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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. Have a wee bit of a problem going on with my 2007 TSX. Had someone install a new timing chain tensioner last weekend. And they royally screwed it up... well they must have, because now I have several waning lights on and it runs like garbage. Have a misfire in all cylinders, have a VSA light, camshaft position sensor... well, all these:
P0341
P0301
P0302
P0303
P0304
P0300
P1009

What all this tells me is that the timing chain jumped a link, and now my timing is off. I'm just not sure what my options are at this point. The engine runs, so all it should need is the timing set correctly.. right? I'm hoping to just buy a new timing chain (why not, if I'm in the area), and install it correctly. Or... is there something else at play here?

So I try to save a few hundred $$ by not bringing my car to the dealership and it's going to end up costing my over a thousand.... lesson learned.
 

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Chain, guides, etc. once you remove the chain, pull the cams and do a leak-down test to see if the valves are ok. No sense in going through all the work if you jumped time and have bent valves.
 

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Good idea, was thinking the same. I had it towed over to the dealership, because I really didnt trust anyone else around me to look at it. Love asking a local shop if theyre comfortable working on timing chains in VTEC Honda engine, and they go..."yeah, sure, i bet i could figure it out" Nope, off to the dealership it went.

They looked at it today and said that the chain had indeed stretched, and it'll need new chains, guides, etc. But they did say the valves were fine. They did say that the engines insides looked dirty... I asked what they meant by that, like if they meant sludge or something, but he just said 'dirty'. To be fair, this was coming from the service representative, and not the mechanic, so I might have to go there in person and talk to the mechanic.

Now for the crappy part. The estimate for all this is going to be $2500!!!!!!! So now I have to decide between repairing this engine, or buying a new one.. I'd just call it a wash on the car and trade it in, but i do love it, I've had it since it was a baby, and kept really good care of it. I'm just perplexed on why the chain would stretch at only 140k, especially when only using Valvoline full synthetic oil, and most of those miles are highway.. granted the other miles are hard city driving.

I think I'm just going have it fixed, cause if I buy another engine, I'll have to do all this anyways...
 

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Chains can stretch for numerous reasons. Most manufacturers claim that they are maintenance free or “lifetime” but neither are any real specification of longevity. And today’s chains are very dainty to save weight, money, space and energy. GM recently had a lot of chain issues with their engines. Long oil change intervals and other poor designs lead to the engine being lubricated by tar and oil that breaks down long before it’s due to be changed causes increased load/friction on all parts leading to the chains stretching.

2500 is a little steep.. what all do they plan to replace?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Very true, was hoping that the Valvoline Synthetic would prolong it's life. Still plan on sending them an email.

I just got the vehicle back from the Honda Dealership, and they replaced the following:

VTC Actuator-- 295.99
Timing Chain-- 179.99
Chain Arm-- 175.99
Cam Chain Guide-- 36.99
Cam Chain Guide-- 29.99
Cam Chain Guide-- 29.99
Honda Bond-- 20.35
Chain Tensionor-- 149.99
O-Ring-- 10.99
Oil Seal-- 10.99
O-Ring-- 11.99
Coolant-- 29.9
Reserve Tank Cap-- 4.99
Joint Reserve-- 4.99
Cyl. Head CV Gasket-- 20.99

Labor-- 1350
Hazardous Removal-- 1.5
Misc. Shop Sup.-- 19.95
Tax-- 64.63
Total Cost: $2,450.20
(Had to buy all their parts, or they wouldnt warranty the repair)

Just copied it from their invoice, and at $125 per hour, they are not cheap; plus they have a 1 year warranty. But nobody else wanted to do the job, or I didn't trust them. It probably costs the same as a used engine swap (but then I'd want to change the chain in that too). The way I looked at it is, if i didn't do the repair, the car was worth around $300 at a junk yard, and with the repair, it's about $4000 as a trade in. But, I'll keep her.

And of course right when I get her back, she developed a battery drain. :( Looked it up, and saw that the hands free link is prone to causing this. So i unplugged it, and the amp draw dropped to about 0.05 (from around 3.00); hoping it solves this issue. This car gave me no problems for 10 years, and now it's giving me everyone she can think of, ha.
 

