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Have read numerous, similar posts with various info, suggestions, advice, and solutions. Trying not to throw any more parts at this without clear hope of a solution, or take it to a "Professional Mechanic" who can't fix what 'aint broke either.
First, I did powerwash engine about 3 weeks ago, covering up all electronics I could with plastic wrap beforehand, and just used Simple Green. In hindsight, I didn't wait 5 mins. before starting car and letting it idle for a couple of minutes (oops). Didn't really need to do it, and probably won't ever do it again, since a gentle trickle of a hose should have been enough. Anyway....
Problem: About 2 weeks ago, car started cutting out intermittently while driving, either on hwy or in neighborhood, always in Drive, and sometimes after coming to a stop. Tach jumps to zero, and dash lights don't come on immediately, until it truly dies, then they all come on. Sometimes it sputters a bit, but usually not. No rough idle, it purrs and screams at all other times very well, but will die like 2x coming back from taking kids to school 1.5 miles away in the morning, as well as other times around town. Other day it cut out on me at least 10 times throughout the day. Sometimes it will restart on hwy just by putting in Neutral and cranking it while coasting 5 seconds later, or usually after coming to a stop and cranking repeatedly 3-7 times. Never a CEL either, I have an Actron CP9175 code reader to boot, which didn't find a thing.
- new NGK plugs, gapped to .040
- new Bosch wires
- new cap & rotor
- sprayed out more than a few pigtails and electrical connectors with
cleaner from AutoZone specifically for them, and let dry plenty long
- "jiggling" the key multiple times-n-ways doesn't do anything
- good gas with recent injector cleaner on 450 mi. round-trip out of state '
with no problems during THAT with family, Thank God.
I also got replacement Main Fuel Relay + ICM from a exact car at local yard, and replaced the MFR with no change. Haven't replaced ICM yet, probly'll do today as well. Have checked and tested continuity of main fuses in engine compartment, all good. Have HELMS and other manuals, followed procedures for checking coil and ICM with digital multimeter, all fine, including battery @ 12.4V. Battery posts and terminals are clean, ground for battery and distributor are good. At start up, CEL light/fuel pump whine for 2 secs, CEL light goes off with a "click".
I did finally pull some CEL codes:
P0113 and P0441 - after unhooking a few connectors under the hood while key in RUN position, so that explains that. Cleared codes, test run, didn't come back.
Was able to get car to die in driveway once today, while idling in D4 with p.brake on. Tested spark on Cylinder 1 immediately after while cranking engine, and it didn't fire right up, but did on 2nd attempt and idled. CEL light on, got expected P0301 code for Cyl 1 misfire, and also P0302, P0303, P0304, and P1300 (Manufacturer Control Ignition System or Misfire) as the Actron puts it, or (Random Misfire) as I've read elsewhere, surely related to pulling other boots one-by-one and testing spark with engine running.
Anyway, cleared codes again, reset ECU, short test run was fine, couldn't get it to die, even after letting it idle for 15 mins in driveway just after, both fans coming on repeatedly. I'll test run again here shortly and post back.
Could resetting the ECU have added anything positive to the situation?
I've considered checking/replacing fuel filter, hope its not an intermittent fuel pump failure as well, but it always whines, even before car won't start sometimes, so that's probably not the culprit. Would an intermittent failure of the ignition switch under steering column cause car to stall? I thought it only factored into starting, not running.
Unreliable unreliability. Gotta love it!
Any ideas what to check next (and exactly when) would be greatly appreciated. Could be a lot of things, but hope its not ECU or Dist ($250!), or fuel pump. I replaced FP in older Integra before....that was fun.
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Sounds like you did your homework. The only way to verify spark vs fuel is to the test when the car is not starting after it stalls.
When the car stalls out, try to listen for the fuel pump to prime when you first turn the key to the II position and not try to start the car. The pump is a faint whirling/buzzing sound that comes from the back seat that lasts for about 2 seconds while the check engine light is on, so listen carefully. Let us know if that sound is missing, or present when you can not get the car to start back up.
Ok, car died again, while idling, parked in Park after test run, while resetting radio presets. I had spark tester with me, and verified NO SPARK from No.1 Cyl while cranking for 3 sec. Key off, cranked again, car started up, with visible spark from tester on Cyl 1 plug, CEL ON. Code check @ home was P0301, Cyl 1 Misfire, as expected.
Right with ya' PAhonda!, now replacing current ICM with yard-bought one, will test drive and update right after.
Took a final drive after replacing the ICM, and I mean 45 min. of some stuff that shoulda got me some mean tickets (had to heat her up ), with no dying, stuttering, hesitation, etc, at all. Having tried not to be overconfident about what was gonna fix it, I feel good about this. The real test will be when I take it to work tomorrow, driving all over town in the heat (85 F), A/C on and all-a-that.
Or, I could replace my original ICM, test drive, and see if problem returns.......
Naahhhhh. It has died several times every day over the last week, so tomorrow will be the key.
Question is, should I go ahead and replace this working ICM with a brand new one when I can, if indeed THAT was the problem? Or could THIS one be better than a new one from Autozone? (this one is OEM NEC like original one that failed)
Will do. Thank you PAhonda. No problems taking kids to school, but during warm up, CEL = Code P0441 popped up, Evap Emission Purge Fault, probably related to my pulling and cleaning connectors under the hood, and I may want to check into that further to be sure. No drivability problems, though.
Well, it made it all day around Houston metro traffic in heat with A/C on, and didn't die or sputter once, so it was the Ignition Control Module after all.
I had same problem in other Japanese car, can't remember which one, and figured it would be the ICM before the coil, but the most important test was for lack of spark during a no-start engine cranking - required to differentiate between fuel or ignition problem.
And since the only new parts I bought were necessary regular maintenance items, plugs, wires, cap & rotor, I ended up actually "fixing" it with a used ICM from a Pick-A-Part for only $7, and now also have an extra main fuel relay ($7) in case it ever fails. Got really lucky finding a quality, used ICM too. I kept seeing all these completely stripped 94,95,97, and 98 Accords, with no distributors in them at all, and was about to leave when I 'bout tripped over a 96 accord with a completely intact dist., wires on the cap and all. Probably hadn't been there a week.
I cleared the P-code with my Actron code reader and it didn't return.
It sure is nice to be able to search previous posts in here for valuable information, including all the available links to other diagrams and relevant detailed info.
Car hasn't stalled once since orig repair, but now CEL and code P0441 (Evap Canister Purge...) is showing, this time while car was warming up to A/C cool interior for kids before trip.
I read previous post that didn't really lead anywhere, except to finally suggest that it should be taken to a Honda specialist for diagnostics, and I'm not planning on that unless I have greater problems than a CEL. May be getting poor mileage, dunno yet. It does seems to run a bit sluggish.
I'll check canister, related lines, and possibly solenoid, but if anyone has experience with this they can share, I sure would appreciate it.
I really think it has something to do with the connectors that I was disconnecting and cleaning with elec contact cleaner during earlier ignition diagnostics, now not a problem. Code never appeared before then.
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