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Honda Accord (1990-1993) Maintenance and Repair



  • I have 1990 Accord with 222k miles on it. I had heard that Honda recommends replacing the timing chain every 90k miles. The previous owner had this done at 90k, I was just wondering if this is necessary maintenance, as it's a bit costly.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    :blush: To be a bit nit-picky, you have a timing belt. Newer cars come with timing chains that don't require replacement.

    To answer your question, though, If your belt hasn't been replaced in 132k miles, you are operating on borrowed time. If you intend to keep this car for any length of time, investing in a timing belt would be money well-spent. Otherwise, when the belt snaps, you'll likely be looking at thousands in repairs, effectively "totaling" your car. It is very necessary replacement.

    When you have this replaced, have the water pump replaced as well, since to get to it you have to do the same labor required of the timing belt (which is a few hours total), so it is simply cost-effective to have this done too. My mechanic who recently replaced my timing belt quoted me $400 for just the timing belt, and told me he'd do the water pump for just the cost of the part, since there was really no extra labor involved if done at the same time. My total for the two was $478+tax, and I'm in central Alabama. Dealers will quote over $700 most likely, but you should be able to get this done for less than $550 or so.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Is your D4 light (on the dash cluster) blinking, or on when the car is in Park? That would point to a transmission computer problem.
  • Hi all,

    Has anyone here have their ABS system checked and/or repaired on a 93 Accord EX? My ABS light goes on instantly now when car is turned on. A few months ago, it'll turn on about 5 min into driving. I'm thinking a brake job may solve it or it can be more complex. I dont want to spend too much, especially with our economy now.

    please give your input
  • hi all,

    I'd like your input on this. I paid $2500 for my 93 Accord EX 2 years ago. It was in very good condition. Within the 2 years I replaced the the radiator, fuel pump, steering pressure hose ($750 value). Now the ABS light goes on and check engine light. I know it needs a brake but dont want to spend any more $$$ on my car. THe left power window gets a little stick when going down. I'm thinking of asking for $2200, is this a fair price to a potential buyer? Thanks for your help

  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    When a car has problems (ABS & Check Engine lights on, sticking windows) it will not fetch a good price. Doing a basic "brake job" will not clear the ABS or Check Engine lights. You have to keep up the maintenance, and fix problems as they appear, or things start to pile up on you. Sounds like quite a predicament. :( Good luck.
  • i have a purring 90 Accord LX auto with 178, has recently (only at start-up) coughed a huge cloud of blue smoke. It goes away in about 2-blocks and returns to normal as it reaches operating temp...i know that when rings begin to wear this is common, but usually it is prolonged and evident particularly at deceleration and acceleration, and after a stop sign, but not the case here (i have followed while my daughter drives). My question is, why don't i see blue smoke all the time if this is a bad ring(s)? Thank you
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    My guess is the valve seals are slowly leaking into the combustion chamber, while the engine sits. The longer the engine sits, the more oil accumulates. When the engine is first started this oil is all burned quickly. After the engine has burned off the initial oil, the leak is not enough to be apparent.
    If for example the engine had not run for an extended period, the seals could have dried out, causing the leaks. Sounds good to me, anyway. ;)
  • thank you elroy5, you don't by any chance have a link to a repair pictorial on this procedure?...take care---thanks
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Hahahaha, I've never changed a valve seal myself, but I'm sure a good service manual would give all the gory details. Do an internet search, you might get lucky.
  • ....ok, thanks 4 your info bro!.....chaz
  • My brake lights remain continuously on, and found out that little plastic stopper by the brake switch needed to be replaced. I bought the part, but for the life of me I can't get it installed. I know the flat button side goes facing the switch, but I can't get it to fit between the switch and the hole it goes into to push it in? Am I doing something wrong?
  • In case you are still having issues, our 90 Accord LX had the same issues. I replaced the Speed Sensor and solved the problems.
    Good Luck
  • Hi Honda people
    My odometer gauge hasn't worked since I bought a used 93 Accord EX two years ago. It stopped at 137,000. The CEL goes on periodically, but runs well and there is no major leaks. I know it needs a tune up and regular maintenance but how long can my engine last with a bad odometer gauge? I've been told the older Accords are reliable cars. Thanks for your input.

