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I just bought an 08 Element. It has 130,000 miles, but it's a Honda, so I thought it should be okay. My wife and I love it. It runs great, but I noticed that it has a little bit of a rattle that sounds like too much valve clearance. My 2000 VTEC Accord has 209,000 miles, but doesn't sound like this. Is this normal with the iVTEC? Is there a big difference in the regular VTEC and the iVETC? Thanks.
 

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The valves should have been adjusted around 110k. I have been told a little too loose doesn't hurt anything but too tight will burn a valve. Also the wrong oil can cause noise when it's cold. Should be 5-20w
 

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Thanks Rick. I plan to adjust the valves asap, but work has taken all of my time lately. You mentioned using 5-20 oil. I was actually thinking about going to 20-50 to quiet things down a little until i can do the job. It is 90-something here in Alabama, so I think it should be okay. Any thoughts?
 

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Thanks Rick. I plan to adjust the valves asap, but work has taken all of my time lately. You mentioned using 5-20 oil. I was actually thinking about going to 20-50 to quiet things down a little until i can do the job. It is 90-something here in Alabama, so I think it should be okay. Any thoughts?
Yeah, I might have a thought:

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!


The oil galleries and bearing clearances are designed to expect the almost water-like flow of 5W20 at running temperatures. You can get away with 5W30 due to the "close enough" factor, although it will increase pumping losses. But 20W50? Nuh uh. Capillary attraction of the higher viscosity will be too high and oil flow around bearings will be seriously compromised, regardless of ambient temperature.

I can't predict an exact "time of death" for the E's engine if fed a diet of 20W50, but the engine life will be shortened significantly.
 

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No. Use 5-20. The valve noise may be because you have 10-30 in it now. Unless you changed it yourself you don't know whats in there. Don't worry about the temp. I drive between San Diego and Las Vegas a lot with over 110F and I use 5-20. Because that's what Honda says to use. (I like Mobil 1 ) I won't even use the 5-30. And I only change it when the truck tells me too. That's just me but I routinely get over 250k on a car before getting a new one and Ive never had an engine problem. I have over 70k on my 08.
 

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Also, we might mention that the concept of using higher viscosities to quiet a valvetrain is rooted in hydraulic lifters. Sometimes lifters would get sloppy as an engine aged, and a thicker oil would firm-up the hydraulic action and reduce drain-down clatter issues.

The E's K24 has solid "lifters", if that's what you want to call the roller cam followers. If the cam/rocker noise is unacceptable, then it's time to open things up and do an adjustment.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys, I appreciate it. I plan to adjust the valves next week when I should finally get some time off work. Do you know approx how long it takes to do? I have done valves before, but not on a VTEC engine. Is there anything specific that I need to know about the VTEC?
 

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Turn the motor by turning slowly by wrench while having a friend or yourself inspect the valves and the rollers as they turn. Mine is under 120K and wear is evident on them as the finish has worn. If there are smalls specks, dots, or obvious pitting on the rocker, get them out of there. I am doing mine now.
 
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