1992 Honda Accord

1992 Honda Accord L4 LX 2.2L 153000 miles 4Dr 5 speed stick

Prior to the current major problem, this car has been a good one, very dependable, always started, smooth idle, plenty of pep, 30mpg city. Some of the following I'm recalling from memory on when certain things happened.

In May 06 sudden symptoms appeared: very rough idle with steamy exhaust. The car had been consuming coolant for some time, so the local independent mechanic diagnosis of head gasket seemed in line. The HG repair was done together with oil& filter change, coolant, spark plugs and thermostat. Mechanic reported radiator will soon need replacement. Car ran ok, but differently, for a couple weeks; then suddenly no start when hot. Mechanic diagnosed weak coil and replaced it. This temporarily fixed the no-start problem, but it reappeared in several weeks. At this point the car was not running correctly, no acceleration in 1st and 2nd gears. Seemed like the timing was off. But the timing checked out ok. The no-start when hot problem reappeared. The diagnostic codes pointed to the coolant sensor, just below the distributor, and if disconnected, the car would start when hot. This sensor was replaced, but did not solve the problem.

Mechanic1 suggested that another mechanic friend, good with foreign cars, look at it. Mechanic2 cleaned the idle control valve screen(I believe he said), and the car again started when hot. But the lagging acceration was unchanged, and with time again no start when hot. I noticed the gas mileage had dropped 10mpg to 20mpg. After some time had passed, I took the car to Mechanic2 myself. He changed the coolant sensor, the idle control valve motor and finally the ECU, all of which had no effect whatsoever, and then he gave up, saying there was nothing else to check.

Could the head gasket repair have been done incorrectly? Maybe bad parts? I am at a loss and hate to give up, after spending so much time and money on this car.

Wed 25Oct2006 07: 38: 09PM ET
October 25, 2006.

This is rather interesting. I am not a professional mechanic, I fix Honda because I own a fleet of them with 4 kids and our own. Here is what I believe is your problem. When you had the HG replaced, did they look at the head? The head needs to go to the shop for a testing to see if it is cracked. They will then determine if it is warped as well. This is all so common with aluminum heads and Hondas once they get hot will warp. Have them plane the head, put on a new gasket and I would say your problems will disappear.

Bruce Hunt
Oct 26, 2006.
Thanks for taking time to reply.

Mechanic1 said the head [u: c2d75a1e44]was[/u: c2d75a1e44] sent out to a local shop and passed inspection.

Do you believe that the symptoms I described are consistent with or can be caused by a faulty head/head gasket?

Thu 26Oct2006 09: 46: 03AM ET

Oct 26, 2006.
Very closely observe the coolant level of the engine to see if the fluid slowly goes down. I am talking about the overflow tank. If it drops the head or head gasket is the problem assuming there are no leaks. Power and starting are so linked to the head and not having any foreign substances in the firing of the cylinder.

Bruce Hunt
Oct 30, 2006.