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Honda Accord (1990-1993) Maintenance and Repair



  • I have owned my Accord for about five years now. The former owner took excellent care of the car, yet it is beginning to give me problems. One of the most consistent problems seems to be coming from the harmonic balancer. I have had this particular part replaced twice within less than a year. My mechanic tells me that this is a common problem with Hondas around the early 90's. Has anyone else experienced or heard of such a problem?
    Also, my brake pedal has recently begun to go straight to the floor on occasion. This particular problem only occurs when the A/C is running. I just pump the brakes once or twice and they return to their normal state of operation. Any ideas?
  • I bench bled the master cylinder, and bled all the brakes in proper sequence. and i still have spongy brakes. the brakes are only spongy when i turn on the car. when the car is off my brakes work fine. is there anyone who might have any suggestions?
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    the brakes are only spongy when i turn on the car. when the car is off my brakes work fine.

    Check for a vacume leak going to the brake booster or the booster itself. When the engine is not running, the brake booster is not in operation. If you spray carburetor/injector cleaner on the vacume hose it makes the leak easier to find. When you spray the leak it will make the engine idle change, then you've found your leak. Good luck
  • bgayerbgayer Posts: 1
    Having a hard time removing the valve cover to my 92 Accord. Removed all necessary bolts/hoses etc. and expected it to lift off rather easily. It won't budge. Tried knocking it with a rubber mallet to no avail. Any suggestions/helpful hints? Unsure as to when the last time it was off. Need to replace gasket(s).
  • sed1sed1 Posts: 8
    I haven't taken my Accord's valve cover off, but through the years have worked on some Chevys. We used a putty knife, being extra careful not to gouge the block/head. The gaskets cook on and sometimes are difficult to get off. Hope that helps, but you might want to wait for some of the more technical (competent) posters to reply.
  • Hey every one. I have a 1992 Honda Accord (2door 82,000miles) I been having some problems. Sometimes the car does not start. For instance, I turn the key but we get no start up. Most of the time you must wait a bit than it will start(Aparently from the heat it does not start) Now today the car didn't start for an hour than it started. When it did, the green light that surrounds the "D4" on the dashboard was blinking. It usually will stay constant. But it was blinking. When i would hit the gas the car would drive but like it was not driving in full drive motion. It was just moving slower as usual. Once, I turned off the car and restarted it the light was not blinking anymore and drives fine. This is something I can not deal with everyday. I don't have the money to get a new or used car. I must Rock out with this one. It only has 82,000miles on it. I know it needs "required mantainance" but i don't know if that has any relation to the problem. ANy one have suggestions? Or has this happened to anyone?

  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    The same thing happened to my 92 Accord. I think your transmission computer has crapped out on you. If you were to open the computer up, there are probably black spots on the circuit boards where the capacitors have leaked on them. I would try to find a matching used computer, because a new one will cost about $500. Good luck
  • nonyononyo Posts: 1
    I had a problem where my brake pedal went to the floor on my 91 Accord. Pumped once and the would work again. A brake pedal going to the floor is apparently the sign of the brake master cylinder being worn out (seals worn out). When I mentioned the symptom to the dealer service dept. they immediately said you need a new master cylinder. They replace mine. The problem is gone.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Sounds a lot better than the price of a new one :) . You just have to make sure it's a perfect match with the computer your replacing.
  • keyon19keyon19 Posts: 11
    I have a 1990 Honda accord Lx with very low miles but the (S) light stays on, it doesn't blink or anything and the car will only stay in one gear and thats 1st (it's an automatic). could someone PLEASE tell me what the problem is...
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    This link has all the information about the "S" light, and what to do about it. Good luck Link below
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    Heat related starting problems are often the main relay in our vintage of accord. There is plenty on the forum regarding checking on that.

    Most likely the blinking D4 and sluggish performance mean the car is in "limp-home mode" which starts you in second gear. Pull the codes from the trans computer and any from the main computer and work from there.

    $200 isn't a terrible price for the TCU from a place that repairs and resells but I got mine from a yard for only $75. Just make sure it's a match as someone else mentioned.

    good luck
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Some posts about a Protege problem have been moved to a more logical place. Here's the link: keyon19, "Mazda Protege Maintenance and Repair" #3170, 11 Aug 2007 2:16 pm.
  • FukuyamaFukuyama Posts: 75
    hi keith, I got the link you posted about the egr passages. I do't think I could do it since i have no garage or drive nor the special hammer to get the plugs out. I went to a mechanic here asking for how much would be to clean the egr ports. He inspected my car, and said the following. If I were you, I wouldn't touch the egr ports nor the throttle body. It is an old car. and the code 12 won't let you stall on the road. He told me to buy some fuel injector cleaner and next time i fill up, put premium gas with the injector cleaner stuff, and speed it up.

