Honda Civic / Del Sol (1992 - 2000) EG/EH/EJ/EK/EM1 Discussion

Question: need help on 97 civic engine light...

Old 08-02-2004, 06:58 PM
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Default Question: need help on 97 civic engine light...

Hello All,

First off, I'm not very knowledgable on Hondas, so my apologies for incorrect terminology, model designations, etc. My girlfriend has an auto '97 Civic EX (I think it's an EX - the 1.6L no var timing one) with about 85K on it. About 4 months ago, she complained to me that it didn't seem to have the power it once had. So I ran a few simple tests and found that one of her plug wires wasn't conducting very well (failed ohm meter test). So I replaced the wire set with aftermarket parts from Autozone (don't remember the brand) and all was well. I also replaced the distributor rotor because her's looked rusted. I was a hero and the car was fine. This car is used every day and has been fine since.

This afternoon she called me and said that when she started it this morning, it sputtered and the check engine light came on. She had all ready talked to Honda (who recommended she bring it in immediately). I haven't seen/heard the car yet - but Honda did look at it this afternoon and told her that aftermarket wires often screw up the check engine sensors. They didn't seem to care that the car had been running fine for 4 months. For reasons I don't understand, they said that they are willing to replace all of the parts (wires and dist rotor) under her Honda warranty (which I thought was up?) for free. The catch is that if the 'check engine light' light stays on, they will have to start checking the fuel injectors (at the cost of $325/each). They also told her this would be very hit and miss - i.e. - they would check cylinder 1 first...if it was fine, cylinder 2, etc.

So a few questions to the experts:
1) Are aftermarket parts incompatable with Honda sensors? I could see this being the case if the check engine light came on when I first installed them, but 4 months later?

2) I'm I missing something or would it be pretty easy to tell which cylinder isn't firing (the one with the plug that's covered with gas, etc) and at a minimum check that fuel injector first?

3) Does it really cost $325 to check a honda fuel injector?

4) How tough is this to check? Can I save myself (ok, her) $1300 here? She's had pretty good luck with this dealer, but from someone who's been screwed by many a stealer, this sounds a little like a scam to me...

Any help is appreciated! TIA!

Update since I first wrote this: Honda did replace the rotor and plug wires - totally for free today and the check engine light went off. They basically had no explaination other than the aftermarket parts don't sometimes work well. So her car seems fine - but I'm still curious. Any comments welcome. Thanks!

Battman (Honda owner in law).
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Old 08-02-2004, 07:04 PM
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1.) No, aftermarket parts ARE compatible with hondas as long as they are installed right.
2.) That quote to check the injectors is rediculous. Maybe you misunderstood but if you didn't I would be REALLY upset with them for quoting you that much. You can get 4 new ones for a fraction of that price.
3.) You should find out what code the car is throwing first to see for yourself what is wrong. Then we can help you with ways to fix the problem yourself without having to deal with shady *** dealers and their service departments.
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Old 08-02-2004, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Question: need help on 97 civic engine light... (battman)

Thanks for the girlfriend said the dealer told her the code was "engine missing"...but that they couldn't find any engine miss. I asked her to get the parts, and hopefully she has them. Not sure if it will matter much now, but it's always nice to prove my innocence!

Thanks again!
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