Honda Accord randomly quitting

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Old 03-25-16, 07:38 AM
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Honda Accord randomly quitting

I have a '96 Accord, 2.7L V6. I am pretty sure it needs head gaskets, but have been driving is for a couple years with that issue. Several times recently, as the outside temp goes above around 65 degrees, driving merrily along the hwy, it just suddenly spits and sputters for 15 seconds, then dies. Sometimes it will restart immediately, sometimes it takes a couple minutes. Once it does, it's all good, as if nothing ever happened.

Once this begins, it might happen again within a mile or two, or twenty, but it will continue until I've stopped long enough to cool down a while.

It does not seem to happen in cooler weather.

Seems like a single device intermittently failing to me, but which one? Any suggestions?
 
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Old 03-25-16, 07:55 AM
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I've had this behavior from a failing crankshaft position sensor previously. In a GM vehicle, it threw a code in the computer but in a Chrysler, it did not so I don't know whether reading the computer would show this in a Honda.
 
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Old 03-26-16, 07:58 AM
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It's 96 vehicle. She has OBD2 port. OP does not mention any error codes.
OP, fix the head gasket. Do you really expect engine with faulty gasket to run properly?
Under circumstance that head gasket is bad. Temps go up, metal expands, any leaks/cracks you have open, "stuff" goes wrong places, car dies.
 
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Old 03-26-16, 09:59 AM
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Is there any codes?

When it won’t start what is missing ?? Spark - fuel - timing ??

When it won't start will it at least roll over ??

What makes you think it need head gasket(s) ??


There is a lot of conjecture in your post ... time to nail down some FACTS.
 
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Old 03-31-16, 03:31 PM
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Sorry for the delay. Life happens...
First, three low compression cylinders, around 85 as I recall, and some bubbles in the radiator. I mentioned the head gaskets figuring that if "everyone" jumped on that fact with gusto, that might be an immediate plan to attack.

Bought this car for my daughter to drive to school. For the most part is runs fine, even with the gaskets, but always has a tendency to sputter a little in hot weather. (Yes, I notice the pattern here.)

Current event seems different, though. It is very sudden, like something comes unplugged. I let it sit for a minute, or five, and when it is ready to run again, it starts right up, no sputtering or anything, like it got plugged back in.

I have been driving it to work so daughter won't get stranded, so I don't really have far to go before I park it if it does happen. Worst day, above 75 degrees, happened three times during several short trips, but last leg was 12 miles and no problems.

What's missing? Feels like fuel to me...
 
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Old 03-31-16, 04:16 PM
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Sucks it's V6 but head needs to be done.
Bad GH won't really do low compression though.
So, while you are "there", drop oil pan and remove pistons down through it. Of course, have everything marked and set on bed sheet or table cloth neatly organized in exactly same order it was taken out. Then simply replace piston rings and crankshaft bearings. Re-hone piston bores with that tool, it's like fir tree with a bunch of abrasive balls on the ends. Works very well for simply cleaning and re-honing. Et voila, you have rebuilt engine.
As of "sudden" deaths. Honda is known for grounds to go rusted, that is about the first guess. Also, as it's 96 model, infamous main relay is one of the prime suspects. Followed by ignitor and coil. But main relay shows book case what you describe. Loose solder points inside.
 
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Old 03-31-16, 04:38 PM
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Had an early 80's Honda Civic. The power to the electric fuel pump passed through a sensing circuit that would remove power the fuel pump if the car got into an accident. Can't remember what the monitoring circuit sensed. However mine was intermittent and would stop the engine (due to no fuel) without warning. No fun when on the freeway. Couldn't afford a replacement at the time so I installed a toggle switch to bypass the power around the sensing circuit when the car engine stopped. Soon after the car engine refired, I would turn the bypass switch off. Usually would run fine until the next time.
 
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Old 04-01-16, 02:58 PM
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I have 90 Honda Accord. The first thing comes to my mind is main relay issue I had. It can't start engine when temperature is high. Engine crank and just can't start. If you open driver's door and let under instrument cool down and it can be started again, it could be main relay issue. Like ukrbyk said, re-solder pins may fix problem. Good luck.
 
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Old 04-02-16, 05:37 AM
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Interesting about the main relay. I have a 91 civic I was about to give up on and send to the junk man due to a similar problem. Already replaced the coil, but still not starting. I will just have to check both car's relays.

I'm assuming it 'sucks' just because there are two of them. Or is there something else special about these engines? When I bought the car, my mechanic offered some disparaging comments about the V-6es and their tendency to lose head gaskets..

Is it really as simple to pull pistons as you make it sound? That's a level I have not considered before just due to time constraints. Well, that and the gravel work space...
 
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Old 04-25-16, 09:42 AM
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Finally getting back to this vehicle. Can anyone tell me what the typical failure is of one of these relays? I've disassembled mine just to see. I don't like spending my pennies on r&d, especially on this car. New solder joints have to be good, contacts seem good. The only difference I find between the two relays in this box is one coil measures about 60 ohms while the other is 150. Given that the two are different part numbers, I suppose that could be by design. Two diodes and a resistor all test good on my meter. I'll put it back in this afternoon to see if fiddling with it makes any difference. Last time I drove it, I only got 5 blocks...
 
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Old 04-25-16, 11:57 AM
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I pulled pistons twice. It is really very easy to do, only time taking and requiring some special tools. Spring compressor. Honer.
Also, you can at least have head planed and ground flat. That restores compression. It is not advised if you were not to replace rings, as then increased pressure blows combustion gas right past the old ones.
Takes about day and a half on a four banger, slow pace. Will take longer on V6 as you have two heads to pull. It's a PROJECT. But you have to pull anyway, right? Replace rings and crankshaft bearings. All gaskets, of course.
Here's link to PGM FI relay all kinds of stuff

Starting Problems
 
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Old 04-27-16, 02:33 PM
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Thanks for the link. Very clear info there. Alas, not the problem, though. Maybe fuel filter next...? I hate searching around randomly when I only have ten minutes at a time.

Yes, if I can justify the time I will pull the heads so might as well do the rest. I had just assumed there was stuff in the way down below. I'll have to look closer next chance.
 
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Old 04-27-16, 07:51 PM
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It is real hard to make judgements on engine with bad head gasket.
 
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Old 04-28-16, 05:56 PM
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It also sounds to me like the EFI main relay. The solder cracks, then self-heats and deforms, and then fails intermittently subject to temperature and vibration. I helped my nephew repair his '99 Acura TL. It would quit and then it might or might not restart. Shortly before we fixed it, it had quit and wouldn't restart. It was towed to a repair shop. They drove it for 30 minutes and could find no problems. Later, he picked up the car and it quit on his way home.

We popped the relay board out of the housing (easier than removing the housing) and the bad solder joint was obvious. We removed the old solder and then resoldered it. It solved his random quitting problem. There are videos showing how to perform this repair.
 
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