Civic cut off going 70mph on Hwy!!!! - Fuelly Forums

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Old 07-04-2008, 06:42 AM   #1
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Civic cut off going 80mph on Hwy!!!!

Hello everyone,

I'm trying to nail down exactly what went wrong and what needs to be replaced. I was on the hwy going 80mph everything was smooth until all of a sudden it lost power, sputtered a little, and then cut off. I then had to coast to the other side of the highway. I tried to start it and the starter sounded fine like it normally does, but it just wouldn't turn over. I had to then get it towed to my house and now I'm trying to figure what I need to replace or look at. I remember I had a similiar problem with an accord I had and whatever it was, it was a common issue on older Hondas when its really hot out. I'm in Ga, so you know its really hot down here. I dont remember if it was the main relay or something else. I know someone has experienced this before and would like some help jogging my brain to get this resolved.

Thanks everyone!!!
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:53 AM   #2
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Please clarify your terminology.
Quote:
I tried to start it and the starter sounded fine like it normally does, but it just wouldn't turn over.
If "the starter sounded fine" I suspect that it was turning over but not firing. Is that correct?

Turning over means the starter turns the crankshaft. Firing is when it catches, which allows you to quit making the starter turn. At least, that's the way I was taught, but lately I see lots of posts on automotive forums using it the way you seem to have used it.

Air, fuel, spark. Got those?
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smccall View Post
I'm trying to nail down exactly what went wrong and what needs to be replaced. I was on the hwy going 80mph everything was smooth until all of a sudden it lost power, sputtered a little, and then cut off. I then had to coast to the other side of the highway. I tried to start it and the starter sounded fine like it normally does, but it just wouldn't turn over.
A shot in the dark, but check your coil ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignition_coil ).

And if it's not the coil, check out the rest of the car's electrical system, to make sure you are getting proper "spark" to the spark plugs (and that the plugs are in good shape). Because unless you are getting consistent/proper spark in your engine, your fuel won't ignite, and therefore you won't be going anywhere!

I speak from experience here, as a few years back I had almost exactly the same thing happen during city traffic in my CRX. I was going fine, and then I heard a "pop" that sounded like a brief "backfire" (even though I've got a fuel injected vehicle), and (after that) I could no longer accelerate (i.e. the engine just died IN TRAFFIC). I pulled to the side of the road, and while I seemed to have a lot of electrical power in the battery (i.e. the starter motor was making a good faith effort to turn the engine over), it just wouldn't start.

I had the car towed to my home (having the premium "gold" AAA service can be handy sometimes, as I didn't have to pay a penny to have the car towed about 40 miles away), and later had my mechanic look at it. Sure enough, the coil was visibly damaged (it looked like it was from internal electrical arcing in the device), and that was preventing any spark from getting to the spark plugs (which was preventing the car from running). Replacing the coil (and also replacing the spark plug wires, for good measure) fixed the problem, and the car has been running fine since.

The key point here, is that the "ignition" portion of your car (the portion of your car's electrical system needed to produce "spark" for the engine) is key to having the engine run. And if some portion of that electrical system goes, you will be dead in the water until you get it fixed. And I can tell you from personal experience, that some of these component (such as the coil) can blow without warning while you are in traffic...
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
Please clarify your terminology.

If "the starter sounded fine" I suspect that it was turning over but not firing. Is that correct?

Turning over means the starter turns the crankshaft. Firing is when it catches, which allows you to quit making the starter turn. At least, that's the way I was taught, but lately I see lots of posts on automotive forums using it the way you seem to have used it.

Air, fuel, spark. Got those?
Yes you are correct
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:50 AM   #5
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DracoFelis, I think you may have nailed it. I think that was the problem I had on my accord. My situation was exactly the same. The brief backfire and then loss of power. Is the ignition coil something I could replace on my own?
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:37 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by smccall View Post
DracoFelis, I think you may have nailed it. I think that was the problem I had on my accord. My situation was exactly the same. The brief backfire and then loss of power. Is the ignition coil something I could replace on my own?
It's fairly easy to replace. it's right under the distributor cap. get a haynes repair manual and it can show you how to do it. it shouldn't take more than 20 minutes to replace. try an Accel Supercoil as a replacement, 50 to 60 bucks but delivers more spark to your sparkplugs.
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:51 AM   #7
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There was a post a few weeks ago with links to lots of repair manuals for Hondas.

You can view the service manual on autozone.com or borrow one from a local library, too.
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Old 07-04-2008, 09:16 AM   #8
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Thanks civic matic 00 and theholycow for your responses. I'm going to Autozone to pickup an ignition coil and look around for some manuals. If its not the coil, then it must be main relay.
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Old 07-04-2008, 09:22 AM   #9
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Check the following:

Coil (should be larger than the distributor, not IN it), cap & rotor. I'd replace all three at the same time. Had the exact same problem on a CRX and had to walk home about 5 miles on my 30th birthday. Quick fix once it was light and could see the issues. Cap & rotor should be replaced if they are not new and you replace the coil.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:46 AM   #10
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Why oh why do people work on their cars without the proper tools or information? The Honda service manual is the best source I've found, even though it is lacking in detail sometimes - find it here:

http://hondatech.info/downloads/Auto/Manuals
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