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Honda Accord (1990-1993) Maintenance and Repair



  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    They'll see your ABS light, as soon as they get in your car to check the mileage or pull it into the bay. Any good shop will certainly notice this and call it to your attention, so they don't have you claiming after fact that their brake job caused a problem.

    If you know you need a set of brakes anyhow, then you can try your approach....with the potential that it doesn't resolve the ABS issue. You'll get what you pay for. You want a 100 buck brake job, that's what you'll get. You want the ABS fixed so you can stop quicker in an emergency, then have them fix it while they have everything apart. It will be most convenient (for you and them) to do it while the car is up on the rack and the wheels off.
  • I have a 90 Accord with 178,000 miles that has a engine miss only at idle.The car runs excellent through all rpms otherwise and get good mpgs.i have checked for vacum leaks and have found nothing.Im not sure what else to check or replace,any help with this would be appreciated,Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,590
    You might check your EGR valve or the tube going to it for a clog or malfunction.

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  • Hello! My car has a 'new' problem... runs fine, on start up, when warm, etc. BUT what it has started doing is: running fine, then all of a sudden, whether going 10 or 65, the car doesn't seem to be getting gas... press on accelerator and car won't go any faster. Back off accelerator briefly, apply pressure to accelerator and car resumes speed then almost immediately, 'loses' gas again... so I have to constantly back off the gas and press the gas pedal to keep moving forward. Then... all of sudden, the problem is gone and car runs fine. It got so bad the other day, running at 60 mph that the car jerking....I didn't think I'd get off the freeway. I did and by the time (1/4 mile) I got to the frontage road... problem was gone and car drove fine for a day or two!!!

    A little background: I let the car overheat too much and end result was finally a new block... after replacing most everything, including oxygen senor, two other sensors, water pump, timing belt (since mechanic was there already and car had 160K miles before replacement)... you name it, the mechanic tried to fix the overheating but not the head gasket because all tests were NOT showing that was the problem. His machinist told him he could resurface the head till the cows came home, but in his experience, the 'metal thing' (my words) inside the block had warped and car needed a new engine. So that's what he did (at cost because he was not pleased with himself for not being able to fix it the first time) Voila! Overheating problem gone and car now has almost everything new.

    So, with this problem, I took car to the mechanic. Tests showed the ignition coil was bad... something with the 'resistor' test and evidence of misfire (burnt wire, etc). So replaced the coil and driving home... car was GREAT! No problems!!!! Ran like new!!!

    Next morning, car started fine. Drove approx. 4 miles and 'it' started again... press on gas... nothing. Back off, reapply gas, resumes running then back off gas again, etc. Then it stopped and ran fine for another 8 miles where I parked the call all day.

    At the end of the day, started car. Drove approx 1 mile and engine light came on and 'it' had started acting up again. Pulled over. Turned off car. Called mechanic to let him know engine light came on (at least now he'll have something to check). Started car again, drove approx 3 miles with 'the problem' and then it stopped again and drove fine the remaining 5 miles home.

    Anybody have any ideas?????? Mechanic is stumped (although he did say he's never experienced a Honda having to have a MAP sensor replaced.... maybe it could be a possibility but he's trying to save me money cuz he knows my situation).

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • Wow! Quick reply - thanks!!! I'll write down your suggestion and take with me to mechanic. I love my Honda - great mileage, etc) and would like to drive it until it rusts away.

  • oops.... didn't realize reply was to another poster... sorry!!!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,590
    Yeah I think your problem is different. Sounds like the poor man is down to guessing at this point. He may be in over his head here.

    Yes could be MAP sensor, could be throttle positioning sensor, could be bad fuel pressure regulator. All these things can be tested quantitatively for proper voltages and pressures.

    There's a fuel pressure test port right there between the pressure regulator and #1 injector. He could install a gauge and see what happens during the engine failure.

    If pressure is maintained during engine stallling, then he can go to checking his voltages at the MAP and TPS.

    If he doesn't do this, take the car somewhere else. Based on your anecdotal info, making assumptions about a component based on "they are never bad" is kind of self-defeating IMO.

    Stubborn problems like this (and I do sympathize with mechanics who have to figure this stuff out) are usually a matter of diagnostic discipline. You keep testing, going from No to No to No to finally, by elimination, a Yes.

