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Old 10-24-2011, 12:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Civic break down

Car broke down last night near home. At cold start-up (60*) at the airport it revved unusually high (nearly 2000 rpms for a few seconds before coming down to normal). It ran quite normally for 20 miles, and then a hesitancy in engine response to the throttle returned. Alternator was connected and running. Battery power during EOC would settle between 12.3 and 11.8 volts depending on how long the glide was. A lurching ugly hesitancy emerged before the fail. When it failed it just gurgled itself into a slow die. Even a rolling bump start only acted as breaking. When it briefly sparked up a couple times, it struggled to sustain an idle even though it was already warmed-up. Then it died again for good. All fluids are fine. Car can still shift into gear and be pushed when in neutral or with clutch. Starter runs full tilt. No smell of fuel. No leaking fluids under the car. I was planning to follow advice and buy a pressure gauge today and test the fuel pump. I also am wondering about other parts: electrical components within the distributor? the cambelt? are those credible possibilities?

I'm off to the stores before work, during lunch, and after work... any advice greatly appreciated.

j

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Old 10-24-2011, 01:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Bummer! Fuel pump is my first guess.
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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No engine light?
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
No engine light?
The check engine light did not come on.
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.



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Old 10-24-2011, 02:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Do you have voltage at the fuel pump while cranking?

Can you read codes from your car?

Does it start again when cold?
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My guess is the distributor, specifically the igniter.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakobnev View Post
Do you have voltage at the fuel pump while cranking?

Can you read codes from your car?

Does it start again when cold?
It does not start when cold. I have not tried reading codes from the ECU. I expect I do have voltage while cranking because I can now smell gas inside the car after I try the ignition (but not in engine bay). So I think it is powering, though I know that's not a very good "test". But I'm very interested in what you might be driving at... what are failures you suspect?

[EDIT: I did a test of the fuel pump recommended in the Honda Service Manual. When I turn the key to the run position, I can feel and hear the fuel pump charge-up for 2 seconds then shut off normally.]

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamsterpower View Post
My guess is the distributor, specifically the igniter.
I found a worker at my Pep Boys who works on these Hondas a lot. He could describe the parts accurately from memory. Thinks my symptoms are more like a failure of the ignition control module in the distributor housing. Is that what you mean?

[EDIT: I solved the following problem by cranking the engine with the starter to turn the rotor until the screw was lined-up.] I am trying to test the ignition control module right now, considering replacing it. But I cannot get to the ignition control module yet. The attached photo is of the distributor with the cap off. You can see the Distributor Rotor. There is a screw to remove this rotor so I can remove the leak cover, but it is obscured by the leak cover right now. How do I turn the rotor (the round black plastic piece in the photo) so that the screw becomes accessible? Do I have to break the leak cover?
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.




Last edited by California98Civic; 10-25-2011 at 01:57 AM..
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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P1399 (trouble code)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jakobnev View Post
Can you read codes from your car?
Sorry for being novice, but I had to figure out how to use the Ultra Gauge for trouble codes. It lists a "pending" trouble code P1399. The Honda Service Manual does not seem to have a ref for this code. A few online sources say this is an ignition system or misfire code. Seems to suggest the distributor again, not likely the fuel pump, no?
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.



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Old 10-25-2011, 10:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Bummer. I hope you can get it up and running again soon.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladogaboy View Post
Bummer. I hope you can get it up and running again soon.
Fuel pump seems to work, at least it gets power to do the normal priming when the key is switched to the "run" position. And I just finished a fuel filter change and replacing the "igniter" a.k.a. the ignition control module a.k.a. the ICM. No dice. No change. Same symptoms. Help.

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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.




Last edited by California98Civic; 02-09-2012 at 08:06 AM..
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