1998 Honda Accord Engine cuts out

Tiny
OTTO BLAVIER
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 HONDA ACCORD
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 120,000 MILES
On 2 occasions, while driving, once at turnpike speed (65mph) and again at town speed (30 mph) the engine has cut out completely. During the turnpike incident, the engine would restart by itself, run for a few seconds and cut out again. This cut in/out condition continued until the speed dissipated and I pulled off the road. After sitting for about 5-7 minutes I restarted the engine and the car ran fine for 3 weeks and 2-300 miles. During the last experience, the engine cut out when traveling at 30 mph. It continued to cut out, as I nursed it home (3/4 mile) and had to cost into the driveway. The engine would start withe the key but only run for a split second. I left the car sit for about 6 hours and tried to restart again. T engine started normally and ran fine as I turned the car around in the street and backed the car into the garage. You comments please. Thank you Otto
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Saturday, December 27th, 2008 AT 10:50 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi Otto,

Seems you are having a problem with the ignitions switch.

When engine cut off, were the dash lights showing?
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Monday, December 29th, 2008 AT 6:29 AM
Tiny
OTTO BLAVIER
  • MEMBER
The dash light indicators came on as if the ignition had just been turned on, that is all the usual lights prior to engaging the starter.
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Monday, December 29th, 2008 AT 12:36 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi Otto,

To check if it is the ignition switch, do the following.
1. Turn ignition switch slowly to ON. Dash lights should show while turning and not flicker.
2. Slowly turn to START and during this period, dash lights should not flicker or go out and come back.

If both above steps do not show any problem, then I would suggest checking the PGM-FI main relay. It is known to fail intermittently due to cold soldered points on the circuit board. Remove the relay and check the circuit board for cracks at soldered joints. Resoldering them would solve the problem.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/192750_PGMFIRelay97Accord_4.jpg



If the relay is not the cause, then you might have a failing fuel pump.
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Monday, December 29th, 2008 AT 1:35 PM
Tiny
OTTO BLAVIER
  • MEMBER
I have a copy of "Haynes Repair Manual" for "Honda Accord 1998-2002". I have checked both the ignition coil and the Ignition Control Module (igniter). According to the manual. In the coil test, the coil resistance across the two primary connections are shown in the illustration as 5.99 ohms. When I checked my coil, I could only get a reading of.6 to.7 ohms. The manual states that their test results
where at 70 deg outside temp. When I checked my coil, it was only 40-50 degrees. What are your thoughts on the results?

As to the ignition switch tests you suggested; I turned on the switch as slowly as possible in both tests. When the lights went on, they stayed on brightly and never flicker for an instant.

A for the fuel, when the engine quits. It shuts off instantly, no hesitation, bucking or shuddering.
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Monday, December 29th, 2008 AT 4:21 PM
Tiny
LORD FARRINGDON
  • MEMBER
Hi Otto,

I would be surprised if this wasn't an Ignition Control Module problem. I have experienced exactly the same symtoms in another make of car. As I understand it, these modules contain electronic circuitry which due to the 'hostile' location of the module ie on the distributor are encased in a heat resitant material. This material can break down and when it does the module's components can overheat. Leaving the car to cool down solves the problem, at least until you start the car and the module heats up again. You may have noticed the problem getting worse over time. A short hesitation or motor cutout at speed occassionally, maybe a failure to start after a short stop on a hot day, and then the events occur more frequently and the effects are more problematic.

The Ignition module is a control mechanism which sends data to and receives data from the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) or on-board computer. One of its key functions is to detect programmed ignition pulses (PIPs). PIPs occur as the magnets in the distributor pass a Hall effect sensor and create pulses of voltage. When the Ignition Module receives these PIP signals it sends the data to the PCM which tells the PCM that the engine is rotating and what the ignition timing is. The PCM sends data back to the Ignition Module which in turn relays this to the coil and bingo, thousands of volts head to the appropriate spark plug. The PCM also uses the information from the Ignition Module to tell the fuel injection solenoids to start pulsing. Thus we have those two vital ingedients, spark and fuel.

When an ignition module fails, the PCM no longer receives the vital signs from the distributor and must assume the engine has stopped rotating. Acordingly it ceases to send information that would allow the coil to energise and of course ceases to allow the fuel solenoids to pulse into (what it now believes) is a non-rotating engine. There will still be pressure at the fuel rail though. The result is no spark or fuel to the cylinders. The motor cutouts completely and no amount of cranking is going to start it.

This leads to a key indicator of a faulty Ignition Module ie no fuel or spark will be available while the Module is intermitantly not working. To fix the problem, you can buy a new Ignition Module or purchase a secondhand distributor complete with Ignition Module.

As a matter of interest, faulty Ignition Modules can be quite dangerous and I understand have been implicated in otherwise unexplained fatal highway accidents where faulty vehicles travelling at highway speeds inexplicably and rapidly deaccelarate without any brake light indication or warning and are hit by following vehicles. Food for thought. Hope this helps. :)
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Tuesday, December 30th, 2008 AT 7:23 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi Otto,

Here is the data from for ignition coil resistance. Depending on the model, your reading could be correct.

NOTE: Resistance will vary with the coil temperature; specifications are at 68 F (20 C).

Primary Winding Resistance
(Between the A and B terminals):
F23A1, F23A4 engines: 0.45-0.55 ohm
F23A5 engine: 0.63-0.77 ohm

Secondary Winding Resistance
(Between the A and Secondary Winding terminals):
F23A1, F23A4 engines: 16.8-25.2 k ohm
F23A5 engine: 12.8-19.2 k ohm
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Tuesday, December 30th, 2008 AT 7:48 AM
Tiny
LORD FARRINGDON
  • MEMBER
Hi Otto,

Further to this, the Ignition Module is repsonsible for sending RPM signals to the tacho. If the module fails while the car is running the tacho will drop to zero immediately even though the motor is still running down and the ignition is on. You will need to look at the tacho qucikly once you sense the problem. Hope this helps.
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Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 AT 4:13 AM

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