How are these cylinders looking @ 58K - Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
golftango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: CT
Posts: 292
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
How are these cylinders looking @ 58K

As many of you, concerned with VCM and plug/cylinder fouling. I pulled the plugs on my 2012 with 58K and found the following:

Cyl 4 (front left)



Cyl 5 (front center)



Cyl 6 (front right)



Looking at the back bank (1-2-3) of cyls, I was expecting worse as VCM switches off theses cyls:

Cyl 1 (rear left) - there was some oil on the plug threads



Cyl 2 (rear center) - again, some oil



Cyl 3 (rear right) - again more oil



So what's the consensus here, look like any fouling or possible ring issues? I know it's hard to tell just from these pics, but it's a start.

2012 Pilot 4WD EX-L w/ Nav - Alabaster Silver on Black
2017 Accord Sport SE 6MT - San Marino Red
golftango is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 05:48 AM
Super Moderator
 
Rocky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Red Sox Nation
Posts: 13,031
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Difficult to know. But I'd love to see similar pics from a VCM muzzler equipped truck after its run for a few thousand miles

2005 Pilot Exl Res
2016 CRV Touring
Rocky is offline  
post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 11:30 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 206
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Spark plugs look great. Chalky/flat brown look on the end of the plug is good combustion and not burning a lot of oil.

When they start to get white residue on them it's running too lean and when it's a darker almost black residue, it's running too rich. Heavy deposits means oil burning.

How did you get those in-cylinder pictures?
StephenPT is offline  
 
post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
golftango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: CT
Posts: 292
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenPT View Post
Spark plugs look great. Chalky/flat brown look on the end of the plug is good combustion and not burning a lot of oil.

When they start to get white residue on them it's running too lean and when it's a darker almost black residue, it's running too rich. Heavy deposits means oil burning.

How did you get those in-cylinder pictures?
Good to know. With the oil on the threads, does anyone think a valve cover gasket might be bad?

This was the USB bore-scope camera I purchased. Best $26 I've spent.




2012 Pilot 4WD EX-L w/ Nav - Alabaster Silver on Black
2017 Accord Sport SE 6MT - San Marino Red
golftango is offline  
post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 12:32 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 206
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Most likely not a valve cover gasket. Do you have to add any oil between oil changes? If not then I wouldn't worry about it. VCM by nature allows a bit more oil into the cylinders when they're turned off. As long as the plug isn't getting heavy deposits on it and your dipstick level isn't dropping considerably over time, then I'd say it's running just fine.
StephenPT is offline  
post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 12:41 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 206
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Also, your cylinders look really good as well. Lots of cross hatching left and very minimal vertical scoring lines. Your engine is in great shape.
StephenPT is offline  
post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 01:03 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Central Oregon
Posts: 1,002
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Oil on the plug threads can be from a leaking seal around the well, or may have been oil on the threads during assembly. The 'sealing' that a thread does in the head is at the metal gasket/ring at the top of the threaded area. Consider that the plug has one 'thread' that screws into the head that also has one 'thread'. When the plug is torqued correctly, the upper surface of the plug thread is tight against the lower face of the thread in the head. That leaves a small gap on the unloaded side of the thread where anything can pass of there's a path available beyond the thread. The gasket/ring blocks flow of combustion gasses beyond the top of the threads, but can't prevent the movement of combustion gasses in the threads below the ring/gasket. There are good recommendations for use of a copper-based anti-seize compound on the plug thread to help block combustion gas flows in the threads. Heat transfer must not be inhibited, of course, but keeping combustion junk out is essential to allowing the plugs to be removed.

Part of a plug-change procedure might be an effort to clear any contamination that might be present in the plug wells prior to removing the plugs. If there's any evidence of oil around the plug in the well, a little brake-clean and a puff of compressed air (with a rag over the well...) should be enough to clear it. That way you can be sure that any deposits or residue found on the plug below the ring/gasket were not transferred from the well.

The pics of the cylinder walls reveal that ther original honing marks are largely intact. Where there is any longitudinal scraping (from deposits on the rings...) the marks are no deeper that the hone marks, so no red-flag damage to see. The piston tops show a bit of oil ash on the edges, but nothing outrageous at all. Does the car use any oil between changes?

