Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

1994 honda accord lx dies when gets to operating temperature

I have had my honda for a few months now and have had a few problems in that time. At first it started with the check engine light coming on when heated up but then my car began to randomly die while I’m driving down the road. Every time that it would die I was able to start it back up almost right after it died. Also when I come to a stop my temperature gauge will start to rise and when I turn the car off I can hear the fans continuing to run for about 10 mins. Now my car will drive until it heats up and then it will die and not start back up until it has cooled down. My dad told me that he thought that my main relay went bad but I replaced that and nothing has changed. I have no idea what it wrong with the car. And I’m not very knowledgeable in that area. Any idea would be appreciated!

That vintage Honda commonly had issues with the igniter (ICM) going open circuit when hot. Once it cools down, it starts working again. Next time it stalls when warm, check to see if you are getting spark; if not, good bet its the igniter. If that’s the problem, you can get a reman distributor with the new igniter for $75 from RockAuto, and just bolt the new one in. Pretty simple diagnosis and fix. Good luck.

The problem might be with the Ignition Control Module, or as Honda calls it the igniter.

These actually have heat sinks that prevents them from being damaged from the engine heat. But of course, anything electrical doesn’t last forever.

One way to check for a bad ignition module is, carry an extra spark plug in the vehicle. The next time the engine stalls and won’t start, open the hood and remove one of the spark plug wires from a spark plug. Take the extra spark plug and plug it into the end of the spark plug wire, and lay the spark plug on the engine to ground it. Now have someone crank the engine over. There should be a bright blue spark at the end of the spark plug. If the spark is a yellow color or there is no spark, the problem might be with the ignition module.

The ignition module is located inside the distributor.


Those Honda relays are a well-known problem, but it sounds like you’ve already eliminated that. hmm … well, crank position sensors also are known to fail when they get hot, so that’s worth testing. Likewise with the ignition module. The temp gauge will go up a little if you’ve been driving down the road then come to an idle, that’s normal. Unless it is moving fast and way up to the top of the gauge, in the red zone. If that’s happening, my first suspect is the engine cooling fan isn’t coming on when it should, or not spinning fast enough, or the radiator cap is faulty.
Tto get to the bottom of this, suggest to ask someone to show you how to do a visual test for spark at the spark plugs. To narrow it down, you’ve got to somehow determine whether the reason the engine is stalling is due to a spark or a fuel problem.

The two most common causes are The Ignition Module or “Ignitor” and the Main PGM/Fi Relay… When the car dies…you can then understand what caused it by troubleshooting what is now “missing” from the list of ingredients that make an engine run… It is at THAT time you can pinpoint which one of the usual suspects has failed. Common Problem…EZ fix