Question about 1997 Honda Civic

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At lower RPMs it is rough running with slight amount of smoke until warm and there is a loss of power at the bottom end of the gears. Once a certain rpm is reached (no tach) it snaps to life. New plug

I have had issues in the past with the car dying when I engage the clutch slowing down, for example approaching a stoplight. It always fires back up immediately, and drives fine until the next time. Today as I was leaving work, it started sputtering and running really rough at idle with small amounts of smoke, which I thought was unusual and it died twice but fired right back up. On my way home, from a dead stop until 3500-4000 rpms (est), it was sluggish and shuddering and then once I'd hit that certain rmp, it would snap back to life and drive like nothing was wrong? I stopped on the way home and grabbed new plugs thinking one might not be firing and put new ones in and still getting the same thing. The car has never ran hot, the oil was fine and the coolant level was fine. The smoke is throwing me off here so I'm wondering if it might be fuel related? I'm not sure when the filter or pump was last changed, but thought maybe a clogged filter could be causing some of these symptoms also? Thanks for your help!

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Replace fuel filter and check fuel pressure should be 28 - 36 psi.clean fuel injectors.your ignition timing off need adjusting and readjust idle speed should be 650 - 750 rpm.if all fails could have faulty engine coolant sensor or faulty oxygen sensor.

Posted on Jan 24, 2013

  • 1 more comment 
  • Trent Grubaugh Jan 24, 2013

    I'm gonna try that today and see if it helps any.... since I purchased the car in the last 12 months i'm not sure when the last time was it got replaced. I'll put it in and check back with ya! Thanks!

  • Trent Grubaugh Jan 25, 2013

    I went and had the codes checked on my car today. It did pull a code for the o2 sensor as well as codes for misfires in all 4 cylinders... I replaced the fuel filter today as well as the distributor cap / rotor and it's still running rough... Unfortunately, I didn't have the funds to get plug wires and an o2 sensor also, so tomorrow I'm gonna get those and see if that resolves the issue. Still though, would a bad o2 sensor cause a misfire in all 4 cylinders or is that possibly from something I replaced already? (note: the old plugs were in really bad shape as well as the cap and rotor had a lot of corrosion too)

  • Jonah Oneal Jan 25, 2013

    what did spark plugs look like do they have carbon or oil on the plug electrode.spark plugs can tell you condition engine in.bad oxygen sensor will cause rich fuel mixture foul out spark plugs. dont spend all money one time.when i trouble shoot vechicle i make sure engine in top knotch shape good tune up oxygen sensor could cause engine misfire because rich fuel mixture if your engine has a vacuum leak that will cause engine run richer.but check fuel pressure make sure fuel pressure okay.spend little money at a time buy new ignition coil. weak ignition coil will cause engine misfire tight every where just buy part a time.if all fail do a engine compression could have low compression cylinders.


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What color is the smoke?
Black means running rich.
Gray or white is coolant
Blue is oil.
This shounds to me like a fuel system issue. Injectors might be bad

Posted on Jan 23, 2013

  • 2 more comments 
  • Trent Grubaugh Jan 24, 2013

    It was a white or light gray color. The coolant wasn't at any lower than what it's been in the past though? And if it is the injectors going bad, wouldn't it die at random times, opposed to being predictable, like when Im slowing down or at low rpms?

  • Trent Grubaugh Jan 24, 2013

    What I'm trying to say is, with bad injectors, would it snap back to life once i hit that "certain" rpm or would it act up regardless of the rmps?

  • Brad Brown Jan 24, 2013

    If the injectors get plugged and are not closing all the way or they are worn at a certain point, they put out too much fuel. But when the RPM gets to a certain point, it can deal with that fuel and it appears to run good. Are you checking the coolant in the radiator and not the reservoir?

  • Trent Grubaugh Jan 24, 2013

    yes sir that's where I checked it.



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