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Honda Accord (1994-1997) Maintenance and Repair



  • jimdempsterjimdempster Posts: 34
    Just checked my Honda - the Idle Air Contol (IAC) valve is located on the front on the throttle body. The shape is cylindrical, with only two wires coming out of the connector. It is black and easy to find.

    The valve is probably not bad, but it is possible it is gunked up and just needs a cleaning and lubrication, because the idle DOES eventually come back down where it should be (?).

    Don't forget to look for air leaks/loose hoses/cracked hoses (which can cause a high idle too).

    A dirty or sticky EGR valve could potentially be a source for an air leak if it didn't shut off, but the idle stability would be crappy and the engine might stall on putting a load on it.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    Thanks again for the info, Jim. I stopped in a local auto parts retailer after church on Sunday and asked about the IAC on my friend Mario's Accord. Actually, I checked out a Honda service manual at my local library last week to have on hand in case I needed it, but your's and other responses here have been great. Now on Saturday when I started the car, the idle was a little high but it did NOT surge up and down like it did on Friday, and it seemed fine yesterday(Monday)when I took the car back to Mario. I had advised him on what might be causing this high idle/surging and he told me that he'd just drive it for a while and see how it goes. I did see a picture of the IAC at the parts store and was able to locate it when I got home, it's right on the intake manifold to the right of the throttle body. I thought about taking it off and doing the cleaning procedure you spoke of but then I would have needed new gasket(s) and I let it alone. The guy at the parts store told me that if this was an issue, the MIL would be on and you could read the code to be absolutely sure this was the cause, and this was a nearly $400 part! Now the service manual in the section that covers engine and emission controls says that when you get this particular code, the IAC is the number 1 priority, with the EGR at number 2 and Temperature sending unit at #3.

    Speaking about the temperature, I noticed while operating the car that it took a while for the gauge to register what I'd consider a decent position, It NEVER even got to half way at any time, and never once did either fan come on. I told Mario about this because engine temp is crucial to other controls sending the proper information to the ECU, right? I ran the heater to see how the heat output was and it was OK, not too great. But Mario was just happy to have the car back, and I was able to save him over half of what a garage would have charged him for the brake job and the other thing I was able to do for him.

    Again I want to thank you Jim and all of you who have helped me with this Accord. Have a Blessed day!
  • kjroachkjroach Posts: 1
    So I have a 94 Honda Accord and the check engine light came on the dealership said its the ABS Modulator and will be $1894.28 for parts and labor. Looking on line for this serveral different things for the ABS are popping up. Does Anyone know what this part looks like. Is it the pump I'm reading about. I found want I think is the part looking on line and its about $200 Please help me... :confuse:
  • When that happened on my 97 accord, my mechanic said I could either replace it (around the same amount you are saying), or just disconnect the abs, the result of which would be to have regular brakes, not abs. Since it's just a short-drive vehicle now, and also because I am in TX (not much snow/ice), I chose to disconnect it.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    Honda was pretty notorious for ABS pumps failing in those years. My 95 had the ABS light come on long ago and I didn't do anything about it ($1600 repair at the time). They told me that I'd still have brakes but the ABS wouldn't work. Oddly enough, the one time I needed it in the ice, it worked just fine.

    My son drives the car now and it has over 240k miles.
  • We are buying a 2001 Accord LX with 93,000 miles. Do we need to do the timing belt right now? The car was owned by my father who never drove it past San Antonio, Texas so no cold weather. Mechanics will say.. sure do it now. But we'd like to wait another 10k just to build some maintenance money (its my son's car). Besides the standard book answer, anyone have input here?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    Actually the "standard book answer" is the one you want. Timing belt replacement really isn't a matter of opinion. On your car, it's 105,000 miles. You have a different generation Accord than the one we are discussing in this topic.


  • jimdempsterjimdempster Posts: 34
    edited August 2012
    Asking a car mechanic when to replace the timing belt is like asking a tire salesman if you need new tires...

    I've gone 200,000 miles, but your mileage may vary. I'm a pretty conservative driver, so the stress on the belt is pretty low. If the car engine has been raced at high RPM, or installed with an over-stretch, or bent less than the minimum radius during shipping/installation (a No-No), then your belt life could be less. Some shippers bend the belt over on itself and wrap tape to make it a smaller package. These toothed belts cannot be mis-treated that way - it cracks the fiberglass, and you don't want it.

    One way to check the belt condition: pull off the valve cover (it's held on with 4 bolts) and look at the belt. IF YOU SEE ANY CRACKS IN THE BELT RUBBER, IT'S TIME TO CONSIDER CHANGING IT. I had an older Honda ('78) and it was full of cracks. These belts do fail, without warning, and in the older models can destroy your engine.

    My belt at 200,000 miles only had a few cracks - not much at all, but just because I was taking a chance doesn't mean you should go so long. If the belt looks to be in good condition, then you probably can get another 10k miles. Living in Los Angeles will shorten rubber product life due to the ozone in the air.

