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Reply To: Honda K-series timing chain/guides/tensioner preventive maintenance

Home Forums Stay Dirty Lounge Service and Repair Questions Answered Here Honda K-series timing chain/guides/tensioner preventive maintenance Reply To: Honda K-series timing chain/guides/tensioner preventive maintenance

Tim Miller
Tim Miller

UGH I’ve had a couple of Honda Accords and the timing chain tensioner seems to be the ultimate “weakest link” inside of the k24 engine. 285k miles is the most I’ve got before I had cylinder head damage and needed a motor replacement. That car itself had 3 timing kits live inside it during it’s lifetime and the last one failed after only 1 and 1/2 years (16,000 miles) and Honda says they are good for 205K miles. 2 brand new tensioners, 2 brand new chains, and plenty of oil chains between but still no match for failure and ultimate death of that engine due to cylinder damage that was just too extensive and labor intensive to justify on such an old and worn engine. The tensioner fails causing the chain to do, um well, things it isn’t designed to do. This causes all sort of other kinds of issues. Seems to be a common thing being I’ve had 2 Accords and had 3 timing chain failures. I change my oil regularly and I don’t drive like a crazy person. I make sure the oil is topped off and change it myself I don’t use cheap oil or filters either, although I don’t typically use a Honda filter although it’s probably a good idea. I have no advice for you, if fact, I say all of that just to say I’m anxious to hear what people say. The quick, easy answer I hear from people is “change your oil”. Yeah bro change the oil, we all know clean and full is the only way the K series motor likes to live but there has to be more to it than that. Or is this just a flaw with these motors and spending the $250 on a beefy aftermarket tensioner is the way to go? I’ve been debating this topic for years and look forward to some answers! There are three main places I see oil leaks on the motors so I suggest ensuring the gaskets are in good shape, they aren’t hard to get to. There is a strainer for the VTC sylenoid. There are two bolts right under the power stearing pump. Pop those off and the strainer and gasket will pop off. Ensure the strainer screen isn’t broken and the gasket is in good shape. The VTC sylenoid itself has a gasket and sometimes when it’s replaced people don’t get the gasket off because it stays inside the motor. Then you pop a new sylenoid in with a new gasket and dual gaskets cause the seal to be off and you get a leak. The Vtec sylenoid on the back of the motor has the same gasket and screen type deal as the VTC sylenoid. Take the 3 bolts off and inspect the gasket and screen. Those are the 3 main spots I have seen my 3 k24 engines leak from. You can also check the crankshaft positoning censor located to the left of the crank bolt and pulley on the outside of the engine. I have seen that leak a couple times also. I found that plugging the leaks helps because you don’t lose the oil and you don’t drive with your oil level low in the slightest bit. It doesn’t have to be low on oil persay, it needs to remain full at all times. I am not saying the same thing there, remain full at all times is not the same as not low, as low implies it’s missing more than just a smidge. So not a drop below full, ever, for any amount of time, it’s not okay, do you hear me, don’t be a dummy, I was a dummy, that’s why I know what I know, listen , please, i want to help you! Full on oil not a drop low 100% of the time, I can’t say it enough. Oil pressure is what makes so many things happen inside of the engine. The chain goes through the oil pan at a high spot and if the oil isn’t full the chain doesn’t touch, also the tensioner tightens based on oil pressure so low on oil may affect the tensioners ability to do it’s job. Teeth on the chain are also work by low or dirty oil and the worn teeth make it harder for the tensioner to do it’s job. Any combination of these things and you are practically screwed just waiting on it to happen. I love the K24 engine but this is a very common problem and people think i’m crazy but you can never be too precautios if you want your Honda, Acura, or whatever you’ve K swapped vehicle to run for a long time, well or consistently over 250K miles. Look I did have some advice after all. This is basic stuff most K series engine ownders know. I just thought I should put it out there in case others didn’t. Now, someone, please give us more insight. I’m going to go check my oil levels while we wait, you should too!