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Old 21st November 2012, 01:57   #1
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Default 2003 Honda Activa - Valves gone bad

My activa is 2003 model which is running from past 9years without any trouble, its not now first time I am getting issues with my activa. I have trouble starting it, the pick up has been reduced, the engine shuts-off if acceleration throttle turned down.

so on my recent visit to Honda A.S.S, they said my activa needs engine work where whole engine would be opened & that would cost 8k! upon asking they said, the "valves" of engine has eroded. not sure what that means. can anyone explain? when I asked, what happens if I don't get the repair done. they said after a month or so, the engine will stall

Also, I asked a local mechanic just to cross-check. he only quoted 2.5k for the same & said he wiil make in valves in place of old-ones using some machine, drill or something.According to him, the process would take entire day so he asked me to come early in morning.

Also, can anyone tell me what is going on? is life of activa engine over.
Can anyone advice if I buy a new bike is a good idea? Assuming life of activa is almost over. And from now, activa would require maintenance & the breakdown would be frequent as its a older machine? OR I should get the repair done?

So, what is the smart thing to do here?

Last edited by gary4gar : 21st November 2012 at 02:00.
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Old 21st November 2012, 06:02   #2
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Default re: 2003 Honda Activa - Valves gone bad

You did not mention how many Kms it has done, i am assuming it should look like a decent number.

Do ask them the details, did they mentioned changing the block and piston too. If yes in most probability the life of the engine is nearing its end. The next door mechanic is charging 2.5 k as he most probably will not change block and piston but rebore it and fix a larger sized piston. This solution is short term and would not last long.

I own a 2003 Dio which my BIL uses, he got the same work done by a local mechanic which lasted about 3 months. Finally frustrated he gave it to Haiku (i believe) got the engine and block changed. Its been a year since and the bike is running just fine.
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Old 21st November 2012, 10:15   #3
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Default re: 2003 Honda Activa - Valves gone bad

Oh that sounds fine to me. I had a dio when i used to study in Bangalore. Gave it to my uncle at 80 thousand km , at 1 lakh km he got engine work done and it lasted him till 1.60 lakh km until he sold it off for 12 thousand in perfectly working condition. I would say, get it done from Honda and enjoy your Activa for some more years with its bullet proof reliability.
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Old 21st November 2012, 10:34   #4
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Default re: 2003 Honda Activa - Valves gone bad

How far do you trust this service center ? Have they done credible jobs before ?

Once the engine is opened , it must be repaired and fixed properly . If not a chain reaction will occur and you will end up visiting the workshop again and again.

Whats the odo meter reading ? If its too old its better to sell it and buy a new one.
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Old 21st November 2012, 10:48   #5
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Default re: 2003 Honda Activa - Valves gone bad

The same is the case with my Activa too which is a 2004 model and has done 60K kms.

When I was first told about this job to be done by the Service people 6 months back, within the same week I took the bike to 3 other service centers (different franchises) to verify if all of them find out the problem to be the same. Though that test passed, I have been postponing getting it done since then mainly due to the concern on whether they can carry out this job to precision especially when it requires high levels of expertise.

They've been quoting 9K and claim the cost could go up if they find any other worn-out part once they open up the engine.

The pick up is bad now but since I'm only using it for ultra-short rides (2 - 3 kms) now and then, I'm continuing to postpone the job.

From what I was told, the worst case would be that the auto-start would stop functioning indicating that it's about time.
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Old 21st November 2012, 12:38   #6
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Default re: 2003 Honda Activa - Valves gone bad

Hey Gary, 9 nine years is a average time period for a two wheeler engine to go for a overhauling. Though there are scenarios where people have not faced any problem for a good 10 to 12 years!!

What is the total kms done? Was the scooter maintained well (regular oil change, not maintaining excess speeds for a longer duration)?

What the service center guy here means is the clearance of the valves would have increased due to wear and tear and also the piston rings would need replacement.

Due you see smoke coming out of the exhaust pipes(for the engine oil gets burnt as it starts to enter the combustion chamber)? If its a yes, then it is a clear indication of worn out valves and piston rings and yes, that would mean you need a complete engine overhauling (engine head, bore etc).

Also, my suggestion, do not worry about the cost and get it done from the authorised service center.
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Old 21st November 2012, 15:57   #7
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Default Re: 2003 Honda Activa - Valves gone bad

Looking at the problems what you are facing it seems your engine is lacking compression.That means there is a leakage of pressure created by the combustion of fuel.This can be due to:
1) Leakage at the valves- It can be due to a burnt valve or a bent valve stem or improper seating of the valve on the valve seat due to natural wear and tear. If this is the case its the least costly engine repair. Dont reuse the valves again by grinding. Go for a new valve seat and let the mechanic make the new valve seat proper on the valve seat. Might be valve guides will also be replaced.For this the mechanic only remove the cylinder head.
2) Leakage between the piston and the cylinder block: This can be due to worn out piston rings, which is also a less expensive repair. The mechanic just needs to open the block and change the piston rings to new one.
It can be also due to worn out piston/seized piston/Cylinder block wear and becoming oval/scratches on the cylinder block liner walls etc and is the most expensive repair. If this is the case go for a completely new block of engine and piston and also replace the valves or do valve seating to ensure you need not remove the engine again and again.
Once you open the entire engine block you might land up with more cost like replacing Big End/Small End Connecting rod bearings/Gudgeon Pin/If required a replacement of the defective Crankshaft. Oil seals etc.It is better to replace big and small end bearings if you open the engine completely.
Not all honda engines last long,and if you have done anything above 50k-60k kms then you might be needed to do all the above things.
What you need to do:
1) Search for local mechanics in your vicinity who are experts at doing specially engine overhauling work. This is the most difficult task. It doesnot matter whether a Honda Service centre mechanic or a local mechanic does it. Both can screw your engine, the difference only would be that the Honda service centre would charge you minimum double the cost of a local mechanic. The person who carries out your work is the most important criteria here.Before you give the vehicle to the mechanic its better to get it washed thoroughly from inside to maintain clean environment.
2) Once you find the local mechanic, tell him that you will get all the major spare parts for the work to be done and get a list of spare parts to be purchased.Fix the labour cost with the mechanic and ask him what is the problem. Try to seggreate the problem as per point one or two and think of the expense incurred accordingly.Go to Honda showroom or a good automobile parts dealer and get all the original spares. Be specific while asking for original only. Ask for discount if buying at local shop!!
3) For small parts let the mechanic buy it for you.If the mechanic is good he will pay good attention to the cleanliness of the parts etc. Dont let him keep the parts on floor where dust particles can get inside.Use a newspaper instead to keep the same.Also carry clean waste cloths for the mechanic to use.
4) Take a day-off and stand nearby to him while carrying out the work entire day if possible. Take a lot of pics for us .
5) Use fresh engine oil and a fresh new oil filter.
6) After the work is done make sure to do average calculations and keep it as note for coming months to see the average figures grow. If the first day itself the engine is giving very very poor average then that means that the work was not done properly. The engine should run tight like a new engine but not rough.
7) Do a proper run-in procedure.
What not to do:
1) In any cost dont go for rebore or oversized pistons.Very few people in india have the capability to carry out these jobs and even if they have they dont have the right machines which are capable to achieve the tolerances as required.
2) Avoid duplicate parts.
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