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Honda Accord (1990-1993) Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    For your situation, think of your car as having three pieces.
    - An alternator, which is to put out energy and put it into the battery.
    - The battery, which saves the energy that it is given by the alternator, and supplies power to the vehicles circuits,
    - The vehicle fused circuits.

    In your case, you haven't figured out exactly where your problem is, only that your 'symptom' is that the battery does not have the energy that it needs to start your vehicle. So you need to figure out which of the three is the real problem.

    - Alternator, the best way to check the alternator is to take it to an autoparts chain (pepboys, autozone, etc), who have a machine that they connect to your vehicle and do what is called a load test. This is usually a free test. While the engine is running, the will apply a load to your alternator and see exactly how much current it will put out, and at what voltage. Inside the alternator are some diodes, and a regulator. If a diode is blown or shorted, it will not put out the rated current, and can also drain down your battery when it's not turning. If the regulator is bad, it won't put out the current at the right voltage. So is you have an alternator problem, it isn't refilling the battery back up with energy, so that your battery can start the car when needed. It also can actually drain the battery down, if a diode is shorted.

    - Battery. If the battery has either a cell shorted internally, or a high resistance, it will either not accept the energy from the alternator, not hold the energy, or if a cell is out not able to maintain a high enough voltage (there are 6 cells in the battery, each holding approx 2.2 volts). Here again, an autopart chain can put a load test on the battery, and tell you whether it can hold the correct voltage, and deliver enough current to turn your starter.

    - Fused circuits. If both of the above check out okay, then there is likely something in your vehicle that is draining down your battery...ie, the alternator correctly charges the battery, the battery is able to hold the energy okay, but something is turned on in the vehicle and is using up the power from the battery. The way to check this, is to put a test light in series with the circuit (disconnect the positive terminal connection, and place the 12v test light or amp meter in series. If you see a large current flow, then you know that something is on. Start pulling the fuses out, until you see the current stop. Then you know you've found the circuit that has the problem. Electrical schematics are nice to have at this point, so you can identify what is on each circuit. For instance, I have seen a defective switch on a power seat, which had the seat motor engaged and trying to turn even though it was at end of adjustment. This may be on a 30Amp circuit, as those motors can use quite a bit of power. I've also had a situation with my daughter leaving on the interior lights of the vehicle.
  • myawmyaw Posts: 3
    Hi Kiawah,

    Thanks for explaining to me how the battery, the alternator and fused circuits operate in a given car. Your letter gives me a bettor grasp of the problem that I'm having with my 1990 honda accord. I'm glad that your letter will be available for others to read and hopefully it will be as helpful to them as it has been for me. Good karma to you my car space friend for sharing your mechanical knowledge with me and others. If its okay with you, when my car is purring, I would like to share my good news with you. Until then, happy driving:)
  • cybercoolcybercool Posts: 117
    Hi all,

    It was a rare thing when my D4 light blinked a few times and caused my car to slow shift gear and now it starts on perm when I start up which slows me down. How can I fix this? Does it have anything to do with the TCM module?

    Thanks
    cybercool
  • eilroseilros Posts: 35
    I'm going to drive a 1993 LX manual with 225K ($1500) today and am wondering what areas I should pay close attention to. Are there common areas in the 1993 that tend to be weak? The timing belt was changed within the past 50K, it has new exhaust, brakes and tires. The previous owner really seemed to take good care of it.

    Thanks,
    Dave
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Find out if it has sat undriven or if it was driven regularly because seals and bushings can dry rot if left undriven awhile.
  • eilroseilros Posts: 35
    Thanks for the reply. The brakes were changed in Sept and they just changed the oil so it has been driven some recently anyway.
  • cybercoolcybercool Posts: 117
    Hi all,

    Let me rephrase my question if no one understood it. D4 light use to blink a few times when driving causing my car to down shift making it slower and then it'll go away then drive normal. Now the D4 stays on permanently as soon as I turn on my car and drive. Will this be costly to repair? Someone told me it's the TCM that can be the problem.

    Thanks
    cybercool
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Someone told me it's the TCM that can be the problem.

    They could be right, however, you would have to take the cover off to know for sure. If there are black spots on the circuit boards, it would have to be repaired or replaced. If you could find a used computer it would save you a bundle. They are like $500 new. I think some parts places sell them too. Check around. If the D4 light stays on constantly, the TCM is usually the culprit.
  • hi guys, this is the first time for me in this forum. I have a 1990 honda accord. lately, it seems to lose its power while accelerating. If you push the pedal the RPM will go up but the car will move very slowly. When I start the car in the morning, sometimes it runs fine in the begining but, after some minutes it'll lose its power. I have change the catalytic converter and oxygen sensor but the problem has not gone away. I would really appreciate your help and advice.

