Question about 1989 Honda Prelude

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Was just wondering when doing a compression test on motor..what the numbers should read....and also what should they read when testing a new motor?

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The standard compression for your honda would be around 175 psi the minimum would be around 135 psi. they should be the same new or old engine. and there not the same for all engines

Posted on Sep 30, 2009

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To do an accurate compression test, remove all the spark plugs from the engine. Then disconnect the coil wire from the distributor and connect a jumper wire from the coil wire to the negative (-) terminal of the battery. Prop the throttle plate so it is wide open. Connect a remote starter button from the positive (+) terminal of the battery to the small connector of the starter. Put the ignition key in your back pocket.
Now install the compression tester in cylinder number one and crank the engine about six or seven turns. Write down the compression reading and go on down the line. Good compression would be about 150 - 180 pounds. More important that the actual compression is that the readings should all be within 10% of each other.
Now that you have the dry readings, squirt two or three good squirts of motor oil into number one and do the test over. Note the reading next to the dry reading and go on down the line. Once you are done, compare the wet/dry readings. If the wet readings show a marked increase, say 20 to 25%, then you have ring problems and it's time for an engine overhaul. If there is a small increase, say 5 -10%, then the problem is in the valve seals and they will need to be replaced.

Posted on Oct 01, 2009

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I wonder did you check your work as you progressed?
Pressure testing the valve seats for instance or even just a paraffin test? A good valve seat is difficult to obtain with the hardened steel seats used for unleaded fuel, especially when using a coarse grade of carborundum paste.

In order to discover where the compression leak is it will be necessary to set the cylinder at the top of the compression stroke, lock the engine and then inject compressed air into the cylinder using either a propriety or home-made adapter in the spark plug hole. It will soon be obvious where the air is leaking from indicating the fault.

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Low compression can be caused by different things. And NO YOU DON'T need a new engine yet. You need to take the car to a repair shop that you trust and have them do more tests. A bad Valve will cause low compression and thats a lot cheaper than a whole new engine. A bad head gasket can cause low compression and that's cheaper than a new engine. You need to have the repair shop do what's called a "leak down" test. This is where the cylinders are pressurized one at a time and if they are losing pressure, the mechanic can pretty much tell you the problem. For example if air is coming out the exhaust, then the exhaust valve has failed, and if air is coming out of the intake, the the intake valve has failed. If it bubbles out of the radiator then the head gasket has most likely failed. Take it in and let me know..

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It depends... I know that for sure, the serpentine belt that drives your accesories would not cause any signifigant differences in your compression upon testing. I'm pretty sure you are referring to the timing belt... and i'm assuming that the motor in the car is the 2.2l l4. If you have any documentation on the compression test, normal compression readings would be about 9.5.1 and that would be at 16 degrees TDC. (that's where your timing marks should be on the cam gears.) If you are getting low compression (lets say 3.5.1) on your read-out, then that means that your timing is definately off. This would not nessecarily mean that the car would not start. It would try to run, catch, or run a bit and hesitate... then die on you. Basically, that just means that you need to have the timing adjusted. If you wanted to self check and make sure that the belt is in ok condition, remove the spark plug wires, and unbolt the valve cover. Remove it and examine the belt for frays or damages.

If the belt was bad or not functional at all, your compression readings would be really high (given that your piston rings are in good shape, and your valves were seating correctly and not damaged) But yes, there would be a signifigant difference, and it would be safe to say that in the instance of really high compression that a malfunctioning or broken timing belt would be the culprit.

Did your son drive it to the shop to have it tested? or was this after the no start problem?

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