1995 Honda Accord engine dies intermittently

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  #1  
Old 01-12-07, 10:15 AM
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1995 Honda Accord engine dies intermittently

I own a 1995 Honda Accord LX 4-dr 4-cylinder automatic with about 80,000 miles. Fuel-injected.

In the last week, the car has died on two separate occassions (a couple days apart) while driving and in motion. There was no sputtering, etc to indicate that the engine was about to die. The electrical kept working just fine after death.

The first time it happened was a day after I got an oil change & minutes after I filled the gas tank. I was almost at work after 35 mins of driving, going about 40mph, driving on level surface. No warning, engine just dies. I keep rolling, put the car in neutral, and try restarting. No-go after several attempts. I finally get to a side street, roll around the corner, and pull over.

I put it in park & try starting it a couple more times, still a no-go. Engine tries to turn over, but never catches. Finally, I turn the car _completely_ off, call work (gonna be late), and check under the hood. No obvious problems.

I get back in the car two mins later, try to turn it on again, BAM! Car turns on, no problem. Rev the engine, no problem. Drive the two blocks to work, no problem. Sit in the parking lot & let it run, no problems. No problems for the next day & a half.


This morning on the expressway, doing 70mph on almost level surface, after driving for 20-25 mins, engine dies again w/ no warnings. Again, I quickly throw it in neutral (electrical still working), try to turn it over a few times, no-go. Still rolling, I turn the car _completely_ off, kick it back on, and try starting it. BAM! Car starts again, no problems. For the next 20 mins to home, no problems. Take the car to school, no problems.

My first thought was that it might be a fuel-injector issue (silt problem in the gas tank, clogged fuel filter, fuel injector electronics, etc) since after I turned car off completely, killing the electrical, and tried it again, the car starts right up. Take it to my mechanic & explain the symptoms, he thinks I'm wrong, and is sure it's a distibutor problem.

No overheating or extremely cold weather going on.

Any thoughts/suggestions? Please try to explain why you think it might be so, as I really like to understand what I'm doing to fix a problem & why it is occurring. Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-12-07, 12:09 PM
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IMO, diagnosis is the costly and tricky part of car repair these days. OK, replacement parts aren't cheap, but proper diagnosis is the key to not throwing parts at a problem.

The basics to run an engine are compression, ignition, and fuel. From your description we can probably rule out compression (mechanical) problems.

Your mechanic thinks its a distributor problem but you question that. How do you decide for sure? I suggest using an old-fashioned timing light next time the car dies. We don't need timing lights any more, but my clip-on inductive timing light can quickly tell me if I have a working ignition or not.

You think its a fuel delivery issue. How would you decide if your getting fuel to the engine? If you've got a small container of fuel in the car, a quick splash of gas down the air intake and a crank of the engine will tell you if its fuel-related or not.

Just some suggestions to start the process.
 
  #3  
Old 05-11-07, 09:56 PM
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Turns out my mechanic was right. Replacing the distributor fixed the problem. He later told me he had several Hondas, same era, coming into him with the same symptoms....which is how he knew immediately.

Should've trusted my mechanic from the get go. He's yet to swindle me or try to make me buy more than I need. Which is why I keep coming back.
 

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 05-12-07 at 05:51 AM. Reason: Not necessary to quote entire original post
  #4  
Old 05-12-07, 05:53 AM
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Hang on to that guy! This is a frequent occurence at the better garages; once they see a problem they tend to remember when the same problem comes back. See it more than once or twice and when you see the symptoms you know where to start.
 
  #5  
Old 05-14-07, 11:02 PM
MrT
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if u recently had an oil change, i would check the oil level. and if that was the same shop that did your oil, watch out cause it could be a cover up.

anyhow, if the problem is fixed. keep an eye out to trace back.
 
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