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Idle and Timing check (Honda)

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Idle and Timing check (Honda)

This is a relatively easy and important maintenance task. A few simple tools are needed for this such as the timing light and automotive diagnostics analyzer pictured in the left. A socket set it also needed if the timing requires adjustment. I would recommend checking the timing after an ignition system upgrade or distributor cap and rotor change.

Idle speed check and adjustment

It is imperative that the idle speed be correct when checking or adjusting the timing. Changes in idle speed will cause changes in the timing. To check the idle speed hook up your auto meter according to it's instructions and set it to the correct RPM setting. It is best to start this task with the engine at normal operating temperature however revving the engine to 3000 RPM for 3 - 4 minutes should achieve the same thing. With the engine at normal operating temperature let the engine idle settle for 60 seconds or so and check the idle speed, refer to the VECI label under your hood or your cars manual for proper idle speed.

On some cars, extra steps may be needed to obtain the correct idle speed, such as disconnecting the IAC valve and/or EVAP purge control solenoid. These cars include; All Integra Models and all EXCEPT the following Civic models; 1996 and 1997 with D16Y5 and with CVT, 1996 and later D16Y8 and automatic trans axle, all D16Y7 engine and 1998 and later D16Y5 with CVT. With the IAC and EVAP purge control disconnected the idle speed on these cars should be as follows:

Civic models 450 (+/- 50rpm), all Integra models except those with the B18C5 engine, and all CR-V models - 480 (+/- 50rpm). Integra with B18C5 engine - 550 (+/- 50rpm).

The IAC valve and/or EVAP purge control solenoid DOES NOT need to be disconnected on the following Civic models; 1996 and 1997 with D16Y5 and with CVT, 1996 and later D16Y8 and automatic trans axle, ALL D16Y7 engines and 1998 or later D16Y5 with CVT.

Some standard Honda idle speeds with all emissions controls hooked up are as follows:

Civic
D16Y5
Manual - ..................................670 +/- 50 rpm
Auto or CVT - ...........................700 +/- 50 rpm
D16Y7 and D16Y8
USA
Manual - ..................................670 +/- 50 rpm
Auto or CVT - ..........................700 +/- 50 rpm
Canada - .................................750 +/- 50 rpm
B16A2
USA - .....................................700 +/- 50 rpm
Canada - .................................750 +/- 50 rpm
Integra
B18B1 and B18C1 - .................750 +/- 50 rpm
B18C5 - ..................................800 +/- 50 rpm
CR-V
1997 and 1996 - ......................750 +/- 50 rpm
1999 and later - .......................730 +/- 50 rpm

Timing check

With the engine turned off hook an inductive pickup timing light in accordance with the instructions to the #1 cylinder plug wire. On all Hondas the number 1 cylinder is located closest to the drive belt. Locate the service check connector, it is very important to jumper the service check connector so that the ECU does not interfere with the timing while you are trying to check it. On all Civic and Integra models the service check connector is located behind the right kick panel just above the ECU. It will be found in a blue or green rubber holster. On CR-V models it is found behind the right side of the instrument panel center trim panel.

With the ignition off remove the connector and jumper the two wires together. Once the ignition is on, with the service connector properly jumper the CEL (Check engine light) should remain on. With the engine at normal operating temperature, start the engine and pointing the timing light at the timing pointer.
The timing pointer is the small plastic V shape on the timing belt cover. Check to see that the appropriate mark is centered on the timing pointer. On most Hondas this is the red mark between to black marks on the main pulley. Be sure when viewing the timing mark on the pulley that you are directly above the pointer, aiming the timing light down as not to create an extreme angle.

Shown here is the Red timing mark between the two black marks, along with the white TDC mark.

If an adjustment is required, loosen the three mounting bolts on on the distributor and rotate it slightly until the timing is correct. Make sure you are loosening the entire distributor and NOT just the distributor cap.