For those playing along at home, a couple of these pictures illustrate the need to consider a top-tier synthetic oil vs conventional oil. Synthetic is much less prone to causing detonation when it's accidentally part of a combustion charge. It also tends not to produce the same ash when it burns. The detonation risks piston and ring damage if left unchecked, and those almost always cause more oil to into the combustion chambers and a short ride down a slippery slope. The ash remaining in the cylinder can cause scratching of the cylinder walls, and in fact are what causes the logitudinal scratching visible in a couple of the cylinder-wall shots. When a scratch is deeper than the factory machine marks, a path is made for oil to be drawn into the cylinder around the rings, and for combustion gases to enter the crankcase. I'm a firm believer in synthetics for these reasons much more than for any extended oil life benefits that might accrue. The Pilot came home directly from Honda, and had synthetic oil swapped in. Again at 1000 miles then on to a 3k change interval. If nothing else it's cheap insurance. I like to see at least 250-300k from any car I buy.

dr bob

2013 Touring in Alabaster Silver with black inside. Has LED interior lights now, full rubber mats, and the deluxe running boards added.

In the high desert of central Oregon.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by dr bob; 09-24-2015 at 01:06 PM.
dr bob is offline  
post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 07:31 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: DC
Posts: 70
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Engine and plugs look fine/totally normal. Keep following the recommended service intervals and you will be in good shape. Quality synthetic oil is never a bad idea but at some point the engine may outlast the useful service life of the rest of the car (e.g., transmission, A/C, body rust/paint/corrosion) and this is likely why Honda specified what it specified and not full synthetic.

'12 Pilot Touring

Last edited by Pilot Driver; 09-27-2015 at 07:35 PM.
Pilot Driver is offline  
post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 12:39 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Central Oregon
Posts: 1,002
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilot Driver View Post
Engine and plugs look fine/totally normal. Keep following the recommended service intervals and you will be in good shape. Quality synthetic oil is never a bad idea but at some point the engine may outlast the useful service life of the rest of the car (e.g., transmission, A/C, body rust/paint/corrosion) and this is likely why Honda specified what it specified and not full synthetic.

I'm almost convinced that the somewhat-wildcard variables in a car-replacement decision are based primarily on accidents, and to a lesser extent on dirt.

dr bob

2013 Touring in Alabaster Silver with black inside. Has LED interior lights now, full rubber mats, and the deluxe running boards added.

In the high desert of central Oregon.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
dr bob is offline  
post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 01:13 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: DC
Posts: 70
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr bob View Post
I'm almost convinced that the somewhat-wildcard variables in a car-replacement decision are based primarily on accidents, and to a lesser extent on dirt.
I don't disagree. I am one of those guys (sound not dissimilar from you) who fret over this stuff but one thing I have learned with Hondas, and with out Pilot in particular, is that the rest of the car will likely fall apart before the engine.

On a more serious note, one of the thing that I am disappointed with respect to our Pilot is that much of the quality of the finish pieces is not where it should be. For example, we have experienced having to have both sun visors replaced because they wouldn't snap back into position against the ceiling fully. Not a big deal, but cheap. The center console cover wouldn't clip closed and I had it replaced. The rear trim around the hatch, at the top, is distorted because the spring are too strong and the plastic trim is not stout enough (or some combination thereof). (I see they "fixed" this problem in the new Pilot by eliminating the hatch altogether -- not comforting.) The A pillar trim is very cheap/thin and has a tendency to make minor noise against the dash and / or windshield.

None of these things are a big deal in the aggregate, and Honda has tried to fix all of these minor things. However, at least in my mind they are symptomatic of a lack of quality control that doesn't necessarily come up in a reliability study but that is noticed by customers such as yours truly. Would it prevent me from buying another Honda? Frankly, I am not sure, but in the context of this discussion it makes me think that the rest of the car will get difficult to live with far in advance of the motor, which seems fairly robust. It also makes me view the new Pilot with some skepticism, particularly when I read how light-weight it is (light has some correlation with cheap in my mind). If I were sending a message to Honda, it wouldn't be about their motors, it would be around building the remainder of the car with greater care and quality because it is one thing that will make this repeat Honda owner (this is our 4th Honda) look closely at other brands the next time around.
Pilot Driver is offline  
post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 09:09 PM
Registered User
 
TreeStump's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 80
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Some great information here. Thank you everyone.

