Civic acting a little funny

Hello Everyone!

I have a 95 Honda Civic EX with just shy of 198,000 miles. To date, ?she? has only let me down once when the radiator blew in half, literally. Other than that, it?s has just been routine maintenance (timing belt, brakes, axles, a mountain of mufflers, etc) as the miles have ticked higher and higher. However, over the past year something has/is happening and any ideas about what it is would be great.

The car is a standard and when I am in 5th gear and am driving along at around 50+ mph and then let the car coast down to about 40 or below, then followed up with giving the car more gas, at random intervals the car feels like it looses power. It doesn?t stall out, and the RPMs don?t appear to fluctuate, it is just I am pressing on the gas and for a split second it?s like it?s not getting any fuel. The car does not lunge or buck at all; it?s more of a sputter, some more ?sputtery? than other sputters. The same thing happens also when I come to a stop from a higher gear, and then start in first gear again. When city driving, if I am in fourth gear and have to slow down, I will push the clutch in, then when I accelerate again say for example put it into second gear, at random the car will sputter again. The only pattern seems to be the car is going fast, getting lots of fuel, slows down getting less fuel, and doesn?t respond well to getting more fuel again.

What I know I need fixing on my car is a new filler neck for my gas tank as it has started rusting out and the oil pan at some point in the future will need replacing due to rust also. Also, my engine light comes on at 95% of the time within out 5 minutes of starting the car up. Not sure if that has anything to do with it.

Any ideas would be great!

This sputter may be linked to fuel supply. Have you changed the fuel filter lately. It might also need a new fuel pump.
I am assuming that you have performed a full tuneup in the last 2 years.

Fuel filter about a year ago, fuel pump never replaced. That had crossed my mind. Thank you!

It could still be a fuel supply problem. I can tell you hate to do any testing or troubleshooting; but, this is where you need to. The “new” fuel filter could be dirty, already (you know, rust and stuff). The throttle position sensor (tps) is a suspect. There are voltmeter tests of the tps in the Haynes (or, Chilton’s) repair manual you need to be using. The fuel pressure regulator is, also, a suspect. Alternatively, you can use the easier (but, lot more expensive) method of just changing parts until you get lucky (maybe).

In addition to the other points that have been made, I would suggest that you might need a new thermostat. The rusting of the oil pan, as well as the rusting out of several mufflers, suggests that your engine is running far too cold, thus leading to excess moisture in the oil and in the exhaust system. Replacing the thermostat should lead to a better-running, more fuel-efficient engine.

When did you last do a “tune-up”? Plugs . . rotor . . . cap . . . wires . . . air filter . . . timing check? At 200k, you probably should have considered all of these in addition to the fuel filter(s) . . yes, there are 2 on the 95 civic. Rocketman

Aside from what might be wrong, 50 MPH seems like a low speed to be in 5th gear. I drive a 98 Civic and I usually shift to 5th gear at around 55 or 60 MPH. Once the speed dips below 55 MPH, I don’t expect there to be any power unless I shift down to 4th gear.

That was just a bad example. It’s more like around 65

Good to know. I am sure I am on borrowed time with the thermostat. Thanks.

No, not “borrowed time”. Your thermostat is undoubtedly in need of replacement now.

“engine light comes on at 95% of the time within five minutes of starting the car up. Not sure if that has anything to do with it”.

Well, it might be an idea to find out if there are any codes. What do you think?

You need to pull the CEL codes and post them back here.

This sight shows how to pull the codes:

Scroll half way down page and it will cover your year of car.

Another vote for changing the fuel filter. You have a rusty fuel filler neck. Seeing as how they haven’t repealed the law of gravity, some of that rust is going to fall into the tank. When you fill up, the gas will also carry rust into the tank.

You may also need to clean the “sock” over the fuel pickup.

But get it scanned for codes.