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Discussion Starter #1
So I was driving down the M4 on the weekend up in VTEC. Started hearing a knocking noise from the front of the car. It started off quiet but quickly got to the point where something was obviously wrong.

Pulled over onto the hard shoulder, popped the bonnet and it sounded like someone was banging a spanner against a pipe over and over. It sounded like it was coming from inside the block. It was also in time with the engine. A continuous rhythmic knocking that got faster if I revved.

Turned the engine off for a bit while I figured out what to do (typical that this would happen when on my way to Dover to start a holiday in Europe!)

Eventually decided to limp it to Leigh Delamere services. Turned the engine back on and the noise was louder. Could pretty much hear it resonating inside the car. Put my foot down to get out of the hard shoulder, puff of smoke out the back and car didn't feel like it had much power.

Immediately braked down to a stop and turned the engine off. At no point did the car stall, make any loud bangs (aside from the rhythmic knocking sound anyway) or come to a stop by itself. The timing seemed fine and I noticed no misfires even when it seemed to be struggling.

When our recovery truck arrived, it wouldn't start. Jumper cables just made the earth cable hot (suggesting a short).

Once I got back home, I tried rocking the car in first but the engine is totally locked up. No movement in her at all.

I've googled it and read lots on timing chain tensioners but nothing quite seems to fit the description.

It's a 10 plate (71k miles) and I've only had it 2 years. I service it regularly and even gave it a full service a month or so ago ready for our Euro trip.

Anyone seen anything like this before? Got it booked in with my mechanic but I'm bricking it that the chain has snapped.
 

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Oh my, sounds ominous.

How were the fluid levels, oil and water?

What's the cars mileage?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Fluids were fine. It's currently just touching 71k.

Absolutely bizarre. I can't find anything online that matches it!

My old man suspects the timing chain tensioner may have lost a tooth, come loose and fallen out inside the timing chain area. I can only hope it's that.
 

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Is that the con rods? Just watched a YouTube video of someone with a con rod bearing fault and it definitely sounded similar. Almost like my engine had been swapped for a diesel.


No, big ends are the crankshaft bearings, if it's a deep rumbly knock that'd be the area where I'd be going, if it's a lighter rattly kinda knock then could it be a cam issue maybe?

It's the whole "engine won't turn over" thing that makes me think it's crank related more than say little ends or cam etc
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nope, no lights and I put an ODB on it and everything looks clear.
@blue harbour, it was definitely a deep sounding knock so I think you're on the right track. Is that a big job?

Thanks for all your input, guys. It's super appreciated! I'm panicking like crazy at the moment. :(
 

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Depends what's actually gone, but yeah it could be pretty major!

Question is if it is the crank bearings - what caused them to go?, has something else failed or is failing and that caused this!? (Oil pump?), how often did you check your oil/was it using it!?

Mine seems to use about 1/2 a ltr for every 1000miles'ish!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It does use oil but nothing out of the norm for these engines (as far as I'm aware). Maybe have to top it up every 4-5 months or so if I take it out on the weekends. Never been below the minimum though as far as I'm aware.

Usually replace the oil and filter about every 9-12 months depending on how much I've driven it. Did it a month or so ago in preparation for the long drive around Europe.

I just feel totally lost with it. Try to look after it as much as I can and this happens. Gutted!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have put my foot down when it was too cold for VTEC to engage in the past (there's a nasty blind junction I have to pull out of every morning on my way to work, sometimes have to be a bit quick) but definitely not a regular occurrence and not pushing the car to the limit.

Now that I think about it, my commute is only about 5 minutes every day. Would such a short run every day cause something like this?
 

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Obviously you need to get a decent garage to look at it and advise I could be barkin up completely the wrong tree, but a seized engine and a heavy knock before hand
 

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Would I be wrong In thinking that it might be cheaper to source a fresh engine from a breaker than spend the money trying to fix this one?, with the nature of this engine you're going to want to rev it and use vtec, and even if you did get this fixed would you have confidence in the repaired unit

Just thinking out loud so to speak!
 

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Gearboxes are typically weaker than the engines, are you sure it's not the gearbox that's fritz'd?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have no idea what the cost of a new engine is. I'll definitely be looking into it though once my mechanic has had a look. It's booked in for tomorrow so hopefully I'll have a clearer picture then.

I just wanted to get an idea of the kind of ride I'm in for. Not sounding like a fun one so far!
 

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I don't think short journeys would affect it badly as long as it's regularly serviced. Honda have a separate servicing schedule for "extreme" driving conditions, which includes short journeys, but to be honest I think it's overkill. My commute is about 20-25 minutes each day in slow, stop-start traffic, and I've not had any problems. I'm sure others can say the same.

Farqui raises a valid point - the gearboxes are known to be weak, particularly the input shaft bearing. If that's failed completely, it could potentially cause a rhythmic knock due to the shaft oscillating. Worth getting out a long metal bar and holding it to sections of the engine / 'box with your ear on the other end to pinpoint the sound.

*edit* sorry, hadn't seen that the engine is now seized. It could still be the gearbox. Have you tried starting the car with the clutch disengaged?
 

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Engine on eBay from a 2009 with 32k miles and service history for a grand.

Ooh, it's in Cardiff too!
 

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Wouldn't have gone for gearbox issues, but yeah if the engine will start and run with the clutch dipped and sound fine then it's a blown tranny, have to say my monies on the engine though, be happy the be proven wrong though!

£1k for an engine with traceable s/h sounds like a good buy if it is the engine that's toast!
 
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