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Honda Accord (1976-1989) Maintenance & Repair



  • It could be a number of things. Bad injector, wire to an injector, flat spot on a camshaft lobe (If you didn't replace them when you rebuilt), bad distributor gear, or an exhaust leak can make it sound as if it were skipping. Is the exhaust closed up good on it? Other than this, I don't know what to tell you. Vacuum leak??
  • There is a little plug that goes through the brake pedal that operates the brake light switch. Have you looked to see if the brake lights are staying on all the time? If they are, it is probaby that plug missing. I had it happen on an 88 I used to have and after replacing the brake light switch, I realized that the plug was missing. Check the brake lights with the switch on and see if they are on.
  • I have an 89 Accord that was idling really rough. I took off the ERG valve last night and cleaned it out really good. It idles much better now, but still not the way it should. The weird thing is though, when I put it in reverse it idles perfect. You can hardly tell it is even running. Same with Park, and Neutral, but when I put it in Drive, it starts idling a little rough. Is there a sensor, or valve that only works when it is drive? A vacuum line to the tranny? Motor mounts? The front motor mount is almost new, the top engine strap bushings are good, and the bracket on the belt side that goes between the timing belt is good. Any suggestions?
  • What about the back lower engine mount? I JUST changed the rear mount in my 88 Accord, and I have reduced the vibration about 50%. The old mount was intact, but the upside-down V shape of the rubber had collapsed.

  • Thank you Mrbill. I will check that out. :)
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    yeah, i think you might have been the poster that indicated some time back how to test for a broken or worn engine mount... or maybe it was elroy5, can't remember. it had something to do with putting it in drive with the brake on maybe, or maybe it was the FWD vs. REV test. anyway, what you say would make a lot of sense!
  • wanger1wanger1 Posts: 32
    I am not the one who posted the reply, but I agree on what he was telling you as to how to test it for a busted motor mount.
    With the car running, put it in drive first and have someone stand off to one side with the hood up and watch. Hold your foot firmly on the brake and start pushing don't on the gas. If the engine raises up or rares up, you have a busted motor mount. If it doesn't rare, try the same procedure in reverse. Simple test and it will tell you if you have a bad mount. Good luck.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    your suggestion is a tad confusing. do you mean, have someone push the car when you have it in gear with the brake on?

    if so, with the vehicle in drive (fwd), are they pushing from the front to try to move the vehicle backwards, or are they in the back, trying to push the vehicle forwards?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    No, let me try and rephrase it.

    2 People are needed.

    With hood up, engine running, person 1 should stand to the side (beside the front wheel, perhaps).

    Person 2 should be in the car, with foot firmly on the brake pedal. Person 2 should then press the gas when the car is in drive, while keeping his/her foot on the brake.
    Repeat that process with the car in reverse.
    Person 1 will be looking to see if the engine raises up/moves around from its original position.

    Does this help, and is this what you were meaning, wanger1?
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    yeah, this is the procedure someone, perhaps yourself had posted before. good stuff.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Wasn't me, but I remember reading it a couple of times around here.
  • tonyj2tonyj2 Posts: 1
    I have an 87 honda accord lxi that has some sort of a starting issue. It will try to start but will act as it it not geting enough battery power to start. 90 percent of the time it will start okay but that 10 percent of the time it will go to a slow crank to almost no crank If i continue to turn the key it will start.

    I have replaced the starter, both battery cables, rotor and cap.and battery.

    I also was wondering what the chances are the starter is bad It is a pep boys starter.

    I was wonder if it could be the ingtion switch ,or maybe a relay

    I do not know where to go from here or what to test next.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    Sure could be a binding starter. Also check for corroded battery cables and ALSO check your engine ignition timing.

