1996 Honda Accord Re-occuring brief power failure

Tiny
JAYRHYTHM
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 HONDA ACCORD
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 85,000 MILES
My car's dashboard lights, speedometer/tachometer, radio, headlights and everything goes out for 1/3 of a second. But this only seems to happen as soon as I hit my brakes and when im accelerating and it shifts gears, and when I let off the gas pedal (automatic transmission). I have looked in forums online and I have seen similar problems with cars (not just hondas). It looks like I might have a bad fuse or something, because this only seems to happen when there is a variance in electrical current. Like when I hit the brakes and my brake lights come on. It also happens when im in idle and my cars fan comes on (you know the fan that shuts on and off by itself) Does anyone have any input on this, I would greatly appreciate it. PS. My engine does not cut off or anything, just what I listed abouve. Thanks.
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Monday, August 25th, 2008 AT 5:36 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi Jayrhythm,

Is the battery securely tightened? It could be loose and shifting around on its seat and causing intermittent shorting.

You need to check grounding points, battery terminals and main wire connectors.
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Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 AT 9:51 AM
Tiny
JAYRHYTHM
  • MEMBER
I greatly appreciate your reply along with your possible solution to my problem. I am taking it to the shop in a week (when I can afford repair) I am not a mechanic of course, but I do have some intermidiate info on automobiles. I thought it may be something with the battery, but as I mentioned it only happens when I hit the brake, let off the accelerator or my radiator fan comes on. I can actually almost control when it happens by doing so. I am starting to think it's not a loose battery, and just a grounding problem of some sort. You are not the first one to mention a grounding issue. I just know that electrical problems often "stump" even the best mechanics, and my hope is to not spend money and not have the problem fixed.
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Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 AT 3:26 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi Jayrhythm,

The grounding point to check and most likely to cause problem would be the battery negative terminal to trans. Btw does the starter seems weak or slow to response at times?
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Thursday, August 28th, 2008 AT 8:21 AM
Tiny
JAYRHYTHM
  • MEMBER
Once again, thank you for your ongoing advice and your prompt replies. My car does not hesitate when starting it. Actually, it starts much faster than brand new cars I have driven. It turns over and starts after just two rolls, and sometimes just one roll. I am greatful to you, as I am solely relying on your responses as of now. I have posted the same question on Yahoo answers along with a couple more knowlageable mechanic sites. You are the only one that has replied at all. Thank you. My 96 honda accord also shifts hard, especially while its not warmed up yet. The trans does not slip at all. Just shifts hard, and I have no idea what thats about. Ive been told it's the shift solenoid, and also that a power flush would fix it. However, I do not rely on what auto shops tell me because they are trying to take you for everything you have. Its a shame. Btw, my car only has 85,000 miles on it, which is very low for a 1996.
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Thursday, August 28th, 2008 AT 2:52 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi Jayrhythm,

Your vehicle should be equipped with trans throttle pressure cable and the harsh shifting could be due to the cable being out of adjustment. It should not be the solenoids.

When did you last replaced the Auto Trans Fluid?

Another area to note is the engine mount. A worn mount would result in jerks when shifting gears and the engine would shift, which can be the cause of the temporary power loss to.
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Thursday, August 28th, 2008 AT 7:11 PM
Tiny
JAYRHYTHM
  • MEMBER
I had new engine mounts put on my car just 5 months ago by a honda dealer, they said I needed new ones. Unless they ripped me off and didnt put new mounts on. I have owned my car for 6 months now, and I have never changed my auto trans fluid. But I will be doing that in about a week. I know for sure that its not the engine mounts though, because the power shuts off while I am in idle as well. Maybe the fluid needs to be changed, or maybe it needs to be power flushed. I have seen hundreds of people talk in the forums about their honda shifting hard, so apparently its not uncommon.
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Saturday, August 30th, 2008 AT 1:41 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi Jayrhythm,

Harsh shifting is appplicable to all makes and models, not to Honda alone.

The cause is usually due to something wrong or neglect in the maintenance or misadjustment.

You need to find the cause so be able to remedy it.
I have never believed in or recommended flushing because it usually never works but only flushes away your $.
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Saturday, August 30th, 2008 AT 7:53 AM
Tiny
JAYRHYTHM
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the advice. I will have the trans looked at as soon as I can afford it. With the current problems with the electrical issue (and replacing rear brakes which I didnt mention) im hoping its not more than five or six hundred dollars. I will have the trans diagnosed by a reputable shop. I have been told since I read your reply that it is probably the shift sensor or something like that. I was told that it is controlled electronically via some sort of computer, and it needs to be programmed correctly. Furthermore, I know im not a mechanic, but it makes me wonder why the trans shirts hard until it warms up driving through all 4 gears. Its like the gears get warmed up and it doesnt shift as hard as when its cold. I have no idea.
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Saturday, August 30th, 2008 AT 2:55 PM

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