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1990 Honda Accord 4Dr EX-I need help please!!


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Ok so I really want to make things work with me and my honda but I just don't know where to start and I want to try and learn to fix my Betsy (my honda) on my own. But, I do not know anything about cars and I've been letting my boyfriend tinker around but it doesn't seem to be going that great.


So far I had to replace the hood-b/c ex got in an accident, replaced the radiator because the accident put holes in it causing it to leak and overheat, replaced the windshield-b/c on the way to get radiator fixed the hood flew up and not only scarring the living daylights out of me but also shattering the windshield, replaced the alternator-I'm not sure why, I was told it need to be fixed, new tires, repaired bumper and headlights, paint job.


So this is what is wrong with it now......


1. Smokes

It looks like white smoke to me....not really sure what blue smoke would look like. But, I do have a oil leak, so I put almost as much oil in it as I do gas. Only smokes for about the first 5 miles after cranking it up.

--side note: ex ran it hot bringing it to me on a four hour ride, so i've been told that the pistons need to be replaced/repaired (leaning toward getting a engine)


2. Cuts off

After driving awhile the car's rpm will drop while idling and then the car cuts off. So what I've been doing is driving with two feet (which is probably not wise I admit). Sometimes it will cut off when driving at a low speed as well.


3. Creaking noise

When I turn left or right I hear creaking sound that stops when I straighten out. I think it is the cv joints/boots.


4. When it rains it pours on the inside

I think I know what is wrong, I need to replace the drain holes, or check them.


5. Electrical

The clock on the dash board goes in and out and my cigarette lighter doesn't work any more-it just stopped one day.


It just seems like there is sooooo much to do, but I have invested so much money in Betsy that I hate to quit on her now. I've been looking at repair/part manuals and I just can't make heads or tails of it....I think I know what is causing some of these things I just don't know where to start, like what is the part names, how do I fix it, what tools do I need...etc.....Any and all help is truly welcome.

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Ooo, you need lots of help. I am in the middle of moving this weekend and coming to you thanks to a Tim Horton's wifi and can't go into great detail at the moment. Hopefully one of the other regular posters can go into greater detail for you.


As for manuals: Chilton's makes a simple and easy to understand service manual. It is ideal for backyard mechanics but doesn't go into extreme detail on internal engine building and repair. It covers all the things you would need for everything else. Haynes is more inclusive, it is also twice the size and three times the price but it basically tells you how to build the entire car from the ground up. Unless you plan on rebuilding the engine the Chilton's should be fine and they usually have plenty of color pictures and such for novice car mechanics.


Your smoke issue/oil loss is likely from bad piston rings (not necessarily the pistons). Given the age of the motor if you have the facility (or a friend does) most people opt to just replace the motor with a lower mileage one at this point.


More to come, just be patient as this site is a little slow but the guys who post on here have been wrenching on Honda's for decades now.

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1. White smoke means water in the combustion chamber, thus you may have blown the head gasket while driving it hot to get the radiator fixed. If you have a mechanic diagnois it as a head gasket and have the work performed then they can check the cylinder walls with the head off and determine if there is discoloration, sheen excessive wear and tell you then. If you warped the head while it overheated then the head will have to be resurfaced and you might as well have the valve seals and seats replaced at that point.


2. The engine cutting off can be a lot of things including the fact that your head gasket is likely bad. Other causes can be electrical, fuel, vacuum lines etc.


3. Creaking noise may be a dry ball joint or there is the potential that the steering rack was bent during your accident. Usually CV's don't creak they pop so check that the CV boots are in good condition then with the vehicle safetly off the ground have some slowly turn the steering wheel side to side and listen to each ball joint for a dry or creaking sound. You should also check the rack boots for fluid leaks and check the power sterring reservior level.


4. Regarding water in the car, if you did not have water in the car before then I would say that the windshield was not sealed properly (if so then that is something they should fix). Also check the door seals for allignment as they may be off due to the accident. They best way to find where the water if coming in from is tape a garden hose to the top of the car, turn on the water, climb in the car without letting water in of course and use a flash light and start looking, paying special attention to door seals and under the dash board.


5. Electrical issue may be caused by the water issue shorting a wire so always start by fixing the obvious and see what happens.


As far as a manual goes go on Ebay or some place and find someone who has a Honda Factory Repair Manual for sale. Used they should be around 40 dollars or you can call your Honda Parts Dealer and ask for the 1-800 number for the printer of the manuals and try and get a new one which for that generation should be around 85 dollars. If you are good at diagnoising electrical then you might also want to get the Honda ETM for the car which covers all electrical on the car. You might be able to find one on Ebay as well. You can use any 1990 thru 1993 maunal. Although there are minor difference they are all essentailly the same.


Given the engine issue and likely bad head gasket so you think about a low mileage engine swap if your engine has high mileage.


One final note, after you have fixed the water issue I recommend running and extension cord through one of the windows and placing a dehumidifier in the car and let it run. It will take water out of places in the car that you may not have thought there was water.


Good luck.

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As for the water leak a very common spot is in the roof seam above the door where the seam meets the windshield. In my case it simply rusted. I pulled back the rubber weather-strip enough to see the hole and shot a little bit of a clear silicone caulk in there and smooshed the strip down into the goop. Taped it down and let it cure and no more leak.

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