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Honda Accord Engine Questions

bf109acebf109ace Member Posts: 77
edited July 2014 in Honda
I bought my Accord 11 months ago and has put 7000 miles on it. It's auto transmission. I properly broke in the engine and had my 1st oil change at 4500 miles.

In local and on highway, I tend to accelerate hard and rev the engine up to 5000-6000rpm frequently for passing. I know the CPU will automatically up-shift the gears on the auto transmission if the engine rev to 6000-6500rpm redline.

Will frequent and hard acceleration 'hurt' the engine? I think VTEC engines 'like' high rpm. On my Accord, the 'sweep spot' for torque is between 2800-4000 rpm I think.

What's your experience and suggestion? Thanks.


  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    Honda engines are made to run hard. But any engine will wear faster at 6000rpm than it will at 3000rpm. If every time the accelerator pedal goes down, it hits the floor, the engine, and maybe transmission will have a shorter life span. I'm not saying it will break or blow up, just not last quite as long. Of course if it shortens the life span from say 200k miles, down to 170k miles it may not mean anything to you.
  • bf109acebf109ace Member Posts: 77
    What's 'transaxle fluid' change? Are you talking about 'transmission fluid' change? If so, what's the regular interval for the change? 50,000 miles?

    So you suggest for 'severe driving' with high rpm, the fluid change interval should be 30,000 miles instead of 50k or 60k. Please clarify. Thanks.
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    I would change it at 30k miles (the regular interval for severe is 60k, I think).

    You should check the fluid every month (level and condition) to see if it smells, or looks burnt. You should check the fluid right after driving. That's when everything is still floating around in the fluid (before it settles back in the pan).
  • octormoctorm Member Posts: 9
    I bought my Accord EX I-4 recently. Was wondering what's the typical/ optimal rpm range for normal driving?

    What rpm range is this engine ideally tuned for?

    What would be the idling rpm and cruising rpm to expect ?

    What rpm ranges should I expect to look for when accelerating?

    Any thoughts are appreciated..
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    Well, in modest acceleration, I never top 3,000 RPM.

    When merging, I sometimes hit 4,000 RPM if the ramp is short.

    Idle, around 700 RPM.

    Cruising in top gear (5th), you'll turn 1,000 RPM per 30 MPH, or speeds such as:

