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Honda Accord (1998-2002) Maintenance and Repair



  • I have a '99 Honda Accord. When it is cold the windshield wipers do not work right away. If I turn the wiper switch on & off a number of times (depending on how cold it is) the wipers eventually start to move. The dealer doesn't know what is causing this as they have not seen a similar problem. Anyone have any ideas? Thxs.
  • My Honda, when you start it the engine reves up and down. Can anyone help me out on what could be the problem?

  • I brought my car, 1999 Honda Accord, in to a mechanic to have a power steering fluid leak fixed. They also changed the oil. At the mechanics, the odometer stopped displaying. As well, the speed, rpm etc. (the entire dashboard) is not working at all. At least I should say, the dashboard was displaying when I brought the car in but when I picked it up, the mechanic told me he noticed the kilometres were not showing when they went to check it when changing the oil. He checked some things and doesn't know why. I soon realized it's the whole dashboard display not working.

    Please advise what could cause this. Could it have been something the mechanic might have done accidentally? Like loosen a wire or something, a quick fix? Or is it likely unrelated. The stereo was also asking for "code" when I picked the car up so it means the battery or alternator power supply had been disconnected while it was there. I don't have the code but can get it from my Honda dealer. That is less of a concern than the whole dash being out. We've replaced the battery as the car is a '99 and had the original battery but still no fix. This is the first time in more than 8 years I took the car to anywhere besides Honda and am wondering if I made a mistake. We only drove it a short distance since picking it up because you can't tell how fast you're going and it overheated. My husband thinks it needs a new radiator cap, but we'll see. This is the first repair (the power steering leak) the car has needed in 8 years and seems like a whole bunch of things have gone wrong at the same time.

    The mechanic says he didn't cause it but has no idea what is wrong with it and I should bring it to Honda. I've called them and made an appointment. I asked on the phone what it might be and he said he'll have to see it but most likely the instrument cluster has gone. Is this an expensive repair? Sounds like it. Is it possible the mechanic loosened a wire or something because it's odd that it happened at the same time the car was in the shop. I've heard from others they may have forgotten to attach a ground wire or they may have crossed wire when they were working on the car accidentally and fried the instrument cluster. We were hoping it was a fuse, but the manual shows the instrument panel and back up lights share the same fuse and the back up lights are still working.

    This is a 1999 Accord with under 60,000 kilometres. I don't drive it very much but have never had any problems with it and dread the thought of spending thousands on it. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.
  • I had a similar problem with my 88 Accord. I would turn on the wipers, and it would take a second or so for them to start. I eventually rotated the switch on/off/on rapidly a dozen times or so. That fixed my problem. The contacts must have been corroded.

  • We now know when we drive the car, it overheats. Does overheating and an instrument panel that is not working point to any specific problem? Thanks
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Does the temperature gauge tell you it's overheating, or is there another indication?
  • it's just time for a change is all. All cars need service, BMWs included, but at least luxury lines give you a loaner instead of bus hauling the customers in their stenchy minivans.
  • Elroy, My 95 accord has been the most reliable car I have ever had. It now has over 200K miles, and I just replaced 1 caliper, other than that, only oil changes and brakes in the past 5 years. It is now my winter/snow car since I purchased a 2000 BMW 328I. The relationship between the Bimmer and I is love/hate. I have never driven a car that handles so well. it truly is the ultimate driving machine...when it is running good. If you are mechanically inclined, and can do stuff yourself...get one. If not, maintanence cost is 10X that of a Honda. The stealership wanted $1200 for an alternator, $1350 for the "maintenance two", basically plugs, oil change and 3 filters.

    Good luk
  • No, the temperature gauge wasn't working at all. Steam came out of the engine and that was the first indication.

    Update: My husband called the mechanic this morning to discuss this and he didn't call back so he went directly to the shop. The mechanic said it's as much a mystery to him as us. He thinks it was like that when we brought it in (which it wasn't).

    We had it towed to Honda. They've just called. They have said the circuit board on the instrument panel has gone and needs to have the entire instrument panel/instrument gauges replaced. They don't know why it would happen in a car with under 60K but can't say the mechanic did something, they thing it's random. I think it's odd that it happened while it was at the mechanics, but there's nothing I can do about it.

