Engine Mechanical problem
2001 Honda Accord 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 102000 miles
I have had no problems with my 2001 Honda Accord EX-V6 until 2 weeks ago when the " Engine Check" and oddly the " TCS" warning lights came on. I have always had my oil changed(5W-20 as recommended in the owner's manual) every 3,000 miles. When I called one Honda Specialist he told me that recently he had about 10 customers in the last 8 days that complained of the same " Engine Check" light, slight or medium rough idling of the engine when waiting at a stop light or in a parked position. He asked me if I felt a slight vibration on the brake pedal when I was sitting still and my answer was " yes " and that I could hear the engine's rough idling from behind the steering wheel. The engine sounds normal(smooth) when I am standing outside the car. He contributed to myself and the others as somehow getting " bad fuel" in the past few weeks. He recommended that I put some " Gumout" or other valve cleaner in my gas tank and blow/run it out until the valves clears. He said that it should be a minor engine problem. I tried the " Gumout" and my car idles a little better at times but the problem is still there. I went to a mechanic I knew(he basically works on American made cars mostly, and he was the person who ran the diagnostic and the " Engine Code was 1491: EGR compression lifting at 50% or something to the such". He took off the EGR valve and ran a large " tie strap/blew air through the right opening and his son said that he could feel the air expelling from the exhaust pipe. When my mechanic ran the " tie strap" through the right opening he said that he could not get it all the way through because of the way the compartment curves, but he did feel the air coming out of the " add engine oil" opening as well as the Air Filter. He reset the computer and I drove home about 15 miles with a smoother ride and no rough idling. After stopping at a store for about 15 minutes and upon leaving the engine light came on again and the rough idling returned. I called him back and my mechanic's son told me that he will order a new EGR Valve for me and that I could come in one day next week(they are really busy at this time) for them to put on the new one. I just want your opinion on if this could be the problem or if this particular problem will damage my engine. I am a divorced mother of a young daughter and I have very limited funds during this economic crisis. I am very scared because a few years ago I spent over $4800 having a low mileage engine put in a Honda Prelude SI after the former engine threw a rod-- only to have the replacement engine do the same after 2 years. I do not have the funds for any major repair(s), but I am planning on having the " timing belt, fuel filter, air filter and spark plugs" changed in February 2008 after I hopefully get a tax refund. I would rather trade this car in(I still owe $5000) for a new vehicle if you think there is anything major going on here(although I'd rather be free of car payments soon) than to waste money on a future diaster. Now, you may understand my fear of the unknown. Should I be fearful or not? I would greatly appreciate any professional mechanical advice regarding my current engine problem and the least expensive way to resolve it. I value second opinions.
I'm sorry about your situation and we certainly can understand the financial situation as well. That is why we are here to help people get there rides fixed and keep them running with the info. We have.
The EGR Valve CAN cause these symptoms, BUT that does not mean the EGR Valve itself is defective. EGR Valves often build up carbon deposits, blocking airway which cause the engine light to be illuminated. There are simple ways to clean the EGR Valve without having to buy a new one. It may also be blocked passages that lead into the EGR valve itself, that need cleaning as well. Some models, especially FORD models, have a problem with the DPFE (Differential Pressure Feedback EGR) becoming clogged or faulty. This is something to talk to your mechanic about when you go to replace the EGR Valve. Before buying and replacing other parts, try having your mechanic cleaning the hoses that are connected to the EGR system. Be sure once the EGR Valve has been replaced, to delete the check engine code (mechanic should do this upon finishing job) to see if it reappears with the same code within a few days.
Hope this helped. Please post your results so we can better help others with similar issues.
Oh, one last thing. This is not anything major that will harm your engine in the long run. For now, it will idle and run poorly until sensor or other faulty component is fixed. It will not damage any internal parts or other parts for that matter, so you shouldn't worry about that.