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Honda Accord (1998-2002) Maintenance and Repair



  • How does one decide whether to replace or rebuild an engine? Assume the car will be kept indefiniotely as I am very happy with it.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,647
    edited February 2011
    It rather depends on the condition of the engine you have. Sometimes, it's just too expensive to rebuild one, if say you have a flat crankshaft or egg-shaped cylinders.

    On the other hand, if all you need is an "overhaul", meaning replacing internal parts, re-machining the cylinder head and valves, but leaving the crankshaft stock size and not re-boring the cylinders, then it makes perfect sense to keep the engine you have.

    The most rational approach is to disassemble the engine and "mic it" (measure all the critical parts) all out carefully and see what you have. Naturally this plan requires some pre-thought as to a backup plan. You also need to inspect it for cracks.
  • IIF the present engine's internal condition is unknown and it has close to 200K on it is the cost/benefit anaysis still favorable or should that money be applied to a known replacement?
  • Again, I'd have to know the clearances in the cylinder bores and the measurements of the crankshaft throws to answer that.

    If you have to bore, and you have to re-machine the crankshaft and thus need oversize bearings and oversize pistons, that starts to get expensive.

    If you're asking which way to bet *without* examining the old engine at all, and you want an engine to run another 200K, then I'd get a new short block installed. Without VTEC, that's about $2500 bucks + at least 20 hours labor.

    So unless you go with a low miles used engine, you're looking at $5000 or so if a professional shop does a short block for you.

    If you "overhaul" the engine yourself in your garage, and only need to send the head out for machining, and you don't have to touch the bores or the crankshaft--just rings and bearings and gaskets----then you'd get away a lot cheaper.

    I suppose a shop could also do an overhaul for you for considerably less than $5000, since they wouldn't be boring or messing with the crank----but you know, when you open up an unknown engine, you have to be prepared for bad news.

    So what do you do when the shop calls and says "okay, your engine needs everything, it's all in pieces, what do you want to do?"
  • I can get a replacement Long block for $2900 and an install for $750. I think I'll put the money in that rather than expend $$$$ checking out an existing one with close to 200K.
    What is your opinion of the prices I have been quoted? I really like the car and plan on keeeping it indefinitely. It is a Coupe, 4 cyl with MT and gets 33+mpg on fwy. 25 in town
  • I have written to the NHTSA and gotten a letter of approval to have a switch installed for the airbag in my '01 Accord to protect my very petite wife from injury from the airbag.
    She has been driving another car w/o airbags but its in sad shape so she will need to drive the Accord.
    I have been unable to find anyone to do this.
    Any suggesstions? I could use some help.
  • lll3lll3 Posts: 10
    2000 Honda Accord LX-Replaced clock light bulb about 6 weeks ago but it seems to go in and out at night so it's hard to read at times in the night. Clock works fine.
  • I know this is an old post, and I don't know how your situation turned out, but I've got the same problem, and I'm the wife! I was making duplicate keys for all of the cars, and the guy making the keys said he couldn't do one for the Aveo I just bought, but didn't say anything about the GMC truck or the Honda Accord. So I go out today to test them all and it's stuck. Same as your situation, my husband had to take his main key off of the key ring to get it close enough to turn the car over, but the key won't come out. So at least we won't have to pay for a towing bill. It has an anti-theft thing in there, so there is a key flashing on his dashboard. So I tried the suggestion of disconnecting the battery and it didn't work. Hopefully this won't be an expensive mistake, but I guess I'm going to pay for my stupidity. I think the man making the key should've known better.
  • johnd22johnd22 Posts: 1
    edited April 2011
    I had the exact same problem. I discovered it because my 1998 Honda Accord wouldn't shift out of park and i was stuck in a parking for 45 min until i discovered the shift lock release button which is hidden underneath the plastic rectangular ring that goes around the shift console. It's directly left about 3 inches from the shifter, again, underneath the plastic rectangular ring. You just use your key to depress the shift lock release and shift into neutral, start the car, then shift into drive. To fix the brake lights not coming i started by checking all the fuses; there are 3 fuse boxes(that i found) 1) left of the steering wheel between the door and the dashboard 2) Same place as the first but on the passenger side 3) under the hood close to the windshield on the passenger side. Supposedly the fuse for the brake lights is in the fuse box under the hood labeled "stop" on the case of the fuse box. All of my fuses were still in tact (burnt fuses will literally be burnt and the metal connection in the middle will be broken). The brake lights flashed when i unlocked the car and they also turned on when i turned the lights on so i knew the bulbs were good. I then moved to the brake light switch which is located under the dash, next to the brake pedal. You'll have to get up underneath the steering column and literally be on your back with your head next to the brake pedal. You'll notice the metal arm connected to the brake pedal comes in contact with a plastic cylinder about 1 inch in diameter, 3 inches long and that has a 1.5 inch metal bolt coming out it with a small button at the end of the bold that is depressed when the brake is in resting position. There should be some wires connected to the brake light switch. Unplug the wires and unscrew the brake light switch. I went to Auto Zone and had the switch tested and it did not conduct a charge so i bought a new one for $40, put it in and everything worked. So start with the fuses, then the bulbs, then the brake switch. After that you'll probably need to get a wiring diagram of your car and hunt down all the connections and check all the wiring. That's way out of my league and i would've just taken it to a mechanic after that.
  • wingman39wingman39 Posts: 2
    jimmy1943 I recently purchessed a 2000 Accord SE from my inlaws an i have the same problem on the passanger rear light panel did you ever receive any solutions to this problem
  • jngnycjngnyc Posts: 1
    Thanks so much for this step by step post. This was super helpful!
  • 42scooter42scooter Posts: 1
    I have read many posts on the Internet regarding '98-2002 model with the 2.3 L ULEV-VTEC engine and its stalling or dying problem(s). Here is a little history on the engine/electrical problems that I've encountered with my car.
    I purchased this 4dr Accord L model new in late 98 from a local dealer. I had some engine stalling issues early on, but this was after it came off fast idle and usually on cold winter mornings when, it would stumble and stall. After chasing this problem with the dealer for about 30-45 days, including changing out the computer module, a factory rep came to the dealership and raised hell with the service manager and staff there and did a little tune-up training claiming that they were not correctly setting the "base idle" properly. After he adjusted same, I encountered no further dying but it would still have a slight stumble at times if the weather was cold and just for the first few minutes after it came off of fast idle.
    In late 2002 at around 63k miles on the engine, I would sometimes have difficulty with the ignition switch getting sort of stuck and the horn would not blow if the key was in the ignition.

