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98 Civic losing power while driving

Discussion in '6th Generation Honda Civic (1996-2000)' started by lisitpc, Jun 19, 2017.



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  1. lisitpc

    lisitpc New Member

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    98 Civic is losing power while driving. It is not stalling. The engine stays running. Pressing the accelerator has no effect. No lights come on the dashboard. Starting and restarting the engine it eventually catches, but it does not crank strongly and the engine kind of lurches. This happened while driving and also at a stop light. I just started and restarted the engine a few times and it cranked fine, so the problem is intermittent.

    Battery is good. I can hear the fuel pump humming when I start the engine. I thought it might be the main fuel pump relay but I replaced that to no avail. It's got new spark plug wires.

    It's very hot here and seems this issue started with the summer heat. (+98 degrees)

    I replaced the ignition switch a few years ago so I don't think it is that.

    I would appreciate any tips you have.
     
  2. boofoo

    boofoo Respected Registered VIP

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    What CEL codes are thrown?
     
  3. shuaib.jacobs

    shuaib.jacobs New Member

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    What type of fuel are you using? How long since you last had fresh fuel in your tank?

    Sent from my LG-D851 using Tapatalk
     
  4. lisitpc

    lisitpc New Member

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    There is no yellow light to check, if I am understanding you correctly.
     
  5. lisitpc

    lisitpc New Member

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    The same gas I've always used. This is all on the same tank though.
     
  6. XpL0d3r

    XpL0d3r What Civic? Staff Member Registered VIP Registered OG 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    I would top off with fresh gas.

    Does the issue occur when the engine is cold, warm, or both?

    I would also check your grounds and clean them if they appear to be rusty or corroded.
     
  7. shuaib.jacobs

    shuaib.jacobs New Member

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    I would 2nd that, definitely check the alternator and battery contacts, clean and apply battery contact grease. Let us know how you getting on.

    Sent from my LG-D851 using Tapatalk
     
  8. shuaib.jacobs

    shuaib.jacobs New Member

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    Also measure values on alternator.

    Sent from my LG-D851 using Tapatalk
     
  9. boofoo

    boofoo Respected Registered VIP

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    Does the CEL work? Previous owners are notorious for disabling the the CEL.
     
  10. lisitpc

    lisitpc New Member

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    Both, but more so when the engine is hot.

    The grounds all look good.
     
  11. lisitpc

    lisitpc New Member

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    Yes it works. At least it was a month ago when I got an unrelated code. It has never been disabled.
     
  12. lisitpc

    lisitpc New Member

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    I'm going to have the alternator checked.

    I replaced the fuel filter. Didn't help.

    It's having startup problems now. Cranks but doesn't catch. Eventually it does after sputtering.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
  13. boofoo

    boofoo Respected Registered VIP

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    Turn key from OFF to ON(II). Does CEL come on for 2 seconds and then turn off?
     
  14. lisitpc

    lisitpc New Member

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    Yes it does. Good idea.

    I just tried it, car was cranking but not starting.

    It's got a 5 year battery that's only a few months old. Cranks strong but didn't catch immediately like it should.
     
  15. boofoo

    boofoo Respected Registered VIP

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    Check the mechanical timing. The timing belt may have skipped some teeth.
     
  16. lisitpc

    lisitpc New Member

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    I will, thanks.

    What is odd is that after I replaced the fuel filter, I drove it for about 10 miles with no issues. A couple of hours later I went to drive it again and the problems are back. Could there be something on the gas tank that settled during that time and clogged the system?
     
  17. boofoo

    boofoo Respected Registered VIP

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    Does the engine start and run well with starting fluid?

    A clogged fuel filter will generally throw code P0171.
     
  18. lisitpc

    lisitpc New Member

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    I have not tried starter fluid. And it has not thrown any codes. I emptied the old filter but did not see any particles.

    If it starts well with starter fluid, what would that indicate?
     
  19. boofoo

    boofoo Respected Registered VIP

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    A fuel delivery problem.

    But also check the mechanical timing.

    Have you checked for bright spark at all 4 spark plugs?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
  20. lisitpc

    lisitpc New Member

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    No, replaced the wires though.

    Those plugs are NGK plugs and were replaced about 15000 miles ago so I was thinking they are still good.
     


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