Car wont accelerate above 40

Tiny
STEPIE821
  • MEMBER
  • 1989 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 230,000 MILES
I have been having problems accelerating for some time now getting it above20 have to punch it but after it was a bove 20 it would run just fine. Yesterday I coldn't get my car above 50 and today I can't get it above 35. I have not serviced the transmission what should I start to check?
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Tuesday, October 14th, 2008 AT 11:05 AM

18 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi stepie821,

There are many things to check I would suggest checking the most likely causes first.
1. Spark plugs and cables
2. Eshaust system, check for clogging, especially the catalytic converter.
3. Fuel filter, clogged filter would result in drastic power losses at higher speed.
4. Throttle cable, is it out of adjustment or is the accelerator pedal being restricted by a thick floor mat.
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Friday, October 17th, 2008 AT 12:37 PM
Tiny
GEMA_94
  • MEMBER
Check your transmission fluid I had the same problem and that is what it was.
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Monday, October 20th, 2008 AT 3:58 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi gema_94

Thank you for the input.

Yes, after reviewing what you mentioned and the symptom described, lack of trans fluid is a possibe and likely cause.
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Monday, October 20th, 2008 AT 6:58 PM
Tiny
BEARCAT5
  • MEMBER
  • 1989 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 145,000 MILES
Hi,
I have a 1989 honda civic wagovan with 1500 engine. It has had the distributor replaced, wires, spark plugs, air filter replaced. It ides rough, more rough when cold and bogs down on acceleraction. Runs good at speed and freeway, but has rough idle.I have taken it to two mechanics with no results. It is dangerous to pull out in traffic becase it may hesitate, but when warm is better but not good enough. Im tired of having to drive it like this.
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Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AT 1:25 PM (Merged)
Tiny
2CEXPT
  • MEMBER
Do you have a check engine light and when was the last tune-up?

Could be one of the following below:

Oxygen sensor
Catalytic converter
Dirty fuel injectors (cleaning the injectors often fixes this).
Bad MAP (manifold absolute pressure) sensor
Bad TPS (throttle position) sensor
Bad or dirty MAF (mass airflow) sensor
Low fuel pressure (leaky fuel pressure regulator or weak fuel pump)
Vacuum leaks (intake manifold, vacuum hoses, throttle body, EGR valve)
Bad gasoline (fuel contaminated with water or too much alcohol)

Sometimes, what feels like a hesitation is actually ignition misfire rather than lean misfire. The causes of ignition misfire may include:

Dirty or worn spark plugs
Bad plug wires
Weak ignition coil
Wet plug wires
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Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AT 1:25 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BEARCAT5
  • MEMBER
It has had a recent tune up. No engine lights on at all. Cat converter recently replaced. Thanks for the help
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Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AT 1:25 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BEARCAT5
  • MEMBER
How do you test the following sensors?
1)map sensor
2)tps sensor
3)maf sensor

to rule these out?
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Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AT 1:25 PM (Merged)
Tiny
2CEXPT
  • MEMBER
Do you have a repair manual?
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-1
Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AT 1:25 PM (Merged)
Tiny
GTIFENBACH
  • MEMBER
  • 1989 HONDA CIVIC
I believe my car has power assist steering. Where/how does one add fluid if there has been a loss of power steering fluid?
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Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AT 1:25 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
Look at the belts on the engine. There should be a couple of systems run by belt. A/C, alternator, or power steering. The PS pump will have two hoses coming off of it and one of them will lead to a reservoir. The res is usually gray with a red cap. Check the level and refill with the proper type of fluid that is approved by Honda.
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Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AT 1:25 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HONDAMAN6969
  • MEMBER
  • 1989 HONDA CIVIC
My 1989 honda civic DX with 217,000 miles on it. With a 1.5 liter SOHC is tring to die when you rap it up in high rpms when its in gear. When I have it in 3rd gear and I start rappin it up in high rpms it will only go 70 mph and it tries to die. It used to go about 90 in 3rd gear so I dont know whats wrong with it. It all started when my air intake tube touched my possitive terminal on the battery and it blew the alternator so I replaced it and I replaced the disributor cap and rotar and spark plugs. I dont understand what is making it bog down and try in die when you start to rap it up. So if you could help me that would be great thanks.
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Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AT 1:26 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
I guess the first thing that comes to mind is the word "rap". I NEVER rap the engine. Do the words "Not good for it" have any meaning? If you want a performance race car put out the bread and purchase one. The Honda Civic is good basic economical transportation.

How does it run when you drive normal and run it easily through the gears?
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Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AT 1:26 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HONDAMAN6969
  • MEMBER
It was running good n then all the suden it jus died n I couldnt get it to start and then I push started it n it was barley running and when I pushed the gas it just died and so now its sitting and it dont run. I dont know what is going on with it but its really messed up. So im guessing the ECU is shot but im gonna test it first.
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Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AT 1:26 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
Check the ecu but you will probably end up replacing the EFI relay.
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Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AT 1:26 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACKATTACK
  • MEMBER
  • 1985 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 98,000 MILES
My 1985 Civic 1.5 L is running sort of funny. When I put alot of pressure on the gas going at high speeds the car slows down, especially when going up hills, not so much when driving on a level or downhill road. I believe that the car could be running rich. What can cause this and how can I fix it? I thought it was a clogged cat convertor, but I checked the teperature and it seems to be fine. I get a rotten egg smell when ever the problem occurs as well.
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Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AT 1:26 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi jackattack,

Rotten egg smell is caused by a bad or failing catalytic converter in most cases.

The temperature might be good but after running rich, it could heat up and cause the smell.
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Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AT 1:26 PM (Merged)
Tiny
LESLIE3
  • MEMBER
  • 1988 HONDA CIVIC
1988 Honda Civic Two Wheel Drive Manual 200k miles

I replaced my clutch a month or two ago and have only driven within a 15 mile radius of my home since then. Today I drove a minor mountain pass for about 20-30 miles. Nearing the end of the journey, I was driving 65mph uphill in 5th gear. The car was making revving noises as I pushed the accelerator, but these noises were slightly different than when the clutch used to slip. Also, the car did not lose any power like it did when the clutch was slipping. I parked at my destination and didn't think anything of it until I left about half an hour later. The car wouldn't go in reverse. My boyfriend pushed it until I was clear to go forward. The car made an extreme revving noise and emitted a terrible smell as I coaxed it uphill for a couple hundred yards. Then I drove a relatively flat road for about 1/2 mile as the car gradually lost acceleration power. I turned the car off a couple times and restarted it but the problem persisted: the car continued to lose power as I drove about 2mph and could not accelerate. The revving increased as I pressed the accelerator down, so I only inched it along at a minimum speed. The engine would still turn over, the electricity worked, and I was able to put it into gear just fine. At one point, the car was actually rolling backwards with gravity as the engine revved. Finally, the car wouldn't accelerate at all (no "go" power but the revving noises continued). We pushed it to the side of the road, where it now sits. Also: the car is old but has been given regular routine maintenance over the years. Any ideas about what the problem might be? Thanks!
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Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AT 1:33 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi leslie3,

I believe you have burnt the cluch again.

After replacement of the clutch, was the clutch pedal free travel adjusted correctly?

Did you have to release the pedal quite a lot before the clutch engaged initially?
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Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AT 1:33 PM (Merged)

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