2004 Honda Accord Stretched Timing Chain P0341

I guess that we could call this post “Autopsy of an engine” please join me as we take apart this poorly maintained engine.  Well the owner of the engine this vehicle learned the hard way about what can happen to an engine that has a timing chain and too few oil changes. This engine had issues for sure, it was burning a quart of oil every 600 miles to boot! This engine was on its way out months before and I suggested to perform some diagnoses of the p0341 code. So what happens is when the oil gets too old it is unable to lubricate and protect all of the internal moving components that the engine has. In this case not only did the piston rings wear out, but the timing chain did also stretch as a result. I turn the hydraulic tensioner that keeps the chain tight could no longer keep proper tension on the chain, the chain then jumped over the camshaft sprockets. See red arrows in featured image pointing at the timing chain wrapped around the camshaft sprockets. This particular engine is known as an interference engine, this means that all of the moving valves in the top of the engine collide with the pistons in the bottom end of the engine,or vise verse.Bent valve note contact areaIf you look closely you can see the shiny portion of the outside edge of the valve. This area is the point of impact that the piston collided with the valve and ultimately bent the valve. It does not take much to cause a lot of damage in an interference engine. Keep in mind this also happened in each of the 4 cylinders.

Red arrow indicates area of valve contactThe red arrow in picture above shows the point of impact when the valve in the cylinder head collided with the piston.

Orange arrow indicates hydraulic tensionerThe orange arrow points to the over extended timing chain tensioner that could no longer keep the timing chain tight, and that my friends is where the damage finally came in. So the moral to this story? Spend a little now on preventative maintenance, or a whole lot more later!

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