    45 MPH/1,500 RPM
    60 MPH/2,000 RPM
    75 MPH/2,500 RPM

    The engine is tuned to rev freely and smoothly (after 600 mile break-in), but if you keep your foot out of it, you'll get great economy (i've gotten 39.9 MPG on a trip before).
  • jedi_master98jedi_master98 Member Posts: 2
    here is my problem. :confuse: my 1993 Accord EX is a manual trans and I need to tighten the timing belt. How do I remove the pulley where the crankshaft is? I have been trying to figure it out for 3 days already. :mad: I really hate having to walk everywhere. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :cry:
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Member Posts: 1,134
    Timing belts are kept taught by a simple spring-loaded or fancier oil pressure modulated hydraulic autotensioner (which type varies with the engine model) behind the engine front cover. If your timing belt is loose, that's an indication the cogged belt has stretched, shed some cogs, or the autotensioner is shot. (or any combination of all of the above) To access the timing belt, you're right - the front cover has to come off, and to achieve that, you have to remove the crankshaft front pulley. A VERY tight bolt has to removed from the front of the crankshaft. Presuming you you achieve that Herculean task (overcoming more than 100 lb.-ft. of torque is involved), you'll still need a crankshaft pulley puller to finally "pop" the crankshaft pulley loose enough to remove. (You presumed undertaking this repair was going to be easy? Really?) Since you referenced a manual transaxle, you obviously have the 4-cyl motor. Good news - there's only one camshaft involved. Keep in mind though that any oversights or mistakes in retiming the engine subsequent to replacing the timing belt can and will destroy the engine by breaking pistons and/or bending or breaking valves upon 1st re-start attempt. (There are rarely second chances with "interference" type engines.) If you aren't well versed in camshaft timing repairs on overhead camshaft engines and if you don't have a detailed shop manual (Honda's is put out by Helm, but Chilton and Haynes appropriate year manuals for Honda cars cover the techniques, too.), this might be a job better left to someone possessing the proper skills and access to the proper tools. An independent shop would probably deal with the belt for ~$350.00, more or less. If inspection reveals oil-related damage to the belt, then the repair costs ramp up dramatically to cover the cost and labor for whatever seal replacements may be necessary to prevent the same thing happening to the replacement timing belt. If the autotensioner has to be replaced, add its cost in. If you're intent on tackling the job yourself, you have my best wishes for good luck and a successful outcome.
  • chea89chea89 Member Posts: 57
    Excellent response!!! Not a job for a shade tree mechanic with little experience. As a machine shop owner, I have done very well repairing cylinder heads with ALL the valves bent due to incorrect timing adjustments by amateurs. Best left for the pros. Pay now or pay much more later!!!
  • tankbeanstankbeans Member Posts: 585
    I've figured out that it is time to replace my timing belt on a 1995 Accord EX with 113000, but don't know where to take my car or about how much I should expect to pay for such a repair/maintenance venture whatever you want to call it. So far I've come up with $550 on the low side. Would it be smarter to take it to the dealer as they have more of the tools and knowledge to do it, as they are the ones who make the car, or should I just find a good mechanic in the area to do it.

    Finally, what all is involved so that I know the right questions to ask? I want to make sure that I get everything right. I plan on keeping this car for a long time.

    Thank you anybody who can answer these questions.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    Make sure your price also includes replacing the water pump. The timing belt must be removed to get to the water pump, so it is good preventative maintenance to have the pump replaced while the belt is off; it will likely cost you less in the long run.
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    or should I just find a good mechanic in the area to do it.

    This is the most important part. Even at the dealership, you have good, experienced techs, who know what they are doing. And you also have the guy who is a rookie, and still learning working next to him. Which one ends up working on your car, is pretty much "Luck of the draw". My advise is to find a mechanic you can trust. Ask friends and relatives who they use.
  • blackexv6blackexv6 Member Posts: 503
    IMO it is worth paying a couple extra bucks to have the timing belt changed at the Honda dealership. The change Honda timing belts all day long (and transmissions - ha,ha).

    If something goes wrong, most likely Honda will make good on its error. The shadetree mechanic may or may not.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Member Posts: 1,134
    )) "I've figured out that it is time to replace my timing belt on a 1995 Accord EX with 113000..." ((

    According to my '96 Accord's owner's manual, you're about 23,000 miles late to the party under normal service and 53,000 miles under severe service. I don't want to frighten you into a panic dither, but Accord engines are "interference" designs which will destroy expensive internal thingies if the belt breaks in operation and an irresistable force in the form of moving pistons slams into equally immovable objects in the guise of partially open stationary valves. It's time to get very serious. Another item up for prophylactic replacement during a timing belt changeout is the timing belt's autotensioner, a nifty device that properly tenisons the belt over its expected service life. Most of the charge involved with a timing belt replacement is the hourly labor charge - an avoidable premature repeat of which is cheaper in the long run. As some unknown bit player in the role of a sleazeball mechanic said in a mid-'50s era oil filter commercial regarding preventive maintenance, "Pay me a little more now or a lot more later." (then drove the point home with a deliciously evil grin).
  • tankbeanstankbeans Member Posts: 585
    Thank you all for the advice. I just want to get as many opinions as possible on the subject. Reason I ask online is because if you go into the dealer or even a mechanic to ask these sorts of questions chances are they will go sure it needs doing because they want the money.