    When you do replace the belt, the water pump should be replaced too (although my original water pump lasted the 200,000 miles also). I did it myself, but I hear the cost is on the order of $1200 for the belts, pump, coolant, thermostat, alternator belt, etc.
  • I have a quote for $780 for a Timing Belt Package which includes all of the items you listed. We will probably do it before it reaches 100k. The car has never been driven rough as it was owned my a 70+ year old man. It was a Honda certified used car when he bought it in 2005 and looks great for a 2001. I appreciate the feedback.
  • I recently bought a '95 accord, 5spd coupe and it seems to be overheating. The gauge showed hot yesterday so I added water and coolant, now the gauge shows lower than half way but when i park I can hear the water coiling in the reservoir tank. I was thinking thermostat or ECT sensor. any ideas? Thanks
  • An overheating Accord can have multiple causes, all of them serious because you can ruin your engine piston rings and burn oil - get this taken care of, the cost is not high (usually).

    1) First, when the car is cool, open the radiator cap and look inside the radiator. You should see the radiator core, and core should not be covered with white hard water deposits nor should the coolant be rust-colored or have oil in it. The radiator coolant should be transparent.

    If you have white deposits, then you need to chemically clean the radiator system - there are citric acid cleaners that are relatively safe to use and the directions can be found all over the web. The white hard water deposits act like a 'blanket' over all the cooling surfaces inside the engine and radiator and promote overheating - get rid of them and your temperature will drop. No excuse for having these. What usually happens is "someone" puts in ordinary tap water into the radiator instead of distilled water - that is the source of the hard water deposits. ONLY used distilled water, NEVER tap water (or you will have to clean out the cooling system again).

    Also, when you drain the cooling system on Accords, you DO NOT drain all the fluid - there is a section of the engine that does not drain (there is a special drain bolt on the back side of the engine which is VERY hard to remove). This old coolant will contaminate the new coolant, so the easy way to deal with it is to drain twice as frequently until the system coolant is transparent and clean. The right way is to get a 3/4" breaker bar and 6 point socket and STAND on the breaker bar to knock the drain bolt loose (and hopefully not strip the bolt head). Then you can drain all the fluid.

    2) Change out the thermostat and radiator cap - if it doesn't open in time the engine will overheat. They are inexpensive (compared to a new engine).

    3) If the car still overheats, then you may have a larger problem. Examine the coolant for oil - there should be NONE. If the heat gasket is blown (it happens on occasion) oil from the engine will get into the cooling system (and vice versa). Look at the oil - if it looks like 'chocolate milk shake', water is getting into the oil. If this is the case, get this taken care of IMMEDIATELY. You can confirm you have a blown head gasket with a 'pressure tester' - the system will not hold 15 psi pressure for any length of time - the after market auto parts stores will loan/rent you the tool - no disassembly is required; or you can buy one inexpensively at Harbor Freight Tools (in-store or on-line). Boiling in the coolant tank is a clue that there is overpressure in the cooling system, even before the car has a chance to warm up. If you are mechanically inclined, you can change the head gasket but you will need 3/4" drive tools - the usual home mechanic tools are not up to the task.

    4) There is a remote possibility that the fuel/air mixture is too lean, but this is unlikely - you would notice this only after some extended driving.

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    We never did figure it out but it never created a problem. And sadly, my car was totaled by an 18 Wheeler who didn't check his blind spot as he passed me and proceeded to side-swipe me. 235k miles and it died a painful death on 11/11/11.
  • Hope you are OK - you certainly got good life out of the car.
    Time for another Honda?
  • $780 is a lot of money, Iam in Houston and know my personalmechanic wich is very good and honest. He did the timing belt for $170labor and I bought the parts on E-bay which cost me $95 which included timing belt,water pump,cam and crank seals, valve cover gasket and thermostat.If you can drive to houston I can set you up with my mechanic. 832-818-2879 Alex
  • Anybody have any ideas. My 1994 honda accord runs on two cylinders after warming up. warms up fine and when I come to a stop it runs at very low idle shaking alot and shuts down if I dont give it gas because is running on two cylinders only. The funny thing is that after driving it for a while sometimes it fixes it self and the next day does it againg. I have replaced, Fuel filter, injectors, TPS sensor, idle control valve, O2 sensor, and a complete tune-up. It starts and warms up fine and when I start to drive it and come to a stop it idles low and rough and wants to shut down. It is the 94 Accord with the V-tech engine , thanks.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Hope you are OK - you certainly got good life out of the car.
    Time for another Honda?

    I'm currently in my other car (I already owned it at the time), a 2009 Sonata V6. Have 92k on it now, will probably drive it another 50k before I make another purchase. I paid cash for it and am happy with no car payment for a while. ;) it's not given me any trouble thus-far, knock on wood.
  • jhrostjhrost Posts: 32
    I have a Japanese-made 95 Accord sedan I bought new in October of 94. It has 180,000 miles on it. The last 4 years it has been relegated to 2nd car status, being used about 5000 miles per year. It still runs great and has been a wonderful car, requiring few repairs. It has never broken down on me, never stranded me anywhere, and has never needed to be towed, always getting to where it had to go under its own power. About 4 years ago I was told that the manual transmission was on its last legs and would need to be completely replaced in the not distant future. I've been told that by a couple of other service persons since then, including a longtime mechanic whom I trust.

