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Honda Accord (1998-2002) Maintenance and Repair



  • jngnycjngnyc Posts: 1
    Thanks so much for this step by step post. This was super helpful!
  • 42scooter42scooter Posts: 1
    I have read many posts on the Internet regarding '98-2002 model with the 2.3 L ULEV-VTEC engine and its stalling or dying problem(s). Here is a little history on the engine/electrical problems that I've encountered with my car.
    I purchased this 4dr Accord L model new in late 98 from a local dealer. I had some engine stalling issues early on, but this was after it came off fast idle and usually on cold winter mornings when, it would stumble and stall. After chasing this problem with the dealer for about 30-45 days, including changing out the computer module, a factory rep came to the dealership and raised hell with the service manager and staff there and did a little tune-up training claiming that they were not correctly setting the "base idle" properly. After he adjusted same, I encountered no further dying but it would still have a slight stumble at times if the weather was cold and just for the first few minutes after it came off of fast idle.
    In late 2002 at around 63k miles on the engine, I would sometimes have difficulty with the ignition switch getting sort of stuck and the horn would not blow if the key was in the ignition.

    I was told there was an electrical ground issue in the steering column and it cost me $557 to replace it. After that was done I had no further problems with the car until I started having some problems with the shifter sort of getting stuck when the car was parked or on a slope. The key would also be sort of sticky. I took the car in to be checked in Sept '07 with 106k miles on it and they replaced the ignition switch which had been a recall item. After that, the car ran fine until just recently.

    At just about 120k miles, I started getting intermittant engine shut down while driving at speeds under 20-25mph and usually just slowing for traffic. It might happen once, then I could get the car started w/o any problems and it would drive fine for a couple of weeks and then it would do it time, it died 4x on me in about a 2 hr period. I did some research on the Internet and found where this problem was plaguing a lot of Honda owners within the above model years.

    I contacted a couple of local Honda specialty maintenance people, including the independant mechanic that did my regular service and they all seemed familiar with this problem as being electrical and not really engine related and most of them pointed to the faulty design or parts of the ignition switch. So, I contacted the local dealer again and told them what I had found out. I said that my car only had 14k miles on it since they did the ignition switch recall, plus it appeared that I may have also paid for an electrial problem in that steering column that I shouldn't have. The service manager saw my point and pulled the car in again for the ignition recall. He called me and said that they were able to duplicate the engine fail when giggling the switch and so they replaced it again at no cost to me. So this appears to be a reoccurring problem.

    I just had the 120k engine service on this car, replacing the plugs, rotor and cap and now the car is running better than ever. So if any of you have this sudden dying of your 98-2002 Accord with this engine, you might see if you can get your dealer to to that ignition recall again. It's worth a try.
  • I posted this message 5 years ago and have run into this problem again. The air conditioner blows hot air when the car is idling when stopped at a light. I got no replies back then and was wondering if anyone else has run into this problem. Please help.
  • selvaselva Posts: 2
    I have this funny problem with my Honda Accord 99 4Dr LX. (Automatic)
    My car drives normally when taken out of the garage in the morning and its braking performance good. However, when I drive it for an extended duration without braking, (such as highway driving), the brake pedal becomes soft as rubber and I have to push it all the way down to the floor to make the brakes grip. However, the braking performance is normal. That is, the car stops within a reasonable distance once the brake grips.
    This does not occur when I am in city driving, when I have to brake often and the brake feels as firm as ever and behaves normally.
    I have checked the brake fluid level and it has remained well within the limits and I have not seen any oil drips on the garage floor ever.
    Can any one help diagnose this situation?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,588
    Well definitely a loss of hydraulic pressure. What would happen if you start the car up in the morning, and just press down as hard as you can on the pedal? Would it sink toward the floor if you maintained hard pressure on it? Don't pump it, just one good slam, and keep it there (of course, I mean idling in park when doing this).

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  • yusuf1yusuf1 Posts: 17
    Greetings Edmunds community, I have a 1999 Accord LX with 260K MILES, a/c has been out for the past 3 years (no funds to fix yet), now just discovered bad oil leak. Advice? Will finally be getting some funds to fix the a/c next week but now this too? Fix up or trade up? Thanks for any advice.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,588
    Well a bad oil leak can occur from a bad .25 cent part. it's not necessarily a catastrophe.