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Timing chains stretch, I bet every one over 50K is at least 1mm and those over 75-100k are 2mm - most people don't notice the subtle change over time and only find out when it jumps a tooth and compare to a new one. Next time call around, just did mine for 680 with a tensioner, chain and they threw on a 45 degree VTC gear I had and did a valve adjustment. That gear BTW had some loose bolts which they caught...even though it came from a premium TSX member...........
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ahh, so chains do stretch out naturally. Everyone always says that you'll never have to replace a chain because they don't stretch. Learn something new everyday :)

I usually do all my repairs myself, even had a shop at one point. Unfortunately sold that and moved on to the next chapter, and now have no garage or driveway to do repairs :( I've had really bad experience with mechanics in the past, had my TSX held hostage before, because I refused to pay. (story: took it in for a shimmy in the steering wheel, which ultimately ended up being a bad cv axle. But the shop had no idea what they were doing, they just flushed my power-steering fluid, probably 10 times. Gave me a $600 bill and never fixed the issue. I was ripsh!t. I called the cops when they refused to give me car, but the cops couldn't/wouldn't do anything. The shop made me pay in cash, then I had to take my car to the dealership to fix. Thats when I decided to do all repairs myself or have the dealership do it.)

Anyways, lol, The bill from the dealership, the parts came out to around $1000, and I bet without their mark-up it'd come to around what you paid to do your chain. If I still had a place to do all this, I woulda 100% done it myself.

Thanks! SS
 

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I wonder why they changed the vtc gear..My only guess is instead of having the tech perform the “lock procedure” they just automatically replace the vtc gear and not risk screwing something up. Just seems like an unnecessary $300 expense..

Chains do stretch, yes but other factors affect the system as a whole. For example, as the chain(s) wear into the guides, there is an increased tolerance within the chain system which can be interpreted as the chain stretching when in fact it is nearly dimensionally identical to a new chain.
 

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If you want to maximize chain life - run conventional oil, not synthetic - start your car on flat ground, the warmer outside out the better - when you key on wait 2-3 seconds before turning it over and stay away from lots of short trips.
 

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Been there, but I have a local mechanic (I'm in Burlington, Ontario, Canada if anyone needs) who's very knowledgeable in Honda / Acura. In fact he has an Integra with 6 or 7 hundred thousand KM on it.

Anyway, I thought I'd replace the timing chain tensioner myself last October and after doing it, the car wouldn't start. I knew right away that I had fubar'd it, so I didn't keep trying to get it to run in order not to damage the valves / pistons. Pulled the valve cover off and sure enough the timing marks were off by 2 or 3 teeth.

Fortunately, for me, I was working at a Mercedes dealership and the owner's also owned a Honda/Acura dealership (plus Audi, VW, Subaru etc. etc.), which got me 25 percent off on parts (which in Canada was probably still more expensive than you guys in the States pay, lol).

My mechanic checked in whatever book it is that mechanics check for the labour time to charge and told me 5 hours labour. I thought that was great (have you seen how little room there is to work on the timing chain with the engine not removed?)

I wasn't going to do the VTC actuator, but the parts guy at the Acura dealership and my mechanic said I might as well, since it would be right there and accessible (kind of like when you do the water pump when you do a timing belt job on the Acura 3.5 V6).

Too late now for you (and I know you said you had to source the parts through them), but those prices are ridiculous - Even in Canada, without a discount, the tensioner is around $90. If you check online, you can find many Acura dealers offering the parts for less (i.e - VTC actuator is $195 US online. Also, it looks like they either charged you for an extra guide (you have $29.99 x 2 ) or you mistakenly listed it twice in your post. As best as I can tell, there are only 3 guides in total (one of which they call an 'arm').

Still, though, with all that new stuff, you're good for another 250 000 miles probably...
 

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Yea, I knew those prices were nuts, and I could absolutely get all those parts a huge discount somewhere else. Buut, the Honda dealership would not guarantee anything they did if i provided my own parts. I even had to buy a new tensioner, despite have a brand new one already in the engine, bought straight from Acura. It was a bit ridiculous, but I see it as paying an extra 25% for the 12000 mile warranty they give me. Honda gave me the guarantee the fix would work, and for an extended amount of time; where as nobody else guaranteed they'd do it right the first time. Price to pay for having the job done right i suppose :(
 
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