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02 Accord 4cyl stalls

My daughter’s '02 Accord stalled while driving on the freeway. We had it towed to the house, since it was the weekend. When I checked, it would not start and there was no tach signal. Later I went to check it out and it started right up with no running issues at all. Since it was hot, I thought it was the igniter. I replaced the whole distributor and drove the vehicle around the block…no issues.
Then , a few days later, my son and I went to go somewhere and it started running real rough (after warm up) and then died. I restarted it and it sputtered like it was starving for fuel and died when I pushed on the accelerator. This happens intermittently and we are not driving it so we don’t get stranded. Could this be a fuel pump? Fuel regulator? How do I determine the cause without changing a bunch of parts? Thank you!

Is the check engine light on? If so, what codes?

You should check the fuel pressure with a mechanical gauge. Maybe en\even drive it around a bit. I think it is very likely a crankshaft position sensor on a car this old. That might not set an error message. They are cheap and just about the only part I’d “throw” at the car not being certain that is the problem.

no codes are thrown

Fuel pressure test and CPS replacement first steps. Post back with what you find, or don’t and we’ll try and help.

Could be a failing fuel pump relay (AKA Main Relay) under the dash. If, when you turn the key to Run (not Start) the fuel pump doesn’t run, that’s a strong indication. Hondas had more than average incidence of ignition switch failure back in those days, too. Good luck and please let us know the outcome.

I would start with testing fuel system also. But the crank sensor also is used to run your tach, so the I would start with everything @Mustangman said and I think you’ll be on the road again.

Does the crank sensor run the tach? I thought it was the distributor.

That was a blanket statement. I know some use crank sensor, but I still think crank sensor is high on the list.

I discovered my test light was broken. So I checked the main relay… it clicks on and off with the key. Wouldn’t the crank sensor throw a code? I’m getting a new test light and will check injectors and pump for voltage. I guess it could be possible that my new distributor is defective, so I’ll check for spark, also, to make sure that is out of the equation. Again, thank you all for responding. I’ll keep you posted.

I don’t think the crank sensor would throw a code. The main relay problem, as I understand it, is not that the mechanism fails to move, but that some soldered connections break and fail to complete the circuit. I would take repeated reliable sound from the relay as evidence that the ignition switch is OK, but not as evidence the relay is OK. In the right conditions, you can hear the fuel pump run back there in the tank, or through the gas filler tube with the cap removed. No smoking until it’s solved!

I easiest first diagnosis – next time it happens – might be to spray some starter spray into the air intake. If it then starts, runs briefly, and stalls, pretty good chance the problem is lack of fuel. fuel pump, fuel pump relay, fuel pressure regulator, evap system problem, etc. I’m guessing it is either the fuel pump relay, the fuel pump, or the crank position sensor. All can be affected by heat.

Fuel pump runs and the injectors are pulsing when engine is cranked. I sprayed fluid into the intake and it started and died shortly. So it’s obviously not getting fuel. Would the crank sensor shut off the fuel if it was bad?

I would put a fuel pressure gage on it.