    Best way to locate an oil leak is putting the car on a lift.

    As for the AC fix, make sure the compressor is not seized. If it IS seized, you may incur more expense than you think, since a seized compressor might have contaminated the entire system.

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  • I got exactly the same issue on my 99 accord? any help?

    I recently replaced ignition switch myself (second time after 2002 recall), touched some wires under, wonder if it is a contacting problemm...
  • And did this problem affect you afterwords? is your D4 light still off?
  • I am having the same issue Scooter.
    I have a 02 EX 4dr and boy oh boy, when i got it new took it to the dealer about 5 times after experiencing the problems on the road but "like always" the problem never occurred when it was brought to the dealer.

    im at 78K and the issue is starting to reoccur.
    Its driving me nuttssssssss!
    i will call the dealer and inform them on what i am aware of.
  • jabh12jabh12 Posts: 1
    hi, i bought a used 1999 accord and when i went to inspection i failed because of codes p0505 and p1457. Can anyone explain and help or more details please thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,588
    505 is a malfunction in the Idle Air Control System---could be the IAC valve, or perhaps a good cleaning of the throttle body might fix this, or also an idle adjustment might work

    1457 is a malfunction in the EVAP (Evaporative Emissions Control System) and has to be tested with a smoke machine for vacuum leaks (could also be a bad gas cap).

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  • riffraffriffraff Posts: 6
    edited November 2011
    Car started overheating at idle or in traffic this past Spring and I can't figure out how to get it to stop. Replaced the stock Honda thermostat with an autoparts store thermostat. Also replaced the thermostat sensor with an autoparts store sensor. Basically, as far as the sensor and thermostat goes, I used local autoparts store parts, instead of Honda parts.

    The fans don't come on. The drivers side fan will come on, but more often than not, you have to push the AC button to get it to come on. The passenger side fan doesn't come on at all it seems. I plugged it into the drivers side plug and it works, so I don't know why it's not coming on when plugged into it's own plug.

    The top radiator hose gets hot, but the lower hose only gets warm. The dash guage sometimes goes from 3/4 to fully hot at idle. The problem is becoming more and more common as the months go by. Only thing buying me time for the moment are the cold temps. Please help.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,588
    If the overheating is only at low speed or idle than you have an AIR circulation problem, not a coolant circulation problem--so it seems like this is about the cooling fans, not the thermostat, radiator, water pump, etc.

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  • I am driving the 2000 Accord I bought new for my mother. Only had 66,000 miles, so you can see it is not driven too much. Some specific issues I have had that I thought I would share:

    Won't idle / Check Engine Light / stalls

    This symptom started popping up at about 59,000 miles and 10 years of age. The idle became suddenly very rough and would even stall. It ran fine once over 20 MPH or so.

    This is typical of an air leak in the intake some place that I used to experience with my Fords. I looked and looked, but could not find a cracked hose. The Ford hoses would crack and your idle would go bad. The other culprit is the IAC Idle Air Control valve. In my Fords it never went bad, I just cleaned it every couple of years. Looking for the obvious answer, I went looking for the IAC on the Accord. It is in between the throttle body and the intake and has cooling lines routed to it. It is also held in place by tamper proof 5 pointed star security bits. These I ordered from Amazon for $15. When I got the valve out, it was obvious this was the problem. A can of Gumout was needed to clean the oil and carbon build up that was blocking the valve from functioning normally. The part was $110, so I cleaned it up really well rather than replacing. It worked well and the car has been perfect since.

    I had the timing belt done at 10 years at a local indy shop.

    Just recently I replaced all 4 rotors and front calipers. The rotors and calipers are original. Front rotors had been machined once at the dealer years ago with prior pad replacement. When I went to replace pads recently, The caliper started to leak when I pushed the piston in. 2 rebuilt loaded Nissin calipers went on along with new rotors - rear got new pads and rotors - for $320. Flushed and bled the fluid, and the braked feel and act 100%. I am very happy.

    This car looks and feels better than any bought new and kept 10 years or longer. My Fords were just as reliable and trouble free, but did not hold up cosmetic ally.

