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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11 Mar 2005, 04:56 pm
K-town
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default What is the Problem - UPDATE

[Copied from original message]

For about a week or so, I had noticed a scratching sort of noise coming
from somewhere under the hood, but was unable to pin-point its location.
There were no changes in engine performance or behavior. One morning,
I was sitting at a stoplight, the engine stumbled very hard, and almost
cut off. The Check-Engine light came on, and idle RPM level returned to
normal. (I also noticed the scratching noise had stopped) Upon trying
to accelerate, I noticed the car would not rev any higher than
3,500RPMs. (This is a classic symptom of the auxillary fuel injector
not working) I checked the ECU and the LED was blinking 16 times, which
corresponds to the "Fuel Injector or Fuel Injector Circuit". I called a
few mechanics that were supposed to be "Honda specialists" and they all
told me to change the throttle body because the Throttle Position Sensor
had gone bad and that is what was causing the Check Engine light to come
on and making the Fuel Injector stop working. I bought a throttle body
from Beaver's Honda (junk yard) for $65 and changed it myself. Now,
when I crank it up, it idles at almost 2,000RPMs. The idle adjuster
screw is all the way out, so that's not causing the high idle speed.
When the accelerator is pressed, I can hear the engine suck in a lot of
air, but instead of revving up, it bogs down, and then back-fires
through the intake. Aside from changing the throttle body, I have not
changed any other parts.

[End original message]

**UPDATE**

I took my car to a highly recommended mechanic and he told me that the
problem was being caused by 2 things: #1. My distributor is not working
properly. #2. Due to #1, the ECU is throwing code #16. So, he recommended
replacing the distributor and the ECU. I've gotten a few responses to my
original post; what do you guys think? (If you're just joining us, my car
is a 1990 Civic LX, 5-speed, 1.5L Dual-Point Fuel Injection; D15B2)

Thanx again! ;-)

Jonathan

P.S. By distributor, he means the whole thing, not just the cap.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11 Mar 2005, 05:18 pm
Michael Pardee
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What is the Problem - UPDATE

"K-town" <none_of@your.biz> wrote in message
news:8mpYd.18093$_i3.365163@twister.southeast.rr.c om...
> [Copied from original message]
>
> For about a week or so, I had noticed a scratching sort of noise coming
> from somewhere under the hood, but was unable to pin-point its location.
> There were no changes in engine performance or behavior. One morning,
> I was sitting at a stoplight, the engine stumbled very hard, and almost
> cut off. The Check-Engine light came on, and idle RPM level returned to
> normal. (I also noticed the scratching noise had stopped) Upon trying
> to accelerate, I noticed the car would not rev any higher than
> 3,500RPMs. (This is a classic symptom of the auxillary fuel injector
> not working) I checked the ECU and the LED was blinking 16 times, which
> corresponds to the "Fuel Injector or Fuel Injector Circuit". I called a
> few mechanics that were supposed to be "Honda specialists" and they all
> told me to change the throttle body because the Throttle Position Sensor
> had gone bad and that is what was causing the Check Engine light to come
> on and making the Fuel Injector stop working. I bought a throttle body
> from Beaver's Honda (junk yard) for $65 and changed it myself. Now,
> when I crank it up, it idles at almost 2,000RPMs. The idle adjuster
> screw is all the way out, so that's not causing the high idle speed.
> When the accelerator is pressed, I can hear the engine suck in a lot of
> air, but instead of revving up, it bogs down, and then back-fires
> through the intake. Aside from changing the throttle body, I have not
> changed any other parts.
>
> [End original message]
>
> **UPDATE**
>
> I took my car to a highly recommended mechanic and he told me that the
> problem was being caused by 2 things: #1. My distributor is not working
> properly. #2. Due to #1, the ECU is throwing code #16. So, he
> recommended
> replacing the distributor and the ECU. I've gotten a few responses to my
> original post; what do you guys think? (If you're just joining us, my car
> is a 1990 Civic LX, 5-speed, 1.5L Dual-Point Fuel Injection; D15B2)
>
> Thanx again! ;-)
>
> Jonathan
>
> P.S. By distributor, he means the whole thing, not just the cap.
>

The distributor has a spotty reputation, but I see no reason at all for
replacing the ECU unless it has definitely gotten wet. (In that case, start
with the ECU and see if the distributor is causing symptoms.) If the gurus
approve, the distributor sounds semi-reasonable (on the basis of his
reputation - I don't see the link to the injector code but it could be). I
recommend you have him hold off on the ECU. If you get to the point you
believe you need an ECU, definitely go for one from a wrecking yard for a
tenth the price of a new one. But I'd bet heavily you don't need an ECU if
the car hasn't been in deep water when this started.