    So thank you for your time.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    I didn't answer the "when" question, but rayh1 is right, the timing belt on 1994-1997 4-cylinder Accords should be changed every 90,000 miles. Get it changed as soon as possible.
  • vtfd325vtfd325 Member Posts: 1
    Take it from someone who had first hand experience with all of the above issues. Do not procrastinate replacing the water pump and timing belt. It will save you a lot of money and headaches. I drove my 1995 Honda Accord well up to 159,860 miles with the original Honda timing belt. I was told by my father who is a mechanic time and time again to get it done. Did I listen? No! I procrastinated and it snapped while I was doing about 30 mph. I was told that I may have bent a valve or pushed a piston out. Let me explain my experience and chain of events that led to this. It all started with a minor leak in the radiator, I tried stop leak and epoxy to seal a couple of cracks on top of the radiator to hold me over. When that worked, I said to myself this is great now I don't have to get it fixed. Guess what? It didn't last very long, about two months and the radiator had sprung another leak and before I knew it, I was buying coolant every other day. I got tired of buying coolant, and it was still warm enough I started carrying water around with me filling up every time I parked the car. With the leaks getting worse, I finally sucked it up and replaced the radiator costing me $348.00 installed by a mechanic. I picked the car up drove it home and the water pump started leaking literally pissing non stop right out while the car was running. I figured I got away with the radiator for a long time why not the water pump? Wrong again! It lasted about three days of driving about three to four miles and filling the radiator every time. I know people reading this are probably thinking what an idiot. I am telling my story for all the other procrastinating idiots out there and hoping that they will not make the same idiotic mistakes that I did. Anyway, I was driving home one night and I heard this "SNAP" and the car cut off, right away I figured that the water pump seized and snapped the timing belt. After getting a short push home thank god, I started calling around for quotes. After about five different quotes ranging from $450 to $700. I chose to pick the mechanic who explained what he was gonna do, and what the possibilities were of having other problems such as a bent valve or piston. I had the car towed costing me $50 to bring it right around the corner. I had to replace the water pump, timing belt, serpintine belt, A/C belt, and the pulleys that the timing belt rides on costing me $897 total. My heart almost stopped when I heard the total cost, but when he told me there were no other problems I did not complain. It could have been worse, I could have easily bent a valve or pushed a piston out of wack costing me another $1,000 easy. So the moral of this story is don't procrastinate getting the timing belt and water pump replaced early, it will cost you and the possibility of destroying the engine.
  • hansleyhansley Member Posts: 1
    my 1993 accord runs hot only when at highway speed or when ran for along time in the city, I was told that it could be a blown head gasket but I thought if it was that then the car would lock up and not run or would run hot just after cranking it up. could some one tell me what the problem may be? I know taking it to a shop could be costly just for them to look at it. :cry:
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    Read this link. It may help you find a solution. It could be just the thermostat, and maybe not. Don't go throwing parts at it until you narrow down the possibilities. Buying parts that are unnecessary, and won't fix the problem, will add up quickly.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Usually high speed overheat is a circulation problem. A bad head gasket can easily be checked by a qualified mechanic using either (or both) cylinder leakdown test or testing the coolant for exhaust gases with a chemical.
  • bolivarbolivar Member Posts: 2,316
    Just for general knowledge, refilling the radiator with straight water probably contributed to the later water pump leak.

    Anti-freeze, in addition to protection from freezing and increasing the boiling point, has quite a bit of 'lubrication' capabilities. It helps keep the shaft seals 'lubricated'. With straight water, the shaft turns on the seal without this lub, and then leaks.

    If you don't believe this, stick your finger into some, either 50/50 mix or out of the jug, rub it between finger and thumb, just feel how slippery it is.

    This is why owners manuals caution about always using antifreeze in the coolant system.
  • tankbeanstankbeans Member Posts: 585
    Thank you for your advice. I am planning on having the belt done when my tax returns come in, which is pretty soon, I hope. Anyway I've asked around in my family and they have all said that they've never heard of it and say not to deal with it. Well anyway, it's good to hear about these things from somebody other than mechanics who are all in it for the money.

