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2012 Civic Hesitates to Accelerate, Lightly Jerks


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bwally
Novice

Jul 9, 2014, 5:55 PM

Post #1 of 13 (2480 views)
2012 Civic Hesitates to Accelerate, Lightly Jerks Sign In

I drive a 2012 Civic LX with 113,000 miles (believe it or not).

I recently noticed my car doesn't seem to have as much power as it once did.. no surprise at 113,000 miles. The first thing I noticed is how I had to press on the gas harder to accelerate and for the car to finally pick up. It would seem like pressing on the gas harder didn't really do anything, but then it'd "catch" and BAM- it would accelerate.

This week my car felt slightly "jerky" while driving.. nothing violent, just a little shake once in a while like the car was struggling. Today, however, was worse.

Driving home from work I noticed how my car had barely any power going up hill. It was very difficult to accelerate up hill and the jerking was noticeable. When I slowed down and began to accelerate again, the check engine light started flashing and I felt no acceleration at all-- pressing on the gas did nothing. I pulled over, and ultimately ended up making it to Pep Boys down the street and bought/replaced the spark plugs. However the issue is still present.

I ran the engine just now, at night, to see if I noticed any sparks coming from the spark plug wires. Nothing. Everything sounded normal.

Does anyone have any idea as to what my next steps could be? Here are some things I know for sure:

- Today I noticed-- just three times sporadically-- what seemed to be like "sputter" noises coming from the engine. It sounded like a little sparkler or something for just a millisecond.. maybe even like a little dash of TV static.. but I don't know if it was really a spark or something else.
- The only Honda maintenance codes that I see on the dash are A15 --- Engine Oil; Tire Rotation; Engine Coolant.
- There is no loss to MPG. I still average 36-41mpg with no problems.
- There is no noticeable burning smell
- The old spark plugs I removed were not soaked in fuel or anything and appeared to be normal, aged spark plugs. All four had the same worn appearance
- The Check Engine light only comes on for a few seconds when I insert the key but does NOT stay on. It just flashed today, once, but is not on permanently

Any help would be huge. Thanks!


(This post was edited by bwally on Jul 9, 2014, 5:56 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 9, 2014, 10:47 PM

Post #2 of 13 (2452 views)
Re: 2012 Civic Hesitates to Accelerate, Lightly Jerks Sign In

Get codes read. That new might require a dealer's software for better or any codes stored? Some places (parts outlets) will do it for free but write down #s not what they want to sell you about it.


There's info to be found. Other seems like just maintenance reminders but check fluids at least and be on time despite fast miles accumulated on this,


T



bwally
Novice

Jul 11, 2014, 1:05 PM

Post #3 of 13 (2421 views)
Re: 2012 Civic Hesitates to Accelerate, Lightly Jerks Sign In

Thanks. I bought an Innova 3100abs OBDII scanner and got zero results when scanning for codes. The test came back 100% clear with no issues detected.

I'm guessing the check engine light that came on for me was regarding the spark plugs that were replaced, and the error cleared.

Does this sound like a transmission fluid issue? I took my car to Firestone to get it replaced as part of other service about 20,000 miles ago but I've had doubts they actually did it.


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Jul 11, 2014, 1:16 PM

Post #4 of 13 (2417 views)
Re: 2012 Civic Hesitates to Accelerate, Lightly Jerks Sign In

1.8L or 2.4L?


Quote
I ran the engine just now, at night, to see if I noticed any sparks coming from the spark plug wires.


You sure about that?

If the check engine light was flashing or is flashing, you have a catalyst damaging misfire. Usually a trouble code(s) sets.

You should pull each coil out one at a time and inspect the coil boot for high voltage burns. They usually appear as white marks. When the engine is under load the KV is really high. If spark can find an easier path to ground than through a spark plug gap in a high pressure area, it will.


Quote
It sounded like a little sparkler or something for just a millisecond.. maybe even like a little dash of TV static.. but I don't know if it was really a spark or something else.



Snapping noise, sort of a mild version of the sound a taser makes, is a symptom of leaking coil boots or spark finding an easier path to ground.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Jul 11, 2014, 1:27 PM)


bwally
Novice

Jul 11, 2014, 1:29 PM

Post #5 of 13 (2411 views)
Re: 2012 Civic Hesitates to Accelerate, Lightly Jerks Sign In

(just saw your new edited post, reading it now)

Were you referring to the spark plug wire comment (I noticed you quoted it)? If so, I didn't see any sparks, I just took a glance to see if I could see some flying and perhaps see if it was a bad wire. But there were no sparks and no visual signs of damage to any wire(s).

When my check engine light came on the other day I was going uphill. I pretty much lost all acceleration and it felt like there was no feedback while my foot was on the gas. After I was able to replace the spark plugs, I've noticed SLIGHT improvement.. I feel a tiny bit more power and I haven't had severe jolting or anything but there is DEFINITELY a LOT of hesitation when it comes to accelerating. It takes a long time to accelerate, even from 0-40.