Mike


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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 11 Mar 2005, 09:54 pm
jim beam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What is the Problem - UPDATE

K-town wrote:
> [Copied from original message]
>
> For about a week or so, I had noticed a scratching sort of noise coming
> from somewhere under the hood, but was unable to pin-point its location.
> There were no changes in engine performance or behavior. One morning,
> I was sitting at a stoplight, the engine stumbled very hard, and almost
> cut off. The Check-Engine light came on, and idle RPM level returned to
> normal. (I also noticed the scratching noise had stopped) Upon trying
> to accelerate, I noticed the car would not rev any higher than
> 3,500RPMs. (This is a classic symptom of the auxillary fuel injector
> not working) I checked the ECU and the LED was blinking 16 times, which
> corresponds to the "Fuel Injector or Fuel Injector Circuit". I called a
> few mechanics that were supposed to be "Honda specialists" and they all
> told me to change the throttle body because the Throttle Position Sensor
> had gone bad and that is what was causing the Check Engine light to come
> on and making the Fuel Injector stop working. I bought a throttle body
> from Beaver's Honda (junk yard) for $65 and changed it myself. Now,
> when I crank it up, it idles at almost 2,000RPMs. The idle adjuster
> screw is all the way out, so that's not causing the high idle speed.
> When the accelerator is pressed, I can hear the engine suck in a lot of
> air, but instead of revving up, it bogs down, and then back-fires
> through the intake. Aside from changing the throttle body, I have not
> changed any other parts.
>
> [End original message]
>
> **UPDATE**
>
> I took my car to a highly recommended mechanic and he told me that the
> problem was being caused by 2 things: #1. My distributor is not working
> properly. #2. Due to #1, the ECU is throwing code #16. So, he recommended
> replacing the distributor and the ECU. I've gotten a few responses to my
> original post; what do you guys think? (If you're just joining us, my car
> is a 1990 Civic LX, 5-speed, 1.5L Dual-Point Fuel Injection; D15B2)
>
> Thanx again! ;-)
>
> Jonathan
>
> P.S. By distributor, he means the whole thing, not just the cap.
>
>

DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT replace the distributor & ecu for a code 16. i
can't tell you how many times i've seen owners get hosed for massive
amounts of money like this, & guess what? it /won't/ fix your problem!

as before, fix the 16 - either $55 for a new relay or $0 if you're handy
with a soldering iron, then address the other points we discussed
before. if the distributor has an electronic fault, the car won't run
at all. if it has a mechanical fault like the rotor arm's broken loose,
it's a simple fix unless it's ruined the distributor's bearings, but
that's easliy determined by taking the distributor cap off & trying to
jiggle the central shaft around. side to side play = bearing problem.

report back after you've dealt with the relay, checked the distributor &
checked the hose/injector squirt issues we discussed earlier.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 12 Mar 2005, 09:31 am
K-town
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What is the Problem - UPDATE

----- Original Message -----
From: "jim beam" <nospam@example.net>
Newsgroups: alt.autos.honda
Sent: Friday, March 11, 2005 10:54 PM
Subject: Re: What is the Problem - UPDATE


> K-town wrote:
>> [Copied from original message]
>>
>> For about a week or so, I had noticed a scratching sort of noise coming
>> from somewhere under the hood, but was unable to pin-point its location.
>> There were no changes in engine performance or behavior. One morning,
>> I was sitting at a stoplight, the engine stumbled very hard, and almost
>> cut off. The Check-Engine light came on, and idle RPM level returned to
>> normal. (I also noticed the scratching noise had stopped) Upon trying
>> to accelerate, I noticed the car would not rev any higher than
>> 3,500RPMs. (This is a classic symptom of the auxillary fuel injector
>> not working) I checked the ECU and the LED was blinking 16 times, which
>> corresponds to the "Fuel Injector or Fuel Injector Circuit". I called a
>> few mechanics that were supposed to be "Honda specialists" and they all
>> told me to change the throttle body because the Throttle Position Sensor
>> had gone bad and that is what was causing the Check Engine light to come
>> on and making the Fuel Injector stop working. I bought a throttle body
>> from Beaver's Honda (junk yard) for $65 and changed it myself. Now,
>> when I crank it up, it idles at almost 2,000RPMs. The idle adjuster
>> screw is all the way out, so that's not causing the high idle speed.
>> When the accelerator is pressed, I can hear the engine suck in a lot of
>> air, but instead of revving up, it bogs down, and then back-fires
>> through the intake. Aside from changing the throttle body, I have not
>> changed any other parts.
>>
>> [End original message]
>>
>> **UPDATE**
>>
>> I took my car to a highly recommended mechanic and he told me that the
>> problem was being caused by 2 things: #1. My distributor is not working
>> properly. #2. Due to #1, the ECU is throwing code #16. So, he
>> recommended
>> replacing the distributor and the ECU. I've gotten a few responses to my
>> original post; what do you guys think? (If you're just joining us, my
>> car
>> is a 1990 Civic LX, 5-speed, 1.5L Dual-Point Fuel Injection; D15B2)
>>
>> Thanx again! ;-)
>>
>> Jonathan
>>
>> P.S. By distributor, he means the whole thing, not just the cap.

> DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT replace the distributor & ecu for a code 16. i
> can't tell you how many times i've seen owners get hosed for massive
> amounts of money like this, & guess what? it /won't/ fix your problem!
>
> as before, fix the 16 - either $55 for a new relay or $0 if you're handy
> with a soldering iron, then address the other points we discussed before.
> if the distributor has an electronic fault, the car won't run at all. if
> it has a mechanical fault like the rotor arm's broken loose, it's a simple
> fix unless it's ruined the distributor's bearings, but that's easliy
> determined by taking the distributor cap off & trying to jiggle the
> central shaft around. side to side play = bearing problem.
>
> report back after you've dealt with the relay, checked the distributor &
> checked the hose/injector squirt issues we discussed earlier.


I picked up my car last night from the mechanic. (I told him I can replace
the distributor and ECU myself, so don't fix it) Upon starting the car, the
Check-Engine light immediately came on, and all the way home, my car would
not go above 40 MPH, even downhill! My average speed was about 25MPH. The
car had practically no power whatsoever; like it was running on only 2 out
of 4 cylinders. If I pressed the gas pedal down about 1/4, it would
backfire through the intake severely about 3 or 4 times in about 2 seconds.
If I floored it, it would smoke out the tailpipe terribly, and the
temperature gauge would rise to 3/4. I found pressing it down about way
was the "happy medium"; the temperature gauge stayed at the normal level, it
didn't backfire, but it was still running VERY rich. (I could smell gas
from inside the car...granted I had the vent open) It will idle at a
relatively normal level now, but has almost no torque or horsepower. Any
more ideas guys?

Thanx again! :-)

Jonathan

P.S. I'm going to check the distributor and main relay this weekend. The
mechanic didn't say anything about finding any vacuum leaks.


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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12 Mar 2005, 09:41 pm
jim beam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What is the Problem - UPDATE

K-town wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "jim beam" <nospam@example.net>
> Newsgroups: alt.autos.honda
> Sent: Friday, March 11, 2005 10:54 PM
> Subject: Re: What is the Problem - UPDATE
>
>
>
>>K-town wrote:
>>
>>>[Copied from original message]
>>>
>>>For about a week or so, I had noticed a scratching sort of noise coming
>>>from somewhere under the hood, but was unable to pin-point its location.
>>> There were no changes in engine performance or behavior. One morning,
>>>I was sitting at a stoplight, the engine stumbled very hard, and almost
>>>cut off. The Check-Engine light came on, and idle RPM level returned to
>>>normal. (I also noticed the scratching noise had stopped) Upon trying
>>>to accelerate, I noticed the car would not rev any higher than
>>>3,500RPMs. (This is a classic symptom of the auxillary fuel injector
>>>not working) I checked the ECU and the LED was blinking 16 times, which
>>>corresponds to the "Fuel Injector or Fuel Injector Circuit". I called a
>>>few mechanics that were supposed to be "Honda specialists" and they all
>>>told me to change the throttle body because the Throttle Position Sensor
>>>had gone bad and that is what was causing the Check Engine light to come
>>>on and making the Fuel Injector stop working. I bought a throttle body
>>>from Beaver's Honda (junk yard) for $65 and changed it myself. Now,
>>>when I crank it up, it idles at almost 2,000RPMs. The idle adjuster
>>>screw is all the way out, so that's not causing the high idle speed.
>>>When the accelerator is pressed, I can hear the engine suck in a lot of
>>>air, but instead of revving up, it bogs down, and then back-fires
>>>through the intake. Aside from changing the throttle body, I have not
>>>changed any other parts.
>>>
>>>[End original message]
>>>
>>>**UPDATE**
>>>
>>>I took my car to a highly recommended mechanic and he told me that the
>>>problem was being caused by 2 things: #1. My distributor is not working
>>>properly. #2. Due to #1, the ECU is throwing code #16. So, he
>>>recommended
>>>replacing the distributor and the ECU. I've gotten a few responses to my
>>>original post; what do you guys think? (If you're just joining us, my
>>>car
>>>is a 1990 Civic LX, 5-speed, 1.5L Dual-Point Fuel Injection; D15B2)
>>>
>>>Thanx again! ;-)
>>>
>>>Jonathan
>>>
>>>P.S. By distributor, he means the whole thing, not just the cap.

