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Honda Ek3 Too Many Issues


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I have a EK3 96 model Normal Auto / ML type

have few issues need some knowledge and ideas before i see my technician.

1.) AC is not good enough for day time specially when car is not moving.. if it on 4th level some times pressure release from a valve in compressor. No AC after that

have the original small condenser. done a full service change filters topped up gas. still the same

2.) have a humming noise coming from OIL pump (thats wht i hv been told)

3.) some times gears not engage at the 1st attempt

4.) latest problem is I can see a oil leak from top of the engine (around tapered cover seal )

5.) when i drive fast i get heat meter in 3/4 level

any comment well come

Many thanks

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Sounds like your car needs a good and complete overhaul.

1. Your AC looks like it needs a complete overhaul. A gas leak is the probable cause. Your cooler, condenser, blower and all other parts of the AC will need to come off, checked for leaks, cleaned and if needed, repaired. Rough cost might be anything from Rs. 5000 upwards.

2. Humming noise is normally associated with worn bearings. Could be water pumps, could be pulleys, could be anything. Again, will need to check each and every bearing and sometimes its best to replace them all. Bearing prices vary... but starts from R. 1000 upwards.

3. Gear box oil levels ok? When was the last time the oil was changed in the transmission? IS this the model with CVT? You have not specified.

4. Tappet cover oil seal will need replacing, obviously.

5. Radiator and coolant system will need to be checked, flushed and re filled. Check water pump as well when you remove for Problem 2.

Edited by VVTi
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like VVTi said, get those things checked. i've never heard of an ek3 with "too many issues" they are great cars, and reliable, but as with all cars have to be maintained properly. ideally you should have checked these thigns before buying the car. a simple search on autolanka forums wold should you that all these issues have been addressed individually. its just your bad luck or negligence that you have a car with ALL of them at the same time.

to ad to what VVti said,

1. get your AC fully serviced. the original small condensor (by which i hope you mean the JDM one) is not adequate for our original hot country. there's a taiwanese/malaysian dual core bigger condensor for this car. you can get it at any good AC ficing place. try tepsco auto ac on nawala road near school lane they did mine. atound 13,000. you'll have to upgrade the compressor also, but you'll never have a cooling issue again, it will be more efficient, and driving in traffic will be a lot more comfy.

2. IF you have a CVT auto, and if the gear engaging issue is on a cold start, then you've got a gearbox issue pending. never ever use normal ATF on a cvt box. tis too thick. you need to put honda CVT ATF, and change oil every 15,000km. issue could be as simple as gear oil filters being blocked, to as bad as the CVT torque transfer cones being worn out. either way, max cost of a CVT box repair is 32,000 (plus 8,000 for oil). i'm saying worst case, like my car, where i fully rebuild the gearbox, even replacing the cones. do NOT ignore this issue, i can't stress how important it is to address this issue early. if you keep using it with the jerk, then you will wear out your cones and be up the creek. if you want a place to get this fixed, message me i'll send you the details of my mechanic.

3. yup. tappet cover oil seal. and check the distributor oil seal also. there should be no oil around there at all. small job

4. it should stay at the quarter level. get the entire cooling system checked.

if you just bought this car, get all these things done asap. its worth spending that bit now, than making it worse. and you'll end up not enjoying the car. the ek is a brilliant little thing. i've done 20kmpl on long distance in that car!

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About the A/C, as Komi said the best option is go for dual core condenser. I also had the same issue, but I hardly drive it on mid-day time, so I didn't change it.

Reason not to function A/C at level 4 is, it turn off the compressor due to overload.

@Komi, what you mean by upgrade the compressor? Is that the same thing referred as A/C cooler? if that's the case, we can't put a bigger cooler inside the compartment isn't it? Or is it the electric motor? Because pressure builds inside the A/C cooler unit, not the condenser side.

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I visited a mechanic in Kesbewa (known as Honda Varuna).

what he said was to clean up the engine compartment and after two days we could see where exactly oil leaks (tappet or distributor oil seal ).. if its both woundnt cost more than Rs.4000.00

but he heard the noise from engine and said

1.) bottom part of the engine is " kepenawa" . and its more likely top of the engine(AL surface ) get a wave. recommended replacing a engine.

2.) That hum noise is coming from oil pump and it louder coz bottom part of the engine "kepila"

3.) there is a single core radiator and its not ment to be there.. 2/3 core should be he said.

am bit confused now. I may visit a garage today. let u knw guys

again thank you and really appreciate your ideas..

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If he says "engine eka kapenawa" its always better to get a 2nd opinion from someone else. I think at this point you should not worry too much about A/C but this humming noice. It could be any moving part/belt. So need a proper diagnosis done.

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Definitely get a second opinion if he said to replace the engine! Let is know what the ore mechanic says also. I don't understand what he means by "kapenawa"

Same guy has advised one of my friends to replace dual carb setup of an Eg8 saying carb is beyond repair. But my local mechanic had fixed it and used more than 2years as his daily runner . So as others said take a second opinion and post the results here.