____________________________
I let the dogs out.
TreeStump is offline  
post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 12:45 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Central Oregon
Posts: 1,002
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Driver, I'm with you on the attention to detail and the 'apparent' quality concerns. As the max-trim models are pushing $50k, Honda is competing, at least on price, with some of the lower-trim versions of premium-brand SUV's from the likes of Audi, BMW, Range Rover, etc. I'm not a huge fan of petro-cellulose (plastic wood) trim for it's own merits, but there are some really simple trim details that where Honda has come up way short. My elbow bottoms out the driver's door armrest padding. I shared a simple retro-fix for the warping rear hatch trim, but I shouldn't be engineering the car so far into the model generation's life. I was scratching my head over the odd array of rear cargo area fittings and such, so I can hang a protective pad there to carry stuff without damaging the hard plastic panels. Not a lot of symetry in the fittings there.

Flip side-- we shuttled a group of friends to a charity event a week or two ago, including using the third row seats. All were complmentary of the space, comfort and ease of access to the passenger areas. Meanwhile, I had to stow the cargo area cover in the garage, since Honda 'forgot' to provide a second set of holes for it to be used behind the third row. So there's plenty of things that they got right, but stupid thoughtful detail stuff is left out. I haven't gone for a hands-on look at the new 2016 models; maybe they upgraded this stuff.

We still like the car. It shares the garage with several other cars of varying pedigree. None of them are perfect for everything. The Honda is great for carrying people and stuff, in reasonable comfort, and with reasonable fuel consumption. I don't plan to test the crash safety features in the near future, but like any other insurance it's comforting to know they are there when needed.


This is straying way far from the OP's questions about cylinder and spark-plug condition. Follow-up should be in a separate dedicated thread.

dr bob

2013 Touring in Alabaster Silver with black inside. Has LED interior lights now, full rubber mats, and the deluxe running boards added.

In the high desert of central Oregon.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by dr bob; 09-29-2015 at 12:49 PM.
dr bob is offline  
post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 06:37 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 1,112
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Plugs look great, they have many more miles to run.

Piston crowns look great.

Cylinder walls look new.

The residue on the threads...don't sweat it. You'd need to have it analyzed to know if that's really oil or fuel. If this was an issue, the plug tips would tell us. And they don't show any sign of oil or excess fuel.

Absolutely no hint of an issue here. Everything looks the way it should.
RinconVTR is offline  
post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2015, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
golftango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: CT
Posts: 292
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Thanks everyone for the replies.

I too thought everything looks really good for close to 60K, including plugs.

So with some of the 3.5s experiencing issues with fouling plugs and rings, can it be said that lack of maintenance or use of non-quality oil/fuel could be the culprit along with VCM? This helps ease my mind when it comes to VCM as I'm not really experiencing any vibrations or other VCM issues.

For what it's worth, when I purchased it, the carfax reflected an impeccable service history at the Honda dealer. Regular oil changes, etc. I now change the oil when the MM hits 40/50% or so. From what I understand my dealer only uses 0W20 and this indicates it is at least a synthetic blend. Additionally I'm only using top tier 87 at the pump and like to open her up from time to time to keep carbon at bay.

2012 Pilot 4WD EX-L w/ Nav - Alabaster Silver on Black
2017 Accord Sport SE 6MT - San Marino Red
golftango is offline  
post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
golftango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: CT
Posts: 292
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Updating this as I changed my plugs today, 93,866 miles. The tops of the pistons still look great, if not cleaner. Cylinder walls still look good, factory score marks still visible.

The cam did not take as good of a pic as last time, but still visible.

No VCMuzzler. Use top tier gas when I can, other times BJs fuel. Oil changed every 5-7K miles, regardless of MM. Use Chevron Techron every 10K miles or so.










2012 Pilot 4WD EX-L w/ Nav - Alabaster Silver on Black
2017 Accord Sport SE 6MT - San Marino Red

Last edited by golftango; 06-19-2017 at 10:10 AM.
golftango is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome