Honda Master Technician. Owner of a bunch of Hondas and like... so many Huskies.
Best posts made by TheBarber
New Project Acquired
So, a few weeks ago I got a Pilot tow in at work. It was originally scheduled in for a drivability complaint but from the time they called and the actual appointment day, she died. It's got a few problems but the main killer was the eject'o-plug'o on cylinder #5. After finishing my diagnosis and filling the quote the customer declined the repairs. He wanted an estimate from used cars on what they would give him for it so I threw out an offer. I knew what they would give him for it due to the non-operable status and the age of the car. I considered the offer fair and luckily so did the customer.
After sitting at work for a week I got a buddy of mine with a flatbed to haul it to my house so I could get started on it. Here it is at its new resting place. It is a 2005 EX-L AWD non-navi in Taffeta White.
It wasn't even 2 minutes off the truck and my girlfriend already had the tape measure out to determine what dog crates could fit in it.
Interior is fairly clean save a minor tear on the driver's seat base. The leather in these wear very easy and without constant care they will crack and tear. The seat cover and foam is not cost effective new so I'll have to figure something else out.
It's got around average mileage for the age. I'm used to getting things that have more than 200k on them so this is a bonus in my book. Knowing all the ins and outs of these means the mileage doesn't really scare me away.
She's a little wet underneath courtesy of a leaky rear main plate and oil pump. The steering rack leaks as well and it has a few other worn suspension components.
The damage. This is what remains of the core of the #5 ignition coil. The miles of copper coated strand I already threw away. The jacket of the coil and ~75% of the spark plug remain imbedded in the cylinder head. The very tip of the plug can be seen at the bottom of the image.
While I was waiting for the transport I had already went ahead and ordered a recycled front cylinder head off of Ebay. Less than $250 shipped out of Texas.
So now here she sits on the tenderizer waiting for me to finish up another project. I should be getting to her sometime this month (hopefully).
I did a video with a bit more detail. I've been thinking about documenting all the projects I do (especially on Hondas) and getting into a bit of the details of the repairs. I'm trying to find other hobbies so maybe videography could be one. Let me know what you guys (and gals) think.
Help me, help you.
Update to this!
The guy filled out his survey:
"My car for about 3 weeks sat in your shop, leaving me no choice but to rent a car to keep pay checks coming in. You called honda for assistance in finding my problem. It came down to my gas can having contaminated the tank A gas can I have been using many years with no such problems. This has been my 1st brand new honda, but my 3rd if you count the used ones I've owned. It will be my last."
He gave us a 20% survey.
Lets break this down.
My car for about 3 weeks sat in your shop, leaving me no choice but to rent a car to keep pay checks coming in.
He towed it in 2 days before a holiday weekend so I had only a little more than a few hours to look at it before being gone for a week. Then following that weekend I had it diagnosed after another day. It took him 4 days to approve the work after he received an email, text and two voicemails. Once approved (and told it was not going to be covered), HE chose to not overnight the part from back East so it took a full week for it to get to us. Then it was another weeked. I had it installed and ready for pickup within 2 hrs of receiving the part that following week. It took him another 3 days to come pay his bill and take delivery.
"You called honda for assistance in finding my problem."
I called Honda for two reasons. One was because it was a current model year vehicle I need to make engineering aware of any potential emerging issues.The other was that I needed a sounding board on what I was experiencing and wanted another viewpoint. I expressed what I had done so far and they suggested a path forward. I didn't take that path after walking away from the job and thinking about it some more.
"It came down to my gas can having contaminated the tank A gas can I have been using many years with no such problems."
...well the pictures tell that story just fine.
"This has been my 1st brand new honda, but my 3rd if you count the used ones I've owned. It will be my last."*
Good. Fuck you.
Also, this cost my advisor $1000 out of this months paycheck. 20+ surveys and was sitting at 98% CSE for the month.
Previous post continues below
Sometimes I am humbled by the scenarios that I have not had the pleasure to encounter previously. This was one of those.
Oh and no apologies for the long read, I was told to post more #content.
On Wednesday the 21st I received a tow-in at work for a runability issue on a 2022 CR-V Hybrid. This road warrior had already accumulated 44k on the ODO. According to the customer, it had started missing and knocking on the highway when the gas engine kicked on. The official complaint on the repair order was "C/S noise from the engine, warning lights on dash." I went out and fired the car up in EV mode to pull it onto my bay. I did an all DTC scan and found misfires 1-4 and a smattering of secondary codes in other systems. I cleared the codes, put vehicle in PGM-FI maintenance mode, and fired up the gas engine whilst monitoring PGM-FI datalist. As soon as the engine started, I had a dead hole misfire on no.4 cylinder. I watched it count until the PCM commanded fuel cut to save catalyst.