  • My son inlaw has a problem with the driver side door latch not opening,the electronics seem to work from passenger door. But drivers door will not do anything.
  • Hi all,
    After buying a new radiator a year ago, I had the hoses, thermistat and antifreeze replaced as well. I don't see the green fluid to level like before and there is no leak. Is this normal? Should the level be at the height of the cap at all times? My Accord EX doesn't over-heat. Thanks for your input.
  • Hey folks, I just bought a 93 accord. 207K . no body rust, great little car, or so I thought. the day after a got it the engine wouldn't start, it would turn over but no spark.
    I had the plugs and disp cap replaced, she started and ran smooth on the way home from the garage. later that night I had to fight to get it started, she was idling at what seemed like 0 - 200 rpm and the engine was bucking. after 10 mins it was purring again. So the next day theres no spark and she won't start.
    would anyone know what parts could be causing this problem?
    I really hope its not the timing belt!!
  • ....could be several things, start with the fuel and air filter replacement followed by a water displacement (gas line anti-frz) and good injector cleaner, like Techron.....if that doesn't help the starting, have the timing checked
  • awesome, I'll try that out and see if it works.
    Thanks jazzchaz
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    The coolant (50/50 mix) should be at the top of the radiator. It should also be between the min and max lines on the reserve tank.
  • the sellers name at ebay is mandigital

    very helpful guy....I paid 140 usd , i asked him to send it to Canada...all included, custom and stuff
  • 1/20 starting prblem
    change all filter,distributer,coils,cup,plugs,wires,the problem is still there,why?
    one try leave 10 minutes then start?????????????????
  • chucko3chucko3 Posts: 793
    When the enigne is cold, fill the radiator with 50/50 mix to the
    neck. Also keep the reservoir level between High & Low.
    You might have to refill a couple times.
  • "i have a 1992 honda accord and recently you could be driving and all of a sudden you would loose all engine power, help---help--help."

    Have you or anyone found a solution to this problem?
  • astorastor Posts: 30
    Some 1990-1993 Honda Accords are known to have this problem. I had a problem with the driver side door not opening and took it to a Honda Dealer, he drilled out the lock and put in a new one. The labor cost was a killer and cost me $400+.
  • I have a 91 Accord that cold starts fine and will drive for a minute or 2 but won't shift into the higher gears, it sounds like it's looking for the gears but not finding it and slowly stalls and won't go again fora few hours. A friend found that I was low in transmission fluid but said it's not making the type of sound that a transmission problem usually makes.

    I had the transmission flushed and fluids added and it drove fine for 2 weeks, then the problem came back again but the transmission fluid isn't low.

    Any ideas? Is it a transmission problem?
  • I got my cars auto. trans. working but, sometimes it goes back to its old self. Doesn't shift correctly but when I remove the radio, back-up light fuse and wait about 20 seconds, the car starts to shift correctly for awhile. Then it does the same thing again.
    This car is driving me crazy.
  • Have a surging idle after engine warms up. Sprayed carb cleaner around and found that the intake gasket is leaking. What is all involved in changing the gasket?
    Can it be done pretty easily in your driveway. How do you get to the bolts on the bottom side of the intake?

    Thanks, Scott.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,375
    A little heads up here.

    You say you only get the surging idle AFTER the engine warms up?

    This is contradictory to the behavior of a leaking intake gasket. As the engine warms up, there is an expansion of metal, and so really the surging should be worse with a cold engine than a warm one.

    I only mention this not to contradict your obvious correct diagnosis of an intake leak, but only to suggest that this leak may not be the cause of your surging idle, or not the entire cause.

    You might *carefully* snug down the intake bolts --16 foot lbs ONLY

    The "book" says a 4 hour job for a professional mechanic, so without knowing your skill level, figure ALL DAY.

    Let us know how the "snugging up" does (use a torque wrench please) and if no good, let's talk further.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • Sound like you might have a problem with the shift-lock solenoid. Is the car doing things like blowing fuses when you step on the brake?
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