Honda Accord/Civic/Prelude 1973-1983 Repair Guide

Engine

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OIL LEVEL CHECK



See Figures 1, 2 and 3

Checking the oil level is one of the simplest and most important checks. It should be done FREQUENTLY because low oil level can lead to oil pan or even engine overheating and eventual starvation of the oil pump. This can mean inadequate lubrication and immediate, severe engine damage. Because oil consumption patterns of an engine can change quickly and unexpectedly due to leakage or changes in the weather, check the oil every time you stop for fuel.

If the engine has been running, allow it to rest for a few minutes until the oil accumulates in the sump, before checking the oil level.

  1. Raise the hood, pull the oil dipstick from the engine and wipe it clean.
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Fig. Fig. 1: Checking the engine oil



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Fig. Fig. 2: Engine oil dipstick level marks



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Fig. Fig. 3: Adding engine oil

  1. Insert the dipstick into the engine until it is fully seated, then, remove it and check the reading.
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The oil level on all Hondas should register within the crosshatch design on the dipstick or between the two lines, depending on the type of stick.

  1. Oil is added through the capped opening of the rocker arm cover. Do not add oil if the level is significantly above the lower line or lower edge of the crosshatch. If the level is near or below the crosshatch or lower line, ADD oil but do not overfill. The length covered by the crosshatching on the dipstick is roughly equivalent to one quart of oil.
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Refer to the Engine Oil and Fuel Recommendations'' in this section for the proper viscosity oil to use.

  1. If oil has been added, replace the dipstick and recheck the level. It is important to avoid overfilling the crankcase because doing so will cause the oil to foam due to the motion of the crankshaft, affecting lubrication and may also harm the engine oil seals.
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OIL AND FILTER CHANGE



See Figures 4 through 9

After the initial 600 miles oil and filter change, the oil should be changed every 3,000 miles/3 months (severe conditions), 5,000 miles/6 months (1973-79) or 7,500 miles/6 months (1980-83), whichever comes first. The oil filter should be changed at every oil change! Remember the You can pay me now or pay me later commercials you've seen on TV- If your going to skimp on anything, do let it be your intervals for changing oil. Be certain to use a high quality oil and filter.

  1. Before changing the oil, see that the vehicle is situated on a flat surface with the engine warmed; warm oil will flow more freely from the oil pan.
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  3. Turn the engine Off, open the hood and remove the oil filler cap from the top of the engine valve cover.
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Fig. Fig. 4: Replacing the engine oil filter


CAUTION
Hot oil can burn you. Keep an inward pressure on the plug until the last thread is cleared, then, quickly remove it.

  1. Place a container under the oil pan; large enough to catch the oil. A large, flat drain pan is the most desirable.
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CAUTION
The EPA warns that prolonged contact with used engine oil may cause a number of skin disorders, including cancer! You should make every effort to minimize your exposure to used engine oil. Protective gloves should be worn when changing the oil. Wash your hands and any other exposed skin areas as soon as possible after exposure to used engine oil. Soap and water, or waterless hand cleaner should be used.

  1. Remove the oil drain plug and allow the oil to drain completely. When the oil has finished draining, install the drain plug tight enough to prevent oil leakage, use a new washer (if necessary) on the plug.
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Only oil filters which have an integral by-pass should be used when replacing the filter. Also note that before removing the filter it is advisable to have an oil filter wrench which is inexpensive and makes the job much easier.

  1. Move the oil drain pan under the oil filter; the filter retains some oil which will drain when it is removed.
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Fig. Fig. 5: By keeping inward pressure on the plug as you unscrew it, oil won't escape past the threads



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Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the oil filter with a strap wrench



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Fig. Fig. 7: Lubricate the gasket on the new filter with a clean engine oil. A dry gasket may not make a good seal and will allow the filter to leak



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Fig. Fig. 8: Install the new oil filter by hand



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Fig. Fig. 9: Add oil through the capped opening in the cylinder head cover

  1. Using an oil filter wrench, loosen the filter, then, unscrew it by hand.
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  3. Using a clean cloth, wipe the filter mounting surface of the cylinder block. Apply a thin coat of clean oil to the new filter gasket and install the filter.
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Hand-tighten the filter only; DO NOT use a wrench for tightening. If the filter has instruction printed on it as to how far it should be tightened (for example1/2or3/4turn), mark the filter, then, tighten it accordingly.

  1. Remove the drain pan from under the engine.
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  3. Add the correct amount of recommended oil into the oil filler hole on top of the valve cover. Be sure that the oil level registers near the full line on the oil dipstick.
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  5. Replace the filler cap, start the engine without touching the accelerator pedal and allow it to idle. The oil pressure light on the instrument panel should go out after a few seconds of running.
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  7. Run the engine for 1-2 minutes and check for leaks. Turn the engine Off, then, after a few minutes, recheck the oil level; add oil (if necessary). Be sure to check for oil leaks and fix any problems, as this is a common problem on early production models using the Japanese filter.
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If the filter leaks lightly, gently turn it just a bit more but don't turn it really tight. If it still leaks, try another filter.

  1. Recheck and/or refill the engine with oil.
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