Honda K24 Engine Problems: The 3 Most Common Problems

Honda K24 Common Problems & Reliability

The Honda K24 engine is a member of Honda’s well-known K-series engine family. Despite their 2001 introduction, Honda K engines are still in production today.

It is a long-running engine that was tasked with the responsibility of replacing Honda’s wildly successful B-series engines. Although Honda’s K24 is extremely reliable, it is still susceptible to a few common issues, which we will discuss in this article.

3 Common Honda K24 Problems

Several of the most frequently encountered issues with the K24 include the following:

  • Front crankshaft seal
  • Exhaust cam lobes wear (“galling”)
  • Timing chain tensioner

We’ll discuss each of these issues in detail below. It’s worth noting that just because these issues are classified as common does not mean that every K24 will experience them. Additionally, the K24 engine, like any other engine, is susceptible to other potential faults and failures.

Prior to delving into the issues, we’ll review the various K24 engines. The common issues we discuss here apply to a large number of Honda K24 engines. Certain variants, on the other hand, may be more or less susceptible to the issues. Regardless of the variant, all K24 engines are reliable and should easily exceed 200,000 miles.

K24 Engine Variants

The K24 is fitted with the following engines:

  • K24A1, K24A2, K24A3, K24A4, K24A8
  • K24W, K24W4, K24V5, K24V7, K24W7
  • K24Y1, K24Y2
  • K24Z1, K24Z2, K24Z3, K24Z4, K24Z5, K24Z6, K24Z7

As you can see, the Honda K24 comes in a variety of configurations. This makes sense given the engine’s existence since 2001. Numerous variations are caused by emissions regulations. This is also because the engine is used in a wide variety of Honda and Acura models, each with a different power goal.

The K24 engine is found in vehicles such as the Honda CR-V, Honda Accord, Honda Odyssey, Hyundai Element, and Honda Civic Si. Additionally, several Acura models, including the ILX, TSX, and TLX, feature this engine.

Honda K24 Common Problems

The following sections will discuss each of the three common issues mentioned previously. Again, these are issues that are common to a large number of engines in the K24 engine family. However, with so many engines produced over such a long period of time, it’s impossible to cover each and everyone in a single post.

1) Honda K24 Front Crankshaft Seal Oil Leaks

Front crankshaft seals are also referred to as front main seals. The front crank seal on the Honda K24 is responsible for sealing the end of the crankshaft against the timing cover.

In general, it’s a fairly straightforward component. A front main seal is nothing more than a seal that prevents oil from leaking out the front of the crankshaft.

The rubber seal, on the other hand, is known to deteriorate with age and mileage. If this issue occurs, it is likely to occur at a distance of 120,000+ miles. Certain older K24s with low mileage may leak sooner due to the fact that age can be just as tough on seals as mileage.

It’s worth noting that the K24 has a rear main crankshaft seal as well. As with the front, the rear main seal is susceptible to developing leaks over time. However, the rear main seal appears to be less common on the K24 than the front main seal. As such, for the purposes of this article, we’re focusing exclusively on the front.

K24 Front Crank Seal Oil Leak Symptoms

Several symptoms of a leaking front main seal on a K24 include the following:

  • Visible oil leak
  • Low engine oil
  • Smoking or burning oil smell

The first symptom is the most readily apparent. Bear in mind, however, that there are numerous other seals and gaskets in an engine that could potentially leak. As a result, a visible leak does not always indicate a problem with the front main seal.

If the K24 front main seal leaks sufficiently, you may notice that you are topping off on oil more frequently than usual. With Honda K24 crankshaft seals, smoking or burning smells are less common. Frequently, the oil drips down before it has a chance to burn off.

K24 Front Main Seal Replacement Cost

Fortunately, Hondas are generally inexpensive to repair, and the front main seal on the K24 is no exception. Depending on the specific K24 variant, the part will likely cost between $10 and $30. $10 barely buys a McDonald’s meal these days, which should bode well for the do-it-yourself crowd. It’s a very affordable repair. The job is straightforward and can be completed in a few hours by intermediate do-it-yourselfers.

However, we recognize that not everyone wishes to do their own car repairs. The damage caused by a leaking K24 front seal is still manageable. Some labor costs may vary depending on your location and the year/model of your vehicle.

Nonetheless, a replacement at a repair shop should cost between $200 and $400. To us, this seems reasonable. However, we come from the BMW world, where nearly any oil leak will cost $1,000 or more to repair.

2) K24 Exhaust Camshaft Lobes Wear (Galling)

Camshafts, also known as cams, are located within the cylinder head and are responsible for opening and closing the intake and exhaust valves. Cam lobes regulate the lift of the intake and exhaust valves. Because it’s difficult to explain in words, we’ll instead link to this video if you’re interested in learning more about cam lobes.

Galling of the exhaust cam lobe is a fairly common and well-documented problem on the K24. Galling occurs as a result of excessive friction between the cam lobes of the K24. It may actually weld or connect the material to the contact point where the excess friction occurs. Additionally, it may result in surface cracking or roughening.

While this issue is possible with any Honda K24 engine variant, it appears to be most prevalent with the K24A1 and K24A4. Additionally, it can be aggravated by oil that is too thin or by poor oil in general. We may be exaggerating when we say that exhaust camshaft galling is a common occurrence.

However, it is possible. Additionally, we felt it was worth mentioning because it is one of the more expensive fixes. The majority will avoid this issue, but if they do, expect it to be in excess of 100,000 miles.

