99 honda accord LX/AT, delay/hesitation between pressing gas and engine responding

156k, 4 cyl, automatic, original owner,
been doing all the regular maintenance…

about a year back, got the EGR valve cleaned and then replaced due to some stalls.
a month back engine stalled and gave up on highway 10 miles into the morning drive.
had to put it in neutral, and push it to shoulder…
ignition would turn over, engine would try to start but wouldn’t.
shop replaced the IAC… they didn’t say if there were any codes…

all this while, in stop-and-go traffic, where i try to be efficient and keep pumping on the
gas pedal and cruising as opposed to braking, i have been noticing a
delay/hesitation between pressing on the gas, and the engine responding.
sometimes i feel like a lurch, and fear that a stall is coming, but the rpm’s pick up and the
car goes on.

if i am decisively hitting the gas or braking, the engine is behaving better!
it is when i am pumping on the gas and releasing, that i observe this hesitation…
also there is a delay in the car shifting into higher gear…

i was wondering if folks had any suggestion on this?
thanks for reading :slight_smile:

Does this engine have a MAF sensor? Clean it.
Make sure the hose between the MAF and intake manifold has no cracks and is well sealed.
Test fuel pressure and check long and short term fuel trim with an OBD-II scanner.
How many miles on the spark plugs? They need to be NGK or Denso brand.

Check tps for intermittent operation

thanks folks.
spark plugs were replaced around 130k. oem brand.
would any of these throw codes?
i searched online and found MAP sensor parts for the accord…
is this the same as MAF?

i searched online and found MAP sensor parts for the accord.. is this the same as MAF?

NO. MAP = manifold absolute pressure. MAF = mass air flow.

some more data on this…
long trim shows -3.9%
also when i ease off on the gas the MAP reading drops off quite a bit…
would appreciate any feedback on this…

also when i ease off on the gas the MAP reading drops off quite a bit..

Manifold pressure should drop, exactly how much, I don’t know.

LT Fuel trim seems maybe a tad high, but I don’t think that’s what’s causing your symptoms. It is well within the usual +/- 5% limits.

The MAP sensor informs the computer what the intake manifold vacuum level is, and that must be how it determines intake air flow on this car. Other cars use a different technique, an MAF sensor instead. If the MAP reading changes abruptly with the position of the accel pedal, that probably means it is working. A shop could do a bench test on it to make sure, but I doubt that is the problem either.

I think you may have more than one problem going on. It’s going to require a little shop investigation time to figure out what it is probably. I think what I’d do first if this was my car is do a simple test on the EGR, make sure it will stall the engine at idle, when activated. And test the fuel pressure. They may have to test the fuel pressure while doing a test drive, as it may be conking out for some reason in certain driving situations. My educated guess is that the hesitation is caused by an overly lean mixture.

took it to the shop.
as you said, they also felt trip was within limits.
they also said fuel pressure is ok…
they found oil in the distributor cap… cleaned it out…
one of the spark plugs was worn and corroded.
swapped all four spark plugs…
looks like the distributor needs to be replaced in the future.
is it possible to change the sealant ring?

Thanks for updating us.

There are auto electric shops - one would know about changing the seal. I think probably it is replaceable.

I seem to read more about old Hondas needing new or rebuilt distributors more than other cars do. That may be because people who take care of their Hondas end up with a very high mileage car - and distributor. The common issue seems to be the bearing - when it wears the shaft has too much axial play. That, too, may be repairable.

I’ve had 3 of these 98-99. 1 was a V6. Our 98 did this and the fuel pressure regulator was replaced and took care of the problem. Also consider the ignition switch.