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Civic VX on Crack

Discussion in 'ECU's, Electronics, and Tuning' started by gh05t, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. gh05t

    gh05t Junior Member

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    Background info:

    1995 Honda Civic VX / 170,000 miles / 2nd owner, purchased from dealership in 1999. Ignition coil replaced by mechanic in July of '02. Arospeed intake installed summer of 2000, ractive exhaust installed summer of 02. Car has been in a shitload of bumps and bruises but no major [mechanical] damage.

    Now for the symptoms...

    I got back from being deployed to Iraq in june of '03 - my car had been running great when I left. After driving it around for a few weeks, back and forth to my parent's house [about a 5 hour highway drive] a couple of times, started to notice the tach bouncing during downshifting while slowing to a stop. Tach would bounce from about 800 up to 2000 / 3000 and then fall again - the engine would make a noise consistent with the indication too. I was puzzled but I didn't think too much of it. Then the rev bouncing started to happen while the car was at idle too...Still trying to puzzle it out. Next the check engine light came on, the indication was for a bad 02 sensor. Couldn't afford to replace it, so I just kept going...Then, one day driving back from my parent's house, the car made a *clunk* - the rpms jumped to about 5000 and the car stopped making power. No response from the gas pedal. I pulled off to the side of the highway while the rpms slowly died, and put it in neutral. When the reps got down to about 200 or so, the car stalled. In neutral. No shit. Tried to crank it again, no dice. Cut the thing off, waited a second, said some choice magic words, then tried it again. It was a little stubborn but it started and drove home the rest of the way with no problems. At some point around this time [not the same trip, but sometime that month], the tach started bouncing - and i mean BOUNCING all over the dial, from about 0 to 7000 - during acceleration - but during acceleration there IS NO corresponding bouncing rev sound from the engine. The revs and tach still bounce during deceleration, though. I've had it *clunk* and lose power a couple of other times too, and I can't draw any connections between those times to determine a cause. I pulled the ECU codes again, and now I'm no longer getting a faulty o2 sensor code. Now I'm getting a 15 and a 48. That's faulty ignition and LAF sensor.

    Oh yea, water with carbon in it is blowing out of my tailpipe and the exhaust smells like it's running very rich. Doesn't burn more oil than would be expected for a 170k engine.

    What the hell is wrong with my car? Anyone?

    Should I even try and fix this d15? Or would it make more sense to swap?

    Thanks in advance...
     
  2. reckedracing

    reckedracing TTIWWOP VIP

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    i would say if you have the money then go for a swap, but you may have electrical issues with your car that a swap will not solve...

    the tach bouncing and not corresponding with the actual rpm's on the engine worries me...

    try and solve the issues and make sure its not gonna retain the same issues when you do a swap...
     
  3. lowandslow

    lowandslow Senior Member

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    if u cant afford an o2 sensor, i think a swap is out of the question..
     
  4. dirt817

    dirt817 Member

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    I had a car come into my shop on day with a similar problem. Especially with the carbon/wate blowing out the exhaust.

    Let it sit and run for a while in neutral, when it starts to mess up, try pulling the vacuum line off the fuel pressure regulator.
     
  5. Johnnylawless

    Johnnylawless Senior Member

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    Check your distributor cap and rotor!!!!
    Similar prob for me was the screw came out of the rotor and chewed the cap and the rotor, has happened twice with me. Damn 9k Revs :p
     
  6. ohmstable

    ohmstable Senior Member

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    time to check your distributor.. Considering tacho signal is coming from the distributor. I'd say you've got an ignition problem. You'll probably have to replace the dizzy..
     
  7. gh05t

    gh05t Junior Member

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    in reply to lowandslow:

    I agree, but the idea would be to save money by not replacing all the parts that might be bad if I'm just going to swap the engine - o2 sensor, MAP sensor, LAF sensor - they could all be bad, even the ECU could be bad, maybe the clutch, etc...I'm thinking of saving money and just getting a new engine, tranny, etc.

    to dirt817:

    I would give that idea a shot, but the carbon/water blows out the tailpipe at startup, and the car will sit and idle all day with no problems...Thanks for the suggestion though. Should I try and just disconnect the vacuum line right after startup, and what should I be looking for?

    to johnnylawless and ohmstable:

    I'm going to replace the distributor tomorrow, good thought. Over the weekend I pulled the dizzy, spark lines, and all the plugs and gave them all a good cleaning. There was some electrode wear on the cap and also on the rotor, and really thick carbon deposits on all the plugs [from running so rich, I imagine].

    After doing all that and driving it around town a little, I got another check engine light. This time I'm pulling a code 48 [Lean Air Fuel Sensor]. What the hell is a lean air fuel sensor? All the references I can find talk about the Insight, which apparently has a variant of my VX vtec-e engine. I've gathered that the LAF sensor regulates the air/fuel mixture to make the car run as lean as possible. Makes sense that it would be busted, because my car is running rich as hell.

    Anybody have any thoughts?
     
  8. dirt817

    dirt817 Member

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    Well, on the car we had this experience with, the diaphragm in the pressure regulator was broken, sometimes allowing the vacuum line to suck gas. When we pulled the vac line off, fuel dripped out of the tube for the line on the reg. Let the car idle for a minute or so, then after it starts acting up, pull the line and see what happens.

    This was only occurring every so often, so it was drivable, but constantly stalling/erradic revving/blowing carbon-water.

    The again, this was a suzuki x90 :lol:
     
  9. ahedau

    ahedau Senior Member

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    5th gen distributors as a rule are not going to last the life of the engine per the Honda Service Mgr and family friend.

    My VX motor car did the exact some thing and replaceing the dizzy fixed it.

    I still have it sitting in my shop if you don't wanna pay nearly $300+ bucks for a new one.
     
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