    Once again thank you for you story so now I know more about what could go wrong with the car.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    Get the belt done, and yes, DO deal with it. I'm about to get my third one. (180k miles is approaching quickly).

    You could always decide to image

    But I wouldn't...
  • tankbeanstankbeans Member Posts: 585
    Oh I plan to deal with it soon. By the way I like your clever use of the old game show, which I've only ever seen in reruns.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    Thanks... I really liked that show!

    ...Big bucks, big bucks, no whammies! :)

    I thought it got the point across quite well, if I do say so myself.


  • tankbeanstankbeans Member Posts: 585
    As most people who have read this discussion know I have a 95 Accord EX. I was just told by the dealer, where I took it to have the timing belt replaced, that my sparks plugs are the incorrect plugs for the car. Could this be a contributing factor to the lower than average fuel economy of about 26 mpg? I've been getting just over 22 since I got it. I know it isn't a big difference, but when it comes to the pump it adds up. Is this bad for the engine or just a minor annoyance?

    Thanks anybody for responses. I like this board because everybody seems to know what they are talking about.
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    Go to Advance, and get some NGK, or Denso plugs. Preferably NGK.
  • tankbeanstankbeans Member Posts: 585
    Thank you for the advice. Could you tell me how it makes a difference? I don't want to be a pain. Does this really contribute to lower economy?

    Again thanks for the response.
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    Ok, this is how I see it. If you are going to spend the extra $$$ for a quality car (Accord) you should want to continue that quality. If you use sub-standard parts, you turn the car into a sub-standard car.
  • tankbeanstankbeans Member Posts: 585
    Hello all-

    This may sound dumb, but is there any real reason why one would use the manumatic shifting, meaning 1,2,D3,D4? Is that for greater control on ice and in slippery conditions?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
  • tg1994tg1994 Member Posts: 8
    I've got 1000 miles on my new 2007 Accord and I've noticed there is significant engine noise especially at low speeds. Has anyone else experienced this? Is this normal or should I be concerned there might be a problem?
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    You will get a better response on the 2007 Accord Maintenance and repair forum. What kind of noise is it? What engine do you have? If you have the 4cyl, you should be able to hear the engine, but it should not be loud, or something I would consider to be noise. If you have the V6, you should not even hear the engine, unless the accelerator is close to the floor, and nothing I would consider sounding like noise. Did you take it back to the dealer?
  • tg1994tg1994 Member Posts: 8
    I have the 4 cyl 2.4 liter. It's a whining noise. I've experienced the noise before on my Altima. It signaled the alternator going out. That is why I am concerned. It may be perfectly normal...I'm just not used to it. Thanks for the advice about the Maintenance and Repair forum. I'll post there as well.
  • loubieloubie Member Posts: 1
    It sounds like my 2007 Accord EX. The noise is noticeable when the engine is warm and idle. It sounds like a helicopter. I started to hear it after 600 miles. Now with 10,000 miles on it, it's much louder. The noise is not coming from the injectors. Honda knows about the noise, but they decided not to do anything about it, so they claim it's normal. The noise happens in some 4-cyl engines. It's easier to hear it if you put you ear close to the floor in the driver foot-area. I recommend that b4 12000 miles or a year from purchase, you take the car to the dealer and make sure they record the complaint in the work-order, even if they don't fix it. In that way you'll have a fighting chance with the lemmon-law, like I'm doing now.
  • nonaccordnonaccord Member Posts: 1
    44k miles on my 2003 Accord. While I was out of town, wife noted s little oil in the garage....wiped up with 2 paper towels. Contacted Honda and checked oil level (fine) before driving to the Honda service shop 3 miles away. After 2 miles, she lost all power, no engine lights or other idiot lights lit.