"All right" I said to myself. "A single cylinder misfire is a pretty easy diagnoses path". I can rule out faulty A/F sensors, MAF sensor, MAP sensor, EGR, fuel supply, and intake leaks as those would affect all cylinders. Basically, all I will need to be confirming is proper spark, proper mechanical operation, and proper fuel injector operation. So I swapped no.4 spark plug and coil with no.1 spark plug and coil. No change. "Well, it's got some miles on it, lets see if these valves get tight with all that heat soaking." Valve cover is easy enough to get off, so I figured I would check valve lash and other top end components. It's even easier since these engines only have adjustment on the intake side, as the exhaust side is hydraulic. I checked all the valves and sure enough, they were all about .15mm when the spec is around .22mm. Tight, but not enough to cause a dead hole, and certainly not enough to cause a single cylinder misfire. So I checked for broken valve springs, lost motion springs, and checked the VTEC rocker arm pistons for sticking to confirm no issues there. Quick borescoping revealed no abnormal issues inside the combustion chamber as compared to the other cylinders. Fired it back up to check anyway. Still dead miss on no.4 cylinder. Time for a deeper dive.
I hooked the computer back up to command a manual crank of the engine. Being a hybrid of this design I just can't crank the engine over for a compression test. Instead, I have to command the injectors off and use the electric motor to spin the engine over. So I hook up the compression tester, WOT the throttle, and hit the send button. Wasn't expecting how loud it was but that motor has speed and those plug holes are small. Anyway, I measured all cylinders at 205-210psi warm. It's not mechanical. Alright, so lets swap some injectors around. Luckily, these are still port injection so it's a lot easier and doesn't cost any parts to do. I went ahead and swapped no.1 injector with no.4. I went ahead and pulled a fuel sample while I was in there as well. I put it all back together and fired it up. Dead misfire on no.4 cylinder. Shit, now I am going to have to really think outside the box.
I went ahead and put the fuel in out test vial. Our test vial is the same type you would see for aviation to test for water in the fuel. You fill it up to a set line with water and then you add your sample fuel up to the top line and shake vigorously. Any water or ethanol in the fuel will bind to the water added and then settle out at the bottom where there is a scale. My sample was showing just around 10%, completely fine in modern engines, because ethanol.
I called it a night and would pick up on the next day, Thursday.
First thing in the morning I hooked up the laptop to get a good cold start snapshot. Fired it up in maintenance mode, let her settle and hit the button to capture a 30 second window, 10 seconds before trigger, 20 after. Then I noticed something weird. It cleared out. No more misfire on no.4 cylinder. Hmm, lets leave her running. About 5 or so minutes later, it started missing again. Ok, so I took a warm 30 second snapshot when it started missing. Then it cleared itself out again. I still wanted a full temp snapshot, which is incredibly hard to do on these engines because they do not get hot at idle. I got it close enough by revving it up and then settled back down as soon as it started misfiring again. So now all I have left is one more snapshot with high-speed data. I can choose fewer data points and I can quadruple my sample time to get very fine data to analyze on a line graph. I pick engine speed, ect 1, MAP, and misfire counter. I am only really interested in MAP data, but I need the others as a reference point. I really want to make sure I am not having a valve sticking or something which would show up on a high speed MAP graph, long shot I know, but grasping at straws here.
Now that I have data, I can send it to the engineers at our TechLine so they can ride the struggle bus with me. Because now not only do I have a single cylinder misfire that isn't caused by 99.9% of failures, it is also intermittent. As a last ditch before calling for help, I hook up my multimeter to check that the coil and injector are getting proper signal when it is misfiring. There isn't really a troubleshooting method for this, I will just be comparing to known good on the other cylinders. As expected, everything checks out. Time to call it a day.
