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Old 05-26-2010   #1
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99 Civic LX engine issue

I was just driving my car today after replacing the rotors, as everyone advised me to (by the way they feel great now!)... and I noticed when I had the A/C on.. my engine lost a lot of power...

then.. on my way home I was going up a hill and my CEL started flashing and I noticed my car was barely moving.. it was kinda jumping along as if it had too much fuel going to it or something... it just wasn't driving right.

I turned off the A/C and a bit of power was restored.. but it was still doing the same thing.. I put it in neutral and revved the engine a bit and it was still doing it.. kinda like it was stepping it's way up the RPMs.

It was very hot out today and I've had issues like this when it's wet or really humid out but never when it was dry and hot.. so I'm not sure if it's the spark plugs and wires or not.. I took one of the plug wires out and noticed near the bottom that the plastic / rubber had cracked.. but it seems like everything is still well connected.

Just wanna find out what's wrong, I get paid tomorrow so I plan on using about $80 to fix whatever might be wrong with it but unfortunately that's all I can spare for right now.

I'll put up a video in a little while if I can
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Old 05-26-2010   #2
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

A blinking CEL indicates random misfiring severe enough to damage the catalytic converter. You don't want to continue to drive a Civic with a blinking CEL. When were the plugs, wires, cap, and rotor last replaced?
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Old 05-26-2010   #3
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

hey Ron...

At the last tuneup which was about 2 years ago.... approx 65,000 miles ago

Only today did it really start acting up like this ... give me about 5-10 minutes i'll upload a video i just made
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Old 05-26-2010   #4
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

Here ya go..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Myw-UELi6I

Quality is a bit crappy but i'm sure you'll still be able to hear it.. I took the airbox off so you could hear it a bit clearer
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Old 05-26-2010   #5
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

You need a tune up ASAP. It's way past due.

And pull the CEL code.
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Old 05-26-2010   #6
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

alright.

I know the steady CEL is for my cat converter.. I plan on using one of those Spark Plug non-foulers since I don't have too much money and my county doesn't require an emissions inspection (lucky me). I can't afford a new cat right now.. unfortunately that's the world of walmart (though they do give out $400 bonuses at the end of every quarter).. but yeah I pulled the CEL about two months ago using the paperclip / flashing method and it was some Cat Converter inefficiency error or something like that... it's got almost 300,000 miles on it anyway though.. so It would probably need to be replaced anyway.

I think I can do a tune up myself for around $100 with parts from the auto store (wires, plugs, cap and rotor) unfortunately i'll only have about $80 for a couple weeks.
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Old 05-26-2010   #7
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

do you happen to know how long distributor cap/rotor lasts? I heard that's what usually gets replaced with a tuneup.. I see a distributor will be at least $140... Or is this probably just going to be a trial by error thing? I think I'll probably change the wires and plugs right away and see if it helps.. then if I can wait two weeks i'll have a lot more money I can take it to a shop and have them check over it

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Old 05-26-2010   #8
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

A distributor has no life expectancy. It lasts until it fails. You don't want to throw a dizzy at a car unless you know it's faulty because it's an expensive part. Do your cap/rotor/plugs/wires/air filter/fuel filter.. stuff like that for now. I think your problem might be a plugged catalytic converter though.
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Old 05-26-2010   #9
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

I noticed the two spark plugs furthest from the distributor are dirty on top.. the other two are not. I'm going to pull them out clean them up make sure they're gapped correctly then put everything back together to see what might happen.. if it can hold me for another two days I will buy new ones
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Old 05-26-2010   #10
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

i actually drove the car for about 5k miles with the cat CEL on.. didn't seem to change the engine performance.. it also only comes on during high way driving.. i drove it around for 2 months with it off after getting it inspected.. (if i reset it by disconnecting the battery it will stay off for a while) but it popped on as soon as I went about 70 while on the highway for about 15 miles.
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Old 05-26-2010   #11
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

^Sounds even more now like a cat problem.
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Old 05-26-2010   #12
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

Well.. this was easy enough.. I found out why it was missing.. it was the 3rd cylinder from the distributor.. and it was the spark plug it wasn't even tight .. I actually took it out by hand without even a socketwrench, I cleaned everything up and cleaned the wires and it seems to be running fine again but I'm definitely going to invest in new plugs/wires tomorrow.

