What could be causing repeated engine wear and piston slap on our 2008 Honda Jazz?

We have a Honda Jazz 1.4 SE CVT purchased from a Honda main dealer in June 2008 with 1,300 on the clock used as a demonstrator car. At 18,000 miles we noticed a knocking sound. The first two visits to the main dealer resulted in them not identifying the problem, but on the third visit they identified it as piston slap.

Honda decided that we needed a new engine. They ordered the new parts from Japan, which were fitted at 22,000 miles. We have now completed 26,500 miles (5,000 since the new engine was fitted) and we now have the same noise from the engine, which we think is the same problem. How should we progress from here?

Asked on 24 December 2010 by BR, via email

Answered by Honest John
I checked up on this and there are no other reports of the same problem, either with the old model I-DSI Jazz, which you have, or with the new model fitted with I-VTEC engines. A possible cause would be if the car is used for very short runs from cold and very rarely reaches full running temperature. This will leave unburned fuel and condensation in the engine that contaminates the engine oil and prevents it from lubricating the pistons properly. If wear then occurred it would result in piston slap.
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