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Cylinder Head-Need Advice

  #1  
Old 02-13-2010, 09:44 PM
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Default Cylinder Head-Need Advice

I brought my 2004 Civic EX (with about 83K miles) into the shop because the heater was periodically blowing out cold air. They assumed it would be a coolant problem but it turned out that there's a pinhole in the cylinder head. This is the way the mechanic described it to me: "The fault is barely visible as a black spec nearly centered in the plane between the two combustion chambers. The pit is about .5mm, and matches perfectly to a bit of hard material lodged on the surface of the head gasket."

A couple of guys from Honda came and looked at it, and said they think it's a defective part, and Honda is actually willing to pay for the repairs if they're done by a Honda dealer. The proposed fix is to send the head to a shop to get machined. If that doesn't work, they'll replace it. The first mechanic I brought the car to has told me they think trying to machine it would be too difficult to pull off on an aluminum engine and that I should insist on the new head. A friend who has a machine shop just told me he thinks it would be fine.

Do any of you have any experience with this or an opinion? Honda would warranty the block for a year. I obviously want to avoid some major problem with a sub-par fix down the line.

Another question...the mechanic also told me I would need a new radiator and hoses as well as a new water pump and hoses. Does this sound right? Are there any other parts or repairs I should be asking Honda for as part of this situation?

Thanks for any help or advice you might have.
 
  #2  
Old 02-13-2010, 10:24 PM
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People have their aluminum cylinder heads resurfaced all the time. It should be fine. Sounds great that Honda has agreed to fix it for you.

I don't know why you would need a new radiator/hoses/water pump/hoses. What is wrong with them? If you can get them to do it for free then by all means have them do it though.
 
  #3  
Old 02-14-2010, 09:24 PM
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Thanks so much for your reply! I'm relieved to hear that this should be a viable fix. Honda hasn't verified that the water pump and radiator, etc. actually need to be repaired...the first shop I took it to (not a Honda dealer) had said they needed to be replaced- and they were also the ones who said that the resurfacing would never work. They seem to be excessive with their repairs. The reason they said the radiator and water pump needed to be done is that they had been compromised because of the engine issues. I have a feeling Honda will have a different opinion.

I am very impressed that Honda has stepped up and is willing to help me with this issue. I've been told that it's something most other car companies would never do. They have certainly earning my continued loyalty!
 
  #4  
Old 02-14-2010, 09:33 PM
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I would have Honda inspect the parts mentioned by the mechanic to determine if they need to replaced. They seem pretty honest since they're willing to accept that the problem was Honda's fault, so I would expect them to be honest about the inspection of the radiator, water pump, and hoses.


Though, I think .5mm is way too much to mill off of the head so I think Honda will end up having to replace your head. A B18C's maximum resurface limit is .2mm... I would expect the D17A2 (your engine) to be around the same number.
This, of course, assuming that your mechanic was right about the .5mm figure.
 

Last edited by trustdestruction; 02-14-2010 at 09:40 PM.
  #5  
Old 03-03-2010, 08:32 PM
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Thanks again for your advice. Honda went ahead and resurfaced the head and I picked my car up a few days ago. I actually never knew how deep the hole was-I don't think the first mechanic could tell. I believe the .5mm figure was actually the width so that was probably my mistake.
Now that I've been driving my car again, I've noticed that it doesn't accelerate the way it used to. It used to be really peppy and now it's really sluggish and I have to push it. I called Honda and I'm going to bring it back to the shop. Would this symptom be a result of this kind of repair do you think?
I really appreciate your help through this process! Thanks a lot.
 
  #6  
Old 03-03-2010, 08:38 PM
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If they fixed it, I don't see why it would be sluggish.

I would just bring it back to Honda or shop or whoever did the authorized Honda repair and tell them what you're experiencing. Maybe have them test drive it to see what you mean.
 
  #7  
Old 03-03-2010, 08:51 PM
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The timing may be off by one tooth on the timing belt. Any CEL codes?
 
  #8  
Old 03-04-2010, 06:12 AM
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What about doing a compression test?
 
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