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Old 08-13-2011, 12:50 AM   #21
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Re: moist air causing cough in Cvic VX when engine cold

Add-
The sender is the float operated electrical signal that feeds the fuel gauge on the dash. Maybe my word sender isn't right for this purpose?

I read the one about the crx. In fact, my VX had the same need for resolidering the main relay a while back. The reason I didn't suggest it is the symptoms are:
No start after hot or cold, more likely after hot. No sputtering or coughing, just all out crank but no fire dead. When it gets bad, it starts happening when driving down the road; the car will die just for a split second, then catch. Then it dies for a second or two, and gets worse as time goes on.

1993civicvx-
I agree, worth a look on the timing belt. It's not hard to see, pull the 5 valve cover bolts and the two bolts on the plastic cover, spin the harmonic balancer (trans in neutral) and watch to make sure there are no missing teeth in the belt. If the belt is excessively loose, replace tensioner or water pump, reset timing. Indeed, the VX is an interference engine and would see head/valve damage at the least if the belt isn't right on the money.


Before replacing the pump, consider the FPR. There's a test in the haynes manual, I think it involves pulling the vacuum line while running (or trying to run, in the current case) and see if gas is present. If so, replace the FPR as the diaphragm has a leak internally. If not, try pulling a vacuum with your mouth (or vacuum pump, or whatever). Usually this is done on a car that runs, but the result is the same. If the idle (or almost idle) rises, the FPR is likely working correctly.

Test the harness at the fuel pump. Hondas are known for having cruddy grounds near the fuel pump.

Make certain you hear that pump priming for 2 seconds at key "on." If not, listen for 2 clicks under the dash just after key "on." If no clicks, resolider/replace the main relay. If no pump priming sound, check harness/replace pump/inspect fuses for intermittent failure.

My vote is fuel pump. It sounds to me like the car has been fuel starved for a while; it just got better for a bit when it got new ignition parts and was burning what little fuel it was getting more efficiently.

When was the last time the timing belt was replaced? Was the tensioner/water pump done then?
When was the last time the fuel filter was replaced? A severely clogged filter could cause similar symptoms.

HC-
Good advice on relieving pressure. I don't honestly remember if the VX keeps system pressure after shut down.... I presume it does. IIRC, it wasn't a lot of pressure and didn't make a big spray or anything when I pulled the high pressure line.....

Good luck!
B
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:43 AM   #22
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Re: moist air causing cough in Cvic VX when engine cold

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Originally Posted by add|ct View Post
PS: What is the difference between a fuel pump and fuel sender?
Back in the days of the VX it maybe still just meant the float and sensor that operate the fuel gauge. In modern vehicles "fuel sender module" now means that stuff PLUS the fuel pump and anything else directly integrated. I find it quite annoying but that's what the manufacturers call it.
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:36 AM   #23
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Re: moist air causing cough in Cvic VX when engine cold

^Ah, I see. This has been quite an informative thread.

PS: If the OP goes on RockAuto and looks for a replacement fuel pump, right now the Denso offering(WITH replacement strainer/sock included), is cheaper than the kit without the strainer. Both are on RA, but the Denso kit w/ strainer is not in the Fuel Pump section, it's under the Fuel Pump Mounting Kit section.

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,ca...,parttype,6238

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,ca...,parttype,6256

^Also, it seems that the Bosch part has gotten good reviews so far on AAP if you look up the same part there. It's actually cheaper if you can get the Denso from AAP and use the discount code for most savings(which may mean getting the pre-discount total over $100.)...
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:53 AM   #24
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Re: moist air causing cough in Cvic VX when engine cold

http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/3151/civcspecs.png

40 pump psi needed.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:00 PM   #25
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Re: moist air causing cough in Cvic VX when engine cold

Hey guys, thanks all for the posts. The timing belt was done I think shortly after I got the car (4th quarter '07), but I'll have to double check that. If I did do the timing belt (and I'm not even sure I did) I don't think the water pump was done. So that would be maybe 60+ thousand miles? I don't really know how many miles I drive a year (probably around 18-20 is my guess) my odometer works when it wants to (50%-60% of the time?). I'm pretty sure the mechanic tested the fuel pump and said that was not the culprit. Just now I tried starting the car and I heard a noise I hadn't heard before, but it didn't repeat (it was a one time thing). The sound was sort of like when you turn the key off and then on again too soon and you get that high-strung ignition sound, but it wasn't that.. it was less high-strung sounding and more high pitched, but whirr-like sounding. I do hear the fuel pump come on when I turn the key to on.

I went back to the shop on Friday morning and the car drove flawlessly there. I didn't do any EOC just to be sure that wasn't exacerbating things. There wasn't so much as a hiccup all the way to the shop. I explained to him the problems I was having since he fixed it, of the hesitation coming back and the stalling and not starting etc. I also confessed to him my habit of EOCing. He said that EOCing probably not causing problems, but to maybe not do it for awhile until the car is running well again. He said the fuel pump wasn't the problem and that maybe moisture in the tank was causing the problems to continue after he replaced the plugwires and distributor, so he gave me a free bottle of drygas. I added it to the tank but when I drove away, all the problems came back again of stuttering etc. Once I got on the highway things improved a bit as described in the paragraph below.

