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cold start valve tick, is there any cure?

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Old 03-05-2008, 11:30 AM   #1
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Default cold start valve tick, is there any cure?

The problem is when I start my car when it is below 35 degrees, I have a very distinct valve tick sound. It is a 96 civic LX (d16y7) with about 190K. I've noticed this somewhat in past years that I have owned the car, but never as bad as it has been recently. It is much worse under any type of acceleration. This makes the ticking much louder. Eventually after letting it warm up for a while it will go away but it takes quite a long time.
Is this just a valve sticking or is it something much more serious? I've tried switching oils, and I have also tried running valve cleaner through the gas. I'm using Castrol 5W-30 full synthetic and have always used synthetic. Nothing seems to help. Could it mean that my valve springs have grown weak with mileage? The oil light has not came on because of this, so I don't think it is an oil pump problem..

Any information on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Patrick
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: cold start valve tick, is there any cure? (patrickvertigo)

Start with a valve lash adjustment, if you havent tried that already. You may be able to find information on doing one on here, if not get yourself a helms manual.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: cold start valve tick, is there any cure? (patrickvertigo)

you need to get the valves adjusted...over time itll loosen up and tap alot...had it in my integra adjust valves and problem fixed...
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: cold start valve tick, is there any cure? (jry2598)

Would it be hard to do myself? I've had the valve cover off before but I guess that I don't really know what I would be doing if I were to adjust the valves.

Do you have any idea what I could expect to pay if I were to have it done somewhere?
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: cold start valve tick, is there any cure? (patrickvertigo)

for d series engine. diy valve adjustment is easy and no special tools needed except a feeler gauge which is like 3 bucks from auto store. but u might need the new valve gasket and o ring gasket for spark plugs area.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: cold start valve tick, is there any cure? (crazyguy)

X2, just download the factory service manual and read up on it, and grab a new valve cover gasket set before you start. You might even want to take your time and refinish your valve cover while it's off, if you're into that kind of thing.

You'll need to jack the car up, remove the driver's side wheel, remove the upper timing chain cover, and get a socket on the crank pulley so you can spin the engine to TDC for each piston before adjusting the valves for that cylinder. I think it's a 10mm wrench to loosen the lock nut, and a flathead screwdriver to move the adjustable bolt (not the proper name for that part), and a feeler gauge to measure the valve lash. Do the adjustment on a cold engine, and put a dab of gasket maker in the corners where the valve cover goes over the cam to help it seal.
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: cold start valve tick, is there any cure? (IanB)

I should also note that what you think is a valve tick could in fact be piston slap. But try adjusting your valves first to see what happens.
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Old 03-10-2008, 04:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: cold start valve tick, is there any cure? (StorminMatt)

Thanks for all the info guys, I will try to adjust the valves.

Btw, what exactly is piston slap? I've heard of valve slap, which I believe is when the valves are sticking open longer than they are supposed to be and are slapping shut hard because of it. Correct me if I am wrong, but if this were the case, what would I then do to correct this?
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Old 03-10-2008, 04:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: cold start valve tick, is there any cure?

mine does it especially when it's cold like in the winter months and it's piston slap. I asked the dealer about it once and told them that I had never had my valves adjusted and they said that hondas have been doing it for years with no ill effect. If it only does it when you first start the car but it goes away when warmed up I would say thats all that it is. The way I understand the piston slap is that the pistons and the block change temp. in cold weather but then as the pistons get warm so they grow a little bit because basically metal shrinks when cold and expands when hot. But if it does it all the time after the car is warmed up then I would say that you need a valve adjustment. 167k on mine and I've never had it done and I also bought it with only 67k so I seriously dought that someone had it done before me.
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