Friday was an ice storm so I called out (noone showed up anyway) and then we had Christmas break. I hop back on the job Tuesday afternoon and make the call with TechLine after sending them my snapshot data. After a brief 30 minute hold I am routed through to a powertrain specialist I have worked with many times in the 10+ years with Honda. Looking at the data together he is just as stumped as I am. The car leans out a bit just before and during misfire indicating something is going on with the fuel or air mixture (obviously). The other cylinders are nice and healthy with proper rotation of calculated rotational speed at the crank. Cylinder 4 is not. With lean conditions, most issues would manifest on all cylinders. The only real thing you see with a single cylinder lean condition is an injector issue, valve issue, or coolant is getting in. Seeing as I have done literally everything else, TechLine really wants me to focus on a possible coolant intrusion scenario, whether it be head gasket or a possible crack in the cylinder head.
Having a new directive, I focus on the cooling system. Seeing as it doesn't really care if it's hot or cold, I put my coolant pressure tester on the radiator, block off the overflow line, and then hook up my cylinder leakdown tester onto no.4 spark-plug hole. Putting full shop air pressure (~150psi) into no.4 cylinder for about 10-15 minutes results in no rise of cooling system pressure. I already figured this was a long shot as there was no abnormal levels to the coolant in the overflow. A dead hole just isn't a little bit of coolant getting into the combustion chamber but I gave it a shot anyway.
Ignoring TechLine's further advice I retrace my steps. Now is where I doubt myself. "Did I actually swap no.1 and no.4 injector?" Now I have to double check. So I take the fuel rail off once more, drain it completely, and swap no.2 and no.4 injectors for sure this time. I leave no.1 and no.3 in their positions. I fire it back up and take it for a spin. Misfires like a sumbitch. I pull it back in a look at the data list. Misfires on no.1 and no.3.
What. The. Actual.
All I did was take the rail off. Ok, so now I am super sus about the fuel. I go ahead and hook up a hose to the tank output at the rail, stick the hose in a waste fuel container, and manually command the fuel pump on. The fuel starts coming out. Slow, surging, and full of... air bubbles? I hook the pressure gauge up to the fuel system and fire it back up. 10psi... 20psi... 25psi... 30psi...40, 50, finally 60. Ok, this pump is not happy. Time to pull the tank unit out. Easy enough, take the rear seat out and there is an access hatch. I just have to move a few things out of the way aaaaand oh-my-god-why-the-fuck-is-there-a-gas-can-under-this-tarp-back-here...
I pull the tank unit and disassemble the fuel pump out of it.
What in the swamp gas hell is going on here. Let's check that gas can.
Ok, well I can safely assume that's where this "gas" came from. At this point it is definitely not warranty. I slap together a quote for my diagnosis time (2hrs, ouch), fuel system cleanout, and a new fuel pump. It's around $1200 and parts are over a week out. Advisor calls customer, customer doesn't even acknowledge that they filled their car with a random gas can pulled from a ditch and just says "Ok, I'll call you back." They finally approved the job on Friday.
My best guess is the car ran out of gas, they filled it up with this shite, and then the car was super pissed. These hybrid's sound particularly vicious when misfiring. The dual mass flywheel on the eCVT knocks badly and sounds like a rod knock. I think this guy thought he broke is car and figured he would omit the fact that he may have caused it. I mean after all, it's a 2022 model! It would of saved him time out of his car, me diagnosing it, and now you reading it.
Lesson learned that even though I have had literally hundreds of cars with contaminated fuel, I can still have some that don't present themselves as such. Why did the other cylinders run fine? Why didn't it run worse after sitting for the weekend when the water had a chance to separate at the bottom? Why didn't my initial fuel sample show more than 10% water? I have no idea and neither do the engineers.
So please, help me help you. Don't omit facts when you bring your car in for service. I am going to find out anyway.
On a phone call with a buddy of mine last week I happened to mention that I was looking for a commuter car with better MPG and he asked "Hey, you want your old car back?" So, today I went and picked up the car I sold to him that he then gave to his parents back in June of 2018. I have sold many cars to friends and family over the years but this is the first time I ever got one back.
So, welcome back my boomerang 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid!
She's a little dirty and has been sitting for an uncomfortable amount of time. The transmission was already iffy but the steering is now more notchy than it was back in 2018. It also remains to be seen how degraded the high-voltage battery pack is now.
But still, I can't really complain on a car I originally bought for $100, sold for $1000 and now got back for free (minus tax and licensing). Oh and it still got 48 mpg cruising at 75 mph on the way back.
Here she was all cleaned up before I sold her in 2018.
I think first step is rebuild or replace the EPS rack and see how I like it because it is borderline undriveable to me. Then if I decide to keep it I will pull the transmission for a rebuild and do some quality of commute upgrades. Also I will probably either grid charge the battery pack or get it rebuilt with better cells. It is still a CA1 battery pack with no history of being replaced so... yea. I will mull it over and cross that bridge when I come to it.
