I know the official interval for check of the intake/exhaust valve
clearances is way down the road, and now with Honda's Maintenance
Minder there is no official date or mileage specified. Also, Honda
says to only check them sooner along with other services "if they are
noisy". For the record we're around 24000 km's now.
It concerns me that a overly-tight clearance will not be noisy, but is
a possibility, since valves may be riding high on their seats when
new, but after a few thousand kilometers/miles of break-in will be
seating better, and closing up the clearance. I know my Honda
Hurricane motorcycle specified a valve check as part of the first
I have the shop manual, and am thinking to check them. I've checked
valves on a few previous Honda cars we've owned. It's always been
fairly easy to get the valve cover off. With our 06 Civic Hybrid
however, it's looking to be very awkward.
The main problem I see is dealing with the plastic encased wiring
harness that runs along the top of the valve cover. It's cables
continue off at the left (dipstick) and right ends. The left end
cables connect to the dipstick tube. Removing the dipstick and the top
clip between the dipstick tube and cable frees this end up enough to
get it well out of the way of the valve cover.
Things aren't as easy at the right end, though. The right end cables
are thick and go only a short distance, into another plastic encased
harness running vertically down the right side of the engine (the
drive chain end). This vertical harness case also partially obscures
the back right valve cover hold-down bolt. Without getting this
shifted, the only way to get a grip on that back bolt is by reaching
around with an open-end crescent wrench.
It concerns me also that even with all the valve cover bolts removed
and the cover loosened, it will be a fight to get it out from under
the two harnesses. The bolts for this vertical right side harness were
buried beside the air cleaner (see where this is going? ), so I
tried, just as an exercise, taking out the air cleaner. This was a bit
of a fight in itself, but got it done. Then I was able to access the 2
bolts securing that vertical harness. I backed them both out, and then
was able to shift the vertical harness maybe 1/2" to the right, barely
enough to get a proper socket on an extension past the harness and on
to the right rear valve cover bolt.
At that point, I just buttoned everything up, we had to get somewhere.
I'm really not to impressed with the valve cover access. I haven't
mentioned but there are also the (8!) sparkplug actuators to contend
with. The back row (exhaust side) actuators get increasingly awkward
to remove, going left to right. The back right one seems impossible to
remove at first. No matter how you turn and angle it, it's clunking
against the rear lip of the engine compartment or the firewall. It is
a fight. It can be done but it is very close. Getting it back in is
even more fun.
Anyway, that's where I'm at. I do think it is a good idea to an early
valve clearance, but am waffling, not looking forward to it. Anyone
else done this themselves? Any opinions on the value of such an early
check of the valve clearances? Any opinions on the likelihood of there
being a tight valve or two in there, due to break-in and the valves
fitting better on their seats?