Engine sputter/hesitation: 99 Accord - Manual Transmission

Hey All,
I have a 99 Accord 4-cyl, 5-spd trans. Has been a great car, gotten all oil changes on time, just had one about 500 miles ago.

Recently, the last week or so, I have noticed that when I start out in the morning to go to work, when I shift between gears (ie, when the rpms go from >2k - shift - and drop to ~1.5k) the car begins to jerk and lurch. It is normally while I am trying to accelerate and keep going. Usually happens in the 2-2,200 rpms.

Is this a clutch slipping? Or is this a fuel delivery problem? Seems as though it may have set on in the last week with the recent cold weather.

When was your last tuneup? Plugs wires etc? Accords HATE when they have a leaking spark plug wire or a bad distrib cap…it frys the distributor electronics…over time.

Most common issue with the Honda Accord? Bad distributor… I have 3 good ones on hand at any moment… I have fixed so many I lost count…just swap in a new distributor and they run again.

In your case, I am thinking that you need a tuneup…prob due to a leaky wire, bad plug, or cracked distrib cap. Do a tuneup and I bet you will be running smooth again. Start with plugs, then cap and rotor…wires IF you need them… Do all if you wish… One at a time to actually find the culprit… If you shotgun all the parts, you wont know what fixed it.

Bet its a wire…


+1 HB
Could be a million things. Besides the other simple things mentioned, it could also be things like the fuel filter. When they get clogged, they do exactly as you describe.
With a tune up, you’d replace all those things.

If you want to get by for now and just replace what may ail it, get an old windex bottle - one of those that spray a mist - fill it with water and spray it around the distributor and wires while the car is idling. If it starts misbehaving, you’ve narrowed it down to the cap and/or wires.

Thanks for the info. Sounds like a very likely culprit. Last tune-up was at 120,000 - car is currently at 142,000. I know Honda schedules them at 150,000 - may be due a little bit early.

At 120,000 did they do a full tune up (IE new plug wires) or did they just do new plugs?? Wire should not fail in 22,000 miles, although it is possible.

+1 for the distributor at that mileage.
My '88 LXi Accord had the same symptoms at ~160K and a new distributor perked it up.

Yeah but when were the WIRES done…Many people…if not ALL…totally ignore those poor wires. I see them fail all the time…not due to a fault…just due to age and cracking that you usually cannot see.

Take it slow when you do your tuneup…if you do one at a time you will know what it was that fixed you up.

Another little trick is to look under your hood…at night in the dark…while engine is running…if you see a fireworks show near any wire…or around the distributor cap…you just found the voltage leak.

You can also run your hand over the wires…see if you get shocked :)…I do all the time, maybe thats why I have that facial tick…

Too many X the wires leak voltage within the spark plug wells…ESPECIALLY if they are FULL of oil from a leaky valve cover gasket… You never know its happening till you go to look at a plug…Ive seen them topped off with oil…and when that happens it grounds out the voltage to the plug


More info for the puzzle:

Well, driving it yesterday morning, the check engine light came on. The code is for the MAP (Manifold Absolute Pressure).

Yes, well - there are plenty of codes for the MAP so you need to report the very specific code in the format “P1234”

Here are a bunch, and these are the generics only. Who knows what extra ones Honda decided to add:
P0068 MAP/MAF - Throttle Position Correlation
P0069 Manifold Absolute Pressure - Barometric Pressure Correlation
P0105 Manifold Absolute Pressure/Barometric Pressure Circuit Malfunction
P0106 Manifold Absolute Pressure/Barometric Pressure Circuit Range/Performance Problem
P0107 Manifold Absolute Pressure/Barometric Pressure Circuit Low Input
P0108 Manifold Absolute Pressure/Barometric Pressure Circuit High Input
P0109 Manifold Absolute Pressure/Barometric Pressure Circuit Intermittent

So report the code. In the mean time, you can at least locate the MAP, take a look at its electrical connector and whatever bits & pieces of vacuum hose connect it to the manifold.