Question about 1988 Honda Accord 4 Door

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1988 Honda Accord LXI Not Starting

My 88 Honda Accord died while driving on the highway. There was no sign of a problem prior and had just gotten an oil change. No trouble lights or dash lights came on when it died. After I pulled over and tried to restart it then the dash lights operated as normal while the engine turned over but would not fire. I took it to a Honda dealer. The mechanic stated the car had spark and gas. He supposidely did a compression check and said the engine had bad compression in 2 of the 4 cylinders. I asked about a diagnostic code and he stated the car is to old to have a code. Is this true? I was billed for a "World Class Inspection"! THe mechanic never even called me after he looked at the car to let me know the problem. When I went to the talk to the mechanic....he said he doesent remember working on the car! I had the motor rebuild on this car 20,000 miles ago.

You opinions and expertise in this matter is greatly appreciated as I decide whether or not to believe this mechanic and junk the car for a bad engine.


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  • peggyk64 Oct 18, 2008

    The compression test ratio's the mechanic provided to me were #1-100psi, #2-135psi, #3-70psi, and #4-155psi. Alot of variation in the psi amounst the 4 cylinders. I was wondering if it is true that the car is too old to provide ECU codes? Thanks for your help and I too feel that the car is savable but?

  • peggyk64 Dec 07, 2008

    Timing Belt? I had checked this by removing the oil fill cap on the engine and while turning the car over I could see that the crank shaft was operating. I assume this tells me the timing belt isent broken. Is there a possibility that the timing belt could have slipped without breaking which could cause the compression varience in the cylinders? If so, is there a way to trouble shoot a bad belt without physically inspecting it to determine if this could be the problem?

  • tony yeatman
    tony yeatman May 11, 2010

    You may want to get a compression test done that you can see for yourself.Compression testers are cheap and simple to use.The car will run reasonably at 130psi but any lower and its not too flash.Can you have the test done where you can watch and have them write each cylinders pressure on a piece of paper?They should all be within 2-5 psi Its hard to believe that a vehicle that has only done 20,000 has given up



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Its possible you have a problem with the valves and not the bottm end You would have to take the rocker cover off to see if the valves are adjusted properly As time goes by the valves slowly sink into the head and get too tight against the rocker arm,The end result is that the valves open too soon and close too late.Because it is happening to the cylinders that they are it means tight valves because of the pattern that they have failed in.Could also be head gasket.But before letting the crusher get it its worth checking.If one cylinder is still capable of making 155psi then the other cylinders should be able to.I believe your problem has something to do with the head.Thanx anyway

Posted on Oct 18, 2008

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Have you checked you timing belt. that would explaing the huge variances in compression

Posted on Dec 06, 2008


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