    Honda sez there was a catastrophic oil loss and filter was incorrectly installed and failed. Oil filter was buldged out at end, a sign of major oil pressure. Honda sez gasket was incorrectly installed by quick lube guys.

    Quick lube guys (oil change 4k miles ago) say oil pump pressure relief valve stuck and that blew oil filter due to high pressure.

    Any ideas on how I independently can confirm what happened???

    Honda sez timing belt broken and crankshaft bent...engine is fried and will cost $7000 for rebuild...

    Thanks, John
  • blackexv6blackexv6 Member Posts: 503
    I guess its a lesson learned. Get your oil changes and service done at your Honda dealer for $24.95. They would have acknowledged the error and paid 100% for the engine.

    Now, at best you can try to get the "quick lube" shop to call their liability insurance company. $7000 is probably half to 75% the value of your car.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    I guess its a lesson learned. Get your oil changes and service done at your Honda dealer for $24.95. They would have acknowledged the error and paid 100% for the engine.

    That would be logical if every dealer charged $24 for an oil change. Unfortunately my dealer recently changed hands, and prices for oil changes went from $23.95 to $38. Outrageous. I'll be going there for the length of my warranty, then I'll have it changed elsewhere. I'm already taking my old 1996 (174,750 miles) to Texaco/Jiffy Lube.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Member Posts: 2,798
    44k miles on my 2003 Accord. While I was out of town, wife noted s little oil in the garage....wiped up with 2 paper towels. Contacted Honda and checked oil level (fine) before driving to the Honda service shop 3 miles away. After 2 miles, she lost all power, no engine lights or other idiot lights lit.

    Honda sez there was a catastrophic oil loss and filter was incorrectly installed and failed. Oil filter was buldged out at end, a sign of major oil pressure. Honda sez gasket was incorrectly installed by quick lube guys.

    Quick lube guys (oil change 4k miles ago) say oil pump pressure relief valve stuck and that blew oil filter due to high pressure.

    Any ideas on how I independently can confirm what happened???

    Honda sez timing belt broken and crankshaft bent...engine is fried and will cost $7000 for rebuild...

    Thanks, John

    I don't think your engine has a timing belt. If you have K-series engine, which I think was introduced on the 2002 CR-V/Element and was installed on the 2003 Accord, then you definatly have a timing chain.

    Did you see the buldged out filter? I think, ultimatley, it is Honda vs the Jiffy lube. After seeing the hidden camera videos from Jiffy Lube, I would not doubt that Honda will win.

    Let us know how it goes.
  • tankbeanstankbeans Member Posts: 585
    Luckily, the dealer where I bought mine does free changes for life as long as you go in and do the 15,000 mile maintenance intervals. I'm willing to do it. I mean going in every 4,000 miles will help me to keep informed about what is going on with it. I expect that I will be asking them to check things out when I go in just to avoid having the same thing happen to me.

    Sorry to hear about the original poster's misfortune.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Well it is suspicious to me that they are claiming that an oil change 4K miles ago, is the cause of this problem. You would think that if something was wrong with the change, it would show in the first month and 500 miles of the change.

    Unfortunately, I'm not sure how you could prove or disprove anything at this point. Either way it's outside of the warranty period, Honda isn't on the hook to HAVE to pay for anything.

    You might consider replacing the engine with one from a pre-owned wrecked vehicle (side or rear).
  • scarface357scarface357 Member Posts: 4
    my car rpm was going up and down but i took care of that now if im just park and i acelerated the car to 4000 rpm or anithing and hold my gas pedal on a specific rpm my rpm guage goes up and down ,also when im driving my car runs fine for a moment but then it stall so i stop pressing the gas pedal and then pressed again but it does the same i"ve been trying to figure out was wrong but cant find the problem please i need help some body please thanks for your time
  • accord_97accord_97 Member Posts: 6
    hi! can someone help me with the strange noise on my honda accord 97 model. it sounds like my bearing squeaking and usually when the engine is warm already, if i step on the gas. the sound will disappear. i tried changing bearings from timing belt, also water pump and, still the sound is there. i believe its on the left side part of the engine (facing the engine). is it my transmission? i have automatic transmission.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Take the accessories belt off, start the engine, and see if the sound is gone. If it is, then one of your accessories (or the tensioner) is bad. Turn the pulleys by hand, and see if you can feel or hear the problem.