    My 2006 EX-L V-6 is holding up very nicely with 60,000 miles. It just got 4 new rotors and pads and feels good as new - for $200. Just keeping up with oil, coolant and transmission fluid changes is enough.

    Brakes pads and parts are cheap enought that I just replace and buy remanufactured rather than try and machine or rebuild. It is easier too.
  • Ok, so I have a 98 Accord EX, 4 cylinder, 5 speed. When I turn on the A/C to "1" or "2" setting for A/C or heat, you hear a ticking noise. When you turn it up to "3" or "4", the noise seems to quiet down a little but you can still hear it.

    So what can it be? The blower? The compressor? Trash?
  • 2002 ex 4 cyl - went for sticker and 2 readiness codes are showing up, cat converter and evap failure. The only engine light code I get is the 420 for the cat converter. I put in an after market converter a year ago and the tester says if I can clear the evap failure I can get a sticker. Question is, the code for evap doesn't show up when I put the OBD II on it only during the readiness scan. Some have suggested this could be due to the battery being low, which it is, but not sure if I want to invest in a new one yet without knowing how much more I will need to do before getting a sticker. Would low battery power cause an evap failure?
  • 02 with about 110K. Lately, the car seems to hesitate when I step on the gas, then sort of "wakes up". Automatic

    Generally, it is when I hit the pedal the hardest - i.e. stop, then turn in front of cars to a side street. On a highway, the car seems to do fine on the highway and even locally - just that sometimes if I take a turn and hit the gas, it takes a split second to react, then surges, then fine. My mechanic said it may be a accelerator cable that is sticking.
  • If the accelerometer cable is sticking, then you should feel the sticking when you push on the accelerometer pedal. Also, if the cable is sticking as you push the pedal, then the cable might stick when you release the pedal as well. That could get dangerous!

  • jeneyjeney Posts: 9
    I have a 2001 Honda EX sedan. Lately I hae been noticing that when I back out of the garage in the morning and then shift to drive, the gas pedal sticks for a moment and then I get a burst of speed. After that burst the car runs fine. This only seems to hapen the first time I use the car in the morning. I live in Southern California, so it is never very cold in the morning. Any ideas????
  • Do you accelerate at all when you back out of the garage and then go forward? What happens if you press/release the gas pedal before you shift in reverse and start backing?

    I've aleady had the throttle stick a little on my 04 Accord which was due to the throttle plate sticking. A bit of cleaning solved my problem.

  • rtr83rtr83 Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 Honda Accord that died while I was driving, now it will crank over but will not fire. Power windows stopped working and nothing lights up on the dash....? Any ideas?
  • jeneyjeney Posts: 9
    I tried your suggestion and it worked this morning. Before I put the car in reverse and while the car was in park, I pressed the gas pedal 2 or 3 times, then put it in reverse and then shifted to drive and I did not experience the burst of gas. You mentioned it was probably due to the throttle plate sticking. Can I have the Honda dealer do the cleaning without charging me a fortune?? Thanks for your advice.
  • I've always done the cleaning myself so I'm not sure what the dealer will charge. If you only have the throttle body cleaned, I'm guessing it will be $100 or less (but I could be wrong), if you have the throttle body, intake runners, and injectors cleaned, it will be more.

  • Wow. Works like a charm. Had the exact same issue on my 98 Accord after the battery drained because I left lights on. 15 second fix! Thanks!!!
  • georgew1georgew1 Posts: 31
    Your are welcome. Glad to help.
  • nlsnls Posts: 65
    Car has 120K miles, clutch was replaced at 45K by original owner just before I bought it in '04, and last year at 110K. It is smooth when engine is cold, but over time there is jerking during shifts, especially lower gears. The shop which did clutch replacement last year is saying that it might be because of leakage into clutch cylinder, another shop is saying that it doesn't seem to be a hydraulic issue, but related to clutch plates or flywheel, so it has to be dismantled to see what is going on, which of course is labor intensive. Any suggesitons would be appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,588
    you mean a "grabby" clutch---sudden, harsh engagement? Yeah, that could be a rear main seal leak on the clutch, or bad springs in the pressure plate. I only hope they aren't mistaking it for an engine misfire.

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