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Honda Accord (1990-1993) Maintenance and Repair



  • 1. Take the battery back to Wal Mart, should still be under warranty. If they have an auto service area, they should be able to check the charging system.
    2. If you haven't replaced the main relay I would think that might be suspect. If the car is cranking, the battery is okay. The main relay energizes the fuel pump, and is prone to failure. In Hondas in my life that have had a "no-start" condition, this has been the issue for 4 of the 5, and the 5th had a bad distributor.
    When you go to start the car, if you turn to the ON but not CRANK position, you should here it click and then hear the fuel pump building pressure. If you don't, I would think that is the culprit. You can chekc by measureing to see if the fuel pump is getting voltage at that stage. The repair manual will explain how.
    3. You should really invest the $15 and get the repair manual for the car. It will tell you how to check the main relay, and replace it if it is the problem. Even if you don't do any work yourself, it may also help you talk to a mechanic.
    Good luck, and as they say, YMMV.
  • Brace yourselves for this one...

    I bought a 93 accord EX from a girl that took little or no care of it at all. My intentions for this car is to get it back to peak performance. It has taken a while and I am quite close. When I first got the car it hadn't been cranked in over a year. I was able to jump it and get it to my house which was a little under a mile away. I noticed right away that the check engine light was on and that it wouldn't go past 3500 rpms in drive, neutral, park or whatever. I got the car home and did the immediate things such as changing the oil and water and fuel and fuel filter and oil filter and air filter and replaced the battery and still couldn't get the thing to go past 3500 rpms, was the strangest thing. I used the jumper and got the codes from the check engine light. it was 4 pause 8 pause 4 and it was continued so it was either 4 and 8 or 48 and it made sense that it was 48 and so I changed the o2 sensor. Still wouldn't go past 3500 rpms. A friend told me that it was the cat, so I took it off and replaced it and still won't go past 3500 rpm. Finally I thought of the spark plug wires, the distributor and the button and replaced them all and it works fine about 7 of 10 cranks. Sometimes it will be working fine and the check engine light will all of a sudden come on and it won't go past 3500 rpm. Another friend told me that it was the car's ground and that I needed to check the resistance. Well I didn't think that was it so I kinda blew that off, but just now while I was installing a radar detector (hardwiring it) I noticed that I couldn't get a ground inside the car. I took the radar out and tested it at the battery and it worked fine. I went back in and checked power at the fuse box and that was fine. But I can't get a -12v ground... WTF? The only thing that I can think that will help with this is that the front left and right quarter panels are damaged and the corner lights were broken. I have no problems with any of the lights except for at the front right of the car and I can't get them to work. The flasher on the inside blinks all the time and a new one does the same. The wires do not look damaged though? Does anyone have any idea about this??? Please help me if you do. I want to get this thing fixed so bad and I'm so close.

  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    I think I would pull the neg and pos from the batt, and clean the battery terminals, then for the gnd wire, I'd check where it goes and verify it goes to someplace it is supposed to (research) and that point is clear of any rust, debris, paint.

    I don't know what you mean by the flasher on the inside blinks. Can you explain?
  • The flasher is the little relay looking item that makes the clicking sound under the dash when you use left right or hazard turn signals. If you remove it they do not work at all. In my case it is clicking double time and only clicks at the right pace when I actually use the turn signals. It clicks all the time if the key is on. I'm thinking of replacing the ground wire on the car. It looks to be where it should be but it is fraid before it gets to the spot where it at the car and then it comes back together. Not broken but unwound and that may throw the ground off some???
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    well, yes, you should replace it. will it throw the ground off some? The thicker the wire, the more current carrying capability, the less likely it is to have sources of resistance to carrying proper current flow. Intermittent connections could be the source of varying voltage / electronics reset / initialization / sensor flakeys, etc.

    was the vehicle in an accident? seems like something is messed up with the steering column mounted switches and perhaps more.

    did you verify all fuses and relays in all fuse / relay recepticles are properly inserted?
  • Yeah... No accident ever noted, clean record, but the two front corners are damaged. If you could imagine a blind person trying to parallel park. I had to order clear corner lights and 2 fenders but the frame work and the bumper and all seem fine. Back to that ground is that why the car will run but I still can't get a good ground on an additional electronic device? That is so strange. I'm going to go to advanced auto and buy a new ground harness this weekend and try that. Maybe that will do it.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    Well, I'm not sure how you are wiring your accessory... Why can't you get a good ground? I'm not sure. Are you trying to connect to a GND wire in a harness, or are you going to vehicle ground? All I can think of is paint and plastic. Perhaps there is a preferred means to wire the accessory and ground. First thing I would have tried would have been to parallel off the Accessory Plug. Have you got 12VDC on those terminals with the car on?
  • 1990 Honda Accord driver's side window has gone off the track and I can't figure out how to remove the interior panel..can I do it myself or do I need to go to a repair shop?
  • The check engine light goes on intermittently, usually shortly followed with the odometer and speedometer quitting. The light thing started a little before I had to replace the alternator. The car is running great, it's been tuned, oil's good. Any ideas?
  • optimooptimo Posts: 4
    Yeah, I know about plastic and I know about paint. I used to work at a car stereo place. What's weird is that I can't get a ground I think that with the car running or with the key on the power and the ground are balanced out. I know that sounds weird. Someone said that a wire could be grounded out to the metal nearby and not enough to pop a fuse or to burn anything but enough to throw off the ground. I have never heard of such. I have a clean ground point i just can't get a gound there.
  • I have a 93 Accord with 180k on it. It has been 60k since last timing belt change 5 1/2 years ago. The dealer tells me that it should be done every 90k or 6 years. Since I could probably drive a 2+ years without getting to the 90k, how important is it that I change it before I get to 6 years?
    Also, the clutch level is low and the dealer says they just want to watch it to make sure the clutch isn't going out. The car still has its original clutch so I am not surprised, but is $850 a lot to have it replaced?