    If it doesn't stop, then the problem is internal to engine or transmission.

    External accessories are usually the problem.
  • caryakcaryak Member Posts: 2
    I'm having the engine on my 1999 Honda Accord 4 cylinder sedan replaced (turns out it had a blown head gasket when I bought it and the engine had been seriously abused. Just easier to replace it.) The problem is, there is a connection at the very back of the engine, underneath the plenum, that doesn't seem to have anything to connect to. The Honda dealership/maintenance guys say that yes, it is supposed to connect to something. We've looked in the aftermarket maintenance books and can't find anything. When we disconnected those connectors from the original engine, one of them totally disintegrated. At present, the newly installed engine won't start. Any ideas? :confuse:
  • tankbeanstankbeans Member Posts: 585
    Hey all-

    I just have a question. Yesterday I was on a website comparing these two vehicles and it said that the 03 was rated at 160 Horsepower at 5500 rpm and the 2008 is rated at 190 Horsepower at 7000 rpm. It makes sense that there would be more power at higher rpm's, but wouldn't most people want to keep the engine out of redline? Isn't that what we're always told to protect the engine?

    Anyway, since the one is rated 160 at 5500 and the other is rated 190 at 7000 wouldn't that mean that they are both about the same? I'm not positive about this, but it's just been something I've wondered about.

    Thanks to any who respond.
  • blufz1blufz1 Member Posts: 2,045
    They are both 2.4 liters. The torque is about the same. I would think the 190 would be more fun with a manual and less noticible with an auto. Search the threads,someone was comparing them and/or test drive them both in you preferred configuration to see which you prefer for the money.
  • accord_97accord_97 Member Posts: 6
    hi kiawah! thank you for replying to my problem.. i'm not really sure but my suspect is it might be my transmission.. any ideas how i can fix that? or how much would it cost to fix that?

    When i try to put my gear from neutral/drive to D4 of the engine. it would take about 1.5 seconds to accelerate.. is this also a problem? tnx..
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    the 2008 is rated at 190 Horsepower at 7000 rpm. It makes sense that there would be more power at higher rpm's, but wouldn't most people want to keep the engine out of redline?

    It's close, but not quite redline. Redline starts at 7100rpm.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731

    Not to nitpick, but the 2003 Accord LX actually has closer to 156 horsies based on the new rating system for hp (if you are comparing apples-to-apples - the 2008 Accord uses the new SAE test procedures for hp).

    Also, the 2008 Accord LX has 177hp, not 190hp. The EX and EX-L models have the 190hp at 7000 RPM. The LX model's 177hp engine doesn't rev quite as high.
  • tankbeanstankbeans Member Posts: 585
    You say tomata I say tomota. ;) I was just curious. I thought it was weird that they would rate one at 5500 and the other at 7000. That must just be the new standard for rating. Not that it's important or anything like I said I was curious.

    Just so we're on the same page, the numbers I was looking at were on comparing a 2003 LX Coupe I4 with a 2008 Coupe LX-S w/out PZEV, the LX-S seemed to be the closest match to what I have. Both were automatic. I went to the compare section to get the info. I know that site is wrong about a lot of things, but I would think those numbers would be fairly close.

    I don't know how to link to other websites or I would have.

    They are mostly wrong with accessories. Like with mine it said that the immobilizer wasn't available and I have it. Anyway you can look and tell me I'm looking at the wrong numbers. I guess it's just a case of curiosity killed the cat.
This discussion has been closed.