I plugged in the OBDII scanner, it detected a link, scanned, and said "No DTC codes found/detected". I plugged the scanner into my PC and the report showed no indication of anything.. no 'P' codes, nothing.

If the initial Check Engine light was caused by the spark plugs, and the spark plugs were replaced, should the error code still have been detected by an OBDII scan?


(This post was edited by bwally on Jul 11, 2014, 1:29 PM)


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Jul 11, 2014, 1:35 PM

Post #6 of 13 (2401 views)
Re: 2012 Civic Hesitates to Accelerate, Lightly Jerks Sign In

Your engine shouldn't have any spark plug wires. The ignition system design is coil over plug.

Which engine?

If the check engine light was flashing even after Pep boys had their hands on it, you still have a catalyst damaging misfire.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 11, 2014, 1:38 PM

Post #7 of 13 (2400 views)
Re: 2012 Civic Hesitates to Accelerate, Lightly Jerks Sign In

Just notes on a quick read of this:


1. A Scanner that didn't cost you a fortune is probably not enough..........


2. If a high voltage carrying item (any) it's seeking ground any way it can other than the spark plug if possible as DS mentioned the voltage needs to be upped under load so you either need to see evidence or force it or a code of what/which cylinder(s) involved.


If you mist water over the high voltage (I mean mist not hose down) that might make it show visibly at idle as it's making the easier route to ground than the plug at that spot.


That's all for just this part of the issue,


T



bwally
Novice

Jul 11, 2014, 2:53 PM

Post #8 of 13 (2395 views)
Re: 2012 Civic Hesitates to Accelerate, Lightly Jerks Sign In

It's a 1.8L. Unfortunately I'm not too savvy with anything regarding cars. If I were to inspect the ignition coils and saw burns/white marks, and replaced the ignition coils, would you expect that to resolve the issue? Is the ignition coil separate from a coil boot, or is the coil boot part of the coil? Sorry, still learning.

And yes it sounded exactly like a taser, glad you mentioned that. Just a light taser sound for a second or so.. heard it a couple times.

Thanks for pointing out the fact that I have no spark plug wires.. I was looking all over for them lol. Now I am understanding a bit more.

Also, the check engine light came on before I went to Pep Boys. Once I bought and replaced the spark plugs, the light wasn't on anymore. But I still feel some hesitation so I am thinking there were two problems going on all along.. and replacing the spark plugs was one of them. Now it's just a matter of finding out the second piece of the puzzle.

This scanner was $100, but I will have to probably just take it to a shop to have a better scan run. Instead of trying to troubleshoot which coil may be the culprit, is it a good practice to just replace all of them anyway? After 113,000 miles, could it just be time to replace them all? Or is it a scenario where you should ONLY replace if absolutely necessary?

I'll try the mist trick.. a co-worker mentioned that too.. getting an empty Windex bottle and rinsing it out, filling with water and spraying.

Thanks for the help.. trying to figure this all out but unfortunately I have virtually zero auto troubleshooting experience.


(This post was edited by bwally on Jul 11, 2014, 2:54 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 11, 2014, 9:16 PM

Post #9 of 13 (2378 views)
Re: 2012 Civic Hesitates to Accelerate, Lightly Jerks Sign In

Back a couple: Looking for arcing not so likely on this but you hear it. Same. It's arcing out of sight probably at coil over plug and the rest is NOT high voltage.


Hope not too late but Windex is fine for "water" I mentioned just as it is. The blue stain goes away if any. Not so useful for this test you seem have just what DS suspected - leaking voltage to plugs which is right at them unseen but evidence should show where the high voltage spark jumped. A fine trace of ash or a trail of it where it grounds out spark hence that cylinder doesn't fire.


Why does this happen? Some crap new isn't good so I default to mostly IDK. Sudden water like floods, washing engines especially when warm/hot or trauma from working on it for something else. Other is depending on type of coil over plug is oil leaks on some wreck any booting rubber with plugs in a hole type design if that is used whether coil over or just plug wires down a valve cover style,


T



bwally
Novice

Jul 12, 2014, 9:00 AM

Post #10 of 13 (2356 views)
Re: 2012 Civic Hesitates to Accelerate, Lightly Jerks Sign In

Thanks again for the reply Tom.

I inspected the ignition coils and pulled the wires to each one individually while the engine was running. There WAS a noticeable difference in engine noise each time I pulled a coil wire (good sign). I also sprayed with a water mist and saw nothing. So I don't think the issue is with the coils or plugs. They all appeared to be working.

I took the car to the local Honda dealer and they ALSO found ZERO codes stored. They connected two scanners but came up with nothing.

I was provided with the following data although I have no clue how to interpret it. If any of you are able to decipher this, does anything stand out?

