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Old 08 Mar 2011, 10:16 am
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Default Why does my timing keep jumping as soon as my car cools down?

I bought a 92 honda accord and it was sitting in a lot for 5 yrs. Changed all the fluids got a new alternator and a new battery. Car ran fine for 35 miles. Parked it and once it cooled down the timing jumped. Took it to a mechanic shop and they redid the timing saying a bolt on the tensior was loose so they just put a new bolt and made sure everything was tight. Started right up and was able to drive home which is less then a mile away. Let the car run for an hour and it was perfect, would turn on and off with no problem. I let the engine cool down for about two hours and the timing jumped again when trying to start it. Took it back to the mechanic and he redid the timing. Put new belts and started right back up again. Went and picked it up drove home and did the same thing let it run for an hour, turned it on and off every 15 min for an hour. Let cool down for an hour and started right back up. Left it for 2 hours and same thing timing jumped again... It only seems to happen once the car gets to normal driving temperature and then cools down. WHATS GOING ON!!! The mechanic says hes done hundreds of timing belts and this is the only one that has ever given him this problem... The belts aren't getting ripped or rubbing, all the pulleys have all their teeth, the belts are still as tight as when they set them, no bolts are loose, the pulleys aren't loose... please help ive called three honda shops and they say they have no clue...

I left the car there for three days with out being able to start so it was pretty cool when they started to work on it. I just dont get how as soon as they set the timing it works fine and then once cooled it just jumps. not even a lil compression when i try to start it. it literally just gives as soon as i turn the key no sputter no lag no nothing just spins...
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Old 08 Mar 2011, 10:31 am
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Try taking it to Auto Zone. They can hook it up to a machine and see if they can identify the problem. Better to do that then to second guess it.
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Old 08 Mar 2011, 10:46 am
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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Do you mean it is revving up and down as you drive? Air mass sensor and/or throttle sensor ? Also could be a bad O ring to the carbuerator allowing oil to get into the carbuerator and gum up the points, etc. I had an old mitsubishi revving up. and had a bad O ring. It was an $800 tune up. Still revs up sometimes, so still might need the other two things.
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Old 08 Mar 2011, 11:01 am
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It's the timing belt tensioner.

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Old 08 Mar 2011, 11:16 am
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Join Date: May 2010
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Wow that is indeed a strange problem (I have a 90 model and have done tb three times and owned it for over 150 k..) .... My guess would be that something in the cyl head is locking down when cold???? Not that it makes any sense. It may also be the water pump. I would suggest letting the car stay the night at the garage with the timing belt removed so the tech can see if anything is abnormally tight when it's cold(water pump/camshaft). The timing belt tensioners on these cars are tightened to spec... no hydraulic adjustment so once it is set then you shouldn't have to adjust it and it shouldn't be able to move.
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Old 08 Mar 2011, 11:31 am
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,338

does the car have VTEC on it? VTEC was introduced in 1992 so you may have a VTEC engine. if so, then the problem may lie with the VTEC Solenoid sticking in the engaged position. VTEC advances the valve and ignition timing in mid range to provide extra power. if the VTEC is engaging and not releasing then you're timing would stay advanced.

VTEC is engaged by oil pressure through a solenoid. again, if the car has VTEC, look for a blockage in the solenoid or oil ports that prevent the oil from draining back when the solenoid is deactivated. could be that the oil is slowly draining back and releasing the solenoid overnight so that it works fine when cold but that the residue pressure still keeps the timing locked when the engine is started after a shorter span.

if it doesn't have VTEC, look for a problem with excessive wear inside th distributor sub-assembly that could cause erratic CKP (crankshaft position sensor) signals when warm. If its heat related, then things expand and contract; could be that components inside the distributor subassembly are worn causing differences in the reported positon of the crankshaft through the CKP and the corresponding change in ignition timing.

Those are my first thoughts. hope they help
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