But as she sits it will save me $1400/yr in fuel at current fuel prices. Pretty good cap to an otherwise shitty weekend.
So over the past month I did some shuffling of vehicles.
Out is my 2009 Tahoe LTZ. Paid it off and sent it to live with my parents to replace their 1992 Blazer Silverado for towing duty.
Soon to be out is my 2005 Honda Pilot EXL 4wd that I bought from a customer and brought back from the dead. I have a buddy in FL that needs it for his growing family and if he doesn't take it by the New Year I already have a waiting list that is growing weekly for it. The thirst for SUVs are real.
In is my 2009 Pilot EX 4wd. Bought from a customer and am in the process of slowly unfucking it paycheck by paycheck. Replaced piston rings, timing belt stuff, oil pump, fluids, and primary cats so far. I have a pile of parts that still need to go into it. Next up are front LCA bushings and rear shocks. After that is putting heated seat elements in (cloth didn't come with butt warmers), replacing leather trim pieces, refinish headlights, and a very, very needed interior detail. I also need to get the accessory towing wiring ordered/in. Next year I'll do something about the shitty rusty Les Schwab brake calipers, tint, and do an exterior detail.
Next up I got this dropped off the other day. It is my best buds 2004 Acura TL 6-speed. He is selling his house and working remotely around the country for the next few years so the car had to go. He signed the title over to me and now I'll have a fun car. The little brother TSX will still be my daily however. This big boi has a beefed up valve train, bigger cams, high comp pistons, race compound clutch with solid flywheel, short shifter box, eibach springs, RV6 PCDs, RV6 extended J-Pipe, Tanabe Medallion catback, and Hondata. It's very touchy and angry. It's definitely not an inclement weather driver as that clutch is basically an on/off switch. Future plans involve a supercharger but we'll see how things go.
The Civic still sits neglected.
Bonus is the TL came with a new car trailer, so... yay?
So now I don't have a heavy tow vehicle of my own. Well, the plans next year are to take the money from the Tahoe and 05 Pilot sale and put it down on a new Ford Transit van and use the proceeds from selling the Odyssey to make some adjustments to it. Those that know me know that I have ~1.5 million dogs and we certainly can use the hauling capacity.
Latest posts made by TheBarber
RE: @TheBarber Honda AC question
I would check the compressor clutch relay first. Underhood fuse box, labeled with the snowflake (not the snowflake with fan). Sometimes you can give it a little tippy tap and kick it on or you can swap it with one of the nearby fan relays.
If that isn’t it I would check your compressor clutch gap. They’ll tend to get out of clearance when hot and then be able to engage again when it cools off. You can actually physically see the coil struggle to pull the gap shut when it is worn. When your a/c stops working (and the relay is ok), when the car is running, you can pull the clutch relay out a bit and watch the clutch move in and out as you put the relay in and out. This can show you if it’s failing to pull the gap shut.
Or you can measure it, spec is between .35-.65mm (.014-.026”)
RE: Oppo Meet Announcement: Rainier Meet
Also to add you don't have to have/rent snowshoes if you don't want to partake. You can just read a book at the lodge, relax in the hot tub next to the creek, go to the restaurant down the road, or go to Longmire a few miles away in the National Park when some of us go up to Paradise to die a slow, freezing death. There are plenty of walking trails in the lower part of the park that are much less demanding than the snowy death march up at Paradise.
I think food will mostly be provided communally. There will be plenty of food and alcohol to go around (as per last time) but feel free to bring your own favorites.
Carpooling is a good choice and I am sure we can make arrangements to get people to and from local airports (SeaTac and Portland) if need be. Entry into Mt. Rainier National Park does require a entry fee and does require tire chains in the vehicle to go up the mountain. Usually there are enough passes that if you are carpooling up the mountain you don't really need to buy one.
RE: New Motocompacto
So got a chance to hear more about them from Hondas VP of sales when he stopped by today.
We will be able to service these at the dealership. Replacement parts will be available to order from us and we will have labor ops to be able to do warranty work on them. It is being sold through us as an “accessory”. Initial dealer allocation is limited to 10 per dealer but that may vary based on demand. My dealer put in allocation for 15 because there are several in management that will be purchasing them. There were also a few dealers that opted for less so we can pick up more.
We should be getting a demo unit sometime next month. My dealer owner already called dibs on it lol