Engine Performance problem
1999 Honda Civic 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 145000 miles
My Civic has 145,000 miles on it and is one of the most trouble free cars I have ever owned. I have never had any problems with it!
This week I cleaned the spark plugs, installed new fuel and air filters, ignition wires, distributor cap and rotor. I installed the ignition wires incorrectly initially and had to reinstall them a few more times to find the correct firing order. After each re-installation of the wires I tried to start the engine. Some times it coughed and sputtered several times but would not start. A few times it started but did not idle properly or run smoothly (stuttering when I tried to accelerate engine speed). During this process the " check engine" light came on - mostly in the blinking mode. When I had the wires properly installed the car was still slow to start and sputtered but seemed to be alright at idle. I wanted to drive the car around a bit to see if the " check engine" light would go out after a few miles but when I tried to move the AT from Park to Drive the release button on the shift handle would not disengage and I was unable to move the gear selector.
I should also tell you that when I finally had the ignition wires connected correctly the engine idled somewhat smoothly, but still stuttered when I tried to increase engine speed. I then removed each ignition wire one at a time to see how the idle was affected. Removing wires from from plugs 1 and 2 caused a great drop-off in idle engine speed, however, removing the wires from plugs 3 and 4 had no discernible effect on how the engine idled - even with both cables disconnected at the same time.
I don't know what to do next to get my car back in operation. How could anything that I did effect the ability to move the AT gear selector?
I installed new plugs in 3rd and 4th cylinders and the car started a little easier, and I was able to move the AT gear selector, but the " Check Engine" light is still on and the engine dies when I try to test drive the car.
I was going to check my idle speed, however, my Haynes manual says that I must ensure that the " check Engine" light is not on to do this. It doesn't tell me what to do if te " Check Engine" light is on.
Any help you can provide will be much appreciated.
Friday, May 9th, 2008 AT 11:35 AM