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Honda Accord (1990-1993) Maintenance and Repair



  • Found the problem. It turned out to be the wire going to oxygen sensor. This wire was intermittently rubbing up against the drive shaft. Eventually the insulation got stripped off, causing a short. The problem only manifested itself while exiting the highway, because sharp braking moved the wire forward and up against the drive shaft. At other times, the wire was just dangling.
    Still don't know why the distributor broke.
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Posts: 823
    edited December 2011
    As far as an engine block heater, there are numerous choices of heaters available. One type installs in the lower radiator hose and heats the antifreeze, another is magnetic and attaches to the oil pan or to the side of the block. A third requires removing one of the freeze plugs and installed in the freeze plug hole. You would have to check to see if they recommend a model for your Accord or not. The last one I know of was a heater that replaced the oil dip stick with a heating stick. I don't know if they are available or not anymore. The magnetic style is the easy to install, and you can remove and replace on your next vehicle at a later time.

  • cats2006cats2006 Posts: 2
    edited December 2011
    Hi! I recently bought a 92 Accord with 154,000 miles on it. I am having some trouble with it and am hoping someone can help. I am alittle familiar with cars, but don't know all the terminology so please bear with my descriptions. It is hard to start, but usually does. It turns over but takes 4-5 "revs" to actually catch and run. It has died twice while running, in gear, and moving approx 10 mph. Both times I was coasting while slowing down. It has new spark plugs and wires, and we replaced the distributor cap and coil without any improvement. The check engine light comes on, sometimes right away and others it waits till your going between 30-50 mph before lighting up. Any ideas?

    On another note the radio is not working. It was an after market cd player. We got a new radio, installed it, and it dosen't work either. Both radios have power and all the buttons worked, but no sound comes out of the speakers. One of them had a bass meter that appeared to work, following a beat, but no sound. Any ideas on this one?

    Thanks for you help and patience!
  • Hard starting - my 1st inclination is to replace the fuel filter

    Check Engine Light - is it flashing or just on? If it's just on, could be an O2 sensor (part of the emissions control system)

    Radio - sounds like a poor connection between the radios and speakers or something isn't properly grounded. With none of the speakers working, I really doubt the problem is with the speakers themselves.
  • Will it start when the temp is warm? And, Is the CEL on when you try to start but not starting?
    My 1991 would start when warm, or if I put a drop light against the distributor housing for an hour. Tell-tale sign would be, when the car won't start the CEL is on, and stays on when key is turned on, but if it goes out after a few seconds after turning key on, your ignition control unit is going bad. If CEL light not on,mine would start fine, but if light stayed on after other lamps go out, would not start.
  • Yes, I havent had problems since that day, when it rains is when it starts to have problems, other than that it is fine
  • I finally got a chance to work on it today and found some interesting things. We replaced the fuel filter last week with little to no improvement. We were planning on replacing the fuel pump today, but while doing some research online we found posts stating that the fuel pump rarely goes bad in these hondas and most problems like this are related to the main fuel relay. We got a new one, about $60 at autozone. The car ran a little better, but still had problems starting. We really didn't want to drop the tank to get to the fuel pump, and since the car would still start, though very rough, I still had some doubt that was the problem. We finally found a forum posting online stating that symptoms like this were related to the distributor going out. We already replaced the cap and coil with minimal improvement. While searching this we found out how to read the check engine light, so we got that code which was an 8 = TDC position. This confirmed that our problem was the distributor. So, another trip to the store to return the fuel pump and pick up a $150 distributor. 3 bolts and 6 screws starts perfectly! I can't begin to explain how important forums like this were to helping us fix this random problem. According to the guys at the parts store alot of 90's Hondas have problems with the distributor going out, though when we described the symptoms noone mentioned this! Oh well, hopefully this will help others. With everything we replaced trying to fix this I'm hoping there is not much more work to do to keep it running for another 100k miles! :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,869
    A timing light would have spotted that in 5 seconds.

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  • I have a 91 accord. The alternator wires have been taped and are exposed. The car will turn over but not fire. Will the exposed wires cause the car to not start?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,869

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  • The other day i was on my way home from work, in my 1990 Accord sedan, and skidded into a curb, i know pretty stupid. Since then my steering went wierd, steering wheel is turned about a third of the to the left when driving straight, and seems to pull each way at different times. No broken or bent parts are visible with the wheels off, is it possible something broke within the steering box? Or could it be as simple as being knocked out alignment.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,869
    You probably wouldn't notice if something was bent...bent tie rod, bent axle spindle, probably something like that. Not too bad a fix unless maybe you bent a control arm or the subframe.

