1997 Honda Civic Problems starting/idle speeds

Tiny
LAKESIDEPARKGIRL
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 191,100 MILES
Hi –

I’m dreading this upcoming weekend. My car needs both new brakes and the rear bushings need to be replaced, but that’s not the issue. The issue is this:

On startup, the engine (without touching the throttle) will sit for a couple seconds at around 1000-1200 rpms, then rev to between 1700 and 2000 rpms. This is while it is in park. Putting it in gear will only drop it to around 1100-1300 rpms and when I push down on the accelerator, the car will go into a near-stall, then will shoot forward after a couple seconds. I will have to re-start the car two, three, four times to get the engine to not do that, but then the car is idling in gear at 100-300 rpms and threatening to stall, until I'm almost to work (approx. 15 miles and about 45 minutes of drive time, I live in LA), then it will idle at somewhere near normal, around 400. The problem has now progressed to doing it not just in the mornings, but in the afternoons when I leave work. Earlier this year, it didn't do that.

I've tried pumping the gas prior to starting, holding my foot down on the gas while starting, sitting for ten minutes waiting for it to warm up, I've had them look at the spark plugs, the fuel filter was replaced, they've run the computerized diagnositcs and replaced some random valve (which didn't do diddly except blast a hole in my wallet). I’ve also used a fuel additive. I have been told the fuel injectors can use a cleaning, but I'm not so sure that's the issue. Once it's running for a distance, it runs fine but I am slowly growing suspicious of the rpms at speed as well, I think they're starting to run high.

I am very hesitant to take it back to the dealership, but the car needs to be fixed and fixed properly so I don’t keep dumping money onto this problem. It’s already cost me over $500, and I’m expecting this visit to cost me between $700 and $1200.
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Tuesday, December 11th, 2007 AT 1:19 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Does it have an OBD2 code/s or has flashed-meaning the check engine light?

Lets try having the coolant temperature and throttle position sensor, and the idle air control valve check for start. These 3 items has a lot to do with idle problems, trust me BTDT

I'll be waiting for the outcome on these items in order to proceed
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Tuesday, December 11th, 2007 AT 5:26 PM
Tiny
LAKESIDEPARKGIRL
  • MEMBER
Hi,

Thanks so much for getting back to me. I called the dealership that last worked on the engine, and the idle air control valve was replaced last year. It didn't help (that was the "random valve"). Coolant temps have been holding steady, but I have thought that could be an issue as well, since it has a tendency to occur in cold temps, and overnight we've been dropping into the low 40's. (Not cold compared to the Midwest right now, but cold enough)

The check engine light has been on solid, but I'm going to Autozone after work and will do a diagnostic so I can get the codes.

My dad also suspects it could be the vacuum hose. Thoughts?

Thanks again!
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Tuesday, December 11th, 2007 AT 5:56 PM
Tiny
LAKESIDEPARKGIRL
  • MEMBER
Good morning,

I went to the EZ-Lube around the corner from where I live last night and had one of their techs hook the computer up to test the check engine light - at no charge, which was nice - and the error said "circuit input". They told me that meant a fuse somewhere was bad and that was the most likely cause of the engine issues, and would definitely cause the computer to react, causing the symptoms.

I hope it truly is the problem, that would be really nice. But it makes me that much more upset with the whole situation at the dealership last year.
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Wednesday, December 12th, 2007 AT 12:09 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
What was the OBD2 code for the circuit input? Could be vacuum leak or the throttle plate sticking upsetting the air/fuel mixture.
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Wednesday, December 12th, 2007 AT 12:47 PM

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