Piston Slap: 'Revving Up Our Engines' for Earth Dreams?

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
piston slap 8216 revving up our engines for earth dreams

TTAC regular David Holzman writes:


My best friend has a 2019 Honda Accord with gas direct injection. Recently, Scotty Kilmer raised questions about the potential longevity — or rather potential lack thereof — of that engine.

I would expect Honda to have done a good job in designing that engine, but my friend is worried. Can you shed any additional light on this?

Sajeev answers:

It’s too early to condemn your friend’s Accord (with the base, oil diluted 1.5L Turbo) and we’ve previously touched on the nightmare reality of Honda’s Earth Dreams. While I’m not the biggest fan of my fellow Houstonian’s YouTube channel, he often digs into the details to find the heart of the problem.

And he did it again, hooray! Just have your friend change the oil regularly (possibly more often than prescribed) and everything should be tolerable for many years to come.

Since we got all “revved up” on a Scotty Kilmer joint, allow me to indulge in my long-overlooked pastime…

Bonus! A Piston Slap Nugget of Wisdom:

We’re dealing with a fantastic cocktail of low tension piston rings, engines with high compression ratios, forced induction’s impact on crankcase ventilation, and sometimes poor maintenance habits. It’s a lot to juggle.

The intention was noble: improve fuel economy without affecting performance (or triggering engine displacement taxes in China). And sometimes performance improves… to the point fuel economy suffers because of a driver’s excitable right foot. Irony!

As countless manufacturers’ headaches prove, this cocktail is a flawed implementation for [s]an unrealistic[/s] a lofty goal: make cars/CUVs/trucks bigger, safer, more tech-savvy without losing fuel economy. Considering the public acceptance of an utterly simple electric vehicle (if Tesla makes it), perhaps a future downfall of the ever-compromised internal combustion engine is a two-player zero sum game?

Why would everyone want all this nonsense bolted up to a CVT-infused Honda when Tesla makes the minimalist Model 3? Of course a base Tesla is 15-ish grand more than a base Accord…

Too bad we can’t integrate the best of today’s technology portfolio with a 2.5-liter (naturally aspirated) four-banger (or an optional V6) with normal automatic transmissions, lower/more aerodynamic/lighter bodies from yesteryear’s showrooms and make a more durable, more perfect vehicle.

This is our new reality. Something’s gotta give, it’s gonna be fun to watch this unfold.

[Image: Honda]

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.

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2 of 102 comments
  • Ttacgreg Ttacgreg on Dec 06, 2019

    Welcome to contemporary sensationalist ratings and or click driven media culture. I felt faint echos of Alex Jones watching the two minutes I could stand.

  • Ponchoman49 Ponchoman49 on Dec 09, 2019

    Scotty Kilmer- where the only good car ever made was a mid 90's Toyota Celica. Everything else is junk because well a customer of his had one with a bad this or that thus condemning every single car from that manufacturer.

  • Art Vandelay I always liked those last FWD 300's. Been ages since I've seen one on the road though. Lots of time in the RWD ones as rentals. No complaints whatsoever.
  • Cardave5150 I've had 2 different 300's - an '08 300SRT and an '18 300C. Loved them both a LOT, although, by the time I had the second one, I wasn't altogether thrilled with the image of 300's out on the street, as projected by the 3rd or 4th buyers of the cars.I always thought that the car looked a little stubby behind the rear wheels - something that an extra 3-4" in the trunk area would have greatly helped.When the 300 was first launched, there were invitation-only meet-and-greets at the dealerships, reminding me of the old days when new model-year launches were HUGE. At my local dealer, they were all in formalwear (tuxes and elegant dresses) with a nice spread of food. They gave out crystal medallions of the 300 in a sweet little velvet box (I've got mine around the house somewhere). I talked to a sales guy for about 5 minutes before I asked if we could take one of the cars out (a 300C with the 5.7 Hemi). He acted like he'd been waiting all evening for someone to ask that - we jumped in the car and went out - that thing, for the time, seemed to fly.Corey - when it comes time for it, don't forget to mention the slightly-stretched wheelbase 300 (I think it was the 300L??). I've never found one for sale (not that I've looked THAT hard), as they only built them for a couple of years.
  • Jkross22 "I’m doing more for the planet by continuing to drive my vehicle than buying a new one for strictly frivolous reasons."It's not possible to repeat this too much.
  • Jeff S Got to give credit to Chrysler for putting the 300 as a rear wheel drive back on the market. This will be a future classic.
  • Lou_BC How to Fix Auto Media? Stop fixating on soft touch plastics and infotainment systems. I did quite a bit of research on my ZR2. There was no mention of the complexity of putting the transfer case into neutral. (9 step process). They didn't talk about how the exhaust brake works with tow/haul mode. No mention that the exhaust brake does not work with off-road mode. Nannies only stay turned off with the lockers engaged. Only one review mentioned the tail pipe as a vulnerability.