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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I am just out of warranty by 6k miles and 4 months. The odyssey starts hesitating a bit and the check engine light comes on. I take it to the dealer where I bought it and I an informed that Ignition coil #2 has melted and the head needs to be taken out in order to remove the coil. With potential for permanent head damage. The cost to fix it will be around $1500 if no head damage, to around $4000 if the head needs to be replaced. WoW!

In short, I called Honda to see if they would do some goodwill and help out...After around 3 weeks they call back and ask who has been doing the maintenance since they have no record of it being done by any dealer. I tell them that I have done all the required maintenance and gave them the exact dates of when I changed the oil and filter (Mobil1 5w20 and Honda filters)including the reading of the oil interval counter for each oil change since I bought the vehicle.

I also told them that this issue was clearly not a maintenance issue, but rather a defect of a component not related to maintenance. The spark plugs are the original and have never been touched by anyone. They are supposed to be good to 105K miles, I only have 66K miles on the vehicle.

A few days later I get a call from the Honda Rep saying they are looking into helping out and they are waiting to hear back from the service manager at the dealer to work out an agreement... I asked her what does the service manager have to do with what Honda is willing to pay. She just rattled off some crap that they are part of the Honda team bla bla bla. Ok, so I wait some more time. Honda calls back again and says we can not do anything for you. I almost fell off my chair.. Why I asked?? The only thing she said is that since there was no maintenance done by a dealer they would not help out. I emphasized again that I did proper maintenance and this issue had nothing to do with maintenance.. She basically said, case is closed you are basically on your own. I asked to escalate this within Honda, she said nope case closed...

So much for Honda reputation of reliability and customer commitment.

I go to the dealer to pick up the van and speak to the service manager. He basically said it was not his call, but that of the Honda local rep. I asked him for his name and number, no luck he can not give that out. I am Screwed...

I drove away...pissed off. I feel for what ever reason I got screwed on this one...

Sorry for the long post, but I just needed to vent.

Anyone have any ideas on how to escalate this with Honda?

My other alternative is to do the work myself. I have not looked at it yet, but I am hoping that I can remove the melted coil without taking the head off, by either drilling it(carefully), or try to break it off into small pieces until I get all of it off. It will be tough since it is in the rear facing head. Has anyone been successful in doing it? Any tricks that might help? has anyone have this problem?

Finally, I may have to take the head off...

It is frustrating that such a simple failure can cause so much work, not a good design!

Any recommendations would be appreciated..

BTW After all of this, I happen to Yahoo the Honda dealer and find out that they have 8 reviews, all 1s and 2s out of 5. Should have checked that before I guess.
 

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I would at least try to look down in the plugwell with a mirror and see how badly the coil boot is melted. I can see the COP melting, but don't know why the tube would've melted.
 

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Since the coil gets plugged to the spark plug, and if the spark plug is intact then there should be nothing into the cylinder. Try to pull whatever you can with your hands and after that try retrieving the rest with some long pliers etc. Don't remove the spark plug since it is the only barrier to the pieces going into the engine. I think that you should be able to clean it. Sometimes the dealers exaggerate trying to rip you off with the bill. Just have a look and report back please.
 

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It sounds like you can try to take rear valve cover off and clean everything up.
Get new valve cover gasket, new spark plug and new ignition coil, before you start the job to be ready for worst. The ignition coil plugs onto spark plug in spark plug tube and has one or two small bolts holding it onto valve cover.

Remove decorative engine cover. Try to remove whats left of ignition coil. If it does not come out, just cut off the cord. Remove the other two coils and try to remove valve cover. Your old coil will be in the valve cover spark plug tube. Hopefully from there you will be able to remove remnants of the coil.

Even if the spark plug is damaged on the top, you can hopefully remove the base of it from the cylinder head.

I have worked on a few engines and base my suggestion on that. I have not worked on the Odyssey engine yet (i.e. I have not removed valve covers from it).

I don't know why the dealer told you about removing the head. Maybe that's the proper (Honda) way to do it, or maybe they are thinking worst case scenario.

