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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope for a bit of quick advice before I dig into things....

I have a 2009 Honda Pilot EX-L with 310,000km. I've had the timing belt/water pump done a while ago and the engine is still very smooth. And I replaced the spark plugs about 1 1/2 years ago. Also use Mobil 1 synthetic oil.

In the past 2 years or so I noticed the economy gradually going down from about 20/21 mpg to about 16 mpg. Also noticed I need to add about 1 litre of oil every month or so (although from what I've read this could be caused by the PCM cylinder shutdown thing on these vehicles). Other than that no engine issues with the vehicle.

Just yesterday I got a code P0306 (cylinder 6) and engine ran rough but was able to get it home. No other codes being thrown. Checked the oil level and it was down to the min mark on the dipstick (doh!). So added about 2 litres. Ensured spark plugs hadn't loosened. They were fine. Tried swapping ignition coil and spark plug (condition of the spark plugs were good) from cylinder 6 to cylinder 5 and after resetting codes and restarting engine the code is still is P0306. So it's not those parts. Cleaned engine harness connectors to ignition packs. Didn't help.

So from the research I've done I should do a valve adjustment. This has NEVER been done on this vehicle. Does this sound like the right thing to do? Other than the tools I need to do the job will I need to replace gaskets or any other parts? They are kind of tough to get right now... :(

Is there anything else I can check before I dig into the valve adjustment job?

Thanks for any advice and stay safe...
Richard
 

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It's too late now, but valve adjustment should be done when the timing belt, water pump etc. is done. Saves grief later on. The only parts you should need are the seals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yep. That PCV valve was a b*tch though. Tough to get out the old one and hope I was able to get all the broken plastic pieces
It's too late now, but valve adjustment should be done when the timing belt, water pump etc. is done. Saves grief later on. The only parts you should need are the seals.
Yep. I don't think they did a valve adjustment. And that was about 70,000 miles ago anyways.

Richard
 

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Hope for a bit of quick advice before I dig into things....

I have a 2009 Honda Pilot EX-L with 310,000km. I've had the timing belt/water pump done a while ago and the engine is still very smooth. And I replaced the spark plugs about 1 1/2 years ago. Also use Mobil 1 synthetic oil.

In the past 2 years or so I noticed the economy gradually going down from about 20/21 mpg to about 16 mpg. Also noticed I need to add about 1 litre of oil every month or so (although from what I've read this could be caused by the PCM cylinder shutdown thing on these vehicles). Other than that no engine issues with the vehicle.

Just yesterday I got a code P0306 (cylinder 6) and engine ran rough but was able to get it home. No other codes being thrown. Checked the oil level and it was down to the min mark on the dipstick (doh!). So added about 2 litres. Ensured spark plugs hadn't loosened. They were fine. Tried swapping ignition coil and spark plug (condition of the spark plugs were good) from cylinder 6 to cylinder 5 and after resetting codes and restarting engine the code is still is P0306. So it's not those parts. Cleaned engine harness connectors to ignition packs. Didn't help.

So from the research I've done I should do a valve adjustment. This has NEVER been done on this vehicle. Does this sound like the right thing to do? Other than the tools I need to do the job will I need to replace gaskets or any other parts? They are kind of tough to get right now... :(

Is there anything else I can check before I dig into the valve adjustment job?

Thanks for any advice and stay safe...
Richard
Clean the soot from the EGR passages in the intake manifold. If you adjust the valves, you need to remove the manifold anyway. Clogged EGR passages can cause misfire problems. This only needs to be done every 100k miles or so.
 

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Hope for a bit of quick advice before I dig into things....

I have a 2009 Honda Pilot EX-L with 310,000km. I've had the timing belt/water pump done a while ago and the engine is still very smooth. And I replaced the spark plugs about 1 1/2 years ago. Also use Mobil 1 synthetic oil.

In the past 2 years or so I noticed the economy gradually going down from about 20/21 mpg to about 16 mpg. Also noticed I need to add about 1 litre of oil every month or so (although from what I've read this could be caused by the PCM cylinder shutdown thing on these vehicles). Other than that no engine issues with the vehicle.

Just yesterday I got a code P0306 (cylinder 6) and engine ran rough but was able to get it home. No other codes being thrown. Checked the oil level and it was down to the min mark on the dipstick (doh!). So added about 2 litres. Ensured spark plugs hadn't loosened. They were fine. Tried swapping ignition coil and spark plug (condition of the spark plugs were good) from cylinder 6 to cylinder 5 and after resetting codes and restarting engine the code is still is P0306. So it's not those parts. Cleaned engine harness connectors to ignition packs. Didn't help.

