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Honda Accord (1994-1997) Maintenance and Repair

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
edited February 2018 in Honda
In order to make the original and highly popular “Honda Accord Owners: Problems and Solutions” forum more manageable, we are dividing that forum into “Accord generations”.

Please make sure you are in the right generation for your Accord, and then post your questions concerning any maintenance or repair item.

Thank you again for helping to make the Accord forums so great here at Edmunds!



  • mamamia2mamamia2 Member Posts: 707
    That was a good move. Certainly owners of this certain generation of Acord have a LOT to share and help each other....
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    Great idea, I have a 1996 LX auto 4-door. Will post here a lot! (hopefully not, though)
  • metalmykemetalmyke Member Posts: 14
    Thinking of buying a 97 4cyl auto SE. Went to the probs and solutions page. Holy cow...thousands of posts. Too much to wade through in a week. Can any give me insight of what to look for as far a problem areas on these cars to look for. I currently have a 97 Olds Aurora that has finally kicked me in the wallet for the last time and I am going to fix it for the last time and get rid of this beautiful but expensive car (to keep up). I am looking at a Honda as I understand they are very reliable and hold resale value (which I cant say of my Aurora). Specifically, looking at a 97 accord SE 4cyl Auto. From the little bit I know, the Tranny may be the problem area with these cars. Any adivce would be greatly appreciated.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    I have an auto-equipped 4-cyl accord as well. Its a 1996, purchased late 1995, and has the same 130 hp engine as the 97 SE. After 155,000 miles, the tranny has given me no problem at all. It has not been babied, but driven in rush hour 70 miles a day, 5x a week. I've spent less than $500 in repairs over the life of the car (other than tires and brakes). You are making a good choice for reliability, but I imagine the lack of horsepower will be evident, coming from the Aurora.
  • smarinsmarin Member Posts: 3
    My 95 V-6 Accord has a starting problem occasionally. It cranks but sometimes does not fire up. Sometimes it stalls out after it's been driven for sometime. Also, after it has warmed up, it feels like it misfires but there's no pattern at all to the seeming misfires. I thought the difficulty firing up might be due to cold mornings but a couple of cans of dri-gas has not prevented the starting problem, and neither has a mild day.
    Most times it starts but some mornings it leaves us without the use of a car. And sometimes trying it again a few hours later will start it up. Has anyone had this problem and what did you do to solve it?
  • mamamia2mamamia2 Member Posts: 707
    Your car may need a tune up...

    But then it might have some typical problems of many '95 V6 models that are covered under Honda's Service Bulletin 98-081. Check with your Honda Service.

    I am not sure, but I think they will take care of it under an extended warranty that was granted to owners of this (and several other '95-'96-'97) model -- BUT ONLY IF THE "CHECK ENGINE" LIGHT COMES UP.
  • earnestyearnesty Member Posts: 2
    My 95 Accord EX has gone from getting about 31 mpg hwy to about 26. I believe the problem is that the RPM's used to be at about 2500 at about 64 mph and I could noticably feel the RPM's kick downward. Now, the RPM's are at about 2750 at 64 mph. I was wondering if anyone had an idea about why the RPM's don't kick down like they used to?
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Member Posts: 823
    My guess is your lock-up torque converter isn't locking up.

    I'm assuming your 95 uses a lock-up converter, although not familiar with that year.

  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    I know my 96 uses one, but it is the 2.2liter 4 cyl. I would agree with MrBill
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    That 250 engine RPM increase at your referenced vehicle speed is smack-dab in line with torque converter lockup not occuring as expected. It's possible a sensor failed and the transmission control module simply isn't getting an expected signal that would prompt it to engage TC lockup. On the other hand, given the car's age, it's possible the tranny, itself, is getting ready to
    tank. ($-$-$-$-$!) You won't know where you really stand until you have tranny fault codes read and interpreted by a dealer or an independent transmission shop specialist.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    May I ask how many miles are on the car? Mine are at 155,000, and no tranny troubles yet, although it has had mostly highway miles (29mpg avg over its life). I've kept records!!! Thanks earnesty
  • smarinsmarin Member Posts: 3
    Thanks, mamamia, but what exactly does the service bulletin 98-081 cover? BTW, tune up is not likely the problem. The problem existed before the present ignition parts. Got a tune up hoping the problem would go away but it didn't. The full tune up (incl. all ignition wires, plugs, rotor, rotor cover, coil) also fuel filter, an expensive relay part --can't remember the name-- was about 11,000 miles ago.
  • earnestyearnesty Member Posts: 2
    Graduate, My Accord has about 183,000 miles and has never given me any trouble. Mostly highway miles also. Would the dealer be able to distinguish between a tranny problem and the torque converter? Also, what type of cost are we talking about for the torque converter?