>>
>>DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT replace the distributor & ecu for a code 16. i
>>can't tell you how many times i've seen owners get hosed for massive
>>amounts of money like this, & guess what? it /won't/ fix your problem!
>>
>>as before, fix the 16 - either $55 for a new relay or $0 if you're handy
>>with a soldering iron, then address the other points we discussed before.
>>if the distributor has an electronic fault, the car won't run at all. if
>>it has a mechanical fault like the rotor arm's broken loose, it's a simple
>>fix unless it's ruined the distributor's bearings, but that's easliy
>>determined by taking the distributor cap off & trying to jiggle the
>>central shaft around. side to side play = bearing problem.
>>
>>report back after you've dealt with the relay, checked the distributor &
>>checked the hose/injector squirt issues we discussed earlier.

>
>
> I picked up my car last night from the mechanic. (I told him I can replace
> the distributor and ECU myself, so don't fix it) Upon starting the car, the
> Check-Engine light immediately came on, and all the way home, my car would
> not go above 40 MPH, even downhill! My average speed was about 25MPH. The
> car had practically no power whatsoever; like it was running on only 2 out
> of 4 cylinders. If I pressed the gas pedal down about 1/4, it would
> backfire through the intake severely about 3 or 4 times in about 2 seconds.
> If I floored it, it would smoke out the tailpipe terribly, and the
> temperature gauge would rise to 3/4. I found pressing it down about way
> was the "happy medium"; the temperature gauge stayed at the normal level, it
> didn't backfire, but it was still running VERY rich. (I could smell gas
> from inside the car...granted I had the vent open) It will idle at a
> relatively normal level now, but has almost no torque or horsepower. Any
> more ideas guys?
>
> Thanx again! :-)
>
> Jonathan
>
> P.S. I'm going to check the distributor and main relay this weekend. The
> mechanic didn't say anything about finding any vacuum leaks.


this is the same "highly recommended" mechanic that wanted to replace
the ecu?

jonathan, you've got to be methodical & systematic in both your
diagnosis & repair. the symptoms you describe could be a number of
things including skipped timing belt, messed up firing order, broken
rotor arm, injector jammed open...

1. read the ecu codes & fix each issue as indicated. remember, 16 is
usually main relay, not injectors. apart from that, the codes are
reliable afaik.

2. check inside the distributor. the rotor arm breaking loose could
account for a scraping noise, then misfire.

3. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take the trouble to check for the things already
suggested before continuing to post asking for more diagnosis. it's
pretty shabby having to guess which car you have, then have to guess a
diagnosis for an incompletely described problem. do your homework, then
report results so we can get to the bottom of this.

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 13 Mar 2005, 03:39 pm
Jonathan Upright
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What is the Problem - UPDATE

jim beam wrote:
> K-town wrote:
>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "jim beam" <nospam@example.net>
>> Newsgroups: alt.autos.honda
>> Sent: Friday, March 11, 2005 10:54 PM
>> Subject: Re: What is the Problem - UPDATE
>>
>>
>>
>>> K-town wrote:
>>>
>>>> [Copied from original message]
>>>>
>>>> For about a week or so, I had noticed a scratching sort of noise coming
>>>> from somewhere under the hood, but was unable to pin-point its
>>>> location.
>>>> There were no changes in engine performance or behavior. One morning,
>>>> I was sitting at a stoplight, the engine stumbled very hard, and almost
>>>> cut off. The Check-Engine light came on, and idle RPM level
>>>> returned to
>>>> normal. (I also noticed the scratching noise had stopped) Upon trying
>>>> to accelerate, I noticed the car would not rev any higher than
>>>> 3,500RPMs. (This is a classic symptom of the auxillary fuel injector
>>>> not working) I checked the ECU and the LED was blinking 16 times,
>>>> which
>>>> corresponds to the "Fuel Injector or Fuel Injector Circuit". I
>>>> called a
>>>> few mechanics that were supposed to be "Honda specialists" and they all
>>>> told me to change the throttle body because the Throttle Position
>>>> Sensor
>>>> had gone bad and that is what was causing the Check Engine light to
>>>> come
>>>> on and making the Fuel Injector stop working. I bought a throttle body
>>>> from Beaver's Honda (junk yard) for $65 and changed it myself. Now,
>>>> when I crank it up, it idles at almost 2,000RPMs. The idle adjuster
>>>> screw is all the way out, so that's not causing the high idle speed.
>>>> When the accelerator is pressed, I can hear the engine suck in a lot of
>>>> air, but instead of revving up, it bogs down, and then back-fires
>>>> through the intake. Aside from changing the throttle body, I have not
>>>> changed any other parts.
>>>>
>>>> [End original message]
>>>>
>>>> **UPDATE**
>>>>
>>>> I took my car to a highly recommended mechanic and he told me that the
>>>> problem was being caused by 2 things: #1. My distributor is not
>>>> working
>>>> properly. #2. Due to #1, the ECU is throwing code #16. So, he
>>>> recommended
>>>> replacing the distributor and the ECU. I've gotten a few responses
>>>> to my
>>>> original post; what do you guys think? (If you're just joining us,
>>>> my car
>>>> is a 1990 Civic LX, 5-speed, 1.5L Dual-Point Fuel Injection; D15B2)
>>>>
>>>> Thanx again! ;-)
>>>>
>>>> Jonathan
>>>>
>>>> P.S. By distributor, he means the whole thing, not just the cap.
>>>
>>>
>>> DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT replace the distributor & ecu for a code 16.
>>> i can't tell you how many times i've seen owners get hosed for
>>> massive amounts of money like this, & guess what? it /won't/ fix
>>> your problem!
>>>
>>> as before, fix the 16 - either $55 for a new relay or $0 if you're
>>> handy with a soldering iron, then address the other points we
>>> discussed before. if the distributor has an electronic fault, the car
>>> won't run at all. if it has a mechanical fault like the rotor arm's
>>> broken loose, it's a simple fix unless it's ruined the distributor's
>>> bearings, but that's easliy determined by taking the distributor cap
>>> off & trying to jiggle the central shaft around. side to side play =
>>> bearing problem.
>>>
>>> report back after you've dealt with the relay, checked the
>>> distributor & checked the hose/injector squirt issues we discussed
>>> earlier.

