I've been lurking around the forum for a while and finally decided to get an acct. I've got a problem with it that's hard to pin down, and I'd really appreciate any thoughts and ideas you guys might have! Here's the scoop:
I have a 1994 Honda Accord EX w/F22B1 engine, 5spd. manual. I bought the car in late April of this year w/ about 194k miles on it. Right now it has about 197k. I believe I am the 4th owner. From what I can tell, previous owners have 'upgraded' the following:
- Spectre CAI/RAI
- Header-back exhaust with normal-looking but loud-obnoxious-sounding muffler, no cat (WTF?)
- "performance" clutch
- Sony Xplod head unit, but stock speakers
- Radio antenna disappearded
Otherwise pretty normal-lookin'.
Since I bought it, I've changed the oil to synthetic (Mobil 1, not sure if it's worth it but i figured it's easier on the old engine?
), changed the master brake cylinder along with a caliper (bleed screw sheared off), and replaced some broken wheel bolts in the back. Until lately, the car has started and driven great, and shifted ok. A few times over the summer I'd get the odd check engine light, but never got around to checking it.
About a month ago, the car started acting up. A few times, it would refuse to start after a bit of driving (say, after going to the store). It would crank fine, but refuse to catch. Each time it would eventually start, after giving it about 10 minutes (to cool down?). Then, it got worse. Not only would it not start when warm, but two times it actually died while driving slow in second gear (gas pedal would be unresponsive, and RPM would dip to idle for a few seconds, then choke out). I would pull the car over, give it some time, and it would eventually start. All this time it would still start fine when cold, idle fine (~15-1600RPM cold, ~750RPM warm), and otherwise act normal.
Around this time, a mechanic friend of mine took a look at it, and ended up replacing the main relay before I got it back. It seemed like everything was fixed! Not for long, though. The same problem came back, and got worse. CE light started to come on once in a while. It would only start when ice cold, after not running for a long time. Now it doesn't feel like starting at all...HALP!!*
I've looked online all over the place, trying to figure out probable causes and how to diagnose it. Here's what I've come up with:
- I checked the engine codes and come back with a code 43, indicating a fuel/sensor problem (I only look at the CE light, right? the ABS blinks a few times as well on the check)
- Dash light check before starting the car: seems like pump doesn't hiss, but CE light goes off when it should, all the time. I think it used to hiss when starting before, but I only notice when I listen for it, and I've only started listening for it lately....
- Research of probable causes often points to master relay, but it was just replaced so that seems to rule it out. I can check for continuity and any malfunction if you guys think it can still be an issue, though.
- If not the relay, I'm thinking...fuel pump? Some sort of sensor (O2)? ECM gone funky?
* Today, after it refused to start for anything, I bought some engine start spray and hit up the air intake with some. It started up! Could be a coinkidink, but might support the fuel problem theory?
If you read through all this, you're awesome! Any help and ideas would be very, very much appreciated. I'm on a very limited budget and have few tools; extra bonus points, a freshly-baked cookie, and two tickets to the internets to anyone who helps me fix this MacGuyver style, using household items such as a paperclip and rubberband :D
...and happy Thanksgiving