    I've had this car 10 years and have put 140k of the 180k on it, but don't want to put too much $$$ into it-at least more than it is worth.

    I would appreciate your advice. thanks
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,659
    As for the clutch, just use it until it fails or is close to failing. You already got more than your money's worth out of the clutch and obviously you are a careful driver.

    As for the timing belt, I'd be more concerned with mileage wear than age wear---the only exception would be if you could see oil on the timing belt. that's not good.
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    Do the door yourself, it's easy. Screws are in the likely locations. There are mostly snaps holding on the interior panel of the door around the edges. There are also some screws covered by caps, especially near the armrest section.

    As for the check engine light (CEL), you need to get a code from the car. Take it in to Auto Zone or wherever and have them pull it for free or just jump the connector on the passenger side and read out the codes on the CEL.
  • kevsabokevsabo Posts: 3
    my 1992 accord has the following symptons!!!
    1 its an intermittent problem ive got, sometimes happens
    sometimes not and a engine restart usually clears it!
    2 nasty screach noise from engine bay(sounds like bust water pump bearing but its not)
    3 only happens at low speed or tick over!!
    4 idle speed goes erratic to the point of stalling
    5 engine check light comes on when the noise gets bad!
    6 my cars an automatic
    havnt done the engine diagnostic code stuff yet to see if anything is wrong there.
    as i say if i stop the car and restart it mostly goes away
    and may or may not happen again on that journey
    any body out there got any clues for me ???
    distribitor ?? gear box? ecu? ect??
    car has 104k miles and apprt from this is sound
    regards Kevin in Edinburgh :cry:
  • nd2chillnd2chill Posts: 14
    I was replacing my spark plugs and noticed that the gaskets on three of the four spark plug tubes were so old that they were allowing oil to leak in through the cam cover. There wasn't much but what there was drained down into the head when I removed the spark plugs. Will this cause any permanent damage? Thanks Shiftright!
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,659
    Nah, no problem, as long as no large objects fell down there! A little oil in there is probably good actually. :P
  • kk262kk262 Posts: 1
    Hey, my 91 accord (manual trans) just had symptoms very similar to yours. It was hard to start up the engine, a lot of times it would basically sputter, I'd try to give it gas but it would stall and die anyways. And I would get a high pitched screaching noise, which sometimes continue even if it started up and I drove it. If I did drive it, the "check engine" light would sometimes come on. As time went on the symptoms got worse, and the check engine light would go on right when I started the car and stay on the entire time I was driving it.

    So my brother, who works in an auto parts store, asked a mechanic he knows about it (the guy specializes in Hondas). Right away the mechanic said it was probably a bad distributor, he said that the distributors in these Accords start siezing and not spinning smoothly, and that is what's causing the problem. So I bought a distributor from a junk yard for $75, and swapped it out for my old distributor. Sure enough, when I tried to spin my old distributor by the sproket on the end of the shaft, the shaft totally resisted and creaked around and I could feel some soft of resistance. It wasn't spinning smoothly, like a good distributor should.

    So I disassemlbed the old distributor, and I found that the sealed ball bearing assembly around the shaft in the distributor was seriously rusted out; some of the ball bearings were very rusted, and the retainer ring that is supposed to hold the ball bearings in place was pretty much totally disintegrated. That's why the distributor wasn't spinning correctly.

    So I'd say take your distributor out and try to turn the shaft. If it isn't spinning smoothly, there's your problem -- if it is spinning smoothly, put it back in and move onto the next possibility.

    Note to everyone -- these ball bearings are NOT in the distributor cap, so replacing the cap will not fix this problem. Neither will replacing the plugs, wires, rotor, etc. Just because you replaced those parts doesn't mean that the distributor works!

    Note -- I have pictures of the rusted out ball bearing assembly, if anyone is intersted.
  • nd2chillnd2chill Posts: 14
    Thanks for the help with the oil leaking into the spark plug tube issue. I knew you'd have a quick response for me. Thanks again.
  • Thanks for your help. I will keep driving with the clutch like you said. I don't notice anything going wrong with it anyway.
  • kevsabokevsabo Posts: 3
    hi there!
    thanks for the reply as to my screaching noise!
    yep looks like you could be right as i ve sussed this out
    on closer inspection and checking the ecl codes it surely is the distributor at fault.any chance you can email the pics that youve avaiable?
    my email address is
    would appreciate it if you can
    thanks again
    regards Kev in edinburgh
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