THE CAR WHEN COLD DOESN'T ACCELERATE PAST 3500 RPM
1999 Honda Civic
January, 18, 2014 AT 11:07 PM
Hi, first of all thanks for your time!
My Honda 1.4 IS October 1999 never had any issues. Was 5 years unused parked in Italy. Then I droved it to Finland always parked outside. When cold came (1st day below zero centigrade) the engine yellow light would switch on, the car would be driving hiccuping until engine had warmed up. Drove to work few miles, parked it outside at minus temperature for 8 hours but the problem wouldn't occur on the way home. Now I moved back to Milan, the engine yellow light switches off always during summer and the car has no problems in summer.
This winter when it went cold the light went on. Until last week it stopped driving. We replaced the spark plugs and didn't start working immediately. Towed to Honda, mechanics switched it on and it started no problems a part the not being able to pass the 3500 RPM not in gear driving nor in idle when accelerating. The yellow light indicated the black box (the unit) but the Honda mechanics said they never saw one going bad in 20 years so they didn't do much and released the car. Now I don't really trust the car so I'd like at least to try out something before sending 'her' to the scrap yard.
The first diagnostic step is a very basic and easy one. I don't know why you chose to ignore it but now that it was at the dealership, they should have had a better answer. The Engine Computer detected a problem, set a diagnostic fault code, and turned the Check Engine light on to tell you. The first step is to read and record that fault code. It will indicate the circuit or system that needs further diagnosis, or it will indicate the unacceptable operating condition. It will never say to replace a part or that one is defective although that could be the cause of the code.
Also be aware that when you have an intermittent problem and it temporarily goes away, it is extremely important to have that code read right away, even when the warning light goes out. On many cars those codes will self-erase after a specific number of engine starts, commonly 50, then that valuable information will be lost. Also do not disconnect the battery or let it run dead because that will also erase the code(s). Some mechanics will connect a scanner to read the codes, then they'll erase them to turn the light off for you, but erasing a code doesn't make the problem go away. It just makes the cause of the problem unknown.
Once the light turns on again, have the codes read and reply with the exact code number, not a generic description. There are well over a thousand potential fault codes and many of them refer to the same circuit but they mean different things.