How often does my Honda Civic need a valve adjustment?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jan 01, 1996

Dear Tom and Ray:

I recently purchased an '83 Honda Civic. One issue of The Consumer Guide Used Car Book says "valves must be adjusted every 15,000 miles to prevent engine woes." Later issues of the book do not mention this. What is your opinion?

TOM: It won't do any harm to adjust the valves every 15,000, Amy. But based on my experience with these cars, I'd say every 30,000 miles is fine.

RAY: But more importantly, I would be sure to change the timing belt at least every 60,000 miles (and the water pump, too, which is driven by the timing belt). This is one of the motors that has a lovely habit of crushing its own valves when the timing belt breaks--- often ruining the engine.

TOM: And once that happens, adjusting the valves at any interval will be like a television set on a honeymoon--unnecesary.

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