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  #1  
Old 09-22-2007, 06:37 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Posts: 16
Default Car shuts off while driving.. hesitates horribly on acceleration and the tach goes crazy

I have a 92 honda civic vx, when im accellerating sometimes my tach will drop to zero quickly and the car will lose power but then jump right back up to where i was and it will lunge at that point.. its like the car loses power for just a split second. its really annoying and i don't know what to check

and now my car has completely shut off when slowing down twice. ill be coming down the mountain doing about 25 and it cut off once, where i had to pop the clutch just to get the car to start back up so my brakes would work right, and the other time was coasting into a stop sign, the car just shut off quietly and all the red lights on the dash came on but the radio and everythign stayed on, i tried just turning the ignition over at the stop sign, but the first time i cranked it, it started up but the second i hit the gas, it cut off. so i waited a minute and started it up again and it stayed running and allowed me to keep driving

for the last couple of weeks, before these above things started happening, the tach(its the factory tach) has been going nuts on me.. ill be driving along at about 2000 rpm then all the sudden the needle will start jumping around like a mad man and will eventually settle back into 2000rpm for a while, then start jumping around all over again. i don't know if this has anythign to do with it or if its just maybe the tach is going out.. but i figured i'd throw that out there

anyone have any ideas on wtf is going on?

thanks

nick
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  #2  
Old 09-22-2007, 06:41 AM
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Default RE: Car shuts off while driving.. hesitates horribly on acceleration and the tach goes crazy

Did it start out of nowhere or after a modification you've done to your car?
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  #3  
Old 09-22-2007, 06:53 AM
 
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Default RE: Car shuts off while driving.. hesitates horribly on acceleration and the tach goes crazy

it started from nowhere.. the car is stock and i havn't touched anything except to tune it up back in december.. but if it were a result of that, you'd think it would show less than 9 months later
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  #4  
Old 09-22-2007, 07:03 AM
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Default RE: Car shuts off while driving.. hesitates horribly on acceleration and the tach goes crazy

I'd definitely check into the distributor as being the cause. The distributor drives your tach, so if there's a tach problem, most likely there's a distributor problem.
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  #5  
Old 09-22-2007, 07:16 AM
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Default RE: Car shuts off while driving.. hesitates horribly on acceleration and the tach goes crazy

^+1
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  #6  
Old 09-22-2007, 08:19 AM
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1995 Honda Civic
 
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Location: San Angelo, TX
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Default RE: Car shuts off while driving.. hesitates horribly on acceleration and the tach goes crazy

Nick, I've got a mild case of the same problem - when mine's cold (in the morning), and I'm slowing down for a stop sign, sometimes it'll just cut off. If I'm rolling, I just pop the clutch and it's all good again, and it's fine for the rest of the day. I don't have any tach weirdness though. If the tach problem has only just begun, or doesn't only occur when the car is struggling, I would chalk up the tach problem to a loose ground or connection somewhere. The tach is only a gauge after all - if it goes out completely, the car will continue to run.

I've been restoring my car back to operational after the previous owner blew the head gasket and warped the head. All of the mechanical work is done, and works just fine - however, I had some sensor issues... the CEL told me so. So, I replaced sensors until the CEL went out... that's when my problem began. Usually, when I'm just cruising (holding speed) under 3000 rpm, the engine will surge - power, no power, power, no power - unless I'm in 4th or 5th gear, then it runs fine. Which the only thing I can think would do that is the VTEC solenoid jumping in and out because of either erratic signal from the ECU, or maybe it's losing it's ability to hold in or out when it's not getting the acceleration input from the ECU. It doesn't do it under acceleration (until the magical 2500-2700 rpm range) which happens no matter what. And it doesn't do it under deceleration either. I also noticed that it seems to be more prevalent when the 'upshift' light is on as well.

Before you go pulling out your distributor and making things worse, try this: if you didn't do this when you were doing your tune-up last December, I would suggest resetting your timing with a timing light. Use a stout paperclip, bend it into a 'U', and plug it into the 2-prong diagnostic plug under the dash between the glove box and passenger door. You can now use normal procedures to set your timing to factory specs, and reset your ECU. This may not do anything to solve your problem, but it might help minimize it a little.

Here is something you definitely need to try though - it's working for me until I can get the chance to troubleshoot the VTEC solenoid and possibly find a replacement. Unplug the Intake Air Temperature sensor. This will cause a CEL and will stay on, but it'll put the ECU in 'limp mode' and the symptoms may actually disappear... it did for mine. my car actually runs better in 'limp mode' than it does with everything back in order.

Give the 'limp mode' a try and let us know what you find out. If it solves your symptoms for the short term, at least you won't have to worry about crashing your car because it decides to shut off at an inopportune moment.

Hope that helps.
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  #7  
Old 09-22-2007, 09:07 AM
 
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Default RE: Car shuts off while driving.. hesitates horribly on acceleration and the tach goes crazy

how do i go about checking the distributor?
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2007, 11:35 AM
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1995 Honda Civic
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: San Angelo, TX
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Default RE: Car shuts off while driving.. hesitates horribly on acceleration and the tach goes crazy

Well, without knowing exactly what zrooster99 had in mind about checking the distributor, I have no idea. There's actually quite a few moving parts inside of a distributor, and you can mess it up if you don't know what you're doing.

If they meant to check the cap and rotor, you simply pull off the cap and rotor and inspect them for wear, corrosion, carbon trails, and cracks in the plastic - which is not a bad thing to do periodically anyway. But your problem would be more of a constant thing if there was anything wrong with the cap and rotor... and the car would run rough or not at all if it were the case.

Literally pulling the distributor out of the engine is something you shouldn't be attempting without a lot more research and possibly someone to bail you out if you get stuck, based on the questions you're asking so far.

The cap and rotor on my car are less than two months old and it runs great, except for what I described with similarity to your issues. I'm imagining yours is just fine too, since I'm guessing you changed it last December.

Honestly man, pull the IAT plug and tell me what happens after. The CEL will come on and you'll lose your 'upshift' light, but I'll betcha a buck it'll run better. And that's at least something to give some peace of mind while you're figuring out what's really wrong with it.
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2007, 10:14 AM
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Default RE: Car shuts off while driving.. hesitates horribly on acceleration and the tach goes crazy

I say make sure that your timing is not off if its not the dizzy.
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2007, 10:58 AM
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1995 Honda Civic
 
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Location: San Angelo, TX
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Default RE: Car shuts off while driving.. hesitates horribly on acceleration and the tach goes crazy

Quote:
ORIGINAL: 2000 Si Newbi

I say make sure that your timing is not off if its not the dizzy.
OK - I gotta know. Aside from the condition of the cap and rotor, what exactly is everybody checking on their distributor, anyway? Everybody's saying check the distributor. What are we 'checking' for?
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Old 09-23-2007, 10:58 AM
 
 
 
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99, acceleration, car, civic, cuts, driving, honda, il, off, reasons, shut, stalls, starting, stuck, tachometer

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