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Old 01-27-2009, 08:59 AM   #1
m1ste00
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Exclamation Check engine light, running rough

Hopefully someone out there can help me out. Two weeks ago my E began to start rough, but it would smooth out almost immediately, so I thought it was due to the cold weather. Over the course of a week it got a little worse, with the roughness lasting a little longer. The check engine light came on. To make a long story short, here we go:
I took it to the dealership three times.
#1. They did the 110,000 mile service, changing all the spark plugs and checking all fluids. It was good. They put it on the machine and it said it was a coil misfire. The tech swapped #2 coil w. #3 and said if the light came back on it was the coil and he would replace it, but he did not think that was the problem.
Two days later the light is back on.
#2. The machine said that it was coil #2 which was incorrect since it had been switched the last visit w. #3 coil. The tech said since it was running rough (which it was doing during the first visit) it was a leaking injector. This cannot be tested, you have to replace it and see if it works. So we did. A couple of days later the light was back on.
#3. This time they called Honda and they told them to adjust valves and clean the chambers. 24 hours later I pick the car up. Tech says its running smooth. I pick it up and it immediately starts rough. On the invoice it says if problem persists it may need a cylinder head.
Last night the light came back on. It's been a little over a week. I was in a parking lot idling in the cold w. the heat on and it was getting very hot very fast. We got it home but as soon as we started driving the temperature dropped to normal and all fluids are intact, no spraying or leaks.
Has anyone had this problem? I have this idea of these techs w. dice rolling them to see what to fix next while I'm slowly going broke. Any suggestions would be great.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:34 PM   #2
SocalBob
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Did they every told you what that CEL code was?
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:25 AM   #3
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The other thing I would check is the compression as a low CYL will cause a misfire. The poor mans way to check is when you are starting it first inthe morning it will crank for a couple seconds and the starter motor will have a steady beat as it coes through the cylinders and if you have a low cylinder the starter will pick up on that one and come back down.
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:26 PM   #4
m1ste00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SocalBob View Post
Did they every told you what that CEL code was?
No they never told the code, just that it said it was the 2nd coil.
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:45 PM   #5
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This may not be helpful but if you get down to the Hampton Roads area Pure Automotive in Virginia Beach is a great repair shop. He's a retired Honda Master Mechanic from Hall Honda and opened his own shop. Spotman and I have both used this shop and have great experience there.

Good luck with your issue.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1ste00 View Post
hopefully someone out there can help me out. Two weeks ago my e began to start rough, but it would smooth out almost immediately, so i thought it was due to the cold weather. Over the course of a week it got a little worse, with the roughness lasting a little longer. The check engine light came on. To make a long story short, here we go:
I took it to the dealership three times.
#1. They did the 110,000 mile service, changing all the spark plugs and checking all fluids. It was good. They put it on the machine and it said it was a coil misfire. The tech swapped #2 coil w. #3 and said if the light came back on it was the coil and he would replace it, but he did not think that was the problem.
Two days later the light is back on.
#2. The machine said that it was coil #2 which was incorrect since it had been switched the last visit w. #3 coil. The tech said since it was running rough (which it was doing during the first visit) it was a leaking injector. This cannot be tested, you have to replace it and see if it works. So we did. A couple of days later the light was back on.
#3. This time they called honda and they told them to adjust valves and clean the chambers. 24 hours later i pick the car up. Tech says its running smooth. I pick it up and it immediately starts rough. On the invoice it says if problem persists it may need a cylinder head.
Last night the light came back on. It's been a little over a week. I was in a parking lot idling in the cold w. The heat on and it was getting very hot very fast. We got it home but as soon as we started driving the temperature dropped to normal and all fluids are intact, no spraying or leaks.
Has anyone had this problem? I have this idea of these techs w. Dice rolling them to see what to fix next while i'm slowly going broke. Any suggestions would be great.

what dealership did you take it to?
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:20 PM   #7
m1ste00
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Exclamation

I finally got in touch with a friend of a friend who is a Master Mechanic and knew what it was as soon as I explained the situation. In case anyone else ever runs into this issue, here it is...BTW, I went to Pohanka Honda in Fredericksburg VA. As my friend said, they were on the right track, but went about it all wrong, not digging enough to find the problem, rather trying to fix the symptom which in turn only made it worse with time.

Anyway, he suggested my husband take out the spark plug for the troubled coil #2 and see if it was wet. If so, start the car w/o the spark plug in (starting will be loud, he said it's ok) Let it run for about 20 seconds, letting the air blow out any fluids and replace it. If it starts smooth once the spark plug is replaced, it's antifreeze leaking into the cylinder which is BAD.

I returned it to the dealership, not telling them what I knew and they figured it out almost immediately, based on me telling them it ran hot one time. So they have to remove the cylinder head and check the extent of the damage, but we're looking at a minimum of $1300.

According to the dealership (of course) all of their trial and error and the time wasted and me continuing to drive the car did not make it worse, however, I beg to differ as the roughness in the idling got much worse in the end and the car was obviously not running right. My lesson in this is that dealerships are maybe not always the best option. I was worried about a "shop" being a woman but maybe I'll think twice about that next time.
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:28 PM   #8
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Did you suggest that they deduct from the head overhaul the cost of them throwing parts at the problem instead of diagnosing it correctly?
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