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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I can't thank you enough for any insight you can provide. This one came out of the blue on my 2005 Odyssey.

I took it in after experiencing some issues with acceleration on Christmas eve. It has never missed a scheduled tune-up, never been in an accident, and is treated very well. No other service has been done outside of the dealership.

This is the email I received from my service technician:

"Tom

Here is what we know so far, I have initial diagnosis and minor head repair to one spark plug inlet amounting to $538.88 including tax. After checking fault codes, removing spark plugs and looking inside the ports we found spark plug and coil burnt and damaged for cylinder #5. Middle cylinder on the front bank of engine. Then a compression test was performed and found 210psi except for cylinder #5 which is at 90psi.

Now it would appear there is scoring on the cylinder walls and most likely head and valve damage on that #5 cylinder. Best case senario would be removing the front head and repairing or replacing the head, gaskets, coil, plugs and fluids at an approximate cost of $2950.00 befor tax and shop supplies. Providing no other parts are required once getting into repair.

Second to that, if the cylinder wall damage is too extensive, we have sourced a used engine at a cost of approximately $4925.00 before tax and shop supplies. Again providing no other parts are required during removal of engine. Also it may be wise to replace the timing belt while the engine is out to be sure of it's condition. Some other parts may be required or additional time needed once getting into repair. Parts or bolts may be seized or break during engine removal or other parts required transfer due to wear and age.

Unfortunately on a repair of this nature we cannot give you a definate final repair cost but a minimum amount possibility in best case senario."

These are Canadian dollars. Should I pursue this with the dealership manager? I know very little about these things and am embarrassed to say so. That said, I don't see what I could have done to prevent this and wonder why it wasn't caught during routine checks. I also don't want to go in there guns blazing if this was something I caused.

Please help shed some light on this if you can.

Thanks in advance,
Tom
 

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I think providing us some more information on how your vehicle

accelerates can help us out here a little bit more.

Im sorry to hear that youre having those issues on such a good

taken care minivan..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The van struggled to get up to speed and kind of choked when accelerating. When I got it up to 60km/h it maintained it's speed but was sluggish.

I'm not questioning the mechanic's diagnosis. I think what he has found is legitimate. Rather, I wonder how something like this happens. And even more so, does it sound like something I should discuss with Honda Canada rather than just fork over the money without question.
 

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Plug thread damage , if it is what the mechanic is indicating, is not uncommon with aluminum heads. This is usually caused by improperly torqued plugs which over time will fracture the cylinder head plug threads. Cylinder damage is a whole other issue. This is not a common problem by any means. If this were my van I would repair the plug threads with an insert and run the motor to see if it presents any issues. You may want to check valve clearances to see if there are any tight clearances. Do not replace the head. If the motor burns oil or runs on 5 cylinders then just replace it with a used motor from the wreckers. This saves time and money. For what its worth , my two cents. Good luck.:confused:
 

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Well, if there is cylinder damage it could be due to a problem with the fuel delivery to that cylinder - if too rich (such as injector stuck open or injector driver shorted 'on') you can get washdown on the cylinder walls (too much gasoline dissolves the oil) which will cause scoring (and low compression, and contaminated motor oil). If too lean, you can get high cylinder temps which can cause burnt valves and a melted piston which can cause cylinder wall scoring as well. It would also explain the messed-up plug threads if that cylinder got really hot.

Since the problem is on the front bank, find a shop that has a video inspection borescope which can be stuck down the spark plug hole (with piston all the way down) to check things out pretty quickly, although you won't be able to see the valves. That should cost no more than one hour of shop time and may help you to determine your course of action. You already had a compression test, so if the piston and cylinder walls look OK, it's a good bet that you've got a valve problem, which then may point you towards pulling only the front head for a less-expensive repair than you were originally quoted.

I'm sorry to hear of your misfortune. If it turns out you're looking at a replacement engine, I think you should be able to find one for less than 4 large, although it may require some time. I know that the '99-04 motors are much less expensive, as many of this vintage vans were given up on after the nth tranny failure but the engine was still just fine. I've seen plenty of '99-04 motors for $300-700 but I realize that doesn't help you too much, just a point of reference.

But whatever you do, you want to identify the root-cause issue that caused the dead cylinder, as if it is in the fuel system and you reuse the same system on a new(er) long block, you could end up having the same failure all over again.

Let us know what you end up doing.
 

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To add to what has been said:

Compression seals in each cylinder is both by valves and rings. Using a "leakdown" tester and not a compression tester the shop can also test the cylinder against others fairly easily. Then they can squirt a good bit of oil into the cylinder, move crank about 180 degrees then back to position, then squirt more oil, then test again. This oil helps "seal" the rings. If you have a ring issue the leak down test will be better after oil. If its valves not sealing (or plug hole), it won't have any effect at all.