Again, I am not a mechanic, just a hobby DIYer.
good luck,
Max
 

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...I take it to the dealer where I bought it and I an informed that Ignition coil #2 has melted and the head needs to be taken out in order to remove the coil.
Couple things;

1. The Honda dealer scams you. No need to remove the cyl head to change the coil.

2. Go to Autozone or Pep Boys etc. read the code to be sure it is #2.
Or buy a code reader for $50 and read it your self.

3. The reason for the ignition coil melting: spark plug working its way loose, heat from combustion chamber kills the coil. Count yourself lucky because if a loose spark plug is not taken care of: kaboom, the spark plug will shoot right out of the cylinder head like a bullet and hits the hood! (search forum!).

4. This is the spark plug DIY including the numbering system for #1-6.
#2 is the REAR MIDDLE spark plug, close to the firewall.

http://www.odyclub.com/forums/52-20...-2007-honda-odyssey-spark-plug-40k-miles.html


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Since this happens to #2 coil and you have 66K miles, I'd do the following:

a. Change the ignition coil #2:

PN for Ignition Coil is 30520-RCA-A02....about $60

b. Change all 6 spark plugs (using only NGK as in owners manual), during install, use a bit of anti-seize to prevent galling in the future. Again, see the DIY thread above.


PS: Report back the outcome so others with the same problems can benefit from your experience!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ody back on the road

The cause of the failure and stuck coil was not due to the melting of the coil
as the dealer had mentioned, but it was caused by the rusting of the metal
sheath around the coil to the coil tube(which is part of the head). The spark
plug was not tight(removed it by hand) and you could tell gasses from the
cylinder must of been leaking through the spark plug seal, there was black soot like substance on the outside of the spark plug. See attached picture.

I made up a couple of "rigs" in order to remove the ignition coil that was
stuck in place. This was the center coil in the rear head, #2, which can only be seen by using a mirror, difficult access.

The first "tool" I used to try to turn the coil using a socket to try to work it
free, it would not budge and the head of the coil finally broke off leaving the
rest of the coil inside the tube.

The second tool I used to line up a drill bit into the center of the coil which
has a steel core. Note that a normal drill would not fit between the engine and
the firewall so needed a tool that would guide the drill bit in the center of
the steel core.

After I drilled a hole in the steel core about 1/2 inch deep, I tapped some
threads and screwed on a bolt on to the core. I was then able to pull out the
remaining coil using a lever (had previously soaked it with penetrating fluid).

Then I was able to remove the spark plug which was not tight. I believe the
threads are still good since I can screw in a new spark plug and tighten it, so
I think I am lucky.

I have pictures of the custom tools etc, but I am getting an error (does not say what the error is)when I try to upload the pics. If anyone wants to see them let me know what I may be doing wrong, they are Jpeg less than 100Kb.

Moral of the story:
I recommend checking the spark plugs at least every 20K, make sure they are properly tighten to the proper torque.

Don't believe everything the dealer mechanics say, a lot of them are just out to make a buck at your expense. I saved at least a couple of grand by doing the work myself, but had to get pretty creative.

Be careful if you do your own maintenance, it could hurt you if something fails, specially if you are looking for goodwill from Honda.

I have to admit, getting this fixed on my own feels very rewarding and I do not just mean financially.

Thanks for the feedback...
 

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Nice pictures!

For those reading this thread, the cylinder numbering system is here:


 

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Ody, that's quite creative and ingenious. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Seems the problem stems from an engine assembly error (spark plugs not tightened to spec), or a failure of the spark plug to remain tightened, if tightened to spec.

Good that you got it solved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Firemann1!

I have done my own maintenance since the van was new, so I know with 100% certainty that the spark plugs were not touched. So either Honda did not tighten that particular plug to spec or somehow it worked itself loose with time.

For this reason I recommend checking them every 20k mile or so to make sure they are ok and properly torqued. They are supposed to be good for 100K miles, but don't wait to 100K, at least check them every so often.

This can lead to a serious problem that can cost you big $$$...
 

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ody2, heck of a job on the drill bit jig! Congrats on the work, it can be infuriating at times, but when you're successful and proved you didn't need 50k worth of tools to accomplish a difficult task, it's infinitely rewarding.

Thanks for returning with a write up!

It's hard to imagine that if the threads were loose enough to let all that fire & soot out, that it wouldn't have sounded like chitty-chitty bang-bang & already jettisoned the coil out of the head.
 
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