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  • glam4u2004glam4u2004 Posts: 1
    edited January 2012
    Hi I have a Honda Accord LX 1990,

    When i'm driving most of the time, the car feel as if it doesn't want to go when I am pressing on the gas petal. It feels like something is clogged, what might that be? It's been doing this for awhile now...

    I'm guilty for not getting regular maintenance on my vehicle.

    Also the check engine light comes on, and there is another light at the bottom right of the dash board with the letter S that flashes too. What does that mean?

    Oh, and when I am driving my car tends to get really HOT under the hood, more than usual. It gets so hot that I can see heat vapors coming from the hood. Not WHITE SMOKE or anything, so I don't think I have a problem with the radiator, and the needle in the car that registers the hot/cold is always FINE, it stays pretty much below the half mark.

    And last but not least, the speedometer needle drops when I am driving, and sometimes just stop moving...

    I appreciate any help, or questions I can get...

    Thank You,

  • My car has a starting problem, and it seems to be related to the cooling system somehow. After I let pressure build up in the cooling system if I cut my car off and wait more than a few minutes to start it back up it has trouble starting or it will turn but not start. The only way I can seem to avoid this problem is by releasing the pressure on the cooling system every time I cut the car off. If I fail to do this and the car does not start, I have to pull the spark plugs and wipe them off and wait several minutes before reinstalling them. They have a fluid on them, but I cannot tell what it is by the smell or the look of it. It is dark like oil, but does not smell like oil. It does not smell like coolant or fuel either. I do not have water or oil mixing, I do not have any blow by, and I have 178psi compression in each cylinder. I am currently at a loss and need some help.
  • The flashing "S" light on the dash is indicating a transmission problem. The reason the car does not feel as though it wants to go is probably because the transmission is in "limp" mode. Use the flashing "S" light code to determine what error the transmission is sending. You can find the list of error code explanations here ( Also, you should check the CEL codes to determine what error your ECU is sending out. If your ECU has a light on it you should be able to use the flashes of the LED light to find the codes without using a jumper. If you check the codes this way, you must leave the car on after the CEL comes on when you check it. If you cut the car off the code may not show up unless you use the plug and a jumper wire.
  • I just bought this car from a used car dealer about a month ago. I know nothing of the car's history or anything, but the RPM gage and gas gage will go up and down, and the ABS, Cruise, Battery light, will come on at random times. If you turn on the head lights, the radio will go off. If you turn on the turn signals the radio will go off. The air conditioning was working before but now it barely blows any air out. What could the problem possibly be?
  • Have a90 accord with 177k bought it in August with 155k. Back around Christmas CV axles started clicking drove like that for about a month and started noticing a slight shake when braking which gradually got a little worse til I replace axles about a month ago now its still shakey when I brake and it had a slight shake on the hwy at speeds of 75-80 does it need new brakes and rotors or an alignment
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,869
    edited April 2012
    sounds like warped rotors yes, unless you have a wicked alignment problem in the front end due to worn bushings.

    Ever get one of those shopping carts that wobble when you push them---same idea--the alignment caster is way off on the wheels.

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  • hondaacchondaacc Posts: 1
    When I bought my 92 Honda Accord, it had a bad ATC unit (the golden box next to the computer under the floor board). Or so I thought.. I had it replaced and my honda was working again, where as before I had to shift manually. About a month after the repair, it quit working but this time would not even manually shift. Out of curiosity, I put the old box back in and left it out in the open (exposed) and to my surprise the car started shifting properly again. A day later it quit working and now I have to manually shift again.

    At this point I am extremely confused. I'm thinking that their is either a faulty connection, or the computer for the car (beside the ATC unit) is bad.. In which I'm really hoping it's not because I know they are very expensive. Does anyone know anything I can try, or what my next step might be?
  • erniesgirlerniesgirl Posts: 1
    The light around the D4 is blinking. When this happens the car will not crank. Honda dealership says it is a transmission trouble code. How can we go about checking these codes? The book says nothing about it. Also when going down the road I can push the gas pedal but the car looses power and slows down. My husband and I are stumped. Even mechanics we have seen are stumped. Any help would be much appreciated.
  • worksgoodworksgood Posts: 3
    I have a 1990 Accord, love it to death. The issue is though, earlier this week the check engine light came on, checked the shop manual to try and figure out what to do. It says the diagnostic plug is supposed to be under the glove box, in that general area,but i can't find anything remotely resembling it. Did they put it in other places? Or is it possible to pull the codes some other way?
  • romie35romie35 Posts: 2
    OK this is an earlier model so the diagnostic plug is behind the kick panel on the passenger side so pull that plastic cover on the side wall on the passenger side there you will find a small plug end it is not plug in to anything most of them are light blue in color, stick a piece of wire or paper clip in it loop it from one side to the other so that means that two wire that is in that plug you are going to bridge them so they are connected into one then turn the ignition switch to run and watch the check engine light to see how many times it flashes long flash means ten so if it flashes three long flash that is equal to thirty, the short flashes are count as one so if it flashes four long and two short that is counted as forty two etc: then look in the book or go online and it will tell you what that number code means, I hope I was able to help. :shades:
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  • whittentawhittenta Posts: 4
    I ran the transmission codes and I came up with Code 14: Linear solenoid open or shorted. My question is what does this mean? I can not find a linear solenoid on my car. I have a 1993 Honda Accord 10th Anniversary Edition. Does this car hve a linear solenoid? If so, where is it?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,869
    What are your transmissions symptoms? A code 14 would mean very harsh shifting. A code 1 and then a code 4 would be problems with the torque converter lock-up clutch

