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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02 Aug 2007, 05:51 pm
rmjon23
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Default shot in the dark: stalling at a downhill stop

A month ago I'm tooling along fine in my 1989 Civic, when everything
just gradually shut down on a slight downhill grade (in heavy traffic,
of course!).

I pulled over and it would not start, although it felt like it was
trying to. I had plenty of gas in it. Before I found a spot to pull
over (coasting), the brakes felt oddly stiff, suddenly, as if they
were only half-working.

I had it towed to my wife's favorite mechanics. (She drives a Ford.)
They called the next day and said I needed a new distributor. Since
they had already replaced the distributor 10 months ago when my wife
took it in, they gave my another for free, but said my fuel pump was
shot and needed replacing. That rang true enough, so a couple days in
the shop and $400 some-odd later, I drove it home. I live WAY at the
top of a steep hill in the East Bay near Berkeley, CA.

The next day I headed down the hill and it stalled at stops on steep
downhills, but started right back up. It also felt like it was going
to stall on turns, but only lurched a bit. Then I noticed I could
_hear_ the "new" fuel pump whining. I took it back and said I thought
I got a bum fuel pump. They agreed and replaced it.

This time no sound from the fuel pump, but it still stalled on
downhills. I took it back, told them every symptom I noticed, and left
it at the shop while I went out of town for five days. I thought they
could figure it out. They gave me a line that (suddenly) my gas guage
is broken, that when it reads 1/4 tank it's almost empty, and all I
need to do is keep more than a 1/4 tank in. Well, it wasn't broken
before my troubles began, and, like I said, it runs just fine going up
hills. They also said they plumbed out all my gas lines. What a drag.

They couldn't. And my car now feels pretty much like it did the first
day it conked out on me. As if it's flooding every time I go down
hill. Going up hill is no problem at all.

Anyone got a line on this? I regret I'm one of those guys who excelled
in languages and literature and not practical stuff like
troubleshooting car problems.

Thanks in advance for any and all pointers!

-Michael

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02 Aug 2007, 07:33 pm
Matt Ion
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Default Re: shot in the dark: stalling at a downhill stop

My first guess would be a dirty fuel pickup, or some kind of crud in the
tank that's getting sucked into the pickup (or more specifically, onto
its screen) when you're facing downhill, especially if it's a
fuel-injected version. Normally you'd replace the whole pump/pickup
assembly, but if they just replaced the pump, that could be the issue...
it could also just be that there's a lot of crud in the tank that's
affecting even a new pickup.

If it's carbed, I would suspect dirt in the carb's float bowl that's
slogging around and plugging the main jet. I had a similar problem with
my carbed '87 Accord, in which the crud in the float bowl would get
sucked up and clog the jets on a hard left turn, and I'd have to wait a
good 15-20 minutes for the pressure to back off before it would start again.

rmjon23 wrote:
> A month ago I'm tooling along fine in my 1989 Civic, when everything
> just gradually shut down on a slight downhill grade (in heavy traffic,
> of course!).
>
> I pulled over and it would not start, although it felt like it was
> trying to. I had plenty of gas in it. Before I found a spot to pull
> over (coasting), the brakes felt oddly stiff, suddenly, as if they
> were only half-working.
>
> I had it towed to my wife's favorite mechanics. (She drives a Ford.)
> They called the next day and said I needed a new distributor. Since
> they had already replaced the distributor 10 months ago when my wife
> took it in, they gave my another for free, but said my fuel pump was
> shot and needed replacing. That rang true enough, so a couple days in
> the shop and $400 some-odd later, I drove it home. I live WAY at the
> top of a steep hill in the East Bay near Berkeley, CA.
>
> The next day I headed down the hill and it stalled at stops on steep
> downhills, but started right back up. It also felt like it was going
> to stall on turns, but only lurched a bit. Then I noticed I could
> _hear_ the "new" fuel pump whining. I took it back and said I thought
> I got a bum fuel pump. They agreed and replaced it.
>
> This time no sound from the fuel pump, but it still stalled on
> downhills. I took it back, told them every symptom I noticed, and left
> it at the shop while I went out of town for five days. I thought they
> could figure it out. They gave me a line that (suddenly) my gas guage
> is broken, that when it reads 1/4 tank it's almost empty, and all I
> need to do is keep more than a 1/4 tank in. Well, it wasn't broken
> before my troubles began, and, like I said, it runs just fine going up
> hills. They also said they plumbed out all my gas lines. What a drag.
>
> They couldn't. And my car now feels pretty much like it did the first
> day it conked out on me. As if it's flooding every time I go down
> hill. Going up hill is no problem at all.
>
> Anyone got a line on this? I regret I'm one of those guys who excelled
> in languages and literature and not practical stuff like
> troubleshooting car problems.
>
> Thanks in advance for any and all pointers!
>
> -Michael
>

