Mechanic Answer on Honda V6 Pinging Noise Up Hill

Wrote a note in the newsgroups a few weeks ago about a pinging noise my Honda Accord V6 2001 was making when the engine was strained, going up a hill. Many gave me good advice and asked to let you know what I find out.
The Honda dealer mechanic went out with us and this is what he said. He thought the noise was coming from the Hydraulic Lifters. He stated on a V4 this can be adjusted but on the V6 they really don't have any problems and there really is no adjustment. We looked at the records and noticed 5-30 motor oil as been used the last few times. So they recommended that we go to 5-20 as the manual states and they also recommended to use Chevron or Shell gas. Not sure why Honda put in 5-30 when 5-20 is recommended for this car??? Friends in the gas industry say that the gas issue is nonsense, but non-the-less I will start using Shell or Chevron. So the plan is to just live with it for now and the next oil change go to 5-20 weight and see if that improves the pinging from the engine when straining up hills. Those noise is most noticable when you stop in the middle of a big hill and then slowly start up again.
Feel free to add any other comments, thanks for your thoughts on the last email.
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Al Franz wrote:

they're feeding you garbage.
1. hydraulic lifters don't make noise like pinging - and even if they did, the noise would not be limited to hills.
2. unless the hydraulic lifters are just /way/ shot, there's no way the oil grade difference is going to change the lifter noise. oil grade difference definitely won't change pinging from detonation.
3. doesn't sound like they bothered to check the sensors. if for some bizarre reason a sensor is connected to the wiring harness so it tests ok, but is not well accoustically connected to the block, it can't provide the feedback it's supposed to. or maybe the sensor's just defective in another way.
bottom line, if the car's pinging, there is something wrong!!! honda engineers are not dumb. they've designed the car to work on gas grades much worse than anything we have here, and work well. the car's not just going to randomly ping without good reason. they need to fix it! sounds like they're trying to run this car out of warranty on you. keep bugging them until it's clear that it's cheaper for them to fix your car than to send you away. call honda customer relations if necessary. the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
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Not nonsense at all. Different vendors use different additive packages in different parts of the country. Your vehicle may respond better to different additive packages.
Around here, for example, putting BP gas into your lawnmower is a sure recipe for problems. Why? Who knows exactly why, but it's been proven many a time.
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Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

if it were fixed timing, maybe, but with a feedback system that's supposed to have functioning knock sensors? the engine management computer should be able to cope /way/ outside any changes caused by additive differences.

mowers don't have sophisticated engine management systems that are supposed to cope with crappy gas!
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Oh, if you're talking pinging/knocking only, I agree.
But overall, different gasolines can be better or worse for an engine.
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Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

most definitely!
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Al Franz wrote:

I have knocking in my 2005 Accord V6 as well. But only in the 2200 to 2800 RPM range when climing a slight grade. Could not reproduce it for the dealer (totally flat terrain near them) so have not been able to get help from the dealer.
This only is really bad on one short stretch so I just go slow to keep the engine at about 2000 RPM (neither I nor the people behind me are thrilled).

As already stated: the lifters should be affected by RPM (more RPM more noise) but not by throttle. And noisy lifters make a clicking or banging sound, not a pinging / rattling-ballbearings sound.
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I don't have any knocking/pinging in my 2003 Accord V6, but if I did here's what I'd do: Next time you get gas, fill it with premium. If the knock is no longer there when climbing the grade you will know that the engine management module/knock sensor that controls the timing is not working properly and needs to be replaced. Your car and mine should not knock when using regular gas. As far as getting the dealer to do something, you will probably have to be more agressive and go up the Honda ladder past your local dealer's service manager.
Brian Stell wrote:

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Kenneth J. Harris wrote:

I've tried lots of different gasolines: from Techron Supreme & regular to Shell 91 & 87 to no-name regulars. The pre-ignition is least on the Techron Supreme (unfortunately I was trying to keep it from knocking so that is what the car had at the time I took it to the dealer :-( Next time I go to the dealer I will put in some really cheap stuff.
I suspect the sensor/electronics are working but that there are conditions where it doesn't quite do enough.

Agreed. Or high octane!

The big problem is I have to figure out how to reliably reproduce the problem when the service tech is in the car. It does not occur 100% of the time. Like the original poster's car it only happens under certain conditions. So until I'm able to demonstrate it to them I doubt anyone will do much. At least they were polite and didn't openly say I was crazy. They even had a tech ride with me to see if I could reproduce the problem. I tried a variety of things including using the brakes to simulate the load from a hill but I could not get the car to knock when they were in it. It was when I mentioned the knocking tended to occur when climbing a grade that the service tech went from disbelief to thinking the problem might be real. That seemed to mean something to him. They were going to look into it and get back to me but that was a couple of months ago so ...
I now am paying attention for the topography (hills) near Honda dealers :-) and I'm trying to detect if the knocking is affected by outside or engine temperature or other conditions.
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Although I'm not into car stuff as much as I used to be, I seem to recall reading that the tendancy to knock/ping increases at higher temperatures, whether ambient air or engine. But then I also recall something like "a little(emphasis on little) knock that occurs under high load conditions may be acceptable". Hope you get this solved.
Brian Stell wrote:

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I had problem duplicating the problem as well at first. But finding a big hill and stopping the car on an incline in quiet neighborhood, opening the windows, then slowly hit the gas, there was no duplicating the problem.

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Al Franz wrote:

I'm unclear on what you are saying: did or did you not duplicate the problem?
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Your right I was unclear. Meant to say in the last sentence, "there was no problem duplicating the problem".

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On Tue, 2 Aug 2005 20:09:21 -0700, "Al Franz"

Try filling up with 93 octain. I live in mountains and my Honda and Toyota both knock when I use the low octain (no matter who I purchase it from). That took care of mine.
TC
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