Besides low oil level, what can cause timing chain stretch on the I4's? - Drive Accord Honda Forums | radio-pro.ru
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-07-2017, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
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Besides low oil level, what can cause timing chain stretch on the I4's?

Also, if we don't have to replace a timing belt, which is usually when the water pump is also replaced, when do our water pumps get replaced?





From all the people that I have seen with 'stretched' timing chain, the chain didnt stretch because of normal operation. It is always because the car was ran low on oil, and eventually it stretches the chain.

This might be one reason why I will stick to dino oil, and not convert to synthetic. I do my dino oil changes at 3500 miles, and this will ensure that I check the oil at least that often. The key to not having a stretched chain is to not run low on oil.

Wish these cars or all cars had an in-dash oil level sensor, rather than the dipstick only. A sensor plus a dipstick. Dont get rid of the dipstick and leave just a sensor... like what BMW does.


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post #2 of 8 Old 12-07-2017, 07:30 AM
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Timing chains can stretch from low oil, and from dirty oil. The proper lubrication is just not there. Chain stretches, tensioners give up, chains can "skip a gear tooth". Since our 4 and 6 cylinder engines are "interference"- it usually causes major engine damage. Timing chains are supposed to last the life of the engine- if oil is changed and always filled- they can go 500,000 miles.

As for the timing belts and water pumps on V6 engines- the time to change the water pump is when you change the timing belt and tensioner.

For water pumps on the 4 cylinder- some on the 7th Gen forum have hit 300,000 miles on the original water pump running Honda long-life coolant with drain and fills at 120,000 miles, and every 5 years after that. Like most water pumps, ours have a "weep hole". If a drop or two of coolant begins to weep out, it is time to change the water pump. This is why it is important to monitor fluid levels.

Some 4 cylinder guys here change it out as preventive maintenance- I don't know at which mileage/time frame as it is not a usual item.

A few months ago- I replaced the weeping, original water pump on my 26 year old Nissan. Changed the alternator, water pump, and accessory belt (3 belts!) while I was there.

As for your preference for dino oil vs. synthetic oil- you seem to suggest that since you change oil at 3,500 miles intervals, dino is more economical. That may be for you- but for me- for the last 5 years I have found synthetic oil (after rebate) to be less expensive than dino oil. A 5 quart jug of synthetic is usually about $9 - $14 after rebate for me. Dino oil is NEVER on sale around here, and is usually $14 and up for 5 quarts. Last month I paid (after rebate) $7 for a 5 quart jug of Quaker State Ultimate Durability Synthetic.....

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post #3 of 8 Old 12-07-2017, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Rick. I only quoted that fellow.

We can always use synthetic and do more frequent changes but I think it's unnecessary.

I have seen how great synthetic oil is and it's not even high end. The Mobil 1 high mileage synthetic oil kinda cured my Civic's oil consumption.

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post #4 of 8 Old 12-07-2017, 10:42 AM
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I don't really think 3500-mile oil changes are necessary, and I don't see why you can't stretch to at least 5000 miles. After all, this is a relatively modern Accord with a piston engine, not an old American hot rod or a rotary engine. Follow the MM and you will do just fine - people get close to 8000 miles with synthetic and following the MM. That's definitely more economical and easier than changing dino oil that frequently.

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As for your preference for dino oil vs. synthetic oil- you seem to suggest that since you change oil at 3,500 miles intervals, dino is more economical. That may be for you- but for me- for the last 5 years I have found synthetic oil (after rebate) to be less expensive than dino oil. A 5 quart jug of synthetic is usually about $9 - $14 after rebate for me. Dino oil is NEVER on sale around here, and is usually $14 and up for 5 quarts. Last month I paid (after rebate) $7 for a 5 quart jug of Quaker State Ultimate Durability Synthetic.....
At Canadian Tire, dino oil gets discounted a whole lot more often, and discounted synthetic is still more expensive than dino. I can grab a 5L jug of Pennzoil conventional/Castrol GTX conventional for about CAN$23 with tax.

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post #5 of 8 Old 12-07-2017, 11:51 AM
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What makes you think that synthetic oil or dino oil makes a difference? You just need to make sure you have the oil in the pan above the lower dot. Using dino oil isn't the excuse to not check oil level every 1 or 2 weeks. Oil can run low in as little as a few hundred miles, if the engine is left neglected enough.

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post #6 of 8 Old 12-07-2017, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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What makes you think that synthetic oil or dino oil makes a difference? You just need to make sure you have the oil in the pan above the lower dot. Using dino oil isn't the excuse to not check oil level every 1 or 2 weeks. Oil can run low in as little as a few hundred miles, if the engine is left neglected enough.
When you say low enough, the oil level indicator should light up on the instrument panel correct?

I go by the MM because it's still under extended warranty but don't check oil levels in between servicing.

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What makes you think that synthetic oil or dino oil makes a difference?
Synthetics are known to retain their viscosity better over time and are less prone to sludging, though I would assume an 8th Gen's MM is probably designed with dino oil in mind.

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When you say low enough, the oil level indicator should light up on the instrument panel correct?

I go by the MM because it's still under extended warranty but don't check oil levels in between servicing.
The oil pressure light isn't really for oil level... If you have a MT car(which you do) and get close to stalling it, you can actually see it come on since you are losing oil pressure for a moment.

If you simply don't have enough oil and have the light, you are already causing some damage.

I check the oil level on all of my cars. Granted, 2 of them burn oil(one unintentionally and one intentionally), but even with the Accord, I check the oil level and makes sure nothing suddenly comes up. Do it every other fill up and you will be fine.

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post #8 of 8 Old 12-07-2017, 12:51 PM
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When the oil light goes on, the oil pressure is already too low. That means the oil level in the pan is already way below the lower dot, it's almost the point of damage of no return.

My cousin did this to his 2003 Accord I4, he ran the engine until the engine was shaking with the low oil pressure light on. 6 months later, he started getting some crank sensor related check engine code. He took it to a shop, and the mechanic deemed that the timing is off due to stretched chain.

Morale of the story is: check your engine oil, at least once a week. It takes less than 2 minutes to pop then lift the hood, pull the stick then put it back. I do this at gas stations while pumping gas, there is even free paper towels.

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