One interesting thing to note is that since the spark plug wires and distributor were replaced, the car runs really well (when it isn't coughing or dying). For example, on a 15 mile trip from the shop back to my apartment I was up to 80mph on the interstate so effortlessly and half the time in lean-burn--the car hasn't run like that in a long time--and I had the pedal only slightly depressed. I didn't realize I was going that fast because usually it will not be able to reach that speed when the pedal is so lightly depressed, but when the speedometer came on again, to my surprise, it was at 80. Then the power inexplicably cut out and then stalled when I tried to give it gas. I coasted down the highway in neutral, bump starting failed repeatedly to get the car going again. Pulled over on the side of the highway I turned the key over many many times (maybe like 10 minutes of turning the key for 1-3 seconds and then waiting a few seconds and trying again). Finally the car started again, but it was a fitful and slow drive back to the apartment (never got above 40mph).

Another very interesting and I think very important detail that I've noticed is that the more gas you give the car, the worse it responds. When I eeked my way back to the apartment, the more I gave it gas, the more it was prone to hiccuping and stuttering and more importantly, stalling again. The more I feathered the gaspedal, the less it seemed like it would stutter or stall.

I would not be surprised if a new fuel filter might be in order. I'm pretty sure I changed it in late '07 shortly after acquiring the car, but given that I almost always let the tank go to fumes, this should be considered in analyzing this problem.

Awhile ago I posted about how my car stalls when I try to drive away immediately after starting it when the engine is cold (and when it's cold out). If I start the car and immediately put it in gear, it will stall (doesn't want to go). I think this problem started about 2 years ago. It may have gotten a little bit progressively worse since then. Seems to me that this may somehow be related.

Electrical issues: Awhile ago the left turn signal blinked quickly sometimes, but hasn't done that in a couple months and only did it occasionally during a ~6 week period. The dome light in the car started to work intermittently and then stopped working altogether (this was 2+ years ago). I haven't replaced the dome light to see if it was the bulb. I just assumed it was an electrical issue due to the intermittent nature of it working sometimes but other times not before dying completely.

Due to the intermittent nature of the problems I'm having with the car, I wonder if it's not an electrical/fuse issue. The mechanic said that when I dropped it off, it had no spark. This seems to be the case when it stalled at 80mph on the interstate and bump starting failed. And yet, it did eventually start. So how can a car have spark sometimes, and other times not? The mechanic spent an hour doing diagnostics when I last brought it in. Maybe I will stop by and ask him what those tests he did were and the results of all of them. All I know is that no spark was one of them, and that the fuel pump was not bad.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:06 AM   #26
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Re: moist air causing cough in Cvic VX when engine cold

Okay-
Now the behavior on the highway you've just described is almost exactly the symptom given by the main relay. This is what happened to my vx. I was a couple of miles from home (almost all down hill from there, thankfully) and the car just stalled. I was accelerating at the time. I cranked for a while to no avail. I put it in neutral and coasted much of the way home. I had to push a while, which wasn't bad, until the medium incline of my road. I figured for grins, why not try to start again. And, just as beautifully as it had started for the past year, it started again. No crappy running, just good to go.

So, you need to resolider your main relay. If nothing else, it rules it out. That relay controls spark and fuel in one plastic box. If you had no spark at the shop, that is absolutely why. (especially if it came back randomly not long afterward) The reason it starts again later is because the temp has lowered enough or vibration allowed the relay to have good contact at the joints. It is very possible that the relay is giving low/insufficient voltage/amps during certain circumstances like when it is hot.
If you have a solidering iron you can do this fix yourself. Most people recommend removing the old solider with a special tool (desolidering iron) but I just added solider to each of my joints with new solider and it's been a year with no problems.

I can do a write up on how to do it, but here's some great resources:
Tons of info on the relay:
http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/start...html#mainrelay

Photos, details of what you'll be looking at.
http://www.marklamond.co.uk/tech-hon...main-relay.htm

You can replace the relay too, but this solution is really cheap and easy to do. If it solves the problem, and it comes back, you can buy a new one if you'd like.

B
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:40 AM   #27
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Re: moist air causing cough in Cvic VX when engine cold

Thanks Benfrogg! And everyone else for all the thorough and detailed feedback. I started the car again today and it ran fine after a little trouble starting (but not too much). It ran without a hiccup just fine mostly up hills and winding back country roads with low speed limits, ~10 miles (18 minutes). There seems to be a pattern developing where it runs much better when started from a cold start--and makes sense per Benfrogg's comments on the relay and cold vs hot. I will see about getting the relay resoldered and report back here. I'm not much of a DIY kind of guy, so I'll prolly pay someone to do it, but I'm sure this thread will be useful to other more thrifty VX owners down the line. Thanks everyone. This site is still the best.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:20 PM   #28
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Re: moist air causing cough in Cvic VX when engine cold

1993civicvx-
Make sure the mechanic soliders all solider points on the relay. Not just ones that appear "dry." You won't often be able to see the hairline cracks either. Just touch a good iron to each point and add some new solider.

Good luck!
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:21 PM   #29
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Re: moist air causing cough in Cvic VX when engine cold

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Originally Posted by benfrogg View Post
1993civicvx-
Make sure the mechanic soliders all solider points on the relay. Not just ones that appear "dry." You won't often be able to see the hairline cracks either. Just touch a good iron to each point and add some new solider.

Good luck!
B
Exactly. Re-solder them all, 'right', or replace the part all together.
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:21 AM   #30
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Re: moist air causing cough in Cvic VX when engine cold

Mechanic says he is not a solder surgeon and that he can't solder the relay. He also doesn't think it is the relay and feels confident it is a fuel issue. He suggested hooking up some fuel gauge and taking it on the highway so that's what we are doing tomorrow morning. He also said all his techs think bump starting is a big no-no because it puts stress on the timing belt; a part you dont want failing prematurely. I'll keep you all posted. Thanks again for all the input. I really appreciate it.
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