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Old 02-11-2019, 08:05 AM   #1
getsmitty
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Question Just a female trying to work on her car

Name's Bethany. I'm new here and live in Raleigh where I know no one and have none of my family or friends to help me and I just wasn't raised to immediately take your car to a shop.
In September I bought a base 03 rsx. It's trans has been swapped to 6spd and needed a new head gasket when I purchased it. That issue has been resolved but after about a week my engine light was on and throwing p0420. Tried changing the downstream first but realized by the zip tie that the previous owner replaced it (and it was fine) so I've now changed the cat out to an aftermarket walker. God it stinks but worth it if it takes the issue away. Anyways, I can now focus on a new belt tensioner/idler pulley because aside from wanting my car to be in the best shape it can be, I cant take the sound anymore. I've never replaced this or even bought it so I'm looking for some opinions/experience/advice before I make this purchase (HELPFUL stuff, no negativity; take that shit somewhere else)
**Another big issue next on my list is while under the car yesterday, noticed there's an oil leak coming from somewhere. Just havent been able to locate it yet as yesterday was fully dedicated to the cat and today I'm doing work from home (and its disgusting outside) I know thats not a lot of info but hey if you've had an oil leak I'd love to hear all the places I can look."
***Another issue I came across is that a bolt had broken off for the far right spark plug so I got it all the way out yesterday. I havent been able to size it yet so if anyone knows off the top of their head, please share.
Thanks guys!
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:50 AM   #2
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Oil leaks are hard to find sometimes. I pressure washed all the crud off my engine, and waited and watched. Dont forget to look in the back behind valve cover.

Call honda they will tell you the size of bolt and have a replacement for you. I actually thought two bolts were missing after changing my plugs the first time, before i realized the cover bolts actually hold two of the coilpacks.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:06 AM   #3
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Thank you! I plan on doing that, now to find someone around here that will let me borrow a pressure washer haha! I ordered a gates belt tensioner and belt. Should be able to replace that next weekend after it arrives. Luckily I have the piece that was broken off so I'm just going to take it and size it. Looking online it says a m6x1.25 is what I need. We'll see
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:17 AM   #4
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Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own
Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own
Brake Kleen would be perfect for cleaning the crud from the engine! My type-S developed a leak on the back side of the VC Gasket. Super easy replacement and gave me a chance to put on the wrinkle red VC I had

x1.25 is most everything on a Honda, sounds like you're heading in the right direction
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:52 AM   #5
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Thank you! Ha, I'm trying. Are you talking about crc brakleen? If so, do I get non-chlorinated or is original fine?
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:17 AM   #6
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Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own
Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own Dad must be an admin because here is no way they could have reached this amount on their own
Yes! Original is what I've always used
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:42 AM   #7
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So if I'm reading that right, one of your valve cover bolts is currently missing? If so, I'm willing to bet that your leak is coming from the valve cover, near that missing bolt.

If your exhaust fumes stink with the new cat, that's because the cat isn't working enough, and your P0420 is going to come back. If the old cat didn't stink, it's working better than the new one... another couple hundred miles should tell you for sure.

For the belt, I would start by replacing just the belt. It's fast and cheap. If it's still noisy, then move onto the actual pulley(s)
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:58 PM   #8
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For the belt, the online manual here can show you the parts. You tighten the tensioner pulley bolt and it will compress so the belt comes off. But what is your noise? Belt off you can see if any of the pulleys are not smooth and replace what isn't. Belt squeal, new belt or the tensioner is worn out. The manual shows how to check wear or google it. You also learned a good sensor lesson. The code for a sensor doesn't always mean the sensor is bad, but is actually working and telling you of another problem. The previous owner did just that and you see it didn't help. Keep track of gas mileage and how smooth it idles. That can help diagnose codes. Unplugging a sensor can also help. If you unplug and it changes, the sensor is good. The rear O2 is different in that it measures how well the cat is working, but doesn't affect how it runs. So you unplug it will throw a light, but not change how it feels. Oh and a long handles serpentine belt tool can really help compress the spring.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:33 AM   #9
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So if I'm reading that right, one of your valve cover bolts is currently missing? If so, I'm willing to bet that your leak is coming from the valve cover, near that missing bolt.

If your exhaust fumes stink with the new cat, that's because the cat isn't working enough, and your P0420 is going to come back. If the old cat didn't stink, it's working better than the new one... another couple hundred miles should tell you for sure.

