1995 Honda Civic CX problems - HondaCivicForum.com


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Old 03-01-2014, 03:21 PM
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Default 1995 Honda Civic CX problems

Howdy all, this is gonna be my first post on here because I have researched the net til my fingers are sore, so now I'm turning to you for some help.

I have a 1995 honda civic cx, 1.5L, manual transmission, 207k miles..

The last month or so, my car has been idling funky - not rough per se, but having the occasional 'skip' as it idled - but otherwise ran fine.
Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, my car is still running ok, but sputters once in a while when I give it gas and loses power but picks right back up again.
Last week, it was sputtering worse and losing power -romping on the gas out of frustration cured it for a short time, but it eventually went back to sputtering with all the power of a moped.
A few days ago, it sputtered on the way to the store. After I got out of the store, it started and idled fine, but lost massive power when I tried to leave, bogging down to almost dying when I tried to give it gas..so I pulled into the lot again to see what the problem was.
After letting it rest for about 10 minutes, it started up again and I was able to feather it most of the way home before my beloved white turtle breathed her last and died. I had her towed home and it's sitting.
My initial thought was fuel filter - changed it, no improvement.
Must be the fuel pump! (it whirred when I hit the key, but who knows right?) - nope.
Checked the main relay, resoldered all of the connections. Nope.

I'm new to hondas (this is my first time, be gentle..) and I bought it used and unknowingly abused from a used car place.
So far, Ive checked the distributor cap..rotor..(sanded all contacts to clean up any deposits)..plugs and wires for spark. All seems well, but I cant get the dang thing to take gas without dying.
It idles fine when I get it started, but peters out when I give it gas, then goes back to idling fine. I can feather it and get it to rev, but otherwise it sputters out.
When it sputters, it clouds up a lot of blue smoke from the tailpipe..however the rings in it are bad, so it smokes pretty much all the time. This smoke is different though, it's almost like it's running rich.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm at the point where I'm willing to hike my insurance and just set the bloody thing on fire.

Video of the problem - I know I'm bad at descriptions so I thought a video would be better:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C68S...ature=youtu.be

I'm not a mechanic, but I have some decent mechanical inclination. I just don't know what to do for this thing any more.
Thanks for any and all help!
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Old 03-01-2014, 03:49 PM
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Have you checked for codes in the ECU?
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:08 PM
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I'm not sure how to check for those kinds of codes - do you need a specific type of code reader? Is it something I could run to autozone and 'rent' from them?
I haven't had any check engine light come on, and I know the CEL is working because it comes on every time I turn the key.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:05 PM
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I guess I better add that I am not getting any check engine lights for any of these problems.

I just had a friend suggest that the problem could be a distributor coil - could this be the root problem?
Is that and the ignition coil the same thing?
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:25 PM
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CEL never came on probably means there are no codes stored, but you can check anyway. The OBD1 system is designed to be checked by putting a jumper wire in the test plug and watching the CEL blink. You don't need a computer.

Weak sparks make the engine misfire mostly at low rpm with heavy throttle. The spark wires are the weakest part, and they can be bad with out looking bad.

A sudden decrease in performance will occur if the timing belt skips a tooth, so you should check that as well as the spark timing.
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:39 PM
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Check to see that the muffler is not full of rust and blocking exhaust flow. If you tap on it and it sounds solid this may be your problem.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:54 PM
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Thank you for the replies!
I appreciate any direction that's given, pointing me somewhere at least gives me someplace to go lol
To be sure I've also ordered a new distributor cap, rotor and ignition coil from amazon (45 bucks all in total, still way less than the dang fuel pump I didn't need..)
I suppose I may have to throw a set of plug wires on there in the near future if your ideas don't help solve the problem.
I'll beat on the muffler tomorrow to see what turns up, then check the computer to see if I can get a code.
I've had this 3 years now, and haven't done a thing to it - so I'm not surprised that I'm having an issue with it..I just forgot how 'difficult' the fuel injected computerized cars can be over carbureted ones (the extent of my car care education was on a 72 chevy luv pickup)..
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:33 PM
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Ok, checked the OBD1 jumper - no codes because the check engine light didn't make blinky blink (it does come on when key is turned to start, however)
Checked my muffler and it sounds like an empty drum, so it doesn't look like I have a plugged cat.

I have noticed that when I try starting the car, it has a smell of gas to it, like it's flooding - let it sit for a few minutes then turn the key again and after a couple cranks it will start..but go to a flooded type condition when I give it gas and die.
Could this be something to do with the throttle body that the throttle cable hooks up to and the air intake hooks to?
Sorry still learning, but hopefully this means that the problem is slowly becoming isolated?
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:43 PM
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Update - changed the PCV valve today, along with buying a new set of plug wires, still have the same problem.
When I try starting it, it tries to start but wont catch - let it sit for a while then turn the key over and sometimes it'll start right away.
Other times, it will "backfire" (try to start, then just before turning over will decide not to) with a whirring gasp through the throttle body - white smoke will fluff out and then I'll have to let it sit.
I'm at a loss and this is driving me insane. No codes, no obvious problems, about a month for the problem to begin..get worse..then kill the car. I have no oil in the water, no water in the oil..it just seems like this thing is choking out and not getting enough air.
Should I take off the throttle body and IACV and clean them?
Should I set it on fire and dance around it in victorious rebellion?
Either one sounds good to me at this point to be honest.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:16 PM
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SHE'S ALIVE!!
Threw too many parts at it (although, it needed them bad) but the ol' honda is up and running.
Thanks to everyone that made suggestions, it really helped me get an understanding of what little attitudes these things have.

New: Fuel pump, fuel filter, plug wires, distributor cap, rotor, ignition coil, PCV valve..removed and completely cleaned the throttle body and the IACV valve and instead of having to crank it for 10 or more minutes to get it to idle, it started on the first key turn and runs like a dream plus it's got a little more power to it.
Sadly, i think it was the rotor and cap but I'm not going to kick myself - I saved a lot of money by buying parts off of amazon than my local stores (I paid less than half of what I was quote by autozone and oreilly's)
Happy days are here again
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15l, 1995, 95, body, civic, cx, dont, honda, problems, skips, throttle

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