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  • whittentawhittenta Posts: 4
    edited June 2012
    The codes I am getting are Code #1,2,3,7,8, 14. I just called the local honda dealership and was told that there is not a TPS on my car. This is confusing because Code #3 refers to the TPS. What my car is doing is When I go to crank the car if the green light around the D4 is blinking the car is not cranking. On two occassions I have drove the car about 10miles parked for about 2hours and when I try to crank the car itwll not crank. I wait 12 to 24 hours and the car cranks. We check the codes. There was no engine codes just transmission codes. I am so lost and confused. I need all the help yo can give.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,869
    When you say "crank", you mean you turn the key and nothing happens, or do you mean the starter motor cranks but the engine doesn't start?

    I'm not really seeing the relationship between these codes and a starting problem at the moment, unless maybe your gearshift position switch is defective---in other words, tellling your car's computer that you are in "drive" when you try to start the car. This is also called the neutral safety switch.

    But this comment relates to a car that doesn't "crank".

    If the starter motor spins over but the engine won't fire, you might have another issue:

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  • Car Info:
    1993 Honda Accord EX Coupe
    Engine Type: 2.2L L4 SOHC 16V
    Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic Overdrive

    It has been running pretty good until Saturday.

    I am hoping someone can help. My husband is stumped, we called the dealer, they have no idea. We cannot afford a trip to the dealer or anyone else. My husband and a friend know how to repair cars, just this has everyone scratching there head.

    It went into "Limp" mode and the temp gauge was reading hot. The car is not running hot. It goes from cold to hot even when first started. We changed the sensor for the fan, temp sensor for the gauge and the one for the ECU, we reset the computer, the temp gauge works when manually tested. It is still reading hot when you turn the ignition key on. We checked all the grounds and they were fine.

    We have been told to change the instrument cluster. I am not sure this is needed because the gauge worked when checked manually. If so does anyone know how to get the thing out.

    We are stuck, not sure what else to do. HELP!!!! Please, lol. :confuse:
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 160
    I had another opportunity to work on my friend's '94 Accord yesterday. This time he called me and told me that the brake lights stayed on while his daughter had the car in Philadelphia, Pa and of course drained the battery. He had to go down there(about a 60 mile trip) and jump the car to get it home. Naturally my first thought was a bad brake light switch/plunger assembly which would have cost about 30 bucks. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the culprit was the little pad, about the diameter of a dime, was missing and was in pieces on the floor! This pad, which Honda refers to as a "Brake Pedal Pad" for whatever reason, fits into a little hole that when you release the brake engages the plunger of the brake switch and turns off the brake lights. Apparently they are not designed to last the life of the car, just 18 years or so.(LOL) And to my and my friend's delight, my local Honda dealer had the part in stock for $2.68. As I said, it's about the diameter of a dime and has a point on the back of it that you insert into the hole on the pedal. Without this pad, the plunger of the switch passes into this hole, and the brake lights will stay on.

    The guy at the Honda dealership said he'd only ever sold one of these pads in all the time he's been there. Now if you can't get the OEM replacement, I suppose you could super glue(or use some other adhesive) and get the same diameter round piece of a similar material of the same thickness(about 1/8") and glue it on, but if the glue lets loose at anytime in the future for whatever reason, you'd be in the same situation with the brake lights staying on. I don't know how many models or years use this set-up, but this is the first time I've come across it. It makes you wonder what would have happened if my friend or his daughter took the car to a garage and was told yes, it IS the switch and replaced it for a lot more than the 30 bucks I would have spent if I needed it, only to find out that they needed to replace that little pad to make it work. A less than honest garage could have made a killing on this less than 5 minute repair. It took me longer to go to the Honda dealer and back than to pop that pad in. Just another "FYI" for all you Honda efficianados! Have a Blessed day!!
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