'91 Accord suddenly stopped

Discussion in 'Accord' started by Phil, Sep 6, 2003.

  1. Phil

    Phil Guest

    My 1991 Accord, driven by my daughter, suddenly quit running. Just like the
    key being turned off, with no warning, no dash lights came on, no odd
    noises, nothing. It will not start, but cranks normally. I had it towed
    home. I looked through the oil filler cap hole and saw where the camshaft
    sat by way of a mark on the cam casting. I cranked the engine just enough
    to reposition the crank, and checked the cam again. It had obviously
    turned. But I suppose, a few teeth could have sheared off on the belt
    allowing it to slip, so still not sure if the timing belt is the problem.
    When I turn the key on, I hear a hissing noise near the fuel injection unit,
    for a few seconds, and then it stops. As an aside, my daughter hit
    something on the freeway which dented and depressed the plastic rocker panel
    on the passenger side. Is there any fuel line that runs through there?

    What next steps can I take to determine why the car will not start (and quit
    so suddenly)?

    Thank you,

    - Phil
    Phil, Sep 6, 2003
  2. Phil

    Scooterb Guest


    I had the same problem with my 91 Accord EX about in May 1997. I was stopped
    a stoplight and the engine just quit on me. Turned out to be a bad
    distributor bearing that created so much metal filings that it ended up
    shorting out the components inside the distributor housing.

    Remove the distributor cap and look to see if its clean. It may be your

    BTW... Honda actually picked up the tab to have this repaired to the tune of
    $665 back then even though it was out of warranty. If it is your problem you
    probably have too many miles on your car to catch the same break.

    I also don't think your timing belt broke. If it had you probably would have
    bent some of the valves which certainly would have created lots of noise and
    excitement when it happened.

    Scooterb, Sep 6, 2003
  3. Phil

    Tony Hwang Guest

    Do you have spark?
    Tony Hwang, Sep 6, 2003
  4. Phil

    N.E.Ohio Bob Guest

    Probably the "ignitor" in the distributer. See if they have one at the
    parts store, find it on the distributer (take it out of the car) and put
    the new one on. Mark the location of the dist. on the block before
    removing it. bob

    N.E.Ohio Bob, Sep 6, 2003
  5. Phil

    Phil Guest


    I pulled the distributor cap, and all I found was the usual gray powdery
    stuff around the plug terminals inside the cap. Did not look so unusual to
    me, but if those kinds of deposits are not normal, then you may be onto
    something. I'll clean the cap and try to restart. I did pull a plug lead,
    inserted a drill bit inside it and cranked the engine for evidence of spark
    against the engine. Nothing. So it looks like the ignition is the problem.

    - Phil
    Phil, Sep 6, 2003
  6. Phil

    Phil Guest

    I pulled one plug lead, inserted a snug fitting drill bit into the lead, and
    then put it near an engine metal part (1/4" away). I cranked the engine.
    No spark at all. Pulled the distributor cap. Cap inside had some grey
    powdery residue around terminals. Cleaned that out and will try restarting,
    but those deposits do not look so unusual. But, will see by trying to

    - Phil
    Phil, Sep 6, 2003
  7. Phil

    Mike R Guest

    Usually when the distributor bearing starts disintegrating, a reddish
    brown dust is found everywhere inside the housing. Also a high pitch
    screeching noise (similar to a noisy fan belt) comes from the distributor,
    which at least gives some warning. I replaced the distributor housing
    myself a few years ago at 100k in the wifes 92 Accord. Convinced Honda to
    pay for the part and I would do the labor. It's not that hard of a job.
    You do have to remove the ignitor and reinstall in the new housing. The
    thing is, you don't know for sure if the ignitor is good. It sounds like a
    new housing replacment may be in order. If so, consider replacing the
    ignitor too.

    Honda had a safety recall years ago concerning the defective bearing I
    believe made by Nachi (SP?). Do a google search on Acccord distributor
    bearing failures and you'll get plenty of hits. If you're not the original
    owner, maybe a Honda dealership can access their main database for TSB
    history records of the car using the VIN number. Just a thought...Good
    Mike R, Sep 7, 2003
  8. Phil

    Jafir Elkurd Guest

    You might have a bad coil, or igniter, or distributor. All are fairly
    common on that car. The distributor usually will have a check engine light
    before it fails, and under the cap will be lots of red dust. It also could
    be as simple as a bad rotor.
    Jafir Elkurd, Sep 7, 2003
  9. Phil,
    I agree that the igniter could be the source of the problem. I also advise
    replacing the distributor cap unles you have done it recently. I also
    advise replacing all of the easily replac. parts inside the distributor.
    It's also possible that the timing belt or chain is broken. You can check
    this by taking the distributor cap off. While your daughter cranks the
    engine--see if everything is turning normally and operating normally
    inside the distributor.
    Bill B. Johnson, Sep 8, 2003
Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.