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1991 EX made hissing noise, now intermittent start

  #1  
Old 03-27-2012, 04:29 PM
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Default 1991 EX made hissing noise, now intermittent start

1991 Honda Accord EX with 23x,000 miles.

Driving down the highway about 65 mph and suddenly I hear a hissing noise coming from the engine. Great, there goes a radiator hose, I think. Well, there is no smoke or steam and the noise only happens on acceleration, not slowing down. 5-10 minutes later it stops. I reach my destination and check under the hood. No signs of leaks and all fluids are OK.

Seems simple enough, I obviously have a vacuum hose loose. Darn, I can't find anything loose. Drive home and same issue. Intermittent hissing noise on acceleration. Next morning, car is hard to start. Battery is good and starter turns over fine. Eventually car starts after a few tries and its been that way since the hissing incident (which no longer happens).

I have read a few of the threads and done some research on-line. I have a few items to check, fuel pump noise and relay clicks under the dash. Seems rather coincidental that both problems started at the same time. Does the hissing noise help pinpoint what I need to check?

I am just a guy with a Haynes looking for some help diagnosing this problem.

Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 03-31-2012, 11:37 PM
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Default Update of my problem

Had time today to do some diagnostic work. I did not hear the fuel pump whirring when the key is turned. Great, I need a new fuel pump. Before I spent money on that, I pulled the relay and checked for broken soldering. I didn't find any. Next, I removed the gas cap to release pressure in the tank. Then I removed the fuel pressure service bolt. A small amount of gas came out. I pulled the back seat out to check the fuel pump electrical connector and could not find it. Well, that was a waste of time. I put the relay back in and tried the key again. Lo and behold, I had a gas fountain shooting up from the fuel pressure banjo bolt. Looks like the pump is actually working and its very quiet.

The short version is I have fuel and must not have spark. Oh, took the battery to Autozone and it was at 65%. They charged it up for me. This was prior to today's festivities. The starter is very slow even after the battery was charged.

Back to my original question, could the hissing noise (from the above post) help pinpoint a presumed non-spark issue?
 
  #3  
Old 04-01-2012, 12:38 AM
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The hissing noise doesn't really point towards on particular problem.

When the car was not starting, did the starter spin the engine at the normal rate?
 
  #4  
Old 04-01-2012, 08:43 AM
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If you have or can borrow a timing light check that spark is being generated by attaching pickup to all spark plug leads in sequence and turn engine over. No flash means no spark.

good luck
 
  #5  
Old 04-01-2012, 09:55 PM
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I ran a spark check this afternoon at the plug and there was no spark. I took off the distributor and there was a small amount of white powder in there. It wiped off easily. The rotor looked worn. I used battery brush to clean/polish the copper parts. They were smudged/dirty. I put it all back together (it was the end of the day). It turned over slowly. After the 3rd try the engine caught and ran fine. After a few minutes I turned it off. Upon trying to start it again, it worked perfectly. Very good turn over when starting.

Keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow morning's commute.
 
  #6  
Old 04-02-2012, 11:05 AM
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Took 2 tries this morning to start the car, better than it used to be. Halfway through my 25-minute commute the Check Engine light came on. <sigh> Hopefully, the codes will help me pinpoint the problem and this isn't something completely unrelated.
 
  #7  
Old 04-03-2012, 05:17 PM
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Whatever the codes are, I hope a tune up (cap, rotor, plugs) are on the list to be changed very soon.
 
  #8  
Old 04-04-2012, 11:14 AM
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Default The saga continues...

The Check Engine light is giving me fits. Three times in a row it came on after about 10 minutes of driving. Once the car stops, it resets. The 4th time I drove it, the light did not come on. I had gone to Autozone to have them read the code but they didn't have an OBD-I reader. I jumpered the connector and there was no flashing. Car continues to buck and shudder when accelerating after a quick deceleration, sometimes it happens from a dead stop.

If the rain ever stops, I see wires, plugs, tube seals, valve gasket, distributor cap and rotor in my future.

When the CE light comes on again, can I leave the car running and jumper the connector to read the code or does the engine have to be off?
 
  #9  
Old 04-04-2012, 02:13 PM
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Even if the check engine light turns off, you should still be able to read the code.

When you jumped that connector, did the check engine light just stay on when you turned the key to the II position?
 
  #10  
Old 04-05-2012, 06:52 PM
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The light did not stay on. I used a paperclip for the jumper, probably not the best choice, but it was laying in the car already.
 

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