2001 Honda Civic: CEL on with P1362 - Car goes into Limp mode

Tiny
RAJAIYER
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 123,000 MILES
Hi all

I have a 2001 honda civic ex 2-door Coupe with standard transmission. It has about 123 K miles on it. We brought it ~1.5 years ago.

Recently it has been giving some problems. It goes into what is referred to as "LIMP" mode. Basically, the car loses throttle and comes to a complete stop. Though it is hot here these days the temperature guage reads as always in the middle. If we immediately try to start the car, it doesn't. After about a min or 2, the car does start however, the idling rpm goes to 0. Then in nuetral the maximum engine rpm at full throttle is ~3000 rpm. After 5-6 min it becomes OK and we are able to go at higher rpms and the car drives normally, though after this I dont have the guts to test the car at higher speeds in traffic.

Could there be an issue with Cruise control?
The first time this happened was 2 weeks ago when we had traveled on road for about 1000 miles (~250 miles each day for 4 days). The back of the car was loaded with stuff, though I estimate that the car was carrying 60 % of the permitted weight. I was then following a car who was travelling @ 60-70 mph (the speed was oscillating sufficiently). I was using cruise control and using the cruise control option to accelerate and decelerate with the person ahead of me. I suspect this probably was due to overuse of cuise control? Any body have any thoughts on this.
The CEL light came up. We located a mechanic shop after the car came back. I remember the CEL code was related to ECM/PCM mal-function (though I dont remember the exact code). Later that day, the car drove perfectly fine and we managed to travel ~200 miles after that. The CEL was cleared by the mechanic and it never came back again that day.

The same thing happened the day after as well. Though as before we were able to dive it for 200 miles or so after it stalled ( though we had taken ample breaks ~ a break every 60 miles). The CEL came up and got cleared after some time by itself.

The same thing happened again twice last week. The CEL comes up and automatically got cleared. We were able to read the code on only one occcasion and we got P1362- TDC Sensor No Signal.

However, I should also point out that I have used this car to drop my wife off daily and it takes about 15 min each way (speed limit of 40 mph). It drives perfectly fine then. One thing that was different between the times it goes into LIMP mode is that we were driving at higher speeds ( a.K.A. 55-70 mph) then.

My questions are

1) The TDC sensor could be faulty
2) I know that man cruise control systems have been installed after markt by Honda. Is there a possibility of cruise control is a suspect.
3) I have seen that this could mean a faulty catalytic converter. How is cat conv. Related to this? Can I do a simple check to see if the cat. Conv. Is the root cause? And if it is the cause how much would that cost
4) I have seen posts online about having to change the whole distributor. Is this necessary? How much would this cost?
4) Any other possible thing that could cause this?

I really like this car and would want to get it back to normal as soon as possible. So any suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks
Raja
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Monday, July 11th, 2011 AT 4:19 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Limp Home Mode is something that the computer switches into when certain components are either giving faulty readings or not giving any readings. It allows you to "limp home" with the car.
The code you mentioned tells me that most likely the ECM is overheating. Try finding one at a junkyard and swapping it out, see what happens. The other code you mentioned tells me that the crank sensor may be failing intermittently, which means it will fail completely soon. It should be replaced first.
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Monday, July 11th, 2011 AT 9:30 PM
Tiny
RAJAIYER
  • MEMBER
Dear rivermikerat

Thanks for your response. Your explanation of the LIMP model puts things into perspective. It was indeed very helpful.

Regarding your suggestion about changing the ECM. I just tried looking to see where can I get these. I found a bunch of used ones sold from ebay found some of these parts online.

However before I venture into this deeper, my primary concern is if I should do it myself OR if I should let a mechanic take care of it (though I will prefer avoiding labor costs). It would be great if I can be guided on this further:

1) I have seen ECU / ECM and PCM all terms used pretty much interchangably. Are these all the same. It seems that these might be different for different models. What is it for 2001 Honda Civic.

2) My google search on this topic suggested that it is located under the carpet on the passenger side. Is this correct?

3) I have one of those cars which have a built in chip with in the key. If I install the new ECM will starting be a problem OR do I have to take this to a Honda dealership to "program" it.

4) I know that Autozone lends equipments for diyers. Can I check this ECM before I order another used one?

Thanks again for all the help
Raja
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Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 AT 9:40 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
It's something you can do on your own. Find a Chilton or Haynes motor manual at Advanced Auto parts, Autozone, etc. They're about $15 and will help you with just about any repair you might attempt.
According to the attached drawing, the ECM is located behind the glove box.
The key chip shouldn't be an issue.
A full featured code scanner should be able to put the ECM through a set of self-tests.
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Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 AT 10:49 PM
Tiny
RAJAIYER
  • MEMBER
Dear rivermikerat,

Thanks for your info. I did get a Haynes manual for 25 USD from Autozone. It looke pretty good.

It seems that your hunch might be correct. Today while I was driving something unique happened. The car appeared to stall at lower speeds (was driving at 35 mph). For about 30 seconds or so the car stalled and as opposed to previous times no CEL came up. The car came back up immediately after I restarted the engine. To me it basically strengthens the point that the ECM might be the culptrit.

I am going to open up the glove box to make sure I order the correct part.

Thanks for all your help. I will keep you posted.
Raja
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Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 AT 6:56 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
My pleasure. Please do keep us updated. And let us know if we can be of further assistance.
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Thursday, July 14th, 2011 AT 6:30 PM

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