Join Date: May 2004
Location: Morganville, NJ
Thanked 19 Times in 16 Posts
Thanks for clarifying your noise.
It's piston slap. GM trucks have a huge problem with it as does Ford with certain engines.
There's nothing much you can do about it other than complain to Honda.
I know many of the older 4 cylinders Bs, Fs, Ds (to a lesser extent), all had it. The F22 in the gen 5 Accords seemed to be the loudest. High mileage J30s also have it.
Driving easy for the first mile or two as the engine warms is a very good idea, regardless of whether you have any noise or not.
As far as future problems, well it depends. Piston slap is excessive piston skirt to wall clearance, usually when cold. If you hear it hot, you've got a big problem. It does tend to get a little worse with age.
Many piston manufacturers put an area of low friction coating on the skirts to reduce the chance of hearing this and to reduce running friction. If the surface wears off, you get noise. This is why certain oils with better frictional characteristics and better specs seem to help, they can "cling" a little to the pistons on shut down to help keep the piston skirts from contacting the cylinder walls.
Most Hondas use cast aluminum pistons, they are usually fairly round when cold and expand evenly. If they've gone to hypereutectic pistons they start cold ever so slightly oval and go to round when hot and provide stronger pistons than regular cast.
Both of these are usually set fairly tight clearanced when cold.
I can't remember ever hearing of Honda using forged pistons (maybe the turbo RDX does though) they are deliberately set up looser when cold as they expand much more when hot. Anything with forged pistons sound very loud and diesel like when cold.
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