1983 Honda Accord when rolling to or at stop rpms drop and stalls


#1

I have a 1983 Honda Accord (manual with nearly 200,000 miles) when rolling to a stop or at a stop rpms drop below 1000 and it stalls out. I can start it back up without hesitation.
No hesitation at initial startup or after sitting short or long time, it idles while in park rpms about 1000.
When I feel the engine about to stall while rolling to a stop or at stop, if I put my left foot on the brake pedal, slightly step on the gas pedal with my right foot it prevents the engine from stalling. At stop if I put in park, rpms raise and don’t need to give it gas.
I’m unable [& unqualified] to work on my car. Given I drive only about 1,000 mi year; my alternate form of transportation is a bus or kindness of friends, I’m on a limited income, cannot afford to buy/ spend more than 2,000 – my question if 2-foId,

  1. is it possible that something it is nothing major and worth repairing/replacing (ex. air control/idle air bypass valve, a dirty throttle body or even carburetor)?
  2. Or, as discussed with one mechanic, since the car is 33 years old, during or soon after repair other problems (dried out vacuum hoses or major) will follow. Plus, parts can be difficult if not impossible to replace as a I spoke to mechanic pointed out.
    Given the car’s age is it worth repairing?

#2

You state you put it in park ( makes one think of automatic transmission ) but description says manual . If you are actually putting a manual trans in neutral and braking with your left foot you are an accident waiting to happen.
A two thousand dollar car could have as many problems as you already have , a second mechanics opinion would be worth while.


#3

That’s impossible to guess without knowing the overall condition of the car, the overall condition of the engine and drivetrain, the maintenance history, and what’s actually wrong with it.

A 1983 probably has a carb. My '82 Civic had a crab. Find an old-time mechanic familiar with carburators to look at it. The problem could be as simple as a leaky vacuum hose, it could be a bad float, or it could be an engine with just barely enough compression to start when cold, but not enough to keep idling once it’s hot.

If there’s body rot or chassis rot, it’s time to replace it. That cannot be fixed. If the body is still in decent shape, a good once-over is a good idea before making any decisions. The mechanic is right that everything rubbery is subject to failure at this age. I can’t agree that parts will be hard to find, but on the other hand you don’t want to suddenly discover a seal in your brakes has suddenly given up the ghost.


#4

Don’t start spending serious money on a car that old. Unless you live in the desert, it will have significant corrosion which is essentially incurable.

A long time ago Popular Science had an article entitled: “Taking Care of an Oldie”. It basically recommended nursing it along and fixing with salvage part where possible and the scrapping it at the first significant repair.

In those days there were no annual safety and emission inspection, so you could have a reliable smoker and drive it legally…


#5

This sounds like a carburetor issue involving the idle circuit. This could be due to a clogged passage in the carburetor, clogged air bleed, or possibly an inoperative anti-diesel valve.

The latter is a small solenoid on the carburetor that is designed to prevent dieseling when the engineis shut off. During operation the solenoid is kept open by electrical current. Sometimes the solenoids fail or lose power and the idle circuit in the carb is shut off. This leads to a problem such as you’re currently experiencing.
The solenoid can be tested by leaving the key in the RUN position and disconnecting and reconnecting the solenoid on the carburetor a few times. A noticeable “click” should be heard each time this is done.

The clogged idle circuit or air bleeds can sometimes be cleaned out with aerosol carb cleaner and/or compressed air short of a carb overhaul or replacement. None of the above is difficult to do.

As to the car I’d say it’s worth fixing.


#6

Could be a leaking carburetor float. If the float is plastic it is probably bad. How has your fuel economy been lately? Could be ignition related but less likely. You can see the float by looking through the little window on the carburetor. Plastic floats are black.