1996 Civic exhaust noise / impaired acceleration


I am the owner of a 1996 Civic EX. The car has a manual transmission and approximately 208,000 miles.

Recently, my wife and I started to notice the car not accelerating well (slight jerking/misfiring?) when the engine is working harder (ex. when we used to accelerate out of a turn in 3rd, we sometime need to drop it into 2nd now). I thought that I would replace the sparkplugs, as it has been at least 60k miles since they’ve been replaced.

Also, we have been noticing that the exhaust is getting louder. It seems as though the source of this is in the engine compartment, perhaps the exhaust manifold. Is it possible that these are related issues?


Modern engines rely on backpressure from the exhaust system. It could be possible that is the problem, but additionally what is the maintenance history on the car, plug wires, filters, timing belt? Start simple, get the exhaust system fixed.


This car was a quick pick-up after a previous car was totaled. After the fact we found out it had been flooded. Timing belt replaced earlier this year, air and fuel filter within the last few months. I have never had the plugs or wires replaced and have personally owned the car for around 60,000 miles (I am assuming that the guy who quick-flipped the car didn’t change those recently).

Catalytic converter.

Yup. First check a plugged catalytic. Should not be too expensive. Get a couple of quotes or try DIY.