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Tribe Mechanic (Inquiry)

Richard Raiban

TRIBE Member
just wondering....are there any mechanics out there in tribeland? id love to pick at your brain on a few inquiries i have
 
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the_fornicator

TRIBE Member
just post it here. a lot of people here are gear heads and can superficially diagnose your problem.

that's what I do anyway... well, I eventually ended up just PM'ing lurker heh
 

Richard Raiban

TRIBE Member
well what i wanted someone to confirm is this

does the vtec engine burn oil? people have said yes & no with such certainty. i changed my oil the other day and the guy said my engine is burning oil and that i should change the pistons/rings. im on the fence here on this. does anyone know the average cost to get pistons/rings replaced? i have a 97 honda prelude.

thanks
 

SmoothOperator

TRIBE Member
vtec.jpg
 
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the_fornicator

TRIBE Member
Richard Raiban said:
well what i wanted someone to confirm is this

does the vtec engine burn oil? people have said yes & no with such certainty. i changed my oil the other day and the guy said my engine is burning oil and that i should change the pistons/rings. im on the fence here on this. does anyone know the average cost to get pistons/rings replaced? i have a 97 honda prelude.

thanks

From my experience, it's a yes and no answer. I own a 2000 sir (dohc, vtec) with like 76K kms on it so it's pretty much new. It shouldn't matter if your car is vtec or not.

All engines are pretty much the same in the sense that it's an enclosed environment. From my research, oil can only get into the engine through 2 ways -1) Through the valve guides and 2) by the rings. Every engine burns oil for the simple reason that oil seals the rings against the cylinder wall. Obviously the oil that is along the cylinder wall is going to get burned during the combustion process so this little bit of oil can add up over time. With that said, however, for a new(er) car, for example, this amount of oil that's used up is incredibly minimal (you'd barely be able notice if you checked your oil levels daily between oil changes).

If the rings are excessively worn then more oil is burned because more oil can get past them and into the chamber.

Sometimes you can even see valve cover seepage (sp?). Lift your hood, you know where your spark plugs are? That leads to the top of your engine, around that top part you may or may not see oil speeing out the side -valve cover seepage. A little bit of seepage is completely normal. If it looks caked, however, that is not.

Check your engine oil every time you gas up or once a week (whichever is first). Your engine should be warm to the touch (i.e. not stone cold and not blistering hot) when you check it. If you don't know how, take your oil dip stick out and wipe it clean with a paper towel/towel, stick it back in the pipe completely and then pull it back out and take that reading. There should be a meter of some sort a the bottom of the dip stick. Obviously if the oil level is at the top of that meter, your engine is full of oil.

If you just had an oil change, the oil should be full. That's your standard. By the time you are due for another oil change (~5000 kms), that line shouldn't budge very much.

The cost to replace your rings/seals is not cheap -at least $1800. You can actually call a Honda dealership and ask. That process involves disconnect the engine from the transmission, taking out the engine and taking it apart to get to the seals (i.e. on the inside of the engine) and then reassemlbing everything. If you're doing that, you might as well replace a bunch of other stuff (timing belt, alternator belt, water pump, maybe the head gasket, etc.etc.) while you're in there.

Do you see smoke come out of your tailpipe? if so, what color is it and what does it smell like? sometimes cars only burn oil at higher RPMs. Maybe give it a good rev or get a friend to follow you while you take it for a spirited ride.
 

the_fornicator

TRIBE Member
I also poked around and found this as a possible answer:

Have you replaced the PVC canister on the back of the engine? ( i have seen a lot of these fail on DOHC VTEC engines and is a easy / cheap fix. When this fails it lets oil into the intake track.)

Is yours an SRV model? SR? Where did you get your oil changed at? If it's at a Mr Lube or Canadian Tire, I'd hesitate to take them seriously. Do you know how much oil you're going through?
 

green_souljah

TRIBE Member
Fornicator nailed it.

I have a 94 civic Vtec, and it only goes through oil when its getting close to a change.

Just keep your eye on the dipstick; check it every day until you get the jist of how much oil it is consuming and then report back. Burning a "bit" of oil isn't the end of the world. You could also try running a thicker oil, or add some "Lucas" (mechanic in a can) which makes everything thicker so that it doesn't exploit your engines weakness as much.

If your engine really is burning a lot of oil I would just get a used Japanese motor from one of the many importers in the city; they only have 30-40,000 KM on them due to Japans strict emissions controls. You would probably save some cash vs tearing yours apart for a rebuild. Depending on what part has failed that is; if its just valve seals its shouldn't be that much. Actually if its just valve seals I wouldn't even worry about it.
 

the_fornicator

TRIBE Member
p.s/ http://forums.beyond.ca/showthread/t-94493.html

I wouldn't take these guy's word for it, BUT from what it sounds like, maybe try changing to conventional oil if you're using synthetic cause I think your car has the H22a4 (USDM engine) which sounds like what these guys are experiencing... I think the 92-96 vtecs were the H23s.... I think. Is yours a vtec? DOHC/SOHC? Be useful to know the exact model of your prelude.
 

swenard

TRIBE Member
green_souljah said:
Fornicator nailed it.

I have a 94 civic Vtec, and it only goes through oil when its getting close to a change.

Just keep your eye on the dipstick; check it every day until you get the jist of how much oil it is consuming and then report back. Burning a "bit" of oil isn't the end of the world. You could also try running a thicker oil, or add some "Lucas" (mechanic in a can) which makes everything thicker so that it doesn't exploit your engines weakness as much.

If your engine really is burning a lot of oil I would just get a used Japanese motor from one of the many importers in the city; they only have 30-40,000 KM on them due to Japans strict emissions controls. You would probably save some cash vs tearing yours apart for a rebuild. Depending on what part has failed that is; if its just valve seals its shouldn't be that much. Actually if its just valve seals I wouldn't even worry about it.