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fellow friends

I have taken EK3 to a garage(in Homagama close to my work place) and been told

1.) That hum is coming from a bearing.. better to replace ring set too ( repair kit)

2.) tapperd oil seal , screws on top of the engine, distributor oli seal and Power steering oil leaks (reomended to have a repair kit)

3.) a hub racer for rear wheel

so they are looking at round about Rs100 000 job with Honda company spares.

people tell me engine job shoudnt be more than 40/= .

I am not in a position to spend this much but i knw repair should be done properly.

can I find genuine spares (brand new) outside the honda agent? anyone knows any good place?

thank you very much indeed

Edited by Sssuneth
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You can't put a cap on the price of an engine job just like that machan. Depends on what components have been neglected and what needs replacing. A friend of mine ran a KA-xxxx plate Nissan march to the ground. Cost of repair was 75,000 for parts. Cost of a new bigger engine was 40,000 so we replaced the engine.

Everyone's problem is unique so you can't just say like that. All I know is these aren't all problems that happened at the same time, and this that accumulated over time. With cars, if you don't fix a small issue when it springs up its going to affect other components and lead to a chain reaction that will affect a lot of things. Honda engines are not so cheap if you're thinking of replacing.

You can either go asking second opinions from many mechanics who will give you different stories or stick with one reputed one and bite the bullet and get it done.

You don't have to run to the agent for parts either. Theres a place in Panchikawatte called tech motors. They bring down all Honda parts. Much cheaper than the agent.

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The A/C problem seems like a malfunctioning clutch on the compressor - When stationary it's worse.... Let's hope you will not require a new compressor.

It seems like your car has a lot of work required. Unfortunately there are no short cuts if you want a proper job done.

If he is sure of the bearing, why replace the rings? Is the engine burning oil? If it's worn a lot then rings alone may not help. Get it checked before you just spend on a set of rings. Worst case - I would say buying an imported used engine will be cheaper than rebuilding the existing one. Rebuilding is likely to be very costly and there are no short cuts.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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First findout what bearing makes the humming noice. Do some shopping in Panchikawattha for exact part. I think you need to isolate these faults and find how to repair them. If not the garages will try to replace everything. Bigger the job is higher the amount.

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Apparently your engine may be a bit worn out according to both opinions. If so there are no short cuts as commented by others above. It is always better to do a full overhaul if you can afford it for then you will get an almost perfect engine. The next option is to change the engine but you would never know how that would perform in the long run. Otherwise you can go for a compromised solution but keep in mind that you are taking a chance here.

Do you know its genuine mileage and if it had been well maintained in the past? However before replacing the rings for something that is not directly associated with them (like burning oil) better to check the compression (mech with a simple handheld meter can do this) first just to make sure if it is really necessary. Also check if the PCV valve is clogged up for pressure inside the crank case may be building up at high revs and results in oil leaks. Although these things may not solve you core issue, once you eliminate the small problems you can focus better on the priorities. Whatever you do, your compromised solution should not cost you more than 30% of the ultimate (overhaul) solution. If you can manage within 30% and run for another two years then it is worth otherwise go for a full overhaul or a replacement engine. Do not try anything in between.

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Thank you lovely people...

I have taken my car to a mechanic ( close to my home town) .He only loosen up the T-belt and the hum noice is gone..it's wasn't from a bearing or oil pump.. Thank god for that.. I was nearly replace the engine or overhaul it..

For the oil leak I replaced tapet packing,distributor oil seal,plug seal, tapet screws...

Thank you very much.. Every single opinion helped me a lot

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  • 1 month later...


I also having some problem with the ac (EK3). Some noice is coming from the ac compressor as I can see.

Has anyone done any repairs related to ac compressor or replaced one recently ?

It would be great if you could mention the cost and a place , please.

thanks in advance

Edited by Sam9
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a bigger condensor will need a bigger compressor. i mean the motor driven by the engine to compress the gas. otherwise it will put an undue load on the existing compressor,a nd tht will eventually break

Komi, that is not strictly true. You don't need a bigger compressor when you get a bigger condensor. In fact having a bigger condensor will reduce the load on the compressor.

Basically the job of the condensor is to remove heat from the coolant after it has gone through the evaporator. The more heat it can get rid of, the easier the compression process will be (as you know as gas warms up it expands). The reason why when running with JDM condensors the AC does not work that well is essentially when the compressor kicks in, the safety cut off gets activated due to high pressure and disconnects the compressor to avoid a system failure. With a larger condensor heat is dissapated more quickly and this keeps the pressure on the circuit lower and thus allows the compressor to do its job keeping the circuit in safe limits.

So having a bigger condensor reduces the load on the compressor and the engine as well. So you don't need a bigger compressor. In fact I advise against it as it will be extra strain on the engine and reduce power.

Also if you are replacing the compressor of a petrol engine, always replace like for like, and if an original replacement can't be found, always get a rotary compressor not a piston compressor as it suites the characteristics of the petrol engine better (lower torque at lower rpms).

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