has 155,000 miles on it and it started idling very rough all of the sudden.
Someone told me that the valves needed adjusting and someone else told me it could be the timing belt.
Is there some way to know for sure? If it it the timing belt I was told that the engine is toast...
Have the COILs been changed. They seem to last a long time in the odysseys but 155k miles is a long time between changes. Mileage isn't the only thing that wears out coils, time and engine temperature tends to wear out the rubber and electrical components. If you do change them, be sure to change them to ones that are high quality. I like the OEM Denso from Rock Auto Parts. They cost about $30 each. Also, if you change the coils, look closely at the plugs. Were the plugs changed using OEM style?
 
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