1991 Honda Civic LX

So my car was giving me problems a few months ago and we thought it was the fuel pump because it would sputter and then shut off. So we ended up changing the whole fuel system and we bought a new distributor plus a new coil because it was burnt out. Anyways. My car runs now but it will not get over 3500 rpms and I don’t know why. I know I need a new battery so could that be an issue? Someone told it was my transmission shift solenoid but I cannot find the part at any part store whatsoever. I just really need some advice here on what to do cause I love this car.

The problem might be with a plugged catalytic converter.

Since your vehicle is an OBDI vehicle, OBDI doesn’t monitor the catalytic converter function. So there will be no Check Engine light if there’s a problem with the cat.

If the engine can’t breathe, it can only go so fast.

Have someone perform a back-pressure test on the exhaust to see if that’s the problem.


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Thank you, I’ll definitely look into that.

Anyone else have an opinion?

Tester’s idea is a good one, worth knowing if the engine can breathe.

Did the not-over-3500 RPM coincide with the fuel system/dist/coil work? Possibly something was missed in all those procedures. The distributor cold be installed wrong so the engine timing is off, for example.

The battery is extremely unlikely to be a factor in the RPMs not going higher.

Good luck and please keep us informed.

No, the rpm thing was not a problem during replacement of fuel system and everything else. It wouldn’t run for a minute then we found out the cool in the new distributor was burnt out so we replaced that, got it running but it won’t get over 3500 rpm . It kinda just idles there I guess that’s how you say it but it won’t let me go any faster than that

So it ran over 3500 RPM until… what? The new distributor with good coil was installed?

Yes. We did all that, got it back running but it won’t get over 3500 rpms now. I’ve taken it to a mechanic just for them to look and give me an opinion cause I don’t like to take it to the shop but they told a transmission shift solenoid and no part store can find the one for my vehicle in their system soooo. But yes, new problem after everything else we did.

Automatic transmission, right? What if you put it in L and take off from a stop - will it then go over 3500? In testing this out, stay below maybe 4500 and do it with an engine that’s already warmed up.

Okay will definitely try that when my fiancé gets home from work. He has to put the solenoid back on (it’s in his truck atm from visiting part stores) and jump it off and I’ll post after we’ve checked it and let you know. If it does go over 3500 rpm, what’s your guess then?

My guess would be the exhaust is not restricted enough to keep the engine from revving up to high RPMs. Something else is involved.

I know why. It’s because you threw parts at a problem rather than diagnose it properly.

Take the car to a qualified mechanic who can diagnose your problem and fix it. The money you save versus throwing parts at an undiagnosed problem will be worth it. Think of all the money you would have to put towards a diagnostic fee if you hadn’t replaced the good parts in your fuel system.

…and if you need a new battery anyway, replace it. It can’t hurt.