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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've had my Insight for about six months now. Picked it up with just under 50,000 miles. Had heard the piston rings were prone to trouble, knew of "Service Bulletin 16-101," so "how bad could it be?"

I wanted to make this thread to tell the story of my experience getting this checked and hopefully taken care of by my local dealership.

Changed oil at 49,700 miles, and 51,000 miles, the car started throwing errors:
----Permanent Trouble Codes Scan Report---- 1 Permanent Trouble Codes Trouble Codes:
1. P0303
Cylinder 3 Misfire Detected

----Antilock Braking System Codes Scan Report---- 1 Antilock Braking System Trouble Codes:
1. 83-01
ECM/TCM Failure
The ABS fault comes at the same time, and only, when the misfire code appears.

Didn't expect it to be real as I didn't feel any difference day-to-day, so I pulled the front plug for cylinder 3. Turns out all the front plugs (didn't pull the rears) and piston tops look terrible.

It's also a quart low on oil.

Today, March 11, I showed my information to a service writer. He knew I was aware of the service bulletin, and he was able to find it. He also said, given the condition of the plugs, not to replace them.

Also, given the symptom and documentation, perhaps we can skip the oil consumption test!

Received a call a few hours later saying they have verified my documented claims, and have ordered the piston rings. Only the piston rings.

Said he'll know more tomorrow, when the do a bit more teardown.

Attached: all four plugs, and a view through the spark plug tube into one of the cylinders. They're all about the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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Good Boy. Good luck.
Documentation and pictures are the rule.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just heard they're done with the car. Took less than two days. Going to pick it up after work.

I don't have the documentation, and it's difficult to get details out of the service writer, but it appears they only replaced the piston rings as part failures.

Not the pistons, not the short block.

Other replacements mentioned were the oil, oil filter, oil pan gasket, "other fluids," and all eight spark plugs.

No price was mentioned, and the only thing I signed was the "diagnostic" quote of ~$130 to get started. Was implied that was a formality, and may not be charged. Haven't paid anything yet.

Will update with more details when I have them.
 

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I'm assuming that the block was OK and you caught it early enough that a replacement wasnt necessary ... at the very least however a good cleanup hone of the cylinders should have been done ... absent that, the new rings might not seat correctly and could lead to oil blowby in the future ... I'd ask about that just to make sure if its not already noted on the service write up ... you dont want to go through this whole thing again bc they chose the path of least resistance ... best
 

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We should wait till he gets back to us to voice our opinions. He probably works day shift so no response till after 5 PM Ca. time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
[Edit]
...at the very least however a good cleanup hone of the cylinders should have been done...
Agreed.


Alright, we're done. No new pistons, but admittedly, the bulletin we reference is two years old. Perhaps it's been updated.

I got over 50MPG over a three hour drive just a couple weeks ago, so I wonder if this all came on suddenly. Sacramento is flat, but my trip was mountainous, so maybe vacuum from engine braking was related, I don't know. Anyway, if the failure was so sudden, perhaps the damage was minor.

Anyway, my documentation cites Operation 1111DV was completed, and all items from Page 2 were replaced, except "Piston Kit (contains 4 pistons, 4 pins, and 4 ring packs.), Part 06131-RBJ-305"

Verified check engine light on, diagnosis found code P0303 Misfire Cylinder #3. Spark plug oil fowled (sic). Performed S/B 16-101, replaced all piston rings, necessary gaskets, all spark plugs, oil, filter, coolant. Perform valve adjustment, clear code and road test.
I'll include a scan of the work order for reference. There was no charge for any of this work.
I'll try to scope the cylinders again before driving it too far to see if they cleaned up the pistons before reinstallation.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Spot checked plug and piston 4 just to document the current condition.
The new plugs look good (why wouldn't they?), and they cleaned off the piston really well.

Hopefully we're good for a long, long time now.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wife took the car to work for two days now. A few minutes ago, she reported it was rough on startup, and is "jerky" during autostop.

Dash is a Christmas tree again, with multiple warnings and lights regarding the braking and emissions systems. Will do a scan and update later.
 

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That sounds like the 12V.

