Strange statement from employee of auto parts store


Old 04-23-13, 03:17 PM
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Location: USA
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Strange statement from employee of auto parts store

I have a 1995 Honda Civic with the 1.6 liter VTEC engine. That's the D16Z6 engine. The other day I looked in my Haines manual, and it said the valve clearance should be checked every so often. I had long since passed the recommended number of miles. The manual describes a proceedure that involved an adjusting screw and a lock nut. In the photo it looked like those two items were right on top of the rocker arms over the valves. The manual said you needed a set of flat feeler guages. I did not have a set with a small enough guage, so I went to a local auto parts store. I got into a discussion with an employee of the store. He asked me what I wanted the guages for. I told him it was to adjust the play in the valve train. He told me those adjusting screws and lock nuts on my Honda do not change the play in the valves. He said on one end of the rocker arm there is a projection underneath that sits on top of the valve stem, and you can't adjust that. He said you cannot adjust the valve lash on my engine. I told him my Haines manual said otherwise, but he insisted that he was right. I decided to take his word for it, and so I did not buy the guages.

Now, I am wondering about this. If that guy was right, then Honda put useless parts on an engine. That sounds really far-fetched. If the employee was right, I can save myself $6.99 plus Washington sales tax, and some time and effort. If he was wrong, I suppose I should still try to adjust the valves. What's the real story on those screws and nuts?

By the way, I have an extra question. There are feeler guages that are tapered on the end, and some that are straight. Which kind would be best for a job like this?
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Old 04-23-13, 05:31 PM
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Last question first. Tapered feelers help in smaller engines, especially ones with 4 valves per cylinder, due to tight spacing.

Is your car performing badly? Do you hear any tapping under the valve cover? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. However if you feel it is time, here's a video showing how to do it. Honda Accord Valve Adjustment - EricTheCarGuy - YouTube
Old 04-23-13, 07:23 PM
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He's full of it. Find good mech with nice hand touch (no, not for you) and have them adjusted on perfectly COLD engine. Buddy of mine does this by touch. But he was 18 years engine mech. He does not use feeler gauges. There's experience touch to that, as you need to feel how much bind should be on the gauge. Too much and you will ruin the valve train, not enough, and it will be clicking.
Needs to be done every around 100 000 miles. Blessed be Honda to still have that around, like on my 2004 CR-V. Instead of stupid buckets in Toyotas.
Old 04-24-13, 08:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 912
There are people working in parts stores who are real gear heads and know what they are talking about. Sadly there are the others.The tip off would have been when he asked you what you were doing,which translates to "I want to tell you something" right or wrong. Its just like the folks who have real money dont feel the need to flash it around.
Old 04-25-13, 10:43 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 197

I own three repair shops and most times Iím extremely busy. I hope Iím not too late, and I hope the link below helps you.

Post back if there is anything in the link that you do not understand?

If you have more questions?

Or if there is anything else I can help you with?

Thank You

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