Engine quits while driving

honda
accord

#1

My 1994 2.2L 5 speed Honda has cut off on me twice while driving. It has 193,000 miles on it, and I’ve owned it 14 years. In April, the shift locked up, and I had the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder replaced. The driver’s side steering rack boot and radiator were also replaced at that time. Five weeks later, the engine cut off while driving and the fuel injection pump relay was replaced. EIght weeks later, the car stalled again while driving. My mechanic checked out all the connexions and could find nothing loose. The car still starts but I don’t like the prospect of its cutting off again in transit. How can I get to the source of this problem?


#2

Does the engine restart after it stalls, or do you have to have the car towed? Does it stall at any particular speed, such as highway driving, or will it stall in slow traffic, too?

First thing if to figure out whether it’s a fuel problem or an ignition problem. Considering the mileage there are many possible causes for this.


#3

When it cut off the first time,it wouldn’t restart, and I had it towed to the garage where the mechanic replaced the fuel injection pump relay. Yesterday when the engine quit, I drifted to a stip at a red light. After a few tries, it started and has been starting fine ever since. I’d estimate I was driving 40 mph when it quit the first time, 15 mph, the second time. How do I figure out whether its a fuel problem or an ignition problem?


#4

One way is to carry a spray can of starting fluid with you, for the next time it stalls and can’t be started again. Spray some fluid down the intake and crank it over; if it runs for a minute and dies, fuel delivery is being interrupted; if it still turns over without firing, it’s a no spark condition.


#5

How can you get to the source of this problem? You learn what parts/components/systems each suspect controls. When you know that, you can determine which component is at fault.
The three prime suspects are: the ignition switch; the PGM-FI Relay; and the distributor (actually, the components inside it).
The ignition switch will cut electrical power, momentarily, to the dash, and the PGM-FI Relay.
The PGM-FI relay controls electrical power to the fuel pump, the fuel injectors, and the engine computer. This may be the “fuel injection pump relay” that the mechanic changed.
The distributor controls spark (with orders from the engine computer) to make the spark plugs spark.
If, in fact, the mechanic changed the PGM-FI Relay, the next-cheapest (about $60) suspect is the ignition switch (NOT, the key part). The third suspect, of course, is the distributor (about $170).


#6

Isn’t this year Honda (and many others) known for problems with components internal in the distributor? I remember replacing quite a few entire distributors during my stint at Honda.


#7

Yes. And, the PGM-FI relay. And, the ignition switch.
Careful observation, of what happens when the engine stalls, can help identify which component is most likely at fault.


#8

Don’t forget the tiny switch on the clutch petal. The clutch has to be depressed to start the car, perhaps the switch is bad or there is a poor contact in one of the connectors.