Mechanics

A CHECK ENGINE LIGHT...

1998 Honda Civic

Engine Performance problem
1998 Honda Civic 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Manual 165000 KM

1998 Honda Civic DX Hatchback. 1.6L SOHC. 165000 KM (102000 miles).

Alright, so here goes: About 3 weeks ago, my car feels like it misses in the higher RPM range, and I get a flashing CHECK ENGINE LIGHT. I plug a jumper wire into the 2-pin diagnostic connector (Located in front of the passenger seat, behind the kick panel). I get 7 long flashes, and 2 short: Misfire detected on no. 2 Cylinder.

Fine. I checked and replaced my spark plugs. It was fine for a day or so, and then it happened again. So I took off my distributor cap. Powdered calcium deposits had been flying around in there (Most likely from the salt on the roads during another cold and humid winter in Quebec). I removed the cap & rotor completely, cleaned them with electrical contact cleaner, and also replaced my spark plug wires (Not exactly cheap, either.), And eventually replaced my cap & rotor.

Good, no more misfires. But another problem altogether: Another CHECK ENGINE light. This time, a steady one. So I hooked up my jumper wire again, and got 8 short flashes: THE TDC Sensor was malfunctioning. I brought my car to Honda and they confirmed what I'd found out: There was good voltage on the crankshaft position & camshaft position sensors, but the top dead center sensor was faulty. I had to replace the distributor body as a whole. $671!

Needless to say, I wasn't going to pay THAT much, and found an entire assembly (aftermarket) for just under $300. I replaced everything, engine & ignition timing are spot-on, and I'm not getting a steady CHECK ENGINE light anymore. I'm getting a flashing one again! I'm back to square one, having not only no.2 but no.4 misfires as well! But NOW it never happens in the high RPM range or when it's cold. Only after operating temperature has been reached, and I'm at less than 1500 RPM. Not to mention the fact that after driving for a while (in 5th gear on the highway) for 30-45 mins, I come to a stop after taking my exit, and the engine stalls, or comes very close to stalling because the RPM's fall to about 100 to 150. But you NEVER actually feel the engine misfiring (trust me, a noticeable difference when your car is running minus one piston.)

I'm at my wit's end here. What's wrong with my car?
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Welbyleger
April 6, 2008.




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