So from the research I've done I should do a valve adjustment. This has NEVER been done on this vehicle. Does this sound like the right thing to do? Other than the tools I need to do the job will I need to replace gaskets or any other parts? They are kind of tough to get right now... :(

Is there anything else I can check before I dig into the valve adjustment job?

Thanks for any advice and stay safe...
Richard
I had this occur in my 2012 Crosstour V6 at around 200k miles. I replaced both VVT solenoid and spool assemblies. The oil consumption stopped and it ran like a brand new engine.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So going to start diving into this today. I'm thinking a valve adjustment (probably never been done and the SUV has 180,000 miles!) and cleaning of intake plenum and throttle body is the way to go. Before I start I may do a quick treatment with seafoam and check the compression on the cylinders just to ensure I don't have other issues. I'm kind of surprised I don't get more than just the P0306 code (thought I'd get random misfires instead of focused on just 1 cylinder).

For replacement parts I think I just need this (please let me know if I need anything more).

Valve cover gasket - left and right with grommets and spark plug tube seals - $20 to $40
Intake plenum gasket - upper and lower with throttle body gasket - $40+

Richard
 

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So going to start diving into this today. I'm thinking a valve adjustment (probably never been done and the SUV has 180,000 miles!) and cleaning of intake plenum and throttle body is the way to go. Before I start I may do a quick treatment with seafoam and check the compression on the cylinders just to ensure I don't have other issues. I'm kind of surprised I don't get more than just the P0306 code (thought I'd get random misfires instead of focused on just 1 cylinder).

For replacement parts I think I just need this (please let me know if I need anything more).

Valve cover gasket - left and right with grommets and spark plug tube seals - $20 to $40
Intake plenum gasket - upper and lower with throttle body gasket - $40+

Richard
Since you said your engine began using a lot of oil, and engine was running poorly. I'm pretty confident in my diagnosis. Your VVT and spool gasket screens are likely cloged. This throws the timing off and eventually the misfire codes start. Is there any oil leaking out around the base of your dip stick? Eventually oil starts dripping out down into your alternator killing it. Is there signs under your engine that oil is leaking out more than before?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Since you said your engine began using a lot of oil, and engine was running poorly. I'm pretty confident in my diagnosis. Your VVT and spool gasket screens are likely cloged. This throws the timing off and eventually the misfire codes start. Is there any oil leaking out around the base of your dip stick? Eventually oil starts dripping out down into your alternator killing it. Is there signs under your engine that oil is leaking out more than before?
Thanks. Did some reading on the VVT and those spool gasket screens. I'll take a look for a leak near the alternator.

So if that's the issue do I just remove the VVT, clean the screens and reinstall with a new gasket? I'm looking at this thread.

VTEC spool valve leak, alternator damaged: replace both

And I see the gasket and the screen on this part.

More Information for ULTRA-POWER 918056

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yep. Definite oil leak at VVT.

135358


So I'll definitely remove that, check screen and fix leak.

Also I don't want to break the clips on the wiring harness/rail. What's the process for moving that aside so I can get the VVT out?

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
And just for clarification... there are 2 VVT solenoids but I currently only have to worry about the one near the alternator because I'm having a problem with cylinder #6?

Removed the VVT and cleaned the oil residue. I'll check the screen tomorrow.

Richard
 

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Thanks. Did some reading on the VVT and those spool gasket screens. I'll take a look for a leak near the alternator.

So if that's the issue do I just remove the VVT, clean the screens and reinstall with a new gasket? I'm looking at this thread.

VTEC spool valve leak, alternator damaged: replace both

And I see the gasket and the screen on this part.

More Information for ULTRA-POWER 918056

Richard
I thought RockAuto sold the gasket with screen but all I saw was the solenoid replacement or solenoid spool assembly replacement. Your last link looks to be correct.
You may know this.., there is another set on the other side. Drivers side.
 

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Yep. Definite oil leak at VVT.

View attachment 135358

So I'll definitely remove that, check screen and fix leak.

Also I don't want to break the clips on the wiring harness/rail. What's the process for moving that aside so I can get the VVT out?

Richard
After seeing your photo, my advice would be to replace the entire assemblies.
As you were going to proceed, to remove "both" solenoid and spool assembly, it requires removing the intake manifold and valve covers. There are many videos on YouTube to replace valve cover gaskets and spark plug tube seals. Once your valve covers are removed, you must unbolt your rocker arm assembly. The rocker arm assembly and spool are removed together. The spool is stuck to the head with Honda Bond adhesive. As you lift the rocker arm assembly you gently break the spool free from the adhesive. Then you can slip the spool off the rocker arms.
As an alternative to Honda Bond, I used black Permetex with no issues. That was 30k miles ago.
These photos are from my 2012 Crosstour.
135375
135376
135377
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Removed the intake manifold and got the valve covers removed. The back one was a bit of a b*tch but I just had to disconnect a few more sensor wires on the back right.