Thanks for your help everyone.
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Old 05-26-2010   #13
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbohar View Post
ur cap/rotor/plugs/wires/air filter/fuel filter.. stuff like that for now. I think your problem might be a plugged catalytic converter though.
might be a plugged catalytic converter.. what's that mean?
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Old 05-26-2010   #14
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkablack View Post
might be a plugged catalytic converter.. what's that mean?
Severe engine misfiring can lead to release of unburnt fuel into the exhaust, which can melt the substrate material inside the catalytic converter. A clogged cat can cause a loss of power.

Your first order of business, however, is the fix/eliminate the misfire problem. Then worry about the cat.
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Old 05-26-2010   #15
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

Thanks, that's what I will do tomorrow, I figure I'll start with the plugs and wires then move on.. I hope it fixes the problem.

Is there a way for me to test each individual spark plug wire to make sure power is actually coming out of the distributor?

The car basically doesn't accellerate up hills or when there's any kind of real load on it.. it is obviously misfiring.. anyone know anything about cleaning EGR ports or whether I might have to replace ignition coils?
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Old 05-26-2010   #16
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

Another thing.. it's only really started becoming a pain today.. it's hot out and plus it's got a tank full of fuel injector cleaner/gas.. might cause it to run hotter.. any other ideas?
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Old 05-26-2010   #17
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

By the way, I said the problem went away.. it only kind of went away.. the vehicle has more power now, but it's still misfiring.. when I took it to Autozone today it was a P1399- Manufactures control Ignition system OR Misfire code.... I will replace the spark plugs tomorrow but i'm not sure if they're the issue, I cleaned them out and stuff but I still have the problem.
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Old 05-26-2010   #18
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

I thought a plugged cat would cause misfire. It does sound like there are multiple things going on here though. Do your basic tuneup and work from there. You will never know if its running right if your cat is messed up though.
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Old 05-26-2010   #19
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

I just took of the distributor cap and checked the rotor and such.. no signs of anything bad going on.. unfortunately I broke two of the bolts that held the cap on =( I was hardly even trying and they just snapped.. even after spraying them, sad.

Looks like now I will be up early tomorrow morning drilling them out and getting it bolted back on, then I'll replace the wires and plugs to see if that might help.. but from what it looks like.. it could be something else
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Old 05-26-2010   #20
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

I'll let anyone who cares know about the updates in the morning. I pray it's just a bad spark plug
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

We care We wanna know!
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Old 05-26-2010   #22
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

P1399 is a random misfire code. Did you inspect the contact points inside the cap and on the rotor?
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Old 05-26-2010   #23
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

Yes sir, they actually look good.. no corrosion, burn marks or anything, looks like new
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Old 05-26-2010   #24
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

Apparently my searching has lead me to believe that Distributor cap bolts almost always break off pretty easily.
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

Yea, they are pretty flimsy to begin with and of poor quality. Especially if it's an aftermarket cheap **** cap. See what cheap parts get ya? lol.
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Old 05-26-2010   #26
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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

yeye, although my pops owned it when it was last replaced, he took it to the dealer so it's honda parts I believe, I just heard those bolts always break even people who are just installing them and got it from honda

anyway.. I have a question.. would - P1399- Manufactures control Ignition system OR Misfire, which some people said also means "random misfire" make it more likely that it might not be just a spark plug, but the distributor or something like that? My distributor actually was replaced at the last tune up (bout 60,000 miles ago) which was why the tune up cost almost 280 dollars. Wouldn't it also give off a P0301-0304 or what ever code it is for a single cylinder if it was a single bad spark plug?

I know i'm overdue for a spark plug change and wires but frankly they don't actually look all that bad

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Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

If you don't think its any of that crap get the injectors cleaned. 60k miles is a long time for a tuneup tho.
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Old 05-27-2010   #28
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dkablack is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: 99 Civic LX engine issue

it was just the plugs..

Thank god..

I will get a proper tune up in two weeks, thanks to everyone who helped out.

Car is also idling low now.. maybe because I reset the computer?
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Old 05-27-2010
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