For the belt, I would start by replacing just the belt. It's fast and cheap. If it's still noisy, then move onto the actual pulley(s)
I found the bolt at a local honda dealer. Ignition coil bolt. Installed it Thursday afternoon. I'll keep an eye out to see if that helped the leak.
I've already ordered/received the belt and pulley and figure might as well go ahead and change it all, then I know for sure when that was replaced.
The cat I got is smaller (I panicked a little when I noticed it having never done this before) could that have something to do with it. I figured the MIL would come back on if it wasnt happy with the one I got. lol.
**I do have another issue with my car that I didn't mention earlier. So its happened the past couple days. I'll have just stopped and the car will start shuddering like it wants to stall out (and aout a month or so ago, actually did rolling up to a light. Rpms go up and down from 0-1000 The Oil light usually blinks with it, this morning it did not for some reason. It doesn't do it when I start it, only after I've driven from one office to the next (roughly 15 min drive @75-80mph) It doesnt matter if its in gear or not. The best way I can describe it is take a big bowl and put some water in it, slide it on a counter back and forth for a bit then let go. The water still moves but eventually slows down and balances out (now this is my interpretation of the way it fluctuates once stopped, it may not make a damn bit of sense to anyone else and thats fine but it doesnt hurt). Ive had marvel mystery oil suggested to be added in with the oil I have now and then after 200 miles do an oil change. I'm def going to give it a shot. So yeh, thats where my project stands for now.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:38 AM   #10
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For the belt, the online manual here can show you the parts. You tighten the tensioner pulley bolt and it will compress so the belt comes off. But what is your noise? Belt off you can see if any of the pulleys are not smooth and replace what isn't. Belt squeal, new belt or the tensioner is worn out. The manual shows how to check wear or google it. You also learned a good sensor lesson. The code for a sensor doesn't always mean the sensor is bad, but is actually working and telling you of another problem. The previous owner did just that and you see it didn't help. Keep track of gas mileage and how smooth it idles. That can help diagnose codes. Unplugging a sensor can also help. If you unplug and it changes, the sensor is good. The rear O2 is different in that it measures how well the cat is working, but doesn't affect how it runs. So you unplug it will throw a light, but not change how it feels. Oh and a long handles serpentine belt tool can really help compress the spring.
Squealing for sure so I'm going to replace it all next weekend. Gas mileage has sucked. The full tank of premium I put in my car is barely 100 miles down and already down to 3/4 of a tank. Its even worse than when p0420 code was on!!! Look at my other reply about the idling as of lately. No codes have been thrown yet. I have a scanner and i use OBD fusion on my iPhone.

THANKS GUYS!! I really appreciate it
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:22 PM   #11
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I'm getting 100 per 1/4, and a bad o2 would give you bad gas mileage. It sounds intermittent? Then I'd say the O2 sensor is maybe fine, and it's something else. As you drive is your check engine light on, or does that come and go as well. I would also check the air filter and plugs. If your cat isn't flowing then that clears up a lot. If it is, the poor idle points to intake issues, but one at a time. 1st the easier stuff. The temp guage also look about right, just below center is ballpark. The major parts would throw a code, so it could be something smaller like above, or vacuum leak--hows the brakes, you can get a leak there as well.
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:28 PM   #12
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Well after I said that I realized I forgot to mention it was closer to half. This evening the oil light didnt flicker when it did its awful idle. Engine temp is fine, I keep an eye on that. No other lights or codes thrown. Checked my oil this morning, looks fine and not low. The cat smell actually has went almost completely away by the time I got home from work just now. I'll try and stick it out for a couple weeks after I do marvel and oil change to see if a light comes on or if that "fixes" things.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:43 AM   #13
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It might if this was an old Ford or Chevy.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:53 AM   #14
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ah ok. makes sense.. thats what my friend has. He constantly picks on me about my choice in imports. anyways tho, Marko I remembered you saying something about intake issues for the idle issue so I took a look and found a small tear (attached pics).
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:10 AM   #15
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That tear isn't doing anything. You can unhook that hose (if you put a filter on the nipple on the valve cover that it connects to) and nothing would change. It's just there for some emissions bullshit.

I would start by removing your throttle body and cleaning your idle air control valve (IACV). I would also clean/petroleum jelly your battery cables and terminals. How old is the battery?
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:34 PM   #16
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ah ok. makes sense.. thats what my friend has. He constantly picks on me about my choice in imports. anyways tho, Marko I remembered you saying something about intake issues for the idle issue so I took a look and found a small tear (attached pics).
Tell him his vehicle will blow up at the time yours is making power--and thats true. The above pic isn't an intake leak, that blows excess into your airbag for emissions. The intake manifold at the front can be a source of intake issues. The other parts the poster wanted you to clean are located in the glob of stuff right before the intake. The throttle cables go there. Idle air and TPS sensor are part of that and a few small vacuum hoses are all located there. The big hose on top is a vacuum to the brake booster. Do you have a stock or aftermarket air filter? If you are experiencing a bad idle, you can also unplug some of that stuff around the throttle body and see what happens. If it dies, then it's working, if it keeps chugging, you may have found the issue.
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