HCH1 oil in air filter housing

Discussion in 'Honda Hybrids' started by hch5spd, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. hch5spd

    hch5spd New Member

    Looking at a used 2005 HCH with lots of miles 196,000
    Noticed that there is oil in the air filter housing and the flexible hose from the valve cover looks oil soaked.
    Anyone seen this on this version before?
    Could be pcv valve, but two mechanics said likely due to blow-by/worn engine.

    Being sold well below market, but engine repair/replace would be a deal killer.

    Thanks for any help
  2. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    I'm not familiar with the details of that engine, but in general ... That situation does not sound promising, although it's possible a clogged PCV valve might be the whole problem. Can you check it? At idle, it should be sucking all the blowby gases, plus some additional make-up air, from the engine.

    Do you know anything about that car's history, whether it was abused, etc.?

    My engine has over 3x the mileage, and no excessive blowby or oil in the air cleaner housing.
  3. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    I had the same problem on my 81 Buick years ago. It was a clogged PCV hose.
  4. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Test drive it somewhat hard
    and plug in a scangauge
    If there is much Blow-BY it will run poorly
    and it will read poor MPG- well under 50mpg at a steady 60 mph

    Also check the oil-some sellers don't even bother to conceal oil consumption by topping up the oil-yeah hard to believe
    Possible it is a simple cheap fix-
    But poor mpg poor performance(missing stumbling really really slow acceleration) would make it a NO BUY
    Same story at least 45 mpg at 60 mph(someone else can chime in on what that model does at 60 mph-guessing 50+mpg)
    Luck pretty easily
    Plus over time miles-the cat con will be destroyed by excessive oil in combustion chamber-the cat cons will burn small amounts of oil-but eventually the oil will destroy the cat con-and you will get blue oily smoke out the tail pipe
    Oh SMELL THE TAIL PIPE- smell like oil or raw gas??
    Smell the exhaust with restraint of course(CO)

    1)Check oil level
    2)Check performance
    3)Check mpg at 60 mph-Scangauge very very useful-will show codes also
    4) Sniff exhaust
    This could be a bargain-or a money pit
    The LOW PRICE-
    MIGHT mean the seller KNOWS that it is worn out-has had mechanic check it out
    Or it could mean owner THINKS-incorrectly THAT IT IS WORN OUT-BLOWBY- and is dumping it cheaply-
    Many mechanics aren't "great"
    Compression check-PITA- might be helpful also-probaly should read 170 psi or more all cylinders
  5. hch5spd

    hch5spd New Member

    Thanks for the input
    Here's the whole story:
    Drove it last week but my mechanic was on vacation so could only take to driveway run scan with elm327/bluetooth, noticed the oil at air filter area, black very dry carbon deposits at exahust not oily in any way.
    While driving the IMA system was working showing full charge at decel and full assist at higher gear uphill when it was needed.
    Ck eng light on, codes showed IMA battery imbalance, plus pending error oxygen sensor slow response.
    Dash gas mileage indicator read over 50 under some cirsumstances but didn't note what it was at highway speeds.
    Monday went to get it from the dealer, now the IMA light is on and no IMA operation at all.
    Drove it to the mechanic, he did a scan 1600 and I think 1601 showing on his scan tool.
    Cleared the codes using his tool , decided to drive it again to see what happened.
    No IMA operation of any kind so drove it back to dealer told them I would have to do some considerable thinking about it before I bought it.
    When the IMA was working with an error code that was ok I am a very experienced (45 yrs component level repair) electronics technician and was willing to deal with battery imbalance/replacement as a diy project provided there was no major engine issue.
    If they still have it tommorow I'm going to see if I can determine why the IMA has now stopped working and if I think it can be repaired will then have the compresion checked.
    Will post what happens when I try the remove/reinstall backup fuse and then run at high rpm to see if battery can be brought back up to charge. If that doesn't work it might be the IMA controller of who knows what else.
    What is the best cheap compression tester that will work/adapt to these engines(should have bought one years ago) so I can do that myself?

    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014
  6. hch5spd

    hch5spd New Member

    Sorry for the delay, dealer called and dropped the price so I went and got it this morning.
    Drove it with the IMA light on, no IMA operation whatsoever.
    At highway speeds 55-60 mph mileage indicator showed pretty solid 50 mpg.
    Accelerated to interstate speeds pretty well didn't require really excessive throttle.
    Did the ecm remove fuse reset ran at 3k rpm until 4 bars were showing on the battery charge condition indicator and the charge/assist indicator had gone away.
    Engine was having difficult time idling, went and bought new air filter (old one severely clogged).
    After install air filter drove the car on interstate for approx 20miles round trip.
    IMA charge indicator now reads 2 bars below full charge, all IMA functions including idle stop working.
    Is it a great sign that the IMA battery would recover from dead so quickly?
    Didn't expect it give so many bars of charge within 20 miles of driving.
    So........ now the decision, buy or pass.
    Only code showing up is a P0420, based on the condition of the air filter would guess new plugs will be needed. Maybe a cat converter.
    Exhaust smells slightly rich.

    Thanks for everyones help.
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    It's alive!!....

    Sorry, anyway:

    In my experience, whenever the car did a recalibration cycle with our ailing battery, it would display a state of charge very near the top. In other words, "full" just means whatever the current best is, after the recal, not an absolute value.

    One tip off, that the current "full" is less than optimum: the state of charge will fall off quite fast, settle back around 4~5 bars.

    Good luck with the car. I would just consider it's a good possibility you'll need a new IMA battery in the not too distant future, when considering how much you're willing to pay.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014

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