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Bad Fuel?

I have a 2001 Honda Accord with 66,000 miles on it. A month ago my check engine light came on. I took it to my mechanic and had new plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor put on. A week later the light came on again and he adjusted the plugs. Again the light came on and I took it to the dealership which after 3 visits they’ve replaced the plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor with Honda parts and also put on a new fuel regulator. The light is on again and the car runs rough. They claim now that I need new fuel injectors but can’t guarantee that it will solve my problem. The codes are P0303, P0304,P0300 and P1399. They want me to run the gas out of the car. My other question is, will running the gas out hurt the car anymore?

First, I don’t think running the gas out of your car will hurt anything, although some fuel pumps are cooled by the fuel in the fuel tank. I also don’t think it will solve the error codes. Exactly what does the mechanic think will be solved if you run the car down to 1/8th tank? Are you supposed to fill up and the codes magically reset? I would think that putting in and diluting the “bad gas” with a known quality Top Tier gasoline from a station who is a large volume gasoline dealer (think truck stop, etc) would work equally well.

I have not reviewed the error codes, but am suspect of the dealer recommendation here. First, he replaced aftermarket plugs, wires and dist cap (that were probably OK, anyway) with real Honda parts, found out that didn’t work, made another guess on the fuel regulator, found that that didn’t work; and now wants to make another guess in new injectors. If it is bad gas (water in gas), then there is a high probability that the fuel filter needs to be replaced; I don’t see that mentioned here at all.

I think it is time for you to find a quality 3d mechanic; one who will diagnose rather than guess. Use CarTalk’s mechanics files on the home page if needed, to do this.

Hopefully one of the real mechanics who follow this board will help out with a good diagnosis based on the error codes. So far, I don’t see any diagnosis on the part of the dealer, but a lot of parts replacement and guesses.

How many tanks of gas have you put through the car since the problems started?

By reading your post it seems like more than one.

Is the Dealer requesting you “run the gas out of the car for a paticular reason”?

All your getting is the light but no other symptons? (rough idle,surging,poor mileage,noticable miss-fire)?

Codes P0300 and P1399 both refer to multiple/random mis-fires, and P0303 and P0304 refer to misfires specific to cylinders 3 and 4. I don’t believe the fuel injectors are at fault. If so, other codes would also pop up, like rich or lean codes. There are other ignition components that should be considered first, like the coils. Also, the wires to these components.

I’ve run through 1 additional tank of gas since the problem started. I do have rough idle, surging, poor mileage and noticable mis-fire.

I stand by my original advice: new mechanic, provided with BustedKnuckles’ insights.

Was there a reason why you ditched the first mechanic, or did he recommend the Honda dealer as a solution?

Agree with this, I’d bet a weak coil.

you might need a whole new distributor. i had this problem in my old mazda. i did the same thig you did replaceing everything and it didnt work so try the distributor.

Thanks. The first mechanic didn’t have the technology to identify the problem. but he gave me good advice. I just found a new mechanic who’s highly recommended. I appreciate all the good advice. I feel better being informed.