K24 Exhaust Cam Galling Symptoms

The following are the primary symptoms of K24 exhaust cam galling:

  • Clicking noise from valve cover area
  • Loss of power

The camshafts are located within the cylinder head, which is located on top of the engine just below the valve cover. If the problem is severe enough, you may hear the friction as audible clicking or tapping sounds emanating from the valve cover area.

Additionally, if the galling and wear are severe enough, it may result in power loss on the K24 engine. This occurs when the wear is severe enough to impair valve lift.

K24 Exhaust Cam Replacement Cost

Galling on the exhaust cam lobes of the K24 requires the exhaust camshaft to be replaced. Additionally, it requires some labor to complete. A couple hundred dollars will be required for the exhaust camshaft. The do-it-yourself crowd, on the other hand, may consider an upgrade if they’re already in there working on the engine.

For instance, these K24A2 drop-in intake and exhaust cams may be a good choice. Although it is more expensive, the performance benefits and higher quality may justify the cost. Replacing the exhaust cam on a Honda K24 should be left to experienced or patient do-it-yourselfers.

Expect to pay between $800 and $1500 for a camshaft replacement at a repair shop. It’s a little on the pricey side, but not too bad. Again, this is not a common issue, and the majority of K24 engines will probably never encounter it.

3) Honda K24 Timing Chain Tensioner Problems

Prior to the introduction of the K-series engines, Honda primarily used timing belts. The K20 and K24, on the other hand, adopted timing chains. The setup is nearly identical between timing chains. Naturally, the distinction is that one uses a chain and the other a belt.

Chains are typically more durable and require replacement less frequently than other types of fasteners. It is not uncommon for a timing chain to last the life of a vehicle.

Timing chains are connected to the crankshaft and camshaft and, as the name implies, control valve timing. In general, the K24 timing chain is excellent. However, the timing chain tensioner contains a weak link.

The tensioner is in charge of maintaining tension on the exhaust side of the timing chain, preventing it from slapping. The spring within the timing chain tensioner is the primary point of failure.

No K24 is completely free of timing chain tensioner issues. However, it appears to be a problem with the earlier K24 engines. Additionally, it is more prevalent on K24s equipped with modified camshafts and valve springs.

K24 Timing Chain Tensioner Failure Symptoms

Among the symptoms of failing K24 timing chain tensioners are the following:

  • Rattling/rumbling noise
  • Check engine light
  • Problems starting
  • Internal engine damage

Again, when the tensioner fails, the timing chain gains excessive slack and is unable to control valve timing properly. This can result in a variety of other issues on the K24.

When the chain becomes too slack, you’ll likely hear a rattling or rumbling noise. Due to improper timing, the check engine light may illuminate. This can also result in difficulties starting the vehicle or the K24 stalling.

Not to scare anyone, as this is highly improbable. However, if left unattended for an extended period of time, internal damage may occur. If the timing is thrown off excessively, the intake and exhaust valves may come into contact with the pistons. That is a recipe for disaster and will almost always necessitate engine replacement. It is improbable, but it is possible.

K24 Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement Cost

Depending on the year and model of your vehicle, components may cost between $100 and $400. While they’re in there, some opt to replace the entire K24 timing chain. Others simply substitute a new tensioner.

Regardless, this is a labor-intensive job that is not overly difficult. While experienced do-it-yourselfers will still find the repair lengthy, it should be fairly straightforward. Those with less experience should exercise caution, as this project may require an entire weekend in the garage.

At a repair shop, this job could cost between $700 and $1200. The dealership may even charge more, which is why we recommend locating a reputable independent repair shop. According to the books, this job should take between 6 and 10 hours to replace the timing chain and/or tensioner.

Honda K24 Reliability

We’re including this section to ensure as much transparency as possible regarding K24 reliability. Certain issues listed above may affect only a small percentage of Honda K24 engines. In that regard, referring to them as common may not always be accurate. That is why we attempt to use terms similar to those used to describe the most common K24 problems. It is impossible to say how many Hondas were affected by the failures.

We can, however, state what we do know about K24 reliability. To begin, it’s an excellent engine in general, extremely reliable, and should easily reach 200,000 – 300,000 miles. Almost every engine will develop a problem or a few problems over the course of that long a lifespan.

Engines utilize a variety of wear and tear components that degrade with age and mileage. Certain aspects of K24 reliability are determined by chance. Some of it comes down to the car’s maintenance history and how you drive it.

There are numerous variables that contribute to reliability. K24 maintenance is one of the factors that you can influence. Maintain your engine properly and the K24 should remain relatively trouble-free for the duration of its life. And it has a long lifespan.

K24 Common Problems Summary

This may sound repetitive, but the K24 is an exceptional, dependable engine. It has a long history and is found on a variety of Honda and Acura models. The three most frequently encountered issues are oil leaks from the front main seal, exhaust cam galling, and timing chain tensioner failure.

Certain K24 variants may be more or less prone to these issues. Additionally, these are not necessarily common problems, but rather three of the more prevalent ones on the K24.

Maintain your Honda K24 properly, and it should serve you well for its 200,000+ mile lifespan. In general, anticipate encountering a few issues along the way, particularly as the engine ages. However, the K24 is expected to be a long-lasting, reliable, and enjoyable engine.

What are your impressions of the K24? Which version do you own?

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