  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    I'm afraid I don't know about the cost for the torque converter. As far as the dealer knowing, I can't really know, but I'd definitely get more than one opinion on it before spending a bunch of cash.
  • wrencher1966wrencher1966 Member Posts: 1
    1995 accord ex 2.2 4 cyl vtech automatic. 1500-2600 rpm the motor
    sputers, acts like it is only running on 3 cyls had it on the scope 2 times
    at two differant dealers they could not find a problem. very,very poor
    gas milage. and it only does it when its in gear or under load. this is
    driving me crazy. ive replased all tune up parts, cap,rotor.wires,plugs
    gas filter,air filter.dont know what else to do really love the car.
    hate to get rid of it. butt my old chevy pick up gets better milage. HELP
    PLEASE !!!!!!
  • mamamia2mamamia2 Member Posts: 707
    what exactly does the service bulletin 98-081 cover?

    --It covers emission issues, which in reality is a LOT... I got the list and it's really long... And it gives me an extended warranty up to 150,000 miles, or 14 years... Pretty nice... I already had my Distributor and Speed Sensor replaced, and a free Tune Up at 75,000.

    Do a Google on this...

    BUT, as much as I understand (though not totally sure), you going to a Honda Service, complaining about the car is not gonna make them pull out service bulletin 98-081... You need to have the "Check Engine" light to come on. Again, not positively sure...

    Check with a Honda Service. You've got nothing to lose.
  • mamamia2mamamia2 Member Posts: 707
    ...Forgot to mention all 6 fuel injectors being replaced free under this serive bulletin at around 74,000 miles, when the car stalled and the Check Engine light came on....
  • dem1104dem1104 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 94 Honda Accord 125,000 mile never had a major repair. I just had to replace the exhaust a few weeks ago. All of a sudden coincidentally it started making a loud noise and started to stall here and there. Got the exaust fixed from front to back. It didn't stall the first few times out but today it is stalling frequently. I filled it with gas and added dry gas last week. It seemed to help, but now it is stalling even more. It seems to be when I am slowing down and press the accelerator to get going again. It stalled once on the highway I was on cruise doing 65 and accelerated to pass. That was pretty scary. It starts right back up once it has been turned off pause for a minute.I have a very fixed income and wondered if anyone might have a clue.?
  • techman41973techman41973 Member Posts: 83
    I have a 97 accord coupe with about 160K. When locking my power locks, the door lock actuator in the passenger side door makes a loud buzzing sound.
    I took apart the door panel and looked at the necessary steps in service manual.
    I have the option to buy a replacement actuator or a new latch with an actuator already attached.

    72115-SV2-003 ACTUATOR ASSY., R. DOOR LOCK $88.45
    72110-SV2-013 LOCK ASSY., R. FR. POWER DOOR $136.53

    I would prefer to buy just the actuator and attach it to the old latch. (would save me about $50). Can anyone attest to the difficulty in doing this? Or is it best to replace the entire module (latch + actuator completely assembled).

    Also when removing the outdoor door handle (necessary to replace the actuator), there are two bolts (accessed from inside the door) any tips in how on how to remove the hard-to-reach bolt?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    I have a 97 accord coupe with about 160K. When locking my power locks, the door lock actuator in the passenger side door makes a loud buzzing sound.
    I took apart the door panel and looked at the necessary steps in service manual.
    I have the option to buy a replacement actuator or a new latch with an actuator already attached.

    72115-SV2-003 ACTUATOR ASSY., R. DOOR LOCK $88.45
    72110-SV2-013 LOCK ASSY., R. FR. POWER DOOR $136.53

    I would prefer to buy just the actuator and attach it to the old latch. (would save me about $50). Can anyone attest to the difficulty in doing this? Or is it best to replace the entire module (latch + actuator completely assembled).

    Also when removing the outdoor door handle (necessary to replace the actuator), there are two bolts (accessed from inside the door) any tips in how on how to remove the hard-to-reach bolt?

    I don't know, but my actuator has died in my 96 sedan (156k miles) on the right rear door, too. The dealer quoted me $220 to fix it. I left it alone.
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    Call around to area auto recyclers ("junk yards"). Even if you guys have to pay someone to install a used replacememnt, I believe you'd still be money ahead over what take-yer-money-ships would charge to install a new one.
  • dgbaumandgbauman Member Posts: 1
    I have a 94 Accord LX that was experiencing random stalling while driving at different speeds. However, it didn't seem to happen during acceleration, it was purely random.

