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1998 Honda Accord Cuts Out Consistantly During Workout! PLEASE HELP!

Hello fellow honda lovers!

I am having a major problem with my 1998 Honda Accord (190,000 miles). It is the EX model with the 2.3L Vtech and automatic transmission. I live in Bozeman, MT which as you may know is on a mountian. I have no troubles driving to work (down the mountain and 40 miles) but my car starts acting up every time that I come back from work. When I return up the mountian my car will eventually start to cut out. It always cuts out at exactly 4000 RPMs and once it does so will continue to do so until the car is stopped and cooled down for just a short bit. This problem will persist in nuetral. It will even continue to do so in town. It will rev up just fine to 4K and then cut hard. I have replaced my ignition (wires, cap, rotor, and coil). My plugs only have about 3000 miles. When the car is not acting up it is very responsive, will rev to redline, and seems to run fine. I think it is most likely unrelated but I get some yellow froth on my oil dipstick, but antifreeze loss is very minimal. This has been occuring for a while. I have no check engine light on, but have never seen it on so can not confirm that it works. It does not come on with the others (ABS, SRS, BRAKE) when I turn on the key. Hope someone can help!! I appreciate your time!!

Dustin Sperling

Beautiful Bozeman, MT

there a couple of things that could be affecting it. jmho here, but considering the age of the car and mileage a compression test should be the first step in a shop setting.

you may have more than one problem (converter clog, low compression, etc) but verifying mechanical condition is the place to start.
drop by a local autozone, checkers, etc. and have them scan the car. they will do this free and codes should be present no matter if the cel is on or not.

you also need to check the cel bulb to see if it’s burned out or whether some unscrupulous person in the past removed the bulb before selling or trading the car.

Without the little anti-freeze tidbit, I’d say it’s a fuel pressure issue-- a plugged filter and/or a worn out fuel pump. A fuel pressure test should tell for sure. However, if you are burning any anti-freeze, you almost certainly have a blown head gasket that you really need to take care of before the coolant contaminates your oil and wrecks your engine. This could also be causing your problem. Getting a compression test should tell you for sure.

I agree w/ GJ. Especially since your driving conditions sound pretty harsh for the car. It’s important to get the head issue straight… unless you’re comfortable w/ the idea of getting stuck on said mountain.

As for your 4k cutout problem, it does indeed sound like a fuel delivery problem. Maybe your fuel pump is overheating. …I’ve also heard that VTEC cars have a safety mode that cuts fuel delivery at/around 4k if the oil pressure gets wacky. Considering the poor state of your oil, that may have something to do w/ it too. If that’s the case, then you’ll have to deal w/ the head problem anyway.

And, of course, change that dirty fuel filter. It’s so easy a therapist could do it.
Try this Web site for Honda (and cars, in general) which have this type of problem (stalling):