Incorrect Valve Adjustment Fallout...

Incorrect Valve Adjustment Fallout...
I recently had my 90k service performed on my Honda Civic EX 2000 at a Firestone Complete Auto Care. This included spark plug replacement,
ignition wires replacement, fuel system tune up, valve adjustment, etc. As soon as I left with my car I noticed something was definitely wrong with my Honda. The RPMs were sporadic and would go to just above bottoming out at the first stop light I reached. I was concerned about the vibrations but thought it would subside and the RPMs would return to normal levels, but is only continued and became more frequent. After a month I brought my car back to Firestone to explain the problems I was experiencing and they said that the car checked out and there was nothing they can do without an engine light coming on. The vibrations only got worse and within a week a check engine light went on. I brought the car back again and Firestone finally took my car to a Honda dealership, which had to re-due the value adjustment because it was out of spec. They also said the O2 sensor error was showing up and that is why the check engine light came on. I have never had a problem with my Honda before and none of these problems existed before the 90k service was performed.
I need to know if the O2 error could be contributed to the incorrect vale adjustment (excess vibrations) and if there is anything else I should be looking out for because of the incorrect work.
I would greatly appreciate any help.
Ben Jones
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

Sorry to say, but Sears and Firestone have an extremely bad reputation. don't do that again.

They didn't use OEM, that's 100% certain.

What? What exactly what did they sell you and why? On the surface, this sounds like a bumpf-type excuse to boost your bill.

Bad decision on two counts: 1) Leaving it for a month. 2) Bringing it to Firestone. I would have brought it in as soon as I could have spared the time, or less than a week.

That is correct. The MIL can illuminate with a number of O2 sensor errors.

It is unlikely (but not impossible...) that the oxygen sensor error had to do with the valve adjustment.
Do you know the EXACT alphanumeric numeric code that was recorded? This is critical. Most O2 sensor failures these days have to do with the heater circuit. If it does not say on your invoice/work order, call the dealer and ASK. They OWE it to you if you ask.
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I wonder why the O2 sensor needs a heater? It's already in the hot exhaust. Perhaps to get the sensor up to operating temp quicker? (to shorten the open loop time)
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The heater is intended not only to ensure fast warmup, but to make certain the O2 sensor always remains above 750F.
The oxygen sensor needs to be at 750F to be fully operational. Even though combustion chamber temperatures are about 2,100F, it is possible under certain circumstances for the exhaust temperature to drop below 750F by the time it reaches the sensor. This would result in degraded performance and increased emissions.
In addition, EPA regulations force the newest cars to use a variant of the oxygen sensor called an "air-fuel ratio sensor". This particular design requires to be at 1,500F before it is fully functional, and that temperature is impossible to maintain without a heater.
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The check engine light code was PO-131 which is 0-2 Bank 1 Senor 1... does this help?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

That's P-zero, not P-oh.
The code is P0131, which according to Honda is: Primary Heated Oxygen Sensor (Primary HO2S) (Sensor 1) Circuit Low Voltage
The sensor between the exhaust manifold and the cat is returning voltage lower than it should be sending. If the wiring or connector is not damaged or corroded, it sounds like you need a new oxygen sensor.
You have not indicated 4-cylinder or V6. If a V6, this is the sensor attached to the front bank.
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Is there anyway that the O2 problem might be a result of my incorrect valve adjustment b/c it happened soon afterwards? If not should I be concerned with any other problems that might come after driving with the incorrect valve adjustment for a month? My Honda is a 4-cylinder.
Thanks again for your help.
TeGGeR® wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

Highly unlikely. BUT...
1) The correct procedure for any MIL illumination with a new code is to turn the light off, then see if it later comes back on again with the same code. Was that done? Many errors are transient and do not recur. 2) You may wish to check with your dealer and see if there are any TSBs involving a P0131 code on your VIN number.

Does the car run fine now? If so, you're OK. The only real danger I can see is the possibility of a burnt valve. If that were the case, a compression test would identify that.
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I would think that a valve adjustment would be alien to shops like Firestone. Unless you do it yourself (and you know what are you are doing), really think you are better off with your local Honda dealer. In fact, I recollect in my motorcycle days, tuning your bike yourself was preferable even to dealing with your local Honda dealer.

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On 24 Sep 2006 15:20:59 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

How long did they have the car when they did the valve adjustment? The engine has to cool for hours before you can do the adjustment. If they just drove it hot into the bay and did it, you know it was botched for that reason alone.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

    Betcha somebody used a silicone lube or cleaner on the intake system and it got on the end of the oxygen sensor and corrupted it. bob
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90,000 miles (original o2 i assume)? Yeah, it's time for an o2 to fail. I don't run a Firestone, but I have employees who have worked there. They use the same 3-step induction cleaning setup that nearly every major chain in America uses (either Gumout of Run-Rite). No silicone involved.
J
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

What's a "fuel system tune up"? I hope you're not referring to an injector flush, which is usually a waste of money and possibly a risk (injector coil insulation can be dissolved). Many bad shops flush injectors unnecessarily.
Doesn't 90K on a Honda mean a timing belt change is due? Sometimes they're installed off by 1 tooth or with too much tension, and this can cause rough running. Hondas can also be very particular about ignition parts, so don't install magnetic supression wires (very low resistance) in place of regular resistor wire or spark plugs that aren't NGK brand. Hondas don't like plugs that aren't NGK, no matter what the substitution books say. The oxygen sensor error code may be due to the rough running.
Some Honda factory manuals can be viewed at no charge at Honda's British web site:
www.honda.co.uk/car/owner/workshop.html
Valve adjustment is done cold, which is unusual for valve trains with rocker arms (common for those that are adjusted with disks), and perhaps the Firestone mechanic didn't know this. But since the car was taken to a Honda dealer, I assume they checked the valves (ask about this).
Use chain stores like Firestone, Sears, Pep Boys, etc., only for simple maintenance and repairs, like oil changes, and maybe brakes and wheel alignments. They tend to be bad for any diagnoses or service procedures that aren't almost completely standard. I've had chains insist that cars had no fuel or emissions systems problems because the car's computer gave no error codes, so they'd change the fuel filter, do a tune up, or flush the injectors without making any improvements, but then more knowledgeable mechanics would quickly notice abnormal readings of the computer's data stream.
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