Honda motor noise. Oil related?...

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Jun 19, 2003
Niagara Falls, Ont.
I would think that if Honda had a piston slap issue, after only 30,000 km, nobody would be buying them. Why buy an overpriced import with piston slap, when you can get a cheaper domestic with piston slap? Yes, they are known to have noisy valvetrains & injectors, but I've never heard of any Honda having a piston slap issue (well, maybe the old B20 Prelude motor). Either way, it sounds like Robert M. has more of a mechanical problem than an oil problem.
Another possiblity is that the Honda V6's are well-known to have a weird sort of 'resonance'. My wife's 2002 Accord V6 does it, and once I heard it there, I've yet to find a Honda V6 that /doesn't/ do it at low RPMs (not idle, and not higher RPMs). IMO it's just a resonance due to the V6 arrangement and Honda's choices of timing, etc... BTW, her V6 with 17K on it burns *no* oil. Honestly, I've never had an oil burner that wasn't a motorcycle. Even my Buick Roadmaster (5.7L) with 282K miles doesn't burn *any* oil, even in the summer.
2nd Jon's statement. Have a 02 Accord which I thought might have some problems. It's the V6 with 50K miles on it. I too believe it's a resonance or frequency problem.
[Off Topic!] Could the resonance be coming from the tranny? I know Acura had a big warrantee issue back in September... "DETROIT, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co. Ltd. <7267.T> said on friday that it will offer an extended warranty on the automatic transmissions of 1.2 million vehicles sold in the United States due to premature wear or failure of the transmissions. Honda, known for its high quality vehicles, said about 26,000 or about 2 percent of the 1.2 million vehicles have experienced the transmission problems. The affected vehicles include the 2000-2001 Honda Accord, Odyssey and Prelude; the 2000-2002 Acura 3.2 TL; the 2001-2002 Acura 3.2 CL and some 2003 models of both of the Acura cars, Honda said. Honda will extend the warranty on the automatic transmission for those models to seven years or 100,000 miles. The standard bumper-to-bumper warranty for Honda vehicles is three years or 36,000 miles, while Acura vehicles are covered for four years or 50,000 miles. Honda will mail notifications to owners in the next few weeks, spokesman Mike Spencer said. Most of the 26,000 cases of transmission failure or premature wear that Honda is aware of occurred during the first three years of ownership, which is covered under the warranty, he said. But those owners that paid to have the transmission fixed are eligible for a refund. Spencer said the parts of the automatic transmission that were subject to premature wear were manufactured by suppliers. "Obviously these components were not made to specification," he said. Honda elected against a formal recall because the worn transmission did not pose a safety threat, Spencer said. Honda was not aware of any accidents or injuries as a result of the worn transmissions, he said. "
Sounds like typical overhead cam valvetrain noise. Since you had a valve adjustment done, I'm assuming your engine has no hydraulic lash adjusters. Mechanical valvetrains in overhead cam engines are slightly noisier than their hydraulic counterparts because there still is an ever so slight gap between either the lifter/cam lobe/valve stem or rocker/cam lobe/valve stem.
Originally posted by Robert M.: it makes a kind of just noticeable diesel sound mostly at lower RPMs, but it is smooth at idle. Once it gets revving up it is no longer noticeable.
Is this under load, with car in gear or does it do it when you rev it up in neutral?
Originally posted by vvk:
Originally posted by Robert M.: it makes a kind of just noticeable diesel sound mostly at lower RPMs, but it is smooth at idle. Once it gets revving up it is no longer noticeable.
Is this under load, with car in gear or does it do it when you rev it up in neutral?

I am pretty sure it is only under load, in gear. I don't think it is noticeable in neutral but I would have to check again to be sure. Oh, and thanks again for all of the responses.
Here is what we did with my wifes work car Accourd with 144,000 + miles. it was making a ticking noise but my brother [gear head] told me that this was common with the honda especially with higher milage. This is what he did and it seemed to help with some of the noise and power loss problems : **This as he told me would not fix wear probles because no matter what ads for oils,additives or other products that come in a bottle they WILL NOT magically fix worn pistons,bearings and other engine componants** First he put in a bottle of 5 minute motor flush 1.77 [walmart] [he actually let it run for 10-12 minutes but please follow directions on product as this car was being replaced anyway so no hurting it at this point] he drained the oil and replaced the filter 1.97 [supertech - walmart] and put in the oil 5.88 [ cheap supertech oil as he was going to run it only about 100 miles and redo the oil change]He then ran the car for about 100 miles. He then did a second oil change [this was to make sure the particles that may have broke loose during the motor flush were picked up and caught in the filter and not clogging anything] He then placed a can of engine restore in the motor with the new supertech filter and penzoil High Milage. The engine did quiet down a good deal but still had the usual worn rattle [which is typical for an engine with high miles] but we got a great deal of power back after driving it for about 50 miles or so. it was very noticible power. prior to this the engine was very doggie [this was a year ago] but her sister now drives the car and it has 170,000 on it and still runs fine. So for under 20.00 we found out although it still has a little tick to the engine it still had alot of miles left on her. Best of luck to you
Since it happens under load, I am sure it is the usual Honda valve knock, which happens on all their high mileage 4-cylinders. Use higher octane gasoline and it will go away.
