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My Honda’s engine doesn’t crank over

Dear Neto,

I recently took my 2003 Honda CRV RD5 for an engine overhaul after it overheated and blew its head gasket. This happened when I unknowingly drove it after an accident and realised the temperatures were above normal.

The engine head was resurfaced and replaced but the engine still doesn’t crank over. The timing, harness connections and many other things have been checked so many times but nothing has changed. What did we do wrong?

Charlie.

 

Dear Charlie,

Hondas are very sensitive when it comes to timing and the valve clearances must be done well because these models use rocker arms and tappets in the valve heads.

Improper valve adjustments can result in excessive valve noise, may misfire or even cause permanent valve damage.

However, when we assume the valve clearances are okay and the timing is fine, other factors that can cause the engine not to crank over are loss of compression or blow-by.

This happens when old, cooked compression rings are used in the rebuild or when only the engine head is resurfaced and not the engine block. Remember these engines are built of aluminium on both the head and the engine block.

They are both prone to warping in the event of overheating so it is recommended that you have both resurfaced.

It is common to have only the aluminium head resurfaced because older vehicles have cast iron blocks which remain largely unaffected in the event of overheating.

Ask your mechanic if he had both the head and the block resurfaced or you may still have overheating from a warped block.

I believe there must also be some kind of malfunction code stored somewhere.

Even if you don’t have the ‘check engine’ light coming on, get your car