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Old 11-20-2008, 02:04 PM
87944turbo 87944turbo is offline
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Excessive Valvetrain Noise

I am experiencing what I would call excessive valvetrain noise for the past few months. It is most noticeable in the morning, but occasionally will continue for several miles after start up.

I did a search and did not come up with anything and was wondering if anyone else has experienced this problem. It's getting colder out now and it seems to be getting worse.

Car currently has 80K miles and I just completed an oil change this weekend with Castrol synthetic 5/30. I usually fill up with 87 octane from Shell. Any advice/help would be appreciated!
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:04 PM
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Have valves adjusted if you are sure that's what it is.
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:16 PM
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First problem. Castrol syntec. Garbage in a bottle.

You are using the incorrect weight oil for a K series. Dump the oil and filter and fill it with Motorcraft 5w20 and see if it quiets down.

I've had major issues with Castrol, both regular and syntec. From abnormal engine noises to horrendous rod knock on startup on high mileage cars.

Do you hear the noise when accelerating when the car is cold or is it noisy from the instant its started?
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:29 PM
dalefanatic38 dalefanatic38 is offline
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my car is doing the same thing. i got 5w-20 royal purple in mine. i mainlly run mobil 1.
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Old 11-20-2008, 07:39 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Fred it is not really noisy on startup and I would say it is loudest when I first accelerate onto the street from my driveway in the morning.

Didn't realize Castrol was that bad, can you tell me where I can find Motorcraft oil?
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Old 11-21-2008, 03:48 AM
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i know advance auto has it.
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:59 AM
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My 03 I4 has 75k and is also pretty noisy. On cold start-ups, like the OP said. It's probably the valves. I was thinking of having the clearances checked, even though this is scheduled for past 100k IIRC.
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87944turbo View Post
Didn't realize Castrol was that bad, can you tell me where I can find Motorcraft oil?
MC can also be found at Autozone and Walmart...look for the red colored bottles or jugs. Walmart used to sell a jug for $12.
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03exl View Post
My 03 I4 has 75k and is also pretty noisy. On cold start-ups, like the OP said. It's probably the valves. I was thinking of having the clearances checked, even though this is scheduled for past 100k IIRC.
Before you do that make sure you have the correct oil in there like MC 5w20.
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:52 PM
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Ok, does it sound (please bear with me) like it's at engine speed or half speed? Almost like a "mini-diesel" sound?

If you hear it when accelerating, but it stops when you release the accelerator (but still at the same rpm) it's not valve noise, it's cold engine piston slap. Once the pistons expand in the cylinders it stops.

My Integra GSR had this sound from about 20k until I sold it, only when cold. Seems to be a pretty generic Honda noise.

The MC oil may dampen it a bit as it does flow very well when cold.

The castrol isn't great, mainly because it seems to really thin out when hot. This leads to it running off all the components after a hot shut down. Thus the rod knock I hear on older motors, and it can exacerbate piston slap as there's a lack of oil on the pistons/cylinder walls to cushion the skirts when cold.
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SatinSilver View Post
Before you do that make sure you have the correct oil in there like MC 5w20.
I've been using Pennzoil 5w20. Any thoughts? Is there a price difference with MC?
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:33 PM
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Pennzoil is ok. It meets the basic requirements for 5w20.

Pennzoil, Quaker State and Shell oil are all the same stuff as they are all made by the same company in the same plant. Just packaged differently and a little different additive packages depending on the product.

The MC oil meets the very strict Ford/Honda double time testing for heat and shear.

Normally you won't hear valvetrain noises cold vs hot, if you're hearing clattering when accelerating, but it stops when you let off the pedal, it's most likely piston slap. Valve noise is primarily heard only at idle or slightly above when not moving. They'd have to be horrendously loud to hear them when revving the engine.
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Vermilion 1999 SVT F150 Lightning, Sylvania/Visteon Xenarc HID headlamps, '01 L turn/marker lamps, PIAA fogs, '01 up Bilstein shocks, all Pioneer speakers, Clarion subwoofer. All Redline fluids.

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Old 11-26-2008, 10:14 AM
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Great info guys, and Fred it is just as you described in that I hear it when accelerating, but it stops when you release the accelerator. It does sound like a diesel, just a very quiet one. I have had plenty of cars/trucks and never had anything like this before.

Is there anything you can do other than switching oil, I always take it extra easy on the car when cold. Also, does it indicate any potential future problems? Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:20 PM
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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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Vermilion 1999 SVT F150 Lightning, Sylvania/Visteon Xenarc HID headlamps, '01 L turn/marker lamps, PIAA fogs, '01 up Bilstein shocks, all Pioneer speakers, Clarion subwoofer. All Redline fluids.

Silverstone 2003 Honda S2000, bone stock
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:08 PM
melgottlieb melgottlieb is offline
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excessive valve noise

had exactly your problem-- it too now that it is colder became much more annoying-- solution is to have the dealer adjust the valves when the car is completely cold. they also checked and if needed retourque the head bolts.

they today did that and it solved the problem.

if it is under warrantee should cost nothing.
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