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
That sounds like the 12V.
I would agree, if the codes it threw weren't identical to those it threw prior to the service.

About six weeks ago, it was storing a code about low ECU voltage. The 12v was testing around 11v, so I replaced it. 12v is pushing around 12.3v sitting idle now, and was connected to a battery tender overnight the day we got it back.


So, codes. It's throwing cylinder 3 misfire again, and pulling into the garage, it sounded like a Subaru.

Scoped the piston heads again, and it looks like they're all still allowing oil into the chamber.

Here's cylinder 4. I know the code is for 3, but I only took a "before" shot of 4.

This is March 13 versus March 15. All cylinders look about the same. The carbon is creeping in from the sides, again.

[EDIT] Better photo of top of piston. Clearly oil on top with carbon sides.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Update.
Dropped the car off at the dealership again yesterday.

Reached out to @HondaCustSvc to ask if the bulletin I'm referencing is still current. They didn't answer that directly, but did provide this statement:
The Service Bulletin doesn not indicate that replacing the pistons will be necessary in all cases but if the dealerships repair attempt did not resolve your concern it might have to be done. We encoruage you to reach back out to the dealership for further repairs at your convenience. If you require alternative transportation while the repair is being completed we recommend speaking with the Service Manager as this repair may not be completed within a single day. The Technicians at the dealership will be able to offer a more precise timeline.
Dealership confirmed the cylinder 3 misfire is reoccurring, and replaced the fuel injector. The followup call last night said the car is currently running correctly after that and clearing the codes. However, he said they want to keep it at least overnight to make sure.

I asked about the oil color and carbon deposits already no the pistons. He said he'd ask the tech, but thinks "it's normal" because it happens on carbonated cars...

Waiting for a follow-up call today.
 

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"it happens on carbonated cars..."

That is funny, I always liked to call carburetors "carbonators", but the insight doesn't even have one. They might as well have told you it was because of old air in the tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
They might as well have told you it was because of old air in the tires.
hahaha if only I had that Winter Air replaced with Spring Air, this would have never happened!
 

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I dont think pistons are the problem ... they have to replace the block ... the cylinder walls got scored by the original sh*tbag rings ... keep on their *ss ... sooner or later theyll relent unless they replace the pistons first and then youll b b*tching at them again a month later when the oil is still blowing by ... hang in there
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hanging in there. As expected from my years dealing with VW service, they're trying to spin it.

Just got off the phone. They're saying the car is "still running fine" since putting in their test fuel injector, so they're ordering a single new injector for cylinder 3 and are going to call it good.

Conversation was a little like this

"Perhaps a bit of debris got up in there, and the pinhole can't close properly."
>There are a lot of debris in the cylinder, but it was in every cylinder. Do we know if the other ones are affected?

"I have not personally put eyes on them, but Honda won't let us replace parts that haven't failed."

Then it got crazy.
"If the injector couldn't close, it could have been losing fuel into the cylinder, washing the cylinder walls, and leading to piston rings issues. This might be the cause of all the trouble."

Admittedly, I was dumbfounded and didn't attempt to argue this. Couldn't find the words.

They'll have another update tomorrow. Will check again about the reappearance of oil on the pistons.
 

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Documentation and pictures are your best course at this time.
What borescope are you using for the piston pics?
That is a lot of carbon build up from 2 days of running, in my opinion.

Willie
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I agree. My 1988 Civic has perfectly clean pistons, and it's not running at 100% right now.

I'm using this boroscope. It's a solid "fine," but was available for same-day delivery when I needed it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
After missing yesterday's promised callback, I just got off the phone with my service writer.

They've replaced the single fuel injector, and it "seems fine" so far.

I asked how that explains the oil and carbon on the pistons again, to which he replied "I didn't even bring that up to him. Let me ask and call you back."

smh

Second call back, he made two points on how "some oil on the piston is going to be normal" and "unavoidable."

1) As the piston rings are new, they aren't seated yet. Okay, fair point.
2) "It’s a hybrid. Due to their nature, always turning off and on, the pistons will have some browning. It’s their nature." What now?

Anyway, they're done. Current suggestion is to "put 5,000 miles on it" and see what happens.
 
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