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Old 14 Apr 2008, 03:22 pm
Gib Bogle
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Default Civic SI idle problem

For some time my daughter's 1985 Civic SI has had an intermittent idle
problem, and now it has become much worse, to the point that it can't be
ignored. At idle the engine speed cycles up and down between about 1000
rpm and 2000 rpm, about twice a second. It is almost as if the engine
cuts out when the revs get up to 2000, then cuts in again when it drops
below 1000 rpm. Now the condition seems to have become permanent (funny
how problems like this never seem to get better) and it affects low
speed driving, e.g. in heavy traffic. While driving if the revs are
about 2000 with little throttle the engine does the same cycling, making
driving very difficult (once was enough for me to convince myself not to
do it again).

Perhaps someone can tell me what is likely to be the problem. Does
something need to be cleaned, or is it a matter of replacing a sensor or
valve? Otherwise this car still runs very well - very sporty - and I'd
hate to junk it. Thanks in advance for all suggestions.

Gib
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 14 Apr 2008, 04:30 pm
motsco_
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Default Re: Civic SI idle problem

Gib Bogle wrote:
> For some time my daughter's 1985 Civic SI has had an intermittent idle
> problem, and now it has become much worse, to the point that it can't be
> ignored. At idle the engine speed cycles up and down between about 1000
> rpm and 2000 rpm, about twice a second. It is almost as if the engine
> cuts out when the revs get up to 2000, then cuts in again when it drops
> below 1000 rpm. Now the condition seems to have become permanent (funny
> how problems like this never seem to get better) and it affects low
> speed driving, e.g. in heavy traffic. While driving if the revs are
> about 2000 with little throttle the engine does the same cycling, making
> driving very difficult (once was enough for me to convince myself not to
> do it again).
>
> Perhaps someone can tell me what is likely to be the problem. Does
> something need to be cleaned, or is it a matter of replacing a sensor or
> valve? Otherwise this car still runs very well - very sporty - and I'd
> hate to junk it. Thanks in advance for all suggestions.
>
> Gib

----------------------

First thing to check for AIR in the cooling system. Top up the reservoir
and the rad, then do it again next morning (cold engine). The engine
uses hot coolant so set various functions and the idle is one of them.
Use premix coolant, not tap water.

Report back.

'Curly'
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 14 Apr 2008, 06:02 pm
speedy
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Default Re: Civic SI idle problem

The next thing to look for is bad vacuum hoses or components. Vacuum
leaks cause a lot of higher than normal idle problems.

-SP

Gib Bogle wrote:
> For some time my daughter's 1985 Civic SI has had an intermittent idle
> problem, and now it has become much worse, to the point that it can't be
> ignored. At idle the engine speed cycles up and down between about 1000
> rpm and 2000 rpm, about twice a second. It is almost as if the engine
> cuts out when the revs get up to 2000, then cuts in again when it drops
> below 1000 rpm. Now the condition seems to have become permanent (funny
> how problems like this never seem to get better) and it affects low
> speed driving, e.g. in heavy traffic. While driving if the revs are
> about 2000 with little throttle the engine does the same cycling, making
> driving very difficult (once was enough for me to convince myself not to
> do it again).
>
> Perhaps someone can tell me what is likely to be the problem. Does
> something need to be cleaned, or is it a matter of replacing a sensor or
> valve? Otherwise this car still runs very well - very sporty - and I'd
> hate to junk it. Thanks in advance for all suggestions.
>
> Gib

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 15 Apr 2008, 03:26 am
Gib Bogle
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Civic SI idle problem

motsco_ wrote:
> Gib Bogle wrote:
>> For some time my daughter's 1985 Civic SI has had an intermittent idle
>> problem, and now it has become much worse, to the point that it can't
>> be ignored. At idle the engine speed cycles up and down between about
>> 1000 rpm and 2000 rpm, about twice a second. It is almost as if the
>> engine cuts out when the revs get up to 2000, then cuts in again when
>> it drops below 1000 rpm. Now the condition seems to have become
>> permanent (funny how problems like this never seem to get better) and
>> it affects low speed driving, e.g. in heavy traffic. While driving if
>> the revs are about 2000 with little throttle the engine does the same
>> cycling, making driving very difficult (once was enough for me to
>> convince myself not to do it again).
>>
>> Perhaps someone can tell me what is likely to be the problem. Does
>> something need to be cleaned, or is it a matter of replacing a sensor
>> or valve? Otherwise this car still runs very well - very sporty - and
>> I'd hate to junk it. Thanks in advance for all suggestions.
>>
>> Gib

> ----------------------
>
> First thing to check for AIR in the cooling system. Top up the reservoir
> and the rad, then do it again next morning (cold engine). The engine
> uses hot coolant so set various functions and the idle is one of them.
> Use premix coolant, not tap water.
>
> Report back.
>
> 'Curly'


Thanks Curly. I will report back, but it will be a few days before I
have time to try this.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 15 Apr 2008, 03:26 am
Gib Bogle
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Civic SI idle problem

speedy wrote:
> The next thing to look for is bad vacuum hoses or components. Vacuum
> leaks cause a lot of higher than normal idle problems.


I'll check the vacuum situation too, as well as I can.
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