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Honda Civic Lost Power/Engine Light


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JK33
Novice

Mar 27, 2014, 4:22 PM

Post #1 of 12 (1647 views)
Honda Civic Lost Power/Engine Light Sign In

Hi there, I have a 1993 Honda Civic Hatchback. I bought this car about four months ago, a week after I bought it the engine light starting coming on. I noticed after a while that it seemed to come on once I've been driving for a while then stopped, like at a stop sign or a red light. And once it came on it would stay on until I turned my car off and on again. It became more and more frequent as time came on.

A few weeks after this, my car seemed to shake/stutter a bit as I'd be driving, almost felt like was losing a bit of power every now and then. This happened once, then the next day it happened again but a bit worse, then the next day I was in a drive thru ordering food, and as I was waiting my car started to shake very aggressively, and once I got my food I went to drive out and the car had almost no power... I had to step on the gas, and it sounded terrible.. my exhaust sounded very rattly and weird...

I then tried to drive it home (I live like 2 blocks away and had no money for a tow truck) within seconds my entire car was engulfed in a cloud of smoke, now I can't be sure since it was night, but i'm pretty sure it was light grey and coming from my exhaust... I didn't see it until my car was completely surrounded, so it couldn't have come from my engine.

I then parked it and walked home... I came back the next morning and tried to drive it home because I knew it would get towed and I couldn't afford that still, so I got in and turned it on, and it drove perfectly? I haven't driven it since... and it's been about 2 months now give or take, I have another car I've been temporarily using.

So basically, the engine light will come and go, and it usually shakes a lot when idling before it's about to lose power... Also, it has some pretty bad wiring issues (the prevus owner installed a sound system himself and I think that might have done it).. my left hand blinker is messed up, sometimes it will blink in slow motion, then it will go insanely fast, and sometimes not at all... and my left side brake light is bright when i'm not breaking, then dims out when i press the breaks (it should be the other way around).

Any help would be greatly appreciated, I would take this to a mechanic but don't have the money (again...)


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Mar 27, 2014, 5:09 PM

Post #2 of 12 (1635 views)
Re: Honda Civic Lost Power/Engine Light Sign In

Wiring issues? Maybe you could start there. Fix the wiring that was screwed up or butchered. Put it back to the way it was when it left the factory.

Once you have all the wiring problems resolved, see what happens.





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


JK33
Novice

Mar 27, 2014, 5:56 PM

Post #3 of 12 (1626 views)
Re: Honda Civic Lost Power/Engine Light Sign In

I just found out that the fast left signal blinking means that the bulb is about to die, who knew? Laugh so I guess my wiring issues aren't as bad as I thought... only thing is my left side brake light is weird... But I don't think that would cause any of this to happen, right?

I mean, I kinda just wanna know what's wrong with my car, if it's worth putting time and money into, or if I should just send it off to the junk yard...


nickwarner
Veteran / Moderator
nickwarner profile image

Mar 27, 2014, 6:03 PM

Post #4 of 12 (1619 views)
Re: Honda Civic Lost Power/Engine Light Sign In

Check for codes. You don't need a scan tool to do it. Here is how

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M5BaAa6tCM

Eric explains it well here.


JK33
Novice

Mar 27, 2014, 6:32 PM

Post #5 of 12 (1615 views)
Re: Honda Civic Lost Power/Engine Light Sign In

Awesome, thanks! I just tried this and I only got two numbers, a 7 and a 9. Now the thing is, my check engine light wasn't on when I did this, does it need to be on first? Because the engine light usually doesn't come on until I drive around for a bit, and then soon as I turn my car off/turn it back on again it's gone again, and won't come back on until I drive around a bit more, usually...

How will I make this method work then? Because I have to drive around, then once it comes on I need to shut my car off and hook up this paper clip, but then when I turn my car back on the engine light will probably be gone again...

any ideas?


(This post was edited by JK33 on Mar 27, 2014, 6:33 PM)


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Mar 27, 2014, 8:35 PM

Post #6 of 12 (1600 views)
Re: Honda Civic Lost Power/Engine Light Sign In

Which engine do you have?

