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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, so this is my first Element. It’s a neat car, but I have a huge problem. One of the cylinders has about 30 pounds less compression than the others. I’m looking for possible causes in various different posts on the forum, but what has me rattled is that the car doesn’t smoke. I’ll post anything I find here for posterity. Or if you have any input, feel free to share it. It’s an 06 if that means anything. I know they changed some stuff for 07.
 

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First thing that comes to mind is: Are the valves adjusted? Have they been out of adjustment for so long that one of them is damaged?
Less likely: head gasket or piston rings.

How does the oil look? Is it clean? My gut feeling is valves.
 

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I agree - first thought is a valve problem in that cylinder. I'd start by adjusting the valves and if nothing else it will tell you how far out of adjustment they are. My gut (and fear) is that one or more valves in that cylinder are damaged or otherwise not seating and sealing properly and that's where your compression is going. If so, you'll need to pull the head and have any damaged ones replaced and all the others ground and seated. I've done this on multiple vehicles in the past but not on an E, so not sure how much more involved it might be compared to other vehicle types. Certainly if you can pull the head and take it to the machine shop yourself, it will be a much cheaper job than if you take it to a shop and have them do everything. Perhaps others have firsthand experience with tackling a valve job on a E and can weigh in.

If the problem was worn rings in that cylinder then all the compressed air would be ending up in the crankcase instead of going out the manifold in the case of valves...I'd think you'd see some evidence of all that blow-by if it was a ring problem (usually in the form of accelerated oil leaks, PVC problems etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both much. Glad I tried the valves first. Runs great now! Luckily it hadn’t been run enough to mess up any valves. I found a post on an accord forum for an accord with the same engine which helped out much. Sure enough one of the exhaust valves was tight against the rocker. Got that squared away. Came into this project ready to do a head or even a long block, so this was a pleasant surprise!
 

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Thank you both much. Glad I tried the valves first. Runs great now! Luckily it hadn’t been run enough to mess up any valves. I found a post on an accord forum for an accord with the same engine which helped out much. Sure enough one of the exhaust valves was tight against the rocker. Got that squared away. Came into this project ready to do a head or even a long block, so this was a pleasant surprise!
Wow - good luck there. If one of the valves was so tight it was causing that much compression loss, it was probably only a matter of time before you burned that valve so great that you got them adjusted time and definitely good you don't have to yank the head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Engine currently has 170xxx miles and still going strong. Sorry to revive a dead thread, but I wanted to wrap it up for anyone who stumbles across this in the future.
 
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