What do you think is the problem with my car? Help!

Tiny
MLAMPA
  • 2006 HONDA ACCORD
  • 80,400 MILES

I am experiencing a number of performance issues with my Accord. I had noticed these happening off and on about 8 weeks ago, but now they are constant from the time I first start my car and drive it to work in the morning, and then start it up and drive it back home everyday! It's very frustrating because I had experienced these issues with a 2005 Nissan Frontier pickup late last year and I ended up trading it in for a 2006 Honda Accord. Here is what I am experiencing.

When I'm driving in general, the car seems to hesitate a lot upon acceleration. I have to really press on the gas pedal to get the car to speed up. When it does, I notice that the RPM is at 2000 and it doesn't gain torque. I also notice the speed increasing at a slow rate, but it does speed up. The best way I can describe what I am feeling is the car is trying to struggle through a pool of thick molases. Very restricting.

As I accelerate for a couple minutes to gain speed and then let go of the gas pedal, I notice the RPM drop rapidly to about 1000RPM and then slowly raise up to 1500-1600 RPM. I really feel a hesitation when trying to accelerate any higher than 2000RPM. I can feel the speed increasing very slowly, but I don't feel the downshifting kick that you would usually feel when trying to go faster.

Also when the car coasts, it feels like it starts to slow down very rapidly on its own. You can feel the car slow down without even stepping on the break pedal.I can feel myself kinda lean forward as if I am stepping on the break. The break pedal feels kinda heavier than usual too.

At the same time all this is happening, I notice the steering wheel becoming harder to stear, the gas pedal suddenly needs more force to press down, and the suspension ride feels as if I have a cow or something on top my car and is putting a bunch of weight on the vehicle.

Here's the tricky part of all this.I have no CEL whatsoever. I don't know if this means that I don't have any error codes though. Would the CEL come on 100% of the time if there is an issue? Transmission fluid is new and there are no leaks or burning from the transmission. Spark plugs are new, air filter is new, but I don’t know about the fuel filter. The car has 80,000 miles on it, so I doubt it ever got changed before….

I have experienced this with a Nissan Frontier as well and couldn't get it looked at before I traded it in for this Honda, so I never knew what caused all this. I am hoping that someone can help me with this. The Honda dealership techs continue to tell me that there is nothing wrong with the feel, and I know there is. Please help!

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 2:48 AM

26 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
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Is this a 4 or 6 cylinder engine?

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 1:22 PM
Tiny
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It's the 2.4L 4-cylinder with a 5-speed automatic transmission.

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 3:28 PM
Tiny
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I also noticed in addition to my short story I wrote about what I am experiencing when I drive the car, I notice that the undercarriage of the car is not so high of a temperature, even after driving it in stop and go traffic on the freeway for nearly 2 hours.

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 3:30 PM
Tiny
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If there is any fault, I believe it should be with the Electronic Throttle Control system. Get the Honda tech's to plug in their scan tool and go for a test, monitoring the ETC to see if they are operating within specs.

Does not mean that a longer travel should increase the underarriage temperature.

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 3:55 PM
Tiny
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Wouldn't anything that is electronic and malfunctioning cause the CEL to come on and store a code? Some people have suggested that the catalytic converter may have collapsed. What are the "for sure" signs of this going out on my make and model of vehicle?

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 3:59 PM
Tiny
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Not necessarily. Components could be operating but at out end of specifications and when this occurs, the MIL is not triggerred.

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 5:03 PM
Tiny
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So you wouldn't think that the catalytic converter is the issue, but instead a sensor or controller causing all this grief?

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 5:18 PM
Tiny
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Is the ETC the same as the TPS (throttle position sensor)?

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 5:27 PM
Tiny
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A clogged cat converter would result in poor performace at higher rpms and what you described does not indicate that.

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 5:30 PM
Tiny
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TPS is part of the ETC syatem

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 5:38 PM
Tiny
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HHHMMMMM. Interesting. So why would this ETC system cause the heavy weight of the car, stiffer steering wheel, hard to press has pedal, and harder to press brake pedal all a the same time?

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 5:43 PM
Tiny
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Is the ETC something I can do myself with a multimeter?

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 5:48 PM
Tiny
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When the ETC has a fault, the engine could be struggling and this would result in drop in engine rpm. This in turn could cause the stiffer power steering as the pump is working at a lower rate. The brakes would be harder to depress if repeated attempts were made as the booster is not able to get sufficient vacuum to operate.

Now that you reminded me of the brakes and power steering, have the serpentine belt checked and ensure the indicator is still within specs for the tension. If the belt is slipping, the power steering would be affected. Alternator would also be charging at a lower rate and that could cause the engine to struggle or lack of response from the accelerator as the operating voltage has dropped.

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 5:53 PM
Tiny
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You would need Honda Diagnostic System (HDS) to check the APP etc.

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 5:55 PM
Tiny
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I haven't checked the serpentine belt yet. Now that you mentioned the alternator.I notice that when I have my dc converter plugged into the 12v socket in my care to charge my cell phone while I'm driving, I can hear the fan in it speed up and slow down as I'm accelerating and breaking. Weird! Do you think that the 12v socket is not getting a constant flow of power like it should?

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 6:10 PM
Tiny
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Is the suspension electronically controlled at all? When all this is happening, driving over unlevel road usually makes the car feel like the suspension of a mini van loaded with people in it. Before, it used to feel like a light go-kart sport suspension, where you can really feel the road while driving.

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 6:18 PM
Tiny
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Yup, seems electrical power is not up to specs. No, suspension is not electrcally controlled.

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 6:51 PM
Tiny
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Where do I go from there. Alternator check, battery check? What proper operating voltage should I be looking for?

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 6:56 PM
Tiny
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I've even seen the fuel talk lid indicator come on just onece in my gauge panel and I opened and closed the lid to see if the indicator would go away and it didn't. Then, leaving work to go home, I never saw the light come on ever again. This is weird too. Could the electrical system enable the CEL and throw a code too? Does the alternator have to absolutely fail in order to get a CEL? Sorry for all the questions, but I really want to learn about my car.

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 7:04 PM
Tiny
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Get a scan done to check for trouble codes.

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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 7:10 PM

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