I have a 95 Honda Odyssey with the 2.2 4 cyl and 136K miles and since I bought it over a year ago it makes a kind of just noticeable diesel sound mostly at lower RPMs, but it is smooth at idle. Once it gets revving up it is no longer noticeable. I have had the valves adjusted and full tune up and no change. A couple of mechanics have driven it and say it is nothing to worry about and it may just be worn valves with age and just to live with it. The engine loses at most 1/3 of a quart at 4K miles. When I first bought it at 120K miles I ran one OCI with Valvoline Max Life 5W30 then started using Castrol GTX 5W30 since. From reading this board it seems that maybe going to a 10W30 like Pennzoil High Mileage might make a difference or something with Moly in it. Doesn't Pennzoil HM have a good amount of Moly in it? Any suggestions on this? Thank you.
I was thinking about gonig with the Pennz HM oil also in my older Honda 4. It should be worth a try and see how it does in yours. Sure can't hurt anything. So far mine has 200,000 on Pennz 5W 30. Mine makes some noise but only on a cold start and I can't be sure but it might be piston slap or just valves. It has done this all its life. Does yours do it warm or cold?
It does it regardless of temperature. When the engine is cold it is revving higher so the noise is less noticeable. Also, the noise is much less noticeable when the Air Conditioning is on. Is that because the engine is revving higher?
Mine does the same but only when cold. Bill Gardner on "Motoring 200x" claims that this is a common thing to happen to Honda engines with more than 30,000kms on them and it's caused by piston slap. My 1.6L currently has about 128,000kms and I'm running Amsoil 0-30 though I had the same noises with Mobil1 5-30 Greg
FYI This is NOT a Honda motor, tranny, chassis etc. Before the current Odyssey with the Honda V6, Honda partnered with Isuzu to fill the gap in Hondas lineup for a SUV and a minivan, hence the first gen Odyssey and Passport (which were rebadged Isuzus). What I would do is search the TSB list at and to see if this issue has been brought up in the past. Surely, if this is a widespread issue, it will be documented here. If nothing shows up, then this may be a issue specific to your vehicle. Therefore, try a bottle of Auto-RX. A few cleanings will do wonders for it. Let us know if that helps at all.
To clarify:
I have a 95 Honda Odyssey with the 2.2 4 cyl
FYI This is NOT a Honda motor, tranny, chassis etc.
The '95 is a real Honda vehicle, mechanically similar to the '95 Accord. The '95-'98 Odyssey sold in the USA was a 4 cyl. It was sold in Japan until 2003 and in Australia even after being discontinued in the USA. Later Japanese market Odysseys were available with a 4 cyl or v6 option. Honda and Isuzu did a trade to get more models to sell in each car store. Isuzu got the Honda Odyssey and named it the Isuzu Oasis to sell in Isuzu stores. Honda got the Isuzu Rodeo and named it the Honda Passport in order to get an SUV to sell in Honda stores. The '99-2004 Odyssey sold in the USA is bigger with a v6 and is also sold in Japan as the "Lagreat". Lagreat is too big for many Japanese buyers. If Honda could solve the transmission problem, the late model Odyssey would be much improved.
Everything Thrace said is absolutely correct. The first generation Odyssey (95-98) is based on the Accord platform and uses the Accord chassis, engine and transmission, though all are modified somewhat. It is 100% Honda made in their main Japanese plants. Back to my noise issue. Upon paying closer attention it sounds to me like just valve clatter and it seems to always be there no matter how fast I am going. As I accelerate more it just gets quicker and drowned out by other engine/road noises or if the AC is on. If that is the case then would a thicker oil be of any help? What about a cleaning? Thanks again.
It appears, by virtue of shear numbers, I stand corrected. [bowdown] Thanks for the clarification as there is always something to learn here, even away from lubrication! [Happy] ...keep us posted if the cleaning/Auto-Rx works. Iam off to look at the 1st gen [u]HONDA[/u] Odyssey. [Smile]
Robert, you mentioned that you had a major tune-up, but did not mention whether a timing belt or chain had been replaced. If the engine has a belt, you should have changed it by now. If it has a chain, they can usually go longer. I am not a mechanic, but this is just a thought. If the belt or chain stretches with age, it may be slapping around a little and/or changing the valve timing slightly when idling or revving under low load. Under load, I would think it would not be as noticeable, as the rpms would not change so quickly and there would be more drag on the cams, making it tighten up. If you rule that out, this could just be detonation/pinging due to carbon build-up on the valves? [I dont know] You could try a fuel-injector cleaner. Try a can of BG44K available at auto parts. [ January 17, 2004, 10:56 AM: Message edited by: Tones ]
Dirty hydraulic valvelifters. Do an Auto-RX treatment or two. Caused by infrequent oil changes and deposits within small passages causing oil not to reach where it should. Like a cholesterol problem.
Well, I took it to another mechanic today and he told me it is "just some Piston Slap" and that it is nothing to worry about, just a little annoying. What he told me sounds likely since my valves are correctly adjusted and based on what I read on the internet. Of course I don't know how harmless it is since it does it all the time and not just when the engine is cold. If it is Piston Slap then will cleaning the engine or using thicker oil help decrease the noise at all? I went ahead and started the initial phase of the Auto-RX in it today just to get the engine cleaned out. If that doesn't help with the noise then I will try using 10W30 when the whole Auto-RX is complete. Input is very appreciated.
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