    I checked several different things including the ignition coil and fuel injector circuits, but finally replaced the distributor as a last ditch effort. After replacing the distributor nearly one year ago, I haven't experienced the stall problem again. If you narrow it down to the distributor, I recommend purchasing from Distributor King (I bought through them on Ebay). The distributor was high quality, but low $$$.
  • stump21stump21 Member Posts: 41
    Has everyone changed their timing belt before 105,000 miles or have some people gone longer than this? I have a 1997 Accord that is due but I have talked to some people that say to wait. Any help?
  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    you want someone to tell you that it's OK to wait? why don't you follow the recommended maintenance interval in your owner's manual?
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Member Posts: 823
    The milage number in the owners manual does have a margin of safety built into it, but how much is anyones guess. I put 120k on my 88 Accord before I changed it, not that I was trying to save money, I just totally forgot about it till then.

    The cost of changing it now will be far less then the cost to repair the engine if the belt were to break.

    Belt replacement isn't that complicated, so don't rule out going somewhere other then the dealer if money is an issue.

    If your considering doing it yourself, you should be able to replace all belts, water pump, and in my case a valve cover gasket all for under $100 (non Honda parts)

  • stump21stump21 Member Posts: 41
    Just a little tight on money there toughguy. I saw a couple previous posters have high mileage on the same engine so I was hoping to stretch it until taxes are back. Judging from your past responses you seem to be a "by the book" person which is great for your perfect world. But the fact I am driving a 1997 high-mileage car should give you a clue as to why I am asking. Just don't have the $$ at the moment.

    mrbill1957 - On the other hand I would like to thank you for your response. I am hoping the 105,000 is not the exploding point!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    I have had mine changed at 88,000 miles. If I'm not mistaken, isn't the recommendation at 60,000 miles? I have 156,000 and am on belt number two with no probs.
  • techman41973techman41973 Member Posts: 83
    I have a leak in my radiator on my 97 Accord with 165K.
    I have done other repairs on my car and I am considering attempting this on my own.
    Especially when my dealer want $500 installed.
    I have looked at my Honda service manual and it seems straight forward.
    Drain coolant.
    Remove all hoses connected to radiator.
    Remove all fan harnesses.
    Remove radiator mounts.
    Remove radiator with fans attached.
    Remove fans from radiator and install on new radiator.
    Install in reverse order.

    * Can anyone recommend an aftermarket radiator that installed easily into a 94-97 Accord?
    * To anyone who has done this type of repair and run into any type of complications, any additional tips would be helpfull.
    * One thing I would like to do is find a way to keep the transmission fluid from leaking out of the hose once I remove it from the radiator. I also plan to protect the fins with a piece of cardboard when installing the new radiator.
  • lastwraithlastwraith Member Posts: 350
    Another minor possibility (though it has saved both me and a friend in the past) is that the converter cannot lock due to the fact that the engine has not warmed up sufficiently. Check your thermostat (or just change it since it's cheap). Mine and a friend's stuck open and the only time you couldn't get TCC lock-up was in weather below 60F. That made for an interesting trouble-shooting process. Anyway, replaced the T-stat and that nice RPM drop returned ;)

    hopefully its that!
  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    no desire to come off as a toughguy. thought your motivation was other than it is. sincere apologies.

    btw: i drove my 1994 Accord LX Couple until I had a failure of the Cam Shaft (not the pully, not the timing belt, but the shaft effectively snapped). I know what happens when the valve timing is instantly and completely gone in an interference design. The lights, the sound, and the visuals with the engine cover off... the effect isn't pretty.

    I would have driven the car for another 150K if that bizarre failure didn't happen...it had 150K on it. it was super reliable, got great mileage, was fun to drive, perfect for my needs.

    i sold my toyota corolla with 175K on it in very good condition, only stepping to a van when i couldn't get the kids in the back seat of that one, or the accord.

    w.r.t. critical maintenance, i do believe in following the book that's a true assessment. guilty. it's possible for the '94 the interval might have been 60K. i'm sure i went over 10K by the book. guess i must have been doing the same sort of thing as you.

    i do understand - specially if money is tight.

    again, my sincere apologies.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    I have posted here regularly, I have a 1996 Accord LX (4-cyl)Auto with 156,000 miles. For nearly 60,000 miles the car has made a very strange sound at around 2,000 rpm when the engine is not pulling hard. It occurs most often in 4th gear (45-50 mph), but has been known to occur in all 4 of them if the throttle position/speed/rpms are right. I have a feeling that it is occuring when the engine is in a slight strain, but the noise is like clockwork, regardless of outside or engine temp, and occurs between 1850 rpm and 2100 rpm. The dealer was baffled by it, and couldn't figure out what it was. Might it be something vibrating underneath when the engine hits a certain vibe-frequency?

