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Discussion Starter #61
So I picked up the E today following the 2nd valve adjustment in 10k miles and now the sound is if anything a little louder/more noticeable, but not improved at all.
 

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07 2wd 5-speedauto
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Did these rip off artists take any pics of the cams?
Why don't you buy an extended warranty, and in 31 days bring it to a different shop or the dealer, that takes the insurance and have them fix it under warranty. The insurance company sure isn't gonna tolerate overpriced estimates.
 

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I had one cam replaced in my '03 at the dealer for $1100 (bad scoring on one of the cams, can't remember which, due to the 'soft cam' issue many of the '03s had). I believe that included a valve adjustment that you would do as a matter of course after a cam replacement, but correct me if I'm wrong on that. This repair was done at my local Honda dealer. I more or less interviewed the service advisor before the work and insisted they put their most experienced mechanic on this job, which they did. He's been their lead mechanic for around 30 years. They are a good dealer and I have had no reason to not trust them; they always repair things right the first time.

On a side note, the car still ran perfectly when the soft cam was discovered at 100k miles when I, you guessed it, brought the vehicle in for a valve adjustment. I probably could've gotten away with continuing to drive it for some time, but my E is still so nice after 17 years, and I have too much 'mechanical sympathy,' to ignore something like a scored camshaft. I agree with what others are saying here -- your mechanic either is trying to screw you, or wants you to just go away. I always say a good mechanic is even harder to find than a good woman. I'm not sure if that's really true or not, but it's probably close to true in any case. :)

I hope this story has a happy ending for you at some point. Persist and do your research if you look for another (better) mechanic and you will be half way there.
 

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Discussion Starter #64
Did these rip off artists take any pics of the cams?
Why don't you buy an extended warranty, and in 31 days bring it to a different shop or the dealer, that takes the insurance and have them fix it under warranty. The insurance company sure isn't gonna tolerate overpriced estimates.
You can buy warranties for 13yr old vehicles with over 100k on them?
 

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Discussion Starter #65
I had one cam replaced in my '03 at the dealer for $1100 (bad scoring on one of the cams, can't remember which, due to the 'soft cam' issue many of the '03s had). I believe that included a valve adjustment that you would do as a matter of course after a cam replacement, but correct me if I'm wrong on that. This repair was done at my local Honda dealer. I more or less interviewed the service advisor before the work and insisted they put their most experienced mechanic on this job, which they did. He's been their lead mechanic for around 30 years. They are a good dealer and I have had no reason to not trust them; they always repair things right the first time.

On a side note, the car still ran perfectly when the soft cam was discovered at 100k miles when I, you guessed it, brought the vehicle in for a valve adjustment. I probably could've gotten away with continuing to drive it for some time, but my E is still so nice after 17 years, and I have too much 'mechanical sympathy,' to ignore something like a scored camshaft. I agree with what others are saying here -- your mechanic either is trying to screw you, or wants you to just go away. I always say a good mechanic is even harder to find than a good woman. I'm not sure if that's really true or not, but it's probably close to true in any case. :)

I hope this story has a happy ending for you at some point. Persist and do your research if you look for another (better) mechanic and you will be half way there.
Well see, $1,100 and that was even through the dealer! This guy quoted me 7k, said it was more work to replace the cam then to replace the whole motor!
 

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2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
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Here's a guy on this site who bought a low mileage JDM used engine and got a mechanic to install it for $1250 total:

 

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We use Alldata for job estimations. It shows 3.5 hours of labor, including valve adjustments, and $566 for each camshaft. Of course more parts will be necessary. I see no reason to risk installing a used engine with unknown history.
Do a search for extended warranties in your area.
 

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Discussion Starter #68
We use Alldata for job estimations. It shows 3.5 hours of labor, including valve adjustments, and $566 for each camshaft. Of course more parts will be necessary. I see no reason to risk installing a used engine with unknown history.
Do a search for extended warranties in your area.
Okay, mech just got pictures to me, the worst ones are exhaust 3 and 4, but I don’t know what their supposed to look like, you tell me:
204318

204319

204320

204321


Furthermore, I’m not convinced this noise (knock) is coming from these lobes or even the top end at all. Mech said he looked at timing chain tension while in there are all were good. But then they also told me that I shouldn’t chase the knock anymore as I have a sick motor because of these lobes that’s going to fail anyways so no point in chasing the knock. This thing idles and runs smooth as glass, I do all hwy driving and average 25mpg, I’m just not sold on the signing this thing off as junk just yet. New mech? Lol
 

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No doubt the lobes are worn, that sucks! Clean as a whistle in there. If it were mine I would replace the exh cam and 4 followers. As for noise, uhmmm that's a tough one to call, but it sure does sound like this your source.

Or just ride it out, and see if the sound gets louder.
 

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Discussion Starter #70
No doubt the lobes are worn, that sucks! Clean as a whistle in there. If it were mine I would replace the exh cam and 4 followers. As for noise, uhmmm that's a tough one to call, but it sure does sound like this your source.

Or just ride it out, and see if the sound gets louder.
Exactly! How did a VTEC with 123k and meticulous service get worn lobes like this!!?? So you DO think that’s what’s causing the sound? It doesn’t make sense to me how they would cause a sound by wearing, are they hitting something? What’s the harm in driving as is until they wear bad enough they start causing other issues?
 

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Cams wear on all makes and models, we see it all the time. GM's have had cam issues since the beginning of small block's in '55 and still to this day. We just had a 2019 torn down for cam lobe wear. I would guess the metal was not propely heat treated. No real harm in driving it as is, as long as you keep on top of regular oil and filter changes. The small amount of metal fragments can wear other moving parts. A magnetic drain plug is a good thing, and a magnet or 2 on the outside of the oil filter.
 

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I should add that my scored cam lobe looked just like that, but the car wasn't making any knocking or any other kind of noises at all, but then again just one of the lobes was scored on mine if I recall correctly.

I strongly disagree with your mechanic that due to the worn lobes you now have a 'sick' motor. Mine has run like a top for 50k miles since I replaced the cam. Still doesn't use any oil at 150k miles.
 

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Exactly! How did a VTEC with 123k and meticulous service get worn lobes like this!!?? So you DO think that’s what’s causing the sound? It doesn’t make sense to me how they would cause a sound by wearing, are they hitting something? What’s the harm in driving as is until they wear bad enough they start causing other issues?
I'm surprised this happened to yours because I thought it was only the '03s and maybe a few of the '04s that had the 'soft' cams from the factory. As I understand they weren't 'hardened' correctly by the supplier which led to the accelerated wear of the lobes. All the correct maintenance in the world wouldn't have prevented it. If that's the case with yours, it certainly isn't the engine's fault it got a bad cam. I'm just surprised it happened to a later model year Element. But then again, who knows how many Elements are running around out there with this problem, but the owner has no clue since they've never had the valves inspected.
 
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