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  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Throttle position sensor came to mind when I read that, had one go out on our Ford Explorer, that acted just like that......except there was also an error light/code which made it easier to zero right in on.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,590
    Yep, the MAP and the TPS both send signal voltages to the ECM about engine load.

    But you know, if his fuel pressure disappears randomly that can also explain his symptoms. Like if he has a vane-type fuel pump---they can freeze up and unfreeze once they are left for a while.

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  • hi
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,590

    for the mechanics. It might help them.

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  • Thanks for your response. I just rolled in and logged on to find your response. I'll print this out and take with me on Monday to the mechanics. Just as an FYI... no, absolutely none, problem with the car today. It goes that way....fine... not fine.. fine again.

    Anyway, thank you ever so much for your response and also a big thanks to kiawah for your input, too!

  • myawmyaw Posts: 3
    Hello. My 1990 Honda Accord randomly does not start so I have to jump start my engine. Les Schwab just checked my battery plus replaced the negative and positive postings due to corrosion. Any suggestions out there?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Confusing post.

    Are you saying that you are having random start problems AFTER your battery was replaced and new wire terminals put on?

    or are you saying........

    You've had random start problems, and when you took it for service they replaced the battery and put on new wire terminals.

    If it's the later, then that is a reasonable fix for random start problems.
  • I have a Honda Accord SV4 2.2 Auto,VTEC.
    My question is this,after a drive,i switch off the engine,and lock the car via alarms,all of a sudden,the radiator fan is on,and works approx 5 minutes, Is this normal for HOnda,??My concern is due to the frequent operation of the fan while the engine is off,my battery drains and it difficult to start the car the next day.ANy advice??
    I went to a mechanic and what he did was he wired so that when i off the engine,the radiator fann offs too,,and yes,,when is off the engine the radiator fan didnt work,BUT,a new problem surfaced,.,afetr aprox 3 minutes,my car alarms goes on.,i cant open unlock my car,its like all disabled,,in the front part of the car,,the Bonnet,i could hear noise like water is too heated up,,alarm eventually goes off after 15 mins...the next day when i check my radiator water,its still the same level,never reducted, but the spare plactic that stores water for the radiator is emptied,..meaning the hot water noise that i heard was fromn the spare plastic tank,,,what should i do,,,pls pls advice...
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    My question is this,after a drive,i switch off the engine,and lock the car via alarms,all of a sudden,the radiator fan is on,and works approx 5 minutes, Is this normal for HOnda,??

    Yes, it is Now it sounds like having that rewired has screwed up something else, or that you need a new battery.
  • my honda accord 91,evry time every thing works
    randomly starting problem.mechanic changed plugs,plugs wires
    distributer full part,but the problem is there,starting wise it is unreliable,when ever swith on ignition all parts works up to fly wheel,may be 20 times starts but when not starts even every thing works20 times u try but not left 2 to 3 hours 1st attempt it start.
    before changing engin light was on and blinking "s"
    now only bliking "s"

    now when u turn off cooling fan turns on for 2 minutes
    before changing it was normal

    please somebody advise what i should do?
  • replace battery??its merely 1 year since i changed my battery,,am using dry cell,Tell me,what battery is best suited for my type of car,taking into account the radiator fan that starts after engine is switched off??
    U say it is normal for the fan to go on after engine if off??well,,doesnt that drain the battery??
    any remedy?
  • myawmyaw Posts: 3
    Thanks for replying to my message. What I meant was that I had random start problems so when I took my car to Les Schwab, the mechanic recharged my existing battery and put on new wire terminals. My current problem is that now my car will not start unless I jump my battery with portable battery charger. When my car is not running, my battery gets drained. Something is draining my battery and I'm not sure what it is. A guy from Baxter auto supply store checked my alternator belt with a hand held device, he said the alternator is okay. But guy from Les Schwab thinks alternator might be draining my battery.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    When my engine is warm, my radiator fan will sometimes run for a few minutes after I've parked my '96 Accord LX 2.2L (USA). I've had the same battery for quite a few years now.

    If it isn't your battery (it sounds like it isn't if you just replaced it), then I'd go back to the mechanic. It sounds like he or she may have wired some things so that your alarm didn't work right when they tried to "fix" the fan that wasn't broken.
  • 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, 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


  • 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.


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