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'96 Honda engine dies

Every day for two weeks my friend’s '96 Honda dies at one or two stop lights on the way to work. It starts again immediately after she puts it into park. She just had a tune up recently. The mechanic says he can’t do anything unless he can recreate the problem when it’s hooked up to the diagnostic stuff. Ideas?

not a lot of, but if her torque converter lockup clutch fails to disengage, it will stall the engine when it slows below a certain speed by staying locked up to the engine…most cars will creep a bit with auto tranny, which isthe slippage built in , but to improve mileage they put in lock up clutches to disallow sslippage above certain speeds to give a direct 1 to 1 or (less) relationship to the engine & ttranny…usually a GM problem. Easy to fix.

She stops at the light and the car just dies. I don’t believe there is any warning. Everything is fine up to the moment. Does that still sound like what you’re talking about?

The first areas I would look at would be the main relay and the ignition switch; both of which have been problematic on aged Hondas.

Some Hondas were under recall for the ign. switches but I don’t think that it applies to the '96. However, just because a vehicle is not under recall does not mean that it does not suffer the same problems. Recalls involve a lot of politics and the object is to keep as few cars as possible out of that recall.

I don’t know if the mechanic scanned the car or not and is simply doing a brush off here. What your friend should do is drop by an AutoZone, Checkers, any parts house similar to those and get the codes pulled as a first step. There may be something there.
These parts houses will perform this service for free and it only takes a few minutes.
If any codes are present post them for discussion. If not, then consider the main relay or ignition switch. Hope that helps.

Thanks all. I am passing advice along to my friend and will report back!

My bad. As I forcibly remove my foot from my mouth I’m going to back up a step here. For some reason I clean forgot the part about dying at lights and was thinking dying at all times instead.

If this problem only occurs at an idle at stop then the cause would more likely be an Idle Air Control Valve acting up. This can screw up on an erratic basis and not set a Check Engine Light.
Removing and cleaning it may help. If not, it has to be replaced.

(I’m assuming here the mechanic did not dislodge a vacuum line or dink around with the distributor and get it a mile out of time.)

I agree with everyone but it might be worth stopping by a dealer. The 96 Acuras with the same engine had a recall and an extended warrenty on them. As part of the recall, they replaced the engine computers, provided a tune up, oil change, and car wash and covered the emissions until something like 150K.

as she slows to stop does the engine die if she puts it in neutral?