    Should I go to another mechanic? Pet boys or autozone or somehting else and get it fixed? :confuse: :lemon: :confuse:
  • FukuyamaFukuyama Posts: 75
    How do you know the match for your TCU ? I thinking of getting one just incase. S light comes on and off once in a while. It has not given me any shift trouble though
  • keyon19keyon19 Posts: 11
    I want to know if a 1993 honda accord lx ecu can fit on a 1990 honda accord lx?
  • I don't think so, I think the 90-91 are occasionally compatible and the 92-93 but I don't think you an go over that big a range. When we fried the computer in the 91 LX wagon, it got the brain from a 90 sedan, but we might have compared ROM program dates or some other measure.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    The 90-91 Accords had the sport-shift, and the codes would be flashed by a light on the computer itself (I think). The 92-93 Accords didn't have the sport-shift, and the codes were flashed using the "Check engine" light and D4 indicator. So there are at least two differences. Not sure how different the plugs are, but the numbers need to match up, for things to work properly.
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    The codes on my '90 will flash on the computer itself (as you said) and I believe if you trip the service jumper on the passenger side they will display through the CEL as well.
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    Apparently no one knows what a "slide hammer" is even though it's pretty self-explanatory (or everyone was just being stupid the day I asked in 3 different places) but I picked one up from Auto Zone. It is marketed there as a dent puller, but it's exactly the same item. It was under $20 US.

    In my opinion your mechanic is being difficult. Yes, we know it's an old car but that doesn't mean you give up on it. This is basically a maintenance procedure, like changing the timing belt. Also, what does stalling on the road have to do with it? It won't pass emissions with the code 12 so it has to be done. Seems like an odd thing to say to a customer.

    I don't really see any downside or danger in cleaning out the EGR ports or throttle body unless it is done extremely carelessly (allowing the crud to fall where it shouldn't). So I do not understand the mechanic's hesitation to do the procedure unless he just did not want to do it for some other reason. In my opinion, and based on what I have read online, additives are not going to be able to do much considering how long the carbon has been accumulating and also because of just how much it sticks to the passages. Physical cleaning is pretty much a necessity on cars of this age. And again, there is no downside I am aware of (if you are not careless about it). It is also (from what I have read) possible that an engine with improper EGR flow can hurt itself over time due to excessively high combustion temperatures (though this is only in certain specific situations).

    I would take it to a trusted independent with a printout of the procedure from that PDF and ask what they want ($) to do the job.

    -good luck
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    The easiest way I know of is to remove the carpet on the passenger side and write down the number on your TCU and match it with the replacement.

    I hope I answered all your questions.

    -good luck and don't forget to tell us how it goes!
  • FukuyamaFukuyama Posts: 75
    good idea keith,
    Problem is I am in mntreal, Canada. I am gonna take to Canadian Tire (big store) today. I discovered this morning cooler is leaking extremely slow from the bottom of the engine.I found in a different forum a person with the same code 12 loosing bits of coolant on and off(not continuously). So I will take it to that place. Good idea about the manual and bringing to the mechanic...Somehow, I noticed they didn;t know what I was talking about when I said egr port plugs . I will keep you posted.

    To give you an example. I could not find a slide hammer around here(Montreal). I had to ask a friend to mail me some throttle body gaskets (1.99) and a few egr gaskets(99 cents) from Miami because I couldn't find them here...they guy at the store told me to build the gasket myself from rubber and epoxy....go figure!
  • FukuyamaFukuyama Posts: 75
    well keith,
    I left the car at the store, told them to call me when they were ready to look at it and give me an estimate of the work, as you told me I left the pdf file with them. 5 hours later I was called . When I got to the store they had gotten under the hood and did what I didn't even ask. end of story, I didn't pay for what they did since i was not even given an estimate. the argument got really rough, the guy in charge even told me that cleaning the egr passages will definitely damage the manifold. I guess they are used to ripping people off.

    So the egr ports were not cleaned. I will buy the slide hammer and do it myself

    I noticed a small coolant leak so I inspected and it is coming out of one of the ATF cooler hoses (the one on the condenser fan side) . The coolant looks like coming between the big nut that holds the pipe to the radiator. My question is Can I unscrew/screw over that pipe ? The manual I have doesn't show the dissemble of such part..I am posting the pic so you can see what I am asking about.


    My question is . Can I take that piece off the radiator body, clean it, tighten it back or should I replace the whole radiator?
  • The radiator uses plastic tanks. This means it cannot usually be repaired. I have cobbled together sleeves and tried to re-enforce cracked areas on the SE-R, but the new radiator for the Civic(Koyo)was only like $60 on eBay.
  • The brake fluid in my clutch reservoir keeps getting low. I keep having to add fluid or else my clutch pedal sinks. I've checked around the reservoir and don't see any fluid around. Where else could it be going and how do I fix it?
  • The brake fluid in my clutch reservoir keeps getting low. I keep having to add fluid or else my clutch pedal sinks. I've checked around the reservoir and don't see any fluid around. Where else could it be going and how do I fix it?

    I had to replace the slave cylinder for the clutch.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    It would be dripping on the ground, underneath your car. See any fluid on the floor in your garage?
  • I had no external leaking on mine.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    it had to be going somewhere. it's supposed to be a closed system right? probably it was dripping out where it was not immediately noticed, perhaps onto the frame or another part and got either burned off or spun off or pushed off when the vehicle was at speed.

    it wasn't evaporating. (at least i don't think it can do that). :)
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