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

94 accord spitting, sputtering and lurching (oh my!)

I realize, with 275k miles on it, that it’s not gonna’ run like new. however, it only does it when i accelerate. i can be going 40, 50 or 60 mph and release the accelerator and the spasms stop (on the car…)

i keep the oil changed and have done whatever maintenance i can. the plug have also been replaced.

what’s next?

thanks

shockman

Shock Man, With Only 275K It Should Be Able To Run Like New

Please verify that it was running well, prior to this problem. Did this come on suddenly (like one time when you hopped in)? Did it begin as an intermittent problem and worsen or has it been just slowly heading south?

the decline has been over the past 2 months or so. up to that point, it was intermittent at worst.
by the way, my original post should have said plugs plural (should have more carefully proofread it.)
thanks

When was the last time that the fuel filter was changed? If it has not been changed in…more than 50k…then you could have seriously weakened your fuel pump. Start with a new fuel filter, and if it then runs properly, consider yourself lucky!

it may be pushing the 50k envelope; how hard is it to change?

I think it’s a bad ignition module (“igniter”), which is in the distributor, if it has one. It might be time to replace it.

how big of an ordeal is it to replace the igniter?

I tell you what. Change the fuel filter (it’s on the firewall and may be a little tight if the vacuum module is right over it). Then, see how it runs. Then, come on back.

I would have the spark plug wires checked and/or replaced.

I had the same symptoms and that was the problem.

They don’t last forever.

With that many miles I would replace the whole distributor, which is not too difficult.

first of all, thanks for all of the help! secondly, i need to add that the symptoms don’t occur right after starting the car: it happens after it’s been running for 5 miles or so.

Could still be dirty fuel filter; but, also, other things.