Piston Slap: Divorced Sleeper Flew The Coupe?

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
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piston slap divorced sleeper flew the coupe

TTAC Commentator raresleeper writes:

Hello, Sajeev!

I need your wisdom and sound advice, Kind Sir. After what could be called a much needed separation from my wife (undoubtedly the beginning of a very long divorce proceeding), I purchased myself a vehicle. A 2006 Accord Coupe v6 6-Speed.

On cold mornings, I have noticed that the steering is hard to turn if the car isn’t moving. Once the car revs just slightly, anything other than idle, the steering effort gets “normal” again. I also hear a whine under the hood on cold mornings, so I am fairly certain that is the power steering pump showing its weakness. Every once in a great while, there is a slight intrusion upon shifting into 3rd. It rarely affects my shifting, but there is a slight notch (best way I can describe it) that I sometimes need to put the extra effort to guide the shifter into while grabbing third.

I paid $9K. The car is the EX model, it has everything besides navigation and the “sport” appearance package (spoiler, etc.). 120k miles. I love this stinkin’ car. I went right to a car which I love and the fact that my estranged wife would hate everything about it makes me smile a little more. It’s a quick little machine.

Is there anything else I need to have checked maintenance-wise (other than timing belt) before getting too comfortable tossing it about during my morning commute?

As always, thank you kindly. Your assistance here is certainly appreciated.

Sajeev answers:

That’s not a bad machine to celebrate your newfound singlehood! Congrats on this next step in your life.

“I also hear a whine under the hood on cold mornings, so I am fairly certain that is the power steering pump showing its weakness.”

I am certain that’s normal, most vehicles are less than thrilled with molasses-cold fluids. These parts are designed to spin warmer liquids, hence the need for a proper warm up routine.

Regarding the transmission and the current mileage, perhaps its time for a fluid swap with fresh Honda fluid or maybe–MAYBE– aftermarket fluids compatible with your transmission. Or perhaps it’s totally normal with cold fluid, if that’s a valid correlation in your case.

We’ve discussed the basics of used car upkeep before, and I focus on neglected rubber bits: tires, belts and hoses. And new shocks might be a worthwhile upgrade at this age, if a like-new ride (or better than new, with performance parts) matters. Always RFTM for the basics and do a comprehensive visual inspection to make sure nothing else is wrong. (i.e. physical damage from the last owner’s mistake)

Don’t be afraid to get that visual inspection from a mechanic if you have any doubts, especially since they can put it on a lift.

Off to you, Best and Brightest!

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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  • EAF EAF on Dec 29, 2014

    Link with part numbers for the o-ring and p/s fluid, as well as a how-to with pictures. www.v6performance.net/forums/7g-honda-accord-technical-discussion/201051-make-her-stop-moaning-power-steering-pump-tsb-diy.html#/forumsite/20845 Accord 6mt is highly underrated, very quick car! I thought the 6speed was offered only in the coupe.

    • See 1 previous
    • A09 A09 on Dec 29, 2014

      Honda offered the Accord EX-L V6 6MT as a sedan for the final two years of the seventh generation. The V6 6MT sedans from '06 and '07 are recognized by their red V6 badge on the decklid (a carryover artifact from the coupe), as well as the aluminum 17" wheels recycled from the second generation Acura CL and TL Type-S. Honda probably had surplus inventory of the wheels and transmissions that they decided to consume them before the Accord's major model change for MY 2008. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2006/04/honda-accord-ex-v-6-6mt/

  • Fordson Fordson on Dec 29, 2014

    So the answer to his questions were: for the PS - that's all normal behavior (even the noise?), and for the tranny issue, maybe it needs new fluid and maybe this is just a cold tranny thing (the owner said nothing about this behavior happening only when the tranny is cold), but it turns out there are TSBs out there for exactly these problems as described and they suggest a completely different diagnosis and fix? Also, if these TSBs have not been performed on this car, even though it is exhibiting those symptoms, I would be kind of concerned about the quality of care this vehicle received from the previous owner(s).

    • Scoutdude Scoutdude on Dec 29, 2014

      The average owner does not cruise the forums or service information sites looking for TSBs even if a person knows about a TSB usually the dealer is not authorized to perform the TSB unless the vehicle is exhibiting specific concerns at that time. A TSB is not a recall and owners are not informed of them by the mfg. There are some that dealers are instructed to do any time that particular vehicle is brought in for service but if they owner doesn't take it to the dealer for routine service then they will not be performed.

  • 28-Cars-Later "But Assemblyman Phil Ting, the San Franciscan Democrat who wrote the electric school bus legislation, says this is all about the health and wellbeing of Golden State residents. In addition to the normal air pollution stemming from exhaust gasses, he believes children are being exposed to additional carcinogens by just being on a diesel bus."Phil is into real estate, he doesn't know jack sh!t about science or medicine and if media were real it would politely remind him his opinions are not qualified... if it were real. Another question if media were real is why is a very experienced real estate advisor and former tax assessor writing legislation on school busses? If you read the rest of his bio after 2014, his expertise seems to be applied but he gets into more and more things he's not qualified to speak to or legislate on - this isn't to say he isn't capable of doing more but just two years ago Communism™ kept reminding me Dr. Fauxi knew more about medicine than I did and I should die or something. So Uncle Phil just gets a pass with his unqualified opinions?Ting began his career as a real estate  financial adviser at  Arthur Andersen and  CBRE. He also previously served as the executive director of the  Asian Law Caucus, as the president of the Bay Area Assessors Association, and on the board of  Equality California. [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Ting#cite_note-auto-1][1][/url][h3][/h3]In 2005, Ting was appointed San Francisco Assessor-Recorder in 2005 by Mayor  Gavin Newsom, becoming San Francisco’s highest-ranking  Chinese-American official at the time. He was then elected to the post in November 2005, garnering 58 percent of the vote.Ting was re-elected Assessor-Recorder in 2006 and 2010During his first term in the Assembly, Ting authored a law that helped set into motion the transformation of Piers 30-32 into what would become  Chase Center the home of the  Golden State Warriorshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Ting
  • RHD This looks like a lead balloon. You could buy a fantastic classic car for a hundred grand, or a Mercedes depreciationmobile. There isn't much reason to consider this over many other excellent vehicles that cost less. It's probably fast, but nothing else about it is in the least bit outstanding, except for the balance owed on the financing.
  • Jeff A bread van worthy of praise by Tassos.
  • Jeff The car itself is in really good shape and it is worth the money. It has lots of life left in it and can easily go over 200k.
  • IBx1 Awww my first comment got deletedTake your “millennial anti theft device” trope and wake up to the fact that we’re the only ones keeping manuals around.