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2003 Civic sputters during 1st 2 minutes then drives fine...


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Please help! Manual transmission 2003 honda civic with following indications.

Indications: The car starts without any problem and behaves normally for a short period. Within the first 2 minutes after startup, the car cannot maintain RPMs either in gear or in neutral (manual transmission) with approximately 2000 RPM. This only happens in the first two minutes then will not happen again until the car is restarted after a shutdown. The check engine light has NOT come on and there are no error codes in the computer.

Candidates identified so far:

-- O2 sensor: no error codes

-- EGR valve: replaced

-- fuel pump: not yet checked

Any suggestions??

Checks to date: Honda just completed both the state safety inspection and 120K maintenance inspection. No check engine light was on and the dealer verified no error codes had been generated. The EGR valve was just replaced last week and the problem continued. I have used fuel injector cleaner without improvement. The mechanics were unable to identify the problem during their inspection but did not inspect the fuel pump.

Testing: I performed the test as shown in the video allowing the car to start normally then increasing RPMs to 2-2.5k by holding the accelerator at a constant position with the transmission in neutral. The car will start to sputter under constant accelerator position (about 0:48 in video) then drop to less than 500 RPM with accelerator still depressed. It will clear and RPMs will shoot up. In this video it happens over approximately 30 second period then is fine the rest of the drive with no recurrences finally clearing around 1:40.

Environment: Temperature has been warm (greater than 50 degrees) and this occurs the same regardless of hot or mild day.

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  • 4 weeks later...

my 2003 honda civic was doing the exact thing . we had changed the engine and from then on it had the problem . the engine used was one of those ones out of Japan . the original O2 sensor (or up stream sensor) had not been changed . when i put a new O2 sensor in the problem went away.

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