Post-Freeway driving stumbling/poor acceleration

So I drive my 1987 Accord on the freeway regularly to and from College and my home, a 100 mile commute each way. Sometimes when I exit the freeway, drive home and turn off the car and then start it up a few minutes later, it is hesitant to start and then “stumbles” and accelerates poorly for about 3 minutes of driving or .5 miles, whichever occurs first. Then it seems to correct itself. Is this something that I can counteract, or that is repairable? Or will I just have to deal with it? Thanks in advance.


Well a 1987 may have some vapor lock issues, or some part may be getting a little hot. Does it do it more when the outside temperature is hot? Has it just started doing in in the last month or so? Winter blend fuels are more susceptible to vapor lock.

If it is not fuel, then I would consider the ignition coil.

Of course making sure all the regular maintenance like plugs, plug wires, and air filter are always a good place to start, even if they are not likely, if they are due for replacement, you need to do them anyway.

Is your CEL (check engine light) on? If so you need to get the codes pulled at one of the local car parts store that does this service for free and post the code number that is pulled. With that info it would help to isolate it down to what might be your problem.

It behaves in the same manner if the outside temp. is hot, especially when a/c has been on. But now it does this when the engine has been running warm in general, it doesn’t matter if I have been on the freeway (i use my vehicle for pizza delivery). So to reiterate - when turning over, the car will seem hesitant to start but always does start. Then it will “stumble” at first and hesitate when trying to accelerate. After a few minutes it corrects itself. Basic maintenance has been done except for distributor cap & rotor, which I will do whenever I get a chance. So does anyone know if something like this is fixable or is it just the way a 20 year old carburetor is going to behave?