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2002 Honda Civic Jerks and Hesitates

Hello, my 2002 Honda Civic Dx has been intermittently jerking and hesitating when I accelerate very shortly after coming to a complete stop or near complete stop. It only does this briefly right as I step on the gas, and then it accelerates normally with no other problems.



The car has an automatic transmission and has about 180,000 miles on it. I have been taking good care of it and giving it its regularly scheduled maintenance. It had a new timing belt around 110,000 miles, new spark plugs and an air filter about 2 years ago, and the transmission fluid was also replaced around that time. The only thing I’m not sure it ever had was a new fuel filter, and I’m considering having that replaced very soon.



I am taking the car in to get it looked at next week, but wanted some opinions in the meantime. The person I spoke to at the dealer today said that the car might just be getting old and that I should take care of it the best I can to keep it running as long as possible.

Replacing the fuel filter is a good idea, but I don’t think that’s directly causing the hesitation. Put a bottle of Chevron fuel injection cleaner in the gas tank after the filter is changed.

I would get it tested for spark strength. How old are the distributor cap, rotor and wires? It could be a weak coil. It might be time for a new distributor, which I believe contains the ignition module “igniter”.

I would bet a great deal of money that the distributor cap, rotor, and wires are all as old as the car, so I will have the mechanic look at them, and I’ll definitely go out and buy some of that fuel injection cleaner after the filter is changed. Thanks for all of those suggestions… I’ll print this out and show it to the dealer next week.

“show it to the dealer next week.”

You’ll save money with a good independent mechanic to do this basic stuff.
I would however get any ignition parts other than the plugs from Honda.

I don’t know the answer to your question, but I can tell you this car does not have a distributor cap, rotor, or spark plug wires. A 2002 Civic DX (the D17A1 engine) has four ignition coils, controlled by the PCM.

I generally try to have Honda diagnose the issue and give me a price quote for the parts and labor, and then, depending on what they tell me, I either let them do it, take it somewhere else to get it done cheaper, or get a second opinion. It just depends on the situation.

Thanks for clearing that up… guess it looks silly that I don’t even know what stuff is in my car. Slowly but surely, every part that’s in the car is needing to either be replaced or fixed, so I’m sure by the time it’s ready for its funeral, I’ll be familiar with it from head to toe.

I took the car in today, and they can’t replicate the jerking or hesitation. I can’t either, honestly, as it stopped happening within the past week. I have no idea why it doesn’t happen all the time, but I guess I won’t worry unless it starts getting worse or happening more often.