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Old 02-04-2010, 03:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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'97 HX dies randomly

Good day, I have a new-to-me HX Civic which dies sometimes when taking off (so far) and will not restart for a few tries. Then it's fine.

The issue doesn't seem to be related to temperature, as it cut out yesterday when leaving work (cold start), but also died this morning when arriving at work (operating temp). It drove fine for 2-3 days since purchase and then threw a CEL, a Vtec malf code. Yesterday was when it started cutting out, IIRC, and the code was cleared last night. But it did the same thing near work this morning, and the CEL is still off..

When this occurs, the engine will start for a second and die. Holding the throttle doesn't prevent or slow this action. There is also some light rattling at cold startup, which may be piston slap or valve clearance. The engine has about 200k mi of use.

I suspect a position sensor, but could use further suggestions. It's unclear to me whether there's a single cam position sensor as part of the dist assy, or if more is involved. Looking for a decent service manual now, preferably the factory.


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Old 02-04-2010, 04:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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In the old days when we suspected an ignition problem that was intermittent, we would wrap a piece of wire around one of the plug wires and the other end around the radio antenna.

The static noise would give you an indication of ignition function, and if the ignition died the noise would either drop a lot or go away altogether.

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Old 03-19-2010, 12:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds like a cam sensor problem.

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