>>
>>
>>
>> I picked up my car last night from the mechanic. (I told him I can
>> replace
>> the distributor and ECU myself, so don't fix it) Upon starting the
>> car, the
>> Check-Engine light immediately came on, and all the way home, my car
>> would
>> not go above 40 MPH, even downhill! My average speed was about
>> 25MPH. The
>> car had practically no power whatsoever; like it was running on only 2
>> out
>> of 4 cylinders. If I pressed the gas pedal down about 1/4, it would
>> backfire through the intake severely about 3 or 4 times in about 2
>> seconds.
>> If I floored it, it would smoke out the tailpipe terribly, and the
>> temperature gauge would rise to 3/4. I found pressing it down about
>> way
>> was the "happy medium"; the temperature gauge stayed at the normal
>> level, it
>> didn't backfire, but it was still running VERY rich. (I could smell gas
>> from inside the car...granted I had the vent open) It will idle at a
>> relatively normal level now, but has almost no torque or horsepower. Any
>> more ideas guys?
>>
>> Thanx again! :-)
>>
>> Jonathan
>>
>> P.S. I'm going to check the distributor and main relay this weekend.
>> The
>> mechanic didn't say anything about finding any vacuum leaks.

>
>
> this is the same "highly recommended" mechanic that wanted to replace
> the ecu?
>
> jonathan, you've got to be methodical & systematic in both your
> diagnosis & repair. the symptoms you describe could be a number of
> things including skipped timing belt, messed up firing order, broken
> rotor arm, injector jammed open...
>
> 1. read the ecu codes & fix each issue as indicated. remember, 16 is
> usually main relay, not injectors. apart from that, the codes are
> reliable afaik.
>
> 2. check inside the distributor. the rotor arm breaking loose could
> account for a scraping noise, then misfire.
>
> 3. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take the trouble to check for the things already
> suggested before continuing to post asking for more diagnosis. it's
> pretty shabby having to guess which car you have, then have to guess a
> diagnosis for an incompletely described problem. do your homework, then
> report results so we can get to the bottom of this.
>


Well, we can eliminate the skipped timing belt and messed up firing
order. The mechanic told me he checked the timing belt and it is fine.
I also don't think the injectors are (or ever were) the problem.
(Neither does the mechanic that looked at my car) Plus, if you look at
my original message, I said, "I checked the ECU and the LED was blinking
16 times, which corresponds to the 'Fuel Injector or Fuel Injector
Circuit'. I called a few mechanics that were supposed to be 'Honda
specialists' and they all told me to change the throttle body because
the Throttle Position Sensor had gone bad and that is what was causing
the Check Engine light to come on and making the Fuel Injector stop
working." So I was simply trying to see if you agreed or disagreed with
that hypothesis. All you had to say was, "I disagree with them; I think
it's...etc." Also, after I took my car to the mechanic who said the
problem is in the distributor, and he acutally had his hands on my car,
that was more-or-less an indirect dismissal of the ideas those "other
mechanics" had.

Anyway, back to the subject: I removed the distributor today and found
that there IS some play in the rotor arm. Also, I took the cap off the
distributor to find that the contacts inside had grooves in them.
(Accompanied by a little pile of metal shavings at the bottom of the
cap) The grooves are cut about 1/4 of the way down from the top of the
contacts, almost shearing the tops off. My rotor button contact is worn
down really bad too. So with this fact in mind, would you think it's
safe to say the problem is the distributor?