The 7 code means the ECU is seeing a problem with the TPS (throttle position sensor). You should have someone or yourself do a voltage sweep test using a volt meter to see what the signal voltage looks like.

The 9 code means the ECU is having a problem seeing the signal from the CYP (cylinder position) sensor inside the distributor. The CYP sensor is basically the crankshaft position sensor. You really need a graphing multimeter or lab scope to accurately see that signal. You may need to bring it to a repair shop that has someone that does drive-ability check that out to get an accurate diagnosis.

Both TPS and CYP sensor issues can cause poor engine performance problems.





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 Mar 27, 2014, 8:38 PM)


JK33
Novice

Mar 28, 2014, 3:23 PM

Post #7 of 12 (1582 views)
Re: Honda Civic Lost Power/Engine Light Sign In

Hmm, I checked and it says "16 Valve Honda Motor Co" is that my engine? I don't know much about this at all.

Basically, I have no clue what any of that there means Laugh would these issues you explain cause what I experienced? And are these cheap easy fixes or is it easier to just scrap the car? I paid a little over $1,000 for the car and it has about 300k on it... So if it's not a cheap easy fix i'll probably just sell it for parts/scrap metal..


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Mar 28, 2014, 4:11 PM

Post #8 of 12 (1578 views)
Re: Honda Civic Lost Power/Engine Light Sign In

The emissions sticker under the hood should tell you which engine size you have.

Sure as crap, those things I explained can cause your symptoms.

Don't know what fixes it needs or how much it would cost to fix it because no one has properly diagnosed it.





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


JK33
Novice

Mar 28, 2014, 4:35 PM

Post #9 of 12 (1574 views)
Re: Honda Civic Lost Power/Engine Light Sign In

I checked everywhere for an emissions sticker, I don't think I have one. Is this some environmental thing? I live in Canada, we may or may not have them, i'm unsure to be honest.

I'm thinking I have an original stock engine, are all 1993 Honda Civic Hatchbacks equipped with the same sized engine and all?

I asked one of my friends that knows a bit about cars, he says pretty much the same thing as you.

"7 TP Sensor (Throttle Position) defective circuit or unplugged / defective sensor
9 CYP Sensor (Cylinder) defective circuit or unplugged / defective sensor"

"it means check your throttle position sensor with a scan tool or just go ahead and change it...its cheap anyway

other one code nine usually means distributor problems on a honda...swap in a used distributor..."


Say that's all I need to do, if I were to go to a mechanic, do you have a rough estimate of what that would cost? I know there's a fee just having the mechanic look at it, so I don't wanna pay that just to find out it'll be like $5,000 to fix this or something... I'm hoping for a couple hundered bucks?


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Mar 28, 2014, 5:18 PM

Post #10 of 12 (1570 views)
Re: Honda Civic Lost Power/Engine Light Sign In

That is the problem. It could be a faulty sensor or it could be a faulty distributor, but it also could be a harness or wiring problem or it could be an ECU issue or it could be anything related to those systems causing issues.

You should do some shopping. Call around some of the shops in your area and get some prices for diagnostics. You might save some money by paying a fee to have it diagnosed than slapping expensive parts on to find out they are not the problem.





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 Mar 28, 2014, 5:19 PM)


JK33
Novice

Mar 29, 2014, 9:51 AM

Post #11 of 12 (1559 views)
Re: Honda Civic Lost Power/Engine Light Sign In

Ohh okay I understand now, I didn't realize it could be so many different things.

I will go and get it diagnosed now that I have a vague general idea of what it could be, and it doesn't sound like a mini fortune to fix (hopefully)

Thank you for all your help!


nickwarner
Veteran / Moderator
nickwarner profile image

Mar 29, 2014, 7:17 PM

Post #12 of 12 (1547 views)
Re: Honda Civic Lost Power/Engine Light Sign In

If you do need the distributor replaced, make sure you get one directly from Honda. Have heard about a lot of the aftermarket units not being too reliable. Worth the extra bucks for a factory part on that.






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