Using a bottle of Lucas can be a band-aid solution. Using thicker oil in an overhead cam engine can cause many more problems, especially as the weather gets cooler.
 
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the_fornicator

TRIBE Member
green_souljah said:
If your engine really is burning a lot of oil I would just get a used Japanese motor from one of the many importers in the city;

if you purchase these JDM motors, it is highly advisable that you replace all the seals and belts as well before installation. Bagging your car is just as bad as letting it sit. An almost 10 year old engine with that little kms will have seals and belts drier than a 100 year old porn star.

I should do some work. Good luck with your car.
 

the_fornicator

TRIBE Member
after looking into it more, apparently it's normal for your car (if it's the H22a4 - DOHC/vtec) to burn absurd amounts of oil. Assuming you don't drive your car like a saint? I guess your model of honda uses up a shit load of oil whenever the vtec is engaged /load more when you're close to redlining.

I guess you almost have to be topping off a good liter inbetween oil changes and possbily more if you're running synthetic.

the guy who changed your oil probably just saw that you had very little oil left and assumed you needed new seals, etc. It's a car-specific problem that can only be diagnosed with research... this isn't a definitive answer though. For all I know you might need new seals.

I do suggest, however, that you still get your seals checked at a dealership or a mechanic you trust that specializes in Hondas, and get your friends to follow you to see if you have any blue smoke kicking out the back of your tailpipe.

shit, who woulda knew. I learned something too.

p.s/ vtec engines apparently burn more oil than the average bear cause it's a high compression engine. I didn't know that.
 

djdeposit

TRIBE Member
Richard Raiban said:
well what i wanted someone to confirm is this

does the vtec engine burn oil? people have said yes & no with such certainty. i changed my oil the other day and the guy said my engine is burning oil and that i should change the pistons/rings. im on the fence here on this. does anyone know the average cost to get pistons/rings replaced? i have a 97 honda prelude.

thanks

Welcome to the H22A engine!
As fun as the 5th gen preludes are to drive, the only drawback is the oil consumption.

Yes Richard, this is a very common problem because Honda used the 5th Gen preludes as a prototype for the VTEC engine. They never really made a recall because the market wasn’t as huge then, let’s say, the accord. Since there are fewer Prelude owners then Accord owners, not that much was really done to improve the H22A.

You have to keep your eye on the oil levels. I usually check mine every 1000Km and top it up whenever necessary. Just start carrying a big jug of oil in your trunk.

Anyways, you can find a whack load of information over at the Toronto Prelude club forums http://www.hondaprelude.to/forums/
 

green_souljah

TRIBE Member
swenard said:
Using a bottle of Lucas can be a band-aid solution. Using thicker oil in an overhead cam engine can cause many more problems, especially as the weather gets cooler.


Oh it absolutely is a band aid solution; I agree.

Its not fixing the problem, only making the end result (oil burning) less noticeable.

By thicker oil I meant going to a 5w40 or something like that.

Winter weight is reflected by the first number, so a 5w40 is no different than a 5w30 in the winter months.

You could run a 10w40 in the summer, but you are right once it cools off I would go back to a 5w.


Burning oil isn't the end of the world; my 5.0 Mustang I had when I was 18 went through a quart a week and I never went anywhere.

You guys are just used to the (usually) superior engines of the Jap cars, buy a ten year old domestic and see how many jugs of oil you have in the trunk!
 
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green_souljah

TRIBE Member
the_fornicator said:
Honda has had the vtec technology since the late 80's -B16A1 (CRX SiR).

*shrug*


Man did those things fly. A nice shape CRX still turns my head. I wish I had of bought one when I was younger.
 

green_souljah

TRIBE Member
the_fornicator said:
p.s/ vtec engines apparently burn more oil than the average bear cause it's a high compression engine. I didn't know that.

Me neither.

I guess that explains the strong exhaust/touch of oil smell on my SI after I push it past 4 grand.



How do you guys feel about synthetic oil in a Vtec? Yay or nay?
 

djdeposit

TRIBE Member
the_fornicator said:
Honda has had the vtec technology since the late 80's -B16A1 (CRX SiR).

*shrug*

I stand corrected,
I can't recall exactly what it is about the 5th gen preludes H22a engines, but I recall reading somewhere that it was a prototype engine. Maybe the first VTEC with DOHC?

Anyways, im off to a meeting.
check out the Toronto prelude forms, this has been discussed to death.
 

the_fornicator

TRIBE Member
^
The B16A1s had DOHCs... maybe it was the first prototype when they tried to implement the vtec technology in the H-series engine.

green_souljah said:
Man did those things fly. A nice shape CRX still turns my head. I wish I had of bought one when I was younger.

ooo, mang. I've owned two. One was a 90 Si completely stock and mint. The next was a mint 91 Si with a B16A2 in it. Fuck me did that fly. Rattled like a two ton whore though (I cheaped out on the engine mounts... apparently that swap is supposed to rattle like a bitch, but I also stinged on the mounts and got cheapies so that made it way worse).

Lurker pointed out that they have a eurospec CRX with dual cams. Saw a few on my way to work. Would so love to own one again.
 

djdeposit

TRIBE Member
the_fornicator said:
^
The B16A1s had DOHCs... maybe it was the first prototype when they tried to implement the vtec technology in the H-series engine.
:D

This may be right but wikipedia seems to think otherwise

The H22A debuted in 1993 for use in the Honda Prelude VTEC as the H22A1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_H_engine#H22A

Ok, I don't know where I got the whole prototype idea from?
I can tell you though that the 5th gen preludes like to drink oil routinely.
 
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