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Hesitating Honda Doesn't Like Accelerating

Hi out there,

I have a 95 civic dx, 180k, standard trans, has run absolutely wonderful its entire life until a week ago…

On a cold start nothing is apparently wrong.

Once warmed up, especially after restarting after a short break, the car will hesitate whenever accelerating (I’d say 5/10 times), particularly in 1st gear but also in any of the gears if trying to pick up speed or climb a hill. Almost feels like it’s not getting gas, or like there are air bubbles in the gas (gas-air-gas-air…)??

No check engine light has come on and I am currently trying a bottle of Chevron Techtron Injector cleaner in the tank (now about 1/8 into full tank).

Any ideas as to what is going on? I’m hoping the inj. cleaner will help but am I hurting the engine in the meantime?? Could the fuel filter be the culprit??? Maybe some kind of sensor in the fuel/air system???

We were just about to sell the car, looks like Murphy’s Law struck again! Thanks for any advice.


Before any of us can give answers with much value, you need to give us the car’s maintenance history in some detail. Please don’t tell us that the car “has been well-maintained” because that generalization frequently turns out to be inaccurate.

If you had the 180k service performed recently, that would have included the replacement of every filter, every fluid, the spark plugs, and possibly some other items. Please at least let us know if this service was performed as specified in the mfr’s maintenance schedule before we start with blind guesses.

Here is some more info:
The car has had regular oil changes (synthetic every 5000 mi) and I regularly check all the fluids and fix things as they become apparent - ie, I don’t drive around with an issue and wait until the inspection is due to fix it.
I do not think the plugs, other filters (other than air) have been replaced in a long time. A new rad and thermostat was just installed, so the coolant is new. I haven’t performed as much preventative maintenance as perhaps I should have, hope this isn’t biting me in the rear now…

Sorry for not posting these the 1st time, hope there is enough here to help.

The first step is to replace those ignored spark plugs and the fuel filter.
If that doesn’t help, have the fuel pump pressure tested.

Techron is a good product if your fuel injectors are dirty, but it is not a substitute for basic maintenance.

In addition to the stuff VDCdriver recommended, have the valves ever been adjusted?
Also, a compression test might be in order.

Conclusion — I replaced the sparks and fuel filter (darn the bolts on that were stubborn!), this seems to have fixed the problem and then some - the car now has more spunk than before.

I have no doubt that replacing these parts helped the cars overall performance, but I also have a feeling that perhaps one of the spark plug cables was just a little loose and causing the hesitation.

Thanks VDCdriver and circuitsmith for your comments.

Hakims razor, huh? Rocketman


Occam’s cousin, I guess.

I saw that . . . didn’t know which was correct, guess it’s a family thing. Rocketman

Don’t forget to check the fuel filter. If it hasn’t been changed, do it now.