    The car drives perfectly, even after repairs from a nasty guardrail collision last year.

    Any thoughts, and I mean ANY thoughts on what could be causing this would be appreciated.

    I hate to do this, but the sound is kind of like a low voice going "Brrrbbddbbrr" and goes away when you pass over or drop below the above mentioned RPMs.

    Thanks folks!

  • lastwraithlastwraith Member Posts: 350
    I have a van that has done the same thing for the better part of 80K of its 135K now. No one knows what it is and everyone's best guess it is probably just something triggering the resonance frequency of something else. Assuming it doesn't change I don't think there is anything to worry about.

    happy motoring!
  • gerwangerwan Member Posts: 3
    I have a 1994 Accord EX wagon that was involved in a accident that required replacement of the ABS unit. I've purchased 2 different used units in addition to the original unit, had them installed and the system bled but
    the same problem occurs. It makes a whining noise when I first start the car and then the noise stops eventually. The other problem is that the ABS light comes on and and stays on and the brakes don't work without a lot of foot effort. Any guesses on what is causing the failure?
  • joea22ajoea22a Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1994 accord and I lost they only key I had. I had the dealership make me another with the VIN it works great on the doors but not in the ignition. Turns out that the ignition must have been replaced before I bought the car.

    To have a locksmith make me a key it will cost $120. I was wondering if anyone on here could tell me how to make the car start without a key. I don't care if the car starts with a screw driver. It is the bigest POS on earth :lemon: I bought it at an auction......need I say more. So please any advice would be much appreciatied.
  • smarinsmarin Member Posts: 3
    I can't offer help, but in addition to the problems with my 95 v-6 Accord outlined above, the car has had several ABS problems. Major parts of the system were replaced under the extended warranty and later (only a few K miles later) the new system required repair. No problems since then. But we also have a 94 Accord; at low mileage (40K, but beyond the warranty) all of the major components failed. Honda said all components needed to be replaced but wouldn't cover them, even though it appears that Honda's ABS system in those years had basic deficiencies in design and quality. I disconnected the fuse for the ABS because it had locked up the calipers onto the rear brake pads and caused a major expense in replacing the complete braking components in the rear--calipers, pads, bearing, rotors, etc. Very expensive brake job for two wheels! We have other Honda cars (two--2000 & 2001 Acuras, one with high mileage)and no problems.
  • mistherd13mistherd13 Member Posts: 1
    How can you tell if a junk actuator is still good though?
    The problem with my car is I can't lock the driver's side door since even the manual lock triggers the power lock system to also lock the passenger side. So locking the driver's lock in any way causes it to keep locking over and over again, and doesn't stop. So I haven't been able to fully lock my car for over 2 months now. Luckily nothing has been taken from inside! I'm just trying to make sure it's my actuator before I spend the $200 to buy and replace one. I'm the typical starving college student, except I just had to replace my tranny totalling $1200 and my radiator before that at $400. I really don't have money to spare on a needless repair, so I want to be right the first time. :confuse:
  • dpdwadpdwa Member Posts: 4
    I have a '96 Accord sedan with 4 cyl engine. I need new wipers. Any ideas on the best wipers for a rainy climate (Seattle)?

  • neeper_97neeper_97 Member Posts: 20
    I just changed my radiator two days ago and it was pretty easy. I found it easier to remove the fans prior to removing the radiator and vice versa on the install due to the air conditioning hose being in the way. I purchased my radiator through the site below for $91 which included shipping and it arrived in perfect condition in 3 days.
    http://www.carpartswholesale.com. The entire process was pretty straight forward and not difficult at all. Also, while you have the radiator out you might want to inspect the front engine mount as mine was cracked. Jack up the engine enough to see if it is cracked with the weight off of it. If it is cracked you won't get better access to it.
  • mervmillmervmill Member Posts: 3
    Check Engine Light goes on after a few minutes of driving and mechanic cannot diagnose the problem. Says there is nothing wrong. I would like to find a way to solve the problem. Can you help???
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731

