Engine Mechanical problem
1998 Honda Civic 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 120000 miles
I have this recurring issue with my Honda in that it will stall, usually after driving about half an hour or so. It doesn't matter how hot or dry it is, or how fast I am going, 5, 15, 60 mph, the engine will just quietly die and all the lights on the dash board will light up. Usually, I have to sit for about 10-15 minutes before it will start again. I have scanned the computer for codes, but there are none retained. I have tried replacing the ignition switch (not the cylinder, just the electrical portion) and had a tune up. What else can I look at?
From the symptoms, I would suspect the fuel delivery system and it could be a failing fuel pump or intermittently failing PGM-FI main relay.
Let me know what you find and we can proceed with further analysis and rectification.
February, 9, 2009 AT 7:17 PM
Thanks. Reading through the link, it looks like my next step is to check fuel pressure. I am sitting in my stalled car as I write this : -(.
February, 10, 2009 AT 6:15 PM
Ok, at least we are getting somewhere.
Since it is a fuel problem it most likely it is due to the PGM-FI main relay. When it fails,(which is known to happen intermittently) it would not supply power to the fuel pump.
Does the Check Engine Lamp stays lit after initial engine 2 seconds at ignition ON? If yes, you need to try to turn ignition on and off or wait a little longer for the light to go off before attempting to start.
Remove it and check the circuit board for cold solders. Resoldering of the circuit board would solve the problem.
February, 12, 2009 AT 1:48 PM
Thanks for staying on me with this. The last time my car stalled, the CEL came on. I was able to coast to a stop. However, it never retains a code when this happens. Is that to be expected in a fuel pump/main relay failure?
I don't recall how long it stays on. I usually turn off the engine after.
I will do as you suggest and check the main relay. Do you think testing the fuel pressure will help in this instance? The place we usually go to for maintenance has been on me for quite awhile to get my fuel system cleaned out. Do you think this could help too?
February, 12, 2009 AT 6:23 PM
I don't believe cleaning the fuel system would solve your problem. If there are any clogging of the system, performance would be greatly affected.
The CEL would come on if the engine stalls and power supply has been interrupted ie due to bad ignition switch contact or PGM-FI main relay.
Main relay failure would not retain any code.
February, 13, 2009 AT 9:35 PM
Alright, I was able to remove the main relay (no small feat for me!). I looked it over and I found the solder joint below:
I'm not sure what a cold solder looks like. All the others looked ok, but not as bad as that one. Do you think that could be the issue?
February, 14, 2009 AT 7:35 AM
Cold solders means there might be cracks along the soldered points and you got a nice picture showing what it looks like. Try resoldering all possible joints and retest. I believe that is the cause for the problem.
February, 16, 2009 AT 11:58 PM
Thanks, I put it back in today, after work. Lets see how it runs tomorrow.
January, 6, 2011 AT 8:27 PM
I had the same issue with my 1998 Civic. I replaced the main relay based on the information that I read in this forum and I've now driven several thousand miles without any reoccurence. Thank you!