Misfire/Distributor issue - Honda Civic Forum

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Misfire/Distributor issue

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Old 05-16-2018
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Question Misfire/Distributor issue

I have a 2000 DX, 1.6. For awhile it would have issues at take off after hitting a big puddle or in heavy rain. It would dry out pretty quick and run fine but now it's doing it when it's dry. I did notice a new oil leak right on the distributor from what looks like a bad valve cover gasket. Question is, do you think I need a whole new distributor or just the cap, rotor and maybe seal? I know I have to replace the valve cover gasket but I'm on a tight budget for now. Already put new plug wires on.TIA
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Re: Misfire/Distributor issue

Originally Posted by mbutler734 View Post
I have a 2000 DX, 1.6. For awhile it would have issues at take off after hitting a big puddle or in heavy rain. It would dry out pretty quick and run fine but now it's doing it when it's dry. I did notice a new oil leak right on the distributor from what looks like a bad valve cover gasket. Question is, do you think I need a whole new distributor or just the cap, rotor and maybe seal? I know I have to replace the valve cover gasket but I'm on a tight budget for now. Already put new plug wires on.TIA
Could also be the distributor o-ring leaking oil as well. post up pictures and maybe we can help narrow it down.

You can use a spray bottle full of water to mist different areas with the engine running to see if anything happens.
cap could have a crack in it, or the gasket could be bad
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Old 05-16-2018
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Re: Misfire/Distributor issue

Misfire or won't run when damp..... a good quality cap/rotor/wire set should fix it.

Oil leaks, the distributor base has an O ring seal where it enters the cylinder head and is probably less than five bucks.

BIG issue is when the distributor has been leaking oil it soaks the heater hose right below and ruins the hose...It gets soft and swollen and eventually bursts and ends up causing major damage if you don't get it shut down immediately.
If that hose has been soaking in oil, replace it now before it strands you.

If oil is getting inside the distributor and oil pours out when you remove the cap, it needs a distributor replacement (unless you want to try to find and install a shaft seal)

Valve cover gasket you probably already checked prices on, etc.
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Old 05-17-2018
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Re: Misfire/Distributor issue

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Misfire or won't run when damp..... a good quality cap/rotor/wire set should fix it.

Oil leaks, the distributor base has an O ring seal where it enters the cylinder head and is probably less than five bucks.

BIG issue is when the distributor has been leaking oil it soaks the heater hose right below and ruins the hose...It gets soft and swollen and eventually bursts and ends up causing major damage if you don't get it shut down immediately.
If that hose has been soaking in oil, replace it now before it strands you.

If oil is getting inside the distributor and oil pours out when you remove the cap, it needs a distributor replacement (unless you want to try to find and install a shaft seal)

Valve cover gasket you probably already checked prices on, etc.
Originally Posted by Colin42 View Post
Could also be the distributor o-ring leaking oil as well. post up pictures and maybe we can help narrow it down.

You can use a spray bottle full of water to mist different areas with the engine running to see if anything happens.
cap could have a crack in it, or the gasket could be bad
what's weird is it runs fine until a few miles down the road. Could it be the oil building up on the sensor connections?

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Re: Misfire/Distributor issue

You already got new wires? Replace the cap and rotor


If you want to prove something..... wait til the dark of night, open the hood with it running, watch the dist cap while you snap the throttle quick enough to force it to cut out or miss. It's gotta be quick enough to make it miss. It's kinda neat to be able to watch the sparks jump LOL

You may be able to SEE sparks jumping on the outside of the cap (probably somewhere along that center rib that sticks out)


Otherwise, careful misting of water can help locate the insulation breach.
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