Data Provided:

-----

OBD2DTC Detected: None

MIL Status: off
ABSLT TPS(%) 17.3
ENG SPEED(RPM) 0
BARO PRS("HG) 30.1
CALC LOAD(%) 0.0
MAF(LB/M) 0.04
MAP("HG) 29.8
COOLANT(DEGF) 194
IAT(DEGF) 138
IGN ADV(DEG) 0.0
ST FTRM1(%) 0.0
LT FTRM1(%) -7.8
VEH SPEED(MPH) 0
ABS LOAD(%) 0.0
FUEL SYS 1 N/A
FUEL SYS 2 N/A
REL TPS(%) 7.8
THROT CMD(%) 5.1
ABS TPS B(%) 33.7
ACC POS D(%) 19.2
ACC POS E(%) 9.4
EGR ERR(%) 0.0
CAT TEMP11(DEGF) 138
EGR CMD(%) 0.0
EVAP PURGE(%) 0.0
EVAP VP(H20) -0.160
CMD EQ RAT 0.999
O2S12(V) 0.520
ST FTRM12(%) 0.0
EQ RATIO11 1.999
O2S11(mA) 0.000
CLR DIST(mi) 28414
O2S11(mA) -0.004
CLR DIST(mi) 28414
CLR TRPS 255
MIL DIST(mi) 0
FUEL LEVEL(%) 13.3
VPWR(V) 12.425
ENG RUN(m:s) 00:00
OBD2 STAT CA

IPT:

OBD Mon Cond 4456 Cnts
Ignition Cycles 8822 Cnts
Cat Comp Bank1 295 Cnts
Cat Cond Bank1 4456 Cnts
Cat Comp Bank2 Not Available
Cat Cond Bank2 Not Available
O2 Comp Bank1 1811 Cnts
O2 Cond Bk1 4456 Cnts
O2 Comp Bank2 Not Available
O2 Cond Bank2 Not Available
EGR Mon Comp 1722 Cnts
EGR Mon Cond 4456 Cnts
AIR Mon Comp Not Available
AIR Mon Cond Not Available
EVAP Mon Comp 433 Cnts
EVAP Mon Cond 1006 Cnts

-----

Thanks!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 12, 2014, 3:41 PM

Post #11 of 13 (2347 views)
Re: 2012 Civic Hesitates to Accelerate, Lightly Jerks Sign In

Arggh - Codes have been reset so not available. Mist didn't show anything so inconclusive. Canceling plugs one by one each made a difference which is a good sign to me.


New plugs (Pep Boys) seemed to help and I take it you think it's still not right but no codes or light on now - right? No info yet or it's done - not sure.


I would think canceling plugs would be in memory but not sure if just quickly might dismiss that. Honda found nothing? If codes just reset that could be normal and have to wait for something in a day. Lot of cooks in this kitchen and hard to know now.


BTW - historically I don't know of a given life expectancy of coils by time or miles or diminished performance over time and use either?


Arggh. Any ideas now guys?


Tom



bwally
Novice

Jul 12, 2014, 5:13 PM

Post #12 of 13 (2341 views)
Re: 2012 Civic Hesitates to Accelerate, Lightly Jerks Sign In

Correct, there are no codes visible and no check engine light. So it looks like the engine hesitation is caused by some mysterious thing..

Honda found nothing but told me to try my OBDII scanner again each day for the next 3 days. If still nothing, the codes likely cleared out and won't be found.

I noticed the spark plugs I pulled out (the old ones) had a black sooty appearance. After Googling this, some results are saying it may be an issue with my fuel pump or a flooded carburetor. Do these sound like they could cause the problems I've been having?

The soot is dry, not very oily, and apparently that makes a difference. I rub the end of the old spark plugs on my finger and black soot goes onto my hand.

Could this be a sign of something?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 12, 2014, 10:09 PM

Post #13 of 13 (2332 views)
Re: 2012 Civic Hesitates to Accelerate, Lightly Jerks Sign In

Real "hard" codes will come back which is why you were asked to keep testing. Seems like you are overfueling OR incomplete combustion. No carbs anymore sport so just call it fuel delivery now done by fuel injection. It differs in that it's pushing fuel as precisely as possible - carbs were "drawing" in fuel and pumps just filled a reservoir for them to use. Move on they are gone for this car.


Google out if this doesn't show how to read a spark plug. When they look this way or that is a story of how fuel/engine is behaving or if just one or two perhaps you pay attention to those but yours are all the same so something in common with all.


Chart unreadable but I'll try anyway..........
(not showing so just search out for images)




Black as you described and sooty is fuel if that doesn't show. A lot of thought goes into which plug will work best and about always exactly what OE used new. It's also VERY important that they NOT be dropped and handled/packaged well before you get them. Tiny flaws they can fail but not generally all of them or the same way.


I know you have some serious miles on a relatively new car so any changes that cause common problems may not be well noticed yet by techs. Dealer info may be your best source for help AND the right tech within also.


I guess at some point look at your new plugs if nothing will show via codes to help. Fuel pressure is regulated to stay in spec if pump can which is not known at all at this point unless checked and caught as a problem happens.


That or rare bad luck of wrong fuel, bad fuel has caused a one time problem and harmed some parts. This is rare to me now more than ever and frequently was from bad tanks in the ground (all are where I am) but now must be replaced by time no matter what and checked with a signed stamp at pumps with a date if you trust any of that??


T



(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Jul 12, 2014, 10:12 PM)






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