    Regarding the overheating, they asked if I took the radiator cap off. My husband did after the engine cooled down to check the fluid levels. They said we should never take it off as it is dangerous. Then we realized they thought were had been driving with it off so we confirmed that we did not drive with the cap off. They said they noticed fluids in the engine but they drove it for a while and it didn't overheat. The fluids likely got there when the car overheated. I told them the displays on the dash weren't working so my husband couldn't tell it was overheating until it was already hot. They wanted to know how he knew it was overheating without the displays on the dash working so my husband said that steam had started coming out of the hood. He stopped the car and after it had cooled down for some time, he took off the radiator cap to check the fluid level. They can't figure out why it was overheating as it didn't happen today but they'll have the car for another 3 days waiting for the instrument panel and will drive it more

    The bill so far:

    $95 to diagnose the instrument panel problem
    $95 to diagnose the overheating problem (even though no solution found, we're still being charge)
    $201 for the instrument panel
    $144 for the labour

    They said if they can find out anything about the overheating they'll call and advise how much that fix will cost.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I'm sure the shop will figure out why it was overheating, so it's useless for me to guess at this point. The cluster problem and the overheating do seem unrelated, and I can't think of any common part that would cause both. Good luck
  • daylldayll Posts: 26
    thanx Elroy5 - but what/where is the VSS connector? -dayll
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I think this link will show you where the VSS is. This is not for your year Accord, but hopefully it's close enough. Good luck
  • Well, the good news is the car is fixed. You don't realize how much you need a car until you're without one for a period of time! My husband will either drop me off to pick it up tonight or the dealership will send their courtesy vehicle tomorrow to get me.

    I just should make one clarification, as I just found out. There was a slight misunderstanding I think. When they called they told me the circuit board on the instrument panel was gone and the whole thing needed to be replaced. I guess I interpreted that to mean they were replacing the whole instrument panel. I'd called yesterday and asked for return of the old part out of curiosity. The message they left me today was that it's fixed, there is no core charge on the circuit board so they've left it in the car. I guess that would mean only the circuit board and not the whole instrument panel was replaced.

    They seemed to try to be fair although I hadn't taken it there for the original repair. They said they've deducted an hour of labour to help offset the overheating diagnosis charge as they didn't find anything. So the cost came to just under $500/total including taxes.

    So as of tomorrow I should have a car again.

    Thank you for your help. At least I got to learn a (little!) bit more about the mechanics of cars throughout this. Hopefully we won't have any more problems.
  • I just got the circuit board on my dashboard replaced after the odometer and all gauges stopped working.

    When I got the car back, the gear shift indicator on the dash (PRN etc.) has a green light around each gear but it does not change when I move from park to drive etc. as it did before the repair.

    Does anyone know what might cause this and if it is likely related to the repair done on the circuit board. I wonder if I bring it back to the dealership if they can fix it or if the change of the circuit board means I won't have this feature anymore? Thanks.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    i've never seen one of these boards, so i have no idea if it has one or two (or more) cable harnesses attaching to it. i imagine it does though, and one of the harnesses comes from the shifter.

    sounds to me like a harness coming from the gear shift (basically a multi-position switch) has not been re-connected to the instrument panel ckt board.

    they should take care of it right?

    of all the things on the circuit board, the indication of P, R, N, D, 1, 2, 3 (or what have you) has got to be the lowest tech, or one of the lowest tech portions of the whole board.

    you can of course determine your shift position by looking at the shifter, and more than likely in your AT vehicle, your mostly only shifting when at a stand-still so heads-down time isn't an issue.

    still, getting it fixed i suspect they'll take care of you.
  • I have a 2002 Accord SE 4 cyl. 2 door with 77,280 miles. Car is having hard time starting when sitting overnight in temps under 30 degrees. When turning key, the car "chokes/stumbles" for approx 10 seconds and then starts/runs fine. Only happens on 1st cold start of morning. Cannot replicate untile next morning. Car just had new plugs, wires, rotor, dist. cap. Problem occured before maint. & continues afterwards but only in cold temps. no tsb for this issue. checked coolant temp, etc. & all are in the correct parameters. Any ideas?????
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Sounds like your battery is struggling to crank when cold. Have the battery tested, and see if it is charged properly. I can't say for sure, but I'd guess you need a new battery based on the info given. When did you last get a battery for it?
  • Nope, it's not the battery. That is brand new this past spring. The car is "choking/coughing/shaking" until it starts. Was told it could be coolant sensor or water in fuel, but if that is the case it would be all the time, not just on a cold start. Sensor is ordered, hopefully that's it. Thanks for the post.
  • I have a 2001 accord LX 2.3 4cyl. My brakes recently started to squeal. I understand that the squealing noise means I need new brakes. However, I just had my brakes replace three months ago and it is always the right side break pad that wears down the fasest. The last time this happend, the right side pads wore all the way down to the metal while the left side still had brake compound left. Can anyone tell me why this is happening?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    The piston in your right front caliper is binding, usually due to corrosion/crude that gets behind the piston and then the users not flushing the brakes every two years.

