The Civic seemed to be down on power, so a good service was planned. A quick look at air filter showed it was pretty cacked up, and I cannot remember the last time I changed the plugs, so new bits ordered for both. Oil was very low -this is probably the main culprit for lack of power!
Anyway, did the jobs last weekend - the plugs that came out were completely knackered - 1.6mm gap so 0.3mm out of spec, and the electrodes were very rounded. Air filter was a really quick job. Service list also says value clearances should be adjusted at this mileage (140k), so thought I would give it a go. Getting the rocker cover off isn't too bad, the only difficult bit was removing the TDC sensor plug so that the cam belt cover could come off. I had to use a mirror to see how it was attached, then used a right angle circlip pliers to compress the clip on the fitting so it could be removed - the gap between it and some piping meant I could not get my hand in. The service manual just says "remove the connector". Ha Ha.
Once off I was amazed how complicated the valve system is. The VTEC doesnt help, nor the 4 valves per cylinder. Still, adjustment was pretty easy, one inlet was too tight, and a couple of exhausts were a bit loose, but nothing too bad - amazing given the mileage on the engine!
Bolted it all back together and hey presto - engine much torquier at low RPM, and almost silent at idle. Hurrah!