    I reccommend going to Auto Zone and having their free (at least in Birmingham, they advertise it as "Free") check engine diagnostic test done. It may help you determine the problem. They use a computer to read the warning light codes showing up in your car.
  • mervmillmervmill Member Posts: 3
    Thx for the tip, but I am in Tel Aviv.
    I guess that I could try another garage and a different computer. My mechanic is confounded and does not know what to make of it. It is a problem as now I don't have a warning light other than temp and I will have difficulty in selling the car with this "feature"!!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    Ohhh, ok. that does change things! ;) This may be a stupid question, but have your checked your gas cap? If it isn't on tight on many Honda's, the Check Engine light comes on. After tightening a couple clicks extra and driving for 10 minutes, it goes back off.

    It is a problem as now I don't have a warning light other than temp and I will have difficulty in selling the car with this "feature"!!

    I'm confused, I thought the check engine light was on? Is the temp gauge registering as hot?
  • mervmillmervmill Member Posts: 3
    Thx for the tips.
    The problem has been going on for a year!! So regarding the gas cap I am doubtful...I have filled up the petrol tank many times. But I will have the gas cap looked at..Perhaps it does not close tightly. Also the light seems to go on when the engine warms up ... after a few minutes. Now in the winter, it takes a bit longer till the light goes on..
    Re the TEMP GAUGE The temp gauge does not go on - it cannot, but if the engine will (hopefully not) heat up, then I will be able to see it on the gauge .. I actually burnt up my engine last year, as I did not notice the temp gauge heating up (The car had just been serviced and I suspect someone did not close the radiator cap) and I was distracted by the Check Engine light and did not see the temperature gauge going up up up!
  • why7why7 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 94 honda accord ex and i am looking 2 make some big changes with a little bit of money, right now i am focused on my radiator its been smoking so i ordered a new one and i think i'm going to put it in myself because the auto shop wanted to charge 400.00 to put in. so if any one has done it before let me know how it went and if you have any other suggestions let me know. 1
  • why7why7 Member Posts: 2
    so my door locks are making this weired noise when i lock my doors i have no idea what it is and it is driving me crazy :mad: . If any one can help me with this problem please do.
    Now about my windows they go up and down super slow one of the main reasons i believe thats the case is because the rubber linning is catching the window but its just the driver and passenger side windows the back two are fine. Cant get tint on the widows if they go up and down so super slowly rinkeled tint doesnt look good. :shades:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731

    As far as the radiator goes, read post 46 (I think).

    As far as the locks go, read back earlier. You will see that several of us have this problem. It's the power lock actuator going bad. Sometimes I have to lock my passenger side rear door manually, or try to power lock it 3-6 times before it will go.

    As far as the power windows go, motors wear out and slow down on MANY cars, yours isnt an exception. Mine are slow too, but still work fine.

  • mamamia2mamamia2 Member Posts: 707
    Is your Accord a 4 cyl. or V6?

    The V6 has a known problem which is covered by Honda's extended warranty (discused here previously)....

    If it applies to outside the USA, that's a different story...
  • tobstobs Member Posts: 1
    Hi all, I have located the diagnostics port under the glovebox, in the left footwell. Does anyone know how to do a self diagnostics test, do i hav to bridge the ports with a wire? Thanks for any help in advance, Tobs
  • mrhupmobilemrhupmobile Member Posts: 10
    I've owned this car since '98. Spent more time & $$ on this car than on the 12+ ex-Police cars I owned previously.
    ABS unit, starter, ignition switch, exhaust sys.(several times), and more. Just took it in for inspection & was told it will need $1500 in repairs/labor to pass. Gas line rotting along with brake lines, leaking rear tranny seal, & leaking oilpan gasket. NE area of US is rough on cars. I have 103k on the car and that's it for me. Selling the car and buying a Crown Vic.
  • rcc8179rcc8179 Member Posts: 131
    Now about my windows they go up and down super slow one of the main reasons i believe thats the case is because the rubber linning is catching the window but its just the driver and passenger side windows the back two are fine. Cant get tint on the widows if they go up and down so super slowly rinkeled tint doesnt look good.

    You might try some silicone spray lubricant on the window seals. You can get a can for a couple bucks at a hardware or auto parts store. A few years ago, I had an '89 Accord DX (with manual windows). The driver's window took a lot of effort to open/close. I put the windows down, sprayed the lubricant along the seals, moved the windows up & down a couple times and repeated with more lubricant. It was much easier to open/close the windows after that.
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