    Replace both front calipers.

    What happens after you have this situation, is that when new pads are put on...the pistons are forced back into the calipers (to make room for the extra pad thickness). When they do that, the piston is forced past the area that has the corrosion on it, and the piston now begins to bind.

    When the brake pedal is put on with lots of pressure, the piston is forced outward to put the brakes on. However, the piston does not float back by itself when it is supposed to, as the brake pedal is released. As a result, you run with the front pads continually trying to stop the car, and they wear down very fast. You will usually also see a lot of brake dust on your wheels, as well as feel heat, and/or smell the brakes.
  • I have a 98 LX manual transmission with 140K miles. Mostly freeway miles except the last 2 years has been a lot of short trips (2 miles each way, 4 braking events max each direction). REcently, and fairly suddenly, the car developed a shimmy on the highway at speed (i.e. over 60 mph) and simultaneously, upon braking, there is a vibration in the pedal that is quite pronounced.

    I did have the tie rod ends replaced within the last ~ 500 miles due to a clunk with turning.

    I also noticed a recall for 98 HOnda Accord ball joints due to premature wear, etc.
    I see that brake rotors are prone to warping with excessive heat. However, as I only brake hard in emergencies, and usually my brake pads last far longer than average, I find this unlikely unless there is some other reason, like brake caliper drag.

    I don't know if the recall work was ever done on this car: can the dealer tell at this late date by looking up the VIN? I am 3rd owner, having purchased it from my best friends. They did not have that recall done, but it is possible that the first owner did. However, I think I have all the records, and no mention of that service.

    Thanks for input!! Otherwise this car has been absolutely great!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I got warped rotors in my 1996 Accord and it never saw hard driving. It happens, and is probably not as unlikely as you think. I braked hard for one emergency (locking up the tires, actually, as I got run off the road). It ended in a wreck. I got the car back, and sure enough my rotors were warped. One hard stop was enough to do it. I'm not sure about the other recalls you are talking about, since I don't have an Accord of that vintage, but warped rotors aren't all that uncommon I believe.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    is it possible your wheel / tire threw an inner or outter balance weight?
  • Thanks for your reply!
    It is indeed possible that the rotors are warped. However, it came on so suddenly, that I am more inclinded to think there is (perhaps also) a part failure. Plus, the same timing of the high speed shake. I keep thinking wheel weight (as the next person suggested) but I am not sure how that would correlate with the braking vibration. It may be all it is, and perhaps an unbalanced wheel would also shudder on braking- and perhaps in and of itself, cause secondary warpage! :sick:
  • Thanks- I think this is a likely scenario. Will take it down to our local tire shop and have them rotate tires, balance, etc and see whether there is a change in symptoms.
    If not, then alignment and another look-see at the underpinnings...
    Thanks again for your thoughtful replies!
  • Make sure they check the drive axles for excess play when it's up on the rack. A failing CV joint can also create a vibration problem.

  • My 1998 Honda Accord recently has this problem.
    After starting about 2 minutes, it starts to choke unless I keep my foot on the gas pedal. the problem disappears after 5 minutes

    Also the cooling fan only start when the engine is off...
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    this happened to one of our vehicles when my wife touched a curb while parking fairly aggressively and it pulled the weight right out if i'm not mistaken. one day vehicle drives fine, next day excessive vibration at speed.

    good luck.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I keep thinking wheel weight (as the next person suggested) but I am not sure how that would correlate with the braking vibration.

    If a wheel is out of balance, braking will usually make the vibration worse.
  • 02 Accord, 65 K. Recently the screw on the arm on the passenger side wiper arm get loose and does not move when you turn them on, although the driver side moves. When I disconnected the arm, the "stump" moved so I know the motor is fine. It appears to be just that the screw keeps getting loose. Should I get another screw or an arm assembly?
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