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 02 Aug 2007, 09:15 pm
jim beam
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: shot in the dark: stalling at a downhill stop

rmjon23 wrote:
> A month ago I'm tooling along fine in my 1989 Civic, when everything
> just gradually shut down on a slight downhill grade (in heavy traffic,
> of course!).
>
> I pulled over and it would not start, although it felt like it was
> trying to. I had plenty of gas in it. Before I found a spot to pull
> over (coasting), the brakes felt oddly stiff, suddenly, as if they
> were only half-working.
>
> I had it towed to my wife's favorite mechanics. (She drives a Ford.)
> They called the next day and said I needed a new distributor. Since
> they had already replaced the distributor 10 months ago when my wife
> took it in, they gave my another for free, but said my fuel pump was
> shot and needed replacing. That rang true enough, so a couple days in
> the shop and $400 some-odd later, I drove it home. I live WAY at the
> top of a steep hill in the East Bay near Berkeley, CA.
>
> The next day I headed down the hill and it stalled at stops on steep
> downhills, but started right back up. It also felt like it was going
> to stall on turns, but only lurched a bit. Then I noticed I could
> _hear_ the "new" fuel pump whining. I took it back and said I thought
> I got a bum fuel pump. They agreed and replaced it.
>
> This time no sound from the fuel pump, but it still stalled on
> downhills. I took it back, told them every symptom I noticed, and left
> it at the shop while I went out of town for five days. I thought they
> could figure it out. They gave me a line that (suddenly) my gas guage
> is broken, that when it reads 1/4 tank it's almost empty, and all I
> need to do is keep more than a 1/4 tank in. Well, it wasn't broken
> before my troubles began, and, like I said, it runs just fine going up
> hills. They also said they plumbed out all my gas lines. What a drag.
>
> They couldn't. And my car now feels pretty much like it did the first
> day it conked out on me. As if it's flooding every time I go down
> hill. Going up hill is no problem at all.
>
> Anyone got a line on this? I regret I'm one of those guys who excelled
> in languages and literature and not practical stuff like
> troubleshooting car problems.
>
> Thanks in advance for any and all pointers!
>
> -Michael
>


any dents in the tank? internal baffles tend to get damaged in
accidents or when the tank gets dented and they can bend the pickup and
the float.

other than that, make sure the idle is set correctly. google this group
for setup procedure.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 03 Aug 2007, 02:36 am
rmjon23
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: shot in the dark: stalling at a downhill stop

Jeez, what great responses. Sincere thanks to both Matt and Jim for
the ideas and insight. (Esp Matt Ion) You guys RAWK! And maybe some of
the info will lead to a solution...

-rmjon23

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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 03 Aug 2007, 03:50 pm
Matt Ion
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: shot in the dark: stalling at a downhill stop

rmjon23 wrote:
> Jeez, what great responses. Sincere thanks to both Matt and Jim for
> the ideas and insight. (Esp Matt Ion) You guys RAWK! And maybe some of
> the info will lead to a solution...


Just so we're on the same page, is this Civic carbed or FI'd?
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 03 Aug 2007, 07:40 pm
High Tech Misfit
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: shot in the dark: stalling at a downhill stop

Matt Ion wrote:

> rmjon23 wrote:
>> Jeez, what great responses. Sincere thanks to both Matt and Jim for
>> the ideas and insight. (Esp Matt Ion) You guys RAWK! And maybe some of
>> the info will lead to a solution...

>
> Just so we're on the same page, is this Civic carbed or FI'd?


I'm pretty sure that all 4th-gen Civics were fuel-injected.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 03 Aug 2007, 09:37 pm
Matt Ion
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Default Re: shot in the dark: stalling at a downhill stop

High Tech Misfit wrote:
> Matt Ion wrote:
>
>> rmjon23 wrote:
>>> Jeez, what great responses. Sincere thanks to both Matt and Jim for
>>> the ideas and insight. (Esp Matt Ion) You guys RAWK! And maybe some of
>>> the info will lead to a solution...

>> Just so we're on the same page, is this Civic carbed or FI'd?

>
> I'm pretty sure that all 4th-gen Civics were fuel-injected.


I'd think so too, but I just want to be sure, since '86-'89 was a
"crossover" generation for Accords.
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