Thanx,

Jonathan

P.S. I will definitely need a new cap and rotor button now, in addition
to another distributor... :-(
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 13 Mar 2005, 09:05 pm
jim beam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What is the Problem - UPDATE

Jonathan Upright wrote:
> jim beam wrote:
>
>> K-town wrote:
>>
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "jim beam" <nospam@example.net>
>>> Newsgroups: alt.autos.honda
>>> Sent: Friday, March 11, 2005 10:54 PM
>>> Subject: Re: What is the Problem - UPDATE
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>> K-town wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> [Copied from original message]
>>>>>
>>>>> For about a week or so, I had noticed a scratching sort of noise
>>>>> coming
>>>>> from somewhere under the hood, but was unable to pin-point its
>>>>> location.
>>>>> There were no changes in engine performance or behavior. One
>>>>> morning,
>>>>> I was sitting at a stoplight, the engine stumbled very hard, and
>>>>> almost
>>>>> cut off. The Check-Engine light came on, and idle RPM level
>>>>> returned to
>>>>> normal. (I also noticed the scratching noise had stopped) Upon
>>>>> trying
>>>>> to accelerate, I noticed the car would not rev any higher than
>>>>> 3,500RPMs. (This is a classic symptom of the auxillary fuel injector
>>>>> not working) I checked the ECU and the LED was blinking 16 times,
>>>>> which
>>>>> corresponds to the "Fuel Injector or Fuel Injector Circuit". I
>>>>> called a
>>>>> few mechanics that were supposed to be "Honda specialists" and they
>>>>> all
>>>>> told me to change the throttle body because the Throttle Position
>>>>> Sensor
>>>>> had gone bad and that is what was causing the Check Engine light to
>>>>> come
>>>>> on and making the Fuel Injector stop working. I bought a throttle
>>>>> body
>>>>> from Beaver's Honda (junk yard) for $65 and changed it myself. Now,
>>>>> when I crank it up, it idles at almost 2,000RPMs. The idle adjuster
>>>>> screw is all the way out, so that's not causing the high idle speed.
>>>>> When the accelerator is pressed, I can hear the engine suck in a
>>>>> lot of
>>>>> air, but instead of revving up, it bogs down, and then back-fires
>>>>> through the intake. Aside from changing the throttle body, I have not
>>>>> changed any other parts.
>>>>>
>>>>> [End original message]
>>>>>
>>>>> **UPDATE**
>>>>>
>>>>> I took my car to a highly recommended mechanic and he told me that the
>>>>> problem was being caused by 2 things: #1. My distributor is not
>>>>> working
>>>>> properly. #2. Due to #1, the ECU is throwing code #16. So, he
>>>>> recommended
>>>>> replacing the distributor and the ECU. I've gotten a few responses
>>>>> to my
>>>>> original post; what do you guys think? (If you're just joining us,
>>>>> my car
>>>>> is a 1990 Civic LX, 5-speed, 1.5L Dual-Point Fuel Injection; D15B2)
>>>>>
>>>>> Thanx again! ;-)
>>>>>
>>>>> Jonathan
>>>>>
>>>>> P.S. By distributor, he means the whole thing, not just the cap.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT replace the distributor & ecu for a code 16.
>>>> i can't tell you how many times i've seen owners get hosed for
>>>> massive amounts of money like this, & guess what? it /won't/ fix
>>>> your problem!
>>>>
>>>> as before, fix the 16 - either $55 for a new relay or $0 if you're
>>>> handy with a soldering iron, then address the other points we
>>>> discussed before. if the distributor has an electronic fault, the
>>>> car won't run at all. if it has a mechanical fault like the rotor
>>>> arm's broken loose, it's a simple fix unless it's ruined the
>>>> distributor's bearings, but that's easliy determined by taking the
>>>> distributor cap off & trying to jiggle the central shaft around.
>>>> side to side play = bearing problem.
>>>>
>>>> report back after you've dealt with the relay, checked the
>>>> distributor & checked the hose/injector squirt issues we discussed
>>>> earlier.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I picked up my car last night from the mechanic. (I told him I can
>>> replace
>>> the distributor and ECU myself, so don't fix it) Upon starting the
>>> car, the
>>> Check-Engine light immediately came on, and all the way home, my car
>>> would
>>> not go above 40 MPH, even downhill! My average speed was about
>>> 25MPH. The
>>> car had practically no power whatsoever; like it was running on only
>>> 2 out
>>> of 4 cylinders. If I pressed the gas pedal down about 1/4, it would
>>> backfire through the intake severely about 3 or 4 times in about 2
>>> seconds.
>>> If I floored it, it would smoke out the tailpipe terribly, and the
>>> temperature gauge would rise to 3/4. I found pressing it down about
>>> way
>>> was the "happy medium"; the temperature gauge stayed at the normal
>>> level, it
>>> didn't backfire, but it was still running VERY rich. (I could smell gas
>>> from inside the car...granted I had the vent open) It will idle at a
>>> relatively normal level now, but has almost no torque or horsepower.
>>> Any
>>> more ideas guys?
>>>
>>> Thanx again! :-)
>>>
>>> Jonathan
>>>
>>> P.S. I'm going to check the distributor and main relay this
>>> weekend. The
>>> mechanic didn't say anything about finding any vacuum leaks.