I second the opinion of having plug hole checked for thread issues and possibly checked for leaks during leakdown test with soapy water (guessing this will work as I have a newer van and have not messed with plugs yet, should be accessible. Just blow water away with air pressure before removing leak down tester hose from plug hole after spraying soapy water around.

If that cylinder had a vacuum leak, say from intake manifold, it would burn lean. Or bad fuel pump / injectors. Lean burn can burn the valve seat enough to ruin the engine. I've seen combustion chambers ate into pretty bad on our v6 race car when our fuel pump was failing, ruined the heads - at least out of my realm for fixing - some shops can heliarc weld aluminum in there and have it CNC'd to match up, but its a lot of work when you can get used heads reasonable.

The fact that it can't get up to speed leads me to think its more than one cylinder that's messed up.

What codes if any did you get?

I've seen trade mags where they can scope the starter motor power on a graph and show where compression differs and identify a lot of what goes on with out a lot of wrenches.

Good luck
 

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Do they have a boroscope which they could use to actually look at the cylinder walls?


Also - just curious, but what is the Honda spec/range which the cylinder compression is supposed to be at? I've seen people post values of around 180 psi, and now here 220psi - are these both in spec for the 3.5l engine?

I'll echo the recommendation that they do a leakdown test, as well as inspecting the plug hole threads on the questionable cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the great advice guys, I will definitely follow up with my technician.

B]Given the strict adherence to the maintenance schedule at the same dealership for the entirety of it's lifetime, how did something like this happen?[/B]
 

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How far out of warranty? Any service history with a dealer. See if Honda can help out with "Goodwill"
 

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Seriously, just swap in a used engine with new timing belt, plugs, pulleys and water pump. Keep the coils and injectors from the old engine. Send the rest to scrap.

These engines rarely fail, but as for the improperly tq'd spark plug, you might want to send bill that over to the mechanic who last replaced the plugs. That kind of failure is a symptom of sloppy work. Not driver abuse.
 

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gregersonke said:
These engines rarely fail, but as for the improperly tq'd spark plug, you might want to send bill that over to the mechanic who last replaced the plugs. That kind of failure is a symptom of sloppy work. Not driver abuse.
There is a known issue with spark plugs in the front middle bank poppong out of the head. The OP never stated anybody ever changed the plugs. It is indication of a poorly made cylinder head, not sloppy work ;)
 

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The #5 cylinder walls are scored and also the spark plug and coil were damaged. My guess is that the spark plug came loose, the coil overheated and died, then fuel washed into the cylinder and caused the rings to run dry against the cylinder wall.

Not sure though why the computer didn't throw a misfire code.

In any case, this sometimes just happens with an aluminum cylinder head (manufacturing defect or thermal mismatch between the steel spark plug and aluminum head I don't know), or the spark plug could have been improperly torqued during the last tuneup. I feel your frustration, but I don't think you did anything to make it happen and I don't think there was anything you could have done to avoid it.

As already mentioned, replace the engine with a used unit rather than repairing the present one. Also, an independant garage will probably be less expensive than the dealer, but you must choose an experienced one carefully.

BTW, credit to your dealer for the thorough diagnosis and options analysis.
 

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This happen to me on my 05 Honda Pilot with 86,000 miles. Legally this is a "latent defect" and should be covered 100%. I contacted Honda and they agreed to participate on "Good Will". They agreed to pay 30% of the cost of a new engine. Here's the catch, they would not participate on a used engine (salvaged engine from a junk yard) and a new engine ran about 30% more. I went with the new engine. The new engine was not an assembled engine but new OEM parts (block, head, water pump, gaskets, belts) along with undamaged parts from my engine and it was assembled at the dealership. I checked out their mechanic and had confindence he would put it together correctly. I now have 100,000 miles on my engine and have had no problems. I still think Honda should of participated more. Honda Engines are know for Quality. They should fix their problems.
 

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this has been a very informative thread for me.

Over the weekend, I was accelerating in my 05 Oddessy and apparently the spark plug blew out, and the coil cap blew off. I have great maintenance on my vehicle and can't imagine why this would happen. It seems as if the dealer should have caught this at the 75,000 mile check up they did 2 weeks ago?

What would you think?
 

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I understand your frustration. If the dealer changed the spark plugs at the 75K service, they are culpable. Otherwise, I don't think you could fault them. It's not normal maintenance to check spark plug torque.
 

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If the dealer tuned it up then its on them. If the plugs are stock then its Honda defect.
 

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How exactly does one do a compression test on a cylinder with a buggered up plug hole?

That's the part of this mechanic story that smells bad to me. Seems to me that the plug will need a helicoil insert just to do a compression test on that cylinder. Until then, the compression leakage could well be just at that plug hole itself.
 

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Depends on the type of compression guage. One that threads into the spark plug hole will definitely not work where the threads are damaged. One with a tapered rubber cone should work.
 
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