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  • trantotranto Posts: 5
    I've just bought a build date Sept 87 Accord EX(Australia) with 274000km on it. A gamble i know. It is a carburetted 2lt auto.This car has not been maintained very well and has several worrying issues.When started the auto choke idles high then drops below 1000rpm and shkes badly when in gear. When put into gear it clunks badly and does so through the range, I have taken to starting off in 2 and manually shifting to D3 and leaving it there except for highway running. This seems to work OK but am i damaging the trans by doing so. The fluid looks and smells ok to me. I have replaced the front engine mount but the problem remains. Also the power steer fluid goes right throughthe system and leaks v. badly from the rack area. Next issue is performance.The acceleration is sluggish and doesn't want to progress past about half throttle,and if you push the foot down it changes back, but almost at once shifts back up to the same situation. The fuel consumption is excessive to the point that i thought the gauge was faulty.Also the radio resets itself every time it is restarted. A real hassle is that the car was missing the master key and the local Honda dealer said they were out of issue. I really want this key.Is this car worth fixing, i have a feeling for this car and would love to continue on with it . Any assistance would be great
  • wanger1wanger1 Posts: 32
    Check all of your grounds as well. That radio resetting sounds like a faulty ground and that could be causing it not to run right. Without hearing it run in person, it is hard to define the fuel problem.
  • wanger1wanger1 Posts: 32
    If the engine is hot when it does this, it could be a faulty starter, but before going through that you might try checking the ignition timing and also make sure that the engine is grounded properly. Other than these things I can't think of anything else that would cause the engine to lag when starting.
  • trantotranto Posts: 5
    Thank you very much for your input. I'll check the grounding. Car is in the shop today for trans. service,asit has no service records, hopefully this will smooth the trans. to some extent. Shall keep site informed of progress. I'd love to see how far this puppy will go.I am however very nervous about the power steer fluid loss, that bridge is next. Fingers crossed.Can anyone help with the master key situation?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Take your VIN # (and owners card) to a Honda dealership. They should be able to look your vehicle up in the system, and cut you a new master key.
  • wanger1wanger1 Posts: 32
    If the power steering is leaking from the metal casing, you can get some stuff called J B Weld, clean the surface real good and sand it with sandpaper, wipe it off and make sure it is dry, then mix and apply the J B Weld. It will seal it up and that problem is behind you, unless it is leaking from a seal or a hose. Then you are going to either have to replace the pump ot the hose to correct it.
  • trantotranto Posts: 5
    An update from new owner. Well i've had the trans serviced, seems it was ok. It still jolts but I'm trying to get used to this Honda trait. The power steer has now got a stop leak compound that is working and hopefully I will get 6 months or so out of this. After this i am told the seal will be shot and a new steering rack will be needed.The drive shafts and boots have also been replaced, fresh oil and filter for the engine also. The mileage issue is a problem however.The mechanic tells me that the problem is retarded timing caused by a failed distributor diaphram, that can't be repaired since it is a plastic housing and can't be dismantled. This means that i'm going to have to wear bad economy and poor performance, particularly at cruise speed. The option is a new distributor at a cost of over $500AU Gulp! As i've just about spent all i can afford on this car this will have to go on the backburner. How much for this part in the U.S.? The radio is still it's contrary self and the A/C doesn't get cold. I'm told it is gassed and that the problem ,(i'm not sure what he said) is v. expensive. Oh and I put in a new air filter as the old one was shot. If anyone can offer comment or assistance please do as i would love to get this car running true but the cost is getting away from me. Thank you in advance. Almost forgot. I'm having no luck with a master key in Australia so here is the Vin no in the hope that someone o/s can assistVIN: JHMCA56300C210342.Thanks again.
  • wanger1wanger1 Posts: 32
    Concerning the distributor. If you will go to ( they carry the distributor for $161.00 to $213.00 as oposed to $500.00 or was that price including installation? You might also try ebay and ( If it is a part I don't have to have right away, I buy 90% of my parts on line. For the master key, I would suggest going to Honda. They should be able to get one from their warehouse or direct from Japan. If it is just the ignition itself, try (thepartsbin). I know they carry them and you might come out cheaper just replacing the whole switch. I hope this info helps.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    another option for some things: a pull-it yard.
  • Please tell me where I can find a wiring diagram for the stereo in my 89' Accord DX.
    The previous owner cut out the aftermarket stereo and I don't khow which wires are for what.

    Thank You!

  • need to know what wires in the Honda go where...the wires are cut and hanging out of my console. In order to wire up a new stereo I need to know the color codes for the speakers, acc/on, etc....

    Thank You!


    an hour online and I found this free site.

  • wanger1wanger1 Posts: 32
    If you are installing a factory style sterio, the wire colors should match up. If it is a aftermarket sterio, you might try following the wires and see which ones go to the speakers and which ones go to the dash wiring. Then use your diagram for the aftermarket and match up the wires one at a time until you get them right. There should be no more than 8 speaker wires and 2 to 4 power wires, so as far as hooking up the radio, you will have a max of 16 combinations to deal with. You might blow a couple of fuses in the process, but it shouldn't be that hard. Good luck.
  • I have a 89 Accord EXI (2.0L fuel injected) that seems to be running on two cylinders. It was running strong until a drive the other day on the highway between shifts it lost power.
    I pulled each spark plug boot off individually to confirm spark and noticed that when I pulled the left most boots (driver's side) there is no difference in the engine. It is however evident when the right side is pulled as the car almost stalls.

    I also measured the fuel injector resistance and it was 1.7ohms which is within spec. Can it be the ECU and where is this located? Also the manual said to check the resistance of the injector resistor terminal which I also cannot seem to should be a connector harness of 5 pins that is located around the strut tower of the left fender apron???

    The plug appears to be slightly fouled but not overly where do I go from here. I was thinking about testing the injectors by swapping them to the working cylinders but I have strong feeling that it could be the ECU or some other electrical sensor...

    Thanks in advance,
  • Dose anyone have a diagram of the vacume lines to 1989 accord? It would be a big help as it seems I have no distributor advance? Any other thoughts then vacume?
  • I have a similar problem,have you pressure tested the diaphram on your distributor If as i suspect this is the problem,and you have a metal housing it can be repaired, however if you have a plastic housing the diaphram can not be accessed and you're up for a new distributor. If you are also getting poor mileage this is the likely culprit.
  • Thanks tranto for the reply!!! That was a good thought but in my case it turned out that my main trouble was a cracked vacume hose from the valve cover to the pcv filter box at aircleaner. (I still can't find the pcv valve.. from what I've been seeing it is in line to a vacume canister somewhere under hood?) Soooooo after finding crack on bottom of hose I pulled the 2 vac lines to distributer and drew on them they seemed to hold pressure. Then with those lines plugged I put a timing light on the car and couldn't find the mark until I lossen distributer and went way back conterclockwise. Did cracked hose cause this to be that off........ I don't think so, I belive last owner tried setting timing without pluging distributer vac lines. The putt putt ( my name for her) is much better with power but I wonder about the rest of the miles of vacume lines. Looks like different color codes on some of the lines and a pile of little plastic tees and such. have you ever heard of a kit to go thru these mess?
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