>>
>>
>>
>> this is the same "highly recommended" mechanic that wanted to replace
>> the ecu?
>>
>> jonathan, you've got to be methodical & systematic in both your
>> diagnosis & repair. the symptoms you describe could be a number of
>> things including skipped timing belt, messed up firing order, broken
>> rotor arm, injector jammed open...
>>
>> 1. read the ecu codes & fix each issue as indicated. remember, 16 is
>> usually main relay, not injectors. apart from that, the codes are
>> reliable afaik.
>>
>> 2. check inside the distributor. the rotor arm breaking loose could
>> account for a scraping noise, then misfire.
>>
>> 3. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take the trouble to check for the things
>> already suggested before continuing to post asking for more
>> diagnosis. it's pretty shabby having to guess which car you have,
>> then have to guess a diagnosis for an incompletely described problem.
>> do your homework, then report results so we can get to the bottom of
>> this.
>>

>
> Well, we can eliminate the skipped timing belt and messed up firing
> order. The mechanic told me he checked the timing belt and it is fine.


you still need to check. this is the guy that recommended the new ecu,
remember? you've got more chance of being hit by meteorite than the ecu
failing.

> I also don't think the injectors are (or ever were) the problem.
> (Neither does the mechanic that looked at my car) Plus, if you look at
> my original message, I said, "I checked the ECU and the LED was blinking
> 16 times, which corresponds to the 'Fuel Injector or Fuel Injector
> Circuit'. I called a few mechanics that were supposed to be 'Honda
> specialists' and they all told me to change the throttle body because
> the Throttle Position Sensor had gone bad and that is what was causing
> the Check Engine light to come on and making the Fuel Injector stop
> working."


that's a crock. re-solder the main relay & watch the code 16 disappear.
then tell these "honda specialists" that they don't know what they're
doing.

> So I was simply trying to see if you agreed or disagreed with
> that hypothesis. All you had to say was, "I disagree with them; I think
> it's...etc." Also, after I took my car to the mechanic who said the
> problem is in the distributor, and he acutally had his hands on my car,
> that was more-or-less an indirect dismissal of the ideas those "other
> mechanics" had.


you want free advice or not? t.p.s. is code 7. that /is/ reliably
diagnosed by the ecu. no code = no t.p.s. problem. your mechanic is
clutching at straws because they're trying not to look stupid - and
recommend spendy work at the same time.

>
> Anyway, back to the subject: I removed the distributor today and found
> that there IS some play in the rotor arm. Also, I took the cap off the
> distributor to find that the contacts inside had grooves in them.
> (Accompanied by a little pile of metal shavings at the bottom of the
> cap) The grooves are cut about 1/4 of the way down from the top of the
> contacts, almost shearing the tops off. My rotor button contact is worn
> down really bad too. So with this fact in mind, would you think it's
> safe to say the problem is the distributor?
>
> Thanx,
>
> Jonathan
>
> P.S. I will definitely need a new cap and rotor button now, in addition
> to another distributor... :-(


be systematic. replace the rotor & cap & see if that makes a
difference. move on from there. eliminate, eliminate, eliminate.

when you say you have play in the rotor arm, is that side to side play
in the spindle after you've taken the arm off? sometimes the rotor
plastic comes loose from its metal core - that'll save you the cost of a
new one.

you're in "rip-em-off" territory here. be careful.

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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 13 Mar 2005, 09:48 pm
Randolph
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What is the Problem - UPDATE

Jonathan Upright wrote:

<snip>

> Anyway, back to the subject: I removed the distributor today and found
> that there IS some play in the rotor arm. Also, I took the cap off the
> distributor to find that the contacts inside had grooves in them.
> (Accompanied by a little pile of metal shavings at the bottom of the
> cap) The grooves are cut about 1/4 of the way down from the top of the
> contacts, almost shearing the tops off. My rotor button contact is worn
> down really bad too. So with this fact in mind, would you think it's
> safe to say the problem is the distributor?


