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Old 12 Jan 2011, 12:01 pm
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Default Having problems with Vtec 1994 Honda Accord EX?

Car: 1994 Honda Accord Ex 180,000 miles

This is the story,

About a month ago my engine over heated because apparently I forgot to check the anti-freeze. It started running really funny so I managed to get it home. I refilled the anti-freeze but the car was misfiring. Long story short I replaced the spark plugs and wires along with the spark plug tube and valve cover seals. The car seemed to run fine again, until one day I started up the car and was driving along on the highway and realized that I wasn't reving high enough. My car would rev normal but then it would start to slow down around 4,000 revs. I wanted to see what was wrong so I continued to about 5,500 rpms. This is when the car started making funny noises and acting as though it was hitting a messed up rev limmiter which I know is really at 7,400 rpm. After a while I realized the problem is with Vtec. It is suposted to engage at 4,500 rpm, but it is not engaging at all. Fast forward a little bit and I have narrowed the problem down to these key things:

1. Vtec only engages when the car is cold (I know you are not suposted to do this but I did for testing measures)

2. Vtec does not engage when the car reaches its normal temp.

3. I am missing a valve cover bolt, but I ran a while with out my oil cap (I had lost it) and I never had the problems I am having now.

4. It is a Honda.

5. I know my driving isn't the greatest considering the clutch is blown but this is a problem that I seriously need to fix so please no sarcasm I'm just trying to get the darn thing fixed so I can get to work.

It could be the oil I've only been adding oil and I am planning to get a full oil change today.

It could also be the O2 sensor considering the engine did over heat.

I need some serious help, thank you to anyone that can help.
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Old 12 Jan 2011, 12:16 pm
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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I also have a vtech engine with the same problem. The problem was low voltage on the vtech oil switch/sensor I took it off and cleaned it although I should replace it soon cus that was just a temporary solution. Another factor could be the oil make sure it has the right quantity and the right oil wich is 5w30. Good luck man
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12 Jan 2011, 12:31 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 287

do yourself a favor and check your vtec solenoid gasket. If you are mechanically inclined its a very simple process, its just 3 bolts. Make sure the screen isnt clogged cause that could cause vtec to not engage.
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Old 12 Jan 2011, 12:46 pm
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I agree with Mark. I would look at the VTEC solenoid before going much further.
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Old 12 Jan 2011, 01:01 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 881

Well first off, how much oil have you been adding? It must be between the 2 dots on the dipstick. Overfilling will cause damage. Your valve cover bolt isn't gonna matter, I broke 2 of mine once and ran it like that, was fine.

The losing power and slowing down at higher RPM is probably due to the blown clutch. If your clutch is indeed blown, then it's probably slipping at those higher RPMs since it cannot catch onto the flywheel properly. As your hitting 4,500k+ RPM the clutch is slipping more and more. The more it slips the more the engine slows down and drops back below the VTEC crossover point causing the car to act odd since it can't decide if it should stay in VTEC or not.

VTEC will not engage when the engine is cold. No matter how high you rev the engine or how hard you try, the coolant temperature must reach a certain degree before the ECU will allow the VTEC crossover. The car must also be at a certain speed as well. You also have an SOHC engine, more than likely you aren't feeling or hearing the VTEC crossover anyway. Check your oil level and pull the VTEC solenoid off and clean the screens.

Now you say the car overheated, how long did you drive home like that? These Honda engines are completely aluminum and very susceptible to warpage. Even just 5 minutes in the hot zone can kill it. If anything is warped you may be losing compression or some of your clearances were thrown off. Now here's my theory of why you feel like it makes more power when it's cold. Your engine may have suffered some warping, when the engine is cold you have tighter clearances and therefore it may be sealing better which gives it that normal feel. As it heats up the metal expands, if it was warped it may be expanding in a way causing you to lose compression and power. This power difference may be why your believe VTEC is engaging when it's cold but not when it's hot. Probably warped head and blown gasket, how's your coolant level?

Again, that's just a guess.

I'd warm the car up to operating temperature, pull the plugs and disable the fuel, then do a compression test. Your engine should read 135-178psi with a max 28psi difference between the cylinders.
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