Mark: Hi, it’ Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver’s favourite auto service experience,18 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers and for 38 years repairing all makes and models of vehicles. How’re you doing Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well.
Mark: So Acura CSX, a bit of a unique vehicle for Canada, what was going on with this Acura?
Bernie: This vehicle came to our shop, the owners concern was it was running rough, not initially on startup was good for about the first five minutes but after 5 or so minutes of driving, the engine would start running rough, idling, shaking, not running so well. So that was his primary concern.
Mark: And what did you find?
Bernie: What did we find? Well fist of all, we as always, we start with a diagnostic and we did a number of tests and in the end we found that the valves were, the valve clearance was too tight. These are actually, these engines have adjustable valves, Honda’s, most of them have adjustable valves. They’ve had them for years and years and years and where a lot of manufacturers have gone to hydraulic lifters which eliminate the need for valve adjustments, Honda’s have never done that, so anyways, the valves needed an adjustment.
Mark: And how did you know and or determine that the valves were too tight?
Bernie: Well, more like a process of elimination. So you know in a diagnostic we look at, you know some of the things we look at, we plug a scan tool into the vehicle computer, see if there’s any stored trouble codes. In the case of this engine, there was nothing. We visually test things, tested a number of components, one of them you know, something that caused rough running can be vacuum leaks, we tested for that there was none, we visually inspected the spark plugs, removed them and actually the spark plugs looked to be in very good shape. So you know, from that we surmised based on experience, it’s possible the valves are too tight. Kind of a classic example like when an engine is cold, there’s a certain clearance for the valves, as it warms up the metal gets hotter and things tighten up a bit and that’s kind of a classic way that a valve might be a little too tight for clearance would show up because as it’s heats up the clearance is less and then the valve won’t seat quite properly. So as we surmised, we basically took the valve cover off, we did the valve clearance adjustment which is something that should be done probably every hundred thousand kilometres or so on a Honda engine and we found all the exhaust valves were too tight.
Mark: Did you find anything else during the service?
Bernie: No, no that was basically it, that was entirely it. When we take the valve cover off, of course we put new gaskets in and it’s actually not a bad idea if a valve cover is leaking on a Honda or any adjustable valve engine to actually do a valve adjustment at that time if it hasn’t been done, you know within a hundred thousand kilometres. We’ll just share a couple photos while we’re here. There’s an example of a 2007 CSX. The vehicle we worked on as an ’06, I’ve got a photo here of an ’07 model. So that’s the car and then there’s a photo of basically what it looks like under the valve cover of this vehicle. You’ve got your basically your intake valves here and there’s a there’s a screw and a lock nut on it and the valve clearance adjustment is done right, you stick a feeler gauge in between, but the valve has to be set in the right spot. A feeler gauge is put in here and you can tell the adjustment to their specifications. So there’s intake valves in the front of the engine, exhausts on the back, and I should be back.
Mark: Yup, so the CSX, well I guess how did it run after adjustment?
Bernie: It was awesome. Yeah put everything back together and it was like smooth as can be. Warmed up ran really nice. I will mention too, that you know, it was smart for the owner to bring this vehicle in for service although of course, it was running to the point where it was perhaps un-drivable, not very pleasant to drive but there are people who neglect these kind of things and keep going and the real risk of leaving a valve like that is when they don’t seat properly, they can actually start burning and at that point you can cause a lot of very expensive damage. So first sign of something like this, it’s always best to get it fixed right away.
Mark: And this Acura CSX is a Canadian only model, what are your comments on that?
Bernie: Yeah, so this CSX was only sold in Canada from about 2006 to 2011. This model was actually unique to Canada, a lot of vehicles they tend to, you know, they build them from somewhere else in the world but actually this vehicle is actually built in Canada. It’s unique. Somewhat similar to a Civic SI model in terms of the drivetrain but actually a unique to Canada only model, built in Canada which is kind of unusual. Not really sure why Acura did that but it is there entry level model. So maybe they’re just looking for a way to you know, sell a cheaper product to get people interested in Acura, and it’s a nice car for sure.
Mark: And how are these cars for reliability?
Bernie: They’re quite good. We don’t see a lot of them because they’re not the most common cars on the road and some of them we do see, we’ve had a few worn out wheel bearings, things that I guess that aren’t that abnormal but you know worn out wheel bearings, a few fuel valve adjustment issues like this, but other than that they’re quite good. It’s a Honda product, they’re not perfect but pretty darn good, pretty close to it.
Mark: So there you go, if you need some service work on a 2006 Acura, if you have an Acura that needs some service work or your valves are a little bit tight and you haven’t had them serviced regularly, recently in the last 100,000 kilometres, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment, you have to book ahead, they’re busy or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. There’s tons of information and videos on there or our YouTube channel, four plus years of videos every week talking about cars and how to repair them. Thanks Bernie
Bernie: Thanks Mark