It certainly seems you have a problem with the distributor. The contacts
in the cap should not touch the rotor at all, so if the rotor has ground
grooves in the contacts, something is wrong. I have never touched the
distributor on my Honda, but from other cars I know that it can take
quite a bit of force to get the rotor properly seated. Perhaps the rotor
was improperly installed or has come loose?

When you say there is some play in the rotor, how much is "some"? Is it
the rotor that moves on the shaft, or can you wiggle the entire shaft?

I completely agree with Jim Beam and others who say your ECU does not
need replacement. Sensors and actuators are much more likely to fail
than the ECU.

====
A very modest collection of Honda tech info can be found at:
http://www.geocities.com/ng_randolph
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 14 Mar 2005, 06:50 am
Michael Pardee
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What is the Problem - UPDATE

"Jonathan Upright" <qaesar1@carolina.rr.com> wrote in message
news:Xp2Zd.25911$_i3.836346@twister.southeast.rr.c om...
>
> Anyway, back to the subject: I removed the distributor today and found
> that there IS some play in the rotor arm. Also, I took the cap off the
> distributor to find that the contacts inside had grooves in them.
> (Accompanied by a little pile of metal shavings at the bottom of the cap)
> The grooves are cut about 1/4 of the way down from the top of the
> contacts, almost shearing the tops off. My rotor button contact is worn
> down really bad too. So with this fact in mind, would you think it's safe
> to say the problem is the distributor?
>
> Thanx,
>
> Jonathan
>
> P.S. I will definitely need a new cap and rotor button now, in addition
> to another distributor... :-(


It sounds like the distributor does need to be replaced, based on the visual
inspection. Whether that is your fundamental problem is another story.

The ECU code indicates the ECU is unable to set a correct mixture, for
whatever reason. Normal distributor problems will not cause that, although
if the abnormal wear is causing the timing to be erratic (*something* is
very wrong, we already know) it could cause the ECU to complain the mixture
is all over the chart - Error 16.

There are two critical diagnostics I'm not seeing here - ignition timing and
fuel pressure.

The timing will tell the story on how much the distributor is contributing
to the problem. If the timing mark hops around like a fountain in a strobe
light - no two flashes near each other - the engine won't run right until
the distributor is replaced. If the mark shifts with the engine speed's
wobbles but isn't being any wilder than the engine is, the distributor may
be bad but it isn't what is driving your symptoms.

The fuel pressure will tell you if the injectors are getting a steady supply
of fuel. With the vacuum line (I assume your model has one - most do)
detached from the fuel pressure regulator the fuel pressure should be steady
as a rock. If not, "jim beam" is on target about the main relay or possibly
the fuel pump. Of couse, if the pressure is way high the regulator itself is
bad.

You could spend a dismaying amount of money letting mechanics (and us) guess
for lack of a couple of diagnostics to tell us all what is good or bad.

Mike


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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 14 Mar 2005, 08:54 am
K-town
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What is the Problem - UPDATE

"jim beam" <nospam@example.net> wrote in message
news:1110769537.d5025d41798231294c66400351221d25@t eranews...
> Jonathan Upright wrote:

<snip>

> be systematic. replace the rotor & cap & see if that makes a difference.
> move on from there. eliminate, eliminate, eliminate.


But if the rotor arm is loose, I would ruin another new cap and rotor,
causing me to waste $35. Your approach is logical, but I have to weigh my
options on this, keeping my tight budget in mind. (See below)

> when you say you have play in the rotor arm, is that side to side play in
> the spindle after you've taken the arm off? sometimes the rotor plastic
> comes loose from its metal core - that'll save you the cost of a new one.


Yes, the whole thing is loose. I made sure it wasn't just play in the rotor
button itself. The spindle on the inside will move back and forth about
2-3mm in any and every direction. I assume it's not supposed to do that? I
also noticed this, when I turn the distributor, it makes the EXACT same
scratching noise I heard before these problems started. Is it supposed to
make a scratching noise when you turn it? (I never heard a scratching noise
before, but I've never taken a distributor off before and turned it by hand
either)

> you're in "rip-em-off" territory here. be careful.


Well, I found a good used distributor on eBay for $27.75 (after shipping)
which I've already bought. (MUCH better than $135 at a junk yard...rotor
and cap included...that's cheaper than a brand-new cap and rotor at Advance
Auto) I'm going to install it and see what happens. I hope to receive the
item by the end of this week and will report back the results. Since I'm
doing all the work myself, the only way I could get "ripped off" is through
unnecessary, but relatively inexpensive parts. Luckily, one of the guys
that works at the junk yard where I got the [unnecessary] throttle body goes
to my church, and he's going to let me exchange it for any other part(s) I
need that costs the same. (They usually don't do exchanges...it pays to
know the right people) ;-)

Thanks again for all your help! :-)

Jonathan


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