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Stuttering Engine (1987 Honda Civic RT 4WD)


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Hi All,

Looking to get some insight on what's up with my car.

This issue gradually has gotten worse over the last month.

Started just when I was headed up an incline (uphill) and pressed on the gas for some power, engine lightly started stuttering and felt like it was losing power (but never died). The engine idles fine, it started only when going up hill, as soon as it leveled off or going downhill, all power was there, no stuttering.

Its gradually gotten more severe, where now it's ALL THE TIME stuttering, with half the engine power it normally has. It feels like it jerking whenever I push the gas down, and lightly jerking if it's light pressure on gas.

Here's the mystery: it suddenly will go away and run perfectly strong and smooth, with no loss of power and no jerking, for several days, and then Bam, will smack back into the issue for a few days. It's switched back and forth a few times on me already.

About the car:

It has 201,267 miles on engine.

It leaks oil ALOT. Every few weeks have to put a couple quarts in.

Had tune up a year and a half ago.

It runs a little hot SOMETIMES (never has overheated) - if I'm in stop and go traffic, it'll warm up to a little over half on temp gauge. Also if I'm heading up steeper incline for a solid amount of time it will warm up about the same. Seems normal for a car of this age.


I took to a mechanic- he couldn't figure it out, because symptoms suddenly went away right before I dropped it off with him.

He mentioned could be the choke catching and sticking occasionally and then releasing back to normal.

He pulled A spark plug and said it was fine. Ultimately he was a little afraid of tinkering to much in worry the car would fall apart on him.

With a car that leaks this much oil, from top of engine, I assume the leaking oil could mess with a lot of stuff - electrical, spark plugs, etc..


what are likely issues that this could be? Anyone heard of, or experienced anything like this before? Anyone know the solution?


Thanks for your support,



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