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Honda Accord Engine Questions

bf109acebf109ace 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 Posts: 3,741
    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.
  • 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 Posts: 3,741
    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).
  • 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 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).
  • 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 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 Posts: 48
    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!!!
  • 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 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 Posts: 3,741
    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.
  • 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 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).
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Posts: 3,741
    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 Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,876
    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.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

  • bolivarbolivar 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 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 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 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 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 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 Posts: 3,741
    Go to Advance, and get some NGK, or Denso plugs. Preferably NGK.
  • tankbeanstankbeans 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 Posts: 3,741
    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 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?
This discussion has been closed.