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Honda Accord (1998-2002) Maintenance and Repair



  • Is the noise a metal "tap tap tap" noise or is it more of a "hollow knock" sound? Do a Google search on "PISTON SLAP" and see if the descriptions match what you are hearing.

    One of my previous cars had piston slap. The car would start with no noise, but after a minute of running, the knock would appear and last for less then a minute before disappearing. In my case, the slap had no detrimental problems with the car.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,402
    What weight oil do you use? What type of oil filter?


  • I use 5w-30 Amzoil with an Amzoil filter. I drive about 10K/yr and change oil yearly.
    I am familar with piston slap and don't think that is what it is but I cannot say for sure. It sounds like something stops being lubricated after 3 min. and then after another 5 min. it goes away.. It reminds me more of a solid lifter type sound more than anything.
    Thanks for the input, I appreciate your thoughts. baja joe
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,402
    Why don't you try a 10W-40 non-synthetic and get an oil filter from Honda and see what happens? You have nothing to lose except a shorter oil change interval. My Subaru had a similar issue and switching to non-syn and an OEM filter helped, but did not cure it. Of course I have a boxer type engine which is more susceptible to this sort of thing. 5W might just be too thin for your older, cold engine. I'd still keep 10W and not go to 20W since you have as I recall variable valve timing.

    OR---you could always have the valves adjusted...I *think* your engine is adjustable (need to check that). If so, I'd certainly have that done.

    I don't like to hear valve lifters hammering, even if there's no real harm. It's worth looking into, as we don't want camshaft damage.


  • I would do that but it had non-synthetic oil in it when purchased about 1 1/2 yrs ago. I switched after I heard the noise but no diff. 5w-30 is what Honda specifies but I could change its not critical.
    I will check and see about adjusting lifters and if that was done when Honda mech. checked on the noise.
    I was surprised when both Honda and Ind. mechanics said they did not think it was serious whatever it was. I think the key is trying to determine why it stops after engine warms up. Baja Joe
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,402
    Well I can't hear the noise so it's hard to advise you. But checking valve lash would be a good idea don't you think? If Honda says 5W-30 for your climate, well then, fine. I was just thinking that a miled-up engine might like a little heavier oil. How many miles on this car?


  • When I purchased the car it had 10w-30 non-synthetic in it and after about a week I changed to 5w-30 Amzoil synthetic. The car had its major 105,000 mile maintenence in July of '08 and the valves were adjusted at that time while trying to determine noise but there was no change. It presently has 110,000 miles. I have 20+ yrs experience with Amzoil on other cars and I stand by it but I can certainly try a heavier oil. They make a 5w-40 that is mainly for European cars but I would like to try it when I change oil. The car has been fine since purchased 1 1/2 yrs ago so whatever is making the noise must not be too serious however I am always looking to see if I can find a cause for the noise.
    Thanks for the input. baja joes
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,402
    In good diagnosis it's best to never make any assumptions. I would assume the valve adjustment was not done right, for instance, and check it. Also not all engine take to synthetics. Some respond badly to it over time (Mazda rotaries fer instance, or so MaxdaTrix says). It's not a miracle cure for engine wear or bad adjustments, as you know.


  • What you say could be true. When I change my oil in July I will go to a heavier wt oil and have the valves readjusted. But I believe in Amzoil and want to stay with it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,402
    Well I understand but faith-based diagnostics is still interfering with experimentation. I can tell you that when I went from syn to non-syn my lifter noise definitely got better on cold start. Of course that was MY car, not yours. So there may be a variable right there that doesn't apply to you.


  • Perhaps you missed my previous post but the "experiment" was already performed as the car had non-synthetic in it when purchased and still exibited the noise. There seems to be no difference. The valves will be readjusted again to attempt to determine if it was done correctly.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,402
    Oh I thought you said it got worse since you bought it, sorry.


  • I have a 2001 Accord special edition and about a week ago I know this key is getting harder to turn in ignition then as time passed by it has been worst untill yesterday I could not take the key out of ignition it would start but when you shutt off the car steering wont lock to take the key out anyone knows about this problem please let me know what can I do?

  • gmc13gmc13 Posts: 1
    i have a maintance light flashing ten times and a check engine light all the time but car runs perfect im stumped it has the 4cylinder
  • How long have you driven the car since the Engline ligh first came on? Last time it happened to my 6Cyl accord, I put the Lucas Fuel treatment tuneup bottle and also checked the fuel tank cap and then drove 30-40 miles and it was at 2nd or 3rd restart of engine the engine light did not come on... and everything ran okay..

    I remember engine light had initially come on when I had pressed my brake peddle and put accelerator peddle on high.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The maintenance light is simply needing to be reset, assuming you have actually HAD your maintenance done. It is set to do what its doing every 6000-7500 miles or so. The procedure is in the owner's manual.

    You can have the check engine light diagnosed for free at most auto-parts chains (AutoZone, etc..).

    Check your fuel cap. If you don't tighten it enough after you refuel, the light will kick on. It'll take driving it a few times before the light goes away.
  • 2002 honda accord (lx?)
    around 95k miles.

    how many good years are left if the transmission is rebuilt? should i trade/sell for a newer model asap?

  • cannell3cannell3 Posts: 39
    Tonight I noticed that the odometer on my 00 Accord is no longer illuminated. Does anyone have an idea of what it might cost to get the bulb(s) replaced? Also, my check engine light has been on for 2 weeks now; is there a way for me to reset it? Thanks! :confuse:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    1.) Dash bulb - I had an overhead instrument cluster light bulb replaced in my '96 Accord LX (it doesn't have illuminated pointers so I felt it was worth it for a quick glance at the speedo at night) but it cost over $100. That was at 120,000 miles. It has 189,000 now and hasn't had any other bulbs go out in the instrument cluster (the ones that light the PRND4D321 around the gearshift, and the hazard flasher have gone out, however). I was quoted $120 for the gearshift light. No thanks!


    2.) Check engine lights can be read and reset for free at most auto-parts chain stores (AutoZone, etc.).

    Hope this helps you out!

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