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Old 05-16-2009, 03:34 PM   #1
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Default Car randomly dies while driving/idling

When I'm driving along, the car will suddenly die. No sputter, no nothing, just dead. This happened a few times and I just took it to honda. They claimed it was the cap/rotor and then now the ignitor.

The issue I have with their diagnosis (they replaced cap/rotor), is I replaced the entire distributor in Oct 2007. Not to mention I just opened it up and it looks practically brand new in there.

Does anyone have any ideas on what this could be? I suspect it could be a shorted wire or something as I've noticed it tends to happen when it's wet/humid outside.

No CELs either.

Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 05-16-2009, 03:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

Sounds like an igniter problem. Has the problem been determined to be spark related?
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Old 05-16-2009, 03:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

I'm thinking ignitor also. been there, chased that.

Surprised it only lasted a short time.

Next time find a local mechanic, there much cheaper.
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Old 05-16-2009, 03:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

Well I tend to smell gas when it dies.

Keep in mind I replaced the whole distributor in Oct '07, and I opened it up and it all looks brand new.

Here's a pic; I know, crappy. :/
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Old 05-16-2009, 04:07 PM   #5
 
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

i had a similiar problem. it was the switch on the steering wheel column when you turn the key. my mechanic told me the electronics contact was loose or something like that and if it short while your driving the engine will cut off. Ended up costing me about 80 bucks to repair the thing and now my car runs great.

oh yea other people told me it was the distributor/rotor/ingitor too but it wasn't that. so check the switch thing...
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

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Originally Posted by egsix408 View Post
i had a similiar problem. it was the switch on the steering wheel column when you turn the key. my mechanic told me the electronics contact was loose or something like that and if it short while your driving the engine will cut off. Ended up costing me about 80 bucks to repair the thing and now my car runs great.

oh yea other people told me it was the distributor/rotor/ingitor too but it wasn't that. so check the switch thing...

Hmm, that is interesting... I will definitely keep that in mind. I'm going to put in the ignition coil tomorrow. I'll try to see if wiggling the key maybe does anything.

Thanks
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Old 05-17-2009, 02:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

Ok, so I changed out the ignition coil (OEM #30510-Pt2-006). According to searching on here, that's what is considered the ignitor.

This definitely didn't fix it. I drove the car, within 5 minutes the car died. I noticed that I smelled gas when I first started the car, and when the car finally died, I smelled burning. I'm going to pull my plugs as soon as the car cools down and check for any fouled plugs.

Anyone have any further ideas? I'm not 100% what this is... Could the ECU shut off the engine to protect itself due to heat? I'm noticing 9/10 times this has happened when the car is waiting at a stop light/sign, thus letting whatever heat build up.
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Old 05-17-2009, 03:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

i had this problem before...it was the alternator. might try getting that check out at a local part store.
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Old 05-17-2009, 03:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

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i had this problem before...it was the alternator. might try getting that check out at a local part store.
Interesting point, but I'm not losing power or have any issues starting up. I'm not sure how it could be the alternator. I will get it tested regardless at autozone.

Thanks
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Old 05-17-2009, 03:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

Not sure if this will help, but here is a pic of the spark plugs pulled.
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Old 05-17-2009, 04:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

Plugs look normal.

A faulty Main Relay could be the culprit...
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

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Originally Posted by mcvtec View Post
Plugs look normal.

A faulty Main Relay could be the culprit...
How would I check that?
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

same problem, changed the dist. and everything, then moved on to the fuel system with no avail. i didnt think it would be the IACV or pcv, but when i cleaned the iacv everything was back to normal. i had past issues with iacv's and i was sure it wasnt the culprit... but it was
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

Test the main relay as described here: http://www.honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=2554010

Also, check the spark plug wires for any cracks or anything abnormal.
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Old 05-17-2009, 07:41 PM   #15
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

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Originally Posted by BigDem1 View Post
same problem, changed the dist. and everything, then moved on to the fuel system with no avail. i didnt think it would be the IACV or pcv, but when i cleaned the iacv everything was back to normal. i had past issues with iacv's and i was sure it wasnt the culprit... but it was

Well, I took the IACV off and cleaned it the best I could. I didn't have any brake cleaner handy, so I used water and a paper towel and cleaned what I could.

I drove the car for 20 minutes and couldn't get the issue to happen.

This looks promising, but I'm not declaring this fixed just yet. It's pretty cold out tonight, and since I smelled something burning before I want to test during the day when it's warm.

Fingers are crossed.
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

So some friends and I were testing electrical stuff last night. We tested the main relay bla bla bla.

Somehow one of my friends managed to trip the issue while the car was running. Complete lack of spark and voltage.

We tested the ignition control module and it looked like the culprit. I swapped it and the car is running much smoother now with more power.

It looks like the issue is solved.

Thanks for everyone's help.
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:25 PM   #17
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

is the ignition control module in your dizzy??? if not where is it, im having this same problem, cant seem to figure it out. Thinking i got to change the distributor but im broke.. Any cheap fixes???
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:36 PM   #18
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

Yes, the ICM is inside the distributor.
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:39 PM   #19
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

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Ok, so I changed out the ignition coil (OEM #30510-Pt2-006). According to searching on here, that's what is considered the ignitor.

This definitely didn't fix it.
Igniter, igniter unit, and ICM (ignition control module) refer to the same thing and are different from the coil.
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:02 PM   #20
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanisher View Post
So some friends and I were testing electrical stuff last night. We tested the main relay bla bla bla.

Somehow one of my friends managed to trip the issue while the car was running. Complete lack of spark and voltage.

We tested the ignition control module and it looked like the culprit. I swapped it and the car is running much smoother now with more power.

It looks like the issue is solved.

Thanks for everyone's help.
So, I realize this was a year ago, but I'm having the same problem and wondered if the ICM was actually the culprit? I replaced the main relay switch in my 1990 Civic a few years ago, but the problem I'm having now isn't quite the same as it was when that needed doing. Back then, the car would idle low and then die while coming to a stop or sitting stopped. Now it just suddenly dies in the middle of driving, no shudder, no shaking, no jerking, no warning, usually while I'm driving at a steady speed (like in the middle of a busy freeway), but sometimes also in the middle of accelerating. The check engine light comes on as soon as it dies. It will crank(? make the starting sound) but not turn over and start, unless I sit there for a bit, usually around 2-5 minutes, but it has restarted immediately once (today).

When I first get in my car and turn the key without starting the car, the check engine light comes on for 2-3 seconds, and at the same time, I hear what I think is the fuel pump also come on. It goes off the same time the check engine light does. I'm unemployed and can't really afford to pay a mechanic to guess and make repairs I don't need, so any help you guys can offer is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Jenie
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Old 06-27-2010, 03:24 AM   #21
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

I would start by testing the coil, then the ICM.



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Old 07-17-2010, 04:50 PM   #22
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

Pepboys (I know; not my decision) says it was the distributor. We'll see...
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:27 AM   #23
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

It was the distributor. I don't know which part; they replaced the whole thing.
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:24 AM   #24
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

thanks I am having he same issue on my sons 98 EK with it dieing coming to a stop. Never did it while driving but going to check these things out and hope for the best.
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:54 PM   #25
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Default Re: Car randomly dies while driving/idling

i just bought a ef with the same prob,,, randomly dies while driving,, or starts n dies,,,then within a few min well start up when it please's :/
i replaced fuel filter,spark plugs,spark plug wires,ran better,,but same prob kept poping up
so ima shoot with dizzy prob. after reading this post,,
and if its not im just goin too crash it into a wall lol
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