1998 Honda Civic Engine Stalls on Engaging Clutch

Tiny
WINGEDWOLF
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 152,000 MILES
I just got my car back from the shop after having the muffler replaced. The tailpipe coming out of the muffler had a failed weld that caused it to be extremely noisy, but since it seemed more of a nuisance than a critical problem, I didn't have it fixed for 4-5 months. A few weeks ago, we started having a problem with the engine stalling every once in a while, and I just chalked it up to the engine not being able to exhaust properly. Since then, the problem has gotten increasingly worse and frequent, to the point where it will now stall at least 5-6 times in a 30 minute drive. The car only stalls when the clutch is depressed, not when the engine is idling, or under load. Any ideas what this might be? I'd like to try and get the problem as pinned down as I can so that I know what to ask for when I take it in, due to the fact that I don't have a whole lot of money for the repair and the diagnosis. Thanks a lot!
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Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 AT 7:17 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi wingedwolf,

Thank you for the donation.

Generally there are 2 possible cause for the engine to stall when the clutch is depressed.

1. Bad clutch throwout bearing. Is there any abnormal noise or rough feeling ( from foot on clutch pedal) when the clutch is depressed? If yes, then the clutch throwout bearing is bad and the transmission has to be taken out to replace it.

2. Excessive side thrust of crankshaft. This is due to wear of the crankshaft or thrust key and when the clutch is depressed, the crankshaft is pushed forward causing strain on the connecting rods and idling unstability, resulting in stalling.

Other possible causes would be something is be affected by the clutch movement. Check the pedal or shift fork to see if their movement are affecting anything, especially wireharness.

Is the Check Engine Light indicating?
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Thursday, July 29th, 2010 AT 6:43 AM
Tiny
WINGEDWOLF
  • MEMBER
Later on that night, my oil indicator light came on. I thought this was strange because I changed the oil not quite two months ago. I checked the oil and it was WAY low. I put a couple of quarts in that night and the problem lessened. The next day I checked again and it was still low, so I added more oil. Things are almost back to normal now with only 2 stalls in the last 5 days. No, my check engine light does not come on.
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Monday, August 2nd, 2010 AT 10:15 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Seems the low oil level is causing the problem. When the clutch is depressed, additional load is channelled to the crankshaft and with inefficient lubrication, the engine stutters and stall intermittently.

How much oil have you added and what is teh level now?
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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 AT 7:44 AM
Tiny
WINGEDWOLF
  • MEMBER
Since the engine was so low with no visible leakage from upper seals or the oil pan, etc, I felt like the oil probably burned up in the engine and formed deposits from carbon residue, due to the exhaust not letting the engine remove the products of combustion adequately. So, I just got finished using a sludge removal product right before changing the oil and filter. I'll be doing a decent amount of driving tomorrow, so that should tell the tale. Also, I never answered the question about the clutch being stiff, but no, it hasn't really offered more than normal resistance.
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Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 AT 9:04 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Keep me updated of the outcome.
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Thursday, August 5th, 2010 AT 8:25 AM

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