Engine died in the middle of the freeway!




This is my second post here. About six months ago, I started a topic called “My car is worth $2k and needs $2k of work!” (http://act…28909.page) I decided to keep the car and get the work done. Looks like I may have made the wrong decision!

Today I was driving on the freeway with my wife, going about 60 mph. All of a sudden we heard a “thunk” sound and the car started decelerating. I pressed on the gas pedal but nothing happened. The engine and batter light came on. Luckily we were right near an exit and I was able to steer the car onto the off-ramp and get about half-way up it onto the shoulder before the car came to a complete stop.

There was a burning smell coming from the engine when we stopped, but it didn’t last long. After a while I opened the hood and checked the oil. I was about due for a change and it was pretty low, but not dry. We got towed to a gas station, and put more oil in it. It turned over but wouldn’t start.

So we had it towed back to our Honda mechanic, but as it’s Sunday the shop was closed. In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out what could have caused the problem. When we had that $2k of work done, the timing belt, radiator and transmission was replaced, along with several hoses and smaller things. I was under the impression the car was in pretty good shape after that. Apparently not.

Any ideas? It’s a 1992 Honda Accord Wagon, with approx. 180k miles.


Any ideas?

Yea, check for the big three. Spark, Fuel and compression. One is likely missing.


I assume you mean fuel injection or fuel line? There was definitely plenty of fuel in the car, and I didn’t smell any leaks.


Me fear is what you described sounds like the smell of a burning timing belt, and the clunk of valves crashing against the pistons. Timing belts are not the easiest thing to replace.

I hope I am wrong on this one.


Me too! Especially since I had the timing belt replaced six months ago.