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2008 Honda Fit stalling and the dealership is trying to convince me it's all in my head

My 2008 Honda Fit has been developing a problem for the last 6 months or so and each time I’ve taken it to the dealership they say there’s nothing wrong. It started with the car hesitating when accelerating from a stop. This only happened if the car had been sitting for a while and it only really happened if you hit a full stop before the car had a chance to warm up, even then, it probably only happened maybe 1 out of every 10 stops.

Recently, the car has started struggling when coming to a full stop (again usually the first stop after the car has been sitting) and the car will stall out unless you give it some gas. This seems to be worse if it is cold outside (which it is now permanently cold outside) and when the car is on an incline (front higher than the back).

I took it to the dealership (because it is still under warranty) and they said the engine isn’t showing any codes and the fuel pressure is fine (of course that didn’t stop them from trying to sell me a new battery). However, I am concerned that this is only going to get worse and its not really acceptable for it to be stalling out regardless.


Have you left the car overnight for the dealer to duplicate the problem?
Have they measured fuel pressure while it’s trying to stall?

Cold weather (reduced pressure in the tank) and an incline (gravity) can make the fuel pump work harder.
Try loosening and re-tightening the gas cap before going on a drive.
See if it makes any difference.

@chaosgasket, if you still have the original battery, it’s time to replace it.
I’m not siding with the dealership, but batteries last from 4-6 years. If your car was built in 2007, the battery is already over 5 years old.

It sounds as if the dealership either can’t duplicate the problem or doesn’t want to get too involved at this point.
The fact that there are no codes doesn’t mean there’s no problem. I’ve fixed plenty of problems that didn’t set codes.

Your problem is a loose nut in front of the grill, who looks at the computer and says, “It doesn’t say there’s anything wrong.” My dealer offers that service, too: telling me that the problem does not exist. It’s part of their religion. Unfortunately, I am an unbeliever.

Along with db4690, I’m a bit curious about the battery and why it was recommended. A poor battery with the electrical load that modern cars impose on them can do some strange things; especially at idle.

If this problem only occurs, and it’s not battery related, then I might suspect an iffy Idle Air Valve if the problem surfaces when the accelerator pedal is not depressed or barely depressed. This can happen and not set a code.

It would be nice (very) if every car problem was a black and white issue. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of gray involved and that’s the nature of the beast.
The shop is torn between not seeing and obvious fault and brushing it off or spending countless hours tracking down a gremlin which may never even be found on the customer’s dime. Either way, they’re the bad guys.

What do you mean by struggling when coming to a stop? Describe exactly what its doing when it is “struggling”. Honda’s are known for their Torque Converter Clutches causing problems. I’m wondering whether the converter clutch is hanging up every so often.


I also have a 2008 Honda fit that had the same problem of stalling when I was coming to a stop and put the clutch in. The dealership always told me there was nothing wrong as well. I did some research online and found that other cars had the same problem and that it is due to a misalignment of the valves on the engine. It is a fairly easy fix, it just takes a lot of work to remove all of the parts to get to the valves. You can either fix it yourself, or take it to a trusted mechanic to have them adjust the valves. From the research I’ve done, the valves will need to be realigned every 50,000-80,000 miles. It is a pain to do, but shouldn’t be very expensive.

I second OK445’s comment and suggest you get the battery and charging system checked at the local parts store. Many parts stores will do this free of charge.

Additionally, transman is our recognized expert on trannys and it would be wise to answer his questions. He’s “the man” in this area.

I’d like to add a third possibility. Since the temperature of the engine seems to be a factor, let me suggest the temp sensor. You probably hev three sensors, one to tell the fan when to turn on, one to tell the temp gage what the temp is, and one that feeds to the ECU. If the ECU is unaware that the engine is cold, it won’t feed enough fuel to the engine. Since it has no reference to compare the temp sensor signal to, it also won’t store a fault code. No Check Engine Light combined with difficulty at cold engine temps often means a simple bad temp sensor.