Problem with 1988 Honda Accord

I have a 1988 Honda Accord LXi with 154872 miles on it. Of late it has been demonstrating erratic performance issues.

There is never a problem with starting the car, even in cold weather ( I do live in Illinois). It starts up with a few rollsof the engine; chugga chugaa FIRE up! So starting is not the issue.

However it does idle high, and I have noticed that this winter season. It idles all the way upto 2000 - 3000 rpm and even after 10-15 minutes while the temp meter on the dashboard indicates that the engined is nice and warmed up, a slight depression of the accelerator pedal, causes the RPM to go even higher.

I have no option but to drive with the rpm high. In gear it remains at approximately 2000 rpm and sometimes lower, but never less than 1500rpm. Sometimes after driving for 20 miles or so it still does
not idle at the 800-1000rpm range, while at other times it suddenly drops to the appropriate idle range and at stop signs in such a situation the rpm would be at the normal 800-1000 rpm range. I have never experienced the engine stall at a stop sign or from acceleration in either of these conditions.

The odd thing now, is that I have noticed that while in D4 and I start from a stop at aprprimately 30 miles/hr speed, the engine races and has some difficulty shifting into the higher gear. The first two
shifts happen pretty smoothily at approximately

It tends to shift into the higher gear if I take my leg OFF the accelerator and slowly feed gas to move beyond the 30miles/hr speed. Other wise
the engine races to maybe 3000rpm before the shift occurs. I notice that the problem is not so nioticeable if the engine is at the correct idle speed during driving.

If I put the A/T into D3 then I can shift into D3 all the way upto 40m/hr with the rpm in the 2500rpm range ( this is when the idle on the car is in the erratic fast mode). Otherwise in D3 the rpm while at 40m/hr the
idle is at 2000rpm.

So I have the following questions ( of course I know that the car is rather old but I cannot purchase another one at the moment, I need to try to get
this car to work for me for another 6-8 months or so)

1. Does the 1988 Honda Accord have a on board diagnostics unit that provides error codes?

2. Could the problem be with the automatic transmission? I did have the fluid replaced?

3. Could it just be the extremely fast idle that is causing the transmission to get confused at to when it needs to shift?

Thanks for feedback.
Do you
have the same problem?
Tuesday, January 24th, 2006 AT 5:57 PM

1 Reply

I had the same issue, when I first got my 88 LXI it started, got to about 2000-2200 rpm range, then it shifted at like 38-46, and I even let it idle for like 30 minutes or so. I finally just got to the point of startin git up, and going, it normally makes a THUNK sound when I shift it from P to D4 but after about 3 weeks, it started, and only was at 900-1200 rpm's, so I dont know how I fixed it, but now I am having and issue with the starter, as I think I broke the turn over bar or something. But yeah it dont start now tho ;)
Was this
Saturday, July 29th, 2006 AT 12:26 AM

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