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Old 10-02-2010, 05:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Engine Failure Due to Spark Plug Implosion

We have a 2005 MDX with 175K miles and an excellent maintenance record. Check engine light came on and codes pointed to valve adjustment. When the mechanic started the job, he noticed one of the spark plugs had been crushed and part of it went down into the cylinder. A machinist was able to get it out without the heads coming off but now there is no compression in that cyclinder. It is blowing by the piston and rings. The Acura dealer says they can give $1000 if I buy a new car or if I replace the engine for $14,000. Otherwise a used engine could be put in for about $5,000. Has anyone ever heard of this failure? Any ideas about the best way to approach this problem?
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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$1000 is not enough for your MDX. I suggest you buy a new/used vehicle and see if you can get a used car dealer to buy for more. If you are mechanically inclined you could probably part the car out on ebay for way more than $1000.
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Take the car somewhere else other than the dealer for the repair, it will cost a lot lot less. I got $11K for my 2003 X when I traded for my 2009 X.

Get options to repair or replace the engine, swap cylinder out, etc. The dealer option is always the most expensive.
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Ripoff. Go somewhere else and get this fixed. It still might cost some money to get it fixed, but not $14000!
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Eating spark plugs is not an uncommon malfunction. Nothing "imploded."

The damage was caused by a timing problem. The cylinder came up and hit the plug when the plug was not supposed to be there.

I agree with the others that you need to see a non-dealer shop.

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Old 10-03-2010, 11:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Is the MDX really worth repairing near $14K?

Sounds like getting another MDX is a better option.

175K miles is pretty good IMO but it can probably do more.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I had a plug blow upward into the coil on my 91 nsx.
That was ugly.
About 10g later after Acura took out the engine and I shipped it down to Science of Speed in Phoenix.
Yikes, sorry for your luck.
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Old 10-25-2010, 05:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Spark Plug Implosion

Galen-

I had a similar, yet different situation. See the thread on the flashing check engine vs. static. My wife was driving, and the check engine light started flashing. She kept driving (bad idea) into the repair shop. There was a loud "pop" and the spark-plug had melted into the cylinder and fuel injector crapped, etc.... Long story short, we believe the spark-plug was loose, which caused spark to go past the threads, into the fuel injector, and led to an ultimate melt-down (exactly similar to your engine failure).
If you recently had your spark-plugs replaced, that may have been the source. Regarding repair, dealer initially declined the claim on our extended warranty, and when I really raised cane, they found the failure was the engine head, which led to the other stuff above, and the failed engine head was under warranty.
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Gallen, you can find a used engine on Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market in your area. A good mechanic can swap the engine out fairly quickly and easily. a used engine should run around $1500 - $2500 and labour I assume shouldn't be too much.
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Japman40 View Post
Galen-

I had a similar, yet different situation. See the thread on the flashing check engine vs. static. My wife was driving, and the check engine light started flashing. She kept driving (bad idea) into the repair shop. There was a loud "pop" and the spark-plug had melted into the cylinder and fuel injector crapped, etc.... Long story short, we believe the spark-plug was loose, which caused spark to go past the threads, into the fuel injector, and led to an ultimate melt-down (exactly similar to your engine failure).
If you recently had your spark-plugs replaced, that may have been the source. Regarding repair, dealer initially declined the claim on our extended warranty, and when I really raised cane, they found the failure was the engine head, which led to the other stuff above, and the failed engine head was under warranty.
I do not think that "which caused spark to go past the threads," is physically possible.

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Old 10-30-2010, 10:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FFFFanman View Post
I had a plug blow upward into the coil on my 91 nsx.
That was ugly.
About 10g later after Acura took out the engine and I shipped it down to Science of Speed in Phoenix.
Yikes, sorry for your luck.
Trev
That plug failure happen before or after the supercharger?
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Japman40 View Post
Galen-

I had a similar, yet different situation. See the thread on the flashing check engine vs. static. My wife was driving, and the check engine light started flashing. She kept driving (bad idea) into the repair shop. There was a loud "pop" and the spark-plug had melted into the cylinder and fuel injector crapped, etc.... Long story short, we believe the spark-plug was loose, which caused spark to go past the threads, into the fuel injector, and led to an ultimate melt-down (exactly similar to your engine failure).
If you recently had your spark-plugs replaced, that may have been the source. Regarding repair, dealer initially declined the claim on our extended warranty, and when I really raised cane, they found the failure was the engine head, which led to the other stuff above, and the failed engine head was under warranty.
I am currently experiencing the same problems. The engine light and VTM-4 came on after my 2006 mdx starting idling rough. Immediately drove a very short distance to the dealer and was told that the value broke with part of it melted into the cylinder. The extended warranty company doesn't want to cover because they say it was caused by a faulty spark plug. Dealer is still dealing with it and I still don't know what will happen. Other than a transmission replacement at 10K miles, it has been very reliable. It has 74K now.
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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So this is not an isolated incident!

Wow.........I could not believe when I read this! I had the exact same problem.

The problem happened the first time almost exactly one year ago.........right about the time that you made your first post.

My car is also a 2005 MDX, but I only had about 80K miles on the car at the time of the incident. In my case the mechanic had to pull the head off the engine. When he did that, we could see that there was very little damage to the piston, no visible damage to the valves, and there was a little scratching of the cylinder wall. We were able to put the engine back together and the car ran well for the last year!

But guess what! It just happened again. Same cylinder, same problem.

Another interesting fact. I read on a different forum about another person that had the same problem. And guess what. It was the number 4 cylinder.........same as mine!
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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how long ago were your spark plugs replaced? what brand were they ? who installed them? was the plug loose when you checked them? just curious if it was an installation mistake or just bad luck.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm not sure if the plugs had ever been replaced. At the time of the first incident, I had about 80K miles on the vehicle. But the fact that it happened twice in the same cylinder leads me to believe there is more going on here. And I also find it interesting that at least two other people had the same problem and with the same cylinder. I would bet there are more.
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