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Choking Honda

I have a 2003 Honda Civic EX that is choking and/or almost stalling out when I shift usually from 1st to 2nd gear, but also sometimes from 2nd to 3rd. It usually happens after I’ve driven it for about 20 minutes upon coming to a stop (intersection/stop sign). When I finally go, I push on the accelerator but it feels like no gas is being pumped through with a loss of power. I repeatedly push on the accelerator until it finally kicks over and power is restored. My check engine light is on and I’ve had the diagnostics read from local parts stores and mechanics and no one can narrow it down. My mechanic said that it sounds like the valves were sticking but can’t narrow it down to one thing without ripping apart the engine and going in deep, which would be expensive, but also not as expensive as a dealership. Any good suggestions where to start? I’m desperate here.

I have an '03 Civic EX and I doubt it is the valves. Apparently the code reader at the auto parts store got multiple codes or someone doesn’t know how to use the code reader. 1st thing I’d do is open up the air box and replace the air cleaner. This could be lots of things, when were the plugs last replaced?

There are lots of sensors that could cause some symptoms. I’d have the mass airflow sensor cleaned, a new air filter, and new plugs if the current ones have 40K or more miles on them. If you don’t get it running better find a good Honda mechanic to figure it out.

There’s not nearly enough info known to be able to even make a wild guess.
There are a lot of things that could cause a problem like this and knowing what if any codes are present would at least provide a starting point.

You should take the sticky valves diagnosis with a grain of salt and you should not have someone tear into an engine on a fishing expedition which will likely lead nowhere at great expense.

My check engine light is on and I’ve had the diagnostics read from local parts stores and mechanics and no one can narrow it down.

How about letting us know what those codes were? 

 That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here.

I agree that it isn;t the valves. Stick valves will cause an erratic idle and erratic acceleration, and your symptoms are totally different. And don;t let anyone tear the engine apart to go searching. Tearing engines apart is only for once the problem has been already diagnosed as an internal problem. That diagnosis is done without tearing anything apart.

Since it’s only exhibiting the symptoms after you’ve driven for 20 minutes, I’m going to suggest that you have an ignition related component becoming heat sensitive. Ignitters, crank sensors, and coils are IMHO primary suspects. But you’ll need a competant shop to diagnose it hands-on. You’ll need to arrange with him for you to take a drive and heat it up and then for him to put it on analyzer and check for erratic spark.