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Honda Accord (1994-1997) Maintenance and Repair



  • thegraduatethegraduate 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!

  • 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 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?
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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)?

  • 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. 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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?
  • 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 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 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 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 ChicagoPosts: 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 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
  • 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 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.
  • dvdlghdvdlgh Posts: 9
    For everybody with slow/sluggish window motors. I had the same problem on a different car. I removed the motor, and thru a small hole in the housing I poured in Kroil(penetrating oil) swished it around and then emptied it. I then put some 3in1 Electric motor oil (3in1 makes a seperate oil for elec motors) in the housing, connected the wiring and operated he motor numerous times before reinstalling it and never had a problem with the motor afterwards. Any real hardware store should have the 3in1 oil. Hope this helps!
  • I think I need to replace my thermostat on a '97 accord but can anyone tell me where that is located and how easy it is to replace?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Are you sure it is the thermostat? I thought my thermostat was broken, too, because it kept overheating when sitting still at lights, or driving up steep hills. I took it to the dealer, and they, too thought it was probably the thermostat. It turned out to be the main cooling fan motor (you know, the one that runs when the car is hot, sometimes even afer the car is shut off)had died after 140,000 miles. Cost me $240 including installation. Not bad, since the only other thing replaced on the car (other than maintence, that is) was a bad O2 sensor back in 2002. I'd check that out before I replaced the thermo. Good luck, tlove002!

    BTW, I drive a '96 Accord LX 4-cyl Auto

  • you had problems w/ your starter and I was wondering if it was also hard to turn the key once you inserted it into the ignition because know I do so whats the problem? please e-mail me back at thanks alot.
  • I've had the exhaust pipe rubbing against the undercarriage before with similar symptoms. This was after an accident repair (got rear-ended). They re-fitted the pipes and the problem was gone (97 Accord SE)
  • I have the exact same set of problems w/ my 97 Accord SE 4Dr. The lock makes this loud buzzing noise, but it works otherwise, so I'm not bothering to fix it.

    The rubber lining on the driver's door is in fact catching on my door. My remedy to this is to not open the window all the way (a bit tricky at drive-through restaurants). I saw a suggestion to use silicon spray, so I'll try that.
  • I had the same problem with my windows moving up and down slowly on my 97 Accord EX sedan. I took it to the Honda dealer and they sprayed silicon along the window tracks, ran the windows up and down a few times then wiped the area clean. This was 7 years ago and I haven't had a problem since. I also have a 97 LX sedan that I bought last year and it has just started the same problem. I will do the same thing with this one. As for tint, I would wait a few months and ensure that the window track is as clean as possible so you don't have your tint come off prematurely because of the lubricant. My EX also had the same loud buzzing/grinding noise on the front passenger door when I locked the car but worked fine. After I finally got tired and embarrassed by the noise I ordered the door lock actuator and replaced it in about 90 minutes. Problem fixed.
  • Yup, I believe Shin-etsu grease (silicon) is the preferred product to use on the window track. They come in a few different applicators, people can google it for some examples. On the VTEC forum and also from a Honda tech in the old accord forum this was what was recommended to ease window/sunroof sliding difficulties. It seems to stay in the applied area longer than some other "remedies".
  • zultekzultek Posts: 6
    I have a 94 Honda Accord.. back brake shoes currently micrometer to .063", a mechanic here says they are sufficient to pass a safety for re-sale..but I am a little concerned .. also the LR brake cable is jammed, the 2 rear control arm bushings are weather worn and cracked with some play, there is a leak in the exhaust ring near the fuel tank, the upper right ball joint has play in it that can be wiggled by hand, and there is a small chip in the windshield on the driver's side, 2 marker lights are also burned out...
    1. would you consider this vehicle safe for resale in this condition
    2. what is this thickness of new factory brake shoe linings .. to me .063 doesn't seem to be very much.. what would be the expected life of these brakes (.063) at feeway speeds daily?
    3. How much does it matter if there is play in 1 ball joint?

    What would you consider this vehicle be worth on resale as is?? fixed?

    More importantly ..Would you drive this vehicle as described?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I personally wouldn't want to pay more than $3k for it. How many miles are on it? I just had mine appraised for trade-in at a dealership (96 LX Auto, 156k miles). The dealer has gotten MANY trade-ins from us and knows we take good care of our cars. He said $2,500 sounds right for mine. If you want pricing info, go to and look up the private party value of your car in "fair" condition.
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