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97 honda accord se after warmup idles like crud, dies


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Topic says it all. Well, the details are that it started as a slight power loss, developed into run time (70mph) stall, stutter, backfire thru the intake twice, then 'launch', and progressed to rough, cruddy idle - dies at stop lights, signs etc. The last two times it acted a little like it had a miss during it's idle in park die out routine.


Throughout the problem, it has always had good acceleration when you get on the peddle, except the times it was choking before launching.


I've replaced the entire ignition system, that is, distributor, internal sensor, rotor cap wires plugs coil, cam and crank sensor.


Replaced o2 and map sensor, TPS, egr valve and vacuum solenoids, cleaned egr channels.


Replaced a bunch of vacuum hose (some is still original). After warm up, idle condition does not improve when spraying the explosive brake parts cleaner over the entire intake manifold and vacuum hoses (and hoping for the big kabluey) . Idle improves some when pull the egr vacuum line from the manifold, also improves when pull the lower one on the back side of the vacuum connection to the intake manifold.


Does Not have a knock sensor.


Replaced Cat vert and cat back exhaust has been replaced, no joy.


Replaced Fuel pump, fuel filter, pressure regulator replaced, blew out the metal lines (almost no particulate etc.)


Replaced ECT sensor, all other temp sensors (except the gauge)


Replaced master relay


unplugged cruise control module.


While replacing some of these I experienced some power improvement, but no improvement in buck/backfire/launch nor idle.


Has 178,000 miles on it, timing belt and waterpump replaced at 160,000.


And just for the fun of it, an elm327 and scan master software shows no codes.


Other than about three hundred pounds of plastique, a plunger and a videocam for posting on youtube, any ideas?


thanks, Ernie

Edited by ependleton111
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Have you checked to make sure the timing belt didn't jump a tooth? You mentioned a recent TB and WP I hope that also included the tensioner pulley too? With time that pulley shaft will bend and allow slack in an otherwise good belt.

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Sure. When the engine is cold it runs rich and at a higher idle until operating temp is reached. Could be the extra fuel is just hiding the timing being off.


Your issue sounds entirely like a timing problem, but that isn't limited to just the belt. The plugs could be out of sequence or the distributor could be faulty or advanced/retarded too much. Hell, it could be a faulty injector too. It might be fouled up and under load the higher flow rate means enough fuel is getting there to avoid a misfire but under idle conditions it's not getting enough through.

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Okay. Thank you. Looks like I've got my work cut out for me. Replaced entire distributor, new plugs new wires, none of that changed the problem. Back at 160,000 when it was just weak performance, I changed the belt, pulleys etc and that didn't improve the weak power problem so I'm getting suspicious of injector(s). It seems to me that it just runs too well when driving down the road to be timing, but I'm an old fart and have no idea how computer controls can compensate for such problems. I'm going to break out the ole multimeter and check the injectors as it's much easier than checking the belt, maybe I'll pull the injectors and have them cleaned and checked...


If I don't find anything with injectors I'm going to go drill holes in timing covers so I can see the marks without having to tear it all the way down. (Thank you God for gorilla tape!) Unless that's a bad idea. Any thoughts?


Thank you again so much for your help.

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If you have access to a timing light:




It's for a civic but the base process is about the same. Probably redundant but chatting on a forum I never know how skilled or thorough the person sitting at the other keyboard is.


The timing covers are just to keep debris and engine fluid splatters off the belt. You could run the car without the covers if you really wanted.

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Wrestled with it a while today. Injectors all read 2.4 ohms, which was odd as I thought they were supposed to be 5 to 7 ohms, but they're all exactly the same, so I guess that's alright...


MIL light started blinking. Hooked up the ole scanmaster and found P0301 P0302 P1300 P1399. Misfire cyl 1 & cyl2, and random misfire. Solution? adjust valve clearance. I'll try that in the next few days (raining). The thing that has me a bit concerned is that I adjusted the valves at 100,000 and that's supposed to be the service interval for valve clearance adjustment. Either I messed up a little bit when I adjusted them or I've got something else going on... Makes a feller think about using some blue threadlocker...


Valves loosening up would certainly explain the slow power degrade to misfire...

Edited by ependleton111
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