    Regards

    Pakiman
  • hi guys, I have a 1990 honda accord. Lately it it loses power when I put into drive while I push the pedal the RPM will go up but the car will move slowly. Sometimes when I turn the engine off and try to trun it back on it won't start right away I have to leave it off for four to five minutes and then turn it on then it will turn on alright. I have change the oxygen sensor and the catalytic converter but, the problem is still there. What do you guys think is the problem should I change the fuel filter. Also when on the highyway it changes gear to it self as the the RPM goes very high. Please help.

    Regards

    Pakiman
  • cybercoolcybercool Posts: 117
    I'm thinking of checking my local junkyard for a TCM for my 93' Honda. What year Hondas are compatible with my 93 to replace the TCM?
    Thanks
    Cybercool
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I think 92 and 93 are pretty much the same. The 91 model had the "sport shift" so it may be different. Try to match the numbers on the computer, if you can.
  • cybercoolcybercool Posts: 117
    Hey Elroy,

    When replacing the TCM, do I need to disconnect the neg battery terminal?
    Any other specs I need to look into? I don't want a mechanic to over charge me just to replace this if I can do it myself.

    Let me know
    Thanks
    Cybercool
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I would take the negative cable off. Do you have a stock radio? And do you have the code for it? If you don't have the code, and disconnect the battery, your radio will not work. The plugs for the wires going into the TCM are in there pretty tight, so you will have to use some force to get them off. If there is a locking tab on the connectors, make sure you release them when pulling the plugs out. Never pull them by the wires. Grab the plug. It will be easier to get the plugs off, if you unbolt the TCM from the floor first. Bring the old TCM with you, when you go looking for a used/new one, so you will be able to compare the plug sockets. That's all I can think of, right now. Good luck

    PS: open the TCU, and check it out, before you just assume it's bad. ;)
  • eilroseilros Posts: 35
    My wife and I are looking for an older Accord and we drove a 1992 EX today. It's an auto with 179K. It has the standard rust around the rear wheel wells but the paint is decent and the interior looks brand new. They are asking $2000.

    The seller had every single maintenance receipt dating back to 1998 and it's been well maintained. Looking through the records, there are four areas of concern:

    1) Right front coil spring is cracked
    2) Oil pan gasket leak
    3) Transmission line leak
    4) Rear seal leak

    The owner stated that there are just a few drops of oil on the ground and they don't have to add any oil between oil changes (3K miles).

    Are the leaks anything to be very concerned about? Since it's Sunday and I can't contact my mechanic, does anyone have an estimate of what it would cost to fix each of the issues?

    Thanks,
    Dave
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    A car that old will likely have some issues. The oil leaks could cost you a good bit to fix. The rear seal is the most difficult, because you would have to remove the transmission to change it. It that's not leaking a lot, I would leave it alone. The other leaks should be easy enough to fix. If the engine and transmission don't have any major issues, it sounds like a good deal. You may want to check down the spark plug tubes for oil (could be another potential repair). Have you test driven the car? Do any warning lights come on? Overall, it sounds like a good deal. You can't expect much for $2000.
  • nidgenidge Posts: 18
    I have the same problem. In fact Because of all the oil on the plug wells, I can't seem to be able to draw the plugs out because the oil lines the inside of the spark plug socket and it slips off. How did you remove the oil in the plug holes? Also, did you only install new o-rings or how did you seal them. The new gasket kit that I got had 4 o-rings, the cover gasket itself and 4 other type of round gaskets that I don't know what to do with. Any info could be a great help to me. I'm really not sure how to seal the plugs from the oil leaking in. Thank you
  • eilroseilros Posts: 35
    elroy5, We did drive it today and it ran well and shifted smoothly. The only warning light that came on was for the brake lamp I believe. However, all of the lights worked fine.

    I would assume we'd want to get the cracked front coil spring replaced first due to the safety aspect.

    I can deal with a little bit of an oil leak for now. We just plan to drive it until April or May until we buy a minivan. I'm hoping to find something that we'll be able to drive until then and sell for close to what we paid.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    The brake light is probably no big deal, as long as the brakes are working properly, and not pulling to one side. Often, the light is just because the fluid is low, or the rubber on the master cylinder cap is sagging. The car should be just fine for your needs. You may actually like the car more, after driving it for a while, and not want to get rid of it. If you plan on changing the spring yourself, you will need a spring compressing tool to remove it from the strut.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Unless you have a small hose taped to a shop vac or vacume pump, it will be difficult to get the oil out. You can just unscrew the plug, and let the oil go into the cylinder. It may smoke a bit at startup, but the oil should burn up pretty quickly, and not hurt anything. The o-rings go under the rocker arm assembly, and the larger doughnuts go on the valve cover. You may need a needle nose pliers to get the plugs out, if your socket will not hold. Here is a link that describes in detail what you are dealing with. Good luck http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/oilyplugs/index.html

    PS: Be careful tightening the little nuts on the valve cover (they are only supposed to be torqed to 7 ft.lbs. If you try to tighten them too much, the little studs will snap off, and you have more parts to order, and replace.
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