Here's the scoop...

So cylinder #6 P0306 was the main issue that started all this. Here's a few things i noticed after removing everything.
  • removed top of VVT because of minor oil leak (very normal issue) - wasn't dirty inside and screen only had a bit of crud in it which I cleaned out
  • removed EGR - cleaned out the port but once again wasn't too dirty - NOTICED THAT THERE WAS NO GASKET - weird?
  • spark plugs have good color and pretty much the same
  • coil packs are fine - no oil soaking
  • most valves are fairly tight (no or very little rocker movement) - only #6 exhaust valve has more play when i rock it back and forth (hmmm...)
  • back valve area looks really clean (gold color inside - looks brand new!)
  • front valve area looks dirty (sludge especially on the right side near #6 - looks better as you move to the left of the area)
And here are a few pictures...

Front and back.
135462


Back...
135464


Front...
135465


... and a video.
2009 Honda Pilot engine valve adjustment

So I'm thinking that the valves not being adjusted for the life of the vehicle (180,000 miles) probably caused the issue and the sludge in the top valve area. Does this sound reasonable? Any other ideas?

Going to clean out the intake manifold and throttle body too. Any recommendations on cleaning the valve area? I sprayed some sea foam top engine cleaner on the top of the valve area. Thought it might help loosen the crud up a bit. But obviously tough to clean properly.

Other than the valve adjustment is there anything else I should do while everything is apart?

Richard
 

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Removed the intake manifold and got the valve covers removed. The back one was a bit of a b*tch but I just had to disconnect a few more sensor wires on the back right.

Here's the scoop...

So cylinder #6 P0306 was the main issue that started all this. Here's a few things i noticed after removing everything.
  • removed top of VVT because of minor oil leak (very normal issue) - wasn't dirty inside and screen only had a bit of crud in it which I cleaned out
  • removed EGR - cleaned out the port but once again wasn't too dirty - NOTICED THAT THERE WAS NO GASKET - weird?
  • spark plugs have good color and pretty much the same
  • coil packs are fine - no oil soaking
  • most valves are fairly tight (no or very little rocker movement) - only #6 exhaust valve has more play when i rock it back and forth (hmmm...)
  • back valve area looks really clean (gold color inside - looks brand new!)
  • front valve area looks dirty (sludge especially on the right side near #6 - looks better as you move to the left of the area)
And here are a few pictures...

Front and back.
View attachment 135462

Back...
View attachment 135464

Front...
View attachment 135465

... and a video.
2009 Honda Pilot engine valve adjustment

So I'm thinking that the valves not being adjusted for the life of the vehicle (180,000 miles) probably caused the issue and the sludge in the top valve area. Does this sound reasonable? Any other ideas?

Going to clean out the intake manifold and throttle body too. Any recommendations on cleaning the valve area? I sprayed some sea foam top engine cleaner on the top of the valve area. Thought it might help loosen the crud up a bit. But obviously tough to clean properly.

Other than the valve adjustment is there anything else I should do while everything is apart?

Richard
Remove rocker arms with spools. Replace spool gaskets(Honda bond/Black Permatex) and VVT solenoid gaskets. I would replace the entire assemblies because of milage.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Remove rocker arms with spools. Replace spool gaskets(Honda bond/Black Permatex) and VVT solenoid gaskets. I would replace the entire assemblies because of milage.
The work I was planning on doing was to ensure minimal cost. Wasn't going to put much into this vehicle with so many kms. At that point probably just get a new smaller (the kids are out of the house now! :) ) SUV instead.

Based on the evidence/pics can you explain why replacing those items would fix the issue? I guess I don't understand the link between the two. Why the P0306 and sludge only in the front valve area.

Any others ideas out there as well?

Richard
 

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The work I was planning on doing was to ensure minimal cost. Wasn't going to put much into this vehicle with so many kms. At that point probably just get a new smaller (the kids are out of the house now! :) ) SUV instead.

Based on the evidence/pics can you explain why replacing those items would fix the issue? I guess I don't understand the link between the two. Why the P0306 and sludge only in the front valve area.

Any others ideas out there as well?

Richard
I understand.
I'm looking at it like when we replace a water pump during a timing belt replacement because of all the steps it takes to get to that point.
Again, just looking at your photo, you got a significant oil leak going there. The Honda Bond between the spool valve and head is known to leak with age. I'm not completely familiar with the inner workings of the spool valve, maybe someone can explain just how and if they fail. If anything, remove it, clean the surfaces and reseal it. The Solinoids/oil preasure switch are toast. These need replacing along with brand new gaskets/screens. The old gaskets will not reseal.
 
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