Honda Auto Repair Salt Lake City: Honda Engine Valve Service

Honda Engine Valve Service Salt Lake City: Extend Engine Life

GT Automotive recommends regular Honda engine valve adjustments services on your Civic, Accord, Element, CR-V, any Honda car, crossover or SUV. Honda The importance of correct Honda engine valve clearances needs to be emphasized, because it can directly affect the performance and life of your engine.  Kyle at GT Automotive in South Jordan, Utah shares in this Honda car repair video the importance of regular adjusting Honda engine valves.

What Honda Engine Valves Do:

  • Engine valves act as the doors to the combustion chamber, allowing fresh mix to flow in during the intake stroke, sealing the chamber during the compression and power strokes and providing an exit for the spent gas during the exhaust stroke.
  • Anytime a valve is closed there needs to be a gas-tight seal between the valve seat located in the cylinder head and the valve face.
  • To ensure that the valve is fully seated, there must be some slight valve clearance (called valve “lash”) between the valve stem and rocker arm or cam.
  • Try to think of it as the relationship between a clutch or throttle cable.
  • As the engine warms to operating temperature the various chunks of steel and alloy inside the engine grow slightly due to thermal expansion.
  • As the valve train components are brought up to running temperature, they expand along with all of the other bits and pieces.
  • If there is insufficient lash between the valve stem and its actuating mechanisms when the engine is cold, there will be even less clearance when the engine is hot.

Honda Engine Valve Design & Service


Honda engines have an overhead cam (short for “camshaft”) design:

  • As the lobe on the camshaft rotates, it moves the rocker arm and opens the valve.
  • In this design there are no lifters or push-rods to dampen movement or flex.
  • This is a much more efficient and durable design compared to an overhead valve design like the ones used in many V-6 and V-8 engines

But, due to certain design factors in these Honda engines, the valves slowly go out of adjustment over time:

  • If the valve clearances are excessive, the efficiency of the engine is reduced, because the valves open later and close earlier than they were designed to.
  • If the valve clearances (“valve lash”) are less than the manufacturer recommends (meaning they are too tight), as the engine warms up, normal heat expansion will not allow the valves to completely close.
  • Incorrect valve lash cannot be heard. (so, do not use the “if I cannot hear it, everything must be OK” test!)

If lash is reduced beyond a reasonable amount, several things occur, all of them unpleasant:

  • First, the valve timing is changed slightly, and this may affect performance, and emission outputs. But there is an added complication:
  • The exhaust valve stays alive because it’s able to transfer a portion of the heat it absorbs from the combustion process directly into the cylinder head, when it’s resting on its seat.
  • As clearance is reduced, the valves spend less time on their seats.
  • This means the exhaust valves have less time to give up its heat.
  • This condition will cause an engine misfire, leading to anything from detonation, pre-ignition and engine overheating, to a warped or burnt valve.
  • Burnt valves and/or burnt valve seats can cause major engine damage.
  • Damage to a valve and valve seat is expensive to repair. That’s the part when an expensive head job is needed.

You might not notice it for a while, because it happens slowly and doesn’t make any unusual noises (whereas other types of cars do make noise when their valves need adjusting). But if you drive the car like that, with the valves misadjusted, eventually one of the valves or valve seats will get burned out, and then you can be in real trouble.

Valve lash is critical. Some Honda engines don’t even make it to 100,000 miles, because the valves were never checked. Burned valves result from insufficient valve lash that is ignored for too long.

Regular Honda Valve Clearance Service

Adjusting valve clearance on your Honda is important:

  • The internal combustion engine is subject to thermal expansion as the temperature rises to 195 degrees.
  • In order for an engine to be efficient and burn the highest percentage of fuel introduced, it must have very tight tolerances.
  • Honda determined exactly how much expansion would take place so that the tolerances would be met at that temperature.
  • Adjusting the valves on your Honda Civic, Accord, CR-V, Element can, in many cases, restore idle quality and performance that has been lost due to engine wear.

GT Automotive can have your Honda valves adjusted at the factory recommended mileage intervals. This simple procedure will help to prevent premature engine failure and costly repairs, and can help to ensure that your engine is running efficiently and quietly for a long time.

Call 801.302.0912 for Honda service and repair in Salt Lake City from our factory trained Honda and Acura technicians-our Honda techs have over 37 combined years of Honda auto repair expertise.

Since 1980, GT Automotive and our ASE certified and factory trained Honda and Acura technicians have been serving Honda car owners in the Salt Lake Valley for all their vehicle repair needs. Call us today, 801-302-0912, about servicing and repairing your Honda or Acura in Salt Lake City.

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