1992 Honda Accord Shuddering when its moist outside

Hey my car recently start shuddering or sputtering when I brake at a sop light or stop sign. When its in park it runs fairly smoothly but when my foot is on the brake it acts like it will quit on me, it hasn’t yet. When this happens its usually very wet outside. I notice a gas smell whenever this happens and I cant do anything about it. When I pull away my car has a hard time getting going and it bounces around. I cant go get it check with a computer because its so old I really need some help here. Thanks.

Try some new spark plugs, coat the plug wire ends and coil wire ends with diaelectric grease, and then spray the wires and distributor cap down with WD-40. That should take care of it.

The gas smell is from a severe misfire caused by moisture in and on the secondary ignition components.

I’ll try that thanks. Would that cause it to have a hard time moving forward when I press the gas pedal to get going?

If the misfire and rough running is bad enough then yes it could cause the car to be sluggish when trying to accelerate.

Likely the cap and rotor. At this age wires are likely done too.

When moisture affects the way a car runs this is a big clue that the ignition system has a problem. Dirt on the cap and wires holds the moisture and the electricity jumps from wire to wire and ground causing misfires. New cap, rotor, wires, and plugs should fix it.

We replaced all the plugs, the cap and rotor and wires when we put it on the road last a year and a half ago. Could they be dirty already?

Since that has been replaced I would suggest spraying the cap and wires down with WD-40.

In certain climatic conditions moisture can get inside of the distributor cap; especially after the engine has been shut off when the dew point is very high. An engine can run rough once this happens until the moisture in the cap has burned off from engine heat.

You might also revisit the spark plugs. Assuming there are no mechanical faults with the engine which could cause a misfire it’s possible the plug gap could be too wide.
It’s generally accepted by many that plugs are pre-gapped and need no adjustment before installation but that’s not always the case.

The wider the gap, the more difficult it is for the spark to jump the gap. If it can’t jump the gap then it’s going to look for the next shortest route and that’s usually through the plug wires. Moisture in the air and on the wires, etc make it much easier for this to happen.

Knowing the plugs, wires, and cap were replaced a year ago helps. The cap could be cracked or have carbon tracks inside. I’d suggest putting a new cap on and see what happens.

Cheap plug wires could be bad in a year, but l’d try a new cap first.

When it is dark out, take a spray bottle full of water , start the engine and spray the wires, cap and coil. If it starts running badly and you see blue sparks anyplace, the things that are sparking need to be replaced.

Would that cause it to have a hard time moving forward when I press the gas pedal to get going?

It moves b/c of the force the gasoline explosions happening inside the cylinder. For an explosion to happen it has to have a spark, and dampness on the high voltage wires can suppress the spark. So you get an occasional “missing” explosion, and not enough force to move the car.

Do a full tune up… WIRES, plugs, Distributor cap n Rotor. The cause is either your cap or wires. The wires almost always get ignored and remain on the vehicle way way too long. So…You can do the above items one by one to see which is the culprit…or just do the full tune up and the issue will more than likely go away and or be repaired


While you’re at it, make sure there’s no play in the distributor shaft, and the skinny rubber gasket between the dist body and the cap is present and intact. That gasket is easy to lose. Another source of moisture inside the dist cap is a failed o-ring around the dist shaft housing, where it slides into the engine. Crankcase moisture can get into the dist and condense there.

We used to read a lot about Honda distributors of your car’s era going bad, but not in a moisture-related way, from what I recall.

I think your safest bet is to use only genuine Honda cap and rotor, and probably wires, too.

The Honda “Distributor Issue” which was so common back in those days was the “Ignitor” inside the distributor going bad… When a Honda would not start or died back then…there were TWO areas to look into. The PGM/Fi relay…and the Ignitor… Usually one or the other and the Honda would be good as new again.

This person is definitely looking at a Tune Up as the solution to their problem…Its either a leaking wire or Dist Cap…