    I was told there was an electrical ground issue in the steering column and it cost me $557 to replace it. After that was done I had no further problems with the car until I started having some problems with the shifter sort of getting stuck when the car was parked or on a slope. The key would also be sort of sticky. I took the car in to be checked in Sept '07 with 106k miles on it and they replaced the ignition switch which had been a recall item. After that, the car ran fine until just recently.

    At just about 120k miles, I started getting intermittant engine shut down while driving at speeds under 20-25mph and usually just slowing for traffic. It might happen once, then I could get the car started w/o any problems and it would drive fine for a couple of weeks and then it would do it time, it died 4x on me in about a 2 hr period. I did some research on the Internet and found where this problem was plaguing a lot of Honda owners within the above model years.

    I contacted a couple of local Honda specialty maintenance people, including the independant mechanic that did my regular service and they all seemed familiar with this problem as being electrical and not really engine related and most of them pointed to the faulty design or parts of the ignition switch. So, I contacted the local dealer again and told them what I had found out. I said that my car only had 14k miles on it since they did the ignition switch recall, plus it appeared that I may have also paid for an electrial problem in that steering column that I shouldn't have. The service manager saw my point and pulled the car in again for the ignition recall. He called me and said that they were able to duplicate the engine fail when giggling the switch and so they replaced it again at no cost to me. So this appears to be a reoccurring problem.

    I just had the 120k engine service on this car, replacing the plugs, rotor and cap and now the car is running better than ever. So if any of you have this sudden dying of your 98-2002 Accord with this engine, you might see if you can get your dealer to to that ignition recall again. It's worth a try.
  • I posted this message 5 years ago and have run into this problem again. The air conditioner blows hot air when the car is idling when stopped at a light. I got no replies back then and was wondering if anyone else has run into this problem. Please help.
  • selvaselva Posts: 2
    I have this funny problem with my Honda Accord 99 4Dr LX. (Automatic)
    My car drives normally when taken out of the garage in the morning and its braking performance good. However, when I drive it for an extended duration without braking, (such as highway driving), the brake pedal becomes soft as rubber and I have to push it all the way down to the floor to make the brakes grip. However, the braking performance is normal. That is, the car stops within a reasonable distance once the brake grips.
    This does not occur when I am in city driving, when I have to brake often and the brake feels as firm as ever and behaves normally.
    I have checked the brake fluid level and it has remained well within the limits and I have not seen any oil drips on the garage floor ever.
    Can any one help diagnose this situation?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,647
    Well definitely a loss of hydraulic pressure. What would happen if you start the car up in the morning, and just press down as hard as you can on the pedal? Would it sink toward the floor if you maintained hard pressure on it? Don't pump it, just one good slam, and keep it there (of course, I mean idling in park when doing this).
  • yusuf1yusuf1 Posts: 16
    Greetings Edmunds community, I have a 1999 Accord LX with 260K MILES, a/c has been out for the past 3 years (no funds to fix yet), now just discovered bad oil leak. Advice? Will finally be getting some funds to fix the a/c next week but now this too? Fix up or trade up? Thanks for any advice.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,647
    Well a bad oil leak can occur from a bad .25 cent part. it's not necessarily a catastrophe.

    Best way to locate an oil leak is putting the car on a lift.

    As for the AC fix, make sure the compressor is not seized. If it IS seized, you may incur more expense than you think, since a seized compressor might have contaminated the entire system.
  • I got exactly the same issue on my 99 accord? any help?

    I recently replaced ignition switch myself (second time after 2002 recall), touched some wires under, wonder if it is a contacting problemm...
  • And did this problem affect you afterwords? is your D4 light still off?
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