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Discussion Starter #1
Battery light on dashboard turns on / off intermittently. When the battery light appears, whining noise appears as well.
Take the car to Honda dealer, and its diagnosed with a leaking VTEC spool valve which leaked oil on alternator.
Both needed to be replaced at a cost of $1750.

Has this happened to anyone else?
Pilot has 80K.

Strange thing is on the dealer invoice/paperwork, they only list replacement / labor costs for alternator and spool valve. No other bolts/flanges/ anything else is listed. Is this normal? Should they have recommended an oil change as well?
 

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My spool valve is leaking, but it has not gotten to the point that I want to address it. I think dealer quoted $600 to replace it (and the failed o-ring which is the real issue.)
 

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If you are mechanically inclined what tends to leak on the spool valve is the RTV/silicone/Hondabond , you can't buy the " gasket " but you can remove and reseal the spool valve and reinstall for $25.



And yes it is a common problem for the spool valve to leak oil onto the alternator.


Removing the spool valve isn't impossible but it will need a little bit of patience to remove.


The next one i remove and replace i will try and take pictures
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you are mechanically inclined what tends to leak on the spool valve is the RTV/silicone/Hondabond , you can't buy the " gasket " but you can remove and reseal the spool valve and reinstall for $25.



And yes it is a common problem for the spool valve to leak oil onto the alternator.


Removing the spool valve isn't impossible but it will need a little bit of patience to remove.


The next one i remove and replace i will try and take pictures

Here's the breakdown of costs,
Does this seem reasonable (keep in mind, this was done at the dealership)?


Spool valve: parts $228. labor $613
alternator (remanufactured): parts $515. labor $217
 

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Ordered the two gaskets off of Amazon and they arrived earlier in the week. Decided to change them today.

The spool valve is to the left of the front side valve cover - just above the alternator hence all the oil you see on your alternator and down the front side of the engine.

I removed the wiring harness - about 6-7 connections and moved it up and to the left of the spool valve.


There are two bolts just above the oil dipstick and then a third at the top of the valve that are needed to be removed.


This piece is removed you see the first gasket still in place at the bottom of the piece and then a silver/chrome plate. I used a 90 degree pick to carefully pull this plate off to reveal the second gasket. Put a light coat of oil on each gasket and then reinstalled. There are two dowels that you need to be careful to not misplace. One of mine was removed with the piece I pulled off and the second was left in place in the head.


An easy job at about 30 minutes total time and $20 in expenses. Much better than removing the entire valve train.
 

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Thanks for sharing the pics. Did you spot the leak at the lower part of the spool valve on the front side where the red rag is in the second and third photo?
 

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Mine leaked at the bottom of the upper portion of the valve - at the lower 2 bolts. Not sure it would make any difference - a leak is a leak.
 

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Ordered the two gaskets off of Amazon and they arrived earlier in the week. Decided to change them today.

The spool valve is to the left of the front side valve cover - just above the alternator hence all the oil you see on your alternator and down the front side of the engine.

I removed the wiring harness - about 6-7 connections and moved it up and to the left of the spool valve.


There are two bolts just above the oil dipstick and then a third at the top of the valve that are needed to be removed.


This piece is removed you see the first gasket still in place at the bottom of the piece and then a silver/chrome plate. I used a 90 degree pick to carefully pull this plate off to reveal the second gasket. Put a light coat of oil on each gasket and then reinstalled. There are two dowels that you need to be careful to not misplace. One of mine was removed with the piece I pulled off and the second was left in place in the head.


An easy job at about 30 minutes total time and $20 in expenses. Much better than removing the entire valve train.
I ordered gaskets to replace my leaking one 09 Pilot. My honda shop manual says you have to remove the rocker assembly???
 

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look above at the picture "spool4w" from one of my posts and you can see the 2 screw holes at the bottom of the inner gasket. That is where I had oil/grime build up from my leak. It also makes it down to the alternator and then the lower block.
 

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look above at the picture "spool4w" from one of my posts and you can see the 2 screw holes at the bottom of the inner gasket. That is where I had oil/grime build up from my leak. It also makes it down to the alternator and then the lower block.
Thanks, can see base not removed in your pic.I think that's because Honda sells valve with base attached and gaskets are between the base and valve. Probably why they don't list gaskets on their parts web site. If the base gasket is leaking thats alot bigger job.
 

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that's true - entire valve train removal. In my case if it was at the base of the entire spool valve then I don't think I would have had oil/grime above that area. My guess is the entire spool valve, if replaced, would have hondabond seal that would take a lot of time, heat and mileage to fail.
 

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that's true - entire valve train removal. In my case if it was at the base of the entire spool valve then I don't think I would have had oil/grime above that area. My guess is the entire spool valve, if replaced, would have hondabond seal that would take a lot of time, heat and mileage to fail.
I have hondabond seal. I hope I wont be needing it. Just looked quickly at oil in spool valve area after replacing oil damaged alternator. Will take better look to pinpoint source.
 

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Spool Vlave

Yes i was told this is the issue with my '11 Pilot today. Which is weird because I just took it in last week because it wouldnt stop randomly beeping. I had to have the hood latch replaced (250). I get it home and it died. Took it back they said i needed a new battery. (I just purchased the Battery Jan 2018) Get it home and had to make a short trip on the highway. All of the lights started coming on the dash... Radio turned off.. Windows wouldn't roll down. Car almost shut of several times while go 70mph. It was scary. Today i get told that Spool Valve is leaking on the Alternator. (1625)
 

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get the $20 in parts off of amazon and find a mechanic that will change for you. Your alternator may be bad if it has had leaking oil on it for a while.
 

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Yes i was told this is the issue with my '11 Pilot today. Which is weird because I just took it in last week because it wouldnt stop randomly beeping. I had to have the hood latch replaced (250). I get it home and it died. Took it back they said i needed a new battery. (I just purchased the Battery Jan 2018) Get it home and had to make a short trip on the highway. All of the lights started coming on the dash... Radio turned off.. Windows wouldn't roll down. Car almost shut of several times while go 70mph. It was scary. Today i get told that Spool Valve is leaking on the Alternator. (1625)
And this right here is why I do all my own work and inspections.

The service department failed to identify a well known issue that honestly should be inspected on every vehicle that comes in, given the consequences.
 
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