    Despite those prognostications from 20,000 miles or so ago the car is still running and changing gears adequately as far as I can determine, though the clutch is probably harder to depress and the gear shift stick doesn't move as smoothly as it once did.

    Anyway, I was content to just wait till the transmission went and have it replaced with another standard transmission, but recently I've started thinking about pre-emptive action. These thoughts have been inspired by a left foot problem which has been building up for the past couple of years (Morton's Neuroma?). I don't think the problem was caused by the clutch pedal, but the use of the latter has become unpleasant and certainly aggravates my foot when I drive the car.

    My question then is this: is it possible to replace the manual transmission in this car with an automatic? I'm assuming the answer is yes and that an mt Accord and an AT Accord are the same in all other respects save the transmission type, but I don't really know.

    The second part of the question is, assuming that the swap is feasible, how much more would putting an automatic transmission in this car cost me than simply putting in another manual transmission?

    The last part of the question, assuming that the swap can be done technically and won't be prohibitively expense, am I likely to get a good result?

    Thanks for any opinions that anyone cares to offer.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    I don't think putting in an automatic transmission is a very practical solution. It'll be a lot of work since you're replacing the entire transaxle and I expect you'll have to modify the floorboards and console as well.

    As for the clutch being hard to depress, that's a clutch issue, not a transmission issue.

    As for the transmission, if I were you, I'd refill the transmission with synthetic transmission fluid, such as REDLINE.

    Unless a transmission is howling mercilessly, or grinding badly during every shift, I don't see why you even need to worry about this right now. In fact, based on your descriptions, if there aren't loud noises from the transmission, either when running or in neutral with foot off the clutch (noise with the foot ON the clutch is a throwout bearing, another clutch issue--noise occurring when you take your foot OFF the clutch might be a transmission bearing).....anyway, it's possible your hard clutch pedal and lack of smooth shifting is all clutch related.

    I'd add synthetic fluid and then have your clutch free-play checked. A clutch replacement would be justifiable but not a transmission swap. You could buy a good running '94 automatic for the same amount of money, or less.


  • omarromarr Posts: 88
    Good Answer, Electronic for the transmission , control module, sensors, etc
  • jimdempsterjimdempster Posts: 34
    edited January 2013
    While it could be done, it is MORE than just a transmission replacement.

    Clearly you need a transmission, but you also need a new console containing the automatic shift lever. Some Hondas have a light display in the speedometer that shows the transmission gear currently engaged - so the instrument cluster may be involved. The transmission in many cars has a computer of its own that determines shift points (that needs to be replaced too). There is a special Honda rear transmission support that is dynamically controlled to make the engine vibrations smoother: this device does not exist on the manual transmission version. The shift console is connected to the transmission through the wire harness - perhaps the wires are there in your harness, perhaps not. There could be considerations for electrical power (fuses), and the automatic transmission fluid may have a "cooler" feature that runs ATF coolant up to the radiator and back (this doesn't exist for the manual transmission) - if it does, you need a compatible radiator and coolant lines routed in the car.

    If you had two cars (one manual xmission, one automatic) and you wanted to swap the transmissions from the auto to the manual, then most or all of the parts would be available to you. If you got a wrecked car with an undamaged automatic tranmission, perhaps this swap could be economical - but it would have to be a labor of love.

    I'm not sure what '95 Accords are going for these days, but somewhere in the range of $1-2,000. Just the transmission alone with labor is going to be that much. Perhaps you might want to trade cars with someone who has an automatic?

    I have 208,000 on my '90 Honda manual transmission. There is a design defect (in my mind) in that the clutch pedal really needs to be depressed all the way to the floorboards to get the clutch to fully disengage. What happens practically however is that people don't push the pedal all the way to the floor, so the synchromesh has a harder time shifting to the next gear - that wears out the synchromesh and could be why they are saying "it's on its last legs". Do you ever experience "gear grinding"? Hard shifting? Does it get any better when the clutch pedal is pushed all the way to the floor? Otherwise my transmission is in good shape - I haven't heard of these manual transmission having a problem of wearing out (other than the synchros).

    It is a good idea to replace the transmission oil with a synthetic oil - my synchros became quieter because the viscocity lower and "grabbed" the gears better.

    I replaced the standard hydraulic fluid in the clutch with synthetic DOT5 silicone fluid years ago and have had no problems - standard brake fluid needs to be changed every year or two.

    The clutch does eventually wear out (although I'm still on the original). Replacing the clutch/throwout bearing, even the flywheel is affordable, but it's not going to help you with Neuroma in your foot. Rather than put an automatic transmission into the car, it would probably be more economical to trade it for a car already with the automatic.
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