Slow opening choke

I recently took my old Honda Accord into the shop to have my cold-engine rough running diagnosed. They found that the choke on the carburetor is opening slowly, but did not offer any solution. Should I take the car somewhere that would be more willing to mess around with a 20 year old Honda Carburetor? Will this require an o/h? Finally, will this explain why the car hesitates and stumbles when trying to accelerate if it has been running hot for a while (highway), allowed to sit, and then restarted? Thanks.

Yes, the stumbling is typical when the choke is not opening enough to get the engine all the air it needs.

The running hot and not restarting is caused by the gas mixture being too rich when you try to restart it. GM small block V8s in the 70s and 80s suffered from this, and my solution was to stick my comb in the carburetor prying the choke open. That will start it quickly. Don’t use your pen, because you will lose it as it drops down into the manifold.

My wife got to be so good at this that she often helped others who had the same problem.

There are two ways to fix it; repair or replace the choke parts that are defective ( pull-off, thermostat, etc.) or convert it to a hand choke. I have done this with several older cars and it worked well. There may not be an exact conversion kit, there are many retrofit kits with sufficient parts to make it fit.

Good luck!

First things first. I’d try spraying some carburator cleaner on the choke to dissolve the crud around and on the choke. That should free it up and allow it to work properly.

As for the hesitation when the car is warm, I’d put some carburator cleaner in the gas tank, drive the car for a few days and see if that helps. If not I’d give it a good general rune-up. This includes replacing the sparkplug, sparkplug wires, distrubtor cap, and rotor. If it still hesitates and stumbles you may need to have the carburator rebuilt. You should take the car to a mechanic that is old enough to have first hand experience with carburators. You probably cannot find such a person at the dealer. Search this web site for a recommended mechanic in your area.

If you have the CVCC engine in your accord, look through the little window and if you see black plastic floats, they are probably filling up with gasoline and sinking. This will cause too much fuel to run into the carburetor. The replacement ones should be copper. You will start up great when cold. Warm restarts will be rough and warm performance will be strange at times. You might have a newer model engine that might not have a window. If so; I don’t know which floats are in it. If you have external adjustments for float level, don’t even mess with those things or you will never get them right. It’s easier to adjust them with the instructions on the float kit or the rebuild kit when the top of the carb is off.

Hi Jeff! Sorry to hear that your Accord is running rough . If you want to mess with this old choke . . . you’ll have nothing but headaches. I fooled around with the carb on my 89 for years . . choke, vacuum lines, whatever . . . found a Holley for a little over $200 that bolted right on, everything fit and all lines, wires matched, VOILA! Believe me, I tried everything short of a complete rebuild, nobody would touch it . . . and mine was complicated. You might check the electrical connections to the choke. Mine is an electric choke which gunked up, rusted, and became troublesome. Ran great when first cold, then lousy, then great, then hard warm starts, rough idle at times, fast idle at times (3500). . . I got sick of it and bought the replacement. Not one problem since. There are tons of used parts out there . . . I bought a used choke, ran OK for a while then acted like the original . . . very frustrating. You might try a hand choke modification before you buy the replacement, it might work out. Rocketman

Rocket, was your Accord an auto or manual shift. I had a situation with a Webber carb kit that would work with clutch car, but not an auto.

My Accord is a manual shift, I never looked for a carb for an automatic. The original carb on the Accord worked well for a long time, a few hundred thousand miles . . but when it started to get funky, no amount of fixing it seemed to help. The replacement carb was the answer for me and it starts and runs great . . even with over 443,000 miles on the car (less on the new carb, of course). Rocketman