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Fellow Insight operators, I’ve been loving my 2012 Insight ever since mom gave it to me more than a year ago.

All was well for its entire life, up until it had the excessive oil consumption issue (cylinder walls were very badly damaged) and the service bulletin put out by Honda allowed me to get the engine replaced! That was back in March of this year. That was at 80,909 mi. I was stoked about not having to pour a quart of oil down the hole every 1,000-2,000 miles.
Fast forward to this month, The vehicle has rough idle at startup, and in some cases wouldn’t go faster than 18MPH. The vehicle throws all the warning lights (VSA, Hill, Brake, Engine) and I pull the code: P0301 Cylinder 1 misfire. I’m living in a new town now and I call the local Honda dealership to ensure they would accept the warranty of the workmanship from the original Honda service center. In case the issue is related to possible error of workmanship done by original Honda dealer, it should be covered. Service Advisor says they do accept the warranty of any authorized Honda dealer. I take it in to this new Honda dealership where they find: spark plugs need to be replaced and a valve adjustment is needed.
  • This is where some flags go up for me. This is at 91,800mi. and the work invoice shows 8 spark plugs were changed by original Honda dealership. (invoice of the engine replacement is attached herein)
    • I called the original Honda dealer and spoke to the original Service Advisor who originally led the engine replacement. He affirmed all 8 plugs were replaced and valves were checked.I documented this phone call in writing.
      • Images of spark plugs are attached here as well, as you can see, these plugs do not appear to be ~ 11,000 miles young. Me thinks the plugs were not replaced.
  • New Honda dealer Service Advisor calls today and says neither spark plugs nor valve adjustment will be covered due to their being “preventative maintenance” items.
    • I call Honda Corporate and they cite the Honda Service Bulletin 16-101 (the same s/b that covered my engine replacement) that should cover the spark plugs replacement. As for the valve adjustment, see my argument below, this is where I need major help from y’all.

I have a conundrum. If the engine was replaced at 81k and the valves were checked at that time by certified Honda techs, then that must mean the valves did not need adjustment at that time. Honda says they typically require adjustment at 100,000 miles. I’m not an auto mechanic, I’m a consumer in my relationship to Honda, so I find it unreasonable to accept that at the 88% mark in the lifetime of this valvetrain they were perfect and then came out of adjustment only in the last 12% of its lifetime. Over the span of 92,800 miles this seems like an unfair situation for the consumer.

Is my reasoning correct here? I am going into this battle with Honda dealerships without substantial mechanical knowledge. Am I off base? I am hoping for some advice about which route to take this line of thinking and how to proceed with future interactions.
I understand my Insight is close to the 100,000 mark, but I also feel that the responsible thing to do while something as big as the engine block being replaced is to conduct a faithful and comprehensive check of the valves before putting them back on. Seeing as the sparkplugs may not have been replaced over 10k ago when they were supposed to, I suspect more could be suspect.

My aim is to hold Honda accountable for their work as much as possible.

Thanks for reading.
 

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The invoice indicates that they installed new piston rings, not a new engine. There isn't even pistons listed on that invoice. There is no indication of the valves having been adjusted, just the gaskets necessary to remove & replace the head. If the cylinder walls were scored beyond repair, they should have replaced the block. I have not idea how you should proceed. Perhaps a call to Honda Corp? Try to be calm and just explain that the original dealer told you they replaced the engine and spark plugs and didn't. The valve adjustment is up to you to pay to have done.
 

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Those plugs are definitely not from being changed at 91,800 miles, or 10K miles ago. I assume they are from cyl 1. Do you have pics of the other plugs? Need pics.
If they are new, you have a definite problem.
Pics and documentation are your friend.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your help. It has been a whirlwind going between service centers and finally there was resolution. I went to the original service center where they replaced the spark plugs under the 12mo. / 12k mi. warranty that come with the plugs after installation. I have to correct my wording, only the engine block was replaced, not the entire engine. Also, I hope nobody has to go to the Honda dealership I went to in the second place. They were just unwilling to reasonably accommodate the customer by just doing their jobs. I am working with Honda Corp and they are acting as liaison to deal with them. All in all, car is working very well now!
 

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Check your engine number to see if the "block" was changed. If it was changed it may not have a number, or it will be a rough stamp of the vehicle ID (Vin). The problem (oil consumption) was with the piston and rings, not the block. IIRR.
 

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How can you explain the invoice showing a ring job with you thinking they replaced even a short block? (Replacing the block is essentially replacing the engine in this case. A whole engine, including the heads is only done if there is damage to the heads)
 

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The way I see it is this: the head is just taken off and then put back on. They wouldn’t adjust if they were working on something else. Plugs, maybe service advisor said one thing and another was the case. I’ve taken my civic to get oil changes and they overfilled several times. I always check their work and call them on it before I take my car, after the first time it happened. So, these guys are not master mechanics. They don’t pay attention like anyone else. The plugs should have been cleaned up. I believe that that is on you. Just buy a set of plugs and put them in. I don’t believe they were covered under the warranty nor should the entire engine be replaced. Why? If it’s just the rings that were the issue. They were ready to be replaced anyway.


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This is why I do everything on my car myself these days.

Don’t be afraid to learn. It’s really not at all that difficult. Stay on top of your fluids and maintenance and you should be good.


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